An Economist story starts with one of my favorite Monty Python scenes and the new Mel Gibson movie and proceeds (via a potted history of international Latin use) to Nuntii Latini, Latino Moderne, the Lexicon recentis latinitatis (‘jazz’ is iazensis musica to the Vatican), and “an American Carmelite priest, Reginald Foster, Latin’s loudest advocate in the modern world.” Fun and informative! (Sent to me by Jonathon Delacour, who promises he’ll update the heart of things any day now.)

By the way, the title of “Latin’s loudest advocate in the modern world” would be disputed by Luigi Miraglia, and anyone interested in these matters should read Rebecca Mead’s long New Yorker article about him, “Latin Lover.”

Update (June 2019). Well, appears to be defunct, but her article about Miraglia is available at the Internet Archive.


  1. “Latin is the original world language”… alas, alas, how these people ignore certain large swaths of the world. Like, say, China and Classical Chinese. Just saying. (Not to mention Sanskrit, and how it was used in diplomacy across a wide trade sphere, either…. But that’s a little later, so I’ll pace on that one.)

  2. ben wolfson says

    Not to mention Greek.

  3. Sumerian, I suggest, was the first ‘world’ language in anything like that sense.

  4. And if not Sumerian, certainly Aramaic (language of the Achaemenid Empire and the entire Fertile Crescent).
    Kristina? Is that you? Welcome back!

  5. Well, and between Sumerian and Aramaic, don’t forget Akkadian. Amarna diplomacy anyone?

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