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Ad Infinitum : a Biography of Latin (2007)

av Nicholas Ostler

Andra författare: Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich (Omslagsformgivare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
570931,773 (3.79)41
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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Visa 1-5 av 9 (nästa | visa alla)
A good popular history of Latin, written engagingly. The images are inconsistent and poorly reproduced, which is unfortunate; if better, they would have complemented the text well. ( )
1 rösta JBD1 | Aug 15, 2020 |
Lector intende: Laetaberis Reader, pay attention. You will enjoy yourself.” Apuleius, Metamorphoseon, i.I. This was a fantastic book filled with fascinating insights that gave me a new perspective on European history. I found it very well-written, thoroughly researched, and scholarly without being dry. While there is a lot of Latin in it and even more in the endnotes, you don’t have to know Latin to read and enjoy this book (although I am sure it is even better if you do). Translations into modern English are provided alongside every Latin quote. To give an idea of what the book explores, here is a quote I found especially memorable: “Languages create worlds to live in, not just in the minds of their speakers, but in their lives, and their descendants’ lives, where those ideas become real. The world that Latin created is today called Europe. And as Latin formed Europe, it also inspired the Americas. Latin in fact has been the constant in the cultural history of the West, extending over two millennia.” (page 20). Another comes from the same page, “it was the [Roman] Empire that gave Latin its overarching status. But, like the Roman arches put up with the support of a wooden scaffold, the language was to prove far more enduring than its creator. As the common language of Europe, spoken and written unchanged by courtiers, clerics, and international merchants, its active use lasted three times as long as Rome’s dominion. Even now, it echoes on in the law codes of half the world, in the terminologies of biology and medicine, and until forty years ago in the liturgy of the Catholic Church, the most populous form of Christianity on earth.” ( )
  Jennifer708 | Mar 21, 2020 |
Lector intende: Laetaberis Reader, pay attention. You will enjoy yourself.” Apuleius, Metamorphoseon, i.I. This was a fantastic book filled with fascinating insights that gave me a new perspective on European history. I found it very well-written, thoroughly researched, and scholarly without being dry. While there is a lot of Latin in it and even more in the endnotes, you don’t have to know Latin to read and enjoy this book (although I am sure it is even better if you do). Translations into modern English are provided alongside every Latin quote. To give an idea of what the book explores, here is a quote I found especially memorable: “Languages create worlds to live in, not just in the minds of their speakers, but in their lives, and their descendants’ lives, where those ideas become real. The world that Latin created is today called Europe. And as Latin formed Europe, it also inspired the Americas. Latin in fact has been the constant in the cultural history of the West, extending over two millennia.” (page 20). Another comes from the same page, “it was the [Roman] Empire that gave Latin its overarching status. But, like the Roman arches put up with the support of a wooden scaffold, the language was to prove far more enduring than its creator. As the common language of Europe, spoken and written unchanged by courtiers, clerics, and international merchants, its active use lasted three times as long as Rome’s dominion. Even now, it echoes on in the law codes of half the world, in the terminologies of biology and medicine, and until forty years ago in the liturgy of the Catholic Church, the most populous form of Christianity on earth.” ( )
  Jennifer708 | Mar 21, 2020 |
I read all the footnotes in this book. How often can you (well, I) say that? ( )
  dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Ad Infinitum is a history of Latin and its usage from the beginning to the present day (c. 2007). Focusing on how Latin grew and changed as a language and how its user groups changed as well, it makes for fascinating reading. I particularly liked the parts about early Latin and its relationship with its neighboring languages, as well as the bits on the development of vulgar Latin as various written standards which seemed to specialize in either poetry or prose. I did feel that it lost steam and direction as we left the dark ages and headed towards the renaissance and the early modern era. But I guess it had to be included to really create a "biography" of the language. Highly recommended for those interesting in the history and development of Latin. ( )
2 rösta inge87 | Jun 26, 2016 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Ostler, Nicholasprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Cumptich, Roberto de Vicq deOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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Nowadays Latin seems a comical language.
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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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