Latin: history of development. Application in medicine

Once upon a time Europe was inhabited by people speaking languages, which today are called dead, that is, out of conversational use. One of them is Latin. The history of its development begins even before our era, but people use it today, in the XXI century. The study of this language is a compulsory discipline in many educational institutions. What is Latin for? Who is studying it? The answers are in this article.


The birthplace of Latin - Ancient Rome. People for whom this language was native, lived in the II century BC. But they learned to write much later. The history of the development of the Latin language is closely connected with antiquity. This term is understood as a civilization that existed before the Middle Ages. Modern people know about it thanks to the cultural achievements of the Romans and the ancient Greeks. The Romans took a lot from the more educated inhabitants of Hellas, including literary traditions.

The first script

The history of the Latin language, like any other, is subject to periodization. Linguists and historians distinguish archaic, classical and post-classical periods. While the Romans were an unorganized nation, they spoke in archaic Latin. But the stronger the Roman Empire became, the more developed the culture, and with it the language. Spelling was formed, speech became more diverse. The Romans began to speak and write in the language that is today called classical Latin. And then some curious citizens of the empire began to translate the works of the Greeks and even create something new. With the advent of artistic Greek and Roman literature, the development of world prose and poetry begins.


The study of any field in art is, first of all, the history of the development of the Latin language. The advent of Rome and the development of its culture had a huge impact on the culture of the whole world. First, in this state there were laws and liturgical literature in Latin. Then came the writers themselves. The first person in ancient Rome, who seriously became interested in poetic forms, is Livy Andronic. But he did not write anything of his own, but merely translated the great poem of Homer. Roman children for a long time studied the writing on the book about the wonderful wanderings of Odysseus.

The first books

An interesting history of the development of the Latin language and literature is associated with the equally entertaining political life of ancient Rome. Wars and other misfortunes gave rise to a new generation of poets and writers who no longer translated foreign works, but created originally Roman writings. Gnei Nevius, for example, wrote a tragedy dedicated to one of the Punic Wars.

In addition, like every nation, the Romans had their own tales, on the basis of which poets created literary works. Myths of Ancient Rome are studied by schoolchildren and students. Knowledge of this epic is necessary because it is from here that the ancient Roman writers drew plots. And they, in turn, borrowed traditions and later authors. The history of the origin and development of the Latin language is also associated with such names as Plautus, Virgil, Horace. The sayings of Roman philosophers, writers, politicians and gladiators are also used in modern speech. Although rarely in the original.

What languages originated from Latin?

For those who study seriously Italian, Spanish or French, Latin is very important. The history of its development is one of the sections of Romanistics - a science that studies a large number of languages, the forefather of which was the speech of the inhabitants of ancient Rome. Latin - compulsory discipline in the faculties of philology and linguistics. Although training there is usually reduced to translating texts, memorizing proverbs and learning the basics of grammar. But even this is enough to understand how many words of French, Italian or any other language from the Romance group are borrowed from the contemporaries of Virgil and Horace.

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, Latin was, above all, the language of the church. And because everything depended on the church, this language was present in all spheres of life. Scientists of this era carefully collected the literary heritage of antiquity, studied and improved Latin, devoted numerous works to such an important topic as the history of the development of the Latin language. Briefly it is divided into several stages. In addition to the archaic, classical and postclassic, medieval Latin is also distinguished.

Even at the decline of the Middle Ages, only dark, uneducated people did not speak Latin. In Europe, official documents and business correspondence were conducted exclusively in this language. In the world in general and in society in particular, there have been changes, and this could not but affect the speech. It developed, new lexical units appeared. But even when this language began to recede into the background, it remained an obligatory subject in all educational institutions.

Latin was almost the main subject for future lawyers, what there to talk about doctors. In the novel The Life of Monsieur de Moliere M. Bulgakov ironically describes the system of teaching this era. The main character of the book, the famous author of the comedies Moliere, in his youth so intensely studied Latin that sometimes he felt that his name was not Jean-Baptiste, but Johannes Baptistus.

Translations of Hippocrates

When the valiant Roman warriors defeated the highly developed Greeks, they were able to take advantage not only of the cultural achievements of the Hellenes, but also of the scientific. The first thing with which to begin - with the study of the works of Hippocrates. This learned man, as is known, was the founder of ancient Greek healing. The history of the development of the Latin language in medicine originates precisely with these translations.


Some ancient Greek terms have forever entered the speech of the Romans. A lot they took from the defeated people, but after a while they had their own doctors. The most famous of them is Claudius Galen. This scientist wrote more than a hundred works. Particular attention he paid to the terms, believing that they are an important part of the medical case. But the first healers in ancient Rome were still captive Greeks. Slaves eventually got free, taught in schools. Initially, all terms were exclusively Greek, but the history of the development of the Latin language and medical terminology are interrelated. Borrowings from the language of Hippocrates every year in the speech of Roman physicians became less and less.

Proceedings of Celsus

A huge contribution to the development of medical terminology was made by Aulus Cornelius Celsus. This person was a versatile person, he was a supporter of the replacement of traditional Greek medical terms with Latin. Celsus wrote his works in his native language. The works of this doctor became a prerequisite for the creation of modern medical terminology.

In the dark Middle Ages, the development of medicine was suspended. As, however, and all other scientific branches. Society rules the church. Ignorance was flourishing. For almost a millennium, there has been no progress in European medicine. In the meantime, the Arabs achieved a great deal in this area. And when they remembered about medicine in Europe, the first thing to begin with in the development of medical practice was from translations into Arabic of Arabic treatises, which, incidentally, were nothing more than translations from Greek.


Between the fourteenth and the sixteenth centuries in Europe, everything revived, and above all medicine. The doctors turned again to the ancient originals. In these centuries, a universal medical language was created. Doctors who lived in different European countries had to understand each other. Textbooks and dictionaries were published. And in the 15th century, the work of the forgotten Roman physician Celsus was discovered in one of the libraries. The work of the Roman was republished, and its terminology is used by doctors all over the world today.

Vesalius Andreas is a great doctor and anatomist of that era. This scientist compiled an anatomical table, relying on the reissued works of the Roman author. In addition to existing Grecianism, he became the creator of new Latin terms. However, many of them later came out of use.

Roman law

A significant influence on the legal terminology was provided by the Latin language. The history of jurisprudence originates from the theory of Roman law. It is the source of the formation of terminology in many languages. The reason is the accuracy of the wording. Latinisms became the property of the modern legislative system. A huge role here was played by the fact that in the legal sphere medieval documents were compiled exclusively in Latin. As a result, an international terminological fund was created.

In some languages, words related to legal vocabulary are pronounced even today in Latin without any changes whatsoever. A large number of Latinisms is present primarily in the Romance languages. In the German group, there are fewer borrowings.


Future linguists also study Latin. The role of this language is great in the system of humanitarian education. From him all the Romance languages took place. Borrowings from the speech of the ancient Romans are present today in the lexicon of the French, Italians, Spaniards. Therefore, for students who study Romance philology, so important is the Latin language. The history of the development of grammar, phonetics and other sections of linguistics - all this is necessary to know for a profound study of a foreign language.

Latin had a tremendous impact on the formation and development of many modern languages, so it is not only the future lawyers and physicians who need to study it. A person who studies the Latin language enriches his vocabulary and facilitates the process of memorizing new words. It is the Latin alphabet that is the basis of all European languages and the phonetic basis of transcription.

Latin also has to do with the modern Russian language. In it there are more than ten thousand words, which came from the language of the ancient Romans.

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