What would be the best name for chess in Latin?

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What would be the best name for chess in Latin?

Post by bioluminescence » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:56 am

Hello!

As far as I understand, the original meaning of the word latrunculus is an unknown game. There is a bunch of different phrases in different dictionaries, e.g. lusus latrunculorum, lusus latruncularius, lusus scacchorum, scacci, ludus latrunculorum etc. Very confusing. So my question is - what would be the best name/phrase to use for chess in Latin?

Thank you very much in advance.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:16 am

Perhaps:

"Many countries lay claim to the invention of chess. It is presently thought that the game originated in India,[2] since the Persian word for chess, shatranj, is derived from the Sanskrit chaturanga, i.e. "four divisions of the military", infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots, represented respectively by pawn, knight, bishop and rook."

Smith's uses "scacchi".

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:39 am

I actually play Roman chess, Latrunculi, fairly often with friends.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrunculi

For International Chess or Western Chess, as it is called to distinguish it from other variants, we might say "Latrunculi Internationales" or "Latrunculi Occidentales/Occidentis."

(Remember that a game being played goes into the ablative.)
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Post by Chris Weimer » Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:16 pm

Is this correct?

When chess came to Germany, the chess terms for "chess" and "check" entered the German language as Schach. But Schach was already a native German word for "robbery". As a result, ludus latrunculorum was often used as a medieval Latin word for "chess".

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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:29 am

Is what correct, good Chris?
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Post by Chris Weimer » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:10 pm

"When chess came to Germany, the chess terms for "chess" and "check" entered the German language as Schach. But Schach was already a native German word for "robbery". As a result, ludus latrunculorum was often used as a medieval Latin word for "chess"."

Is this information correct?

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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:12 pm

Yes, this would seem to be correct — "checkers" is the English name for this game: http://www.kardwell.com/images/checkers.gif
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Post by Chris Weimer » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Checkers and chess come from the same root word, right? To me, that gives precedence to scacchi instead of latrunculi.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:20 pm

Well, latrunculi is the modern Latin word for "chess," and that's pretty much it. You could easily call chess "little horsey game" if you wanted — but most people wouldn't understand you.
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Post by Amadeus » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:49 pm

Why can't we just adapt the original Persian name to Latin? I know that is breaking the rules, but latrunculi just doesn't sound right, I mean, it doesn't make a lot of sense: what does "thief" or "mercenary" have to do with chess? I prefer the italian word scacchi be used:

"scacchi (dal provenzale escac, che deriva a sua volta dal persiano Shah = re)"

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scacchi

:wink:
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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:50 am

It's not Latin though, neither ancient nor modern. And didn't Chris note how proper chess came into German by means of the word for robber?

Don't forget that one of the Latin words for a tasty pastery, modern and ancient, is placenta. Latrunculi seems innocuous by comparison!
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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:17 am

But is latrunculi really scacchi? Latrunculi appears to be a form of checkers, not chess.

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Post by Tertius Robertus » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:22 pm

modern latin? ò.Ô

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:36 pm

Aye, Roberte, modern Latin, such I use to communicate with others on a daily basis, by means of my blog or the Colloquia fora, exempli gratia. As you know, Latin has a tradition going back two and a half thousand years, and the model for modern Latin is the classical Latin of Cicero — just as modern Hebrew is modelled after classical Biblical Hebrew, and modern Italian is based on the classical Italian of Petrarch and Dante.

As for the game of latrunculi that the Romans played, it differed greatly both from today's checkers and chess. I enjoy playing ludus latrunculorum Romanus with friends on occasion. As the chess as we know it today came into Europe after the Romans, the name latrunculi was given to the now game that superceded the old one. Thus modern Latin retains latrunculi as the name for modern chess.

However, this Vicipaedia article offers some flexibilty:

http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scacci
Verbis classicis ludus et dicitur "regius ludus," "regum ludus," et saepissime "latrunculi."
This is directly comparable to what we do in English for the reverse. We call latrunculi "Roman chess." Igitur Latine dicamur oportet "ludum internationalem latrunculorum" quod chess Angli dicunt.
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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:13 pm

Modern Latin is not formalized by any institution, despite the Vatican trying to do so. While much of Neo-Latin (Renaissance Latin) was modeled after Cicero, not all of it was, and there were some objectors to that standard, such as Montaigne, Erasmus, Lipsius, and Bacon. The debate is ancient, though, going back to Quintilian and his feud with Seneca the Younger, who took up the Oriental style in opposition to Ciceronian Latin.

