Talk:New Latin

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Web comics[edit]

I am afraid we must consider the removal of the link to those web comics. They are not entirely in correct Latin. Caesarion 10:34, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, because we count on web comics to provide us our grammatical models? ;) —Muke Tever 15:05, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But the English used in British and American graphic novels is often far from grammatically correct in the strict sense of the word. Are they then to be considered invalid as works of art and literature? The same variance from scholarly norms is likewise to be found in comics in other languages, such as French bande dessinee, Italian fumetti, and Japanese manga, yet these are often elevated to the level of high art. Nuttyskin 17:27, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, comics have been quite a vulgar medium even since their origins in the 18th-19th-20th century... 惑乱 分からん 23:23, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Greek equivalent[edit]

Is there a Greek equivalent to New Latin? Considering how scholars make up new words from classical Greek roots? 惑乱 分からん 13:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

New Italic text latin may be very difficult sometimes. The founder of it Italic textCharles Wegburg was always coparing it to clasic and old latin.
There is no need for such an equivalent, as the modern idiom is sufficiently similar to the Classical as to render its most ancient texts within the capability of readers with only a little specialist training. Nuttyskin 17:27, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I heard that, but I'm not sure on how true it is. What about the differences between Street Greek and Katharevousa? 惑乱 分からん 23:23, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Abandoning Latin[edit]

I'm definately no historian by profession, and I guess I wouldn't really know much about this, but I make a connection between protestantism abandonning latin as the preferred language of the church, and the overall decline in popularity. And I'm somewhat surprised to see no mention of this possible connection in this article. Now, as I said, I'm not sure I'm right, so I'm not editing the article, but hopefully someone who knows will pick up this little lead and deal with it. 11:33, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Educated Protestants and Catholics both used Latin for many public purposes for about 200 years after the Reformation. Even early Protestant creeds, like the Confessio Augustana, were written in Latin. It's true that the Protestants preferred a vernacular liturgy in Protestant Churches, but they used Latin for secular purposes more than ever in the centuries following, indeed, some of the most notable examples of New Latin come from Protestant countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, Scotland and others. The Catholics used a Latin liturgy until very recent times (down to the mid-20th century); it doesn't seem to have affected the level of Latin education one way or another. In diplomatic correspondence, which is well-preserved and easy to trace (and where Latin had obvious utility when all parties were familiar with the language), the leader in the abandonment of Latin was France -- a Catholic country.
If there's a relationship, I think that it's more that the Protestant use of vernacular languages in religion was a symptom (not the cause) of the general increase in production of books in the vernaculars, including translations from other languages, which ultimately could contribute to a sense that Latin was unnecessary. But at the beginning of this period (c. 1500-1700) the increase in vernacular books went side by side with an equally great increase in the publication of Latin books, so the transition ended up being quite slow, and took place in Catholic and Protestant countries alike.RandomCritic 14:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
There you go again with your head out of sight in the clouds. I hate to belabor you with logic but when we abstract, or generalize, we do so from particulars and specifics; otherwise, it is not generalization, but innovation. What you say gives me plenty of confidence that you can innovate and none that you can generalize. On Wikipedia the generalizations without the details are treated as original research. We use the generalizations and the specifics of credible sources, the experts, if you will. Who made you an expert and why do you think you should be accepted as such? References are easy: first you look up the concept either electronically or in paper. Then you summarize it (that calls for a little ability) then you work it into the article and at a suitable pause you put ref and /ref in angle brackets. Between them you put a cite book or cite journal or whatever template (you can find them under help - check my user page if you wish) and give the reference including page number. I think this article has a set-up for the notes you can follow. Without that process your generalizations have no validity and cannot stand when questioned. I guess you might say by working on this article I am questioning all your generalizations (or innovations). Why don't you get busy and put them in just to prove you can do it, hey? I am sure you are not going to like it a bit when I start removing them all as unreferenced, because I disagree with most of them. Sorry, it is reality-facing time.Dave (talk) 23:27, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

French immersion[edit]

You may find interesting this quotation from Latin or the Empire of a Sign about the proposal of a "Latin village" ad usum Delphini in 1620. -- 12:25, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


This article discusses two very different types of Latin; the post-Humanist Latin of educated writers, which was still flourishing in the 17th and 18th centuries, but was dying out (or reduced to a system of stereotyped tags) by the mid-19th century; and modern exercises in Latin translation of the Winnie-ille-Pu variety. The gap between Alexander Lenard and, say, Linnaeus is far greater than that between Linnaeus and Erasmus. I suggest splitting this article into two to reflect this gap. The question then is, what name is to be given to the "newer" New Latin? RandomCritic 13:41, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Factual Accuracy Tag[edit]

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated, as Mark Twain said.

