By Joseph Farrell

The Latin language is popularly imagined in a couple of particular methods: as a masculine language, an imperial language, a classical language, a lifeless language. This ebook considers the resources of those metaphors and analyzes their impression on how Latin literature is learn. through examining with and as a rule opposed to those metaphors, the publication deals a special view of Latin as a language and as a car for cultural perform. The argument levels over numerous texts in Latin and texts approximately Latin from antiquity to the 20th century.

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Additional resources for Latin Language and Latin Culture: From Ancient to Modern Times

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The nature of latin culture point at which scholars stop looking for the death of Latin and start searching for the birth of Romance. But the more we learn about medieval Europe, the more di½cult it is to discern the moment when Latin dies and Romance is born. To begin with, we do not know when the Franks, who began to occupy the Roman provinces of Europe from the fourth century on, adopted Latin and abandoned Germanic as their ``native'' language. Indeed, we do not know to what extent this is even an accurate model of what happened.

Later, when they arrive on the island, Atticus indulges in a brief ecphrasis: Ah, here we are on the island! What could be more pleasant? The Fibrenus is split by this beak, as it were, and then, divided equally in two, washes over these sides, ¯ows quickly past, speedily comes back together, and so embraces just enough space for a small wrestling ¯oor. This done, as if its raison d'eÃtre were to provide us with a place for our discussion, it plunges immediately into the Liris and, as if it were being adopted into a patrician family, loses its less famous name and chills those waters considerably; for I have traveled and never felt a colder stream than this: I could hardly dip my foot into it, as Socrates does in Plato's Phaedrus.

In what follows, Cicero enunciates the doctrine of the two fatherlands. '' Cicero's comparison is telling. Taking his cue from Atticus' well-known love of Athens, which Atticus himself had just made the vehicle of a similar comparison (and which is the source, after all, of his cognomen), Cicero explains the condition of modern Italy by appealing to that of ancient Attica. That is to say, the modern custom is justi®ed not by an appeal to nature, as Cicero's derivation of the legal order from the natural order might suggest, but by a paradigm drawn from another culture.

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