AskDefine | Define minimus

User Contributed Dictionary



, m, minima, f, minimum, n.
  1. least, smallest; superlative of parvus

Extensive Definition

The Minimus books are a series of school textbooks, written by Barbara Bell, illustrated by Dr. Helen Forte, and published by the Cambridge University Press, designed to help children of primary school age to learn Latin. The books are named after the mouse Minimus (Latin: Small) who is known as "The mouse that made Latin cool". There are two books in the series: Minimus: Starting out in Latin and Minimus Secundus. While the first book is aimed at 7-10 year olds, the second continues the series for children up to 13 years old.
The stories presented in each chapter revolve around a family. The family is based on a real family who lived at Vindolanda, in northern Britain in 100 CE. The books feature many artifacts from Vindolanda, integrating real objects into fictional plot lines.

Regular Characters

  • Minimus, a mouse
  • Vibrissa (Latin: Whiskers), the family cat
  • Flavius, the father and fort commander of Vindolanda
  • Lepidina, the mother
  • Flavia, the daughter
  • Iulius, the older son
  • Rufus, the youngest child of the family
  • Corinthus, a Greek slave
  • Candidus, a British slave
  • Pandora, a slave

Italian Minimus

In 2007, the Minimus books were adapted for Italian pupils. As a single volume, the material is aimed at an older audience. The setting of the stories is altered to several European locations and there is considerably more formal grammar and exercises, in line with Italian teaching methods.


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