This article is being personally opinionated and polemical in "declaring New Latin dead" with an arbitrary date. Check your dictionary — New Latin or Modern Latin is 1500 to "present".

It should be thoroughly re-worked, simply describing a decline in New Latin study and scholarly use through the 20th Century.

New Latin is still the official language of an internationally-recognized state, Vatican City, and New Latin is not just "preserved" in binomial nomenclature, it is "the language of" binomial nomenclature.

(New) Latin names and phrases are also still used for other academic/scientific purposes, such as the names of journals, and mottos.

A separate point is that the article should clarify the distinction between the use of New Latin, and Classical Latin, during the period 1500-present — with Classical Latin being the form used in language instruction from the (late) 19th Century to present. (There is even reputedly something of a revival of interest in Classical Latin among students in recent years.) (talk) 00:54, 5 August 2008 (UTC)Complainer

OK I have removed the Factual Accuracy tag, and put in a big intro section that clarifies everything. I don't have time to rewrite the whole article though, so the following sections need to be reworked to reflect what has been stated supra. (talk) 00:54, 5 August 2008 (UTC)Doer (formerly known as Complainer)

I think there was a misunderstanding of the thrust of the article. There is no claim that "New Latin is dead" -- only that it is misleading to consider recent Latin productions (mostly dating from 1960 on) under the same rubric with Latin texts of the 16th-19th centuries. Obviously, Latin has continued to be taught continuously to the present day, but there is a discontinuity in production, with the exception of Ecclesiastical Latin which is sui generis and has its own article.
It's misleading to claim that "Classical Latin" is what is being taught or used by Living Latin enthusiasts of today. Classical Latin should be restricted to the language actually used by the Romans as a living language. People who wish to use Latin in modern contexts must use a modified 'dialect' of the language, or they'll be restricted to pseudo-classical pastiche. Using Latin as a spoken language for the 20th century necessarily requires the re-creation of the language to deal with things unknown to the Romans, even if, in principle, the grammar, syntax and pronunciation are identical to those of the Romans (which is not really the case -- the substrate native languages exert a strong influence). That's what the Recent Latin article is about -- merging it with this article would obfuscate the unique characteristics that distinguish recent Latin from both New Latin and Classical Latin.

RandomCritic (talk) 22:59, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Merge Recent Latin Article with New Latin[edit]

"Recent Latin" is not a well-accepted concept (check your dictionary). That article has been tagged for merger with New Latin.

The Recent Latin content is also somewhat opinionated — "it is primarily used as a form of entertainment" (Church Latin?); "intending to shrink readership, not expand it" (who's given the mandate readership should be expanded?). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:34, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Why not split, and create new page; 'Living Latinity' for recreational usage?
Neo-Latin survives in the fields of botany & within the Catholic Church, where the new pronunciations have no accepted standing, even though such reforms in pronunciation were initiated by such historical figures as Erasmus at the dawn of Neo-Latin. The term 'Neo-Latin' itself was only invented in the mid 19th Century, and at the time that referred to Latin from the Renaissance revisionists to the present. The use of Latin for sensitive subjects surely is a mere, insular remnant of scientific Neo-Latin. The Latin version of 'Recent Latin' simply refers to 'latinitas viva' - living latinity.
Perhaps this spurious term 'Recent Latin' should be split; the recreational use of Latin, renamed 'Living Latinity' which could be regarded as a movement from the beginning of the 20th Century, attempting to revive Latin or restore its former vehicular applications, within new and entertaining dialogues and publications in the Neo-Latin medium. All surviving, official applications of Latin today, ought to be acknowledged as integral to the Neo-Latin tradition (which is precisely what they are (they clearly did not die in the 19th Century) irrespective of the trends of official establishments largely abandoning Neo-Latin for vehicular publications) i.e. Neo-Latin should extend to the present, when discussing Latin used in such officially endorsed contexts, especially when such applications survive from Renaissance times.

Homoproteus (talk) 14:24, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


It would be interesting to include the romanian pronunciation of latin, and also references to the language's usage. Latin is still being taught in secondary school there as a compulsory subject as far as i know. The ministry of education in Romania view the learning of latin as essential in the comprehension and study of all neo-latin languages, as a means to understand each other's common substratum. (talk) 14:23, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

"naturalized in European languages"[edit]

I don't understand the intended meaning of the word "naturalized" in the following sentence from the article: "New Latin has also contributed a vocabulary, to some extent naturalized in European languages, for specialized fields such as anatomy and law."

The phrase may be intended to mean something like "... to some extent converted into local language," but that is only a guess on my part. I would like to improve the wording, but cannot accomplish that since I don't understand what the sentence is supposed to mean. Can anyone explain? Dratman (talk) 15:42, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

New Latin reform needed[edit]

As everyone can see the unreferenced generalities of the article are below standard. It's on Wikipedia, it belongs on Wikipedia, so thanks for putting it in. That raises the question whether it is better to throw in a thousand place holders of pure baloney or only to put in articles you can do a decent job on. It's immaterial now; the article is there. I'm generally going to stay with these Latin place holders until they start to say something truthful. Meanwhile, until I can get to it (or you can get to it) don't take anything at all seriously unless you see a little superscript number at the end of it (and then with reticence). All the arguments above are sort of pointless as this is mainly a wrong article and if the wrongness goes away there won't be any point in arguing. Sometimes it is hard to understand, this is not an "I think" game. I think the moon is made of green cheese. So what. If I tell that to 4.3 million people 535000 or so will think the moon is made of green cheese. Don't start chanting "four legs good, two legs bad" until you see the little numbers. This article by the way is mildly anti-Catholic.Dave (talk) 22:37, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

What on earth are you talking about? RandomCritic (talk) 03:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I explained that below. For instance, "Medieval Latin had been the practical working language of the Roman Catholic Church, taught throughout Europe to aspiring clerics and refined in the medieval universities." Not true. By the time New Latin arrived medieval Latin was long gone and moreover a lot of the humanists were Catholic. You're writing in chiaroscura, drawing sharp lines, casting the church as medievalist and therefore backward. It's true, some decisions of the church were not too propitious but they were not characteristic of the church diachronically or over all geography, any more than the current troubles in my part of the country are "catholic" per se. That is what I am talking about, categorization of the church. I think you will find elements of the church were present in just about every major cultural development including humanism, if that is what you call it. I would have thought the humanism went with the Renaissance rather than with New Latin. I don't know what YOU mean there, which is why I would like you to reference and expand it. Adequate explanation is not wordiness and two unclear and inaccurate sentences are not a satisfactory introduction. The introduction is unsat, the article is unsat. Either get busy or back out.Dave (talk) 19:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
User:Botteville is imputing meanings that have absolutely no foundation in the text. Nobody said that the humanists were not Catholic; nobody disputes that they were. To the best of my knowledge, nobody who has contributed to this article has problems with either Catholics or the Latin used by Catholics. The sentence that he refers to was far from bashing medieval Latin (apparently Botteville is of the opinion that 'medieval' is equivalent to 'backward', which is entirely wrong). Medieval Latin was, of course, not "long gone" by the end of the 15th century; the humanistic movement had been largely confined to Italy, and you can find medieval traits in the Latin used throughout northern Europe (which Botteville may note was largely Protestant). But the point of the sentence Botteville has problems with is that the medieval language was a very rich and flexible one; and that Neo-Latin retained a great deal of that flexibility. The anti-Catholicism Botteville sees is a pure figment of his imagination. RandomCritic (talk) 00:37, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


The Intro is supposed to be a brief statement of the subject-matter of the article, not a long essay aimed at arguing a point of view. I have deleted User:Botteville's latest edit to the introduction, since it fails at doing the job an introduction is supposed to do. There are a few good points in it which should go back in the body, but there are also a host of bad generalizations and some very bad writing which make the article worse and less encyclopedic. I list my objections below:

How are you buddy. Sorry, I'm not through with this article or this introduction. It is not badly written, it is well-written.
I'm afraid it really is badly written. That's not a value judgment, just a fact; you cannot write articles with this style or tone and expect them to be accepted as encylopedic material. You just need a lot of practice in writing, and you need to accept that until you come up to at least an average standard, you are going to see very major edits to your contributions.RandomCritic (talk) 00:41, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem is, I did not yet put in any references. Everything I said has references. The generalizations are NOT my generalizations. From your tone I would say you are an angry young man and this a form of vandalism. You don't like my criticisms. However, you have the privilege of removing unreferenced material. I am therefore going to put this back sentence by sentence with adequate references. I apologize for being slow. You took me for a person who wants to put his own unreferenced opinion in place of your unreferenced opinion. I didn't mean to mislead you. I'm going to fix the problem over the next few days. I've worked this way often but every once in a while a reader like you moves faster than I do. When I do put the references in, you must come up with other references or show that they are not adequate references. Play the game please. I will work with you until your anger abates but keep in mind you must have good reasons for deleting referenced material (which so far mine has not been, but will be.)Dave (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

New Latin, Neo-Latin and Modern Latin according to the English dictionary definition refer to a form of the Latin language used from about 1500 AD to the present.

