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34

The Holy Roman Empire (of the German Nations) was a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual coalition from its (unofficial) founding by Charlemagne in the 9th century AD. The German Empire would be a better term in fact, as it was founded and typically ruled by Germanic peoples. (Charlemagne himself was a Frank.) As Voltaire once perceptively ...


25

There was a separation between the noble french and the vulgar Old English. Or as I wrote in my comment: Who cares about the language of peasants I found a nice source for this assumption Middle English (1100-circa 1500 AD): After William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England in 1066 AD with his armies and became king, he ...


22

Scotland has gradually changed to using English without being conquered by England. Now I shall temper that a little in that there have been English speaking people living in Scotland just as long as there have in England. The Anglo-Saxons settled south east Scotland as well as north east England. However, English didn't become the majority language for ...


17

You neglect the fact that the 'indigenous' population of France before the Great Migrations (of mainly Germanic tribes) was Gallo-Roman, and by the end of the Roman era (5th century AD), the populace spoke a dialect of Vulgar Latin, which evolved into a distinct "Gallic" Latin over the following centuries. Note however that the ancient Celtic (Gaulish) ...


16

There was a Autonome Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik der Wolgadeutschen (Russian Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцев Поволжья, English Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) From Wikipedia: The republic was created following the Russian Revolution, by October 29 (some claim 19th) Decree of the Soviet government, Volga ...


14

Mainly German, but a lot of literature wasn't vernacular (in your language) until after the printing press, so Latin was used to read books (if you were educated). Italian was also used in the southern part of the HRE. (Pulled from A History of Western Society by John McKay)


13

(A little background for others reading this post) In 1868 Emperor Meiji re-established imperial rule. To move Japan into the modern era, he encouraged his people to explore and learn from the more technologically advanced cultures of the world. Even in the late 1800s, English was the language of international commerce. Emperor Meiji's push to learn ...


13

The Roman Empire, at it start under emperors Julius Caesar (44 BC) and Augustus (27 BC) had Latin as its main language, and the one spoken by its elites and leaders. At the end of it, with the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the prevailing language of the elites was Greek. The main change came under emperor Heraclius (610 to 641), whose ...


12

Josephus knew Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (which he must have learned when he was in the service of the the Roman Emperor Vespasian, if not earlier). A quick look on JSTOR turns up this article for reference. In Tessa Rajak's book "Josephus" (Appendix 1), she considers whether Aramaic or Hebrew was his primary language. She concludes that, while we ...


12

Josephus was able to read and write in several languages. Obviously Greek as he wrote most of his books in it. Aramaic, which was often called Syriac in his time. Latin maybe. Even though he was associated with Vespasian, that would not necessitate knowing Latin. The Romans spoke Greek as it was the lingua franca of the day. Once Josephus was given a Latin ...


12

Frankly a country made up of two large population lobes completely separated by 3000 kilometers of relatively hostile neighbor (or twice that in ocean) is bound to break up eventually. It just logistically can't work out very well, and culturally they are bound to start going their separate ways. I'm unaware of any country like that in history that lasted ...


11

Isra'el means "he struggles with God" and is the name granted to Jacob after he wrestles with an angel in Genesis 32: Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then ...


11

The Burgundians were originally a Germanic tribe that settled the area that became known as Burgundy. Because it was so deeply in the heart of "French" territory, it adopted the French language and culture as soon as the Franks started pushing back the Saxons under King Charles Martel, and his grandson, Charlemagne. After the death of the latter, it ...


11

The reasons are so numerous and overlapping. There would have been very little to gain from establishing dominance of French culture. People did not form sympathies or loyalties based on language or culture – that development had to wait for another 700 years or so. It would have been completely impossible to enforce such a ban. There were no such ...


11

A little background here: there are generally considered to be 5 "races" of man historically native to Africa1: Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Pygmy, and Khoisan. Each would have originally had their own native language, and their own native turf: roughly North Africa, Sub-Saharan West Africa, Sub-Saharan Nile Valley, Southern Rainforest, and ...


10

When it comes to western Europe, medieval Latin would be closer to an "official" language, especially for international affairs. The Roman Catholic Church's power and influence at the time was unparalleled and several major events of the era started with a Papal Bull. Here's a short list of Papal Bulls that were political in nature and were addressed, ...


