Pugio Bruti

Imag­ine read­ing a thrilling sto­ry in Latin and under­stand­ing it.

Get the book

Read A thrilling story

Pugio Bru­ti — A Crime Sto­ry in Easy Latin revolves around Ter­en­tia, whose father dies and leaves her with a dag­ger. The dag­ger holds a secret which drags the young woman out into the streets of Rome, fight­ing for the lega­cy of her father and for her own future.

Paperback & Ebook

Inter­nal­ize the lan­guage: few words and high repetition.

Writ­ten in a clas­si­cal style.

Read with­out a dictionary:Full Latin-Eng­lish vocabulary.


Prac­tice instant understanding.

Learn the restored clas­si­cal pronunciation.

Lis­ten to Latin any­where and every­where on the go.

Online course

Dis­cov­er the book with video lessons in Latin.

Prac­tice your under­stand­ing with quizzes.

Mas­ter the book with dialogues.

more than a book

  • Under­stand with­out trans­lat­ing: A com­pelling sto­ry in Latin.
  • Inter­nal­ize the lan­guage: Small vocab­u­lary with high repetition.
  • Get used to the style of ancient authors: a Clas­si­cal style.
  • Read with­out a dic­tio­nary: Full Latin-Eng­lish vocabulary.
  • Immer­sive resources: Audio­book, E‑book, video course, dialogues.

“Optime! As usu­al Daniel Pet­ters­son has done an excel­lent work! High­ly, high­ly rec­om­mend­ed along with the hard copy itself, all avail­able at Latinitium.com.”

Michael McMa­hon

“I have been look­ing for a Latin audio­book to improve my Latin speak­ing and lis­ten­ing. This book is excel­lent along­side the e‑book to read along and aid under­stand­ing, or to lis­ten to alone for an extra com­pre­hen­sion chal­lenge. I wish there were more Latin audio­books avail­able — make more please!”

Rachel Plum­mer

Pugio Bruti

Preview book

If you want to get an idea of the lev­el and style of the Latin, click below to dive right in to Pugio Bru­ti – A Crime Sto­ry in Easy Latin.

Preview image of Pugio Bruti — A Crime Story in Easy Latin

Understand it

“What can I read in Latin?” This is a com­mon ques­tion. A cru­cial com­po­nent of learn­ing Latin is to read a lot of lev­el appro­pri­ate, com­pelling texts. For Latin stu­dents and teach­ers such books can be hard to come by. Luck­i­ly, now we have Pugio Bru­ti!

This Latin novel­la is an enjoy­able page-turn­er while also study com­pan­ion to the learn­er and teacher.

The unique word count is less than 350 words, giv­ing you easy Latin with­out com­pro­mis­ing the excit­ing sto­ry. It is writ­ten as true to clas­si­cal Latin as pos­si­ble, while still being an acces­si­ble book to learn­ers of Latin.

Pure clas­si­cal Latin, opti­mal rate. Best pro­nun­ci­a­tion I have ever heard. Record­ing of good qual­i­ty.

—Richard Nagy

Listen to Pugio Bruti

If you want twice as much fun—and twice as much Latin!—there is also a stu­dio record­ing of the novel­la avail­able, with a run­time of 102 minutes.

With the audio­book, you can prac­tice your lis­ten­ing com­pre­hen­sion, read along, or lis­ten for the pure enjoy­ment of lis­ten­ing to a good sto­ry in Latin.


Preview chapter

Click on the play­er below to pre­view the first chap­ter from the audio­book of Pugio Bru­ti – A Crime Sto­ry in Easy Latin.

Unique words



  • Easy Clas­si­cal Latin.
  • Gram­mar is not sheltered
  • Macrons on long vowels.
  • Full Latin-Eng­lish vocabulary.
  • Styl­is­tic fea­tures, phrase­ol­o­gy and dia­logue pat­terns from Plau­tus, Ter­en­tius and Petronius.
  • 20 orig­i­nal illustrations.
  • “East­er-egg” ref­er­ences to clas­si­cal lit­er­a­ture, such as famous phrases.
  • His­tor­i­cal­ly authen­tic context.
  • Com­pelling, excit­ing story.
  • Less than 350 unique word count.

