Talk:Medieval Latin

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignmentEdit

  This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 27 August 2018 and 12 December 2018. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Liberatiam97. Peer reviewers: Joliee19.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 00:49, 18 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignmentEdit

  This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Tylersaz.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 03:47, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misapprehensions about the relationship of Medieval Latin and the Romance languagesEdit

I have recently reworded three paragraphs that seem to have been written by somebody who thinks that Medieval Latin "anticipated" the Romance Languages and developed into them. It didn't. The Romance Languages were already fully developed during the period covered by this article. Just mentioning it here to alert other editors. Acasson (talk) 10:06, 1 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I noticed in the timeline at the bottom of the entry, the notation BC is used. Shouldn't this be updated to BCE? Does anyone else have feelings about this?

We tend to use BC on Wikipedia. You could change it, but the general opinion is, why bother? (You can check the talk page of the Common Era article if you really want to get involved in the debate...) Adam Bishop 00:42, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It seems to me that in discussing Medieval Latin, it's quite appropriate to use Anno domini rather than CE, and it follows from that that BC would be used rather than BCE. -- Nunh-huh 00:44, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Peculiarities alien to Classical LatinEdit

"It was heavily influenced by the language of the Vulgate, which contained many peculiarities alien to Classical Latin that resulted from a more or less direct translation from Greek and Hebrew; these peculiarities mirrored the original not only in its vocabulary, but also in its grammar and syntax."

It isn't clear what is meant by "original" in this sentence. Is it Classical Latin or Greek that the peculiarities mirror? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Shouldn't the Vulgate be put in Late Latin, as per the timeline at the bottom? Rigadoun 22:34, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I removed it. Rigadoun 15:26, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it was not written in the middle ages, but it had a great effect on Medieval Latin, sort of like the effect of the King James Version on modern English. Adam Bishop 15:32, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes to the meanings of wordsEdit

Shouldn't there be some discussion of how the meaning of some Classical Latin words changes in medieval Latin? For example, "miles", originally just meaning "soldier", took on the meaning "knight" in the Middle Ages. I'm not really well-read enough at the moment to add something on that, but I guess it would be helpful if someone could. --Helmold 13:16, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Debate between English and Greek languageEdit

I AM looking for information about the debate over the universal language.I was told that Greek language has lost over Englisg language by one vote during the 1800 and something related to George Washington..Can anyone tell me where can I find this in writing.(mickey) 03:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ML=Ecclesastical Latin?Edit

The first paragraph reads:
"Medieval Latin refers to the Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. It is therefore largely synonymous with Ecclesiastical Latin."

I am unhappy with the last sentence. The Medieval Latin corpus has lots of sources that couldn't be defined as "Ecclesiastical Latin", for instance epic, itineraries, historiography, artes-literature, scientific texts...
Went ahead and changed it. Iblardi 00:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Medieval Latin shares many similarities, but is not entirely synonymous, with Ecclesiastical Latin."
This is besides the point. Medieval Latin is the Latin that was spoken and/or written in the Middle Ages, whereas ecclesiastical Latin is a form of Latin used in a certain context. It isn't "not entirely synonymous", it's not synonymous with it at all. This is mixing up two entirely different categories. There is no single, homogeneous form of medieval Latin: it extends over a period of a thousand years and there are many differences based on period, region, or cultural background of the author. It would probably be impossible to draw up a comprehensive grammar of medieval Latin, much more than for ecclesiastical Latin.
Compare for instance the Waltharius. This is an example of Medieval Latin literature, yet it is very unlike ecclesiastical Latin. It is a bit like saying that classical Latin has similarities to the language of Cicero. This is wrongly put: Cicero's language is an expression of classical Latin, as is for instance Vergil's Aeneid. Iblardi 08:29, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah...I'm not sure how to express what I mean. I guess I was thinking that a lot of medieval Latin was written by churchmen. Adam Bishop 13:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The cookie is crumbling in another directionEdit

