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 Pr. Paul Tombeur, and since 2020 under the direction of Pr. 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.
The present version of the LLT contains more than 141 million words, drawn from 5,442 works and 5,084 diplomatic charters; 4,275 works are attributed to 1,316 authors; 1,167 figure under their titles4,281 works are taken from the LLT-A, 1,161 works and the 5,804 charters from the LLT-B.
Scope and aim
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.
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 and international 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.
The complete list of works in the LLT is available here.
Within the entire body of Latin texts, LLT distinguishes eight so-called ‘periods’ or ‘categories’.
First, five chronological divisions have been adopted:
– Antiquitas, which contains the works of so-called Classical Antiquity (from the beginning until, roughly, the end of the second century);
– Aetas patrum I for works of Late Antiquity (until 500);
– Aetas patrum II for works composed between 501 and the death of the Venerable Bede (735);
– Medii aeui scriptores for medieval works (736-1500);
– Recentior latinitas for works composed between 1501 and 1965.
To these chronological layers are added three thematic subdivisions, essentially concerning translations from Greek that belong to various chronological periods:
– the Biblia sacra iuxta Vulgatam,which concerns the Latin translations of biblical texts grouped together under the name of Vulgate;
– the Corpus Pseudepigraphorum latinorum Veteris Testamenti, which groups together Latin translations of parabiblical texts;
– the Concilia oecumenica et generalia Ecclesiae catholicae (aetatis patrum), which contains Latin translations of decrees issuing from ecumenical councils of the patristic age, translations which may, entirely or in part, belong to different centuries. Thus, the system adopted forms a guarantee against potentially misleading chronological assignment.
The first chronological part comprises the entire corpus of Latin literature from Classical Antiquity up to the second century A.D.
It covers all classical authors whose works have an independent textual tradition: for instance Cato the Censor, Plautus, Terence and Lucretius; the classic authors of the end of the Roman Republic and the Augustan Age: Varro, Caesar and the Corpus Caesarianum, Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Catullus, Virgil and the Appendix Vergiliana, Horace, Ovid, Tibullus, Propertius, Columella; the authors of the Imperial Period: the two Senecas, the two Plinys, Petronius, Quintilian, Tacitus, Aulus Gellius, Suetonius, Apuleius, Lucanus, Persius, Juvenal, Martial, Statius, Valerius Flaccus, Silius Italicus; rather technical authors such as: Celsus, the jurist Gaius, gromatici such as Balbus, Hyginus, etc., Manilius, Vitruvius, and many others.
Authors whose works have a fragmentary tradition (for instance: Livius Andronicus, Ennius, etc.) are inserted according to collections such as: H. Peter’s Historicorum Romanorum reliquiae, O. Ribbeck’s Scaenicae Romanorum poesis fragmenta,J. Blänsdorf’s Fragmenta poetarum latinarum or Funaioli’s Grammaticae Romanae fragmenta, etc.
The texts from this section come essentially from the Bibliotheca scriptorum Romanorum Teubneriana (© Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG).
The second chronological part of the databases comprises first the patristic Latin literature that starts around 200 A.D. with Tertullian and ends with the death of the Venerable Bede in 735.
This part, whose development is still in progress, offers the works, often the complete works, of early patristic writers such as Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Cyprian, Novatian, Victorinus of Pettau; the golden age of patristic literature is represented, for instance, by Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine (with a renewed and completed entry concerning the Sermones ad populum and the replacement of numerous older editions with modern critical texts); by works of Ausonius, Arnobius, Cassian, Hilary of Poitiers, the Itinerarium Egeriae, Lactantius, Leo the Great, Marius Victorinus, Orosius, Paulinus Nolanus (according to the new edition prepared by F. Dolveck), Proba’s Cento, Prudentius, Quoduultdeus, Rufinus of Aquileia, Salvian, Sedulius presbyter, Sulpicius Severus, Victor of Vita, or Tyconius (according to the reconstructed text). The editio princeps of the recently discovered first Latin commentary on the Gospels, written by Fortunatianus of Aquileia (+ c. 371), has been inserted (according to the text published by L. J. Dorfbauer in 2017). The later patristic period is reprensented by Aldhelm, Arator, the Venerable Beda, the Regula of Saint Benedict as well as the Regula Magistri, Boethius, Caesarius of Arles, Cassiodorus, Magnus Felix Ennodius, Fulgentius of Ruspe, Gregory the Great, Ildefonsus of Toledo, Isidore of Seville.
