Botanical Latin

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 84 - Hulls Cove, Maine  04644

updated: 21 March 2024)

The purpose of these botanical Latin lessons is to help you translate descriptions and diagnoses of taxa (usually species but also genera) found in the literature. If you are already familiar with classical Latin, much of the content of these lessons will be review. However, due to the nature of botanical Latin, these lessons will not be sufficient for learning classical Latin.

There is a lot of text to read in these lessons, and you are encouraged to take your time reading it. There is no need to rush through any lesson. If you find anything not explained sufficiently and/or confusing, please let me know. My contact information is at the top of each page in this sequence of lessons.

A companion to these lessons is a glossary of words used by Linnaeus in his diagnoses of species in his two-volume 1753 Species Plantarum. This glossary includes not only the form of each word as it appears as a main entry in a dictionary but also the various forms of each word used in Linnaeus’s diagnoses. As much as possible, the examples, vocabulary, and exercises in these lessons use words from Species Plantarum.

I hope they will be helpful to you.

The lessons are as follows:
Lesson 1 - Alphabet and Pronunciation
Lesson 2 - Nouns and the First Declension
Lesson 3 - Second Declension Nouns
Lesson 4 - Group A Adjectives
Lesson 5 - Third Declension Nouns
Lesson 6 - Group B Adjectives
Lesson 7 - Comparative and Superlative Degrees of Adjectives
Lesson 8 - Verbs and Participles
Lesson 9 - Adverbs, Prepositions, and Conjunctions
Lesson 10 - Fourth Declension Nouns
Lesson 11 - Fifth Declension Nouns
Lesson 12 - Special constructions
more to be added?