Flavors of Latin

Shay H.

New Member
Context: I'm writing a fantasy story set in the modern era that looks a lot like the real world. A large group of characters are semi-immortal (they live until someone actively kills them), and picked up Latin as their lingua franca because they got tired of learning new languages all the time. A lot of them learned Latin during the classical era and since lived through medieval times. Most avoided Christianity where they could.

Given that set up, what flavor of Latin makes the most sense for them to be using in the present day? I know of Classical, Biblical, and Medieval, but aside from some pronunciation differences I'm not sure what the big differences are between them, so any clarifications there would be much appreciated, too!

And, of course, thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to your thoughts!
 

Adrian

Homo Romanticus
A lot of them learned Latin during the classical era and since lived through medieval times. Most avoided Christianity where they could.
Which does not exclude them from reading medieval latin works or interacting with other people in "medieval latin" (latin was in medieval period the language of the royal court and intelectual elites).

Given that set up, what flavor of Latin makes the most sense for them to be using in the present day? I know of Classical, Biblical, and Medieval, but aside from some pronunciation differences I'm not sure what the big differences are between them, so any clarifications there would be much appreciated, too!
If they learned latin in classical era, I wouldn't be surprised if they used sermo vulgaris (=vulgar latin = bible latin) in their everyday use ( I highy doubt they would be using Cicero's oratory style or Livy's prose style in their everyday speech).
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I highy doubt they would be using Cicero's oratory style or Livy prose style in their everyday speech
Of course they would. They are bloody semi-immortal. What's to prevent from speaking the Latin of the educated upper classes?
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Given that set up, what flavor of Latin makes the most sense for them to be using in the present day? I know of Classical, Biblical, and Medieval, but aside from some pronunciation differences I'm not sure what the big differences are between them, so any clarifications there would be much appreciated, too!
You may not notice too many differences unless you study Latin really deeply. It's not like any variety of Latin ever broke with the language and created something completely new. All Latin varieties you will find are essentially modelled after the classical peak under Cicero and Caesar. They just manage to live up to those standards in varying degrees.
What sets classical Latin apart is mainly a very distinct choice of vocabulary, a very clear-cut and logical grammatical structure (especially regarding tenses and reflexive pronouns) and a very hypotactical composition of complex sentences.
And well, obviously the pronunciation was different as well in classical times ... in ways we might not understand to this day. Apparently, Latin had some kind of pitch accent under Cicero, but nobody really understands how it worked. It changed in late antiquity and was confusing even for the people who lived back then ...
 

Shay H.

New Member
If they learned latin in classical era, I wouldn't be surprised if they used sermo vulgaris
You may not notice too many differences unless you study Latin really deeply.
...
What sets classical Latin apart is mainly a very distinct choice of vocabulary, a very clear-cut and logical grammatical structure (especially regarding tenses and reflexive pronouns) and a very hypotactical composition of complex sentences.
Thank you both! I think mostly it's going to show up in the titles they use and maybe a few phrases, but I wasn't sure if that would affect the word choice. If I'm understanding things right, there shouldn't be an issue with using the full dictionary when I look for translations.

Next up, neologisms!
 
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