Technical Books

It has been observed by a number of language teachers that a quick route to fluency in a target language is to read texts in subjects where you already have some familiarity - so-called technical books.

There are two keys to fluency - listening to a huge amount of the language you want to learn, and reading a lot.

The latter presents some problems for the aspiring Latinist, as easy reading in Latin is supposedly hard to come by - but actually, it isn't.

A huge number of schoolbooks were written for students on a plethora of subjects. This list will be periodically updated as I come across texts that were written for students, and so use a simpler register of Latin, and I will arrange them by subject matter.

Most of you will have studied some science at school, so the basic texts in physics, mathematics and chemistry will be accessible - the subject matter, not being totally foreign, makes wide reading more simple. I am a great believer in the quantity over quality argument for language learning. If you think about it for a moment, you will realise the truth of this. This is why immersion is such an important tool for language acquisition - and despite the growing body of Latin audio now available online, there simply is not enough.

You might be surprised to find out that textbooks on subjects such as Physics, Philosophy and Music Theory were still being published in Latin right until the end of the 1800's, and in some rare cases in the early 1900s.

These books can be searched for using search strings such as "in usum tironum", "in usum tyronum", "In usum juventutis", "in usum iuventutis" "In usum scholarum" , "ad Tyrones", "in usum discipulorum", "puerilia" and so on, with as many variant spellings as you have patience for, such as vsvm, ivventvtis, pverilia, mvsicae, etc as Google Books has wildly erratic orthography in its catalogues.

1729 Goetzio Brevis Introductio ad Geographiam Antiquam in Juventutis Usum

1844 Gerhard Brevis Bavariae Geographia


1603 Historia Britannica
1615 Bismarcus Vita et Res Gestae Praecipuorum Theologorum
1625 Erpenius
Historia Saracenica
1651 May
Historiae Parliamenti Angliae Breviarium
1651 Van Gent
Historia Judaica
1662 Bacon
Historia Regni Henrici Septimi Angliae Regis
1677 Chacon
Vitae et Res Gestae Pontificum Romanorum
1682 Des Roches
Epitomes Historiae Belgicae
1683 Thulemeyer Fundamenta Historica
1732 al-Fida Vita et Res Gestae Sultani Almalichi Alnasiri Saladini Abi Modaffiri Josephi
1737 Holmes
Historiae Anglicanae Breviarium
1740 Major
Historia Majoris Britanniae
1745 Ross
Historia Regum Angliae
Synopsis Historiae Germaniae
1752 Wagner
Introductio in Universalem Historiam
1761 Matthiae Conspectus Historiae Medicorum Chronologicus
1764 Harles
Introductio in Historiam Linguae Latinae
1778 Historiae Romanae Res Memorabiles
1788 Koppi
Praelectionum Historicarum
1790 Kluit Historiae Federum Belgii Federati Primae Lineae Vol iii
Historia Sacra et Ecclesiastica
Historiae Anglicanae
1821 Siret
Epitome Historiae Graecae
1824 Y Banyuls
Digestum Romano-Hispanum
1826 Dannenmayer Institutiones Historiae Ecclesiasticae
1827 Bosscha
Synopsis Historiae Universalis Veteris
1832 Nabe Compendium Historiae Ecclesiasticae
1842 Grace
Annales Hiberniae
Historia de Vita et Actis M Lutheri
1851 Vascotti
Institutiones Historiae Ecclesiasticae Novi Foederis
1860 Vallauri
Epitome Historiae Romanae
1860 JMJT
De Viris Illustribus et de Persecutoribus Ecclesiae
1863 Schroeer Compendium Historiae Antiquae
1878 Rerum Germanicarum Pauli Historia Langobardorum

1639 Parisot Linguae Gallicae Institutiones
1780 Radices Graecae

1803 Wettenhall
Graecae Grammaticae Institutio Compendaria
1844 Wordsworth Graecae Grammaticae Rudimenta
1869 Zschokke Institutiones Fundamentales Linguae Arabicae
1870 Zschokke
Institutiones Fundamentales Linguae Aramaicae

1577 Piscator Arithmeticae Compendium
Praelectiones in Principium Elementorum Euclidis
1646 Metius Manuale Arithmeticae et Geometriae Practicae
1698 Wells
Elementa Arithmeticae Numerosae et Speciosae
1725 Martinio
Elementa Algebrae
1736 Arithmeticae et Algebrae Compendium
Compendium Elementorum Matheseos Universae
1754 Polansky
Elementorum Algebrae Brevis Institutio
1754 Boscovich Elementorum Universae Matheseos
1757 Arithmeticae Elementa
1765 Balajthy
Institutiones Arithmeticae
1772 Bonotto
Elementa Matheseos
1776 Scheeffer
Institutiones Geometriae Sphericae
1778 Chelucci Institutiones Arithmeticae
1784 Van Haecht
Geometria Elementaria et Practica
1823 Goebel
Elementa Geometriae
Elementa Arithmetica Generalis
1824 Garnier
Elementa Arithmeticae Algebrae et Geometriae