10

Here's my proposition, basically it's just a set of Caucasus characteristics making this region especially interesting. By which we mean: there're numerous languages, 3 distinct language families, characteristic just for this region. My first point is, language diversity / fragmentation is normal for regions without a strong state / commerce / any unifying ...


9

The concept of praying to the Roman Gods as well as to whatever local deity did mean that the Republic then Empire could assimilate a lot of cultures. After all, they were always worshuiping the same gods, and now they can have access to all the good things that Rome provides -- see Life of Brian's "What did the Romans ever do for us?" speech. Even when the ...


9

ἀνάξε (pronounced ah-NAHX-eh) is the vocative, if I've handled the accent right. I vaguely suspect it might be ἄναξε (AH-nax-eh) - my greek is rusty. Example (Odyssey 24.251): οὐ μὲν ἀεργίης γε ἄναξ ἕνεκ᾽ οὔ σε κομίζει, "It is not on account of your idleness your master does not take care of you"


9

"A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language" By Egbert J. Bakker The only context in which titles can have been at all common in Greek society is addresses from slaves to their masters and mistresses. In literary representations of such addresses δέσποτα “master” and δέσποινα "mistress" frequently occur, but they are by no means the rule, and in ...


9

Aramaic was the language of the Assyrian Elite, around 700 BC they invaded Judea and displaced Hebrew as the language of the everyday people. Further damage was done by the Babylonian invasions. This topic is thoroughly discussed in Empires of the Word by Nicholas Ostler.


9

"The best thing that Euskara could contribute to the humanity is to die out" - Miguel de Unamuno Euskara, Basque language, is a very interesting subject. It survived on two time levels. First, being an ancient language which is still in use, and now, being a minority language which is still in use in 21st century, where we have to deal with stronger and ...


9

At the time Europe used to be called Christianity. Most if not all monarchies ruled by divine right. All names were officially in Latin so each country translated it in its own vernacular language, even if some names had obviously no Latin origin (Karl, Otto, etc) : Franciscus =>> François / Francis / Franz/ Francisco Carolus =>> Charles / Charles / ...


9

I am fairly sure this is Mary's cipher (here are similar specimen). It's a fairly simple encryption scheme and was indeed broken by her contemporary enemies in the 16th century.


9

Greek was in wide usage as the lingua franca of the Near East. It also has the benefit of actually surviving Roman rule, in the same capacity, all the way till the Late Antiquity. The Romans themselves read and spoke Greek. Thus, Greek works have had a much greater chance of surviving simply from a great, wider, and more durable distribution. The Etruscan ...


9

The claim is true if we take "Italian" as meaning modern standard Italian. At the time of Italy's unification, what we know today as "Italian" was more of a literary language than a vernacular one. The 2.5% figure cited is a lower bound figure, but the higher end only goes up to 12% or so. Either way, only a small minority of Italy's inhabitants spoke it. ...


8

Being that Britain had been exposed to Roman influence for close to a century - Caesar having made first contact with his invasion around 55bc. There was constant diplomatic and trade relations between the British and Romans following that. As Caractacus was a member of the ruling class, it's entirely possible that he spoke Latin to some extent. As ...


7

Language spoken by Jewish Priest Josephus: Aramaic as his first language and Greek as his secondary language Language known by Jewish Priest Josephus - Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew (used for religious purposes only by Jewish Priests), and "possibly" some Latin. Josephus' language was Aramaic. Although he spoke Greek as a secondary language, still he couldn't ...


7

He believed that once we were free from British rule, we should no longer use British spellings. See NOAH WEBSTER & HIS WORDS, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012. It won the Golden Kite award for best NF book of 2012 in the U.S. It's for children, but packed with fascinating information on this most interesting of men. He talked with B. Franklin, ...


7

This is an excellent question and this answer is only the "easy" answer based on easily available sources, and should be used primarily as a jumping off point for more research on what is in fact more likely a more complicated reality. The full PDFs of the stenographic protocols of the Zionist congresses from 1897-1935 are available here: ...



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