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The Roman impact on English language & Culture

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jordan jones

on 9 September 2013

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Transcript of The Roman impact on English language & Culture

The Roman impact on English language & Culture
The Roman invasion of Britain was arguably the most significant event ever to happen to the British Isles. It affected our language, our culture, our geography, our architecture and even the way we think. Our island has a Roman name, its capital is a Roman city and for centuries (even after the Norman Conquest) the language of our religion and administration was a Roman one For 400 years, Rome brought a harmony and alignment to Britain that it had never had before. Prior to the Romans, Britain was a disparate set of peoples with no sense of national persona after that of their localized tribe. In the awaken of the Roman occupation, every 'Briton' was cognizant of their 'Britishness'. This characterized them as something different from those people who came after them, tinting their national mythology, so that the Welsh could glimpse themselves as the factual heirs of Britain, whilst the Scots and Irish were pleased of the detail that they had never been conquered by Rome
The culture
The Romans have left the world a rich and varied legend, and we do not need to look too far to find that Roman rule had an enormous impact on Britain.
The Romans made great changes to the British outlook. Many modern roads still follow the line of Roman ways. Many of the towns founded by the Romans, for example London, York and Lincoln, are still towns today.
The legend of Roman civilization can still be seen in our outlook, engineering, law, language, mathematics, money, religion, and writing. This is a legend which we share with all the other European, north African and middle eastern countries which were once part of the empire.
The English language has taken many words and phrases from Latin and Latin is still used in logos and mottoes like this one which is used by Arsenal football club. The Latin words Victoria Concordia Crescit mean 'Victory springs from Unity'.
English is based on Anglo-Saxon, but has many words of Latin origin. Welsh also has words of Latin origin.
Some Latin words are used in English to mean much the same as they did in Roman times
Here are four examples:
Auditorium - part of a theater occupied by the audience
Diploma - a document giving an honor or privilege
Forum - a meeting place
Stadium - a place where sports are played

Language continued
Popular Latin sayings from Roman authors used today include:
Amor vincit omnia - 'love conquers all' (the poet Horace)
Nil desperandum - 'don't despair' (the poet Horace).
Tempus fugit - 'time flies' (the poet Vergil)
Veni, vidi, vici - 'I came, I saw, I conquered' (Julius Caesar)
Welsh has many words which are taken from Latin. Here are just five examples:
Ffenestr (window) from Latin fenestra
Llyfr (book) from Latin liber
Pont (bridge) from Latin pons
Porth (port) from Latin portus
Ysgol (school) from Latin schola
One reason why we have so many words of Latin origin in English is that Latin has been used for centuries by people in professions like the church, the law and medicine. Latin was a language which could be understood by educated people all over Europe.
Scientists use Latin names for all living things: plants, animals, insects, fungi, even bacteria. Most of them have no name in any other language.

Did you know? Schools, universities and businesses often have mottoes in Latin rather than English. Some of them were made up a long time ago when all educated people learned Latin. Others are quite recent and are used because people still find Latin can express ideas clearly.
Jordan Jones
Quadry Holloman
Clinton Bandoh
Isaiah Gilliard
Elisha Hicks
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