Latin is a language
It killed the Romans long ago,
And now it’s killing me.
That famed ditty isn’t likely to resonate with many modern school children, but interest in ancient Rome remains fairly robust.
We’ve come to accept that those stately ruins were once covered in graffiti.
We can recreate their meals from hors d’oevures (Boiled Eggs with Pine Nut Sauce) to dessert (Pear Patina).
But what did the Romans sound like?
Instead, he draws from ancient rhetorician Quintilian and Virgil’s’ poetic meter. Scroll backward through the romance languages, and you’ll see Germanic tribes trading with and fighting ancient Roman troops.
The result is not so much a reconstructive pronunciation guide as a linguistic detective story.
Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Her latest comic contrasts the birth of her second child with the uncensored gore of Game of Thrones. Follow her @AyunHalliday