Different Ages of Latin?

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.
Post Reply
JLatin1
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:14 am

Different Ages of Latin?

Post by JLatin1 » Fri May 06, 2005 3:54 am

I'm sorry if this has already been extensively discussed, but I have done numerous searches and come up with no threads. I looked in Wikipedia, but the articles were not extensive enough

What is the linguistic difference between the different Ages of Latin?

Old Latin
Golden Age Latin
Silver Age Latin
Late Latin
Medieval Latin
Humanist Latin
New Latin

Are the differences very great, or more similar to the difference between contemporary English and Shakespearean English?

Thanks for your time,
-Jonathan.

.
Last edited by JLatin1 on Fri May 06, 2005 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

amans
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 360
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:12 pm

Post by amans » Fri May 06, 2005 10:17 am

An interesting question, Jonathan. I am afraid I am not competent enough to answer it, though. I just thought that you might want to add "Archaic Latin" to your list. Also, I am not sure if Silver Age Latin and Late Latin are not the same thing? But defining the Ages of Latin is an issue of much controversy, I believe. Even fixing the ages in time can be... tricky, let alone describing their linguistic features.

I look forward to seeing some of the knowledgable posters in this forum expand on this :)

User avatar
cweb255
Textkit Fan
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Re: Different Ages of Latin?

Post by cweb255 » Fri May 06, 2005 10:24 am

JLatin1 wrote:Golden Age Latin
Silver Age Latin
Late Latin
Medieval Latin
Humanist Latin
New Latin

Are the differences very great, or more similar to the difference between contemporary English and Shakespearean English?
There's a tremendous difference between the literary style of the Golden and Silver Age and the later styles. Studying Cicero's personal letters we can glimpse the vulgar style that really took hold around 500-600 CE. Humanist and New Latin, IIUC, actually tried to revert back to a style similar to vulgar/Literary style of the Golden and Silver Age. I think by Late Latin you mean the vulgar style that was already being spoken at the turn of the millennium? And then you also can add the Ancient style, used a little by Ennius and in the 12 Tables inscriptions and other inscriptions including the lapis niger. The differences between Ancient Latin and Classical Latin (Gold/silver) is roughly Medieval English to Shakespearean English and Classical to Medieval from Shakespearean to Modern and Medieval to Italian maybe Old English to Middle English.
phpbb

User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Post by whiteoctave » Fri May 06, 2005 7:35 pm

it is not even slightly true to say that Cicero's letters reflect the 'vulagr style' of Latin; they are written in a purposefully and artfully considered manner (for the great part), teeming with loaded archaisms and finely constructed antitheses etc.; there is no sign of street Latin (i.e. that of the uulgus) at all and thus have no bearing on evidence for the speech of the majority. if you must seek evidence from the Classical period, then one can pay some careful attention to colloquialisms of slaves in the comedians (although this is too early for most definitions of Classical) and the speech of the freedmen in Trimalchios' absence within Petronius' cena Trimalchionis. graffiti surviving in Pompey and the Vindolanda tablets are really the best surviving sources for how the majority spoke, but even then there is little solid ground to go on. Paradoxically, reconstruction from Medieval Latin can tell us more about vulgar Classical Latin by dint of the general maxim that it is the language of the majority, whatever class they be, that works at the forefront of a language's development.

i don't know what 'ancient style' the 12 Tables are meant to be using - it is no style at all, merely the appropriate language of the inscribers at the time. nor do i know anyone who regards Ennius as archaistic: he was archaic and wrote as befitted his time (with due poetic licence).

the leap from Classical Latin to Mediaeval is surely far greater than Shakespearean to modern!

