Important items that are not online – Souter’s “Glossary of Later Latin”

Long ago, probably in the 1990s, I purchased in Heffers in Cambridge a copy of Alexander Souter’s Glossary of Later Latin.  Today I had occasion to dig it out and use it.

The original edition was printed in 1949, with a corrected edition in 1957.  Tiny print was used.  A scan would be very useful to those of us whose eyesight is not what it was.

Happily 1949 is also the date of the author’s death.  Even under our corrupt copyright laws, this means that the Glossary comes out of copyright next year, in 2019.

I think a scan of it and an upload to will be highly desirable.

There ought to be more modern equivalents, I would hope.

The same task led me to look up words relating to parts of the body.  This too should be a specialised glossary, but I didn’t know of one!

There is another alternative.  I could consult the Oxford Latin Dictionary, a paper copy of which bows the floor under my bookcase with its sheer weight and size.  But … I never look at it, so I didn’t think of that!  Oops!


12 thoughts on “Important items that are not online – Souter’s “Glossary of Later Latin”

  1. Roger, remember that Souter was written precisely to include words that fell outside the period of the Oxford Latin Dictionary, so if a late meaning appears in Souter it should not be in OLD (even if the headword might be). Also, Souter’s cut-off date is quite early itself, so Jordanes, say, (I think) falls outside its scope.

    Also, if in the 90s you bought the Sandpiper reprint edition of Souter as I did, you’ll find it was done as a reduced-size reproduction. Original Souter is much larger in format. This might explain your ‘tiny print’.

  2. I did indeed get the Sandpiper reprint. Drat them! Maybe I need to get an original.

    Of course you are right about the OLD – I had forgotten.

  3. I’ve thought of doing so myself, but missed a couple of opps to get one at a reasonable price. If you’re looking at later sources, there’s always the British Academy’s Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, which along with Ducange is available on the amazing Logeion site – and app – which gives access to a nubmer of Greek and Latin dictionaries, though neither OLD nor Souter). The shorter Medieval Latin Wordlist based on DMLBS is the same sort of size as Souter.

  4. Copyright law is complicated beyond my wit and knowledge, but (going by recent experience), I suspect many of Professor Souter’s works will presumably be out of copyright in most of the world on 1 January 2020.

  5. Hey Albo, I’m not rejoicing at his death. Far from it; he was a good guy. But he was also born in 1875, so he had a pretty good run! It does mean that his work can now circulate again.

  6. For words relating to parts of the body, perhaps Jacques André, Le Vocabulaire latin de l’anatomie
    (Paris: Les Belles lettres, 1991) might be useful. I haven’t seen it, though.

    I find that I consult the hardcover Oxford Latin Dictionary much more often now that my son built a sturdy lectern for me. The OLD usually sits on top of it, with all my other dictionaries (including Souter) on its shelves below..

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