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Cassell's Standard Latin Dictionary, Thumb-indexed
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Cassell's Latin-English Dictionary has a long history. First published in 1854, it has continued in publication under various editors and revisions to the present text, the work of D.P. Simpson, Head of the Classics Department at Eton during the middle of the twentieth century. This book remains for all but the most advanced scholars in Latin the principle Latin dictionary. Clerics, students and general readers of the classics use this volume more than any other. There are other editions (concise editions, etc.), but this is primary volume for standard use.
The dictionary has two sections, a Latin-English side, and an English-Latin side. The Latin-English side contains a primary vocabulary of classical Latin, most words used and found in writings between 200 BCE and 100 AD/CE. There are also proper nouns (names, places). Spelling was flexible in the ancient world; the spelling here follows the conventional modern spellings, with cross-references for significant variances. Words indicate definitions, declension or conjugation as appropriate, and some pronunciation guides. Latin authors are also indicated (in abbreviation) for almost every word.
The English-Latin side is primarily useful for prose composition into Latin of the classical type. Because of the natural growth of language due to progress of technology and ideas, many English words will not be found, as there are no Latin equivalents. Latin equivalent words are taken largely from Cicero, Caesar and Livy, with some additions from legal and ecclesiastical Latin.
There are additional sections for standard Latin abbreviations, the Roman calendar, bibliographies for word lists, atlases, general antiquities, and Latin language guides. This is the best choice for a Latin dictionary for almost any purpose. Even high-end scholars will want the Cassell's for ready and easy reference.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2002
This is the only satisfactory "intermediate" Latin dictionary for the student who has just finished basic grammar and wants to read actual Latin authors. No other dictionary provides such a comprehensive overview of meanings at such an affordable price and attractive layout. Lewis' "Elementary Latin Dictionary" is by comparison twice as expensive and painful on the eyes. In addition, this Cassell Latin Dictionary has a more than adequate (although very brief) English to Latin dictionary for those who wish to compose in Latin themselves.
For any student who wants to appreciate the Latin language, and how it changed over time, Cassell is by far the best buy (short of purchasing the [more expensive]Oxford Latin Dictionary).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2004
I gave the Cassell's Latin Dictionary a rating of 4 stars instead of 5 only because I consider the Oxford Latin Dictionary to be the best Latin-English dictionary available. Since it costs something like $150.00 however, it's not likely to appeal to most students of Latin. Which is why the Cassell's Latin Dictionary is a better choice. It represents a nice compromise between something like the Bantam paperback Latin-English,English-Latin dictionary and OLD. For anyone who is thinking of seriously studying Latin (beyond a 1st year introductory course for example) this is a good buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2003
Did you study Latin in high school or/and in college? Are you currently a Latin student at the high school or college level? If so, this is the perfect dictionary for you. All of the other Latin dictionaries are either too brief or just more than non-Latin-scholars need. (If you'd like a practical unabridged Latin dictionary, I strongly recommend "A Latin Dictionary" (Lewis and Short). I purchased the latter from Amazon and you should likewise be able to do so.)
Anyhow, this is a great reference for general and home use!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2011
I'm a beginner at Latin, and I don't have much in the way of knowledge of other dictionaries to serve as comparison, so readers should take my opinions in this light.

This dictionary has been helpful, but regularly enough there are words I cannot find. My understanding from others is that it is a decent dictionary, but not the best. I believe Lewis and Short is considered the best one out there, but is pricey.

Another shortcoming of this dictionary -- and all print dictionaries -- is that the words you're looking for will only be listed in their primary declensions or inflections. For example, you won't find "dominis" because that is the plural dative/ablative of the singular nominative "dominus", which is listed. Likewise, you won't find "amavi", the perfect indicative first person singular active of "amo", the form in which it (as all verbs) is listed, that is present indicative first person singular active.

What I've actually resorted to using is Wiktionary. It's not perfect, but you can look up many words in their various declensions and inflections and find them instantaneously. It's a great resource. Of course, it's not subject to critical standards in the same way other dictionaries are, but I've found it to be accurate and sometimes better than my dictionary. Apparently there is also a Lewis and Short online dictionary, but I haven't checked it out. Either way, it's useful to have a printed dictionary to back up or verify what's found online, and also in situations where you can't be online. This one's OK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2014
I bought this dictionary on the recommendation of a friend, and it has served me incredibly well throughout my Latin education. I took courses in Ovid, Cicero, Pliny the Younger, and even Solinus, and Cassell's was invaluable to me. The only times that I ran into strange words that were not in this dictionary were when I took a course in mediaeval Latin.

The English-to-Latin section is not quite as good as the Latin-to-English, largely because some of the entries are a little dated, but still serves well, on the whole.

All in all, I recommend Cassell's very highly for use with all classical authors, as well as with late and mediaeval authors when a more comprehensive dictionary is unavailable.
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on September 16, 1997
While net nearly as detailed as the great OLD, it is certainly a fair, cost-effective alternative. The exmaples from various authors showing the particular word in context is helpful to both the student reading Latin and also the student of Latin Composition. While probably not the best reference for graduate-level study, it is certainly a very good resource for the undergraduate searching for a good Latin dictionary, yet unable to afford the OLD. I have three Latin-English dictionaries--the Pocket OLD, the New College Latin & English Dictionary, and Cassell's Latin Dictionary--and Cassell's stands paramount in relation to the former two.
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on October 22, 2014
It is super rare that what I need is not there, though I've only been using it a few weeks now. I've only heard good things about it and I've only had good results with it. Much better than the small/portable Oxford dictionary, which is fine enough itself. It stays open very well, and the alphabetically fretted edges are very (surprisingly) helpful. Despite looking an odd orange, it is a very charming book overall.
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on June 18, 2001
As a student, and taking Latin for my 3rd year, I found that Cassell's Latin Dictionary was the most helpful thing I had come across, and I wish that I had sooner! Every word comes equipt with all of the information about it! From pronunciation, to history of the word! It is an excellent dictionary and I reccomend it for all.
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on May 9, 2000
This is a great dictionary for students who are past the introductory college level, and are reading Latin prose and poetry; or other readers who need a dictionary more extensive than a pocket edition. Each entry contains pronounciation, numerous examples, usage by Latin authors, and some word etymology.
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