I am interested in a list of books written in Latin which have not been translated to vernacular languages yet. Ideally we want to know "very famous" books. This is of course subjective, but a list from relatively famous authors is certainly a guide to select them. For instance, a book by Aristotle, or by Seneca, or Augustine, et cetera.

I think this is interesting because, at least from my personal viewpoint, one of the long-term goal of learning Latin is perhaps, one day, to contribute with a translation, specially from my own field (economics). Learning through on-the-go translation with an untranslated book would just make my learning way more appealing.

I am happy to make such post a community wiki, if that helps its "on-topicness".

PS: A proposal has been added to vote on this potential question here.

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    In addition to Joonas's answer, you might consider asking for untranslated works by a particular author... that would narrow the size of answers considerably. Apr 29, 2018 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


It is perfectly fine to ask whether a specific book has been translated yet. Also asking whether any book on a particular topic (such as economics) has been translated is on topic in my opinion. In the latter case the question should ask for examples, not an exhaustive list.

This question would be very interesting: "What are the most important Latin books that have not been translated to vernacular languages yet?" That is a broad resource request (not fully answerable by a single answer if at all) and should therefore be proposed in our meta list of most needed resource requests. Please post the suggestion there! (And vote on the other suggestions if you see something you like or dislike!) If it gains enough support (the threshold has been at the score of +5), you can go ahead and ask it.

The reason for this procedure is to prevent having too many broad questions. They can be useful, but we decided to only have a select few on topics that have enough interest. While I think that this question would be approved, I want to hold on to our principle of demanding preapproval for such questions. (Questions coming through that mechanism get community wiki status.)

If you want to ask now, I recommend asking something more specific as suggested in the first paragraph. Otherwise it is likely to be closed as too broad.

I originally understood the question the wrong way, thinking you wanted to translate a modern book into Latin. Below is the answer to the question you didn't ask...

I think asking "Has book X been translated to Latin?" is perfectly on topic. If it has, someone will provide some details. If it hasn't, the best answer you can hope is "I am not aware of such a translation.", and if a number of people agree (with votes and comments), then the translation is unlikely to exist.

I think it is also fine to ask whether a book on a specific topic or by a specific author has been translated. This seems to be close to your intention.

Judging what is "very famous" is hard. Off the top of my head, I cannot name a single book in economics, let alone judge whether a given book is famous. The question becomes easily unclear.

Asking for examples is fine. If you ask "Are there any Latin books on economics?", that sounds reasonable to me. But "What are all the books in economics ever translated to Latin?" does not. Even if there might only be a handful of such books, asking for a complete list is too broad. We have decided to allow some broad resource requests, and they should be suggested here. The idea as I understand it is to have only those broad resource requests that are of sufficiently broad interest among our users. In practice this has meant a score of +5 in the linked meta thread.

Keep the question sufficiently specific. It should be answerable to a non-expert in the field; finding a translation about economics should not require much knowledge about economics itself.

You have a big project in mind, but the solution does not have to come from a single question on our site. Start small. (Think globally, act locally?) One possible path is as follows: First ask whether there are any books on economics. If there seem to be several, ask a more specific follow-up question. Depending on your answers, do your homework (look into the material given in any answers) and ask more. You could even start by asking for examples of significant publishers that print modern scientific literature in Latin. The point is: Build your knowledge incrementally instead of asking for a big list.


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