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By Tore Janson

No identified language, together with English, has accomplished the good fortune and durability of Latin. French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are between its direct descendants, and numerous Latin phrases and words contain the cornerstone of English itself. A typical background or Latin tells its heritage 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 beautiful to tens of millions of readers, it's a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The e-book 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 center a long time into glossy occasions, with emphasis on its evolution during the heritage, tradition, and spiritual practices of Medieval Europe. via really appropriate citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, zone by way of area through the years; the way it met resistance from local languages; and the way as a result a few whole languages disappeared. Janson bargains a bright demonstration of the price of Latin as a method of entry to a colourful previous and a persuasive argument for its endured 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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He was not therefore so interested in examining and criticizing his sources, although he did not consciously lie or make things up. He sought to give the Romans a splendid and glorious version of their own history, and one that was also readable. In this he succeeded; he is a very adept storyteller, and very good at giving lively descriptions of situations and events. It is most fun to read the very first part, where the sources were few and fanciful, and where Livy was able to embellish the stories using his own imagination.

After this comes memória or ‘memory’: when the speaker had worked out and written down a speech he had to learn the whole thing by heart, and rhetorical teaching included a number of interesting techniques for training the memory which are still useful today. Finally, there was pronuntiátio or the ‘delivery’ of the speech, including modulation of the voice, gestures, and so forth. In a sense, then, making a speech was the most important literary activity in ancient Rome. But there were other ways of using the language which were of great importance, and to which other prominent Romans eagerly devoted their energies.

The answer is that they studied the masterpieces of Greek literature very carefully 47 A natural history of Latin and then produced similar works themselves. Put like this it sounds quite boring,but in fact Latin literature achieved considerable success. The Romans did indeed follow the example of the Greeks; these provided exceptionally good models, and then they tried to create similar things in Latin but preferably even better. They called this process aemulátio, which means the attempt to emulate or outstrip someone or something, and quite often the Latin works did indeed match or even excel their models.

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