A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson

By Tore Janson

No recognized language, together with English, has accomplished the luck 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 common 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 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 throughout the center a while into sleek occasions, with emphasis on its evolution in the course of the historical past, tradition, and non secular practices of Medieval Europe. by way of sensible citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, sector by way of zone over the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way for this reason a few whole languages disappeared. Janson deals a shiny demonstration of the worth of Latin as a way of entry to a colourful earlier and a persuasive argument for its endured 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.

Show description

Read or Download A Natural History of Latin PDF

Best renaissance books

Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy

The very identify Lucrezia Borgia evokes every little thing that used to be sinister and corrupt in regards to the Renaissance—incest, political assassination, papal sexual abuse, toxic intrigue, unscrupulous strength grabs. but as bestselling biographer Sarah Bradford unearths during this breathtaking new portrait, in reality way more attention-grabbing than the fable.

Neo-Historicism: Studies in Renaissance Literature, History and Politics

For almost 20 years, Renaissance literary scholarship has been ruled by way of a number of varieties of postmodern feedback which declare to show the simplistic method of `traditional' feedback and to provide a extra subtle view of the relation among literature and background; although, this new technique, even supposing making students extra alert to the political value of literary texts, has been commonly criticised on either methodological and theoretical grounds.

The Familiar Letter in Early Modern English: A Pragmatic Approach

This learn monograph examines frequent letters in 17th- and eighteenth-century English to supply a practical analyzing of the meanings that writers make and readers infer. the 1st a part of the e-book offers a style of interpreting old texts. the second one half seeks to validate this system via case experiences that light up how smooth pragmatic conception will be utilized to far away speech groups in either historical past and tradition that allows you to exhibit how audio system comprehend each other and the way they make the most meant and accidental meanings for his or her personal communicative ends.

Savoring Power, Consuming the Times: The Metaphors of Food in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature

Pina Palma’s Savoring energy, eating the days: The Metaphors of nutrients in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature is an cutting edge examine the writings of 5 vital Italian authors—Boccaccio’s Decameron, Pulci’s Morgante, Boiardo’s Innamorato, Ariosto’s Furioso,and Aretino’s Ragionamento. throughout the prism of gastronomy, Palma examines those key works within the Western literary canon, bringing into concentration how their authors use nutrition and gastronomy as a way to critique the social, political, theological, philosophical, and cultural ideals that represent the cloth of the society within which they stay.

Additional info for A Natural History of Latin

Sample text

In the beginning it seems there were only ten months, the ones we call March to December, with January and February being added later. 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’.

The same is true in parts of other countries such as Belgium and Switzerland. In addition, Latin gained a strong hold in a country a long way to the east, namely modern Romania. This roughly corresponds to the Roman province of Dacia, which was conquered very late, not until just after 100 ce. Moreover the Romans gave it up again after about 150 years, so that it is very strange that the language there, Romanian, should derive from Latin. There are several theories about how this happened, one being that people from the provinces to the south, which might once have been Latin speaking, moved north into this region, but no one knows for sure.

As you read, you unrolled the text, which was written across the roll, from one stick and rolled it up onto the other one. The text was written on one side of the roll only, which ordinarily had space for the equivalent of thirty or forty modern book pages. The Romans used to call such a roll liber, which is usually translated as ‘book’. These books were much more difficult to handle than the kind we are used to and also much shorter. There might be enough space for a collection of poems or a play on a liber, but anyone who wrote something longer than that would have to break it down into short parts, each of which could fit on a roll.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.13 of 5 – based on 50 votes