By authors: James W. Chochola, Donald E. Sprague   Illustrated by: Lydia Koller
Product Code: 7494
ISBN: 978-0-86516-749-0
Availability: In stock
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Designed for Latin students, A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone asks the learner to make a ready connection between an image and its corresponding Latin word. Illustrated exercises provide an opportunity for students to practice with and internalize the Latin vocabulary.

Special Features

  • Black-and-white line drawings present everyday objects and scenes from everyday life—animals and numbers, colors, the family, buildings, transportation, the house, furniture, pastimes, professions, the military, parts of the body, clothing, food shopping, food preparation, and the arts—one image from the Roman world and a corresponding image from the modern world. The line drawings invite students to color the pictures.
  • Each object is drawn for ready recognition and easy connection to its Latin label.
  • A set of exercises, of varied complexity, accompanies each set of illustrations.
  • Appendices include Pronunciation of Classical Latin, Major Parts of Speech and Their Uses, How Latin Words Work: Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, A Grammatical Outline
  • A Pictorial Glossary of Additional Latin Vocabulary and Synonyms

For a representative example, check out this excerpt from Chapter 6, Domus.

ERRATA List for First Printing (download)


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Review by: Jeanne Neumann, Davidson College / Bryn Mawr Classical Review - May 30, 2018

I love a good dictionary. Admit it: you do too. And what is more fun than a Latin dictionary? Who has never curled up just to read Lewis & Short? With all due respect to the OLD, there is something about L-S: all those synonyms, all those indicators of time and usage ("rare but class; most freq. in Cic."; "class in prose and poetry; not in Hor."). While they can poke you with bits et dulce et utile, neither L-S or the OLD aims at defining all Latin words: they confine themselves to parameters of date. A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone refuses to confine itself to either date or audience. Latin through the ages can be found in these pages, from the ancient fish sauce liquamen to the 14th century rocheta to the contemporary computatrum.

A foreword and introduction precede chapters that introduce different categories of objects as well as different aspects of morphology and syntax. Exercises follow each chapter to help internalize the vocabulary and to further one’s skills in Latin. The fifteen chapters (animals and numbers, colors, family, buildings, vehicles and transportation, home, furniture, pastimes, professions, the military, parts of the body, clothing, kinds of food and shopping, preparing food, the arts) follow a similar pattern: labelled line drawings illustrating the chapter’s objects followed by a series of exercises, of varying difficulty. According to the foreword, 1200 words are introduced (although the claim that these 1200 words will give the reader 60% of a functional Latin vocabulary misleads and should be modified). Appendices end the book: Pronunciation of Classical Latin; Major parts of speech and their uses; How Latin words work: nouns, verbs, adjectives; Grammatical outline, indicating what grammatical points each chapter aims to drill. A short addendum offers additional Latin vocabulary and synonyms for some of the items in each chapter.

The vocabulary sources represent the range of oral Latin lexicography: Sigrides Albert and Caelestis Eichenseer, John Traupman, Josè Mir and Corrado Clavano, the Vatican, Terence Tunberg. The major source for vocabulary seems to be the late David Morgan’s Lexicon Latinum, surely the best possible choice. Morgan was a first-rate linguist and lexicographer whose first principle was, where possible, to use an ancient word; where the ancient word did not exist, Morgan paid careful attention to the morphological principles of Latin and its borrowings from Greek.1

We begin with numbers, taught through animals. Armadillos illustrate the number 3 (tres dasypodes), here not a kind of rabbit or hare (Pliny) but the family of Dasypodidae. Okay. But will I really ever need the word for armadillo? I'd like some dogs, horses, or plain old mice if I want to learn vocabulary in order to read Latin or impress my parents. When we return to animals in Chapter 13 (Kinds of food and shopping), we do get dormice (glires), but also antelope (dorcas) pictured next to the she-goat (capra). Is this for fun? It is fun, but also gives the impression that Romans ate antelope, as another part of the market displays things they did consume, such as glires and liquamen (pictured as a bottle with a fish label).

In the first chapter we find an exercise apparently accessible for those with little or no Latin. The first exercise gives the following exemplum: quot animalia efficiuntur, si duobus bubonibus adduntur quattuor zebrae? The answer is given as sex. A second exemplum uses exstant instead of efficiuntur, and also gives the answer, so you probably do not need to know Latin in order to figure out the numbers, and it is good practice to be exposed to a variety of syntax and to read aloud even without complete (any?) understanding. In a subsequent exercise, given an illustration of a serpent and the number quinque, the student needs to write out serpentes a tedious five times. My friend the armadillo shows up in another exercise in this chapter, where I need to know his habitat. Realizing my knowledge stopped at ‘not in my backyard,’ I went to Wikipedia, where I learned the armadillo lives in temperate and warm climates, which hits more than one of my options: in silva, in tropica silva, in campis patentibus and maybe in desertis. Okay. So I could use a bit more of a working knowledge of the armadillo, but I'm guessing so could a lot of people.

