jul 122011

Moved by the beauty and precision of the Latin language, students of the Theological Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas (ITTA), located in São Paulo have pioneered an unprecedented initiative in Brazil— a  website written in Latin.

For centuries Latin was the universal idiom. Originating from a people living in the Italian province of Lazio, the language of a defeated people became adopted by the Roman conquerors.  The Roman Empire, and hence the Latin language, spread across almost all of Europe, North Africa, and part of the Middle East.

After the fall of the Roman Empire and the yielding of Roman provinces to Germanic kingdoms, Latin was retained as the language of culture.  Monasteries cultivated the language of Cicero both in liturgical contexts, and in the transmission of human sciences. Latin was the language of academia throughout the Middle Ages and much of the modern era. The great thinkers wrote treatises on medicine, physics, theology and law in Latin.

With the advent of modernity, especially with the consolidation of nationalist movements, all Western nations adopted national languages for government administration and teaching purposes. With this move, it could be surmised that Latin would experience the inglorious twilight of its long history.

However Latin stood firm in university lecture halls and remained the official language of Hungary until the nineteenth century. Today, Latin is not only the official language of the Vatican State. Its alphabet is used by more than half the world’s population. There is not a continent without countries using at least one of the Romance languages, especially Spanish, Portuguese or French. Latin is considered by many authors as the main source language of Western culture.

The Internet is a beneficial venue for spreading Latin. Today Finns, Germans, Italians, Americans, Chileans and Poles endeavour to maintain Latin as a living language.

Various professors and student members of the Theological Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas (ITTA) in Brazil, have joined forces with lovers of the language of Cicero, Horace and Virgil, to use the World Wide Web to spread news and articles written in the language of the Fathers of the Church. To access the Praecones Latine site visit the link: