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Essential Medieval Latin Classics

  • The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • Carmina Burana, Volume I
  • On Plato’s Timaeus
  • Medieval Latin Lives of Muhammad

The perfect introduction to classic works in Latin from the Middle Ages. Discover more classics in translation from the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library.

Author - Editorial Staff

Date - 18 October 2023

Time to read - 1 min

  • The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch

    The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch

    Swift Edgar

    The Vulgate Bible, compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the intersection of the fourth and fifth centuries CE, was used from the early Middle Ages through the twentieth century in the Western European Christian (and, later, specifically Catholic) tradition. Its significance can hardly be overstated. The text influenced literature, visual art, music, and education during the Mid...

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  • The Rule of Saint Benedict

    The Rule of Saint Benedict

    Benedict of Nursia, Bruce L. Venarde

    One of the most influential texts in the Middle Ages, The Rule of Saint Benedict offers guidance about both the spiritual and organizational dimensions, from the loftiest to the lowliest, of monastic life. This new Latin-English edition has features of interest for first-time readers of the Rule as well as for scholars of medieval history and language.

    The Latin text is a transcription of m...

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  • Carmina Burana, Volume I

    Carmina Burana, Volume I

    David A. Traill

    Carmina Burana, literally “Songs from Beuern,” is named after the village where the manuscript was found. The songbook consists of nearly 250 poems, on subjects ranging from sex and gambling to crusades and corruption. Compiled in the thirteenth century in South Tyrol, a German-speaking region of Italy, it is the largest surviving collection of secular Medieval Latin verse and provides insights in...

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  • On Plato’s Timaeus

    On Plato’s Timaeus

    Calcidius, John Magee

    Until the Renaissance, the work of Calcidius offered the medieval West almost the only direct access to Plato’s corpus not dispersed in fragments. In the 4th century CE, Calcidius translated into Latin an important section of Plato’s Timaeus, complemented by extensive commentary and organized into coordinated parts. The first part is broadly devoted to the architecture of the world, to its intelli...

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  • Medieval Latin Lives of Muhammad

    Medieval Latin Lives of Muhammad

    Julian Yolles, Jessica Weiss

    Throughout the Middle Ages, Christians wrote about Islam and the life of Muhammad. These stories, ranging from the humorous to the vitriolic, both informed and warned audiences about what was regarded as a schismatic form of Christianity. Medieval Latin Lives of Muhammad covers nearly five centuries of Christian writings on the prophet, including accounts from the farthest-flung reaches of medieva...

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