“I also bought the online course. Both are worth every cent if one wants to learn Latin as a liv­ing language.”

—Petra Axolotl

Take the video course

So that you can get as much Latin as pos­si­ble from Pugio Bru­ti, a course to accom­pa­ny the book is avail­able online.

  • Video lessons in Latin
  • Detailed gram­mat­i­cal commentary
  • Quizzes and exercises

Pugio Bruti

Course overview



  • 29 video class­room lessons where Daniel Pet­ters­son teach­es each chap­ter in Latin.
  • 10 Video sum­maries in Latin
  • Extra read­ing mate­r­i­al: 10 New dia­logues to enrich the story.
  • Read­ing and lis­ten­ing com­pre­hen­sion quizzes in Latin
  • Record­ings and trans­la­tions of pas­sages from
  • Roman authors on top­ics con­nect­ed to Pugio Bru­ti.
  • Cross­word puzzles


  • Detailed com­men­taries in Eng­lish for every chap­ter explain­ing lex­i­cal, mor­pho­log­i­cal and syn­tac­ti­cal aspects.
  • His­to­ry lessons to deep­en the under­stand­ing of the his­tor­i­cal con­text of Pugio Bruti.
  • Study tips
  • Full Latin-Eng­lish Glos­sary of every word form in the book
  • Sup­ple­men­tal teacher materials

Meet the characters


This is Ter­en­tia. She is a young Roman woman who has just lost her father. He left her some­thing on his deathbed though, some­thing that drags her out on a search through the streets of Augus­tan Rome.


This is Quin­tus Clodius Crescens. Clodius, for he goes by that name, is very good at find­ing things. Or rather; he is good at find­ing oth­er people’s things, not his own. A word to the wise though — he likes wine, lots of it.


This is Ursu­la. She is a slave in the house­hold of Quin­tus Clodius Crescens. Actu­al­ly, she is the slave of his house­hold, the only slave. She’s a small, very brusque woman, but she has a warm heart (some­thing she would nev­er admit).


This is Oeneus. He’s the inn-keep­er of the inn called “Asi­na” in rome. It is not a very fine estab­lish­ment, but he’s got plen­ty of cus­tomers. Late­ly, it seems to him, that many of them seem to be look­ing for some­thing. Lucky for him, some of them are will­ing to pay for information.

Free extra resources

When you read or lis­ten to Pugio Bru­ti there is a wealth of addi­tion­al resources in the video course such as videos in Latin, dia­logues, and exercises.

There are also many free resources you can use, such as glos­saries of Latin idioms and wordforms. 

Pugio bruti in the Classroom

Pugio Bru­ti is used by many schools both as a text­book, and as addi­tion­al reading.

If you wish to use it with your class, or your school, please do! It is writ­ten with that pur­pose in mind. The Online Course will also min­i­mize prepa­ra­tion time for teach­ing using Pugio Bru­ti.

For school dis­counts (over 10 copies) con­tact us at [email protected].

“Multō post Ter­en­tia sonitū excitā­ta est; ad hunc soni­tum oculōs ape­ruit. Cir­cum­spex­it. In con­clāvī obscūrō et tac­itō erat. Nihil in tan­tīs tene­brīs vidēre poter­at. Nōn placē­bat; sciē­bat enim Rōmam perīculōsam esse. Sīc pater dīx­er­at. 

Nōn sōlem, nōn viam hominum plē­nam, tene­brās sōlās ante sē iam vidē­bat. Nōn placēbat.”

Pugio Bru­ti, p. 24


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the book?

Pugio Bru­ti is avail­able in our store

Is there an English translation for Pugio Bruti?

No, but in the book there is a full glos­sary list, and on the resource page there is a word­form glos­sary, which can be used to look up any form in the book and get an approx­i­mate trans­la­tion in Eng­lish. If you have the Pugio Bru­ti online course, there are also exten­sive notes on gram­mar and usage for each chap­ter. This will great­ly help with under­stand­ing both the text itself, and the par­tic­u­lar­i­ties of style and grammar.

