Et Cetera

An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases

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Pub Date Aug 27 2024 | Archive Date Aug 27 2024

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A gorgeously illustrated guide to memorable Latin phrases, including famous quotations on love, death, nature, politics, and more.

Latin may be a “dead” language, but it’s all around us—in science, philosophy, religion, and literature. From “carpe diem” to the more obscure “alea iacta est,” classicist Maia Lee-Chin examines the deeper meanings of many Latin phrases still in use—as well as those lost to the ages.

Illustrated in artist Marta Bertello's haunting style, this unique compendium illuminates ancient Roman history and culture like never before.
A gorgeously illustrated guide to memorable Latin phrases, including famous quotations on love, death, nature, politics, and more.

Latin may be a “dead” language, but it’s all around us—in science...

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ISBN 9781524886349
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Average rating from 41 members

Featured Reviews

I was disappointed that there not very many phrases I was familiar with, but that didn't make this book less enjoyable. I always try to talk people into taking Latin early in their language studies, because it gives such a great background on language parts, like declensions and conjugations.
But honestly, Latin is just fun. When you study Latin, you get involved in war and love and civilization and architecture. It's so rich, and this book gives great examples of that. And the illustrations are fantastic -- it felt right to use this kind of artwork to illustrate a book about a language that isn't spoken anymore.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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Evenings decoding Latin phrases from Et Cetera: An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases , determining which of the fifty offerings considered by the author and illustrator have popped up most in my life, are favorites and are new-to-me counted as time well-spent and thoroughly enjoyed!

At a certain point in life, with languages as my major, Latin courses were taken and brought the echoes of ages past to my ears and thoughts. . .sometimes awkwardly with a weird new mouthfeel, but often ringing loud with an ancient truth that felt very familiar. Those days came back to me while reading this book with its phrases well-polished by sages, politicians, and celebrities of whole eras risen, spent and rolled into the next. Amazing that we are still, in this current era using them yet; our descendants will carry the baton forward, and may have copies of this little book in their libraries of ancient times. . . .

The author provides a past accessible through her knowledge and explanations of who, what, where and why on each of the fifty phrases she presents; the illustrator takes the whole of that, and in stark black, white and a splash of red accentuates The Point deftly - holding out hope for a reader properly decoding her message. It was puzzley, codey, and entertaining to take time with this arty book.

?My favorites?
Fortes Fortuna Iuvat (Fortune favors the brave) The irony was that this was said at the front of a mission that failed. . .it was in the retelling of that failure happened that the bravery was memorialized.

Memento Mori (Remember you Will die) Each day is a gift and is not to be wasted, nor discounted.

Auribus Teneo Lupum (I am holding a wolf by the ears) You have a big, not easy to resolve problem!

Sutor, Ne Supra Crepidam (Shoemaker, not beyond the shoe) Karl Marx made this one famous by arguing against it. . . .

Also to note, this is something I'm making sure my grandkids see. . .to trigger their Latin interest early. It can be read in sections and bits, to spread the ponderables out for whoever is lucky enough to find a copy in their hands or at their coffee table.

*A sincere thank you to Maia Lee-Chin, Marta Bertello, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and NetGalley for an ARC to read and independently review.* #EtCetera #NetGalley

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As someone with at least a passing interest in and knowledge of the classics, I very much enjoyed this. While my existing knowledge lays more in the Greek tradition than the Roman, she does a fantastic job of making Latin, both accessible, and possibly surprising the reader with instances they may already know. Structurally, this is not a phrase book dictionary. The sayings are grouped by subject, allowing for brief cultural lessons facilitated by a number of phrases relating thematically to one another. By mixing in known and still used Latin phrases with more obscure ones, the information feels relevant rather than remote, and Latin very much does not feel like a dead language.

It also includes beautiful tri-tone illustrations encapsulating each phrase.

I will say that it might have been interesting to see more examples still in use today, but maybe that’s a project for another book.

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Et Cetera: An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases is a delightfully fascinating, 5 star read!

Well paced and flowing seamlessly through each section, Maia Lee-Chin explores fifty enduring Latin Phrases, delving into not only their meaning, but also their origin. Covering topics including love, mythology, power, and philosophy, this collection introduces the reader to a range of individuals, from salves all the way up to Rome's elite. While many phrases may initially be unfamiliar, there are also those that remain in use even today, and together they give a glimpse into the lives and minds of individuals long past.

Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the book's beautiful artwork, from it's cover to the images weaved throughout. Paired with each entry are Marta Bertello's gorgeous illustrations, carefully accented with notes of red, these drawings serve to give additional depth and detail to the phrases they represent.

