Download e-book for iPad: A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson

By Tore Janson

ISBN-10: 0199263094

ISBN-13: 9780199263097

No identified language, together with English, has accomplished the luck and sturdiness of Latin. French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are between its direct descendants, and numerous Latin phrases and words contain the cornerstone of English itself. A common background or Latin tells its background from its origins over 2500 years in the past to the current. Brilliantly conceived, popularizing yet authoritative, and written with the fluency and light-weight contact that experience made Tore Janson's converse so beautiful to tens of hundreds of thousands of readers, it's a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The e-book commences with an outline of the origins, emergence, and dominance of Latin over the Classical interval. Then follows an account of its survival throughout the center a long time into glossy instances, with emphasis on its evolution through the heritage, tradition, and spiritual practices of Medieval Europe. by means of sensible citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, sector by means of sector over the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way accordingly a few whole languages disappeared. Janson deals a shiny demonstration of the worth of Latin as a method of entry to a colourful previous and a persuasive argument for its persevered worthy. A concise and easy-to-understand creation to Latin grammar and an inventory of the main widespread Latin phrases, together with 500 idioms and words nonetheless in universal use, supplement the paintings.

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Example text

For practical reasons, most people, even if they had learnt how to, probably read very little. And yet the Romans were intensely interested in their language and in the art of using it well. It was simply that their access to their language was in the traditional way, through their ears. Using your eyes to take in what someone had to say must have seemed to them a much more circuitous route to language than it does to us. A written text was always seen as a way of recording the spoken word, and so whenever someone read something they always read it aloud.

Dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicam sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos. Nunc te cognovi. Quare etsi impensius uror, multo mi tamen es vilior et levior. ’ inquis. Quod amantem iniuria talis cogit amare magis sed bene velle minus. You said one day you only knew Catullus, Lesbia, And you’d refuse to embrace even Jove instead of me. I loved you then, not only as common men their girlfriend But as a father loves his sons and sons-in-law. I know you now. So though my passion’s more intense, Yet for me you’re much cheaper and lighter-weight.

In the eastern part Latin never gained a firm foothold, but in the west most people gradually adopted Latin as their language. We have already mentioned that Italy was multilingual. What is now France had recently been conquered and there the majority spoke a Celtic language. In Spain and Portugal too there were many speakers of Celtic languages, but there were also Ligurians and the Vascones, the ancestors of today’s Basques, with their own languages. In north Africa, in modern Morocco and Algeria, the majority of the population probably spoke Berber, and languages belonging to that group are still used by large numbers of people in those countries.

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A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson

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