~D
phpbb

User avatar
cweb255
Textkit Fan
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Post by cweb255 » Sat May 07, 2005 9:00 pm

whiteoctave wrote:it is not even slightly true to say that Cicero's letters reflect the 'vulagr style' of Latin;
ad te instead of tibi? latine indeclensible instead of latina?
i don't know what 'ancient style' the 12 Tables are meant to be using - it is no style at all, merely the appropriate language of the inscribers at the time. nor do i know anyone who regards Ennius as archaistic: he was archaic and wrote as befitted his time (with due poetic licence).
er, gnata? volt? I never said he was "archaistic" - I said that he used "a little" of the ancient style, as I just showed two examples from above. And I did make a mistake here; I didn't mean to say twelve tables, I meant the Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus.
the leap from Classical Latin to Mediaeval is surely far greater than Shakespearean to modern!
Would you like to explain a bit further?
phpbb

User avatar
cweb255
Textkit Fan
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Post by cweb255 » Sat May 07, 2005 9:14 pm

By the way, D, I never said his letters were vulgar, merely that we can catch a glimpse of it. Here we discussed it.
phpbb

User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Post by whiteoctave » Sun May 08, 2005 10:14 am

ad te instead of tibi is, if you must know, a sign of linguistic innovation in Latin, whereby head-last constructions were reversed by the replacement of case forms with a semantically equivalent particle, a general progression that resulted in the continual growth of the preposition and head-first constructions as witnessed in Romance tongues. it is palpably untrue to think that Latin progressed by the shift towards inflections (as was stated in the thread you linked) rather than augmenting them with prepositions.
i thought you were going to say ad te is used for apud te in Cicero's letters, which is perfectly true and does have archaic origins but can be found in Livy and Phaedrus.

not sure what is wrong with Latine: are you treating it as an object rather than an adverb? i don't know too many adverbs that decline.

athematic uolt (<*uel-ti) actually left élite Latin a lot later than one would think. Sallust uses it with no particularly archaic flavour. the process of o>u before a velar+consonant was still unfinished in the beginning of the first century B.C. and Catullus and Lucretius, to name two, almost certainly would not have succumbed to it. Catullus wrote, of course, quoi dono lepidom nouom libellom, also exhibiting the not yet complete shift of closed o>u after non-u.

the retension of g (as velar nasal) in *gn- stems is attested into the Classical period but is, of course, more prolific in earlier centuries of Latin (cf. Varro fr.330 on Gnaeum: qui g littera in hoc praenomine utuntur, antiquitatem sequi uidetur). the point is, however, that one cannot say that "Ennius used ancient words ergo he wrote in 'an ancient style'" because it is palpably false. Ennius wrote in the manner suitable for poetic diction at the time which, rather than being retrospective of literature preceding him (of which, save a few fragments, we have nothing), seems to suggest full utilisation of the language of the day. so yes there was a poetic style but nothing anachronistic for himself. it only makes sense to impose the term 'ancient style' if someone writes in a purposefully archaising manner.

the Latin of de Bacchanalibus is not especially old (roughly coeval with Plautus). how about these?

Manios med fhe fhaked Numasioi (c. 600 B.C.)

iouesat deiuos qoi med mitat, nei ted endo cosmis uirco sied | asted noisi ope toitesiai pacari uois. | duenos med feced en manom einom dze noine med maao statod (c.550-500 B.C.)

as for my comment regarding the larger gap between Cl. and Med. Latin than Shk. and MoE, i do not have the interest to type out a long list of why this is so. you do not have to believe me, but i simply cannot see how one could compare the standard primers of the two periods of Latin and not find that the shift in Eng. from Sks. to MoE is so small to the extent of bizarre.

~D
phpbb

User avatar
cweb255
Textkit Fan
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Post by cweb255 » Sun May 08, 2005 9:15 pm

Manios med fhe fhaked Numasioi (c. 600 B.C.)
For Plautus, do we have any original manuscripts, or even early manuscripts? It might have undergone textual corrections to better Latin, but I'm not aware of his manuscript history.

And the quote above, there seems to be a lot of dispute over it, some people criticising that it's not authentic. I truly have no idea. Do you?

