Learn Latin

Latin was the lingua franca of the intellectuals of the late medieval and Reformation period. Today, we have better resources than ever for learning different languages, including Latin. In addition to conventional textbooks, there are several sites on the internet devoted to such topics. One must only do a search on expressions like “learning Latin” to find several interesting resources. Below, I have picked three among the most unusual ones.

1. Latinum, an online Latin course, where you can improve your skills by listening. Includes a major part of George Adler’s textbook of conversational Latin. Lessons can be downloaded as podcasts or listened directly from the webpage.

2. If you want to improve both your daily prayer life and Latin skills, Vatican radio broadcasts daily laudes, vesperae and completorium, directly from Rome. You can listen to each broadcast any time after the recording has become available, usually within an hour.

3. Each Friday, the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) sends the news review in Latin. The weekly Nuntii latini is also available in both written and audible form on a webpage.

Updates in Renaissance commentaries pages

I have recently added several items on the “Medieval and Renaissance Psychological Sources” -page and also to the pages on Renaissance ethics, economics and politics. The additions to the latter pages are visible in the comments, which are located the the bottom of those pages.

Eobanus Hessus

How many know one of the greatest Renaissance poets Helius Eobanus Hessus? Eoban studied in Erfurt, travelled a lot and became supporter of Wittenbeg Reformation. His early works have been recently edited and translated into English by Harry Vredeveld. The first volume, which included works written during his student years in Erfurt (1504-09) give a vivid picture of student life in poetic form. Second volume, which is now also available, contains among others a beautiful series of fictional letter of Christian women in verse. See more here: http://www.asu.edu/clas/acmrs/publications/mrts/rts.html

Renaissance Ethics commentaries

In addition to the sources on Aristotelian psychology, which I have been gathering to the webpage “Medieval and Renaissance Psychological Sources on the Internet” (Medieval and Renaissance Psychological Sources), I would like to share some links on 16th century printings of textbooks and commentaries concerning Aristotle’s Ethics. They are listed on a separate page (click here).

Luther’s exegetical tools

Due to different digitalization projects, many important texts have now become available for scholars. For understanding Luther’s interpretation of the Bible, following items might be worth consulting:

Bible published by Sebastian Brant in Basel 1498, with commentaries of Nicholas of Lyra, Paul of Burgos and Matthias Döring, digitalized by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München.

Vol. 1: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026023/images/

Vol. 2: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026025/images/

Vol. 3: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026026/images/

Vol. 4: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026029/images/

Vol. 5: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026030/images/

Vol: 6 http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026033/images/

Bible, with postil of Hugo de Sancto Caro (Hugo Cardinalis)

Vol. 1: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026098/images/

Vol. 2: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026099/images/

Vol. 3: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026100/images/

Vol. 4: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026101/images/

Vol. 5: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026102/images/

Vol. 6 missing

Vol. 7: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/0002/bsb00026105/images/

Several works of Erasmus of Rotterdam are also available, see for example: http://www.philological.bham.ac.uk/bibliography/e.html (Erasmus, Desiderius). Among these are the Annotations to the New testament in the 1538-40 edition of Erasmus’ Opera omnia, digitalized by the Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies in their Erasmus database in http://www.erasmus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=eol.searchform (keyword: Erasmus, click on “Show facsimiles only”).

Sixteenth Century Society in Geneva 2009

From the society’s website: “The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (SCSC) is now accepting proposals for individual papers and complete sessions for its annual conference, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Geneva (Switzerland) from 28-30 May 2009…Proposals will be accepted until 7 November 2008.”The conference hosts a number of sessions on Reformation theology and church history and it is therefore a great meeting for scholars interested in those topics.

Theories of Perception

A volume recently edited by Simo Knuuttila and myself needs to be mentioned here. It deals with philosophical theories of sense perception from medieval (and even ancient) theories until early modern authors such as Locke and Malebranche. More information on the volume is available here. Here is a quotation from the cover text:

“The aim of this collection is to shed light on the developments in the theories of sense-perception in medieval Arabic and Latin philosophy, their ancient background and traditional and new themes in early modern thought. Particular attention is paid to the philosophically significant parts of the theories. The articles concentrate on the so-called external senses and related themes. Many of the central ideas are discussed, although the collection is also meant to shed light on less studied subjects.”