An Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin was written to meet the needs of students who desire to study the Latin language in the form it assumed in the hands of the Fathers of the Western Church and of their successors.
The book contains a summary of syntactic rules necessary for understanding the works of these writers, with an explanation of the points in which Ecclesiastical Latin differs from Classical Latin, and a selection of passages taken from the works of some of the principal authors of the period.
This Latin grammar by H. P. V. Nunn was published by Cambridge University Press in 1922 and is a very helpful tool for working with the Latin Vulgate. It is a descriptive grammar, rather than a textbook grammar.
Nunn is also the author of The Elements of New Testament Greek and A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek .
Ecclesiastical Latin is out of print but used print copies are available for between $35-100.
From the Preface to the Print Edition
This book is written to meet the needs of a special class of students, namely those that desire to study Ecclesiastical Latin.
Ecclesiastical Latin may be defined as the form which the Latin language assumed in the hands of the Fathers of the Western Church and of their successors up to the time of the revival of learning.
The book is divided into two parts: first, a summary of such syntactical rules as are necessary for the understanding of the works of these writers, with an explanation of the points in which Ecclesiastical Latin differs from the Classical Latin: secondly, a selection of passages taken from the works of some of the principal authors of the period with notes drawing the attention of the student to the appropriate sections of the syntax.
- Title: An Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin
- Author: Rev. H. P. V. Nunn, M.A.
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Publication Date: 1922
- Pages: 162
A bit of trivia about this title: Dorothy Sayers gave a speech entitled "The Greatest Single Defect of My Own Latin Education" in which she makes the case for Christian Latin and introduces two lengthy quotes from Nunn's Ecclesiastical Latin by saying, "I will quote from the preface of a book which I met with only the other day after I had decided what I was going to say to you. I wish I had known of its existence earlier: it would have solved half my problems for me."