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Alphabe Thursday L is for Latin Libri

February 7, 2013

The ancient Romans spoke the language of the district in which they lived which was Latium in Italy Therefore their language was called Latin not Roman.
Latin belongs to the family of languages known as Indo-European, which includes Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Italic, Celtic, Germanic (English) and Slavonic.
The imperial power of Rome made Latin the general speech in southern and western Europe, and from it came the Romantic languages such as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.
The earliest examples of Latin language  we have are inscriptions and fragments of songs, hymns, laws and annals.  However literacy activity and actual speech did not begin until the third century BC.  Until then in most branches of literature the Romans were indebted to the Greek models; the influence of Greek civilization on Rome began with the commerce between the people of Latium and the Greek cities of southern Italy  and reached its fullest development after the conquest of Greece by Rome which was completed in 146 BC.
The first Latin author, known to us is Livius Andronicus, a Greek of Tarentum. When he was taken prisoner of war he became a teacher at Rome and produced Latin adaptations of Greek plays. (240 BC)  The works of the writers that followed in that and the next century are no longer extant.   Although the comedies of Plautus and Terence and the prose of Cato still remain.  (220-160 BC) Thereby for centuries Latin remained in use for the highest literary compositions. letters, legal registers administrative and technical  writings and became Classical Latin   It was around the 9th century AD when an early form of French was reported and the variant forms of ‘vulgar’ Latin became the the Romance languages.
However Latin (Medieval) did survive in scientific and philosophical works and the Roman Catholic Church still uses it for official purposes.  An example is shown here with a reference to the a Greek 

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Libri de Piscibus Marinis

Libri de Piscibus Marinis

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2013 3:11 pm

    LOVE this post for letter L!

    • February 7, 2013 3:24 pm

      I did not enjoy Latin so much until I wrote this blog and know I understand it better; love will come. Thanks for dropping by and kind comment.

  2. February 8, 2013 1:44 am

    I remember my sister taking Latin in high school. I think that’s why she has a better understanding of words than I do. Missed opportunity, I guess. {:-Deb

    • February 8, 2013 5:39 am

      I think you are right! but I learned late in life and alone so also did not learn as your sister did as in th ‘old schoo’ l. Nonetheless it was a fun and has served me well in my work. Thank You for your kind attention. _/\_ xx

  3. February 20, 2013 6:00 pm

    Having been raised Catholic back in the days of ‘high mass’, I’ve always been intriqued and a little intimidated by Latin.

    I find the evolution of words, though, quite fascinating.

    Thanks for an interesting link.

    A+

    • February 20, 2013 6:11 pm

      Not so pretty as Greek but a fine old language … that hangs on in there … _/\_ x

    • February 20, 2013 10:13 pm

      I wasn’t raise a Catholic felt I had missed something, didn’t enjoy it as much as the Greek _/\_ x

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