I find it absurd that Cicero remains a model for this day, and that usually is due to a faulty comprehension of all Latin prose. How many budding classicists are thoroughly well-read in the Classics prose? There were even marked differences between Quintilian, the defender of Cicero, and Cicero himself.

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Post by Amadeus » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:23 pm

I still don't find the argument for latrunculi to be very convincing. Why does Latin have to take the name from the German word for robber? And if it can take words from German, why not Italian (schacci) or Greek (zatrikion)?

Another thing that just doesn't sit right with me, is the prolongation of neo-Latin words. Everybody has a small word for the game of chess, but we try to make the Latin longer: 'ludus latrunculorum' 'latrunculi internationales'. The same happens with RADAR. I don't understand why we don't leave the word as is, and just decline it like any other latin word ending with -ar, instead of using "radioëléctricum instrumentum detectórium."

Anyway, that's what I think. :P
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:56 pm

You should see Russian! It has numerous acronyms, but will often use the full names, much longer than anything I've seen in Latin.

Don't be lazy. ;-)

Ludus latrunclorum is equal to "the game of chess." That's only a couple extra syllables, but two fewer words than the English! Also, Latin is a much more explicit language than English or Spanish, inherently. Things are spelled out more clearly, in ancient times as well as these.

You are of course welcome to put together acronyms and decline them — if they catch on, you've succeded.

And you question the use of "robbers" — that's exactly what "latro" or "latrunculus" means.
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Post by Amadeus » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:25 am

Lucus Eques wrote:And you question the use of "robbers" — that's exactly what "latro" or "latrunculus" means.
Yeah, but, if I understand correctly, the word shah (meaning king) that many countries adopted for the game of chess was introduced into the German language as Schach, which already meant "robber." Then it was translated into Latin as latrunculi. Why did German take precedence here over Persian or Greek?

Oh, and it's not that I'm lazy, it's just that it sounds horrible! :lol:
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:39 am

Horrible! "Scacci" sounds horrible! and very unlatin.

So I'm not sure if you've followed what I've attempted to explain. I apologize; I must not have been clear. Romans had latrunculi. As Roman latrunculi faded away, modern chess became popular in Europe. Europeans called the new chess "latrunculi" in Latin — same as the old game.

The appropriateness of the German connexion is tangential.
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Post by Amadeus » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:49 am

Lucus Eques wrote:The appropriateness of the German connexion is tangential.
Ooooh, I get it now... I still vote for Scacci, though. :lol:
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:55 am

Proditor. ;-)

Any thoughts on the pronunciation of Amadeus thread? Or the speaking velocity one? I'd be interested in your opinion.
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Post by ksgarvin » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:20 pm

Don't forget that one of the Latin words for a tasty pastery, modern and ancient, is placenta
Ugh. I'm going on a diet. :?

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:04 am

Yeah, it would seem the medical term came from the word for the cream filled pastery of yore. Clinical termonology is ironically vulgar.
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Post by Tertius Robertus » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:35 pm

Aye, Roberte, modern Latin, such I use to communicate with others on a daily basis, by means of my blog or the Colloquia fora, exempli gratia. As you know, Latin has a tradition going back two and a half thousand years, and the model for modern Latin is the classical Latin of Cicero — just as modern Hebrew is modelled after classical Biblical Hebrew, and modern Italian is based on the classical Italian of Petrarch and Dante.
ha! i see it now.
I find it absurd that Cicero remains a model for this day, and that usually is due to a faulty comprehension of all Latin prose. How many budding classicists are thoroughly well-read in the Classics prose? There were even marked differences between Quintilian, the defender of Cicero, and Cicero himself.
what is the problem with cicerone?

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Aug 11, 2007 3:21 pm

Just as there are marked differences between Shakespeare and modern English — in fact far more in English, which has changed so much so quickly — yet Shakespeare remains our model. Vergil had a similar impact.
Last edited by Lucus Eques on Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Tertius Robertus » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:30 pm

optime, luci, salvus sis

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Post by Chris Weimer » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:32 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Just as there are marked differences between Shakespeare and modern English — in fact far more in English, which has changed so much so quickly — yet Shakespeare remains our model. Vergil had a similar impact.
Shakespeare isn't our "model". Although we do in fact borrow much from his works. Our model was already defined before Shakespeare wrote a single line.

Behold, a poem before Shakespeare was even born:

Behold love, thy power how she dispiseth :
My great payne, how litle she regardeth
The holy oth, wherof she taketh no cure
Broken she hath : and yet she bideth sure
Right at her ease, and litle she dredeth.

Wepened thou art, and she unarmed sitteth
To the disdaynfull her liff she ledeth :
To me spitefull without cause or mesur.
Behold love.

