RENAISSANCE LATIN is a name given to the distinctive form of Latin
style developed during the European
* 1 Ad fontes
* 2.1 14th century * 2.2 15th century
* 3 References * 4 External links
Ad fontes ("to the sources") was the general cry of the humanists,
and as such their
Latin style sought to purge
Latin of the medieval
Latin vocabulary and stylistic accretions that it had acquired in the
centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire. They looked to golden
Latin literature, and especially to
Some 16th-century Ciceronian humanists also sought to purge written
Latin of medieval developments in its orthography . They insisted, for
example, that ae be written out in full wherever it occurred in
classical Latin; medieval scribes often wrote e instead of ae. They
were much more zealous than medieval
Latin writers that t and c be
distinguished; because the effects of palatalization made them
homophones , medieval scribes often wrote, for example, eciam for
etiam. Their reforms even affected handwriting ; Humanists usually
Latin in a humanist minuscule script derived from Carolingian
minuscule , the ultimate ancestor of most contemporary lower-case
typefaces , avoiding the black-letter scripts used in the Middle Ages.
This sort of writing was particularly vigilant in edited works, so
that international colleagues could read them more easily, while in
their own handwritten documents the
Latin is usually written as it is
pronounced in the vernacular. Therefore, the first generations of
humanists did not dedicate much care to the orthography till the late
sixteenth and seventeenth century.
The humanist plan to remake Latin was largely successful, at least in education . Schools taught the humanistic spellings, and encouraged the study of the texts selected by the humanists, to the large exclusion of later Latin literature. On the other hand, while humanist Latin was an elegant literary language , it became much harder to write books about law , medicine , science or contemporary politics in Latin while observing all of the Humanists' norms about vocabulary purging and classical usage.
RENAISSANCE LATIN WORKS AND AUTHORS
For 14th-century works and authors that are still medieval in outlook (practically all non-Italians), see Medieval Latin .
Incunables by language. Latin dominated printed book production in the 15th century by a wide margin.
* 1425. Hermaphroditus by Antonio Beccadelli (1394–1471) * 1441. De elegantiis Latinæ linguæ by Lorenzo Valla (1406–1457) * 1442. Historia Fl