Continuity

Latin text from the Lindisfarne Gospels

This has amazed me for a while. Although Latin is a dead language, the continuity of teaching has never been broken. Everyone who has ever been able to read Latin has learned it from a teacher – unlike most other dead languages it never had to be deciphered.

That’s pretty incredible. It means that the little nuances of the language have never been lost. Of course, some aspects have filtered out over time and have had to be rediscovered, but on the whole it’s been transferred organically, however remote it may be now. I wonder how much of it has really been passed down from teacher to student through the centuries.

The picture above is from some of the Latin text of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

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1 comment
  1. Catanea said:

    And don’t overlook the beautiful anglo-saxon gloss. Yum.

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