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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
33
4.5 out of 5 stars


on 25 March 2013
I read with great sadness the passing at the tragically young age of 47 of Richard Prior after looking him up after using this wonderful book. His obituaries praise him as a wonderful, encouraging and inspiring teacher and on the basis of this book I can certainly see why. I have always had an interest in ancient history and literature and have read Virgil, Ovid and others in translation with much pleasure. However despite having a love of languages I had always had a particular dread of Latin. I went to a prep school during the 1980s and was taught buy a dreadful teacher who not only made use learn the verb endings by rote but failed to explain the grammatical jargon correctly or inspire or put the language into context. Some clever boys managed despite this but I struggled and was constantly berated and humiliated in class by this horrible man because of it. I suppose it left a mental scar because many years later I had the option of taking latin courses in the first year of university but passed them up.

In recent years however I had come to regret this, especially after reading the series on learning ancient Latin and Greek in the Daily Telegraph some years back. They were fun and they rekindled my interest and made me look for a detailed and thorough course that was at the same time accessible, not to intimidating and written by an acknowledged expert. After clicking around Amazon looking at the various options it was this book that i plumped for and I do not regret it for a second. It was a superb introduction setting the context and easing you into the essentials in an easy, relaxed and yet thorough manner (something that the best academics should be able to do. From then on each chapter consistently builds on the last one to gradually increase your knowledge and confidence. The chapters start with a sound, lucid introduction to all the grammatical principles involved. For example the jargon of cases such as dative, genitive, ablative ( which for someone like myself who was never formally taught English grammar until i did a TEFL course several years back) are all given their relevant meaning s with plenty of examples and crucially plenty of practice exercises.

If you are prepared to put the work in and really go through the exercises I can guarantee that you will make genuine progress. If I had had access to this book as a bewildered 12 year old schoolboy I am sure I would have not been held back from exploring this fascinating language for all these years. It really does deserve the almost universal praise it has got here and i thoroughly recommend it.

Thanks again Dr Prior.
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2010
I studied Latin up to A Level some 7 years ago now; I used the Cambridge texts and, now brushing my Latin up for an Open University course, thought a different textbook would take some getting used too. Thankfully, this wasn't the case!

The book is simple, clear, and easy to understand. I would recommend it for raw beginners and those returning to the language alike.
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on 15 April 2010
Latin demystified is an excellent book for either those who want to learn Latin as a beginner or for those who want a reference book to clarify points of grammar. The author describes in detail and with examples complicated grammar rules but keeps the text easy to read. I think this book is an excellent and up to date way of learning and keeping up with Latin.
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on 9 September 2009
This was really helpful when i was doing my Latin GCSE and goes right the way through to A-Level, really simple and easy to use. Really good price as well, brilliant!
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on 17 June 2013
Its been a LONG time since I practiced Latin however I decided to give it another go and this book was definitely the right choice. Its not easy going and I would highly recommend, as I did, that you read a Grammar book beforehand or your going to find this extremely difficult from the start. That said once you understand the difference between tense, mood, voice and particple the book will become a lot clearer. What you'll also find from learning Latin is a much wider appreciate for literature, a far more varied vocabulary and a lot less interest in watching reality TV.

The first few chapters were hard for me as I had to internalize a lot of the conjugations and personal endings before I could go on but it was easy to understand. The author packs a lot into each chapter so don't expect some paint by numbers book - your going to have to work.
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on 14 September 2011
I would thoroughly recommend this course, both for GCSE, A-level or university students seeking to supplement another course, or for self-taught learners. It doesn't just state grammatical rules, but gives explanations - it is also very clearly written, with lots of practice exercises to help embed grammar and vocabulary, and self-assessment quizzes and tests to check that you've thoroughly mastered a particular section before you move on to the next. Learning Latin is always going to need application and persistence, but I'd say this book makes it about as easy as it's going to get.
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on 6 September 2010
If you have, like me, lost your Kelly's Primer this is a great substitute. In fact it is a good deal better than good old Kelly's in that it explains rather than just informing. Perhaps its only fault is that it explains a bit too much for the average student who is keen to grasp enough of the essentials rather than comprehending the deepest points of Cicero's grammatic usage. It is not for "skimmimg" - you must follow it faithfully; if you do the reward is very satisfying.

Christopher Haines
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2010
Although I don't like the layout of the book, I must add that the layout of the book is as it should be: given the type of book which it is. It has more than enough test questions to check whether you have understood the topic in question; and although most topics are only briefly covered before the question sections begin, the coverage is meaningful, relevant, and full of little extra gems. Well, I thought that I knew a lot about my own language but now I am having seconds thoughts: Thank you Richard Prior.
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on 9 August 2011
Modern Latin text book, great if you want to revise the language. I like that it has exercises that you can write in the book, and answers at the back so you can self mark the exercises. Arrived very promptly via Royal Mail. Great stuff.
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on 29 September 2011
Great, but not as a stand-alone teaching aid if you are a student (I am at KS3). If you don't understand grammatical terms like 'present/past participle' this book will prove hard-going. There are helpful practice sections in each chapter. Be warned that new vocabulary and syntax is introduced very quickly, so by page 50, you will need to have learnt 100+- nouns and verbs perfectly in order to continue working through the book.

I use this book in conjunction with my school Latin textbook and have Latin lessons which make it easier to understand and use. Not sure how much of a 'De-mystifier' this is then on its own, because Latin IS a difficult language and you have to just keep plugging away until you understand it.

I did not find this a problem because I use other resources, however, sometimes the book does not clearly explain concepts, so you might have to revisit the same information before it makes sense or look elsewhere.

Reviewed by Luke Sherriff-Meyer (Age 13)
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