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

By Tore Janson

ISBN-10: 0199263094

ISBN-13: 9780199263097

No recognized language, together with English, has accomplished the good fortune and durability 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 ordinary 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 light-weight contact that experience made Tore Janson's converse so beautiful to tens of millions 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 during the center a while into sleek instances, with emphasis on its evolution during the background, tradition, and spiritual practices of Medieval Europe. via really apt citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, quarter through quarter over the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way for this reason a few whole languages disappeared. Janson bargains a bright demonstration of the worth of Latin as a method of entry to a colourful previous and a persuasive argument for its endured worthy. A concise and easy-to-understand creation 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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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.

One Roman historian says of Rome just at the end of this period: magnitúdine sua labórat ‘it is sinking under its own greatness’. The best-known of the generals during the period of revolution is Gaius Julius Caesar. He belonged to an old Senate family himself and was very able both as a politician and a soldier. He was also a man imbued with an incredible amount of energy. In 58 bce he became governor of the province of Gallia Cisalpina, which literally means ‘Gaul on this side of the Alps’, in other words northern Italy.

The consuls’ first day in office was crucial, as the Romans named their years after the two people who were consuls at the time, and these names were used for all dating. This is obviously a very impractical system, since if you wanted to know when something happened, you had either to know by heart the whole chronological order of consulships or else go and check them in the official record. Nevertheless, the Romans stubbornly stuck to this system throughout antiquity, although some writers tried to replace it with a more manageable 43 A natural history of Latin system, according to which events were dated from the foundation of the city of Rome, which was supposed to have taken place in 753 bce.

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A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson


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