So Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones “would willingly obliterate every word of Cicero” for just one book of Ctesias’ lost work Persian Things (“Listen, and let us take you back”, Books, 13 November). Farewell, then, to the following words, all of which, it appears, have come down to us via Cicero’s neologistic translations from the Greek: definition, difference, image, individual, induction, infinity, notion, quality, quantity, species and vacuum. Farewell, too, to humanities, liberal arts, morality and science.
As Gian Bagio Conte puts it in Latin Literature: A History, Cicero “laid the foundation for the abstract vocabulary that was to become the inheritance of the European cultural tradition”. Not for nothing did Michael Grant write that “the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language”.
Visiting lecturer in rhetoric
Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
Register to continue
Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.
Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:
- Sign up for the editor's highlights
- Receive World University Rankings news first
- Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
- Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Or subscribe for unlimited access to:
- Unlimited access to news, views, insights & reviews
- Digital editions
- Digital access to THE’s university and college rankings analysis
Already registered or a current subscriber?Sign in now