Daniel Pettersson

Daniel Pet­ters­son is a teacher, author, speak­er, and co-founder of Latini­tium. He is cur­rent­ly research­ing 16th-cen­tu­ry lan­guage ped­a­gogy and has taught Latin at Stock­holm Uni­ver­si­ty, Swe­den. He speaks Latin daily.

Daniel Pettersson giving a talk


I HAD BEEN study­ing Latin for two years at uni­ver­si­ty when I real­ized that I was not real­ly read­ing Latin, I was strug­gling to trans­late and decode it. I was not under­stand­ing the Latin as Latin.

(This would change)

I was unsure if I should con­tin­ue. So I decid­ed I had to try some­thing else–anything else. I spent months order­ing books and try­ing every pos­si­ble method I could find, rang­ing from 16th-cen­tu­ry meth­ods to mod­ern ones. Using a wide com­bi­na­tion of exer­cis­es and books I devel­oped a strat­e­gy for myself to teach myself to learn to read and under­stand Latin as Latin–without trans­lat­ing or decod­ing it.

I learned how to read, write, and speak Latin, and it was a pleasure.

I got my Mas­ter’s degree and lat­er was accept­ed to do a doc­tor­ate in Latin. In 2016, I was teach­ing at a Latin sum­mer course in the US, and stu­dents and col­leagues sug­gest­ed I cre­at­ed a web­site to share my expe­ri­ence with learn­ing Latin dif­fer­ent­ly. I hes­i­tat­ed for a long time. Then in the late sum­mer of 2016, togeth­er with my girl­friend Amelie Rosen­gren, I start­ed plan­ning the site.

In Octo­ber of 2016, we launched it. It’s been an excit­ing jour­ney! Every month 15’000–20’000 peo­ple vis­it Latinitium.

Hav­ing taught Latin in schools both in the US and Europe, in 2018, I gave the first-ever spo­ken Latin course at a Swedish uni­ver­si­ty. That’s a sign that the inter­est in Latin is far from dead–it was just resting.

I have always been pas­sion­ate about old lan­guages and lan­guage learn­ing from a young age! I remem­ber with fond­ness when I was 13 and got very inter­est­ed in ear­li­er forms of Eng­lish and lat­er Latin, which has been a con­stant obses­sion and pas­sion. I love learn­ing new things, the last few years I’ve learned French, and am work­ing on German—and also on my singing.


Research interests

Lan­guage learn­ing and teach­ing in the 16th cen­tu­ry, with a pri­ma­ry focus on the activ­i­ties and exer­cis­es, used to teach and learn Latin. Anoth­er key area of research inter­est is trav­el diaries in Latin writ­ten between 1500 and 1700.


Aca­d­e­m­ic posi­tions, speak­ing engage­ments, teach­ing, and vol­un­teer work. 

Recent adventures

University course in Spoken Latin

Stock­holm Uni­ver­si­ty, Sweden

Dur­ing the sum­mer of 2018, I planned and taught the first-ever uni­ver­si­ty course in spo­ken Latin in Swe­den. I was hon­ored that the fac­ul­ty want­ed to adopt such a new method. It was a success!

Dictys Cretensis

Uni­ver­si­ty of Valencia

In Sep­tem­ber 2019, Daniel Pet­ters­son gave a talk at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Valen­cia in sun­ny Spain. The sub­ject of the talk was the strange 4th-cen­tu­ry work on the Tro­jan war, sup­pos­ed­ly writ­ten by “eye­wit­ness” and author Dic­tys Creten­sis. He also taught a class in Latin on Petronius.

Olaus Magnus

Paideia Insti­tute, New York

In 2017, Daniel brought the Swedish human­ist author Olaus Mag­nus across the ocean to the inter­na­tion­al Liv­ing Latin Con­fer­ence in New York. Dur­ing the talk, I pre­sent­ed his life and pecu­liar work His­to­ria de septen­tri­on­al­ibus gen­tibus.