I ame in hold : if pitie the meveth,
Goo bend thy bowe, that stony hertes breketh,
And with some stroke revenge the displeasur
Of the and him, that sorrowe doeth endur,
And as his lorde the lowly entreateth.
Behold love.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:24 pm

I'm not really sure what you're trying to demonstrate here. That English existed before Shakespeare? As did Latin before Cicero. Exemplar est exemplar.
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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:13 am

But your claim is that we should emulate Cicero's Latin. This really only became en vogue after the advocacy of Quintilian over a hundred years later. I wrote a paper on the very subject not too long ago.

Perhaps you meant to say that we should advocate the Latin prominent at the end of the Republic? Cicero is merely a part of the movement, albeit one of the earliest types, and his being a prolific writer made him popular. The crowds were cheering for Hortensius before Cicero and Caesar during Cicero.

Actually, Caesar in my opinion is a nice read, as is even Sallust. Celsus is very smooth and readable. Catullus is a poet par excellence, but I guess we're restricting it to prose - not really sure here. But I don't think that Cicero can claim to be the exemplar Linguae Latinae. I don't think there is one. Certainly he has attracted the praise of most Neo-Latinists of the Renaissance, but there were some who disagreed, and many in real Neo-Latin circles actually opt for Plautine speech for their oral, everyday Latin, and a good thorough mix of the ancients even to the point of it being authentically theirs, for their prose.

You see, when all you do is imitate the Classics, you've become stagnant, unable to achieve anything of worth of your own. I know many of the 19th century Latin composition books actually make fun at inept students who can only parrot Cicero and Caesar. A good Latinist can weave his own tapestry.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:58 am

Well, I won't say that you wasted your words, Chris, although I do agree with you completely, you can imagine. I merely did not understand your argument until you made it clear. And yes indeed, I meant not only the exemplar of Cicero but also his contemporaries, and even Vergil many years after his death.

In my original assertions, I meant to convey the attitude of the modern Latin community, which does seek to model its Latin, at least fundamentally, after Cicero. But that community, just as I myself, will never shun Mediæval or Rennaiscence or contemporary Latin — and how can we? when we are inherently a part of that growing and contemporary tradition?

I'd like to see that paper.
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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:25 am

You might see the paper if and when it gets published. It was written for a class, and so needs revision to make it publishable.

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Post by Gonzalo » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:50 am

Related to a topic of which you are discussing, there is a writing of a famous Spaniard scholar, whose name is Francisco Sánchez de las Brozas (1522-1600). I copy it below in order to make you know it. The author was a great polemist and Grammarian (he also influenced the Port Royal Grammar) in his times as a teacher of Rhetoric (1573), and Greek (at 1576 got his Chair) in Salamanca.

QUI LATINE GARRIUNT
CORRUMPUNT IPSAM LATINITATEM


Lectori salutem. Ultimum posuimus ad linguam latinam praecipuum documentum, quia magna uulnera debent arte atque dolo bono tractari. Timui enim, ne, si hoc remedium in libri fronte proponeretur, omnes medicinam, licet saluberrimam, auersarentur. Quis enim est, non dico in Hispania, sed etiam in tota Europa -quatuor aut sex doctos excipio- qui non et sentiat et praecipiat uerbis latinis exercendam linguam, ut prompte et celeriter possis, quae male cogitaueris, expromere? Quis porro ludi magister grammaticus non subinde pueris crepat -honor sit auribus doctorum- "Vel male uel bene, loquere cum Marco"? Tanta est stultorum hominum ignorantia, peruersitas et pertinacia. At ego, apud quem pluris est rectae rationis pondus quam multorum praescriptum, assero nihil pestilentius posse iuueni linguae latinae cupido euenire quam aut uerbis latinis effutire cogitata, aut loquentium profluentiae interesse. Quicumque enim aliquando peritiam linguae latinae est assequutus, Petrum Bembum dico, aut Osorium, aut nostrum Pincianum, non loquendo, sed scribendo, meditando et imitatione id sunt assecuti. Hortor igitur sacri uerbi concionatores -quando polite et apposite de suggesto loqui non ultima laus est- ut etiam hispane loquentium coetus fugiant; quam paucissima loquantur ipsi; patianturque uel mutos et elingues in confabulationibus appellitari, dum ex scripto et meditato doctorum hominum aures ducant in admirationem. Non discimus hebraea uel graeca, ut loquamur, sed ut docti efficiamur. Quur igitur in latinis non idem efficiemus, quandoquidem iam nulla natio est, quae latine aut graece loquatur? Stylus exercendus est diligenter; hic enim, ut Marcus Tullius ait, est egregius dicendi magister; hic uere nos docebit communi sensu illos carere, qui linguam latinam in plateis, aut etiam in gymnasiis, miris modis conantur dilacerare. Vale.

