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Ad infinitum : a biography of Latin

Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: New York : Walker & Co, ©2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st U.S. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
A study of the Latin language examines its role in the evolution of Western culture and civilization, its relationship with ancient Greek language, science, and philosophy, its place in the Catholic Church, and its function as an ancestor of modern-day languages.
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ostler, Nicholas.
Ad infinitum.
New York : Walker & Co, ©2007
(OCoLC)608115095
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nicholas Ostler
ISBN: 080271515X 9780802715159
OCLC Number: 148738853
Description: xvii, 382 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: A Latin world: Ad infinitum : an empire lived in Latin ; Fons et origo : Latin's kin ; Sub rosa : Latin's Etruscan stepmother ; Cui bono?: Rome's winning ways ; Excelsior : looking up to Greek ; Felix coniunctio : a partnership of paragons --
Latin recruits: Urbi et orbi : taking over the Church ; Vox populi vox dei : Latin as the bond of unity ; Dies irae : staying on ; Ultra vires : beyond the limits of empire --
Worlds built on Latin: Lapus linguae : incurable romantics : fractured Latin ; Amor vincit omnia : Latin lovers ; Litterae humaniores : the fruits of Latin education ; Ex oriente lux : sources of higher learning --
Latin in a vernacular world: Alter ego : humanism and the return of the classics ; Deus ex machina : printing and the profusion of grammars ; Novus orbis : Latin America ; Decus et tutamen : last redoubts ; Eheu fugaces : Latin's decline ; Sub specie aeternitatis : Latin today.
Other Titles: Ad infinitvm
Biography of Latin
Responsibility: Nicholas Ostler.

Abstract:

A study of the Latin language examines its role in the evolution of Western culture and civilization, its relationship with ancient Greek language, science, and philosophy, its place in the Catholic Church, and its function as an ancestor of modern-day languages.

The Latin language has been the one constant in the cultural history of the West for more than two millennia. It has defined the way in which we express our thoughts, our faith, and our knowledge of how the world functions, its use echoing on in the law codes of half the world, in the terminologies of modern science, and, until forty years ago, in the liturgy of the Catholic Church. In his erudite and entertaining "biography," Nicholas Ostler shows how and why Latin survived and thrived even as its creators and other languages failed. Originally the dialect of Rome and its surrounds, Latin supplanted its neighbors to become, by conquest and settlement, the language of all Italy, and then of Western Europe and North Africa. After the empire collapsed, spoken Latin re-emerged as a host of new languages, from Portuguese and Spanish in the west to Romanian in the east, while a knowledge of Latin lived on as the common code of European thought, and inspired the founders of Europe's New World in the Americas. E pluribus unum. Illuminating the extravaganza of its past, Nicholas Ostler makes clear that, in a thousand echoes, Latin lives on, ad infinitum. -- ‡c From publisher's description.

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