I've fixed Classical Latin and now I'm working on Late Latin, which was an indispensible piece of the puzzle. There was a wrong redirect from it to Vulgar Latin. When I finish with Late Latin, here is a hurricane notice, I am going to breeze in on this article. It will be next on my list. This article is basically unreferenced. The first thing I find is that it promulgates marginal or minority views as mainstream. Late Latin - forget it, there is none (here). Ditto with Renaissance Latin. This article does not know where to draw the lines between ages. Fine, I grant you some historians have said the middle ages start in the 3rd century AD. However, comparative literature is not general history. Never the twain shall meet. Each discipline has its own practices and constraints. The Latin set of articles on Wikipedia has gone over to the scheme promulgated in the box at the bottom and I have no problem substantiating that in Classical Latin and Late Latin. (One date in the box will have to change, but later) What we need here is a change of direction. That is what I will be effecting when I get here. Meanwhile don't be concerned if I start moving the Late Latin material to the Late Latin article. Wikipedia is trial and error. We tried and we erred (the story of my life) and now it is nearly time to fix it. There is a time to be born, etc. and a time to fix bad articles misinforming or disinforming millions of people. I may have to start some of this article in parallel with Late Latin.Dave (talk) 18:33, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The problem is that "Medieval Latin" is sometimes not really anything. It's just Latin that happens to have been written in the Middle Ages, whether it has any peculiar attributes or not. If the author knew what they were doing, then it's basically classical Latin; if not, then it's just bad Latin, but of course we must avoid saying all medieval Latin is bad. We could talk about the way it sounded, but no one really has any idea. Talking about genres of Latin medieval literature would just duplicate that article. On the other hand, there is definitely a lot of secondary literature about medieval Latin, so it shouldn't be difficult to reference the article, if someone has the time and patience. Adam Bishop (talk) 18:42, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On second thought I'm going to say of course Medieval Latin is something; there is obviously a lot more to it than just literature which attempts to be classical. What exactly are your complaints with the article? You were rather vague. Adam Bishop (talk) 05:05, 12 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello Mr. Bishop. I don't know. Ho, ho, ho! Seriously I went over it and found a lot of things but now I've been doing something else and there appears to be a big bru-ha-ha brewing over the New Latin article. I could go over it aginn and tell you in detail but I am not ready yet. I want to finish up Late Latin and see New Latin through to a satisfactory condition of truth. Just ignore me for the moment. I remember what I had in mind is that the direction taken is not that of the box below. After thorough verification I swear by that box. Whoever done it done good, but all the articles should match it or give reasons why not. That is what I meant. I will be getting bogged down in detail soon enough. Meanwhile I notice this article has the same fault as New Latin: almost zero references. I'm not putting templates on it right now; I reserve those for after you get unreasonable, if you do. If you think the article is fine, please go through and put your references on; that will save me some time and trouble. Otherwise we will have to slug it out. I plan to start with the definition of medieval; obvously there are different points of view. At least one has to include the point of view of the box below. Nothing as yet is referenced. You can get and idea of what I got in mind by looking at Latin and Classical Latin and oh that reminds me I have to go over Old Latin although that is in better shape. Later, Mr. Bishop. Best wishes.Dave (talk) 19:42, 14 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Heh, well I don't mean to get unreasonable; obviously we share the same ultimate goal of having a well-referenced and accurate article. Adam Bishop (talk) 20:02, 14 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I didn't mean you were. Just in case you should be, as often happens. I am glad we share the same interest. Seeing that we do, I would like to get your advice. The bottom box says Late Latin ends at 900 AD. I could change that and go for an earlier date, but the 900 is a legitimate point of view (see Late Latin) and it was here first and there is no good reason to supercede it, seeing that a previous editor got the jump on making the decision. Now, this article goes for a different scheme. That is partly the problem I saw with it. That means, when it comes to listing authors, we are going to have lists that way overlap! We can explain the classification problem but what about the