Long Live Latin: The Pleasures of a Useless Language

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A lively exploration of the joys of a not-so-dead language

From the acclaimed novelist and Oxford professor Nicola Gardini, a personal and passionate look at the Latin language: its history, its authors, its essential role in education, and its enduring impact on modern life--whether we call it "dead" or not.

What use is Latin? It's a question we're often asked by those who see the language of Cicero as no more than a cumbersome heap of ruins, something to remove from the curriculum. In this sustained meditation, Gardini gives us his sincere and brilliant reply: Latin is, quite simply, the means of expression that made us--and continues to make us--who we are. In Latin, the rigorous and inventive thinker Lucretius examined the nature of our world; the poet Propertius told of love and emotion in a dizzying variety of registers; Caesar affirmed man's capacity to shape reality through reason; Virgil composed the Aeneid, without which we'd see all of Western history in a different light.

In Long Live Latin, Gardini shares his deep love for the language--enriched by his tireless intellectual curiosity--and warmly encourages us to engage with a civilization that has never ceased to exist, because it's here with us now, whether we know it or not. Thanks to his careful guidance, even without a single lick of Latin grammar readers can discover how this language is still capable of restoring our sense of identity, with a power that only useless things can miraculously express.

ISBN: 
9780374284527
Author: 
Binding: 
Hardcover
Publication Date: 
November 12, 2019