Posted in Latin VII

Fifteen days before the kalends of November

Today we introduced your first colloquy (dialogue), no. 301 in the class folder in Google Drive.  Your homework is to learn the colloquy.

We introduced the colloquy by talking about the different stages in Latin’s history:

  • Old Latin
    • This was the earliest written form of the language, ending around 75 BC.
    • The playwright Plautus wrote in Old Latin.
  • Classical Latin
    • This was the Latin spoken and written by the Roman upper class from the Late Republican Period (c. 75 BC) to about AD 180.
    • The great Roman writers all wrote in Classical Latin: Cicero, Virgil, Cæsar, Horace, Ovid, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Seneca, …
    • It is the point of reference for all other forms of Latin, which is why we are learning Classical Latin.
  • Vulgar Latin
    • This was Latin spoken by the common people at the same time that Classical Latin was cultivated among the aristocracy.  It became the common language throughout the Roman provinces of Italia, Gallia, Hispania and Dacia.
  • Late Latin
    • This was the successor of Classical Latin, written mostly by Christian authors of the Late Imperial Period, of whom St Augustine is one of the most important.
  • Mediaeval Latin
    • This was the language spoken and written by bishops, scholars and kings during the Middle Ages.  It springs from Classical and Late Latin and looks constantly back to them.  It has a wide range of specialised vocabulary because it is a language of learning.  St Thomas Aquinas is the greatest author of Mediaeval Latin.
  • Church Latin (Ecclesiastical Latin)
    • This is the Latin that grew out of Mediaeval Latin as it was used in the Roman Catholic Church.  Its pronunciation follows Italian (since the pope lives and works in Rome), and since the twentieth century its spelling and expression has grown closer to the Classical norms.
  • New Latin (Neo-Latin)
    • This is an attempt to revive Classical Latin as a living language, mostly by American university professors.  It tries to adapt the Classical language to the modern world.
  • Modern Romance languages
    • The Vulgar Latin of Italia became Italian.
    • The Vulgar Latin of Hispania became Spanish and Portuguese.
    • The Vulgar Latin of Gallia became French, Provençal and Wallonian.
    • The Vulgar Latin of Dacia became Rumanian.


The Arval Brethren were one of eldest of the many priestly colleges of the religion of the Ancient Roman state, tending to the cult of dea Dia, a nature-goddess, and of the ancestors so as to ensure a good harvest. During the reign of the emperor Augustus, the college was used as a tool of imperial unity and control. The term ‘arval’ comes from ‘arvum’, which means ‘a ploughed field’, and reflects their agricultural origin.

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