This article is not about "Modern Latin", i.e. Latin as used in the present day -- that is covered in the Contemporary Latin article, the link to which User:Botteville deleted. I don't know what dictionary Botteville was using, but in any case the usage of one dictionary is not determinative.
This article IS about modern Latin. Have you tried a few dictionaries? Modern Latin is NOT the same as contemporary Latin, which is why the author(s) of that article chose contemporary Latin. Contemporary is right on the edge of what is happening more or less now. Modern includes everything up to and including contemporary but contemporary adds a significance not necessarily in modern. This is not a mutually exclusive circumstance; both are right and both articles are justified.Dave (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The essential difference between the preceding Renaissance Latin and Modern Latin is that, while Renaissance Latin aimed at the restitution of correct Latin as it was expressed in the Classical Latin period, or age of the "first class" Latin, Modern Latin attempts to adapt that Latin to scholarly, philosophic and scientific contexts not available to the classical speakers and writers.

Vague, poorly written, and not suitable for the intro. Calling Classical Latin "first class Latin" is POV and unencyclopedic in tone. And in fact Renaissance Latin authors had to deal with "contexts not available to classical writers", and used an immense number of neologisms themselves, most of which were retained into the Neo-Latin period.
Did you read the article on Classical Latin? Classical MEANS "first-class". I will reference that meaning. Now, for the contexts not available to ancient writers, I got that from a book. Well I am going to go on but right for the moment I got something else to do. I will put the preceding back with references and then we will go on to the next points until it is all back with references. Meanwhile try to get hold of yourself. This is an encyclopedia not a TV show. I will add, if you did not like what I said about the previous, you should have put references in. Since we are only at the start of this article I would suggest you get going and find references for the rest of the article, because this article is on my list and I am going over it with a fine-toothed comb and whatever else is unreferenced and unsupported is coming out. Work with me or butt out. Whatever you say that is referenced I will respect. I will help you where I can. When I find unreferenced generalizations, in contrast to you, I do my best to find references for them and I will continue that. If they fail the Internet test then they have to come out. I am glad actually I have you on hand so I can demand references in person.Dave (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

It therefore typically creates a large number of neologisms by re-casting the meanings of ancient words or re-composing quasi-classical new words from authentic classical segments or borrowing segments from relevant contexts in other languages; that is to say, the segments have become newly productive of vocabulary items expressing a modern inventory of concepts.

Diffuse and overly verbose; all Botteville is reallly saying is that you can find neologisms in Neo-Latin. That is true, but it is hardly distinctive; Latin had been accruing neologisms from the late Imperial period onward.
No, that is NOT all I am really saying. New Latin is characterized by a large number of neologisms, more than any other period. That is standard. What do you think botanical Latin is? You will find only a small percentage of those words in classical Latin, and yet the words you do find comprise most of classical. Botanical Latin is vast and it is mainly neologistic. Statements such as yours reveal the state of your knowledge about the subject, but I am not getting into that. References will be forthcoming. Have you never heard of references on Wikipedia? Why is it you are doing articles without references? Calm down, I'm trying to help, being something of a Latinist myself. Tell you what. YOU come up with some alternatives to what I am going to put back, but make sure they have references, and I would like some quotes please. Also when I put a statement back, if you do not like the way it is written, I challenge you to rewrite it as long as you stick to the point that is being made. Then we can consider different ways to say things. If you say something is verbose, for example, you have to indicate the unnecessary words or rewrite it so as to eliminate them, and then I will take a look at it, and we will come to agreement. Later (not too much).Dave (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Like any language Latin has always had a spontaneity in the expression of meanings based on the contexts available to the speakers.

The preceding sentence has no meaning whatsoever.

The modern effort to restore that innovative spontaneity after a total change of contexts is perhaps first seen in the efforts of Desiderius Erasmus to recast the Late Latin of the Vulgate Bible into classical language. He began with the concept of emending the text. The process of restoring ancient text by comparing the corrupted versions of the existing copies had begun in the Renaissance. Erasmus called his work an "emendation." It was not that; there was no original Latin text to restore. Instead he rewrote the Vulgate in language he considered more correct and more reflective of the original Greek, calling his work a nova versio, "new translation." It was published in 1516.

