Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Cicero’s Letters

Latin Fifth Experience = Readings in Latin: Cicero’s letters

Summer School

In Person only: 14 – 26 August 2023, weekdays

Reading Cicero’s Letters offers a patient, detailed reading of letters that Cicero wrote to friends, fellow leaders and family members. Unlike his orations, Cicero’s letters have a spontaneous, flowing style. Yet they provide an ideal encounter with the language in its full and natural glory.

Participants should have enough Latin before joining the course that they are familiar with all of the forms and normal uses of the subjunctive. The content of the Intermediate Latin (Third Experience) course would be an good prerequisite. We will ideally read between 12 and 20 letters over the two weeks together. But we will adapt the program to each participant’s interests and needs, going as quickly or slowly as people prefer.

A patient and detailed reading of selected letters Cicero wrote to family and friends leads students to appreciate the almost spontaneous thought of Cicero as he jotted down these letters, which in ordinary letters provide a synthetic review of the entire language as it was naturally written. We strive for a clear understanding of the multiple and even exceptional usages of the subjunctive in their natural occurances in this literature, as well as the use of indirect discourse, gerunds and gerundives along with the natural meaning of participles.

A familiarity with all the forms of the subjunctive and many of its normal uses is expected of participants in this course.

cover of Ossium Carnes Multae = The Bones Meats AbundantThe tutor will use the book on the Letters of Cicero by Reginald Foster and Daniel McCarthy: Ossium Carnes MultaeThe Bones’ Meats Abundant. Participants may benefit from their own copy.

In Person course: 14 – 26 August 2023, weekdays
Hours: 1 hour & 45 minutes with a break
Time set to align with Advanced /Proficient course.
Not for credit – no exams.
Cost: £195 (discount available if paying for Adanced / Proficient Latin course)

This reading course is intended to be taken concurrently with LA711 Advanced Latin or L711 Proficient Latin for Liturgists (anc Canonists), which presents the teaching of the Latin expressions found in Cicero’s Letters.

Participants should have a well-developed grip on Latin, including the subjunctive. The Intermediate Latin (LA611 Intermediate Latin) course would be a good prerequisite.

Enrol. To enrol or enquire please contact Clare Cogswell at at this linked email address or by using the contact information at the bottom of this page.


♦ LEWIS, C.T. – C. SHORT, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford UP, Oxford – New York 1879, or any later reprint.

♦ FOSTER, R.T., – D.P. MCCARTHY,  Ossa Latinitatis Sola ad mentem Reginaldi rationemqueThe Mere Bones of Latin according to the thought and system of Reginald, (Latinitatis Corpus 1), Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC 2016. Available in print and digital form from the publisher; and in print form from or from

cover image The Mere Bones of Latin♦ FOSTER, R.T., – D.P. MCCARTHY, Ossium carnes multae ex M. T. Ciceronis epistulisThe Bones Meats Abundant from the Letters of M. T. Cicero, (Latinitatis Corpus 2), Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC 2021. Available in print or digital form from the publisher; available in print form from or from

♦ GILDERSLEEVE, B.L, – G. LODGE, Gildersleeve’s Latin Grammar, Bolchazy-Carducci, Wauconda IL 2003, reprint of 31895 (GL).

Recommended material:

♦ FOSTER, R.T. – D.P. MCCARTHY, “Collectarum latinitas”, Appreciating the Collect: An Irenic Methodology (DREI, AL : LA 1), ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy, St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, England 2008.Foster, R.T. – D.P. McCarthy, “Collectarum latinitas”, 27-56. Available from the publisher.

Canon Law Students at KU Leuven may take these summer courses or study Latin online throughout the academic term to prepare for two proficiency exams at KU Leuven.


Clare Cogswell, Registrar
Benedictine Institute
74 Castlebar Road, Ealing, London W5 2DD, UK

enquiries: +44 (0)20 8194 2320
E-mail Clare, the Registrar at this linked E-mail address.
Location on Google Maps is found here.


Travel – Accommodation:

Limited accommodation is available in Ealing Abbey house for guests for students enrolled for both weeks.

© D. McCarthy, updated 22 December 2022 by DMcC.