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10.04.2013 von lbineolatin

Latinity in the Post-Classical World


10-13 April 2013


Campo Santo Teutonico, Vatican City

The Christianization of the Roman Empire in the fourth century and its subsequent fall in the fifth represent the beginning of a new stage in the history of the Latin language distinct from the Classical period. While remaining the dominant code of communication in European society for the next millennium and beyond, nevertheless, in the minds of its most prolific contemporary users and modern commentators, Latin supposedly experienced a continuous cycle of existential crises: decadence, decline, and death. Despite multiple refashionings of the nature and purpose of Latinity during the early and central Middle Ages, the self-conscious definition of language and culture that arose in fourteenth-century Italy has bestowed on the ensuing age the controversial name of renaissance. Yet, was, and is, this title a distinction without a difference, one masking constant functions bound up in changing forms? Not only in the Quattrocento, but also in earlier and later eras, cultivating and employing good Latin, however then defined, was a matter of the utmost importance, and furthermore, a wellspring of sociocultural capital.

This conference has been conceived to take a broad and comparative look at the entirety of the post-Classical lifespan of Latin through a discussion of the value attributed to Latinity, the qualities associated with it, the locations and fields where it mattered, and the full range of political, social, and cultural issues in which it was implicated. The principal object is not to pursue the traditional concerns of philological or literary inquiry, but rather the sociocultural study of a language.

Conference Programme

The detailed conference programme is available for download.