The above isn't really relevant to the article. The works of Erasmus (like those of other humanists) had, of course, an influence on the way Latin was taught and the kind of style that was considered good; but you'd be hard-pressed to demonstrate that Erasmus' version (which was, of course, not used liturgically) had a major effect on the development of Latin -- it probably was more of an aid and an encouragement to the study of Greek. The living matter of Neo-Latin is to be found in original Latin works, not in translations.

Subsequently the use of the adjective: novus, nova, novum, caught on: new dictionary, new grammar, new edition, etc., which recast all the ancient dictionaries, grammars, and editions, especially on topics newly opened to science.

The above is almost entirely meaningless. What on earth can Botteville mean by saying that "novus, nova, novum caught on"? It is true that as scholarship in Latin progressed, there were new grammars written and new dictionaries, but these proliferated throughout the period 1500-1900, abetted by the invention of printing and the freer exchange of ideas over long distances. But that had very little to do with "topics newly opened to science", and more to do with painstaking textual, paleographic, and linguistic analyses.

Linnaeus created a new botanical language redefining and remorphologizing the old, defining new rules and techniques for word formation.

"Remorphologizing"? Insofar as the above sentence has any meaning at all, it is highly dubious. Linnæus didn't "create a new language" -- he created a new system, which demanded the ability to form a large number of novel names and descriptors. If you've examined botanical (and zoölogical) language closely, you'll know that individual scientists have exploited their privilege of naming in highly unorthodox (linguistically) ways, rather than hewing to any Linnæan "rules and techniques" (which don't really exist).

The physicists moved in the same direction, creating New Latin monographs in language that was never intended to be spoken or written by any class of the population, but were expositions of a new technology.

Of course scientific Latin was intended to be both spoken and written by a definite class of the population: by professional scientists and their students. Also, the word "technology" is ill-chosen; the examples given below are not technological at all.

For example, Galileo recast inertia, "sluggishness", into the property by which all bodies resist change of motion. Newton devised new compounds, centripetus and centrifugus, "center-seeking" and "center-fleeing" to refer to new forces he had discovered, and so on.

Now, that is interesting and relevant, and could be put in the article (in the section relating to scientific uses of Neo-Latin); but some evidence should be provided that Galileo and Newton were the first Neo-Latin writers to use the words in these terms in these senses.

User:Botteville has a perfect right to make edits, but he needs to be a lot more careful with how and what he writes if he expects them to stick. It's rather troubling to see him declaring that "this is mainly a wrong article", and then immediately follow that declaration up by adding an introductory section, most of which is wrong. And I'm still interested in seeing how he justifies his claim that the article is "anti-Catholic" -- that would seem to be complete fantasy on his part.RandomCritic (talk) 13:48, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I'll jump ahead a little on this buddy. With refernce to the "beginnings" subsection, you portray the church as backward, working with a backward Latin and holding everyone back (implicitly because if its ignorance and stupidity) until the impled Protestant humanists came along and straightened them out with New Latin.
There is actually no implication of that sort in the article. It takes a great deal of imagination to perceive that. Where do you see a value judgment about different kinds of Latin? Medieval Latin wasn't backward; it was, however, different in style, orthography, grammar and vocabulary both from Classical Latin and Neo-Latin. The fact of the (gradual) change isn't disputable; the value judgments are solely Botteville's.RandomCritic (talk) 00:47, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeh? Well what about Renaissance Latin? Who do you think invented it? What religion do you think Dante was, hey? Do you think medieval Latin was in use by the church in Dante's time? You're just parroting the most jingoistic of the Protestants, only you don't seem to recognize that fact.
This really isn't the kind of tone a Wikipedia editor should be taking (Playground language like "Oh yeh?" and "So there.") This is not a personal matter; we're all working together to improve the articles. As I noted before, nobody who has worked on this article was trying to express anti-Catholic ideas; the critique of the Catholic Church that Botteville perceives just isn't there. RandomCritic (talk) 00:47, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
The concept that the Catholic church was just a backward old drag on language and civilization (and was corrupt to boot) is an old song sung by the Protestants and although Protestant myself (and from the most troubled diocese in recent times excluding northern Ireland) I certainly reject it. From what I read the pot was calling the kettle black, to make use of an old adage. In any case despite its tag as humanist the Renaissance was as much Catholic as anything else. Luther came in at the END of the Renaissance, not the beginning. So there. But this yes-it-is-no-it-isn't is not getting anywhere. This might as well be a family dispute. We got both religions in our family. I question all of your generalizations in that section (and other sections). They seem factually wrong to an old/new Latinist like me. References please. I have put the tag on since the matter has come up.Dave (talk) 17:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Copied from Talk[edit]

