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Book Cover
Author Leonhardt, Jürgen, 1957-

Title Latin : story of a world language / Jürgen Leonhardt ; translated by Kenneth Kronenberg.

Publication Info. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013.


Location Call No. Status
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 3rd Floor    470.9 LEO    Available
Description xiii, 332 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note Originally published as Latein: Geschichte einer Weltsprache, copyright (c) 2009 Verlag C.H. Beck oHG, Munich.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 301-320) and index.
Contents Latin as a world language -- The language of the Empire -- Europe's Latin millennium -- World language without a world -- Latin today.
Summary "The mother tongue of the Roman Empire and the lingua franca of the West for centuries after Rome's fall, Latin survives today primarily in classrooms and texts. Yet this "dead language" is unique in the influence it has exerted across centuries and continents. Jürgen Leonhardt has written a full history of Latin from antiquity to the present, uncovering how this once parochial dialect developed into a vehicle of global communication that remained vital long after its spoken form was supplanted by modern languages. Latin originated in the Italian region of Latium, around Rome, and became widespread as that city's imperial might grew. By the first century BCE, Latin was already transitioning from a living vernacular, as writers and grammarians like Cicero and Varro fixed Latin's status as a "classical" language with a codified rhetoric and rules. As Romance languages spun off from their Latin origins following the empire's collapse--shedding cases and genders along the way--the ancient language retained its currency as a world language in ways that anticipated English and Spanish, but it ceased to evolve. Leonhardt charts the vicissitudes of Latin in the post-Roman world: its ninth-century revival under Charlemagne and its flourishing among Renaissance writers who, more than their medieval predecessors, were interested in questions of literary style and expression. Ultimately, the rise of historicism in the eighteenth century turned Latin from a practical tongue to an academic subject. Nevertheless, of all the traces left by the Romans, their language remains the most ubiquitous artifact of a once peerless empire." -- Publisher's description.
Language Preface is in English.
Subject Latin language -- History.
Latin language -- Study and teaching -- History.
Latin language -- Technical Latin -- History.
Latin language, Colloquial -- History.
Latin language, Vulgar -- History.
Latin literature -- History.
Latin philology -- History.
Added Author Kronenberg, Kenneth, 1946- translator.
Added Title Latein. English
ISBN 9780674058071 (alkaline paper)
0674058070 (alkaline paper)

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