The international bestseller that celebrates the beauty, passion and life-lessons to be found in this not-so-dead language.
Virgil gave us the Aeneid, and Ovid the Metamorphoses; 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.
Nicola Gardini lives in Oxford and Milan. His novel The Lost Words of Amelia Lynd (Feltrinelli 2012) was awarded the Viareggio prize in 2012. He teaches Italian Literature at the University of Oxford. He also writes poetry and fiction, having published three novels and several collections of verse. He also co-edits the monthly magazine Poesia, based in Milan.
Writing & Language