Stories from Paul the Deacon: A Latin Reader

Stories from Paul the Deacon: A Latin Reader for GCSE,
A-Level and University Students,
Edited with an Introduction, Notes and Comprehensive Vocabulary
by Sean Gabb

This is a book of short readings that are in genuine but fairly simple Latin, that are interesting in themselves, and that are accompanied by a Vocabulary containing nearly every word used in the text. It also has an Introduction that explains the historical background. The book is directed at intermediate students of Latin—that is, those who have made some progress in the language, but who still find the Roman classics too difficult to read with any fluency.

It will help:

  • A-Level students in England;
  • Advanced school students elsewhere;
  • University students;
  • Students in home education;
  • Self-learners;
  • Classicists who want to know more about post-Imperial Latin;

Paul the Deacon (c.725-799) is a primary source for many of the most important and dramatic events of the early middle ages in both Italy and the wider Mediterranean World. Though simpler than that of the Roman classics, his Latin is lucid and often graceful. He knows how to tell a story, and how to weave his stories into an extended narrative. For his History of the Lombards, he is justly called the Herodotus of the Middle Ages.

Contents include:

  • The Importance of Germany as a Factory of Humanity;
  • The Story of the Seven Sleepers;
  • How the Lombard Came to Italy;
  • How Narses the Eunuch Betrayed the Empire;
  • The Murder of King Alboin by His Wife;
  • The Plague of Justinian;
  • How Rotten Meat Can be Used to Ward off Rapists;
  • How the Emperor Constans II Tried to Reconquer Italy;
  • The Arab Invasion of France.

The book is part of a series that already includes Stories from the Life of Christ (in Latin), and will soon include extracts from Bede, Liutprand, the Gesta Francorum, and other key Latin texts of the middle ages.