– The second chronological part also contains non-Christian literature of that period: for instance, works such as Censorinus’ De die natali liber which marks the beginning of the non‑Christian late antique Latin literature, Ammianus Marcellinus’ Rerum gestarum libri, but also the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Aurelius Victor’s Liber de Caesaribus, Iulius Valerius’ translation of the Historia Alexandri Magni, Solinus’ Collectanea; it contains the opera omina of Claudian, the works of Macrobius, Martianus Capella, and those of Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius as well as different versions of the Historia Apollonii regis Tyri; the Querolus, the Testamentum porcelli, the De reditu suo of Rutilius Namatianus, the Carmina figurata composed by Optatianus Porfyrius, the Peruigilium Veneris and the Aegritudo perdicae, Apicius’ De re coquinaria and Anthimus’ De obseruatione ciborum, the Panegyrici Latini, Firmicus Maternus Matheseos libri, the fables of Avianus or the works of Rufius Festus Auien(i)us and Blossius Aemilius Dracontius.
This second part also contains:
–the complete corpus 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,Palladius,or the Herbarium of Ps.-Apuleius), and to the legal literature (the Codex Theodosianus, Justinian’s Institutiones, Digesta as well as the Codex Iustinianus);
–numerous translations from the Greek: the Latin texts of the Apostolic Fathers which can be placed within this chronological limits; translations of Origen made by Jerome and by Rufinus of Aquileia; Rufinus’ translation of ten orationes written by Gregory of Nazianzus, translations of Josephus and Saint Basil the Great, but also Priscian’s and Avienus’ translations of Dionysius Periegeta’s Periegesis. or the two Latin translations of Athanasius’ Vita Antonii.
–the complete critical text of the Latin Bible according to the Vulgate (Stuttgart edition), the corpus of Latin Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, and the Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils of Late Antiquity.
The third chronological part: The medieval literature in the database comprises Latin literature after 735 and includes a large number of texts up to 1500.
This part of the database includes the complete works of many medieval authors such as Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas a Kempis, the Sententiae of Peter Lombard and many others.
It comprises large bodies of text belonging to the scholastic period. Thus, for instance, Albert the Great, Alexander of Hales, Roger Bacon, Bonaventura, Denis the Carthusian, Meister Eckhart, Gerhoh of Reichersberg, Henry of Ghent, John Wycliffe, Jean Gerson, Siger of Brabant and William of Auxerre are represented. We also included texts of Peter John Olivi or Ramon Llull, Jan Hus, as well as the Latin translation of John Damascene’s Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, and the different medieval translations of Dionysius the Areopagite. We began the introduction of Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum maius.
Numerous liturgical texts can be found in this chronological part. A great many of these are taken from the Spicilegium Friburgense series (e. g.: the Gregorian sacramentary); the Fribourg series also contains William of Newburgh’s commentary on the Song of Songs, Henry Suso’s Horologium sapientiae and the Historia occidentalis ofJacques de Vitry. We began the integration of the Ordines Romani published by M. Andrieu.
A great number of anonymous hagiographical texts have been included as well as important mediaeval corpora such as Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda aurea, Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum, the Gesta Romanorum, orJuan Gil de Zamora’s Legendae sanctorum.
We introduced huge letter collections such as the correspondence of Innocent III and Enea Silvio Piccolomini (the future Pius II).
We should also mention an important corpus of works related to the beginnings of the Franciscan and the Cistercian orders.
