By Tore Janson
No identified language, together with English, has accomplished the luck and durability 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 background 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 lightweight 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 in the course of the center a while into sleek instances, with emphasis on its evolution during the background, tradition, and non secular practices of Medieval Europe. through sensible citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, area via sector through the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way accordingly a few complete languages disappeared. Janson bargains a shiny demonstration of the price 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 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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Additional info for A Natural History of Latin
25 A natural history of Latin One thing which made particularly notable progress in this period was the written language. Even by this time only a very limited number of books in Latin existed. We do know that there were quite a few writers besides Cato and Plautus, whom we have already mentioned, and in particular we have many works by another writer of comedies, Terence. But, as far as we know, the works that have been lost are not terribly many and they were probably not of any great value. On the other hand, during the ﬁrst century bce there were a substantial number of extraordinarily good writers, and many of their works have been preserved.
In time, all Romans with any claim to education could read and speak Greek. The Greek and Roman civilizations can almost be said to have merged into one common culture. But it was a long process, and one that was never totally completed. 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.
It is not the most usual way to put it in Latin either, but it is much less uncommon than in English to rearrange the words like this within the sentence. With this act Caesar started a major civil war, which in the end he won. As a result, for some years he was virtually the sole and autocratic ruler of Rome under the title dictator. In a short period, he managed to carry through a considerable number of reforms, of which several became a permanent part of the statute book. However, many people were opposed to his dictatorship, and on 15 March in the year 44 bce he was assassinated, stabbed to death by a number of senatorial conspirators led by his friend Brutus.
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