Obiectio prima.

Usus et experientia dominantur in artibus, nec ulla est disciplina, in qua non peccando discatur; nam ubi quid perperam administratum cesserit improspere, uitatur quod fefellerat, illuminatque rectam uiam docentis magisterium. Haec Columella, lib. 1 cap. 1.

Responsio. Vere et sapienter Columella, si de artibus loquaris; sed latine loqui nulla est ars; hoc enim obseruatione rerum innumerabilium constat: Grammatica, musica, rhetorica et similes errando addiscuntur; sed, ut inquit Fabius, lib. 1 cap. 6, aliud est latine loqui, aliud grammatice loqui. Quasi dicas Libris opus habeo, adhibeo tibi fidem, crimen laesae maiestatis, ille tenetur hoc facere, ego amo Deum, grammatice quidem dicas, latine non dicas. Nec enim satis est latinas quaerere dictiones; delectus adhibendus est in uerborum coniunctione, quem isti locutuleii miris modis dilacerant. Non enim quicquid latinum est, statim latine dicetur: Habere orationem dicimus, non facere; uerba facere, non agere; agere gratias, non facere; fer opem dicimus, da opem non dicimus; dare uerba usitatum est, tradere seu praebere uerba inauditum. Quid dicam de illis, qui sibi docti uidentur et passim habentur? Quidam enim ex illis scripsit: Vigilant milites in monte, pro speculantur de monte; tentat frangere aciem, pro conatur aciem perrumpere; dimisit suos milites, pro dimisit copias seu exercitum; impediuit commeatum, pro interclusit; uictu carebat Caesar, pro re frumentaria; duxit uineas, pro egit; primi in consilio, pro consilii principes; reportarunt praedas, pero egerunt; milites monuit, pro hortatus est; signum fecit, pro signum dedit; renouauit proelium, pro restituit aut redintegrauit; aciem ordinauit, pro instruxit; redierunt milites, pro receperunt se; misit ad succurrendum, pro misit subsidio; fecerunt uim, pro impetum fecerunt; magnis uiis contendit, pro magnis itineribus; perdidit opportunitatem, pro amisit occasionem. Sic itaque loquuntur qui linguam, non stylum exercent.

Obiectio secunda.

Propter crebras in uariis disciplinis disputationes latino sermone assidue loquendum.

Responsio. Serias et graues disputationes literis, non uentis, debere mandari quis est qui ignoret, nisi clamosus disputator aut cerebrosus uociferator? An ideo semper assuescendum est loquelae, ut postea dicamus noleitas, uoleitas, et per modum praeteritionis, dico quod, et nota quod Pappa habet aures? Quod sit talis urgeat necessitas, qui latine scripserit, blaterones superauit.

Obiectio tertia.

Si quis linguam gallicam assequi studeat, optime illam cum gallis loquendo comparabit.

Responsio. Dissimile admodum est linguarum aliquam cum latina, quae iam nulla est, comparare. Si ulla esset natio quae pure latine loqueretur, non dubito quin apud illos latina facilitas loquendi perdisceretur. Sed nunc soli sunt libri ad quos recurrendum est, si pure latine scribere uelimus. Idem esto iudicium de graeca uel hebraea lingua, quas non ut loquamur, sed ut intelligamus addiscimus.

Obiectio quarta.


Non desinunt isti onocrotali subinde obiiciere seu uerius abgannire: moris esse ut infantes paruuli papas, mamas, taytas balbutiant, qui tamen postea in melius corrigantur.

Responsio. Nemo sanae mentis tale consilium probabit, ut ineptae nutrices doceant, quae postea sint dedocenda. Ego certe, qui plurimos liberos sustuli, nunquam id sum passus, qui Quintiliano auctore didicerim, non assuescendum puerum sermoni, qui dediscendus sit. Quid quod optima eodem labore aut fortasse facilius edocentur.

Obiectio quinta.

Si latine loqui non esset laudabile, non ita passim ab omnibus commedaretur. Et omnes Academiae legibus sanxerunt, ut et latine legatur et disputetur.

