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Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity: From Tertullian to Isidore of Seville (Tim Denecker) Hardcover Book, (Brill, 2017) 9789004349872

Title: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity: From Tertullian to Isidore of Seville

Author: Denecker, Tim

Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2017

Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004349872

Volumes: 1; Pages: 500

List Price in Hardcover: $172.00 Our price: $146.99

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In Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity, Tim Denecker investigates, in a comprehensive and systematic way, the views held on the history, diversity and properties of language(s) by Christian Latin authors from Tertullian (b. c.160) to Isidore of Seville (d. 636). This historical period witnessed various sociocultural changes, affecting linguistic situations and the ways in which these were perceived. Christian intellectuals were confronted with languages other than Latin in the context of the propagation of faith, and in reflecting on language were bound to comply with the relevant biblical accounts. Whereas previous research has mostly focused on the (indeed vital) contribution of Augustine, the present study reveals the diversified and dynamic nature of linguistic reflection in early Latin Christianity.

Table of contents





1State of the Art

2Corpus, Method, and Structure

3The ?Classical? School Tradition and the Rise of Christianity

4Global Linguistic Situation and Individual Linguistic Competences

5Intellectual Networks??Central? and ?Peripheral? Authors?Life Dates

6Text Types, Literary Conventions, Pseudonymity and Anonymity

Language History

1 The Origin and Nature of Language

1 Views on Language Origin

2 God?s Providence and the Distinctly Human Capacity of Speech

3 The Anatomy of Speech as a ?Musical Instrument? or a ?Building?

4 The Transitory and Narrow Character of Human Language


2 The Primeval Situation

1 The ?Minimal View?

2 The Relation between the Primeval Language and Post-Babelic Hebrew

3 The ?Language of Adam? and the ?Language of God?


3 The Origin of Linguistic Diversity

1 The Discrepancy between Gen. 10 and 11

2 Evaluations of God?s Intervention

3 The Degree of Differentiation and the Number of Post-Babelic Languages


Language Diversity

4 Appraisals and Uses of Linguistic Diversity

1 Language Diversity as a Futility

2 Language Diversity as an Impediment

3 Language Diversity as an Analogy to Religious Heterodoxy

4 The Surmounting of Language Diversity as an Indicator of the Universal Spread of Christian Faith

5 Language Diversity as an Adornment to the Human Mind


5 Appraisals and Uses of Multilingual Competence

1 Process and Problems of Foreign Language Learning

2 Biblical, Religious and Scientific Translation

3 Theology and Biblical Exegesis

Interlude: The Impact of Jerome?s Rhetoric of uir trilinguis and Hebraica ueritas

4 Preaching and the Propagation of Faith

5 Government and Negotiation

6 Laudatory Contexts

7 Women?s Multilingual Competence


6 Interpretations and Uses of ?Unnatural? Multilingual Competence

1 The Unnatural Character of the Apostles? Xenolalia

2 Pentecost Connected to Babel

3 The Apostles? Xenolalia and the Uni(versali)ty of Christianity

4 Unnatural Multilingual Competence in Hagiography, and the ?Language of Angels?


Language Description

7 The Language Level

1 Language Classifications

2 Language Selections

3 Language Affinity

4 Language Comparison and Linguistic Value Judgments


8 The Sentence Level

1 Syntactic Reflection in Terms of ?Joining Words to Form Sentences?

2 Syntactic Reflection in Terms of ?Complete Utterances?

3 Word Order

4 Conjunctions

5 Solecism


9 The Word Level

1 Linguistic Change

2?Lexicographical Exoticism?

3 Contrastive Observations


10 The Letter Level

1 Nature and Function of Writing

2 Origin and History of Writing and Writing Systems

3 The Alphabet as an Organizing Principle for Literary Works

4 Specific Comments and Contrastive Observations


Overview and Conclusion


Biblical Index

Index of Ancient Sources

Index of Subjects and Names

Index of Modern Authors
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