23 Facts About New Latin


New Latin is the revival of Literary Latin used in original, scholarly, and scientific works since about 1500.

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Classicists use the term "Neo-Latin" to describe the Latin that developed in Renaissance Italy as a result of renewed interest in classical civilization in the 14th and 15th centuries.

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Neo-New Latin describes the use of the New Latin language for any purpose, scientific or literary, during and after the Renaissance.

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The beginning of the period cannot be precisely identified; however, the spread of secular education, the acceptance of humanistic literary norms, and the wide availability of Latin texts following the invention of printing, mark the transition to a new era of scholarship at the end of the 15th century.

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The end of the New Latin period is likewise indeterminate, but Latin as a regular vehicle of communicating ideas became rare after the first few decades of the 19th century, and by 1900 it survived primarily in international scientific vocabulary and taxonomy.

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The term "New Latin" came into widespread use towards the end of the 1890s among linguists and scientists.

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New Latin was, at least in its early days, an international language used throughout Catholic and Protestant Europe, as well as in the colonies of the major European powers.

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New Latin was inaugurated as Renaissance Latin by the triumph of the humanist reform of Latin education, led by such writers as Erasmus, More, and Colet.

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Medieval New Latin had been the practical working language of the Roman Catholic Church, taught throughout Europe to aspiring clerics and refined in the medieval universities.

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Attempts at reforming New Latin use occurred sporadically throughout the period, becoming most successful in the mid-to-late 19th century.

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New Latin was an official language of Poland—recognised and widely used between the 9th and 18th centuries, commonly used in foreign relations and popular as a second language among some of the nobility.

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The last international treaty to be written in New Latin was the Treaty of Vienna in 1738; after the War of the Austrian Succession international diplomacy was conducted predominantly in French.

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Diminishing audience combined with diminishing production of New Latin texts pushed New Latin into a declining spiral from which it has not recovered.

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New Latin came to be viewed as esoteric, irrelevant, and too difficult.

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The last survivals of New Latin to convey non-technical information appear in the use of Latin to cloak passages and expressions deemed too indecent to be read by children, the lower classes, or women.

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In secular academic use New Latin declined sharply and then continuously after about 1700.

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New Latin had already lost its privileged role as the core subject of elementary instruction; and as education spread to the middle and lower classes, it tended to be dropped altogether.

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Ecclesiastical Latin, the form of New Latin used in the Roman Catholic Church, remained in use throughout the period and after.

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New Latin is the source of the biological system of binomial nomenclature and classification of living organisms devised by Carl Linnaeus, although the rules of the ICZN allow the construction of names that deviate considerably from historical norms.

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New Latin has contributed a vocabulary for specialized fields such as anatomy and law; some of these words have become part of the normal, non-technical vocabulary of various European languages.

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New Latin had no single pronunciation, but a host of local variants or dialects, all distinct both from each other and from the historical pronunciation of Latin at the time of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire.

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Regional dialects of New Latin can be grouped into families, according to the extent to which they share common traits of pronunciation.

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New Latin texts are primarily found in early printed editions, which present certain features of spelling and the use of diacritics distinct from the Latin of antiquity, medieval Latin manuscript conventions, and representations of Latin in modern printed editions.

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