Queen Elizabeth I of England to the Polish ambassador, 1597


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Domini dominaeque, in principio Universitati Sinensi et praecipue doctori patri Ludovico Ha maximas gratias ago quod mihi cum Centro a studiis Catholicis laborandi atque coram vos hodie loquendi facultatem dederunt. Nunc videamus initium programmatis Latinae nuper a quadam statione televisifica Germanica emissam.

  • Domini dominaeque, in principio Universitati Sinensi et praecipue doctori patri Ludovico Ha maximas gratias ago quod mihi cum Centro a studiis Catholicis laborandi atque coram vos hodie loquendi facultatem dederunt. Nunc videamus initium programmatis Latinae nuper a quadam statione televisifica Germanica emissam.











  • O quam decepta fui, expectavi legationem mihi vere querelam adduxisti.....miror sane, miror tantam, et tam insolentem in publico audaciam, neque possum credere si rex tuus adesset quod ipse talia verba protulisset……….

  • Queen Elizabeth I of England to the Polish ambassador, 1597



1539 : France ends official use of Latin

  • 1539 : France ends official use of Latin

  • 1570s: French overtakes Latin as main language for publication in France.

  • 1680s: Latin predominance in German publishing ends

  • 1687: Newton’s Principia Mathematica the last first-rank scientific publication (excluding botany) in Latin (Newton’s Opticks was published in 1704 in English

  • 1714: First international treaty in French (France and the Holy Roman Empire)

  • 1733: Britain ends use of Latin for records of births, deaths etc.

  • 1756: Last major treaty in Latin (Denmark and the Ottoman Empire)





Re autem vera tantum afuit ut humanistae Latinitati exitio fuerint, ut paene exploratum habere possimus propter ipsa humanistarum studia linguam Latinam multo diutius viguisse.  Huius rei documenta cum multis e fontibus elucent, tum praecipue in libro inveniuntur optimo, quem his novissimis annis composuit Iosephus IJsewijn, professor Lovanienis

  • Re autem vera tantum afuit ut humanistae Latinitati exitio fuerint, ut paene exploratum habere possimus propter ipsa humanistarum studia linguam Latinam multo diutius viguisse.  Huius rei documenta cum multis e fontibus elucent, tum praecipue in libro inveniuntur optimo, quem his novissimis annis composuit Iosephus IJsewijn, professor Lovanienis

  • Terentius Tunberg, `Quid Latinitas sit Moderna?’ ‘



Scitisne fuisse in I Re Publica Polonia (XVI - XVII saeculum) proverbium: "Eques Polonus sum, Latine loquor"? Omnes nobiles potuerunt Latine loqui. Legi id in Polonia possibile fuisse nesciens aliam linguam praeter Latinam cum multis hominibus colloquere. Circa 15% populi Poloni, praecipue nobiles naturaliter, potuerunt Latine tam bene loqui!

  • Scitisne fuisse in I Re Publica Polonia (XVI - XVII saeculum) proverbium: "Eques Polonus sum, Latine loquor"? Omnes nobiles potuerunt Latine loqui. Legi id in Polonia possibile fuisse nesciens aliam linguam praeter Latinam cum multis hominibus colloquere. Circa 15% populi Poloni, praecipue nobiles naturaliter, potuerunt Latine tam bene loqui!



  • `a man who can speak Latin may travel from one end of Poland to the other as familiarly as if he was born in the country. Bless us! What would a gentleman do that was to travel through England and could speak nothing but Latin?’

  • Daniel Defoe

  • `peasants and shepherds’ [in Hungary] `speak Latin more thoroughly than many priests do elsewhere’

          • Claim by a Flemish monk, 1633
  • In Hungary `coachmen, watermen and mean persons’ could make themselves understood in Latin’

      • Edward Browne 1668


Interestingly, the most Latin I have ever needed to speak was purely for practical reasons. I once found myself seated at lunch next to the great Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner, then retired to the Jesuit college in Munich. He had rudimentary English. I was just starting German. He asked "Nunc, frater...  um, er.... potesne loqui in Latine?" We bumped along well enough after my nervous "Sic, Pater." 

  • Interestingly, the most Latin I have ever needed to speak was purely for practical reasons. I once found myself seated at lunch next to the great Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner, then retired to the Jesuit college in Munich. He had rudimentary English. I was just starting German. He asked "Nunc, frater...  um, er.... potesne loqui in Latine?" We bumped along well enough after my nervous "Sic, Pater." 

