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Bill Thayer

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de Die Natali​a

The Text on LacusCurtius

The Latin text is that of the critical edition by Ivan Cholodniak, published by the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, 1889.

I have not yet so much as looked at any English translations, let alone put any online; but William Maude's 1900 translation — mind you Maude curiously omits the first 11 chapters — is online at Elfinspell.

The French translation I selected is that of J. Mangeart (published by C. L. F. Panckoucke, Paris, 1843), which seems to me remarkably faithful and clear. It should be noted that the Latin text on which his translation is based, and which faces it in his edition, is not absolutely identical with Cholodniak's.

As almost always, I retyped the text rather than scanning it: not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

At any rate, the Latin text and the French translation have both been thoroughly proofread, and I believe them to be errorfree (but if there are errors, please do report them).

Background Material

Additional material on Censorinus may appear here in the fullness of time, but as usual I'm not about to let that delay anything: I'm getting the texts online first. (We know very little about our author, anyway; you may want to look at Mangeart's introduction Lien à une page en français which pretty much collects it all.)

Chapter and Section Numbering

I followed Cholodniak's divisions and numbering of the Latin text, and the Panckoucke edition for the French. They differ only very slightly.

In the translations, section numbers also serve as links to the Latin text of that section, which open in another window. The sections of the Latin text are in turn linked back to the other languages.

I've inserted chapter headings in the Latin text; I took them from the French edition, which unfortunately is silent as to their source. If Censorinus is like almost every other Latin author, though, these headings are not his, and are probably mediaeval.


Cholodniak provides a comprehensive apparatus criticus. His brief preface, dealing essentially with the manuscript collation and apparatus, is here; that is where you will find his list of sigla.

So few people online read texts seriously, however, that I've pushed the apparatus very low on the stack of things to do.


a De die natali is the correct Latin title of the work; but poor knowledge of Latin has become widespread enough as to require pointing it out: the work is increasingly cited as De die *natale, a title actually borne by at least one recent printed edition: a barbarism, and wrong.

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Site updated: 10 Jan 12