By Tore Janson
No recognized language, together with English, has completed the luck and sturdiness 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 ordinary 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 appealing to tens of millions of readers, it's a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The publication commences with an outline of the origins, emergence, and dominance of Latin over the Classical interval. Then follows an account of its survival throughout the heart a while into smooth instances, with emphasis on its evolution through the background, tradition, and non secular practices of Medieval Europe. by way of really apt citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, area by means of quarter through the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way hence a few whole languages disappeared. Janson bargains a shiny demonstration of the price of Latin as a way of entry to a colourful earlier and a persuasive argument for its persisted 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
After the assassination of Caesar he was brieﬂy the leading political ﬁgure in Rome, but he lost a battle for power with the general Antonius— known to cinema and theatregoers as the Antony of Antony and Cleopatra—and was in turn himself assassinated. Cicero made many important speeches during his career, to the Senate and to the people as a whole. He published most of them in his own lifetime and some ﬁfty still survive. These speeches were much admired. Cicero was an extremely skilful orator: he had a good voice, expressed himself very well, argued convincingly, and was above all a master at making his audience think and feel what he wanted them to.
Somewhat surprisingly, the names of the months are adjectives which are attached to the noun mensis. Mensis Martius means something like ‘Martian Month’. Martius is an adjective formed from Mars, the name of the god of war. In the same way mensis Maius is the month of the goddess Maia, and mensis Ianuarius is connected with the god Janus. This is the god who is depicted with two faces, one on the front and one on the back of his head. He had to do with beginnings and endings, and we can conclude that the month name Ianuarius was coined with the idea of marking the start of the new year.
There followed some ﬁfteen years of intrigue and civil war, in which the main protagonists were Octavian and Antony, who had been Caesar’s closest ally. When Antony and Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, were ﬁnally defeated and died, Octavian, who was then thirty-ﬁve, became the unchallenged leader of the empire. He had shown himself to be ruthless and cruel, and it seemed likely that he would preside over a reign of terror, but things turned out differently. Octavian did not want to be dictator or consul for life, and he explained to the Senate that he was restoring power into their hands.
A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson