Latin lovers revive the language

LATIN is showing distinct signs of life in Italy as students flock to Rome to learn it and a new Italian magazine publishes the world’s first Latin crossword.

Hebdomada Aenigmatum, or Weekly Puzzles, a free online Latin language publication launched this summer, now has 3000 subscribers, including about 100 in the UK.

Besides a crossword, it offers Sudoku and join-the-dots puzzles using Roman numerals as well as news reports featuring personalities such as Baracus Obama and Robertinus Williams.

For light relief, the magazine runs the cartoon Insuperabilis Snupius, also known as Snoopy, while recipes include tubus Siculus, or Sicilian cannoli, and assata bovilla, or roast beef.

“The success of the publication proves Latin is still very much alive,” said Luca Desiata, 42, an engineer with the Italian energy company ENEL, who invented Latin word games at school and now runs My Latin Lover, an organisation that promotes the use of the language.

“Readers are writing in to say that the magazine helps them go on practising the language they love,” he said.

Mr Desiata said he used a Latin dictionary updated with modern terms such as jet plane — aeronavis retroversus impulsus — to write his articles, including reports on the World Cup: Poculum mundanum pedifollicum.

The revival has been reflected in the translation of Harry Potter into Latin, but there is more concrete proof in Rome, home to an educational institute where all conversations must be carried out in Latin………..

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