Latin, Or the Empire of the Sign

For almost three centuries, Latin dominated the civic and sacred worlds of Europe and, perhap, the entire norther world. From he moment in the nineteenth 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 ha he way in which illions of children were taught, people prayed to God, and scholars were educated. Francoise Waquet ’ s history of Latin between the nineteenth and seventeent centuries is a highly original and accessible exploration of the institutional contexts in which the language was adopted. It pull on to propose 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 ubject for study be anything les 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 retellin of a language that became a symbol with its own, highly significant empire.
Year of the Publication
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Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Latin or the Empire of a Sign: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries
Publication Date
Published July 17th 2001 by Verso (first published June 2001

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A book discusses how Latin became a sign of unity in early modernity, but it gradually lost its force as the centuries passed.

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