John William Donaldson (1811-61), though somewhat unorthodox in his methods, was an important, if controversial, figure in the development of comparative philology. In this 1844 publication, he attempts to supply young English scholars of Latin with an introductory guide to Latin philology by outlining the origins of the Roman people and, through this, explaining the foundational structures of the Latin language and how they gave rise to Classical Latin. Epigraphic evidence, drawn from the Twelve Tables in particular, is examined as part of the enquiry into Old Latin, and other Italic languages such as Umbrian, Oscan and Etruscan are considered as part of the development of a more standardised Latin language. Although many of the conclusions Donaldson draws are based on limited evidence, the book remains an interesting specimen of early comparative philology. His earlier work on Greek, The New Cratylus (1839), is also reissued in this series.