By Tore Janson
No recognized language, together with English, has accomplished the good fortune and toughness of Latin. French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are between its direct descendants, and numerous Latin phrases and words include the cornerstone of English itself. A average historical past or Latin tells its historical past from its origins over 2500 years in the past to the current. Brilliantly conceived, popularizing yet authoritative, and written with the fluency and lightweight contact that experience made Tore Janson's communicate so appealing to tens of hundreds of thousands of readers, it's a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The ebook 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 heart a while into smooth instances, with emphasis on its evolution during the historical past, tradition, and non secular practices of Medieval Europe. by means of really appropriate citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, quarter by way of sector through the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way hence a few whole languages disappeared. Janson bargains a shiny demonstration of the worth of Latin as a way of entry to a colourful prior and a persuasive argument for its persevered worthy. A concise and easy-to-understand advent 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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Additional resources for A Natural History of Latin
To have three was very good, but important people could have even more, as they were given different honorary names which recorded real or invented exploits. Most men, though, had to make do with two, and women and slaves had to put up with one. Sometimes people were given an extra name because of a change in status. We mentioned earlier that the young Gaius Octavius was adopted by Caesar in his will, something which to us rings very strange, but adoption was quite a common practice among Rome’s leading families.
In a way there was now a radical party and a conservative party. The struggle between these groups went back and forth for many decades while the Romans were simultaneously making war on 23 A natural history of Latin other states and extending their empire further and further. The army was obviously an important player in this power game, and the crucial balance of power was increasingly in the hands of successful generals, who allied themselves with one party or the other. The political strife was intense, and on several occasions developed into a real civil war.
The word for language is lingua and lingua nostra means ‘our language’. Appellantur ‘they are called’ reminds us of the French verb appeler ‘to call’. 36 Latin and the Romans Many others came after Sallust and Caesar. One of the bestknown is Livy, who lived around the time of the birth of Christ and devoted his whole life to writing a complete history of Rome from 753 bce, the year of the city’s foundation, until 9 bce. This work is called Ab urbe cóndita ‘From the foundation of the city’. It contains 142 books, corresponding to about 6,000 printed pages, and about a quarter of it has been preserved.
A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson