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In 2009, Brepols Publishers has launched a new Latin text database, the Library of Latin Texts – Series B (LLT-B). This series serves as a supplement to the Library of Latin Texts (a project that was started in 1991 as the Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts, CLCLT and which, from 2009 on, is known as the Library of Latin Texts – Series A (LLT-A). Both databases are produced by the Centre ‘Traditio Litterarum Occidentalium’ (CTLO) under the direction of Pr. Paul Tombeur.

Together with the LLT-A, it is part of a comprehensive cluster of databases relating to the study of Latin. This cluster consists of full-text databases (namely, the Library of Latin Texts – Series A, the Library of Latin Texts – Series B, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature and the Aristoteles Latinus Database) and Latin dictionaries (under the heading of the Database of Latin Dictionaries).

 The LLT-B often integrates huge corpora of texts and so develops at a faster pace than the LLT­-A. Together, the two databases aim to input the largest possible number of Latin texts and to make them available and searchable as one large corpus. This is as a response to the growing needs of scholars to have access to a wide range of first-class text material. Both databases are continually updated with additional material.

Scope and aim

The objective of the LLT-B is to put a large number of Latin texts into electronic form, at a rapid pace, in order to meet the needs of researchers.

 In total, the present version of the LLT­-B includes 1110 works in addition to 5,804 diplomatic charters: it is now possible to search more than 49 million forms, drawn from more than 1100 works that are attributed to approximately 500 authors.

Great efforts are undertaken to verify facts relating to the text, such as the veracity of the authorial attribution or the dating. The printed text has often been enhanced by correcting detected typographical errors. In order to isolate, as far as possible, the words proper of each work, a distinction is made between the original text and the “paratextual” elements.

As its sister database, the LLT-B embraces Latin texts of all genres and all periods. With an initial production of almost 7 million words and a growth of four to five million words annually, the LLT-B develops faster than the LLT-A. For the selection of texts for the LLT-B, priority is given to large corpora of homogeneous texts enabling capture of large quantities of data in a relatively short time. As a rule texts requiring significant preparatory work and greater checking are normally planned for the LLT-A.

Given that the Library of Latin Texts – Series B constitutes a complement to the Library of Latin Texts – Series A, only the texts that do not figure in the LLT-A are published in it, and vice versa.

Just as in the LLT-A, the main objective of the LLT-B can be summarised in the brief sentence: “Who said what, when, where, and how many times?”

The textual material integrated into the database forms the first of the two pillars on which the Library of Latin Texts is built, the other one being a rich pool of sophisticated search tools.

Search possibilities

The LLT-B is a Latin full-text database which enables the user to profit from an elaborate system of tools he can use with the help of a multilingual interface (English, French, German and Italian):

– One can use the database in order to read texts as a whole, to search for words and expressions, to access individual texts by means of their references or to examine the distribution of word-forms across the entire database and to analyse vocabulary within an individual work, by displaying an exhaustive concordance for each form that is part of that work.

 – One can execute a search across all the texts in the database or, with the help of filters, define a subset and limit the search to one or more periods within the corpus, to one or more authors, as well as to one or more titles of works.

– Other criteria for formulating queries are the century of composition and, for works of the Antiquity and the Patristic Period, the serial number assigned by the Handbuch der Lateinischen Literatur der Antike (published by the Beck Verlag and by Brepols).

 – Far from being limited to queries for single words, the user can search for groups of words or for a particular expressions.

– Search possibilities can be extended by the use of Boolean and proximity operators.

– The order of precedence of the search terms within a query can be organised.

– Queries can be simplified by using wildcards.

– By default, the field to which a query is applied is the sentence as delimited in the used text edition (“the string of text going from full stop to full stop”).

– The target of queries can be widened by extending it to groups of three sentences.

– The LLT makes it possible to perform a ‘similarity search’ (a kind of ‘fuzzy search’). This procedure offers the possibility to quickly search for strings of text that are not absolutely identical to those which are entered in the search field. This was developed to assist the user to find the origin of quotations or other text without the knowledge of the exact words and/or their order.

– By using the Cross Database Searchtool, LLT-B can be searched online together with the Library of Latin Texts – Series A, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature and the Aristoteles Latinus Database. The Cross Database Searchtool offers different statistical tools for accessing the included databases and allows comparison of the vocabulary of text corpora, which the user, according to needs and requirements, is free to choose on the basis of the included data.

 – A direct link to the Database of Latin Dictionaries (which integrates different types of Latin dictionaries, whether modern, medieval or early-modern) allows the user to find relevant dictionary entries for Latin word-forms that appear in texts visualized by the LLT-B, and to read the articles in the selected dictionaries.

