Review – Long Live Latin

Posted June 11, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Long Live Latin by Nicola GardiniLong Live Latin, Nicola Gardini

This… turned out to be really not my thing. It’s a passionate defence of Latin as something you should learn just for its own sake, for the beauty and versatility of the language — not because it serves some other purpose, like preparing you for other languages or limbering up your brain or something like that. I don’t disagree with the argument at all; I’d love to learn Latin… but this isn’t the book to convince you. I think this is a book you can enjoy best when you understand a little Latin, and can better appreciate the many, many, many examples of Latin texts that the author draws in to help make his points.

For someone who doesn’t already know any Latin, though, it’s difficult to appreciate the elegance of phrasing, especially when twice-translated (since this book is originally written in Italian, I think? it’s definitely in translation, anyway). Sometimes there would be an interesting insight or two into the writers and texts described and given as exemplars, but there’s just too much “here’s a quotation and here’s why it’s great”.

Rating: 1/5

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