Can I get the book from Amazon?

Not at the moment. You can get Pugio Bru­ti from our store.

Is there an audiobook version of Pugio Bruti?

Yes! There is a pro­fes­sion­al stu­dio record­ing of the entire Latin text of Pugio Bru­ti. It’s avail­able as a dig­i­tal down­load here.

Is Pugio Bruti suitable for autodidacts wanting to improve their Latin?

Yes! It’s a per­fect book for exten­sive read­ing: the full Latin–English vocab­u­lary make Pugio Bru­ti very acces­si­ble for learn­ing on your own. If you’re unsure about the lev­el, be sure to read the first chap­ter above.

There is an online-course planned for the book as well, that will help you go through vocab­u­lary, gram­mar, read­ing and lis­ten­ing com­pre­hen­sion, and his­to­ry. The course will be avail­able in ear­ly 2019.

How large is the vocabulary?

The vocab­u­lary is approx­i­mate­ly 350 unique words, with a high lev­el of repetition.

Is the grammar sheltered?

The gram­mar is not shel­tered. The full range of Latin gram­mar is used. How­ev­er, sen­tences are not too long nor too dif­fi­cult but kept to a lev­el that makes gram­mar con­struc­tions com­mon to Latin lit­er­a­ture feel easy and famil­iar to the read­er. This gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prac­tice and mas­ter your abla­tive absolutes, accusative with infini­tives, etc., while feel­ing in con­trol of the gram­mar, and enjoy­ing the story.

How much Latin do I need to know to read Pugio Bruti?

That’s a tricky ques­tion. We rec­om­mend you read the first chap­ter above or lis­ten to it if you’re inter­est­ed in the audio­book. It does con­tain a full Latin-Eng­lish vocab­u­lary, so fret not, should you not under­stand a some words.

The book repeats words in dif­fer­ent ways so that a word you might not under­stand to begin with, will become a nat­ur­al part of our own vocab­u­lary once you’ve fin­ished the book.

If you are a com­plete novice to the Latin lan­guage, we rec­om­mend you read the first half of Famil­ia Romana (the first vol­ume of Lin­gua Lati­na per se illus­tra­ta) first and then dive into the excit­ing sto­ry that is Pugio Bru­ti.

Why should I get the online course?

In the course, you will prac­tice your under­stand­ing of Latin and deep­en your knowl­edge, uti­lize words and gram­mar from the book and put your lis­ten­ing and read­ing abil­i­ties to the test. You will also learn more about Rome itself and the con­text in which the book takes place, as well as get a taste of ”real” Latin from Antiquity.

The course also pro­vides teach­ing mate­ri­als so that if you’re a teacher you can take the course and then use all the mate­ri­als pro­vid­ed in the course in your own class. No prep!

Can I use Pugio Bruti in the Classroom?

Yes. Pugio Bru­ti is per­fect for class­room settings.

The Latin-Eng­lish vocab­u­lary pro­vides you with all the vocab­u­lary that you need. The chap­ters are kept short so that it can be eas­i­ly divid­ed into lessons. It is also illus­trat­ed to enable exer­cis­es and help stu­dents under­stand the text. Since the book doesn’t shel­ter gram­mar you can also use it to prac­tice and illus­trate con­struc­tions com­mon to the Latin language.

The sto­ry is set in a his­tor­i­cal­ly authen­tic con­text, Augus­tan Rome, so that it can also be used for small his­to­ry lessons and dis­cus­sions about ancient Rome and Roman life. The text is sprin­kled with ref­er­ences to famous phras­es to enable even deep­er discussions.

We made sure to give the char­ac­ters in the book many lay­ers so that they too can be used as dis­cus­sion top­ics in class.

Want to reduce les­son plan­ning? There is an online video course for Pugio Bru­ti, with video lessons in Latin, exer­cis­es, and detailed com­men­tary on the lan­guage of the text. See above. We cre­at­ed it to min­i­mize prepa­ra­tion time for teach­ing. You can read more about it here.

Can schools get a discount?

Yes. If you’re buy­ing copies for a school and want to bulk order more than a 10 copies, con­tact us at [email protected].