lists? I was thinking of going for a bottom-box bottom line, which means we transfer many centuries of those authors to Late Latin. How would you solve the problem? What do you think we should do? I'm still working on Late Latin so there is a little time for mutual consultation in advance here. I think we should be consistent and rewrite Medieval Latin a bit. I'd be interested in your view and any suggestions you might have. Thanks.Dave (talk) 22:53, 14 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS. By the way we still need refs for all those generalizations in this article. It can't stand as is; I'm surprised no one has tagged it. Ciao.Dave (talk) 22:53, 14 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, to me, being a medievalist and not a classicist, 900 is certainly medieval. I suppose that has been included as "Late Latin" because it's around that time that the Romance languages begin to be distinguished from Latin. But there is Latin from that period and earlier that is definitely meant to be Latin, in the classical (or "Late Latin") sense, as opposed to people writing what they are speaking because they think it's still Latin when it really isn't, if that makes sense. I'm not sure we can avoid some overlap, since these terms are used by different groups of people for different purposes; I think Medieval Latin tends to be ignored or conflated with Ecclesiastical Latin. (So, basically, I have no answers...if I did, I would have been working on this article already!) Adam Bishop (talk) 02:29, 15 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Late Latin is exactly the period when people weren't sure whether their Latin was classical or not and if not wondering how to get it so. Late Latin was ignored as there was no article here. On Wikipedia there sure was a conflation which I am trying to correct. Sometimes you know some very aggressive people defend wrong views, which tends to perpetuate bad articles. Unless receiving a good reason to the contrary I'm not going to meddle with the 900. Putting Constantine in the middle ages sticks in my craw and so does running the middle ages up to 1500. I take it you are suggesting to keep some overlap. Let me think about it. Thanks.Dave (talk) 17:05, 15 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given the direction medieval studies is going--can we even state that the period ends in 1500? Interacting with colleagues in Belgium, recent work from Utrecht (Netherlands) is focusing in on the University period from ~1200-~1800 blurring the lines even further. I guess we must have some measuring stick to separate our history out--that strikes me as the beauty of wikipedia as it allows for the depiction of the multiple streams of history, each with their merits (now all we need are textbooks for our classes that make use of the crosslinking system in wikipedia... without the vandalism).--eleuthero (talk) 02:33, 12 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Overall Latin vocabulary didn't change much between Classical and Medieval Latin. CF Diederich, Paul Bernard. 1939. “The Frequency of Latin Words and Their Endings”. Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago press. I think this section should be edited to remove the suggestion that there is a big difference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eponymous-Archon (talkcontribs) 01:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's been a huge amount of scholarly work both on classical and medieval Latin vocabulary/lexicography since he was writing. The efforts to work up lexicons, glossaries, studies of the changes to vocabulary and grammar across the Latin world of late antiquity and the middle ages were somewhat patchy in the early 20th century; there has been much more work going on after WW2 all across Europe. Just the assertion of one single scholar writing in 1939 won't do to settle the matter. (talk) 15:39, 29 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Citation RefreshEdit

There seems to be a great deal of material here that clearly comes from a source, but is not cited in the text itself. Particularly in the vocabulary related sections, there is no citing of material that I would assume comes from the dictionaries in the reference section. I'm currently working on a school project involving evaluation and editing of wiki articles, what would be the best way to repair and add citations for these vocabulary sections?

Tylersaz (talk) 03:50, 8 November 2017 (UTC)TylersazReply[reply]

Editing the PageEdit

In editing this article I ended up making many minor changes. I have fixed grammar throughout the article and added information to the Syntax section as well as the beginning paragraph with a citation to answer the 'by whom' question presented by wiki in relation to an assumption. I also expanded the further reading list and found sources to support information that was already present. In addition, I added a section on Medieval Latin and Everyday Life.Liberatiam97 (talk) 01:51, 27 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]