Medical Latin in the Roman Empire

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Foreign Language Study - 517 pages
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Despite the ubiquitous importance of medicine in Roman literature, philosophy, and social history, the language of Latin medical texts has not been properly studied. This book presents the first systematic account of a part of this large, rich field. Concentrating on texts of `high' medicine written in educated, even literary, Latin Professor Langslow offers a detailed linguistic profile of the medical terminology of Celsus and Scribonius Largus (first century AD) and Theodorus Priscianusand Cassius Felix (fifth century AD), with frequent comparisons with their respective near-contemporaries. The linguistic focus is on vocabulary and word-formation and the book thus addresses the large question of the possible and the preferred means of extending the vocabulary in Latin at the beginning and end of the Empire. Some syntactic issues (including word order and nominalization) are also discussed, and sections on the sociolinguistic background and stylistic features considerthe question to what extent we may speak of `medical Latin' in the strong sense, as the language of a group, and draw comparisons and contrasts between ancient and modern technical languages.

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About the author (2000)

D.R. Langslow is a Professor of Classics at University of Manchester, and Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.

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