THE LATIN LANGUAGE IN THE WESTERN CIVILIZATION

THE LATIN LANGUAGE - AN INSTRUMENT OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION AND UNION . PROF. DR. DARCY CARVALHO. FEA-USP. SÃO PAULO. BRAZIL. 2019. STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL AND MODERN LATIN. SCHOLARLY NEO-LATIN TEXTS. DOCUMENTA VARIA IN LINGUA LATINA MODERNA EXARATA 

Inter the papal documents that determined the status quo of Europe, after the Portuguese and Spanish overseas discoveries, the bulae of Alexander VI deserve immediate attention of modern Latinists, for their Latin as well as by their crucial consequences for the future history of Europe.

Alexander VI . Bula Dudum siquidem. Sexto kalendas Octobris 1493. Alexander episcopus, servus servorum Dei : carissimo in Christo filio Ferdinando regi et carissime in Christo filie Elisabeth regine Castelle, Legionis, Aragonum, et Granate, illustribus, salutem et apostolicam benedictionem. Dudum siquidem omnes et singulas insulas et terras firmas, inventas et inveniendas versus occidentem et meridiem, que sub actuali dominio temporali aliquorum dominorum Christianorum constitute non essent, vobis heredibusque et subcessoribus vestris Castelle et Legionis regibus, imperpetuum, motu proprio et ex certa scientia ac de apostolice potestatis plenitudine donavimus, concessimus, et assignavimus, vosque ac heredes et successores prefatos de illis investivimus, illarumque dominos cum plena, libera, et omnimoda potestate, auctoritate, et jurisdictione, constituimus et deputavimus, prout in nostris inde confectis litteris, quarum tenores, ac si de verbo ad verbum, presentibus insererentur haberi volumus pro sufficienter expressis, plenius continetur.
Cum autem contingere posset quod nuntii et capitanei aut vassalli vestri, versus occidentem aut meridiem navigantes, ad partes orientales applicarent, ac insulas et terras firmas que Indie fuissent vel essent, repperirent, nos, volentes etiam vos favoribus prosequi gratiosis, motu et scientia ac potestatis plenitudine similibus, donationem, concessionem, assignationem, et litteras predictas, cum omnibus et singulis in eisdem litteris contentis clausulis, ad omnes et singulas insulas et terras firmas, inventas et inveniendas ac detectas et detegendas, que navigando aut itinerando versus occidentem aut meridiem hujusmodi sint vel fuerint aut apparuerint, sive in partibus occidentalibus vel meridionalibus et orientalibus et Indie existant, auctoritate apostolica, tenore presentium, in omnibus et per omnia, perinde ac si in litteris predictis de eis plena et expressa mentio facta fuisset, extendimus pariter et ampliamus, vobis ac heredibus et successoribus vestris predictis, per vos vel alium seu alios, corporalem insularum ac terrarum predictarum possessionem, propria auctoritate libere apprehendendi ac perpetuo retinendi, illasque adversus quoscunque impedientes etiam defendendi, plenam et liberam facultatem concedentes, ac quibuscunque personis etiam cujuscunque dignitatis, status, gradus, ordinis, vel condicionis, sub excommunicationis late sententie pena, quam contrafacientes eo ipso incurrant, districtius inhibentes, ne ad partes predictas ad navigandum, piscandum, vel inquirendum insulas vel terras firmas aut quovis alio respectu seu colore ire vel mittere quoquo modo presumant absque expressa et spetiali vestra ac heredum et successorum predictorum licentia, Non obstantibus constitutionibus et ordinationibus apostolicis, ac quibusvis donationibus, concessionibus, facultatibus, et assignationibus per nos vel predecessores nostros quibuscunque regibus, principibus, infantibus, aut quibusvis aliis personis aut ordinibus et miliciis, de predictis partibus, maribus, insulis, atque terris, vel aliqua eorum parte, etiam ex quibusvis causis, etiam pietatis vel fidei aut redemptionis captivorum, et aliis quantuncunque urgentissimis, et cum quibusvis clausulis etiam derogatoriarum derogatoriis, fortioribus, efficacioribus, et insolitis, etiam quascunque sententias, censuras, et penas in se continentibus, que suum per actualem et realem possessionem non essent sortite effectum, licet forsan aliquando illi quibus donationes et concessiones hujusmodi facte fuissent, aut eorum nuntii, ibidem navigassent, quas tenores illarum etiam presentibus pro sufficienter expressis et insertis habentes, motu, scientia, et potestatis plenitudine similibus, omnino revocamus, ac quo ad terras et insulas per eos actualiter non possessas pro infectis haberi volumus, nec non omnibus illis que in litteris predictis voluimus non obstare, ceterisque contrariis quibuscunque.
Datum Rome apud Sanctum Petrum, anno Incarnationis Dominice millesimo quadringentesimo nonagesimo tertio, sexto kalendas Octobris, pontificatus nostri anno secundo. Gratis de mandato sanctissimi domini nostri pape.
JOHANNES NlLIS. P. GORMAZ. Septembri.
https://la.wikisource.org/wiki/Dudum_siquidem

