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Hellfire

Why Latin died out

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What has survived of written documents is almost entirely literature, philosophy or oratory. There's one ancient novel,Petronius' 'Satyricon,'that has a section, the "Cena Trimalchionis,"  which reveals what Romans may have sounded like. Check out Wikipedia and google for more details.

 

The problem with Latin writing and writings of other ancient peoples is that most of the populations were illiterate. What we have tends to be away from the languages of the masses. We don't have much in the way of written documents that are informal: notes jotted down on the spur of the moment, personal letters that were never meant for publications (as in the case of Cicero's), comments on mundane things such as the weather and "what do you think of my new toga?"

 

But there is an exception:

Luckily this intriguing discovery is adding to our knowledge of Latin language use on a personal level,

the Vindolanda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindolanda_tablets

Here we have a party invitation written in the hand of a woman and requests for woolen clothing from a British outpost at Hadrian's wall. And much, much more. Fascinating!

 

A broader explanation of Vulgar Latin:

http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/520463

Edited by Ludovicus

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Here's the first page of a language study of the Vindolanda tablets. You'll have to pay a fee for the entire study. Perhaps your public library or university can get it for you gratis.

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/301059?uid=3739808&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21104220384973

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Eddie izzard has the best explanation on "why Latin died out:"

 

 

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy
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Love Eddy Izzard, he's got the most brilliant sketches on languages (Latin, French, German, etc). By the way, he's brilliant in Hannibal (the tv series).

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