Basically the language of a city, Rome, Latin spread by the formation of the Roman Empire in wide areas of Europe, before it split into local forms that became the Romance language during the Middle Ages. But Classical Latin, a fixed literary form of the language, remained in use as a learned language for centuries; today it is still the liturgical and official language of the Roman Catholic Church. For that reason, Latin was of special importance to Tolkien as the language of his religion - remember that church service in the vernacular only goes back to the Vatican II council (1962-1965). According to the author himself, it has been one of the ingredients of Quenya, together with Greek and Finnish. For Latin we will give prayers only as sample texts. We adopt the reconstructed pronunciation of Latin - with vowel length, stress placement and distinction of l pinguis and l exilis - but Tolkien rather used an ecclesiastic pronunciation (this can be heard in the record of his reading The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's son).
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Sub tuum praesidium
Dirige - Extracts of the office of the dead, used by J. R. R. Tolkien in his poem The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's son.
Quotations of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Édouard Kloczko, Christopher Gilson, Patrick Wynne, Rhona Beare, Thomas Alan Shippey, Charles Kennedy, Elaine Treharne, André Crépin, Régis Boyer, François-Xavier Dillmann, Gabriel Rebourcet, Keith Bosley, Pierre-Yves Lambert, Gwyn Jones, Thomas Jones are under the copyright of their publishers.
Last update of the site : 2006, August 9th.
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