Imperial Rome....

Imperial Rome was ....


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(...) But derived from vulgar or street latin not classical. Like equus for horse in classical but caballus on the street, a bit like equine and horse in English.
Hence cavall - Catalan, cavallo - Italian, cheval-French, cal - Romanian, and so on.
When the Empire went down people still spoke latin, but it simply evolved as languages do, and today these people in effect still speak latin, just modified latin. Apparently you can still hear almost unchanged latin in Lugodorese, a Italic dialect spoken in Central Sardinia. (...)
I believe that the average Romans of those days would have spoken numerous regional dialects, with only the educated classes speaking some sort of "standard" (if you want to call it that) Latin. There are numerous regional dialects in Italy today, at least some of which are mutually unintelligible. However, Italians also all speak "standard" Italian, which I understand is derived from the language as spoken in Florence.
 
snip

For the average legionary, service in the Roman army meant a step up the social ladder. Yes they risked being killed, but the life of the common civilian was also not without risk from disease, accident, or famine in an era with very limited medical care. For someone who was willing to cut their ties with their homes for an extended period of time and travel to wherever they were sent, it could be a very attractive career.
This book has some interesting stuff on the place of the Roman soldier in society and the author makes a good case for the Legion as a career when compared to the lifestyle of the average Roman civvy.



A Legionary could expect to get paid (even if only eventually), and in the mean time he was clothed pretty well, fed regularly with a decent diet, lived in decent accomodation and shared a sense of cameraderie with his mates. All this and the prospect of promotion if he worked for it.

The average Roman pleb fared a lot worse.
 
I believe that the average Romans of those days would have spoken numerous regional dialects, with only the educated classes speaking some sort of "standard" (if you want to call it that) Latin. There are numerous regional dialects in Italy today, at least some of which are mutually unintelligible. However, Italians also all speak "standard" Italian, which I understand is derived from the language as spoken in Florence.
My son's mini-thesis (written in Italian) was on the importance of regional dialects in the socio-political sphere in Italy.
He originally intended to compare Italy with France, but his tutor said that would dilute the whole paper, and to concentrate on Italy.
 

49er

On ROPS
On ROPs
I understand that many ex legionaries were granted land in what is now Romania... so many that the land was named after them.
It was the emperor Trajun who ordered "vastatio" to be carried on Dacia, present day Romania.
Vastatio entailed the killing of every man, woman, and child. Animals were also killed, and then the whole place burnt to the ground.
Rome repopulated the country with Romans. That is why and where the Romanian language comes from, so one of them told me.
 
I believe that the average Romans of those days would have spoken numerous regional dialects, with only the educated classes speaking some sort of "standard" (if you want to call it that) Latin. There are numerous regional dialects in Italy today, at least some of which are mutually unintelligible. However, Italians also all speak "standard" Italian, which I understand is derived from the language as spoken in Florence.
Oh very true, it's the same all over the world. Just glance at Britain with it's huge variety of dialects some almost mutually unintelligible and the Received Pronunciation that is a standard. Look at how Arabic has evolved, with classical as a communicative language amonst the educated classes and the people speaking local variants. My daughter studied Classical Arabic as a hobby, went to Morocco with a friend and found that nobody really spoke what they had learned.
Rome must have been the same.
 
Many folk and most of the youngsters speak good English, so in that respect it's better than Glasgow.
There are very few places that aren't. You'll need to set the bar higher than that, old chap.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
While on holiday near Lake Garda in northern Italy a few years back I was informed by a guide that when some renovation was being carried out on a public building in Peschiara they discovered the remains of a building underneath and guess what? ...it was a Roman ruin!!!

Well, come on...what else would it have been FFS?

Actually I have an interest in Roman history - a regular professional army with some seriously hard generals and troops, barking mad Emperors, cool mythology, advanced building techniques and a no nonsense approach to crime and punishment. What's not to like? :)
What's not to like? Not a lot if you were on the recieving end. On the other hand, as been said quite a lot if you were rich and part of the establishment.
 
I thought Greek was spoken in Rome as a lingua franca so the distinctions must have occured after Constantine's sons took over. After all it was him who shifted to Constantinople
Greek was always the language of the upper class, even during the Republic. It showed you were educated and cultured.
 
Greek was always the language of the upper class, even during the Republic. It showed you were educated and cultured.
Yers, of that I'm aware but for it to be stated to be the language of Rome implies that it was far more widespread. The Romans, their life and Customs, by GuhL and Koner seems to imply that Latin was far more of a concocted Language with influences from older Italian ones. Oddly the book makes little mention of the use of Language, it makes the assumption that you know. However since most Monuments and public works were paid for by the public purse the inscriptions being in Latin it gives a different impression. Since Brutus was allegedly Trojan it would imply that most senior Roman families would claim descent from the Homeric period.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
they could be on he receiving end too. Factions could be quite nasty to each other
The original back stabbers, happened then (Ceaser) been the most famous. Still happens today but thankfully not quite as fatal.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
This book has some interesting stuff on the place of the Roman soldier in society and the author makes a good case for the Legion as a career when compared to the lifestyle of the average Roman civvy.



A Legionary could expect to get paid (even if only eventually), and in the mean time he was clothed pretty well, fed regularly with a decent diet, lived in decent accomodation and shared a sense of cameraderie with his mates. All this and the prospect of promotion if he worked for it.

The average Roman pleb fared a lot worse.
Hmm, sounds like they had it better than today's British Army!
 

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