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The Regional Diversification of Latin 200 BC - AD 600


  • Date Published: December 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521881494

£ 154.00

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About the Authors
  • Classical Latin appears to be without regional dialects, yet Latin evolved in little more than a millennium into a variety of different languages (the Romance languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese etc.). Was regional diversity apparent from the earliest times, obscured perhaps by the standardisation of writing, or did some catastrophic event in late antiquity cause the language to vary? These questions have long intrigued Latinists and Romance philologists, struck by the apparent uniformity of Latin alongside the variety of Romance. This book, first published in 2007, establishes that Latin was never geographically uniform. The changing patterns of diversity and the determinants of variation are examined from the time of the early inscriptions of Italy, through to late antiquity and the beginnings of the Romance dialects in the western Roman provinces. This is the most comprehensive treatment ever undertaken of the regional diversification of Latin throughout its history in the Roman period.

    • Detailed presentation of the Latin primary evidence, with every passage quoted in the original language and translated into literal English
    • Includes a summarising introduction and conclusion in which the issues addressed in the book are related to modern dialect studies
    • Discusses the methodological problems raised by the study of regional variation in a dead language
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Without doubt, this book will have a wide-ranging relevance and impact. … [Adams] has produced a rare book of outstanding scope and insight, combining all the best aspects of modern criticism with unrivalled traditional scholarship.' Britannia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521881494
    • length: 850 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 163 x 56 mm
    • weight: 1.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction
    Part II. The Republic
    Part III. Explicit Evidence for Regional Variation
    Part IV. Explicit Evidence
    Part V. Regionalisms in Provincial Texts
    Part VI. Spain
    Part VII. Italy
    Part VIII. Africa
    Part IX. Britain
    Part X. Inscriptions
    Part XI. Conclusions.

  • Author

    J. N. Adams, University of Oxford
    J. N. Adams is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford.

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