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Wales and the Britons, 350-1064$
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T. M. Charles-Edwards

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217312

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217312.001.0001

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Latin Learning in Wales, c. 400–1100 1

Latin Learning in Wales, c. 400–1100 1

Chapter:
(p.625) 19 Latin Learning in Wales, c. 400–11001
Source:
Wales and the Britons, 350-1064
Author(s):

T. M. Charles-Edwards

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217312.003.0020

Latin learning was mainly sustained in Wales by the firm expectation that a church community should have a teacher as one of its office‐holders. After c. 700 such teachers had to instruct monolingual British‐speakers in Latin, and thus Latin grammars and word‐lists were essential. The performance of the liturgy and knowledge of the Bible and the Fathers depended upon the effectiveness of such teachers. Epigraphic evidence confirms that British Latin had died as a spoken language but also shows that the teaching of Latin provided by the major churches was very uneven. The evidence of the few surviving books written in Wales in the period shows that the scripts used long remained the same as those employed in Ireland and, to a lesser extent, in England. They also show the continuing intellectual links between Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany, and between all these British territories and Ireland.

Keywords:   Teachers of Latin, grammars, uneven knowledge of Latin, Insular scripts, Welsh books, links with Cornwall, Brittany, and Ireland

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