Latin was originally the language of a city, Rome. It spread by the formation of the Roman Empire in wide areas of Europe, before it split into local forms that became the Romance languages during the Early Middle Ages. However, Latin under its literary form remained in use as a learned language for centuries; today it is still a liturgical and official language of the 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 was one of the ingredients of Quenya, together with Greek and Finnish. For Latin we will give prayers only as sample texts. Every one has two recorded versions: one according to the reconstructed pronunciation of Classical Latin, including distinct vowel length, stress placement, distinction of l pinguis and l exilis and reduction of nasal consonants at word end and before s and f; the other according to the modern pronunciation of Church Latin, mostly based on the letter values in Italian.
– Antiphon from the Office for the Dead.
The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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