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Epistolae Resources

Locations and links are keyed to Columbia University's library. AncMed refers to the Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room, 603 Butler Library, and ButlRef refers to Butler Reference, rooms 301 & 310 (adjoining). For more information, please contact Karen Green, Librarian for Ancient & Medieval History and Religion, at 212-854-3031or

Resource categories:

Collections of texts

Patrologiae cursus completus, Series latina (aka Patrologia Latina or PL):
AncMed BR60 .M54 1857g

Patrologia Latina database

The PL is one of the largest collections of late antique and medieval texts, although the editions are not always the best and it contains many typographical errors (scrupulously reproduced in the electronic version). Its 222 volumes contain texts from Tertullian (early 3rd century) through Innocent III (early 13th century).

Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina (aka CCSL)
AncMed BR60 .C49

Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis (aka CCCM)
AncMed BX850 .C67 1971g

Library of Latin Texts database, aka CLCLT (CETEDOC Library of Christian Latin Texts)

The CCSL and CCCM are combined in the database CLCLT, which also includes some other texts. CLCLT contains texts from the beginning of Latin literature (Livius Andronicus, 240 BC) through to the texts of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). It covers all the works from the classical period, the most important patristic works, a very extensive corpus of Medieval Latin literature as well as works of recentior latinitas including texts from the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The complete works of writers such as Cicero, Virgil, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Kempis can thus be consulted.

Acta sanctorum
AncMed BX4655 .A2 1965

Acta Sanctorum database

Sixty-eight volumes of saints’ lives, arranged chronologically by saints’ day. Many of these vitae are written by well-known authors. The best index for locating a saint’s biographer and the day on which the vita may be found is the Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina (Butler Reference, R274 AB4721)

Identifying authors and their works

Repertorium fontium historiae medii aevi
AncMed Z6203 .R43
ButlRef R016.94 R299

The essential source for identifying medieval authors’ works. The Repertorium fontium arranges medieval authors alphabetically, then for each lists the available manuscripts, editions, translations, and key bibliography. The original work is over 100 years old, and is in 2 volumes; a revised edition was begun in the 1970s and is up to volume 11, the letter "T". For recent information on authors whose names began with U-Z, patience is required.

Clavis patrum latinorum
AncMed Z7791 .D45 1995g

A key to locating texts by the Latin Church Fathers, from Tertullian to Bede.

Reference assistance

Identifier sources et citations (L’atelier du médiéviste, 1)
AncMed CB351 .I32 1994

An indispensable work that will point you to the exact collection or resource you need. Arranged by subject matter.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages
AncMed D114 .D5 1982
ButlRef Desk R940 D56
Milstein Study (209 Butler) D114 .D5 1982

A 13-volume encyclopedia, providing useful overviews and background and key bibliography.

Lexikon des Mittelalters
AncMed D101.5 .L49
ButlRef R903 L59

Lexikon des Mittelalters online (aka LexMA)

A comprehensive German-language encyclopedic dictionary that deals with all branches of Medieval Studies and covers the period from 300 to 1500 for the whole of Europe and parts of the Middle East and North Africa. The online version is indexed in English, and a link will search for bibliography in the IMB Online (see below, in “Locating bibliography”).

Latin dictionaries and other aids

A Latin Dictionary (aka Lewis & Short)
AncMed PA2365.E5 A7 1984
ButlRef Desk R Latin An112

The basic Latin dictionary, with citations from authors. This is the dictionary used by Perseus, and is more medieval-friendly than the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which is better for classicists.

Mediae Latinitatis lexicon minus (aka Niermeyer), 2nd revised edition
AncMed PA2890 .N54 2002 ButlRef Desk PA2890 .N54 2002

The basic supplementary Latin dictionary, providing medieval connotations of earlier words as well as medieval neologisms.

Orbis Latinus
AncMed G107 .G8 1972

Orbis Latinus Online

The Orbis Latinus gives the vernacular equivalent to Latin placenames. The online edition draws on the 2nd edition of 1909, which is slim and quite outdated. The AncMed copy is the 3rd edition from the 1970s; it is in three volumes and is comprehensive.

Database of Latin Dictionaries

A work-in-progress, incorporating a number of renowned Latin dictionaries. Currently includes four different dictionaries (choose “advanced search” to display all available titles), the most famous of which is Du Cange’s Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis (ed. 1883-1887), as well as Forcellini’s Lexicon totius Latinitatis (1771- ).

Medieval Latin : an introduction and bibliographical guide, F.A.C. Mantello and A.G. Rigg
AncMed PA2802 .M43 1996

An exhaustive guide to medieval Latin resources, including sections on Latin philology and typologies of the language and its literature.

Le latin médiéval (L’atelier du médiéviste, 10), P. Bourgain
AncMed PA2825 .B687 2005g

A history of Latin, with typologies of the language and an annotated anthology of exemplars.

Locating bibliography

In addition to the resources that include bibliography, such as the encyclopedic works mentioned above, here are some bibliographical databases you may find useful.

International Medieval Bibliography Online (aka IMB Online)

The IMB contains bibliography from 1967 through September 2006 (as of the January 2007 upload). It indexes articles, notes, and similar literature on medieval subjects in journals, Festschriften, conference proceedings, and collected essays, covering all aspects of medieval studies within the date range of 400 to 1500 for the entire continent of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (for the period before the Muslim conquest and parts of those areas subsequently controlled by Christian powers). The IMB was originally an annual print bibliography, and early editions are still in the Reference Room, but the library ceased its subscription once the online edition was available.

Medioevo Latino
ButlRef R016. 9401 M4

Medioevo Latino indexes articles on European culture from the 6th through the 13th century. There is a CD-ROM version that is updated every two years, which makes the print version more current than the electronic version. The CD-ROM is also extremely counter-intuitive to use and often gives unreliable results. The CD-ROM is not recommended!

Iter: gateway to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

A bibliographical tool for articles on all subjects during the years 400-1700. There is some overlap with the IMB Online.

L’année philologique (aka APh)

The APh indexes periodical articles as well as articles in collections and conference papers in classics and classical studies. It covers Greek and Latin linguistics and literature and Greek and Roman archaeology, history, mythology, religion, epigraphy, numismatics and palaeography: all aspects of the ancient Mediterranean world including the ancient tradition in the modern period. As of the most recent 2006 update, it included materials indexed in volumes from 1949 through 2004, which is the most recent print volume as well. For materials from 1924-1948, please consult the print version in ButlRef R016.88 M341.

The Latin Bible

Biblia sacra : iuxta Vulgatam versionem
AncMed BS75 1975
ButlRef R220.47 F75

Various editions of St. Jerome's new Latin translation are available in Butler Stacks

Electronic version available in the Library of Latin Texts (CLCLT)

Vetus Latina
AncMed BS 73 1949

A multi-volume edition of the pre-Vulgate version of the Latin bible.

No electronic versions are currently available (the Vetus Latina database does not contain the actual text; it is an index to all Greek and Latin patristic citations or allusions to the pre-Vulgate editions of the Bible, collected by the Vetus Latina Institut in Beuron, Germany).


Genealogy of women in Epistolæ (PDF)
Note: To view this chart, download it and open it in a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat (Windows and Macs) or Preview (Macs only). Adjust the zoom setting to 100%, and scroll to view relationships.