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Distributed for Warburg Institute

Basic Grammar for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Grammar in this context means Latin grammar. Latin means not the language of Cicero and his Humanist epigones but the dialect of international discourse in pre-modern Europe. Basic means enough grammar to enable the reader to construe utilitarian prose with confidence and a dictionary. The method employed is that in use from the time of the Roman grammarian Priscian (early 16th century) until recently: parsing in a text. The text used here is "Elucidarium", ("The Elucidator") which was a a school-book, in Latin and many vernaculars, until the 16th century. It is a dialogue about God, the Church and the Last Things written by the peripatetic scholar Honorius Augustodunensis at the beginning of the 12th century: the edition published here is based on one made in the 1170s at the Augustinian convent on the Odilienberg in Alsatia. This textbook is divided into 10 parts, each containing 3 lessons. It includes a literal English translation of the Latin, an A to Z of English Grammar for readers unfamiliar with the elements of syntax and accidence, and an index of grammatical terms and a table of conjugations.

108 pages


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