Latin lore

July 29, 2005

While, as a lecturer in Latin, I agree with Roy Harris that Tore Janson's Natural History of Latin is a "dumbing down" unworthy of Oxford University Press (Books, July 15), I am surprised to find him rebuke the author for not mentioning the Praeneste fibula .

That supposed earliest example of Latin has for some years been generally believed by scholars to be a 19th-century forgery.

Simon Jones
Birkbeck, University of London

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