  • Fr Gregory Sharkey, S.J.



  • Examinatio Maturitatis (1835)

  • Quaerenti, qualis Augusti aetas fuerit, plura occurunt, exquibus de ea judicari potest; primum comparatio cum aliis Romanae historiae aetatibus, nam, si ostenderis, aetatibus prioribus, quas felices appellant, similem fuisse Augusti aetatem, illis vero, quas aequalium et recentium judicium, versis et mutatis moribus in pejorem partem, republica in factiones divisa, in bello etiam rebus male gestis, dissimilem, de ea ex aliis conjecturam facere potes; tum quaerendum est, quae veteres de ea ipsa dixerint, quid externae gentes de imperio habuerint, an id veriti sint aut contemserint, denique vero quales artes litteraeque fuerint….

  • www.latinlibrary.com/marx.html



A language with class?

  • A language with class?





http://www.latinitatis.com/latinitas/menu_gb.htm (with audio samples)

  • http://www.latinitatis.com/latinitas/menu_gb.htm (with audio samples)

  • Terentius Tunberg, `Quid sit Latinitas Moderna’

    • http://www.uky.edu/AS/Classics/retiarius/ian98latin.html
  • Luigi Miraglia, `Cómo (non) s’enseña el Latín’

  • http://www.aalg.org/miraglia.htm

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recent_Latin

  • (a good survey but `Living Latin’, though normally implying spoken Latin, also extends to use in written communication)



  • As entertainment

  • As a pedagogical tool with access to past literature (Classical, Medieval or Neo-Latin) still the main goal

  • As a cultural preservation project to revive and protect an `endangered language’

  • To revive Latin as a major language of international communication













  • sine ullo metu atque cruciatu, inter etiam blandimenta nutricum et ioca arridentium et laetitias alludentium

  • Videlicet difficultas omnino ediscendae linguae peregrinae quasi felle aspergebat omnes suavitates graecas fabulosarum narrationum. Nulla enim verba illa noveram, et saevis terroribus ac poenis, ut nossem, instabatur mihi vehementer





  • Magister (entering). Salvete. (No answer ; or not improbably, someone repeats) Boy. Salvete. M. Non : tu dic Salve (pointing to him), Salve. Salvete. B. Salve. M. (offering chalk). Scribe, salve, salvete. (Points to board. Boy writes.) (So at the end of the lesson, Valete, vale.) M. (calling in a colleague, or elder boy, who is in waiting: they seat themselves side by side; then they rise). Surgimus. (They sit down.) Considimus. (Beckoning to the boys, and clapping his hands at each word of the Series.) Universi! Surgimus, Considimus. (They repeat words and acts several times; then the master beckons to another boy) Scribe `surgimus’ (he writes), Considimus(he writes). M. and Colleague. Surgimus, eximus, inimus, considimus. (They move away from the chair, and back as they say the new words: always word and act go together. Class drill.) M. and C. Surgimus, eximus ,ambulamus(they walk a few steps) revenimus,inimus, considimus,sedemus. (The words are written as before, first one by one, then the whole series of seven.) M. Nunc " aspicite caudam " (points). Quae est cauda ? (After a while, or at once, someone will answer) ? B. -mus. M. Quid valet -mus Anglice ? (He may have to ask this in English, but the answer must be got somehow.) B. We

  • From Rouse & Appleton, Latin on the Direct Method (1925)



















Have you good sugar?

  • Have you good sugar?

  • Yes, sir, I have good sugar

  • Have you the good ribbon?

  • I have the fine ribbon.

  • Which hat have you?

  • I have my ugly hat.

  • Which ribbon have you?

  • I have your fine ribbon.



A: Salvē! Quid est nōmen tibi? Hello! What’s your name?

  • A: Salvē! Quid est nōmen tibi? Hello! What’s your name?

  • B: Salvē et tū. Mihi nōmen est _______. Quid est nōmen tibi? Hello! My name’s ________ What’s your name?

  • A: Nōmen mihi est _______. Quid agis? My name’s ________ How are you?

  • B: Valeō, grātiās. Quid agis tū:? I’m fine, thanks. How are you?

  • A: Valeō. Hui, tē nōvi: Nōnne in proximō vīcō habitās?

  • I’m fine. Hey, I know you. Don’t you live in the next street?

  • B: Etiam, habitō Yes, I do.

  • A: Quid novī ibi? What’s new there?

  • B: Nihil novī. Valē, _____ Nothing new. Bye, ______

  • A: Valē, _____ Bye, _______










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