I'm moving this from my Talk page, where it seems to have been misplaced, as it is a response to my remarks on this Talk page.RandomCritic (talk) 00:50, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

New Latin[edit]

Hi random critic. I see the winds of your randomness have wafted in my direction, only I do not think they are random. You didn't like something I said about something YOU wrote. This is something of a surprise attack. You could have questioned me about this or waited until I put the references in but you chose to sweep in and delete before I could reference anything, even though I said, references to follow. But in another sense you are making life interesting for me. This is a little different. You throw down a challenge. I take up the challenge. I wouldn't give you any barn star for your behavior in this article so far or for the article either. The article is not a good article and needs improvement, including all the missing references. I intend to improve it. You caught me with my references down in some sort of Wiki Pearl Harbor. You won't find it so easy from this point on. The stuff is going back in with the missing references, but I invite you to collablorate with me on this. Find references for your own generalizations! Rewrite my stuff! Add things I never thought of! The one thing you aren't going to do from now on is just revert everything I do. That will be vandalism and right now it is only not because you caught me unreferenced by surprise. I invite you, play the game with me, or else yield the ground in this tournament of the New Latin article. See my initial comments in the discussion on the article. Changes will be coming but slow. Forgive me, I move slowly but I hope surely. I got something else to do right now but I will be back. The first step is to do your dictionary work for you, which you evidently didn't do. Why do I have to do everything myself around here?Dave (talk) 16:43, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Well,after all this serious talk I have not yet gotten to restoration with modifications and references. That is because other things in this series of Latin articles seem more important right now. I was gratified to see that Latin failed its evaluation. It should fail. What is the good of labeling trash a good article? So, these other articles are keeping me from this one. Be patient, however. Meanwhile when are you going to make a move to provide some references? You are just going to get even more upset when I start taking out unreferenced material. What I suspect, of course, is that you can't because there are none. Losing your temper with me isn't going to help that I fear. So, I will be back. Why don't you pleasantly suprise me/us?Dave (talk) 14:48, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Hi Dave. What exactly is the purpose of your troll? Who has lost his temper here? Why don't you pleasantly suprise us all by making some referenced improvements of your own? I'm sorry to hear that you have time to troll, but not to work. Rwflammang (talk) 15:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Antonio de Nebrija, lost between two disparate classification criteria?[edit]

I wanted to include a mention of the Spanish Humanist Antonio de Nebrija either in the article about Renaissance Latin or in this one about New Latin. Nebrija lived 1441-1522 and wrote his famous Introductiones Latinæ in 1481. Now, the Renaissance Latin article lists authors of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries only, and classifies them clearly according to their date of death. This way understood, Nebrija is a sixteenth century author (died 1522) and doesn't fit there. The New Latin article nevertheless lists not autors but works, and does so by their date of issue, starting from 1500. This way understood, Nebrija wrote in the fifteenth century (1481) and his contribution cannot be included there either. Please advise on how to sort out this problem, because Nebrija is one of the best known Latin humanists both in Spain and abroad (cf. Jozef IJsewijn, Companion to Neo-Latin Studies, Part I, 3.2.5. Spain, pp. 104-117) and his contribution cannot be silenced just because of inadequate classification criteria. Aggfvavitus (talk) 12:15, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually, Renaissance Latin sorts the authors by date of birth, but they are admitted to the list according to whether they were actually producing Latin works during the relevant period. Since Nebrija wrote during the 15th century, he fits in the Renaissance Latin article (and is actually older than some of the other authors listed there). RandomCritic (talk) 04:59, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, RandomCritic. I now see what you mean (Filelfo has been put before Alberti because he was born before him although he died after him). What I meant is that, by looking at the list in the Renaissance Latin page, it also appears that authors have been arranged within each century according to the year in which they died, as that would seem to be the only reason why Dante (born 1265) and Ockham (born ca. 1288) can be listed in the 14th century, and Bruni (born cz. 1370), Beccadelli (born 1394) and Filelfo (born 1398) in the 15th. If the sorting is according to date of birth, the first two should be under a new 13th century category, and the second three in the 14th. Now, if they have been distributed per century according to the dates of their publications, then it is those dates (rather than, or at least as well as, those of their births and deaths) that should be given and made explicit in the article, so that the listing criteria are clear. So far that appears nowhere in the Renaissance Latin page. The year of their production is the criterion explicitly used to classify both New Latin authors and Contemporary Latin autors, but the format and thus apparent sorting criterion of the list of Renaissance Latin authors is clearly different to the naked eye. I of course am all in favour of using the same criterion and format for all, and so of listing Renaissance Latin authors also by the dates of their work, but so far this has not explicitly been done that way. If you tell me that Nebrija belongs in the 15th century list, good (I see that you have now added him there); but he will thus be the first one whose date of death is outside of the century under which he is classified. Until dates of production are given, as for New and Contemporary Latin, I'd say the Renaissance listing and its dating criteria remain very puzzling and in no way explicit. Also I think this conversation should be moved to the Renaissance Latin page too. Thanks in any case for your contribution. Aggfvavitus (talk) 14:03, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


