Lesson 4.1 Harry P


One of the longest recent works in Latin was published by Bloomsbury in 2003. Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis is a translation of the first Harry Potter book. If you remember what the UK version was called, you can figure out that lapis means a stone and philosophi is the genitive form of philosophus, a philosopher.

This is how reading Latin often works. We apply what we already know to the passage, and it gives us a structure for figuring out the rest. If you know a text in English, it can be useful to work with that alongside the Latin version. It’s like having a dictionary that is always open at the right page.

Here’s the opening line of Peter Needham’s first Harrius Potter book:

Dominus et Domina Dursley, qui vivebant in aedibus Gestationis Ligustrorum numero quattuor signatis, non sine superbia dicebant se ratione ordinaria vivendi uti neque se paenitere illius rationis.

Can you make any headway with it?