Other important corpora include a large group of works by Bernardine of Siena (we also introduced the acts of his canonization), Bruno of Segni, Peter Abelard, the Aurora of Petrus Riga (as well as the revised recension by Gilles de Paris),works by Hildegard of Bingen, the Expositio in Psalmos by Honorius of Autun, works by Hugh of Saint Victor, Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum,Walter of Châtillon’s Alexandreis, the work of Zacharias Chrysopolitanus (also known as Zachary of Besançon),the Ysengrimus,and the Carmina Burana or the Extractiones de Talmud per ordinem sequentialem from 1245.
Canon Law is represented bythe Decretum magistri Gratiani,the Decretorum libri uiginti by Burchard of Worms and the Decretalium Gregorii Papae IX compilatio (Liber extra).
By 2015 the database made available for the first time a major corpus of diplomatic texts, the result of the integration of 5,804 charters from 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 fourth chronological part applies to Neo-Latin Literature (1501-1965). At the beginning of 2020, the LLT databases contained already over 13 million words in this fourth chronological part, and it continues to develop.
Remark on Medieval and Renaissance texts
The Renaissance covers mainly the 15th and 16th centuries and may, depending on the region concerned, even begin in the 14th or end in the 17th century. Thus, texts we can consider as ‘works of the Renaissance’ were classified case by case in the third or the fourth chronological part. That is why the works of Francesco Filelfo (1398-1481) and Giovanni Gioviano Pontano (1429-1503) are to be found in the ‘medieval section’, while the correspondence of Erasmus (c. 1469 – 1536) – inserted according to the Oxford edition – has been classified under the Neo-Latin Literature. The same applies to the letters of the Spanish Renaissance humanist Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda and those of the German humanist Beatus Rhenanus.
The LLT 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). The 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. Here too, a case-by-case analysis decided over the chronological section in which these works had to be placed.
Neo-Latin texts cover a wide range of thematic fields: Philosophy is represented through works such as Francis Bacon’s Nouum organum among others, Lipsius’ De constantia, Hobbes’s Latin Leviathan among others, Spinoza’s main works, the great Latin works of René Descartes, Baumgarten’s Aesthetica and Meditationes philosophicae, various works of Christian Wolff such as the Philosophia prima siue Ontologia, the Cosmologia, the Psychologia empirica, and the Psychologia rationalis,or the main works of the 17th-century philosopher Arnold Geulincx. Latin works of Galileo represent the beginning of modern science. Grotius’ De iure belli ac pacis bears witness to modern juridical conceptions.
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.
Latin works of Martin Luther (essentially according to the new Lateinisch-Deutsche Studienausgabe, including the Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences), Matthias Flacius’ Clauis Scripturae Sacrae, Jacobus Latomus’ polemical works, Roberto Bellarmino’s Controuersiae generales I-III, and Jean Calvin’s Christianae religionis institutio (according to the edition of 1559) refer to Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Jansenius’ Augustinus gives access to the main source of the Jansenist controversy. The LLT also includes the complete works of the Capuchin Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619), a typical figure of the Catholic Counterreformation, which contain essentially sermons and polemical works.
The Neo-Latin works inserted in the LLT also include the decrees from the modern ecumenical Church councils up to Vatican II.
The LLT aims to integrate a large corpus of Utopian works written in Latin. At the beginning of 2020, we had Thomas Morus’ Utopia, Bacon’s Latin Nova Atlantis, Campanella’s Ciuitas solis, Johann Valentin Andreae’s Christianopolis, and the Scydromedia of Antoine Le Grand.
Poetical works included are, for instance, Joachim du Bellay’s Latin Poemata, the Lyricorum libri IV and the Liber Epodon of Jacob Balde, the epic Columbus poem of Ubertino Carrara, Jacques Vanières’ Praedium rusticum, the Poemata of Petrus Lotichius Secundus and Rafael Landívar’s Rusticatio Mexicana.
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 Latin translations of John of Ruusbroec made by the German Carthusian Laurentius Surius also figure within this section.
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