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Amazing collection of Latin phrases or expressions with deeper explanation and their origins. Accompanied by absolutely gorgeous illustrations which bring out beautiful Roman art style.
Since I was a kid I loved these kind of books, that give us a dive into history and explain common uses of certain things.
This was quite beautiful and educational.

Thank you to:
The author Maia Lee-Chin,
Illustrator Marta Bertello,
Publisher and NetGalley!

#EtCetera #NetGalley

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This is a fantastic read! I got through this so quickly - it was hard to put down. The illustrations are simple, yet wonderfully complex and appropriate. The color scheme is classy, and the writing is incredibly clear and uncomplicated. This would make for an interesting conversation starter or an elegant coffee table book to flip through with guests.

I’ve learned quite a bit reading this despite the very brief explanations for each phrase. The author gives you just enough to keep you interested, but not enough to make you anywhere close to an expert. It’s perfect for the average reader interested in learning about some common (and not so common) phrases.

Great work!

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Latin like you’ve never seen it explored before!

Let’s face it, most of us aren’t going to study the whole Latin language, but we will certainly be using many of the language’s phrases! After reading this, not only do I have a newfound appreciation for common sayings I use in my everyday, I’m now aware of others I hadn’t.

This is the perfect book for casual readers, Latin lovers, and everyone in between!

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ET CETERA: An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases by Maia Lee-Chin and Marta Bertello offers more than its slight size and subtitle would imply. As a former Latin teacher, I’ve read and compiled many such lists of Latin phrases, for various purposes, ranging from grammar illlustrations to proof of Latin’s contemporary relevance to examples of the quirky Roman mind.

The authors go far beyond, offering substantive analyses in many categories, literature, social relations, mythology, warfare, culture. Sometimes it seems they look for a phrase as a way of broaching a topic, rather than the other way around. A hysteron proteron, cart leading the horse, so to speak. The commentary offered, amounting to a synthesized global look at a fascinating period of time, justifies these editorial leaps.

The book contains a valuable index, an adequate bibliography, and galvanizing art work by Bertello. There is a timeline graphic for the authors. I would prefer that information to have been included in the individual entries, as another heading.

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Et Cetera; An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases by Maia Lee-Chin is an informative and concise book that serves as both an engaging reference volume and a stunning coffee table book. The artwork within this book is stunning, really detailed and evokes what the Latin phrases and the descriptions are stating, it was my favourite part of the book.

The book looked at different types of phrases thematically and each one tacked addressed its meaning (in a literal sense, what it translates to) who it is attracted to (if possible or known) and its time of origin. After that, it looks at the overall deeper meaning of the phrase, delving into historical context too. It was written in an easy to understand manner, straight to the point and not dull. This is not a long volume that drones on and as such it was a quick read. It is very evidently well researched, as evident by its extensive bibliography. The passion of the author and illustrator alike jump off the pages of this volume.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher Andrew McMeel Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. It was engaging and captivating and will make a great addition to the bookshelves and/or coffee tables of historians and linguists alike.

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What a cute quick read. Perfect for language lovers and Greek or Roman mythology readers alike!

Paired with beautiful illustrations, this book has all the Latin phrases we hear in academia, or have seen on tattoos out in the wild. I loved learning the history behind them all. I can’t wait to place this book on my coffee table.

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for this ARC.

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An absolutely gorgeous and immersive book, that made me want to continue my investigations in ancient classics. And the illustrations! Marta Bertello's work is so evocative and beautiful and also disturbing in some cases - each piece accompanied each saying/phrase perfectly. I loved reading this, and found everything fascinating to learn about. Maia Lee-Chin writes in a somewhat sparse way that communicates meaning so effectively and you can really feel her love for classic literature.

Just a joyful reading experience. I think I'd like to own a copy of this, as it feels like something to turn back to time and again.

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This book was so much more than I initially assumed it’d be!
I love the bit of backstory the author gave; I have heard Latin very scarcely in my life, normally in media rather than real life.
I enjoyed the stories about the quotes and where they originated/what made them popular and who said it. There’s always Latin phrases quoted over and over, but they aren’t usually credited.
The illustrations were very good as well, I loved having each one along with the quotes!
As a romantic, my favorite was definitely “Omnia Vincit Amor”/Love Conquers All!

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An attractive, nicely laid-out book that encourages idle flipping through pages even by those who believe themselves not interested in Latin. Surprise, surprise: they will likely discover they're more interested than they had thought.

The phrases are divided into five themes: Literature; Love, Friendship, and Family; Mythology; Military and Power; Culture and Philosophy. For each phrase, the author provides a literary translation, the attribution, the origin, and a full-page explanation/analysis of the phrase's meaning, source, and applicability today. Each phrase is also accompanied on the facing page by a large illustration done in pencil line and graphic color blocking. These illustrations are very well-done, and capture the powerful emotions that thread through so many of the phrases featured in this book.

I found many new phrases in this book. Here are a few I particularly enjoyed:
"Is venerem e rapido sentiet esse mari" - from Tibullus, "She is like Venus, born from blood and an angry sea."
"Aut viam inventam aut faciam" - from Hannibal Barca, "Either I'll find a way, or I'll make one."

Not all of the phrases are new to readers. Many will ring a bell, which no surprise, given that our language is in large part descended from Latin. The die has been cast, soul sister, one hand washes the other, swan song: It's fascinating how many of these phrases remain in common speech today, although as the author notes, many have been softened in meaning from their original, stronger, implications.

This book would be a great addition to the library of anyone who enjoys languages, history, or learning fascinating random facts. It could also be a great gift for that hard-to-please friend who's always picking up a new hobby, because reading it leaves you feeling like you could spit out fun Latin facts at the next cocktail party you attend.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this eARC for unbiased review. This review will be cross-posted to my social media accounts closer to the book release date.

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This book is stunning, really beautiful and imaginative. It offers wonderful glimpses into both the language of Latin and the world of Ancient Rome. Touching in places and humorous in others I highly recommend this to any classicist or history lover.

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Maia Lee-Chin's Et Cetera is the book to read if you are still waiting for your time machine. I've personally always viewed language as the perfect way to understand people and their culture on a foundational level, and Et Cetera has strengthened this belief in me.

If you are reading this book expecting to visit the Rome of Julius Caesar and Augustus, you'd be right, but not entirely. True, Et Cetera will show you the words that describe the Rome of the elites, but it will also introduce you to foreign monarchs, female poets, and slaves whose names were lost to time and oppression, and much more. Et Cetera will show you Rome from the bottom to the top and even beyond.

If you don't speak Latin and therefore are hesitant to give this book a chance, I assure you that despite not knowing a single Latin word (except for the ones still in use, of course), I was still able to understand everything. You also really don't want to miss out on Marta Bertello's fantastic illustrations. They're so beautiful, I want
them on my wall.

Et Cetera is a wonderful book for both history nerds and those who wish to learn something new about Latin and the culture and people who gave it to us. It is an incredible debut by Maia Lee-Chin and a book that I'm sure I'll revisit multiple times in the future, even if just to read one page each day.

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I really enjoyed reading this, it had everything that I wanted from a Latin book. I enjoyed the art style and how everything worked in this universe. Maia Lee-Chin does a great job in writing this and making me invested in what was going on.

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A fun and very well-curated selection of Latin phrases and their origins, allowing curious readers to take a toe-dip into a notoriously difficult to parse yet fascinating language.

I suppose I should start with a warning that this book is not going to teach you Latin. This is primarily meant to explain the story behind those Latin phrases that have survived and become part of the modern lexicon, not to explain how to read or write the language.

The selected phrases range from those that almost everyone is at least cursorily familiar with, such as Carpe Diem, to those which are well known only amongst classicists. In short, as long as you’re curious about the language and about the culture that gave it to us, there something here for everyone, whether you’re just trying to learn the stuff that shows up in crosswords or seeking something a bit more obscure and complex.

The illustrations are lovely, if a bit one-note, though I think the idea behind the pairings is a good one.

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As a child Latin scholar this book is SO fun and interesting. The bite sized Latin phrase analysis taught me a lot and resurrected my love of classic knowledge.

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Et Cetera: An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases provides a wonderful look at a range of Latin phrases, from those in common parlance to sentences plucked from elsewhere in the classical canon. I was expecting a more linguistic approach rather than historical., however this is made up for by the effort that has been put into this history. This can also come with the side effect of some entries being a little more dense, however this is balanced by the others of greater brevity. The approach in ordering the phrases as a 'continual narrative' rather than alphabetically servies the book well, as each section creates a cohesive summary of a particular aspect of classical life.

The illustrations by Marta Bertello are beautiful, and enhance the experience of each entry. Of particular poignance is the use of colour, with the red accents to the pictures meshing well with the book's format.

It would have been nice to hear more about the phrases themselves rather than the original authors in some cases, however overall the book in an engaging read, well-matched by the illustration style, and I would highly recommend this for readers who are both already familliar with and readers who are new to the classics. Full rating: 4.25 stars.

I would also note that contrary to the Goodreads description, the entries do not include a pronunciation guide.

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I really liked this book. It was entertaining and informative. I flew through it rather quickly and liked the way each was presented with a relevant story. I only wish it had been longer. Definitely a must for anyone interested in Latin or if you want to understand the origins of Latin phrases. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 4.5 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the arc.

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