Lingua latina romanorum, idioma latinum medii aevi et latinum modernum inter se differunt syntaxe, orthografia et praecipue vocabulario. Latinum modernum usurpat syntaxin linguae latinae mediaevalis, sive christiana, quae proxima est ad syntaxin linguarum vernacularum modernarum. Morphologia classica tamen semper servata et servanda est. Incorretum igitor est affirmare Latinum modernum esse linguam laboriosissimam. Latinum modernum, simpliciter et immediate explicatum, nihil plus est quam lingua latina directa, simplex, seclusis inversionibus et elegantiis, lingua generalis quae, dilucide ac plane, discrepat a latino classico. Latinum hodiernum, quod volumus evolvere  et universo mundo proponere, valde proximum est linguae latinae cotidianae, quae etiam vocatur lingua latina colloquialis, idioma vivum, praeditum crystallina evidentia, saepe perceptum  ut lingua  cartesiana, quae romani utebantur domi, per vias, in foris, quando inter se candide et confidenter sermocinabant. Haec varietas latinitatis propter necessitatem practicam expedite communicandi ubique semper exstitit in vasto spatio geographico  europeo, et in romano, ut, jam a pristina aetate et postea, scripta comicorum latinorum  ac litterae familiares ciceronianae attestaverunt. Latinum in forma moderna, simplex, syntaxe solluta,  potest reviveri, reinventari ac, in diebus  nostris,  uti omnibus, qui bene sciant grammaticam linguae vernaculae qualiscumque. Licet uti Latinum non solum ut lingua colloquialis sed etiam ut sermo scriptus tam in rebus academicis quam in usu commerciali, scientifico, technico  vel oeconomico.


" The learning of Latin - undoubtedly demanding, challenging and laborious, like a dreamlike mountain hike that provides strength on its own - should not be reduced to just the purpose of getting the gray cells into shape. ... Those who learn Latin should do so mainly because Latin is the language of a whole civilization, because Europe has taken shape in the Latin language, and because the secrets of our deepest roots have been written in Latin and he or she wants to be able to decode these secrets. ... To put it in a nutshell (and at the same time to take the wind out of the sails of both the 'useless' and the useless franchise): Latin is beautiful. .... With the adjective 'beautiful' I want to express that Latin is a facet-rich, elastic, adaptable, easy and difficult, simple and complicated, regular and unreliable, clear and nebulous language, with innumerable registers and jargons, with innumerable rhetorical means, with countless styles, with a complex history. "(Nicola Gardini).
„Latein ist das großartigste Denkmal, das der Kultur des menschlichen Wortes und dem Glauben an die Möglichkeiten der Sprache je gesetzt worden ist. Latein ist weit mehr als nur sprachliche Kunstfertigkeit: Es ist – und das mach erst zu einem wahren Schatz – ein Medium, durch das sich ein ganzer Wertekanon, ein komplettes Denksystem  enwickeln konnte, die über Jahrhunderte Widerhall fanden. Die Schönheit des Latein ist die Schönheit dessen, was gerettet undwieder Teil des Lebens wurde“ (Nicola Gardini).
Nicola Gardini, Latein lebt. Von der Schönheit einer nutzlosen Sprache. Aufl., 300 S., erschienen im Rowohl-Verlag ISBN: 9783498025397

