Differences between Classical and New Latin

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Civis Illustris
Neo-Latin has made-up words that didn't exist in Classical Latin for modern things that didn't exist among the Romans.
 

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Civis Illustris
Yes but the grammar how much it changed?
Neo-Latin is a construct that came up in the times of Humanism and the Renaissance. It was an attempt to overcome Mediaeval Latin (where some authors showed quite an alarming degree of negligence towards accurate Latin writing) and to centre Latin prose composition more strongly around the model Cicero and Caesar had originally presented. So in other words, Neo-Latin grammar is based on Classical Latin.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
I would only add for @Sacratus that, disregarding the typical medieval vocabulary for medieval non-ancient concepts, in the height of the middle-ages (ever since the Carolinian renaissance) there were many writers (or kings/politicians/priests/teachers) who would write in a kind of Latin that would almost pass the test of later humanists (if we disregard the occasional vocabulary oddities and localisms), sometimes a slightly different use of the pronouns. So, often, putting neo-latin in contrast with the medieval Latin may prove to be a more difficult task than one originally thought, it's maybe better if you put in contrast any non-native Latin used as a dead language in writing with classical Latin as that of Cicero and Caesar (or its for us hypothetical* spoken form), the one used by native speakers in a certain urban area and age. In a big sense, the humanists but continued in a centuries lasting chain of using Latin actively as a dead language for all possible purposes that started in early middle-ages and went unbroken all the way to humanism...

*hypothetical as in we have no good bigger records of its form (used in an Urban area in the same age), only guesses
 
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rothbard

Civis Illustris
Staff member
Some features which are considered typical of medieval Latin, such as the objective clause with "quod" or "quia" can occasionally be found in classical Latin as well, and may well have been common in the Latin spoken in ancient Rome, even before the late imperial age. For instance, in Asinaria Plautus wrote:

"Equidem scio iam, filius quod amet meus
istanc meretricem e proxumo Philaenium."

Another medieval construction, the passive with "se", can be found in Pliny the Elder: "Myrina quae Sebastopolim se vocat" (see here).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I knew of the Plautus example (the earliest attestation of the quod indirect speech construction, I think) but not of the Pliny one. Interesting. I don't know how common the reflexive-for-passive construction actually is in medieval Latin. I don't remember ever coming across it, but then I guess this is the kind of thing that might be found in some regions and/or authors and not others, so maybe it's found in what I haven't read. Of course, it would have been a common construction at some point in late vulgar Latin/early Romance, leading to the construction found in modern Romance languages like French.
 
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