George I of Great Britain (a Hanoverian) likely communicated with his government in French, not Latin. Is there any cite to accompany the article's claim? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Your doubts are unfounded. Although George I spoke French, his Prime Minister did not; and they accordingly carried on their discussions in Latin, as cited. RandomCritic (talk) 12:05, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

New Latin or Neo Latin?[edit]

Sorry, I'm fairly new here, but I'm a bit unsure about why the term "New Latin" is heading this page when all of the references use "Neo". "New Latin" is pretty confusing. Is it just because of the definition from the college dictionary? The OED doesn't even seem to list it as a recognised term.

Early Renaissance titles / additional headings[edit]

Currently the representation of titles here begins arbitrarily with the Northern Renaissance, omitting the 14th and 15th century antecedents. While Wikipedia possesses a Renaissance Latin article, the relationship between "Neo-Latin" and "Renaissance Latin" is by no means delineated or clarified by the New Latin article. Methinks this is the case because the division between the two articles is arbitrary since post 1500 Latin is fundamentally an extension of Renaissance Latin. See for example how the subject is engaged at the Cambridge University Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages: What is Neo-Latin?

The boundary is not arbitrary, but corresponds to the standardization of Latin usage motivated by the advent of printing, and the much closer contacts between Latin scholars across Europe that began in the last few decades of the 15th century. Prior to that, humanistic Latin had been restricted to Italy and to those scholars who were strongly influenced by Italian humanism. But by 1500 the new Latin was no longer a local trend, but the standard for all Europe.RandomCritic (talk) 04:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in responding. I disagree. The 1500 boundary is arbitrary. The more substantial break is earlier and Neo Latin as it is conventionally defined most everywhere outside of wikipedia embraces the Renaissance developments, especially from the 15th century. E.g., "The purpose of the American Association of Neo Latin Studies is to promote the study and teaching of Latin and Latin-language literature in their Neo-Latin manifestations, from the beginning of Italian humanism until the present day."
The highly regarded BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ON-LINE NEO-LATIN TEXTS aims to provide an "analytic bibliography of Latin texts written during the Renaissance and later."
The German Neo-Latin Society (Deutsche Neulateinische Gesellschaft) "is concerned with texts which were authored in the Latin language from the beginning of the Humanist movement in the age of Petrarch (14th century) to the present."
The OED defines Neo-Latin as: "Of or relating to Latin as used since the late 14th cent. by authors seeking (esp. during the Renaissance) to emulate classical rather than medieval models."
It happens to be much easier to separate out authors and works by date than it is to determine whether they are "emulating classical rather than mediæval models". And if you push the date back to the fourteenth century, you are inevitably going to bring in a lot of Latin writers whose Latin is certainly not "neo". Whereas by restricting the scope of the page to authors writing from 1500 on, there's a near-guarantee that you're going to be looking at Latin that is stylistically influenced by humanist Latin. But of course the major characteristic of Neo-Latin is not that it's pure humanist Latin (much less Classical Latin), but that it merges elements of mediæval tradition (including the peculiar, non-classical vocabulary of administrators, lawyers, physicians, clergy, philosophers and scientists) with aspects of the humanist reform, practically applied. RandomCritic (talk) 02:06, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the problem is in the general conception of the category. "Neo Latin" as generally employed by scholars of late medieval/early modern Latin certainly embraces Renaissance Latin, whereas "New Latin" in the original intent of this page was more narrowly focused on more modern Latin scientific vocabulary. Gamonetus (talk) 20:42, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe that's ever been the principal focus of this page.RandomCritic (talk) 02:06, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

To this end, the works listed on the Renaissance Latin page could be amalgamated into this page's lists.