Scientific responsibility and international Partners

LLT-B is based to a large extent on a collaboration between the CTLO and the editorial staff of the Corpus Christianorum. The ‘Centre Traditio Litterarum Occidentalium’ (CTLO) continues and develops the former activities in the field of Latin studies of Cetedoc, a centre which was founded by the Université catholique de Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve and has been developed jointly by Brepols Publishers and the university.

Texts are integrated into the database with the permission of many publishers. The texts of late antique pagan literature are essentially taken from the Bibliotheca scriptorum Romanorum Teubneriana through the Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina (© Walter de Gruyter).

As far as possible, the scientific standard editions have been used, e. g. for the correspondence of Erasmus or the Registrum of Innocent III.

Important amounts of text have been used with the permission of the, the Böhlau Verlag GmbH & Cie (Wien, Köln, Weimar), the Central European Medieval Texts (CEMT), the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL), the Croatiae auctores Latini project (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb), the Faculteit Theologie en Religiewetenschappen of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Franciscan Institute St. Bonaventure, New York, the Frati Editori di Quaracchi (Fondazione Collegio San Bonaventura), the Istituto de Estudios Zamoranos “Florián de Ocampo”, the Lessico Intelletuale Europeo e Storia delle Idee (Roma), the Index Thomisticus (Associazione per la Computerizzazione delle Analisi Ermeneutiche e Lessicologiche -CAEL), the Leuven University Press, the Lexicon musicum Latinum (Munich), Oxford University Press, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto), the Fondation “Spicilegium Friburgense” (Academic Press Fribourg, Fribourg Switzerland), the Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Rom,  Wien), the Walter de Gruyter GmbH, and many others.

We thank numerous persons for their intervention: Pr. Michael Bernhard, Father Pierre-Maurice Bogaert OSB, Pr. Virginia Burrus, Father Roberto Busa SJ († 2011), Pr. Girard J. Etzkorn, Pr. Tullio Gregory, Mgr. Roger Gryson, Father Benedikt Mertens OFM, Father Adriano Oliva OP, Pr. Riccardo Pozzo, Pr. Antonio Zampolli († 2003), and many others.


The Library of Latin Texts – Series B gathers Latin texts of all genres and all periods. The data are therefore very diverse, and include genres as varied as letter collections, liturgical documents, chronicles, medieval saints’ lives and travel narratives, legal texts, and theological, philosophical and scientific treatises from the modern period. Above all, the emphasis is on the online availability of large corpora of texts.

The periodization in the Period Filter comprises five subdivisions, that are also used in LLT-A. Thus, for LLT-B, we distinguish:

Antiquitas: texts written until, roughly, the end of the second century;

– Aetas Patrum I: works of Late Antiquity (until 500);

Aetas Patrum II: works composed between 501 and the death of the Venerable Bede (735);

-Medii aeui scriptores: medieval works (736-1500);

Recentior latinitas: works composed between 1501 and 1965.

Antique and Late antique works:

– The LLT-B comprises important texts from the Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina (© Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG) not represented in in the LLT-A, and published before 1980, such as:

-the complete corpus of texts of the Grammatici Latini, with texts written amongst others by Charisius, Diomedes, Aelius Donatus, Marius Victorinus and Priscianus, but also by the Venerable Bede and Julian of Toledo, not to forget the mysterious Virgil the Grammarian or the Appendix Probi; one could also add the De compendiosa doctrina of Nonius Marcellus;

– the different late antique commentaries on Virgil (with Aelius Donatus, the Interpretationes of Tiberius Claudius Donatus, the commentaries of Philargyrius or Servius), Horace (Pomponius Porphyrion and the scholia falsely attributed to Acron) or Terence (Aelius Donatus and Eugraphius);

– works belonging to the late antique medical or veterinary and agricultural literature (Cassius Felix, Marcellus Empiricus, Serenus, and Soranus; the Mulomedicina Chironis, Vegetius’ Digesta or the Herbarium from Ps.-Apuleus; Palladius), and to legal literature (the Codex Theodosianus, Justinian’s Institutiones and Digesta);

– literary works such as the Querolus, the De reditu suo of Rutilius Namatianus, the Carmina figurata composed by Optatianus Porfyrius, the Panegyrici Latini, Firmicus Maternus Matheseos libri, the fables of Avianus or the works of Rufius Festus Auien(i)us and Blossius Aemilius Dracontius.

Medieval and Renaissance texts:

– At present, the LLT-B comprises large bodies of text belonging to the scholastic period: we are entering the opera of Albert the Great, Alexander of Hales, Roger Bacon, Henry Bate of Mechelen, Bonaventura, Walter Chatton, Denis the Carthusian, Duns Scotus, Henry of Ghent, Jean Buridan, Robert of Melun, Siger of Brabant, John Wycliffe, and others. We also included texts of Albert of Saxony, Hervaeus Natalis, Humbert de Preuilly, Peter John Olivi or Ramon Llull as well as the Latin translation of John Damascene’s Exposition of the Orthodox Faith made by Burgundio of Pisa and different translations of and Commentaries on Dionysius the Areopagite composed by Thomas Gallus and Marsilio Ficino.

