Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Is The Roman Empire Finally Coming Back?

French call to replace English with Latin as Europe's official language 

The Le Figaro article, penned by Sundar Ramanadane, claims Europe’s divorce from the English is complete, and says the feeling that French should be Europe’s lingua franca is hardly unique, pointing to articles by Germans that asks whether German should be the EU’s foremost language.  

But for Ramandane, Latin is ideal. How does one revive an ancient, largely dead language? The case of Israel’s revival of Modern Hebrew is used as proof that it’s possible. 

This is perceived as crucial and necessary if Europe will ever fulfil its dream of becoming more than a common market. The issue is an identity based on a common language and past, and this can never materialize in the status quo, he says.

Latin, he argues, is a natural choice. This is particularly given that every shared historical political experience in Europe leads back to Latin. From the Roman Empire and Christianity, to the Renaissance and Enlightenment, Latin was present throughout it all. 

It’s not lacking for culture either, says Ramandane, used through nearly 2000 years of history as the only common link between European minds, leaders and scholars. He goes on to argue that it's no stranger to modern languages, having shaped them deeply.

More importantly, he argues, Latin is well-suited to politics. In fact, some of the greatest orators and legal experts spoke in Latin, and one that will make it possible to train political leaders and civil servants in rhetoric and logic, much like ancient Greece and Rome.

 Time to brush up on my Latin? Boy am I glad now I went to the university, I still have my Latin study book at home...


  1. I know a few people who would find this a very exciting development.

    Our kids take a Latin class (mostly immersive) and have for a couple of years. Their teacher is a young man who is very passionate about the language. I've never really been able to pick it up, but our house has several Latin books in it as well.

    Interesting idea, should it come to fruition.

  2. Oh I don't mind, either! It probably would be fun, especially since there already have been comparisons between EU and the Roman Empire:)

  3. The Austro-Hungarian Parliament used Latin as there were so many languages in the Empire. It was also a language that most learned men learnt and it was also a neutral language as no one spoke it in their everyday life. So it's revival would mean that there was a gap of a century in it's official use.

  4. Interesting, Mark, I never knew it! Latin is quite difficult to learn, with all those cases and declensions.I'm glad to report I had the highest grade for it, lol, but that was long ago...

  5. The Irish will be dismayed... ;)

  6. But the Catholic Church will be happy:)

  7. To paraphrase Varg, life can be hard...!