Ancient Greek is a difficult language, one could study it all their life and still not know it properly. For in our world of meta and micro dopamine, the simple pleasure of a language centuries dead, disconnected from the people for it is defined by action— in a world where action multiplies action. For a language to not be beautiful to the eye but in its ways is to say something for sure; ancient Greek for all its straightforward mannerisms has the most complicated ways of expressing it.

When the Romans took over the Greeks, it is said that the culture and languages merged. The ways of gods combined to be a much stronger force. Latin is much similar in its formation to Greek. It has little to no explanation for itself, and little to no grammar. The way of Romans was that they craved power more than love. A rigid, glorious, harrowing landscape.

What I find ironic is that these two, for all their emptiness of the meaning of life, not only explain it better than any other but also gave birth to all others who come close even. French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese etc.; all those that are classified as the ‘Romance Languages” took birth from these two, mainly Latin.

This new beginning, one that revolutionized literature in all senses and formed its very roots, for this to come from the languages that lack it the most. Poetic languages were deeply influenced by Greek until Latin poetry reached its zenith with Virgil. For people to use these languages to emphasize the very thing lacking from them— elegance and clarity and to reject vulgarity and rusticity.

In my personal opinion, one that many would object on, for us humans to always look for something in places where there’s little to nothing, for us to always seek opportunities from places contradicting what we’re looking for, and for us to be so idiotically wise that we end up actually finding it; is one of the most fascinating ways the human mind can ironically work for its own benefit. For the likes of Virgil, Cicero, Arbiter and even Plato, to have undying power over the play of their words, a power so vast as to give life to their dying languages, and so they changed the course of literature and even world history.

There’s a saying in Latin, bellum omnium contra omnes, roughly translated to ” the war of all against all”. Great Roman heroes sacrificed their everything for the reign and survival of Romans, and for it to be achieved by a linguist out of everyone, is to say a lot in very little.

When Latin ended and Romance began, when inchoation spread; the war of all was won against all even if they had lost physically and that is the greatest achievement of all.

An inchoation that changed the course of history.

-Kashvi Arora, Presidium School, Indirapuram

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