I never once hinted that Ennius wrote anachronistically. By ancient style (which let me emphasize a little) which means gn in loco n. But the way Catullus wrote quoi etc... isn't that merely an example of anachronistic writing? One would think that by the 1st century BCE (as evidenced by other writers) quoi itself is null. Who else uses this almost Greek ending (oi in loco i).

Ah, so you're saying that from Sksp to Mod. Engl. the differences are larger than from Class. to Medieval. Well, I don't see how? Keeping in mind that Shakespeare wrote in poetic form, the Elizabethan English was only different in a few ways. 1) the spelling was non-standardized; 2) several words still retained an archaic usage which disappeared in modern English; and 3) the pronunciation was different.

For medieval Latin, all three are true and then you have 4) 4th declension was lost and 5) certain constructions were changed.

No real big difference?

Edited to add: oh, and according to Perseus Cicero uses Latine as an indeclensible noun, not an adverb.
phpbb

User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Post by whiteoctave » Sun May 08, 2005 9:40 pm

there is no such as an 'original manuscript' of Classical literature - everything reaches us by tradition. standardisation of irregularities or archaisms by a later copyist is not unknown but conservative MS traditions along with inscriptional evidence can guide the restoration of the original élite orthography.

i have heard some people moot worries about the Praeneste fibula: i do not know of any damning charge against its authenticity other than the fact that some can't stomach the evidence of a reduplicated perfect of facio (i.e. fhe fhaked = *fefaki). the fact that pf. feci exhibits lengthened grade and is not a sigmatic form would suggest that reduplication is unlikely.

the generally received view is that in the early 1st century B.C. qu- was still retained before back vowels, thus quum for cum and quoi for cui.

as i said in my first and second post, if read carefully, it is the gap between Cl. Lat. and ML which is much greater than the comparatively tiny gap between Shksp. and MoE. my view is thus not compatible with your "The differences...between...Classical [Latin] to Medieval (sic) [Latin is roughly <the same as>] from Shakespearean to Modern [English]."

that Latine is used by Cicero as an indeclinable noun is bollocks: the word is always an adverb but occasionally (e.g. Cic.Tusc.3.20, Brut.259) is used with ellipsis of the verb of speaking or writing. it is a grave misconstrual to imagine it has a substantival function in such passages.

~D
phpbb

User avatar
cweb255
Textkit Fan
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Post by cweb255 » Mon May 09, 2005 7:17 am

whiteoctave wrote:there is no such as an 'original manuscript' of Classical literature - everything reaches us by tradition. standardisation of irregularities or archaisms by a later copyist is not unknown but conservative MS traditions along with inscriptional evidence can guide the restoration of the original élite orthography.
You said nothing here. If you aren't familiar with the evidence, just say so. I'll be up front now and say I am not.
the generally received view is that in the early 1st century B.C. qu- was still retained before back vowels, thus quum for cum and quoi for cui.
My mistake, I was thinking quoi for qui which died out long before Classical Latin came into existence.
as i said in my first and second post, if read carefully, it is the gap between Cl. Lat. and ML which is much greater than the comparatively tiny gap between Shksp. and MoE. my view is thus not compatible with your "The differences...between...Classical [Latin] to Medieval (sic) [Latin is roughly <the same as>] from Shakespearean to Modern [English]."
Any particular reason you have a [sic] after Medieval? Or do you spell that differently in England as well? And what I was originally referring to was the linguistic differences, and not the time differences, which is largely irrelevant, and no point in discussing.
that Latine is used by Cicero as an indeclinable noun is bollocks: the word is always an adverb but occasionally (e.g. Cic.Tusc.3.20, Brut.259) is used with ellipsis of the verb of speaking or writing. it is a grave misconstrual to imagine it has a substantival function in such passages.
Perseus is down at the moment so I can't answer this at the moment. When it returns, I'll redo the search and give you my answer again.
phpbb

Post Reply