Beginning in Rome around 600 BC, Latin became the language of the civilized world and remained so for more than two millennia.
French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are among its progeny and it provides the international vocabulary of law and life science.
No known language, including English - itself enriched by Latin words and phrases - has achieved such success and longevity.
Tore Janson tells its history from origins to present.
Brilliantly conceived and writtenwith the same light touch as his bestselling history of languages, A Natural History of Latin is a masterpiece of adroit synthesis. The author charts the expansion of Latin in the classical world, its renewed importance in the Middle Ages, and its survival into modern times.
He shows how spoken and written Latin evolved in different places and its central role in European history and culture.
He ends with a concise Latin grammar and lists of Latin words and phrases still in common use. Considered elitist and irrelevant in the second half of the twentieth century and often even banned from schools, Latin is now enjoying a huge revival of interest across Europe, the UK, and the USA.
Tore Janson offers persuasive arguments for its value and gives direct access to its fascinating worlds, past and present.