From 2021 onwards, we offer a single Library of Latin Texts (LLT), which joins the traditional databases LLT-A and LLT-B. As part of a general evolution of enhanced integration, we facilitate and alleviate the navigation between the various Brepolis Latin Databases. Please note that depending on your subscription, it remains possible that you have access only to the texts included in the former LLT-A or LLT-B.
In 2005, the Library of Latin Texts was launched online on the Brepolis website where, today, it is part of a comprehensive cluster of databases relating to the study of Latin: Brepolis Latin.
This cluster consists of full-text databases (namely, the Library of Latin Texts,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 Library of Latin Texts project was started in 1991 as the Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts, CLCLT); it is now developed and produced in Turnhout by the Centre ‘Traditio Litterarum Occidentalium’ (CTLO), until 2019 under the direction of Prof. Paul Tombeur, and since 2020 under the direction of Prof. Toon Van Hal.
Starting in 2009, the Library of Latin Texts was published in a Series A and a Series B, essentially because of editorial constraints.
However, as part of a general evolution of enhanced integration and navigation between the Brepolis Latin Databases, we offer from 2021 onwards a single Library of Latin Texts (LLT) instead of LLT-A and LLT-B.
Aims & Scope
The LLT is the world’s leading database for Latin texts, offering texts from the beginnings of Latin literature down to the present day.
The texts which are incorporated are selected from the best editions available and established according to best contemporary scholarly practice. Great efforts have been made to verify facts relating to the text, such as the reliability of the authorial attribution or the dating. In many cases, the printed text is enhanced by correcting typographical errors detected by CTLO software. In order to isolate, as far as possible, the words proper to each work, a distinction is made between the original text and “paratextual” elements.
When the project was started in 1991, its purpose was to produce a database comprising the entirety of patristic and medieval Christian Latin literature.
The new name Library of Latin Texts, adopted in 2002, refers to the expansion of the chronological limits that were originally set, as well as to the broadening of its horizon which now integrates the initial Christian outlook into a more encompassing cultural perspective. The current aim is to offer a database that continues to expand and wants to comprise Latin literature not only from the patristic and medieval periods but also from Antiquity and the early-modern and modern eras, across all genres.
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.
The Library of Latin Texts (LLT) has been updated with works by Peter Abelard, Pope Alexander III, Cardinal Bessarion, Peter of Blois, Denis the Carthusian, Justus Lipsius, works by Origen in Jerome’s translation, and works falsely attributed to Jerome. We also added texts pertaining to the correspondence of Gregory the Great and to the Corpus Juris Canonici, as well as a first selection of Latin texts from the Italian ‘Ventennio Fascista’ (kindly provided by the online library of Fascist Latin Texts, edited by H. Lamers and B. Reitz-Joosse). At present, the LLT contains a total of some 153 million words spread over 11,614 works and diplomatic charters.
With regard to the corpus described above, the objective of the database can be summarised in the brief sentence: “Who said what, when, where, and how many times?”
The LLT is a Latin full-text database which enables the user to profit from an elaborate system of tools that can be used with the help of a multilingual interface (English, French, German and Italian):
– The database can be used in order to read texts as a whole, to search for words and expressions, to access individual texts by means of their references, to examine the distribution of word-forms across the entire database, or to analyse vocabulary within an individual work by displaying an exhaustive concordance for each form that is part of that work.
– The user 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 Patristic period, the serial number in a specific catalogue of works belonging to this period (the Clavis Patrum Latinorum).
– Far from being limited to queries for single words, the user can search for groups of words or for a particular expression.
– 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 text edition used (“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 of quickly searching for strings of text that are not absolutely identical to those which are entered in the search field. It was developed to assist the user to find the origin of quotations or other text without requiring knowledge of the exact words and/or their order.
– By using the Cross Database Searchtool, the LLT can be searched online together with 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 databases included and allows the user to compare the vocabulary of text corpora which can be freely chosen on the basis of the included data, according to whatever needs and requirements arise.
– A direct link to the Database of Latin Dictionaries (which integrates different types of Latin dictionaries, modern, medieval and early-modern) allows the user to find relevant dictionary entries for Latin word-forms that appear in texts displayed by the LLT, with immediate access to the articles in the selected dictionaries.
Scientific Responsibility & Partners
The LLT 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 have been integrated into the database with the permission of many publishers. The literature of Classical Antiquity and the late antique pagan texts have been essentially taken from the Bibliotheca scriptorum Romanorum Teubneriana through the Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina (© Walter de Gruyter).
The editions published within the Corpus Christianorum series have been used for Christian texts of late antiquity and for medieval literature. In a certain number of cases the use of Migne’s Patrologia Latina has been inevitable. Many texts have also been taken from other scientific collections such as the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum of Vienna (now edited and distributed by de Gruyter) or the Sources Chrétiennes series. Insofar as possible, the standard critical editions have been used, e.g. for the Latin Bible, the Decretum Gratiani or the opera omnia of Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas.
A considerable number of texts have been used with the permission of the Analecta Bollandiana, the Commissio Leonina, the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL), the Franciscan Institute St. Bonaventure, New York, the Frati Editori di Quaracchi (Fondazione Collegio San Bonaventura), the Lessico Intelletuale Europeo e Storia delle Idee (Roma), the Index Thomisticus (Associazione per la Computerizzazione delle Analisi Ermeneutiche e Lessicologiche – CAEL), the Institute of History Belgrade, the Leuven University Press, the Lexicon musicum Latinum (Munich), the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Oxford University Press, Peeters Publishers (Leuven), the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto), the Revue Bénédictine, the Sources Chrétiennes, the Walter de Gruyter GmbH, the Württembergische Bibelgesellschaft, 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 († 2019) Mgr. Roger Gryson, Father Romain-Georges Mailleux OFM († 2019), Father Benedikt Mertens OFM, Father Adriano Oliva OP, Pr. Riccardo Pozzo, Pr. Antonio Zampolli († 2003), and many others.
Details on coverage of the LLT can be downloaded here.
English version (PDF)
Download the French version
Download the English version
Webinar ‘The combined potential of LLT and DLD for your research’ (19/05/2022)
Clusters & Related Databases
The Library of Latin Texts is included in the cluster BREPOLiS Latin Complete (BL-C), together with the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature, Aristoteles Latinus Database, the Cross Database Search Tool, and the Database of Latin Dictionaries.
The Library of Latin Texts is also included in the cluster Library of Latin Texts – Complete Plus (LLT+), together with the Database of Latin Dictionaries.
‘Live links’ to the Database of Latin Dictionaries