UPDATE on Reginald Foster’s ‘Ossa Latinitatis Sola’ – Request for old Ludi Domestici

Ossa Latinitatis Sola


UPDATE 21 Oct:

A priest friend sent me a photo of his very own copy of Ossa, duly delivered.  Yes, folks, the books are shipping.



Some people are asking me for updates on the publication of the 1st volume of the Ossa Latinitatis Sola.

First, there is a website which has news about the volumes. HERE

Fr. Foster was quite ill for a while and the project stalled a bit. However, I believe is is going forward even though it is much delayed.  Not too long ago, I visited Fr. Foster and I actually saw galley sheets of the book.

Second, I’ve sent an email asking for an update.

Finally, there will eventually be volumes of Foster’s famous (infamous?) homework sheets or Ludi Domestici.  I still have lots of them squirreled away somewhere.  Having them bound in volumes will be invaluable.  As a matter of fact, on that web cited (above) there is a request to any and all for sheets from certain years and levels.  

Nota bene, all you former Reggie students.

For my original post about this go HERE.

Now available for pre-order in the UK HERE.  It has become more expensive over the last few months.


I heard back from the co-editor, Dom Daniel McCarthy, OSB.  He wrote:

The OSSA book may be available perhaps by August, but the publisher is not giving another publication date until he is sure.

Reggie and I saw the full text of the draft book completely formatted only last December, and we spent a month revising it together at his place. I was not able to stay longer, so I had to complete the job myself after returning to Rome in February to begin teaching. Thus, before holy week I submitted the draft with 6,100 + notations. They are currently working on our comments. There were so many notations that I requested they send the draft back to me for a second review, which I’ll do myself in Rome. Thereafter they will make the final changes and print the book. It may be available by August, but again the publisher is not giving any firm date.

Please let your readers know, so they can plan their curriculum.

So, the release is not imminent, but there is forward movement.

Consider yourselves updated.

And… if any of you alumni if The Experiences have your old ludi, you might check to see if you can fill in some blanks.  HERE

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Cool. Thanks.

  2. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    My longest stretch with Reggie was for an intensive summer in Milwaukee (6 or 7 days a week, 5 to 7 hours per day, for two months, without a.c.). I cannot look at the Ludi without pain. :)

  3. jeffc says:

    I’ve never met Fr. Reggie, but I’ve know Fr. Daniel McCarthy, OSB, for more than 30 years (I was a novice and monk in simple vows at St. Benedict’s Abbey at one time as well), and he frequently posts on Facebook about the OSSA text. I’m excited to see it myself! I am sure it will be a quality work!

  4. CPT TOM says:

    My copy, which I ordered from Amazon on July 14, 2015, arrived Monday. I must admit I had forgotten about it as it’s been so long. It is quite a substantial book. I look forward to diving into it!

  5. wmeyer says:

    I had pre-ordered on 15 July 2015, and it arrived on Sunday. My first observation was the enthusiasm in the foreword, which is novel in such a massive volume, in my experience. But as I began reading in the introduction, it quickly became apparent that this is a different creature to other texts I have attempted. I hope I am up to the challenge. It will certainly be interesting!

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    From the book’s prologue:

    “‘You could read this book on the beach!’ says Fr. Reginald when surveying the first drafts of this text dictated by him and edited by Daniel McCarthy. A novel of the inner workings and expression of the Latin language, this narrative account could teach Latin as if by reading a novel on the beach. . . .”

    The first half-dozen (of the book’s 105) “encounters” can indeed be read somewhat like a beach book. Though I doubt that one can really learn Latin, inside out as the book intends, by merely reading it like a beach book. As though there were a “royal road to Latin” that made it easy to master sans hard labor. Really hard labor.

    But to me, the most amazing suggestion in the snippet quoted above is that it was dictated. As amazing as would be that a complex mathematics text had been dictated, formulas and all (by anyone since Euler).

    Incidentally, McCarthy’s site linked above says “the publisher [Catholic University Press] has never printed a book with so many pre-orders before; the number is wildly beyond their expectation.” Latin coming to life again?

  7. jmb1977 says:

    Received my copy – fabulous!

  8. Jim in Seattle says:

    I have just received my copy. It is indeed a hefty tome. Just wondering… are the Ludi Domestici necessary for self study of the book? Does anyone know?

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I am dipping into Ossa slowly and in order. The nice part about the book so far is that the “Encounters” follow a more natural style of language acquisition than is usually taught in the US (particularly for classical languages!). Jargon is pushed out of the way, in favor of something easily internalized by the student. And yes – it really does start with the basic basics. If you are a total beginner, you can start right away with Experience 1, Encounter 1.

    It’s interesting, and I have already learned a few “basic” things that never were covered in my high school Latin class. Some of them I knew in a way, just from running across examples in my reading; but it was useful to have things said outright.

    I think Ossa will be very useful to Latin teachers and homeschooler parents, as a sort of “teacher’s manual.” But most of all it seems very useful for self-study, as a simultaneous student/teacher manual.

  10. Rob83 says:

    Just received. These may be the mere bones, but they look like they could punch the stuffing out of Wheelock.

  11. MouseTemplar says:

    Delighted to get my copy. When I came to the “Pactum Academicum” on page XXXV, I already started to like this Fr. Reginaldus. All of my previous teachers merely taught Latin as an orphan class they’d gotten stuck with that year and so had no great love for the subject. Father appears to intend to save Latin single-handedly and who can resist that kind of enthusiam ?!?

    Thank you for the heads up, Fr Z.

  12. MouseTemplar says:

    Forgot to mention: the book arrived as I was finishing the first volume of Robert Harris’s trilogy on the life of Cicero. Divine Providence!

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