I'm trying to pick up Latin again. I had stopped at half the Moreland & Fleischer Latin: an Intensive Course, but I think I'll just start over and hopefully contribute to the Latinist community and post an answer key on Textkit for the whole book. That's my goal now.
But, I'm not here to ask about any of that. It's a little unrelated.
Sometimes I have trouble asking questions about ideas that are still immature in my mind. Let's see how I do.
My basic question is: how do I know all the particularities and details and exceptions of Classical Latin as it really was instead of as it was passed down to us from copyists? For instance, I would think that even though (if what I read is correct) Latin had done away with -os in the nominative but kept it when there was an -v- before, as in seruos and equos, still the copyists would have changed every equos and seruos to equus and seruus, so there must me a different way to know that the Romans in the Classical age were using equos and seruos without our using the copyists copies as evidence (since they would have equus and seruus).
So my question is, is there some sort of book or other publication in which it is explained all of those details which cannot be readily seen in the copyists papyri but that we today know for a fact and acknowledge that that was the way that the Romans actually used their language?
The same question could be posed for their calligraphy. I've seen pictures of papyri but if I'm not mistaken those are never the originals but the copyist's copy, therefore they use the copyist's calligraphy. How can we know the way the Romans actually wrote their As and Bs and Cs?
If my question is too obscure let me know and I'll try to improve it.