Written by Dr. Benjamin Hall Kennedy, this is the definitive reference guide for the budding Latin student. Some have even referred to it, reverentially, as a Bible.

The book comes in several flavours, including the Shorter Latin Primer and the Revised Latin Primer. The latter is considered current, with its last edition being published in the late 1960s.

Those of us lucky enough to own a hardcover copy of the book are not treated to a cover illustration: this, presumably, being seen as spoiling the student. Softcover editions, however, include an illustration of an Ionic temple.

Since Dr. Kennedy died in the late 19th century, it has been left to other learned students of the 'Lingua Latina' to carry on his good work through revisions in order to fall in line with modern thoughts on spelling and pronunciation.

After the various prefaces and introductions, there is a section introducing us to the Roman alphabet and pronunciation of vowels and consonants. Anyone who presumes to skip over this particular section can expect to face the wrath of traditionalist Latin teachers (what other kind is there?) when they hear 'v' pronounced as a 'v' instead of as a 'w'

The book then plunges into declensions of nouns and adjectives, giving numerous examples for each grouping, and including informative footnotes. The verbs follow this, and are handled in an equally comprehensive manner.

This reference contains literally anything a student of the Roman's tongue could hope to know, right from the usage of noun cases up to obscure stylistic usages such as asyndeton and hendiadys. In roughly the middle, there is a good two-page spread dealing with numbers: cardinals, ordinals, and roman numerals are all dealt with.

At the back are examples of usage of grammar rules in Roman literature, which are rather amusing when taken out of context and are good for a bored schoolboy laugh.

Both of my Latin teachers have portraits of Dr. Kennedy hanging in their studies.

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