1695 Hoffmann Fundamenta Medicinae
1771 von Haller
Primae Lineae Physiologiae
1799 Ypey
Introductio in Materiem Medicam
1817 Rembold Psychologia
1827 Martinius
Elementa Physiologiae
1833 Institutiones Medicinae Practicae
1840 van der Hoeven
De Arte Medica
1841 Suringar
Epitome Therapiae Generalis

Note: When searching catalogues on this topic, be sure to search for variant spellings, musicae and mvsicae
1516 Aventinus
Musicae Rudimenta
1533 Stirpianus
Musicae Planae Rudimenta
1536 Luscinius
Musurgia seu Praxis Musicae
1536 Spangenberg
Quaestiones Musicae
1537 Heyden Artis Canendi
1538 Listenius
Rudimenta Musicae
1542 Vogelsang
Musicae Rudimenta
1546 Lampadius
Compendium Musicae
1553 Medler
Initia Artis Musicae
1563 Lossius
Erotemata Musicae Practicae
1572 Fayser
Paideia Musicae
1575 Dressler
Musicae Practicae Elementa
1596 Magirus
Artis Musicae
1611 Walliser
Musicae Figuralis Praecepta Brevia
1612 Lippius Synopsis Musicae
1618 Trautmann
Musicae Compendium Latino-Germanicum
1636 Keller
1650 Kircher
Musurgia Universalis I Musurgia Universalis II
1656 Demantius Artis Musicae Ad Incipientium Captum Accommodata
1683 Descartes
Musicae Compendium
1719 Vogt
Conclave Thesauri Magnae Artis Musicae
1754 Miller
Artis Musicae Brevis Prolusio
1781 Wald
Historiae Artis Musicae
1818 Pohl
De Artis Musicae in Sanos et Aegrotantes Effectu
1826 Steinbeck
De Musices atque Poeseos Vi Salutari Operis Prodromus
1841 Bellermann Bacchi Senioris
Introductio Artis Musicae
Manuale Musico-Liturgicum
1876 Hermesdorff
De Disciplina Artis Musicae


1768 Wallerius Elementa Metallurgiae

1798 Manuel José Barjona Metallurgiae Elementa

1563 Vallessi Controversiarum Naturalium ad Tyrones
1655 Hobbes
Elementorum Philosophiae
1658 Musschenbroek
Institutiones Logicae
1665 Lancicio Usus Meditandi
1694 Thomasius Introductio in Logicam
1727 Principia Philosophiae Naturalis
1730 Walch
Introductio in Philosophiam
1743 Hieneccius Elementa Historiae Philosophicae
1755 Genovesi
Institutiones Logicae
1756 Jaszlinsky
Institutiones Metaphysicae
1757 Klaus
Brevis Introductio in Philosophiam
1763 Ivancsics
Institutiones Logicae
1766 Genuensis
Elementorum Artis Logico-Criticae Libri V
1779 Scherffer Institutionum Analyticarum
1796 Altierus Elementa Philosophiae
1825 Duplan-Lassere
Elementa Philosophiae
1842 Nieuwenhuis
Quaestiones Logicae
1861 Cuevas
Historiae Philosophiae Vol II
1868 Trendelenburg
Elementa Logices Aristoteleae
1905 Cathrein
Philosophia Moralis
1910 Zigliara
Summa Philosophica
1911 Hickey
Summa Philosophiae Scholasticae

1687 Sviceri Compendium Physicae Aristotelico-Cartesianae
1700 Bayle Institutiones Physicae
1718 Taswell.
Physica Aristotelica modernæ accomodatior.
1735 Verdries
1752 Scherffer
Physica Generalis
De Causa Descensus Gravium
1754 Dalham
Institutiones Physicae
1758 de Palau y Pont
Physicae Generalis Institutiones
1768 Scherffer
Institutiones Physicae
1769 Verneii De Re Physica
1769 Bohm
1761 Jazlinsky Institutiones physicae pars prima, seu physica generalis
1773 Fuchsthaler
Institutiones Physicae
1773 Scherffer
Institutiones Mechanicae
1774 Biwald Institutiones Physicae
1776 Horvath
Physica Generalis
1783 De Hada
Elementa Hydrotechniae
1786 de Kerek Gede Compendaria Physicae Institutio
1800 van der Eyck
Institutiones Physicae
Elementa Physicae Mathematico Experimentalis
Physicae Institutiones

1596 Lippeloo Vitae Sanctorum
1700 Ribadeneyra
Flos Sanctorum
1719 Viva
Cursus Theologicus
1769 Elementa Theologiae Practicae Tomus Tertius
1783 Opera Theologica
1785 Cabades
Institutiones Theologicae
1789 Volborth Primae Lineae Antiquitatis Christianae
1803 Xaverius Epitome Historiae Ecclesiasticae
Libellus Virtuti Adjuvandae Destinatus
1816 Selectae e Veteri Testamento Historiae
1844 Marriott
Analecta Christiana