'A love letter to the finest language ever created. … Gardini explains lucidly, compellingly and passionately how and why Latin is so elegant, beautiful, expressive and succinct.' Susan Hill, Spectator
'Enthrals, illuminates, and convinces. Nobody could possibly describe Latin as a dead or useless language after reading it.' David Crystal
Virgil gave us the Aeneid, and Ovid the Metamorphoses</i>; Lucretius analysed the material world and Caesar interrogated how we view reality through the lens of reason – but what does Latin offer us today?
Often seen as the bulky relic of school curricula long forgotten, Latin seems to have lost its punch in the popular conscious. Oxford academic Nicola Gardini, however, argues the case for its lasting importance, offering a personal and passionate defence of the beauty and future of the language. From these ancient writers, we can learn about such vital aspects of life as love, purpose, eloquence, beauty and loss. These lessons from the past can illuminate our present, and Gardini encourages us to dig to the roots of our own language to consider how Latin has influenced the ways in which we communicate, think and live today.
A formidable mix of history, memoir and criticism, this is a beautiful love letter to one language that ultimately celebrates the vital power of all literature.