A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson

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 contain the cornerstone of English itself. A typical 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 appealing to tens of hundreds of thousands 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 in the course of the heart a while into glossy occasions, with emphasis on its evolution during the background, tradition, and spiritual practices of Medieval Europe. by way of really apt citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, zone through quarter through the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way for this reason a few complete languages disappeared. Janson bargains a shiny demonstration of the price of Latin as a way 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 common Latin phrases, together with 500 idioms and words nonetheless in universal use, supplement the paintings.

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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.

Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos elúdet? Quam ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audácia? Nihílne te nocturnum praesídium Palati, nihil urbis vigíliae, nihil timor pópuli, nihil concursus bonorum ómnium, nihil hic munitíssimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora vultusque moverunt? How far will you, Catiline, abuse our patience? How long will this mad rage of yours mock us? Is there no limit to your boastful ambition and unbridled audacity? Does the nightly setting of guards on the Palatine hill mean nothing to you, nothing too the watches posted in the city, nothing the people’s anxiety, nothing the coming together of all the loyal citizens, nothing the fact that the Senate is meeting in this heavily fortified place, nothing the looks and faces of these men gathered here?

Literature was probably the field where Greek ideals meant most. The Romans in fact took over the whole idea of writing literature from the Greeks, and the first works were straightforward translations of 20 Latin and the Romans Greek originals. But gradually the Romans evolved their own topics and themes, and soon they were competing with their models and indeed trying to surpass them. Latin literature slowly freed itself from Greek influence, and in due course it was Latin literature that served as the model for the whole of Europe for the next two thousand years.

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