Responsio. Quasi uero quidquam tam sit ualde, quam nihil sapere, uulgare, ut praeclare 2 de diuin. scripsit Cicero. Sed quoniam tu mihi stultorum turbam obiicis qui latine loquentes colunt et admirantur, ego tibi contra doctissimorum iudicium et consensum opponam, qui huiusmodi pestem siue loquentiam auersantur. Expende diligenter cap. 84 Suetonii in Augusto. Cicero, lib. 1 De orat., de exercitatione agens, sic inquit: Sed plerique in hoc uocem modo, neque eam scienter, et uires exercent suas, et linguae celeritatem incitant uerborumque frequentia delectantur. In quo fallit eos quod audierunt dicendo, homines ut dicant, efficere solere. Vere enim etiam illud dicitur: peruerse dicere homines peruerse dicendo facillime consequi. Et statim: Caput autem est quod, ut uere dicam, minime facimus -est enim magni laboris, quem plerique fugimus- quam plurimum scribere. Stylus optimus et praestantissimus dicendi effector ac magister. Quintilianus, lib. 1 cap. 1: Ante omnia ne sit uitiosus sermo nutricibus: has primum audiet puer harum uerba fingere imitando conabitur; et natura tenacissimi sumus eorum quae rudibus annis percipimus, ut sapor, quo noua imbuimus, durat, neque lanarum colores, quibus ille simplex candor mutatus est, elui possunt. Et haec ipsa magis pertinaciter haerent, quae deteriora sunt, nam bona facile mutantur in peius: nunc quando in bonum uerteris uitia? Non assuescat ergo, ne dum infans quidem est, sermoni cui didiscendus sit. Erasmus, lib. 8 Apophtheg. sic ait: Pollio dicebat: "Commode agendo factum est ut saepe agerem, sed saepe agendo factum est ut minus commode, quia scilicet assiduitate nimia facilitas magis quam facultas, nec fiducia sed temeritas paratur: quod accurate factum uelimus, raro faciendum est". Hac ratione duci uidentur Itali quidam eruditi, qui licet pulchre calleant latine, tamen uix unquam adduci possunt ut in familiari congressu latine loquantur. At quando compellit necessitas, dicunt exacte, quasi de scripto. Noui Venetiae Bernardum Ocricularium, ciuem florentinum, cuius historias si legisses, dixisses alterum Sallustium, aut certe Sallustii temporibus scriptas; nunquam tamen ab homine impetrare licuit, ut mecum latine loqueretur; subinde interpellabam: "Surdo loqueris, uir praeclare; uulgaris linguae uestratis tam sum ignarus quam Indicae". Verbum latinum nunquam quiui ab eo extundere. Haec Erasmus. Budaeus, in Comment. linguae graecae, reprehendens Vallam circa reciprocorum usum, sic ait: Id autem Laurentio non alias accidit quam ex praua loquentium consuetudine, quibus aut legendis aut audiendis inuiti erroris contagionem contrahimus; simul ex sermone extemporali et neglecto, cui inter familiares assuescimus, praesertim purae latinitatis ignaros; qua noxa fit interdum ut quaedam imprudentibus excidant: id quod aliquando experti sumus in autographis, ita ut flagitiosae culpae nos perpuderet. Cornelius Valerius in fine suae Syntaxeos: Hanc proprietatem in uerborum coniunctione qui non obseruat nec delectum habet ullum, is barbarica phrasi omnem peruertit latinitatem. Quod iis fere solet accidere qui linguam latinam ad idioma uernaculum detorquent. Ioachimus Fortius, in libello De ratione studii, cap. de scribendo: Nam fere fit, ut qui loquuntur accurate, minus erudite scribant; dum enim rerum illarum uoluptate afficiuntur, imperfectiores oportet sint in altero. Nemo pari cura res duas unquam tractauerit; et infra: Quo pacto id genus homines, qui tanto plausu in tanta nugatorum corona nugari possunt, accurate quicquam scripserint? Certe neminem nunquam uidi, nisi me memoria fallat, docte scribentem, cui ualde in promptu fuit colloquendi disserendique ratio; et infra: Famam puerilem aspernemur, uulgo inertes uideamur. Ex Bartholomaeo Riccio, lib. 3 De imitatione Ciceronis, in calce: Non soleo ego -ne hoc quoque omittam- meum discipulum cogere, ut fit plerunque in scholis, quicquid ei dicendum usu ueniat, latine ut id proferre conetur. Utrum enim plus commodi an damni ad latinam elegantiam, quam nos quaerimus, hoc afferat studium, non plane satis habeo comprobatum; et paulo inferius: Huc accedit quod infanti puero, dum ea quae uult et ex tempore atque subito proferre laborat, multis partibus ea plura excidant, quae inepte, quae incondite atque incomposite, quae denique nullius dignitatis sint, quamque uix tolerabilia sint necesse est. Ita fit, ut dum locutionis studeant celeritati, orationis ornatum omnem atque dignitatem corrumpant. Quoniam autem quod in quotidiano sermone positum est, nihil admodum latinae orationi prodesse uidetur ad eam dignitatem, quae eius linguae mere germana est, ac omnino ea nobis aliqua exercitatione atque artificio comparanda atque confirmanda est, equidem id diligentiae ab uno stylo, qui dicendi magister et opifex est optimus, petendum esse censeo.