I don't think that's a great idea. The lists are too long anyway, and Humanist/Renaissance Latin deserves its own categorization. A simple, though not strictly chronological, way of distinguishing renaissance from Neo-Latin books could be to answer the question: was it first published as a manuscript book or a print book? If the former, it is perhaps better classified as Renaissance Latin.RandomCritic (talk) 04:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

On a separate note, the heading Other technical subjects could now be profitably subdivided into Political Theory, Philosophy, History, Theology. Objections?

The lists were never intended to be (and could not possibly be) a complete bibliography of Neo-Latin texts -- they were only intended to suggest the geographic and chronological extent of Neo-Latin, and the variety of subjects covered. But they have grown by random additions by various editors. They could be more aptly pruned than expanded.RandomCritic (talk) 04:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
No argument that the lists are long. Pruning of titles down to the most significant works with the addition of a couple of more specific categories from my perspective would be an upgrade. The current lists favor science and literature over theology and political theory.Gamonetus (talk) 20:42, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Finally, count my voice as a vote for Neo-Latin over New Latin as the most fitting title for the subject. Gamonetus (talk) 15:38, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

On this we agree. I prefer "Neo-Latin" myself, but I think "New Latin" was the form used when I started editing this article.RandomCritic (talk) 04:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Let's end on our agreement. "Neo Latin" is certainly the preferred expression. Perhaps this article should be moved to "Neo Latin" and separate, brief "New Latin" article launched corresponding the more narrow intent of the original article to focus on the scientific use of Latin in recent centuries. It wrote: "New Latin or Neo-Latin is a post-medieval version of Latin primarily used in International Scientific Vocabulary cladistics and systematics. The term came into wide-spread use towards the end of the 1890's among linquists and scientists." Gamonetus (talk) 20:42, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think anybody anywhere considers "New Latin" and "Neo-Latin" to be two distinct entities. I can see a case being made for a "Scientific Latin" article; though I'm not yet convinced the case would be a good one. Scientific Latin -- meaning the Latin that scientists actually wrote in -- has a lengthy history, which includes elements of classical, mediæval, renaissance and neo-Latin. That history is extraordinarily complex and involved, with interaction between physicians, pharmacists, botanists, zoologists, and others who were all closely tied into the Latin-reading and -writing 'republic of letters' that characterized Europe down to the 19th century. It certainly covers a whole lot more than "cladistics and systematics". Whether all that can be extracted from plain Neo-Latin (which, as time goes on, tends to be increasingly scientific in content) seems to me to be doubtful. Scientific Latin only has a distinct identity after most other forms of neo-Latin have died out -- but its continuity (often amounting to identity) with the scientifically-oriented neo-Latin of preceding centuries is undeniable.RandomCritic (talk) 02:06, 7 February 2011 (UTC)


During the earlier part of this period, Latin was still to some degree a language of government in Hungary... AnonMoos (talk) 03:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Differences from Classical Latin[edit]

The article does a good job of presenting differences in pronunciation, but I would like to see a discussion of any differences in structure and grammar. Spoken languages tend to become simplified. Was there a similar trend in New Latin, e.g., a simplification of the strange word order that we see in classical writings, like Vergil's Arma virumque cano Troiae qui primus ab oris Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit litora..., where Troiae modifies oris, fato profugus modifies venit, and Lavinia modifies litora? (Apologies if I have parsed this incorrectly; my Latin isn't very good. Also, I cannot recall whether I have seen similar constructions in prose. My point is that classical Latin was more convoluted than it needed to be and certainly more so than the spoken language.) Such sentence structure perhaps would have been difficult even for educated people who learned Latin as a second language. Did they nevertheless use it in their writings? Peter Chastain (talk) 16:31, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I can't think of any substantial syntactic differences between Neo-Latin and Classical Latin -- the syntax was certainly much more Classical than Mediæval Latin. The example you choose is one where the normal word order(s) of Latin have been scrambled to fit the exacting metre of the poem. It might more normally have run something like "Arma virumque cano, qui primus ab Troiae oris, fato profugus, Italiam Laviniaque litora venit." Neo-Latin is the same: prose order is relatively straightforward -- though words are occasionally displaced, especially to the end of a sentence or clause, as a literary or rhetorical flourish; while Neo-Latin poetry is primarily metrical, and operates under the same constraints as Classical Latin poetry, which result in occasionally very distorted word order.
Nonetheless, Neo-Latin syntax was very different from that of the native languages of any of its writers, and it must have taken a considerable amount of practice to achieve fluency in reading, or in writing a polished prose style. RandomCritic (talk) 19:57, 8 August 2012 (UTC)