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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: June ::
Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0527  Friday, 2 June 2006

[1] 	From: 	Carol Barton <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Jun 2006 10:21:55 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"

[2] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Jun 2006 22:56:22 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"

[3] 	From: 	R. A. Cantrell <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 01 Jun 2006 17:01:57 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Carol Barton <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Jun 2006 10:21:55 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Subject: 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"

I beg to differ, Abigail. Through the seventeenth century at least, 
Latin was the language of scholarship, French the language of 
diplomacy--and many a proud Protestant (John Milton, among them) writing 
during the Reformation had "no small Latin" for that reason--though he 
more than most abhorred the church of his grandfather (Roman 
Catholicism). The likelihood that Shakespeare would have written private 
correspondence in Latin is little, however, since (as you correctly 
point out) there would have been few people in Shakespeare's sphere of 
influence who could have read it--assuming he could write it.

Best to all,
Carol Barton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Jun 2006 22:56:22 +0100
Subject: 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"

Abigail Quart writes ...

 >But say he had the effrontery to correspond in Latin. Would he
 >be completely unafraid to appear as one who preferred the
 >language of Catholicism? Because Latin was the language of
 >the Catholic Church. Nobody else had any use for it at all.

I'll ignore Abigail Quart's knee-jerk anti-Catholicism.  It's rather 
boring and we've heard it before.  I would point out however that Latin 
remained the lingua franca, the learned language for scientific and 
political affairs, for another two centuries after Shakespeare.  All the 
great British scientists from these centuries (Harvey, Newton, Boyle 
etc) wrote and published in Latin.  Today 80% of all scholarly and 
academic English words are derived from Latin and Latin remains the 
language for the classification of all living things.

Peter Bridgman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		R. A. Cantrell <
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Date: 		Thursday, 01 Jun 2006 17:01:57 -0500
Subject: 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0521 Shakespeare's "Small Latin and Less Greek"

 >But say he had the effrontery to correspond in Latin. Would he be
 >completely unafraid to appear as one who preferred the language of
 >Catholicism? Because Latin was the language of the Catholic Church.
 >Nobody else had any use for it at all.

It is not that you are misinformed, it is the degree to which you are 
misinformed. Effrontery . . . zounds.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell

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