Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life” as Want to Read:
Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  279 ratings  ·  67 reviews

Liber prosperissimus et mirabilis ex Britannia ad Americam tandem advenit! Umquam vexatus es quando homo inritans "sine qua non" aut "mea culpa" dicit? Aut postmeridiana tempora vetera, quando verba obscura ediscere conatus es, terrunt?

Nil desperandum!

Linguae Latinae hoc in itinere iucundo, qui omnia ex lectione grammatica ab Monte Pythone ad Angelinae Jolia in pelle nota

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published January 2nd 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Carpe Diem, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Carpe Diem

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 607)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is a very cute book. I was mostly interested to see just how similar Latin is to Italian – to be honest, and this is from someone with very limited Italian, it does not seem that they are as similar as I had thought. Latin seems much harder.

I didn’t bother trying to learn the conjugations and declensions – hardly seemed worth the effort if I wasn’t going to actually learn the language. I think this book was, in many ways, an attempt to bring English Public School Old Boys back into the fold

When Harry Mount went to Oxford to study Classics in the late 1980s, he had learned Latin for eight years and Greek for seven, probably on a timetable which allowed him a decent number of periods per subject per week. Since Latin had already been in steep decline since 1960 – when Oxbridge abandoned its entry requirement of Latin or Greek at GCE – Mount was fortunate to get the education he did. The situation in state schools at that time was deteriorating even faster, as a result of Kenneth Bak
Mostly inoffensive, except for the offensive parts... and then I got to the final chapter, entitled 'Dumbing up, or death to the Cambridge Latin Course.'


The author of this insignificant, error-ridden little book, this flocculus, thinks he can cast aspersions at the CAMBRIDGE LATIN COURSE? There are words in Catullus for people like that.

More significantly, it pretends to be an introduction to Latin, but the grammatical explanations (and the instructions to consult Kennedy) would be useless
A brilliantly funny intro/refresher to the art of Latin grammar. By the end I had a nostalgic glow and a slight feeling of inferiority at only having done three years of it at school in the eighties.
The end is an impassioned defence of classics in education. It's not exactly in keeping with the modern trend towards chasing easy, employer-friendly qualifications and it's all the more stirring for being doomed to failure. I'm not sure I agree though. The British are hopeless at learning other lan
Not what I expected. Rather than a book of Latin words and phrases that are found in English language & literature this was almost a Latin language course outline. Reading all that stuff about declensions and cases made me relive the two years I took Latin in high school and reinforced the rightness of my decision NOT to go for a classical diploma but rather to drop Latin at the end of sophomore year and opt for a simpler English diploma track. Of course this is what the author bemoans- the ...more
An odd mixture of great wodges of 'serious' Latin - lists of vocabulary or tables of declensions - alongside gossipy little examples of modern celebrity culture rendered in Latin & intended to illustrate some point or other. He includes lots of nasty little digs against people - particularly Paul Gasgoigne & Sarah Ferguson - much in the way that people used to gawp & laugh at "circus freaks". Harry Mount clearly thinks he's a great wag but he comes across as a complete dick.
My copy
Entertaining book that does a good job of selling the idea of studying Latin, and teaching a fair amount of it too. I remember some of my high school classmates were taking Latin, and I thought it was such a waste. I didn't know why you would choose to study a dead language in place of a living one. I'm still not completely sold that Latin should supersede the study of German, French, Spanish, Italian, etc, but I can see the value in it. Why not study Latin just for the joy of it? As the author ...more
This little book makes the claim that any person can go from zero to Ciceronian Latin in 249 pages. I think not. Yes, Mount includes many of the crucial 1st/2nd/3rd/etc. declension tables , how to conjugate verbs and put them at the end of sentences, even how adverbs work, but his confidence in his audience seems a tad high when he acknowledges that many of his readers will be coming to the book without the first idea about Latin grammar and 230 pages later he is quoting passages of Tacitus (who ...more
If you come into this book thinking you'll walk away with an accelerated sense of Latin, you'll be sorely disappointed. Mount spends a significant amount of time discussing the declension of words, without ever explaining (unless I managed to miss it) what that means or why the reader should be inspired to care. The book jumps from topic to topic in an obvious attempt to avoid boredom, but the end result is a disorganized book that doesn't help make its case that anyone can become a classics exp ...more
CARPE DIEM: PUT A LITTLE LATIN IN YOUR LIFE is a charming little book that gives a little Latin grammar and much interesting information about ancient Rome and its language.

