Time Voyager

Language and Rhetoric

Language

As Rome took over various territories, expanding its empire, the language they spoke evolved. Latin was the prominent language in Imperial Rome, but in the territories Latin became dialectized, morphing into many of the European languages we hear today. Languages such as French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish were all languages that evolved from Latin over time.

“Rome’s expansion spread Latin throughout Europe, and over time (Vulgar) Latin evolved and dialectized in different locations, gradually shifting into a number of distinct Romance languages. Many of these languages, including French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, flourished, the differences between them growing greater over time. Although English is Germanic rather than Romanic in origin, English borrows heavily from Latin and Latin-derived words” (Rodriguez, www.theancientworld.net).


Source: Cesare Macari, Cicero Denounces Catline, Ancient, https://www.ancient.eu/image/4532/ (Accessed: November 13, 2017)

Rhetoric

In Janson’s “Speak: A Short History of Languages”, he highlights the importance of rhetoric in Roman Culture, “In Rome, it was a prerequisite for real success to be able to deliver persuasive speeches in front of large assemblies. The children of important people spent much time learning to speak in public; Roman education was largely rhetorical education. This meant, among other things, that pupils read much to enrich their language and that they had very systematic training in composing and delivering speeches. To master the Latin language in speech and writing was the key to success in Roman society” (Jansson, 92)


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