Some of the exercises do seem to hit all skill levels. In the chapter on Professions (Chapter 9 Quaestus), drawings of the tools of the trade for various professions make readers go back and search. This exercise is followed by two-word actions preceded by a blank for the name of the profession (e.g. _____________ vestimenta purgat). This exercise has the advantage of giving students useful, common verbs to use in talking about the professions. Chapter 4 (buildings, aedificia) has a great exercise that, by offering a few prepositions and adverbs, enables students to follow directions to a particular building. Some of the exercises, however, are too complicated for the novice, while others are too elementary for those with any facility with the language. Further, there seems to be no coherent distribution of skill levels in the exercises across the chapters.

The book’s boundless vision of audience, while claiming to be appropriate for traditional and non-traditional students, at all levels, bemuses and frustrates the reader throughout. In Chapter 5 (vehicles and transportation) an exercise asks quomodo veharis? A neophyte looking up veharis would be lost without some knowledge of the subjunctive. A more advanced student (of classical Latin at least) would wonder at the odd use of the potential subjunctive instead of, say, malle with the infinitive. Beginners would be further confused since the other questions are indicative (e.g. quomodo vehitur a few pages on). In Chapter 8 (Pastimes) we find Quid fecisse cupivisses, a construction that makes sense only after you read the directions ("what you would have been eager to do if you lived in ancient Rome"), and only if you understand the subjunctive in conditions. Since this exercise is to be written in English, it seems to be aimed at beginning students, for whom the directions would have been opaque.

An excerpt from Augustine’s confessions (on the effect of the games) closes the same chapter, with instructions to read aloud, look for derivatives and see how much sense can be made. This is a great idea, and the passage's vivid description of an eyewitness account is powerful. It is hard to imagine the same user following the instructions for the previous exercises (look up iacta alea est and ad metam on the internet and remark on the relevance to the games, answer in English what kind of fighter the reader would be and why), only then to be confronted with unadapted Augustine. This exercise is the sole one of its kind in the book. There are no other bits of extended prose, although the book does close with the opening 11 lines of the Aeneid, with the instruction not to translate but to memorize the lines. Memorization is an excellent tool, but made more complex by not having any idea what one is memorizing, thus rendering this exercise difficult for the beginner and puzzling for the intermediate/advanced student.

The drawings are both fun and at times confusing, especially if you do not know what you are looking at. Syngrapha (personal check), e.g., is written below a piece of paper that resembles a check only if you know what syngrapha means. Otherwise, it might be an envelope, postcard, etc. The introduction indicates that the words are printed on the drawings themselves, but this is not always the case. Lines that connect the words to their referent and the lines that make up the drawings can be confusing (the latter is thicker). In a mock-up of a clothing store (Chapter 12, vestimenta) the line seemingly connecting syngrapha and inauris is actually part of the table which holds them both. Picky? Yes. Too picky? Maybe, but putting an arrow at the end of each word-pointer would clarify all.

As it stands now a background in oral Latin seems necessary in order to use the book—some inexperienced instructors (and surely self-learners) will be confused. What seems to be needed here most of all is a good instructor's manual that will make the book more broadly useful. Such a manual would tell the reader exactly what is meant (is that woman in Chapter 9 with a briefcase in front of a government building, a femina civilis, meant to be a civil servant, a lawyer, a politician?). The manual might give the age and provenance of the vocabulary. Students are going to ask—especially about objects not from the ancient world. It would be useful to be able to say what is a modern coinage and what dates back, e.g., to the fourteenth century or the first century BCE. The manual might also provide guidance on how to use some of this vocabulary in class in ways that will facilitate students’ becoming comfortable with Latin syntax and developing into good readers of Latin texts. A teacher’s guide is, according to the introduction, forthcoming.

Notes: 1The most updated version of this wonderful resource, currated by Patrick Owens, is now hosted by Paideia Institute and freely available:

Jeanne Neumann
Davidson College
Bryn Mawr Classcial Review 2018.05.44

Review by: Krystal Kubichek, Pennsauken High School - December 1, 2017

A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone: Lingua Latina Depicta is an exciting resource for learning Latin vocabulary, in both a formal and informal setting. Although modern languages often have picture dictionaries readily available for novice students (v), there are few picture dictionaries available for Latin students. Through Lingua Latina Depicta, the authors expose the students to thematic vocabulary, incorporating both ancient and modern Latin terminology. Students see an image for each vocabulary word to aid comprehension; in total, the workbook uses approximately 1,200 words (v), and very little English beyond directions for exercises.

The workbook is divided into chapters centered upon themes such as Parts of the Body, Family, Buildings, Home, Professions, and the Military. It also includes appendices on pronunciation, basic Latin grammar, and a grammatical outline to aid teachers in incorporating chapters into existing curricula. A pictorial glossary listing additional vocabulary and synonyms is also included. For example, an image of a snake is labeled serpens, serpentis, m. / f. with the synonyms coluber, colubri, m. and anguis, anguis, m. / f. added (192).

Chapters typically begin with Latin vocabulary and line drawings, followed by several exercises incorporating the vocabulary. Exercises include labeling images and parts, answering questions, sentence completions, fill-in-the-blanks, sentence composition, writing descriptions, and even short essays and passages. Some activities instruct the student to use specific grammatical forms or constructions.

