From the Editor’s Desk (Friday, 05-22-2015, Gaudium Press) The existence of a Latin Circle, sort of cultural club, just to speak the language of the Roman Emperors may surprise our readers.
After all, what sense does it make to speak Latin in the XXI century? The fans of this club respond: A language is a communication tool that can be assimilated as such. It can be practiced in a friendly and demanding environment allowing therefore to assimilate the refinements of a language that nourished Western culture, literature, science, the arts and so many aspects of human behavior during so many centuries.
Well after the fall of the Roman Empire, educated people could read the great texts of the roman literature without the use of a dictionary and, therefore to be able to understand classical Latin and appreciate the rich legacy of scholars of the antiquity, of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance.
The Circulum Latinus Lutetiensem (Latin Circle of Paris) [www.circulus.fr] is an non political and non religious association, whose members gather in Paris in the Latin Quarter near the Sorbonne and not too far from the Pantheon, approximately every three weeks.
The sessions – which are entirely in Latin – include language exercises that allow not only the theoretical knowledge of the language but also the oral practice of it, as well as some more practical activities such as lectures, readings, videos, theater, etc.
According to the daily newspaper “Le Figaro” (05-20-2015) in the Circle meetings we can find members of the most diverse sector of society such as an engineer, a student, a singer or a former train driver.
Together, these passionate Cicero language chatters, have come to create new words of this “eternal” language such as “telephonium gestabile” (mobile phone) making it possible for the Latin language to remain updated.
The age of it members varies from 13 to 80 years old.
The sociological diversity of the group, quite an unusual mixture, opens the opportunity for animated and lively debates.
Its members speak exclusively in Latin, except when a word is lacking. The group moderator explained that they were not “psycho-rigid”.
Rejecting the accusation of being old fashioned, one of its representatives stated that in the United States, which is considerate a “modern country”, there is an increasing number of students learning Latin. At Harvard, for example, on the occasion of a year ending session, a speaker delivered his speech all in Latin, without any script, just “ex abrupto”.