Last month, we released a massive update to the Perseus Classics Collection, adding morph tagging for all 259 Latin texts. This month, we’re promoting the best Latin dictionary for engaging those texts: Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary, better known as “Lewis and Short.”
The authority on classical through early-modern Latin
Lewis and Short is the go-to resource for studying classical, medieval, Renaissance, and early-modern Latin texts. With over 2,000 pages of detailed lexical data, it’s simply the best single-volume Latin dictionary to have in your Logos library. With Lewis and Short, you can quickly and easily move from individual words in the Latin Perseus texts to their entries in Lewis and Short. Consulting definitions and exploring contextual usage has never been easier.
Grasp scriptural context
You might be asking, Why would I want to study Latin texts if I’m focused on Bible study? For starters, studying Latin enables you to engage the primary texts of the Roman era, which help you better understand the context in which the New Testament and early Christianity emerged. Ultimately, you’ll become a better student of the Greco-Roman world and New Testament backgrounds.
For example, Pliny the Younger, the high-ranking Roman official, wrote letters that help us understand the inner workings of Roman imperial society—including the early imperial persecution of Christians. In a letter to Emperor Trajan (Letters, vol. 2, p. 405) , Pliny asks how he should carry out trials of suspected Christians. He describes his current method of interrogating them, and how their worship practices seem to be “nothing more than depraved and excessive superstition.” The earliest surviving Roman document to refer to early Christians, Pliny’s letter is of great historical importance for understanding the unfavorable conditions in which Christianity first spread.
Works like Livy’s History of Rome and Julius Caesar’s Civil Wars help us understand Roman history. Livy recounts the mythical founding of Rome to the reign of Augustus; Caesar’ writings describe the military conquests that transformed the Roman Republic into an empire. Studying Livy and Caesar helps us understand how Romans understood themselves—how they narrated their sense of self and history. Contrasted with an understanding of the Gospels, understanding these Roman writers makes Jesus’ proclamation of a kingdom of mercy, peace, and forgiveness even more radical.
A language rich in Christian tradition
We haven’t even talked about the importance of Latin for studying theology. Though Rome eventually fell, the language of the empire lived on, serving as the official language of Christendom for over a millennium. The early apologetic works of Tertuallian and Minucius Felix, which laid the foundation for Latin Christianity, give us a glimpse of how early Latin Christians combated paganism. Augustine composed his Confessions in Latin; Thomas Aquinas‘ magisterial Summa Theologica, also written in Latin, represents Christianity’s highest theological expression in the medieval era. You can’t fully engage these important theological works without some acquaintance with Latin. What better dictionary to have in your Logos library than Lewis and Short?
Bid now on Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary to help put this important resource into production. You’ll get it for 82% off, but you need to bid quickly—it won’t be on Community Pricing forever.