Beyond NovAntiqua: Latin Dictionaries

The gold standard among Latin dictionaries is A Latin Dictionary: Founded on Andrew’s Edition of Freund’s Latin Dictionary (Oxford University Press USA, 1956), more often known as (which is to say, almost exclusively known as) the Lewis and Short dictionary. This should not be confused with the Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD), which would be of much less use to most readers of NovAntiqua since the OLD confines itself to Latin as used before AD 200. The aptly acronymed OLD has thus become the dictionary for classicists, while the Lewis and Short is for anyone working with Latin texts written in the eighteen-or-so centuries afterward (though it covers classical Latin, too). Portability is not one of the selling points of the Lewis and Short. Nor is price.

At the other end of the spectrum size- and price-wise is the Collins Gem Latin-English Dictionary – extremely portable and surprisingly comprehensive. A newer edition is available, but we haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

We have mentioned the Lexicon of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Roy J. Deferrari (Loreto Publications, 2004) before, but it’s worth mentioning again here.



Beyond NovAntiqua: Logic – The Art of Defining and Reasoning

Logic: The Art of Defining and ReasoningLogic: The Art of Defining and Reasoning (Prentice Hall, 1963) by John A. Oesterle is the introduction to Aristotelian logic (read: the system of logic that ruled the West for two millennia) for those who would rather not plow through Aristotle. Or, better, for those who would like a summary and workbook on hand as they grapple with the Philosopher himself.

The list price for this not-very-large book is astonishing to me – $60 for a cheaply bound facsimile of a book published in 1963 (and originally published more than a decade before that), but since the copyright was renewed in 1980, it’s not in the public domain, and Prentice Hall can charge whatever it wants. Used copies of the various editions are usually available, and sometimes, with searching, one can even run across a copy for less than $20. If you ever see one, grab it!

Beyond NovAntiqua: The Intellectual Life

The Intellectual LifeA copy of The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A. G. Sertillanges, O. P. (Catholic University of America Press, 1987) is an ideal gift for someone beginning graduate studies. It is worth reading cover to cover – and more than once – but even opening it at random will  give the reader something worth mulling over. As evidence, the  fruit of a few entirely random openings right now:

From page 135:

The more precious an idea is, the less it matters where it comes from. Train yourself to indifference about sources. Truth alone has a claim, and it has that claim wherever it appears. As we must  not swear allegiance to anyone, so still less must we disdain anyone; and if it is not expedient to believe everybody neither must we refuse to believe anyone who can show his credentials.

From page 63:

But carried too far, silence in its turn has a disturbing effect; when all a man’s powers are intensely concentrated on his thinking, he easily loses his balance, his vision of the way; a diversion is indispensable to the life of the brain; we need the soothing effect  of action.

From page 150:

Choose your  books. Do not  trust interested advertising and catchy titles. Have devoted and expert advisors. Go straight to the fountainhead to satisfy your thirst. Associate only with first-rate thinkers. What is not always possible in personal relations is easy, and we must take advantage of it, in our reading. Admire wholeheartedly what deserves it, but do not lavish your admiration. Turn away from badly written books, which are probably poor in thought also.

Announcing the NovAntiqua Summa Giveaway 2011

In honor of the upcoming feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, we have decided to host a giveaway of at least one volume of the NovAntiqua edition of the Summa Theologiae.

What you must do to enter the Giveaway:

  • Fill out an entry form.
  • The entry form will ask you to select an entry method – for each entry you need to do one of four things:
  1. Indicate a new title you’d like to see published by NovAntiqua
  2. Provide a link to a post on your blog that mentions (and links to) this giveaway
  3. Subscribe to the blog by e-mail or in a feed reader using the links on the sidebar, or
  4. “Like” NovAntiqua on Facebook

Other details:

  • Each person may submit up to four entry forms – one per entry method above.
  • One winner will be chosen if there are 1 to 100 entries; an additional winner will be chosen for every 100 entries after the first 100.
  • Each winner will  receive one (1) volume of the NovAntiqua edition of the Summa Theologiae, as specified on his or her winning entry form.
  • Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m., Central Time, on Jan. 27, 2011.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen by random-number-generated drawing on January 28 and notified using the e-mail address  provided on the entry form.
  • The winner(s) will have until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 1 to respond to the notification e-mail. If no response is received, the entry is discarded and another winner will be drawn.

Click here to fill out an Entry Form.

The winner has been drawn and notified; if no response is received, the entry will be discarded and another winner drawn on Feb. 2.

Bad news. For want of a [Return]. . .

Forty-three pages of text in Volume IV were disarranged, some of them pretty significantly (pp. 228-270). This happened, ironically enough, during the process of proofing the text and making minor corrections. I know how I made the keystroke; I’m not sure how I missed the consequences until last night.

That said, we’ve already sent off a corrected text for reprinting. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be available on immediately; the misprinted copies are also being removed from Amazon. My estimate is that the corrected text will be available in a week.

Now, for those who purchased a misprinted copy of Volume IV:

  • Mail page 228 of your copy to me (yes, I mean take a pair of scissors to your book – no photocopies, scans, photographs, or other electronic copies)
  • Include your mailing address
  • And we will ship a copy of the corrected edition to you after it becomes available.

We have no access to’s customer list, so if you don’t mail us page 228 (and include your mailing address!), we have no way to track you down.

We are very, very sorry for the inconvenience.

The address to send p. 228 to is

PO Box 50621
Nashville, TN  37205



Summa Vol. IV has arrived

Summa Vol. IVIt is here at last – Volume IV of the Summa Theologiae of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Latin-English Edition, is now on the digital shelves of

Volume IV contains the second part of the Prima Secundae – Questions 71-114. These questions cover the

  • Treatise on Habits in Particular, continued
  • Evil Habits, i.e., Vices
  • Treatise on Law
  • Treatise on Grace

This volume is 640 pages, and it has a list price of $25.95 (eligible for Free Super-Saver shipping).

Work on Volume V is underway. We anticipate that the Secunda Secundae will be divided into three volumes due to the length of St. Thomas’s Treatise on Justice. Volume V will contain the Treatise on the Theological Virtues and the Treatise on Prudence. Volume VI will cover the Treatise on Justice and the Treatise on Fortitude. Volume VII will contain the Treatise on Temperance, the Treatise on Gratuitous Graces, and the Treatise on the States of Life.


Update on the Summa Project

We have been getting a lot of inquiries lately regarding the bi-lingual Summa project.  And small wonder… it’s about time we posted an update.

Well, the news is that volume 4, comprising I-II, qq. 70-114, is well underway, and should be appearing in December of this year (2010).

We thank you for your inquiries and patience.  It is truly humbling and encouraging to find out that so many are interested in the project.  Thank you all so much for your support.