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By Tore Janson

No recognized language, together with English, has completed 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 common heritage 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 communicate so beautiful to tens of millions of readers, it's a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The booklet commences with an outline of the origins, emergence, and dominance of Latin over the Classical interval. Then follows an account of its survival during the heart a while into smooth instances, with emphasis on its evolution during the heritage, tradition, and spiritual practices of Medieval Europe. through really appropriate citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, sector by way of sector over the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way accordingly a few whole languages disappeared. Janson bargains a bright demonstration of the price of Latin as a method of entry to a colourful earlier and a persuasive argument for its persevered worthy. A concise and easy-to-understand advent to Latin grammar and a listing of the main common Latin phrases, together with 500 idioms and words nonetheless in universal use, supplement the paintings.

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Extra resources for A Natural History of Latin

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The first got her mother’s name and the next two were called after their famous great grandmother, Livia Drusilla, who had been married to Augustus. 40 Latin and the Romans Names then clearly showed a person’s position in society: the more names you had the higher up the social ladder you were. 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.

How that might have come about is rather unclear, but it is absolutely certain that the original Roman year started on the first of March, as can be deduced from the names of four of the months, which in Latin are called mensis September, mensis October, mensis November, mensis December. Mensis means ‘month’, and the other parts of the names clearly derive from the numerals septem ‘seven’, octo ‘eight’, novem ‘nine’, and decem ‘ten’. Hence in the beginning March must have been the first month. The names of the months that do not come from numerals most often have to do with Roman religion.

The physics of antiquity, for example, is of 33 A natural history of Latin interest only to historians of science, and the same goes for for most other fields of study. But rhetoric is different. Those whose concern is the arts of public speaking and persuasion often take Quintilian and Cicero as a foundation. The reason probably lies in the fact that this subject was so important to the Romans that their best talents consumed much of their energy and imagination on it, and hence their views still hold good today.

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