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Neo-Latin Texts Written Outside of Europe: A Resource Guide

Sometimes called new Latin, neo-Latin refers to Latin texts written between 1400 and 1900 on all disciplines. This guide provides lists of materials held by the Library of Congress as well as external resources on this topic.


As a consequence of the prestige Latin enjoyed in the early modern period coupled with the advent of European exploration, the Latin language has been spread across the globe. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Latin texts have been composed across East Asia, British North America, and Spanish America. These texts range from writings by authors native to the above-named areas or European colonists. Moreover, beginning in the middle of the sixteenth century and lasting until the end of the eighteenth century, there was an increase in Catholic fervor, referred to as the Counter Reformation, which was a direct response to the concurrent Protestant Reformation. The inception of the Jesuit order was subsumed under the Counter Reformation and played a large role in the dissemination of Latin around the globe as well. A significant number of Latin texts from Asia and Spanish and French America are a direct result of Jesuit missionary activity in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries.

Latin is broken down into three general classifications. The Latin which survives from the Roman Republic and Empire is referred to as classical Latin; the Latin from the Middle Ages is, as one would expect, known as medieval Latin; and the Latin from the Renaissance to the present day is called Neo-Latin. This guide then, presents an overview of Neo-Latin materials written outside of Europe during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. It is not an exhaustive list, but contains some of the key items from the Library's holdings in this subject. Books, special collections, journals, and websites are mentioned in this guide, along with search strategies which will yield the greatest number of relevant results when searching for Neo-Latin items in the Library's collections.

Latin Documents from Presidential Papers