'Gli studenti spesso considerano il latino un peso e non come la possibilità di raccogliere un’eredità, di ricevere un patrimonio di conoscenze. Secondo il professor Gardini questo non accadrebbe se l’insegnamento del latino venisse liberato dal vuoto grammaticalismo e venisse dato spazio alla voce sempre attuale degli autori classici e dei loro capolavori. Alla domanda “Conoscere il latino è importante quanto conoscere la riproduzione delle cellule o la fisica quantistica?” Il professor Gardini ha dato una risposta illuminante “Molti non sanno nulla neppure di queste faccende, però nessuno si sognerebbe di contestarne l’importanza, perché le si ritiene scienze di oggi, mentre il latino è roba passata. Pregiudizi. Non sanno che la fisica e la biologia sono a loro volta costruzioni storiche tanto quanto il latino. Qualunque studio, pur nella sua pretesa di assolutezza, è inevitabilmente rivolto all’oggi. Il caso dell’archeologia mi sembra illuminante: quello che salta fuori dallo scavo entra in contatto con un tempo diverso. Da qui nasce la necessità di capire il reperto, ricollocarlo nel suo contesto, usarlo per capire che cosa è avvenuto tra il suo tempo e il nostro. Bisogna accettare che l’oggi è fatto di ieri, di moltissimi ieri. Il mazzo che vedi dall’alto non è solo la carta che sta in cima. O non c’è partita.” Alessia Roti. Claudia Carravieri (III B liceo scientifico)'

SAMPLES OF MODERN SCIENTIFIC LATIN AS A LIVING FORM OF NEO-LATIN USED FOR BOTANY, MEDICINE, PHARMACY, GEOGRAPHY, MATHEMATICS, ASTRONOMY, PHYLOSOPHY, ETC. LEARNING  CONTEMPORARY NEO-LATIN  IN THE EASIEST POSSIBLE WAY. 

In this page we shall  reproduce  European descriptions of the Latin language and in the bibliography we shall supply also Latin classical texts for immediate reading, displayed in the Hamiltonian system. The bulk of the existing  literature in Latin is constituted by medieval texts, written from the VI to the XIII century,  and  by Neo-latin texts, written from the Renaissance to the present. The Roman Latin literature that survived the ravages of History have been perfectly studied and grammatically fully described. It constitutes the necessary foundation of any attempt to learn medieval and Church Latin, Neo-latin, narrowly defined,  and contemporary, utilitarian or scientific modern Latin.

THE ROLES OF LATIN IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE

 Author  Hans HELANDER

Professeur à l’Université d’Uppsala (Suède)

1 During the 17th and the 18th centuries, the status of Latin was gradually transformed, and the roles of the ancient Roman language changed in a radical way. I shall try to give a picture of that metamorphosis.

2 Up to the 18th century educated people learnt nearly everything they knew by means of literature written in Latin. This holds true for all disciplines, including the sciences. In Early Modern Europe, the Latin texts reflect the rise of the nation states, the geographical discoveries, the Protestant movement, the Counter-Reformation and the scientific revolution. Latin was the vehicle of all the new ideas, beliefs and insights generated by these processes, from Early Renaissance up to the end of the 18th century. 

This is a long period of dynamic innovations, and the world of 15th century Italian scholars is very different from the conditions of the baroque theatrum mundi of the mid-17th century, and these in turn are utterly dissimilar to the Age of Reason that was to follow. In addition to scholarly and scientific works, learned men produced an enormous quantity of epic and panegyric works in Latin, to a large part occasional literature, extolling the virtues of their sovereigns in their struggle for the True Religion, often in close imitation of the tributes that Virgil, Horace and Ovid had paid to Augustus.