Obiectio sexta.

Propter uaria inter gentes commercia aut ut cum externis hominibus colloquamur, non solum utile, sed necessarium aliquando est latine loqui.

Responsio. Ego latinam linguam non damno, stylum ueneror et amplector, in quo qui probe fuerit exercitatus, si necessitas ingruat, repente dicet: Da mihi panem, uel aliud obsonium. Multis in locis Cicero commendat stylum, et ad Gallum, lib. 7, sic scribit: Urge igitur nec transuersum, quod aiunt, a stylo; is enim dicendi opifex. Ego uero cum doctissimis, neminem excipio, uiris teneo nulla aut aetate aut tempore latina lingua, nisi praemeditate, esse loquendum.

(Franciscus Sanctius Brocensis: Qui latine garriunt corrumpunt ipsam latinitatem, edited by University of Extremadura,1995)
(His complete works: http://books.google.com/books?id=6glzhi ... s&as_brr=1 )

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:55 pm

Muchas gracias, Gonzalo, para esto mirable texto.

I've only read through his exordium, but I am already compelled to comment.
Non discimus hebraea uel graeca, ut loquamur, sed ut docti efficiamur. Quur igitur in latinis non idem efficiemus, quandoquidem iam nulla natio est, quae latine aut graece loquatur?
It is because of fools like Señor Sánchez de las Brozas that spoken Latin came to suffer so very much in the centuries that followed. Only in the past few decades has the Latin speaking world begun to recover from this misplaced elitism and snobbery.

It is fortunate for the Jews and for all the world's heritage that the Israelis ignored notions, such as Señor Sánchez declares, that Hebrew was naught but a dead language. It certainly lives today.

I understand his position, of course: at the time, students and others might butcher their Latin when first learning, or perhaps they were already through school and hadn't learned any better. Sánchez insists then that it be better not to speak Latin at all. I shall criticize him, however: care Francisce, quam ob rem hos discipulos hominesque alios non docebas igitur melius uti loquerentur? Quid juvat silere, cum verba ipsa reverenda Ciceronia tu ipse aliique magistri effari potuissent? Exemplar tu esto! si recte erudire ac ducere vis.

Speaking Latin, and speaking it properly, is essential, absolutely essential, to learning the language rightly. This goes for all languages.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:33 pm

Now, I can understand Dante being as ignorant as he was†, since he lived and died before the Classical Revival of the Renaissance and the rescue of enormous corpora of Latin and Greek litterature from the darkness of history. And moreover, he believed that in the times of Vergil, as in his own times, Latin was just an artificial tongue that was rarely spoken and only written, while Vergil, he thought, would in fact have spoken Italian! (or Mantuan, to be precise).

Like I said, Dante's ignorance I understand. But this caudex? Unconscionable.
Vere et sapienter Columella, si de artibus loquaris; sed latine loqui nulla est ars
Awful.
Sic itaque loquuntur qui linguam, non stylum exercent.
His elitism and foolishness here is just shocking. In the above, he condemns the ad hoc usage of Latin and coinage of new phrases, where older ones already exsist. This is nonsensical. Having synonyms, and synonymical phrases, strengthens a language, enriches it. This is why English is so extraordinary and powerful a language, full of variety and possibilities, from the sublime to the profane. To insist on such limitation, such incarceration and restriction, is the closest thing philologically to evil.
Serias et graues disputationes literis, non uentis, debere mandari quis est qui ignoret, nisi clamosus disputator aut cerebrosus uociferator?
Wow. Too bad Sánchez wasn't around to tell this to his buddy Cicero, who swayed the minds of hundreds and the lives of millions by the power of his spoken voice.

_____
† For Dante sought to usurp Latin as the universal language in favor of the native tongue of any person, making way for Italian to take root as a litterary language. Vide "De Vulgari Eloquentia" : http://www.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch/Chron ... _v101.html
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Post by Gonzalo » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:45 pm

Speaking Latin, and speaking it properly, is essential, absolutely essential, to learning the language rightly. This goes for all languages.
Hi,
Nice to read your Intelligence here,

What he wanted to say is that one who have not direct contact or trade towards/with native people who speak that Language (ex. gr., Latin), (s)he would not be qualificated to speak it properly.
Sed nunc soli sunt libri ad quos recurrendum est, si pure latine scribere uelimus. (Rensponsio ad objectionem quartam.)
Because we have only the references in Romance languages (such as French, Italian or Spanish -pronunciation) and the texts which were conserved from the Antiquity to our present times, we are not able, ex. gratia, to chat with one another in a proper (real, I mean) Latin; but we can do it, for instance, in English, Hebrew, etc. It is only what he writes, and he also says that he wanted to see a man who wrote a History in a good Latin speaking it.
Then, what resumes the content of this discourse is as follows:
Ita fit, ut dum locutionis studeant celeritati, orationis ornatum omnem atque dignitatem corrumpant. (Responsio ad objectionem quintam)
And he is not saying we shouldn´t talk or practise spoken Latin, he insists on the neccesity of knowing perfectly how to write it, before speaking it. If we did it, it would be like the idioms invented by Scientific Fiction series. Vide: Noui Venetiae Bernardum Ocricularium, ciuem florentinum, cuius historias si legisses, dixisses alterum Sallustium, aut certe Sallustii temporibus scriptas; nunquam tamen ab homine impetrare licuit, ut mecum latine loqueretur; subinde interpellabam: "Surdo loqueris, uir praeclare; uulgaris linguae uestratis tam sum ignarus quam Indicae".


Against the work of the Culteranism, Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas did a composition, which was called "Recipe to compose Solitudes" (pay attention to the word recipe). When the great Quevedo wrote this, there were a lot of people who imitated a certain style of Poetry (but a lot of them did it badly: See Francisco Antonio Bances Candamo) only cultivated with success by certain poets (Juan Bermúdez Alfaro, Pellicer de Ossau, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Fr. Hortensio Félix de Paravicino y Arteaga, Francisco de Trillo y Figueroa, etc., but specially by Antonio de Paredes and Don Luis de Góngora y Argote)
It could be a simile with what we are dealing:

"Recipe to compose Solitudes" (excerpt)

All Castile already,
with only this breviary,
is burnt by Babylonian poets,
writing confused sonnets;
and in the Blemish(*), shepherds and clumsies,
full their bellies of garlics,
like crumbs (**), make Cultities.

[Que ya toda Castilla,
con sola esta cartilla,
se abrasa de poetas babilones,
escribiendo sonetos confusiones;
y en la Mancha, pastores y gañanes,
atestadas de ajos las barrigas,
hacen ya cultedades como migas.
Fco. de Quevedo y Villegas; Poetic works, edited by J. M. Blecua, 1969]

(*)I translate La Mancha like Blemish because of its symbolical significance. I have also taken other liberties in my translation. Excuse my embarrasing English.
(**)Crumbs and garlics is a typical Castillian dish.

P.S.: Don´t you think, oh friend, that if we spoke Latin as if it were our own language it wouldn´t evolve into other Language with the overcoming of the time?

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:26 pm

I appreciate your comments, Gonzalo, and in particular the poetic excerpts. Maximas gratias tibi.

You restated Sánchez' assertion, that no one without contact with native speakers of Latin could properly know or speak Latin, ever.

I have heard this argument many times. Although it does seem logical, history proves it to be ironic.

Let's start with a rhetorical question: how many Roman authors were actually Roman?

Well, let's start at the beginning. Ennius, the father, so called, of Roman and Latin litterature, was Greek. Plautus was from Umbria. Cato the Elder was a Sabine. Terence was Greek or Carthaginian, having come to Rome as a slave. Varro the poet was from Gaul. Cicero is one of the few famous writers actually born in Latium, in Arpinum.

Sallust was a Sabine.
Catullus was home in fair Verona.
Vergil was Mantuan.
Horace was Lucanian.
Livy was Paduan.
Ovid was from Salmona, in Abruzzo.
Seneca wasn't even Italian — he was Spanish!

Again and again and again, we see that the greatest Roman writers were not Roman at all. With only one exception: Julius Caesar. He alone was born and lived his life in Rome.

Most of the above authors, and other multiple authors and even emperors in the centuries that followed, did not grow up speaking Latin. They learned it as a second language. And then they became masters of that language, by speaking it with others, however rudely at first, at length crafting the language better than almost any Roman, or even any Latin.

And this tradition has been maintained throughout history. Erasmus, Newton, Galileo — there are countless greats in post Classical Latin litterature who certianly learned Latin after they acquired their native tongues. Therefore, to learn Latin today, we must all do so as foreigners. But this makes us no different from Seneca, Vergil, Ovid, or Ennius.

