Latin, or, The empire of the sign: from the sixteenth to the twentieth century
For almost three centuries, Latin dominated the civic and sacred worlds of Europe and, arguably, the entire western world. From the moment in the sixteenth century when it was adopted by the Humanists as the official language for schools and by the Catholic Church as the common liturgical language, it was the way in which millions of children were taught, people prayed to God, and scholars were educated. Francoise Waquet's history of Latin between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries is a highly original and accessible exploration of the institutional contexts in which the language was adopted. It goes on to consider what this conferring of power and influence on Latin meant in practice. Among the questions Waquet investigates are: What privileges were, and are still, accorded to those who claim to have studied Latin? Can Latin as a subject for study be anything more than purely linguistic or does it reveal a far more complex heritage? Has Latin's deeply embedded cultural legacy already given way to a nostalgic exoticism? Latin: A Symbol's Empire is a valuable work of reference, but also an important piece of cultural history: the story of a language that became a symbol with its own, highly significant empire.
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Ancien Regime Antonio Vallisneri arguments authors Avignon baccalaureat Brunot Catholic cent Church Cicero classical classiques culture decline Edgar Faure edition eighteenth century elite England English example expressed faithful favour française France French German give given grade Greek guage Guido Calogero Henri-Jean Martin Histoire human humanist I^atin ibid inscriptions intellectual Italian Jacqueline de Romilly Jesuit l'enseignement langue Latin grammar Latin language Latin verse Latinists learn Latin letter linguistic literary liturgy Living Latin lycees mass masters modern moral Neo-Latin nineteenth century old language original Paris pedagogic Port-Royal practice prayers priests professor pronunciation published pupils reasons reform role Roman Rome scholars secondary education seventeenth century siècle social society Sorbonne speak Latin spoken study of Latin taught teachers teaching texts thought tion tradition translation understand University vernacular Vittorio Alfieri vulgar tongue words writings written wrote