1  The statistical material is taken from Françoise Waquet, Le Latin ou l’empire d’un signe, 1998, 10 (...)

3 Of all the publications mentioned in Bibliothèque raisonnée des ouvrages des savants de l’Europe 1728-1740, 31% were still in Latin1. In many European countries, academic dissertations were normally written in Latin at least up to the beginning of the 19th century.

4 There are geographical differences to take into account, between various countries and regions of Europe, but the general pattern for Western Europe seems to be remarkably uniform, and the changing roles of Latin can be seen and explained as an expression of a general cultural and mental development that mirrors the European transition from the baroque world of religious orthodoxy and royal absolutism to the enlightenment.

5 At the beginning of the 18th century, the basic conditions for works in Latin change. In the course of one or two decades, the world seems to have become different. The spirit of the early enlightenment had for some decades gradually transformed Europe, and the scholars that were born and brought up during the latter part of the 17th century were necessarily influenced by these new ideas. In this new world there is suddenly little need of Latin epic works and panegyrics in honor of warrior kings. Religious zeal and obscurantism slowly but gradually abate. The muses string their lyres to new tunes, the humanists start praising their sovereigns in the vernaculars, in French or other languages, and the shift in outlook and focus witnesses to the changes that the enlightenment brought about in the European conception of the world.

6 The changing roles of Latin, and the use of Latin in the sciences, were frequently discussed by leading European scholars. This was a most important issue, of immediate concern for all respublica literaria.

7 One of the best-known expressions of the new attitudes can be found in the preface of the French Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (to the first edition of 1751), d’Alembert declares that it is ridiculous to write Latin verse and latin panegyrics. That is literature that decidedly belongs to the past. However, says d’Alembert, Latin well deserves to be the main language of the sciences. The famous French philosopher thus makes a clear difference between literary Latin and the pragmatic and technical language of the various scientific disciplines.

8 To sum up: Occasional Latin literature died at the beginning of the 18th century, whereas scientific and scholarly Latin continued to thrive under the extremely prosperous period of the sciences which dominated the European intellectual scene during the 18th century, and the scientists themselves were throughout the century enthusiastic supporters of the use of Latin. It is worthwhile to say a few words about some typical features of this scientific and scholarly Neo-Latin that lived a real and vital life so much longer than literary Latin:

9 The Latin language used during these centuries was subject to change, as all other living languages. The general vocabulary was firmly – and of course programatically – rooted in ancient Latin, but it was nevertheless all the time affected by small semantic changes and the vicissitudes of fashion. And, above all, the progress of the sciences necessarily promoted neologism in order to provide the disciplines with new terminology and new nomenclature.

10 Words were consequently coined all the time. This was inevitable given the enormous growth of knowledge. Scholars who comment on the actual usage sometimes feel themselves obliged to refer to Cicero’s famous words in De finibus 3,3: Imponenda nova novis rebus nomina, which may be translated, in a slightly modernized way, as “New words must be invented for new concepts”.

11 A great many new Latin words were thus formed, as technical terms, by means of new derivations based on existing stems. Especially in the biological sciences hundreds of new compound adjectives were formed to describe the properties of various species. The Latin vocabulary was often felt to be insufficient. Instead, the resources of Greek were systematically exploited in a creative process that has generated hundreds of technical terms from the Renaissance up to our own time. The Greek element is so important that it requires a special treatment.

12 The study of Latin scholarly and scientific prose has not attracted many Neo-Latin scholars. Modern Latinists will often be surprised at the occurrence of words and expressions that do belong to ancient Latin but are rare there, or seem to have changed their sense in an unexpected way. It is remarkable that several of the words that belong to the categories just mentioned actually turn out to be key-words in the dissertational discourse and part of the academic jargon, words that refer to the very nucleus and core of a treatise, that is: the aim and purpose of the work, delimitations, definitions, and the classification and subdivisions of the material, the focus and emphasis of the investigation and the outcome of the investigation. We find phrases like proponere sibi scopum (aim at); ad id collimare (strive for; aim at); haec consideranda veniunt (these things should be taken into account); de rebus haec concernentibus (about things that have to do with these matters); intuitu primae originis (with special regard to the first origin of …); qua animum, qua corpus (with regard to the soul, with regard to the body); in quinque libros illam dispescit historiam (he divides his narrative into five books).