So our magister Sánchez is not only incorrect, but a hypocrite. ;)

I will agree with him, that it is imperative to read and write as much as possible, but these are always secondary to speaking.

As for chatting in Latin, was the vulgar Latin of the plebs in the Subura more Latin than the Latin spoken among Spaniards like Marcus Aurelius who only learned it later in life?

The most important part of Roman history was that you didn't have to be from Roman to be truly Roman. This goes for us in the modern day as well. I know and speak real Latin, as much as Seneca or Ovid or the pleb from Campus Martius. Did they have more experience? Certainly. More perhaps than I ever will. But my Latin is real — for it is theirs.
Excuse my embarrasing English.
Actually, Gonzalo, you bring up a good point. Your English, for one, is not embarrassing; it is very good and almost faultless. I would like to emphasize that your English is real, although you are not a native speaker. That puts you in good company with Trajan, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. :)
P.S.: Don´t you think, oh friend, that if we spoke Latin as if it were our own language it wouldn´t evolve into other Language with the overcoming of the time?
You bring up a good point. It is a widely held belief that all languages will evolve and change over time. This is a myth. A language does not inherently change on its own. It only changes when there are speakers of the language that do not know it well, and are imitated. Rome had no formal education system, so the lower classes (who were increasingly populated by foreigners, freed slaves, and others who were not fluent) did not acquire much access to Classical Latin. Hence the evolution of Italian, Spanish, French, and others. When there is education, however, a language becomes standardized and, for the most part, frozen. It may bend and grow some, but it will remain the same language. This is why English experienced such a various and changing history, and was very unstable until formal education was instituted in Britain and in America — since this institution, English has, for the most part, remained unchanged. And it will not change for as long as English speakers are properly trained in their tongue.
Last edited by Lucus Eques on Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Gonzalo » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:47 pm

but a hippocrate
No! Hippocratic, he was a doctor who wanted to stamp out the feign things of this world.

You forget Marcus Fabius Quintilianus... yes, but the question is that they had Latin with a living reference.
You talk about Erasmus. I have this for you: http://big.chez.com/asklepios/erasmus/p ... atione.htm

I let you this link to Dialogus de recta latinae linguae pronuntiatione by Justus Lipsius: http://www.sflt.ucl.ac.be/files/AClassF ... _07-09.txt

Two great scholars. Personally, I prefer Brocensis&Lipsius´ Neostoicism.

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Post by annis » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:49 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:It is a widely held belief that all languages will evolve and change over time. This is a myth. A language does not inherently change on its own. It only changes when there are speakers of the language that do not know it well, and are imitated.
On what authority do you make this astonishing claim? If there is one thing we can say absolutely applies to all human languages, it is that they change over time. Not a single one has ever escaped.

What slows this process is the widespread access to and distribution of technologies to store language, by which I include not only the computers we're all sitting in front of, radio and television, but also literacy and affordable books. Widespread literacy has the most to do with the pickled state of English.

Broadcast media is also a major force, since it promulgates a fixed variety of a given language — whatever has been declared the standard. That standard, decided by fiat, ends up on tv and radio and flattens the regional dialects over time. This has less to do with "proper training" (active) than constant exposure (passive). Cairene Arabic is widely understood (and even produced) all over the Arab world because Egypt pumps out lots of pop music and movies, not because people are getting formal training.

My own feeling is that as long as there are reruns of American TV and it's easy to get The Simpsons on DVD (or whatever), American English will remain mostly static.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:54 am


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Post by Kasper » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:14 am

But Luce, then what actually is a language? Is there a static thing called language that is changed by its (ab)users?

I could imagine an argument that language is that by which people communicate, and as their manners and their subjects of communication change, so does their mode of communication, i.e. their language.

As you say, and I agree, people and/or their circumstances are constantly changing. It then follows that language is also always changing, i.e. there is no such thing as a static, unchanging language.

What I am asking is, i guess, is it not the essential nature of language to be continuously changing, regardless of the causation of such changes? That is to say, is not change an essential part of the make-up of language?

To say it is not, I think, would otherwise - by analogy - be the same as me, as a person, saying that I don't change, but that I am merely changed by my circumstances. I could see that this would be philosophically debatable, but in practice, by whatever causation, I - my body, my thoughts, my perceptions of the world and of myself, etc. - am constantly changing. Change, or adaptation, is a part of human nature.

Similarly I would think that change or adaptation is part of the nature of language.

Would you agree with this?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”

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