OSSIUM = of the Bones

Ossium Carnes Multae
e Marci Tullii Ciceronis epistulis

The Bones’ Meats Abundant
from the epistles of
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Reggie and Dan discuss the Ossium book and the audio book, Os

Reggie speaks to us in Latin about our next volume on the letters of Cicero.

If you cannot see or play the video, you may view it on our Youtube chanel at this link.

Image of cover of book: Ossium Carnes Multae

The Cicero book has a web-page with the publisher available here.

This companion volume is intended to provide from Cicero’s letters specific examples that correspond to each of the 105 encoutners in the book The Mere Bones of Latin : Ossa Latinitatis Sola.

From the Introduction:

As has been announced and emphasized in volume I, Ossa Latinitatis Sola, The Mere Bones of Latin our intention immediately is to help teachers and students in this quest for patterns which illustrate the subject matter in the previous volume. There the reader was advised and directed to find proper examples in the accompanying reading sheets. Here as a help or guide we are already providing absolutely first-class illustrations of the Ossa taken from a bottomless source of super Latin which is sorely and tragically neglected by most teachers, commentators, manualists: namely the approximately 930 letters in a large body of Cicero’s extant correspondence. The reason for this choice of study aides will now be explained in detail for the simple reason that many people simply do not know what kind of fantastic Latin is found in these letters. The volume of this matter might be indicated by the fact that the Oxford edition of Cicero’s letters fills four separate bound volumes which are waiting to be understood, enjoyed, studied, imitated.

We are grateful to welcome the collaboration of Daniel Vowles who is preparing the extensive cross-referencing in this volume. Daniel has also begun teaching with a draft copy of this text during the two-week program held annually in August at Ealing Abbey, London.


exordium | forword: Antonio Salvi
prologium | prologue: Shane Butler
praefatio | preface: Sally Davis

locutionis indoles ac natura ciceronis in epistulis |
the character and nature of speech in Cicero’s letters 

quomodo sit hic liber ursupandus |
in what manner this book is to be used 

vocabulorum compendia | abbreviations of words

part I
a choice of letters together

part II
the treatment of the letters in detail

part III
500 clauses or tweets of Cicero in his letters 
in the manner of examples

an addition
about the Roman calendar 

That volume includes an audio component of Reggie reciting the Latin text of all 51 letters we selected for these two volumes. It also includes a significant printed text including the full text of the 51 letters and on facing pages the full text of Reggie’s translation corresponding to each letter. The 160 conversations held in English will find a natural home in this speaking volume.

This change freed up some space in the Ossium volume, so we received permission from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence to reproduce images of 50 of the letters we selected. Their manuscript of the letters ad Atticum dates to the ninth or tenth century, while their manuscript of the letters ad familiareswas copied around 1391 from an older manuscript. In this way paelographers and Latin enthusiasts may feel the living breath of Cicero speaking as they see in the pen strokes the living hand of ninth century monks copying these texts, at least this is the hope one 21st century monk typing a blog post for the internet.

Bibliographic entry:

Foster, R.T. – D.P. McCarthy, Ossium carnes multae ex M. T. Ciceronis epistulisThe Bones’ Meats Abundant from the Letters of M. T. Cicero, (Latinitatis corpus 2), Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC forthcoming.

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