Guardian review of Ad Infinitum

Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin
by Nicholas Ostler
382pp, Harper Press, £25

Latin language is a little like a Russian vine. No matter how hard it
is pruned, it has a habit of springing back again. Even though it is
now a sorry thing compared with the great and branching plant it once
was, it is still irrepressibly putting out shoots: it's odd to think
that the most widely read Latin now is almost certainly the spells in
Harry Potter, as in expecto patronum, I await the master, and reparo, I

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