Latin in a Time of Change: The Choice of Language as a Signifier of New Science?
University of Chicago Press
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Fransen, S. (2017). Latin in a Time of Change: The Choice of Language as a Signifier of New Science?. Isis, 108 (3), 629-635. https://doi.org/10.1086/694189
This essay discusses three authors from the early seventeenth century (Galileo, Descartes and Van Helmont) and the reasons guiding their decision to write occasionally in their respective vernacular languages although Latin remained the accepted language for learned communication. From their own writings we can see how their choices were social, political, and always of high importance. As multilingual authors their choice of language conveyed a sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit message. The combination of usage of both Latin and vernacular proved, on the one hand, their place in the international learned community, on the other hand, their interest and investment in changing the educational system.
This essay was written with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Grant Reference: AH/M001928/1.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/694189
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/262862