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By Tore Janson

No identified language, together with English, has completed the luck and durability of Latin. French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are between its direct descendants, and numerous Latin phrases and words include the cornerstone of English itself. A ordinary background or Latin tells its background 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 communicate so beautiful to tens of millions of readers, it's a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The publication commences with an outline of the origins, emergence, and dominance of Latin over the Classical interval. Then follows an account of its survival during the heart a long time into sleek instances, with emphasis on its evolution in the course of the historical past, tradition, and non secular practices of Medieval Europe. through really appropriate citation of Latin phrases, words, and texts the writer illustrates how the written and spoken language replaced, zone through sector 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 shiny demonstration of the worth of Latin as a way of entry to a colourful previous and a persuasive argument for its persisted worthy. A concise and easy-to-understand advent 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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To succeed you had to be very good. It was also important to be able to speak in court. In the modern world that is something lawyers do, but in Rome things worked very differently. Rome was truly a city ruled by law, not least in the sense that the citizens of Rome brought lawsuits against each other about everything under the sun. Landowners and the wealthy sued each other over business deals, loans, the boundaries of their land, or the collapse of a roof, while public officeholders could be prosecuted for abuse of power and corruption.

The characters were merchants and landowners and their wives, children, and slaves, and the plots revolved around themes like young lovers who are finally united or lost sons or daughters who turn up unexpectedly. The setting was always a port, with ships arriving from many different places. Rome was developing into just such a cosmopolitan community, and the plays quickly caught on there. This kind of play has subsequently turned out to be very longlived. Shakespeare took several themes and plots from Plautus—for example The Comedy of Errors is an adaptation of the plot of Menaechmi—and in our own times the same basic idea lies at the heart of long-running soap operas like Dallas.

Unfortunately, there are also a great many descriptions of pitched battles and stratagems, which are hardly of interest to anyone except military historians. Imperium romanum: Augustus and the Roman empire After Caesar had been assassinated, it transpired that in his will he had adopted the nineteen-year-old grandson of one of his sisters. In our 37 A natural history of Latin source it says:Gaium Octávium in famíliam noménque adoptavit‘He adopted Gaius Octavius into the family and the name’. From that day forth the young man was called Gaius Julius Caesar, with the additional name Octavianus (in English Octavian).

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