A great many liturgical texts are taken from the Spicilegium Friburgense series (e. g.: the Gregorian sacramentary); this series also contains William of Newburgh’s commentary on the Song of Songs or Henry Suso’s Horologium sapientiae.

Other important mediaeval corpora are the Sermons of Anthony of Padua, Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum, the Gesta Romanorum, the hagiographic compilations of Jacobus de Voragine (the Legenda aurea) and Juan Gil de Zámora (the Legendae Sanctorum), Hincmar’s De praedestinatione contra Godeschalcum, Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum, William of Newburgh’s Historia rerum Anglicarum, historical works of Jacques de Vitry, the Protocol of the 1431 process against Saint Joan of Arc or the Ysengrimus often attributed to Magister Nivardus of Ghent.

– Another main focus of the LLT-B consists in huge letter collections such as Erasmus’ correspondence (according to the Oxford edition). The letter collections of Laevinus Torrentius, Renaissance humanist and the second bishop of Antwerp, the Spanish Renaissance humanist Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, the German humanist Beatus Rhenanus as well as the correspondence of Innocent III and Enea Silvio Piccolomini (the future Pius II) can be found in the LLT-B (the latter three are not yet completely integrated).

The LLT-B also comprises the complete series of late medieval and early neo-Latin works taken from the Bibliotheca scriptorum medii recentisque aevorum published in the years ’30 and ’40 by Teubner and the Hungarian publisher Egyetemi Nyomda. These texts were initially part of the Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina (© Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG). This series contains numerous texts of Italian humanist writers, often with tight connections to Hungary (Antonio Bonfini, Amerigo Corsini, Alessandro Cortese, Bartolomeo della Fonte, Galeotto Marzio, Naldo Naldi, Ugolino Verino) and authors from Eastern Europe (Bohuslaus Hassensteinius, Miklós Istvánffy, Nicolaus Olahus, Stephanus Taurinus or Antonius Wrancius, scil. Antonius Verantius) but also an impressive series of works written by the German ‘Archhumanist’ Conrad Celtis).

By 2015 the database made available for the first time a major corpus of diplomatic texts, the result of its integration of the 5,804 charters of the Belgian Low-Countries, written in the middle ages prior to 1200, taken from the Thesaurus diplomaticus published in 1997 by Cetedoc, the Comité national du Dictionnaire du Latin médiéval and the Commission royale d’Histoire. This is a set of over 1.6 million forms. The part of information retained from the original publication allows the user to identify the document, to identify the issuer/author, beneficiary, date, its diplomatic classification, its authenticity and the bibliographic reference for the source used. The background on the text provides, besides the usual statistical information, the diplomatic analysis of the document.

Neo-Latin literature:

Neo-Latin literature constitutes a domain which the LLT-B aims to develop. At present there are important philosophical works: e. g. Francis Bacon’s Nouum organum among others, Baumgarten’s Aesthetica and Meditationes philosophicae, Hobbes’s Latin Leviathan among others, Spinoza’s main works, Christian Wolff’s Philosophia prima siue Ontologia. Latin works of Galileo represent the beginning of modern science. Grotius’ De iure belli ac pacis is “now regarded as foundational work in international law”.

Sepulveda’s Democrates secundus siue De iustis belli causis (alongside his historical works) and Las Casas’ Apologia constitute two main texts concerning the question of slavery.

The LLT-B aims to integrate a large corpus of Utopian works written in Latin. At this moment, we have Thomas Morus’ Utopia, Bacon’s Latin Nova Atlantis, Campanella’s Ciuitas solis, and the Scydromedia of Antoine Le Grand. The three volumes of Jansenius’ Augustinus give access to the main source of the Jansenist controversy.

Latin versions of Homer’s Iliad (by Raimondo Cunich) and Odyssey (by Bernardo Zamagna) constitute two examples of an access to the Greek poet via translations.

The complete list of works can be downloaded here (PDF file): LLT_B_list_of_works


English version (PDF)

Subscriptions and contact information

Please contact Brepols Publishers for:

  • a 30-day free trial period for institutional users
  • a price quotation
  • details on, or a specimen of, the licence agreement

Contact information:

Brepols Publishers
Begijnhof 67
B – 2300 Turnhout / Belgium
Fax: +32-14-428919

Related blog Posts

For more information or news, please go to the blog Posts.

Related Databases

See also the Library of Latin Texts – Series A, the Database of Latin Dictionaries, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the Aristoteles Latinus Database and the Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature.



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