Latin is alive and well. Beginning in Rome around 600 BC Latin became the
language of the civilized world and remained so for over two millennia.
French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are among its progeny and it still
provides the international vocabulary of law and life science. No known
language, including English - itself enriched by Latin words and phrases -
has achieved such success and longevity. Tore Janson tells its history from
origins to the present. Brilliantly conceived and written with the same
light touch as Speak, his bestselling history of languages, A Natural
History of Latin is a masterpiece of adroit synthesis.
The author charts the expansion in the classical world, its renewed
importance in the Middle Ages, and its survival into modern times. He shows
its central role in European history and culture and, by judicious
quotation of phrases and texts, describes how spoken and written Latin
changed and evolved differently in different places. He ends with a summary
of Latin grammar and lists of Latin words and of phrases still in common use.
Considered elitist and irrelevant in the second half of the twentieth
century and often banned from schools, Latin is now enjoying a huge revival
of interest and a renaissance in schools across Europe, the UK, and the
USA. Tore Janson offers persuasive arguments for its value and direct
access to its fascinating worlds, past and present.