In order to help teachers to understand the value of the workbook, the following is a description of several activities from Chapter 8: Pastimes (75–94). At first, the student is introduced to a page of line drawings with modern Latin and activities, such as tēlevīsiōnem spectō (76). One exercise includes pictures of the activities with sentence completions asking students to identify where the pastime occurs. Another activity asks them to state during which season it occurs. After several additional activities using modern terms, students are given line drawings with labels of ancient Roman pastimes. The book includes everything a teacher might want to include as vocabulary for these activities at the lower levels. For example, the amphitheātrum includes vocabulary such as bestia, gladiātor, harēna, and even naumachia (86–87). The next two pages continue to explore the pastime through line drawings of various types of gladiators, on which weapons, armor, and so forth, are identified. Activities on ancient pastimes include sen­ tences describing which gladiator uses what item, derivatives, identifying from Latin sentences what type of gladiatorial contest is described, and even a Latin passage from St. Augustine's Confessiōnēs.

A teacher's guide is also available, which includes answers to exercises in the workbook. Teaching tips are provided, such as extending the lessons through additional activities and drawing connections between the ancient and modern worlds. An appendix lists the vocabulary words used in the illustrations, identified as either ancient or modern. A glossary of all the vocabulary is also included. An excerpt of the Domus chapter is also available on the Bolchazy-Carducci website.

A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone is useful for teachers in a variety of settings and pedagogies. It can be used as a basic workbook for a class that uses Comprehensible Input (CI), to supplement a Grammar-Translation class with thematic vocabulary, as an activity book for use by students on a day when a substitute teacher is present, or even as a textbook for an exploratory course. A home school group or independent student could use it and develop a basic Latin vocabulary and a limited understanding of grammar. Since the vocabulary includes both ancient and modern Latin words with separate activities for each, the teacher does not need to teach modern vocabulary such as rochēta (110) and can limit the materials to ancient vocabulary such as hasta and ballista (115). For those striving to make the transition to CI or natural methods, this is a great resource because the work is done for you. Phrases and vocabulary are repeated frequently and throughout the book to ease the student - and the teacher - into using Latin actively. The activities themselves are so varied that the book could be used to help Latin teachers new to the idea of CI to develop their own "bank'' of activities using the target language. Even the line drawings and labels alone are helpful. One page with about 30 military terms that students can color and use as a reference is useful in any classroom.

Several things make this book unique and valuable in the Latin classroom. The activities are almost exclusively in Latin, yet they are written in a way that is easy to comprehend for students. Furthermore, they encourage student output in the target language. The vocabulary is thematic and incorporates pictures to encourage students to make associations with the Latin directly, rather than defining words in English. Thematic vocabulary that can be dealt with as a single unit, rather than vocabulary based upon grammatical groupings, is something Latin textbooks typically do not provide. This workbook enables all Latin teachers and professors, regardless of background and training, to teach concepts and' themes that students always crave to know about, such as numbers and colors, in fun ways that do not require the teacher to step outside the curriculum.

A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone is truly a useful resource for every Latin teacher who teaches lower level students. In the third week of school, I was able to give my high school Latin I students Chapter 1 to complete on their own, with no instruction from me beforehand on the themes (Animālia et Numerī). Most students completed the exercises correctly. For students to retain that knowledge, I had to continue to incorporate the vocabulary into activities. For example, two months later only a few students remembered cervus, but other animal words I have used sporadically, such as equus and būbō, were clearly recognized by the class. Elementary and middle school teachers will find the workbook indispensable. High school teachers will also find it very valuable, and college professors may find it worthwhile for Level I. This workbook is a must-have for any Latin teacher at the pre-collegiate level, and for those trying to incorporate active Latin and CI techniques into their classrooms!

Pennsauken High School
The Classical Outlook, Vol. 92, No. 4, 2017

Review by: James Cox - July 1, 2017

Specifically designed as a curriculum supplemental text for Latin students, A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone: Lingua Latina Depicta asks the learner to make a ready connection between an image and its corresponding Latin word. Illustrated exercises provide an opportunity for students to practice with and internalize the Latin vocabulary. Special features include black-and-white line drawings present everyday objects and scenes from everyday life (animals and numbers, colors, the family, buildings, transportation, the house, furniture, pastimes, professions, the military, parts of the body, clothing, food shopping, food preparation, and the arts) with one image from the Roman world and a corresponding image from the modern world. The line drawings invite students to color the pictures with each object is drawn for ready recognition and easy connection to its Latin label. Very highly recommended for highschool, college, and university Latin Language courses, A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone: Lingua Latina Depicta includes a set of exercises, of varied complexity accompanying each set of illustrations. Additionally, A Latin Picture Dictionary for Everyone: Lingua Latina Depicta is enhanced with the inclusion of appendices that include Pronunciation of Classical Latin; Major Parts of Speech and Their Uses; How Latin Words Work: Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives; A Grammatical Outline; as well as a Pictorial Glossary of Additional Latin Vocabulary and Synonyms.

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