The grammar and vocabulary part served mainly to remind me how much Latin I had forgotten and how much I had probably never known in the first place. Readers who have never studied Latin may find this part interesting, although I suspect people who have had at least a little Latin will be able to relate to it more fully.

The a
this book taught me that i do not care enough about British humor nor about grammar to continue learning dead languages. i do not care to be associated with stuck up snobs who think that reading the Iliad is going to change the world. granted, not all people who study latin are stuck up snobs to i take that back. but my dad is old school enough to appreciate British humor and (as a son of an immigrant) was forced to know his grammar inside and out. therefore, i salute guys like my dad who contin ...more
I'm one of those weird folks who actually thinks it would be kind of groovy to learn Latin. However, I'm in my 40s so the brain is not as pliable regarding language acquisition. For those who studied Latin in school it will provide a great way to brush up. For folks like me, who are new to Latin it will provide a simple framework for understanding the grammatical structure. It doesn't mean you won't have to put time in to really make it your own but it's presented in a non-threatening style with ...more
This is one of the most moving -and entertaining - books I have read for several years. If you value traditional values - grammar, poetry, knowledge: Highly recommended! And nostalgic for those of us who were once "subjected" to a traditional education. O tempora, o mores!
Andrea Arbit
I picked up this book because I was looking for a list of Latin phrases and anecdotes about the Latin language (a little personal research for a project). While it did have some of what I was looking for (in the phrase dictionary at the end), most of the book focused instead on how Latin has affected English and American education in the last few centuries, both advocating for increased Latin in contemporary schools and assuming that its readers have at least a rudimentary understanding of Latin ...more
Don Weidinger
from 3rd century BC, subject verb object vs SOV, 7 hills of Rome, crossing the Rubicon River no going back, seize the day, with praise degrees, ie expand eg example, ergo therefore.
I loved listening to this, though I wished I had a book next to me to refer to during all the actual Latin phrases and verb declensions that Mount includes in the text. What I enjoyed the most was hearing about all the ways that we are tied to the past, through the roots of many of our words, yes, (and being a native Spanish speaker, this was particularly significant and relevant to me), but also through so much more. Why some Latin words and even phrases survive to this day? Who picked those, h ...more
Flavia the Creator
Not particularly inspiring, not very funny, mercifully brief. The Latin itself is all correct, though – but as the author says, you are in good hands with Kennedy (and other authors for the non-lingual stuff) if that’s what you want.