13 Scientific and scholarly Latin bears witness to the rapidly growing knowledge in all fields and disciplines, from the 15th century and onwards. New words were taken into use to express new concepts, and those neologisms were regularly formed from Latin – and not the least – from Greek stems. This language was a living language with characteristic features and with its own typical jargon, expressions and phrases. Notes

1  The statistical material is taken from Françoise Waquet, Le Latin ou l’empire d’un signe, 1998, 105.

Cours et travaux du Collège de France. Annuaire 111e année, Collège de France, Paris, avril 2012, p. 885-887. ISBN 978-2-7226-0156-7. Référence électronique

Hans HELANDER, « The Roles of Latin in Early Modern Europe », L’annuaire du Collège de France [En ligne], 111 | 2012, mis en ligne le 22 novembre 2013, consulté le 03 novembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/annuaire-cdf/1783 ; DOI : 10.4000/annuaire-cdf.1783. Auteur Hans HELANDER. Professeur à l’Université d’Uppsala (Suède)

https://journals.openedition.org/annuaire-cdf/1783

NEO-LATIN WRITTERS. 

Literature written in Neo-latin started with the Italian Renaissance and  flourished until the end of the XIX century. The authors, whose works are becoming available, in crescent number, in the  internet, belong to all countries of Europe and lived during the last 600 years. This is a short list of them:

1 Dimitri Cantemir (1673- 1723)

Dimitri Cantemir (1673- 1723). CANTEMIR is the name of a celebrated family of Tatar origin, which came from the Crimea in the 17th century and settled in Moldavia. Constantine Cantemir became a prince of Moldavia, 1685–1693. He was a good and conscientious ruler, who protected the people from the rapacity of the tax-gatherers and introduced peace into his country. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Antioch, who ruled twice, 1696–1700 and 1705–1707. His youngest brother, Demetrius or Demeter Cantemir (b. October 26, 1673), was made prince of Moldavia in 1710; he ruled only one year, 1710–1711, when he joined Peter the Great in his campaign against the Turks and placed Moldavia under Russian suzerainty. Beaten by the Turks, Cantemir emigrated to Russia, where he and his family finally settled. He died at Kharkov in 1723. He was known as one of the greatest linguists of his time, speaking and writing eleven languages, and being well versed in Oriental scholarship. He was a voluminous and original writer of great sagacity and deep penetration, and his writings range over many subjects. The best known is his History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire. He also wrote a history of oriental music, which is no longer extant; the first critical history of Moldo-Walachia; the first geographical, ethnographical and economic description of Moldavia, Descriptio Moldaviae, under the name of Historia Hieroglyphica, to which he furnished a key, and in which the principal persons are represented by animals; also the history of the two ruling houses of Brancovan and Cantacuzino; and a philosophical treatise on the old theme of the disputation between soul and body, written in Greek and Rumanian under the title Divanul Lumii. The latter’s son, Antioch Cantemir (born in Moldavia, 1700; died in Paris, 1744), became in 1731 Russian minister in Great Britain, and in 1736 minister plenipotentiary in Paris. He brought to London the Latin MS. from whence the English translation of his father’s history of the Turkish empire was made by N. Tindal, London, 1756, to which he added an exhaustive biography and bibliography of the author (pp. 455-460). He was a Russian poet and almost the first author of satires in modern Russian literature. Bibliography.—Operele Principelui D. Cantemir, ed. Academia Română (1872 foll.); A. Philippide, Introducere in istoria limbei si literat. romane (Iasi, 1888), pp. 192-202; O. G. Lecca, Familiile boeresti romane (Bukarest, 1898), pp. 144-148; M. Gaster, Chrestom. româna, i. 322, 359 (in Cyrillic). Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition. Vol V, page 209.

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