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A: London, England, United Kingdom

Phasing Out Latin as the International Language for Scientific and Medical Books

Circa 1800

Around the year 1800 publication of scientific and medical books in Latin— the international language of scholarship, religion, and science since the Roman Empire— diminished, if it did not entirely cease. As the 19th century unfolded most scientific and medical books were published in their vernacular language of authorship, or in French, German or English. Works of scholarship or bibliography that involved Latin texts, and assumed knowledge of Latin, continued to be published in Latin mainly through the first half of the 19th century. This is not to imply that publication of classical or medieval texts in Latin stopped by the mid-19th century. Scholarship about Latin texts continued, as did the editing and publication of new editions of Latin texts; however, increasingly the modern commentary upon these texts was published in modern languages rather than in Latin.

Timeline Themes