https://www.duolingo.com/profile/McDeeh

Classical Latin script (U vs V)

Hello everyone.

I was just wondering whether writing Latin in all capital letters and using v instead of u would be historically correct.

e.g.: English: Young men hit the cook.

Modern Script: Juvenes coquum pulsant.

Duolingo course Script: Iuvenes coquum pulsant.

Classical Script: IVVENES COQVVM PVLSANT.

Would the last version be historically correct? As far as I know, capital U was introduced in the later period (15th-16th ceturies).

Thank you in advance.

September 9, 2019

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

The history of the letters u, v, and y are all quite interesting. I highly suggest giving that a good read if you're interested in that type thing.

Technically speaking, yes, that last one is historically accurate - to Latin as used by the Romans in the Classical period. But that's picking nits. Any of the above styles can be, and indeed has been, used at some point or other historically.

So if what you're really asking is, would that impact your learning of Latin? Well, no. It wouldn't.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

WELLTHENDONTVSEPVNCTVATIONORSPACESEITHER

IVVENESCOQVVMPVLSANT

Relax and enjoy what you've got!

Duo even usually is nice enough to accept j's, which I am used to writing. Generally the j isn't used anymore--as in Italian. Some people do not use minuscule v., either, viz. iuuenes coquum pulsant . . . er, iuuenescoquumpulsant !

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBasse

I think you guys are focusing in such irrelevant details by now. How about you learn the language here and apply as you wish elsewhere in your life? I mean, the people that are leading the Latin course project can do as they wish, but I think that people are getting lost in details when we don't even have a solid basis yet. Another thing to put in mind is, as much as I love Hellenic-Roman culture and heritage, the Roman Catholic Church was the main source that saved Latin language through the centuries...

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karasu4

If you want to write 'realistic' Classical Latin by hand, such as the Romans did, you should rather try to imitate the cursive script. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_cursive

Just remember, they would not use any spacing, or punctuation.

But why?

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBasse

"they would not use any spacing, or punctuation" This was debated here before, some of them actually did make use of that (just ask for the macron enthusiasts and they will show you the link/s).

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karasu4

You're right. There is even evidence of some rudimentary punctuation system in the text in the Wikipedia-article i linked to. Seems the most basic idea was to put a dot inbetween every word.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBasse

"Seems the most basic idea was to put a dot inbetween every word." Some Romans did that because they already had smartphones and internet (with zillions of pages), so every phrase you had in mind was actually a nice site... talking about advanced technology right there. haha

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

Using i for both the consonant and vowel, but separating u and v is fairly typical. I've seen it in several different textbooks including Wheelocks, the Oxford Latin Course, the Cambridge Latin Course, and others. The Oxford Latin Dictionary however uses only u in the lower case and V in the upper. Typically though, U and V are a little harder to distinguish than I and J, given that J usually only occurs at the beginning of words or after the preposition in compounds. U/V crop up all over the place. So in other words, it's to your benefit as a learner of the language.

As per your example, Iuuenis may be mistakenly said as yoo-ooenis. But most people would not look at iuvenis and say eye-oo-when-is. i actually acts exactly like the English Y. At the beginning of words as a consonant, as in Yes, and in the middle as a vowel, as in Tyler.

Words like eruum (vetch) would be rather confusing as well, is it ervum or eruum? The world may never know.

September 13, 2019
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