If you are a classicist yourself, you might find some of the stereotypes funny (the frequent depiction of classicists in fiction as evil or mad has not escaped me), but the humour itself is nothing to write home about. I suppose someone might get some use out of it a
Kevin Magpoc
My only quibble is that this book isn't what what it seemed to sell itself to be. The back cover description lead me to expect the kind of book that would make Latin more interesting to complete novices, perhaps by pointing out Latin applications and observances in every day life. But most of the book does seem to assume the reader either has some foundation of Latin knowledge, or is able to learn the fundamentals more quickly than should be expected from its brief lessons. I can imagine "Carpe ...more
Erin Gayton
A very scattered, oddly-written introduction to Latin. I do appreciate Mount's attempt to make Latin accessible-- which is to say that it's a worthy project, one that Mount utterly fails in. He intersperses tables of Latin declensions among tidbits about Latin appearing in pop culture, the character of his former Latin teachers, etc. Periodically he provides tests for which he has not at all prepared us. Instead of making Latin accessible, I was left feeling rather stupid and out of my depth. Mo ...more
No, seriously, this book is way more entertaining than you think Latin can be.
Kat Alexander
#1 most awesome Latin book ever!!! The Latin book that tells you how to conjugate everything (even the tricky little irregular verbs into the tricky little subjunctives), decline everything (including names), and actually be able to understand lawyers in the cop shows, plus history. And of course, all presented in a way that you can actually understand, and that is interesting. (ex: Purple Togas: A History of Roman Emperors) Even the introduction is interesting!!! Great for anyone who likes Lati ...more
Paul Bond
Modest, and modestly successful. Mount invites readers a brief introduction to Latin, and to traditions in teaching and learning Latin. The reader leaves with some idea of the classical language's peculiarities, a smattering of memorable phrases, and an idea of what first steps one should take to learn a little more. I imagine this is, in book version, what it would be like to spend a pleasant weekend cooped up with a very genial and chatty enthusiast of the language.
An interesting refresher if, like me, you haven't touch Latin since University. Though the author suggests that one might learn the fundamentals of Latin from this little book, it seems unlikely that this will really be the case.
I found some of the pop culture references a bit forced, but not entirely un-funny. The second to last chapter is a valuable reminder of how many latin phrases remain in use (to varying degrees) in the english speaking world.
I was disappointed in this book. It's amusing, in a parlor-room manner. There are cute stories scattered throughout. But the bones of the language are stuck here and there nakedly and mindlessly amidst trivia and I also found errors in the grammar.

For American readers, the British case order in Mount's charts is slightly disconcerting but the inanity of plopping such declensions down in the middle of digressive anecdotes is much more so.
Tim Inak
For someone who has never paid any attention to latin after his community college dendrology class, this book opened up a lot of perspective for me. Apparently the reason Romans conquered the world is because they had so much pent up agression left over from trying to learn their own language. Latin is HARD; and this book makes that clear. But it didn't actually teach me any latin. Sometimes it seemed not even to try.
I really enjoyed this book. Since I took Latin for seven years, all the grammar Mount described came back to me. I have to admit, I skipped over some of the Latin paragraphs because I wasn't planning on translating them (and also since Mount had the translations below). All in all if you've ever taken Latin in your life, especially as a teenager, this is a fun book to read and brings back all your Latin class memories!
I was given this book by my college Latin professor when I finished Latin. And this book totally made me want to dig out my text books and delve deep into the study of Latin.

It was kind of fascinating, when I started reading it, it had been a couple of years since I had taken Latin and I was having trouble remembering how it went. But by the end of the book, I could glean a lot and it was fun.
Ah, what I have missed by being educated in the 20th century..! I keep grasping at straws with Latin, Latin-lite, as I call it, but beyond a few smartier-than-thou phrases (and don't get me wrong: I love and honor those phrases), it's hard to see the immediate benefit of learning Latin unlike, say, Spanish. I wish I had Latin in my youth to be bitter over, smug over and have it, ultimately, over.
Nina at Death Books and Tea
3.5. Whistlestop tour round basic grammar and historical facts, as well as Harry Mount's journey of latin learning. Good for quick reference.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Amo, Amas, Amat and More
  • The King's English
  • English Grammar for Students of German: The Study Guide for Those Learning German
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Letter from America, 1946-2004
  • 501 Latin Verbs
  • English Bread And Yeast Cookery
  • Sade: A Biography
  • The Fat Duck Cookbook
  • Ulysses And Us: The Art Of Everyday Living
  • The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village
  • The Subterranean Railway
  • Counterknowledge
  • Inventing the Victorians
  • Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans
  • Counting My Chickens . . .: And Other Home Thoughts
  • Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe
  • Brush Up Your Shakespeare!
How England Made the English: From Hedgerows to Heathrow A Lust For Window Sills: A Lover's Guide To British Buildings From Portcullis To Pebble Dash My Brief Career: The Trials of a Young Lawyer The King and I - How Elvis Shaped My Life (Kindle Single) The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson

Share This Book