Medieval languages

steve51885's picture

Hi all-

I am interested in learning more about medieval ideas and wanted to know more about the languages spoken in the Holy roman empire, although it was mostly german. So far I have found out that Latin was an official language for a long time, but the last 200 years german was more dominant. I tend to think that the reformation had something to do with the language change. I don't know if I have time to learn both latin and german (or desire!), but I think that to understand what the monks were learning at that time would be invaluable to Christians. Thanks for your help!


steve51885's picture

Philokalia II

your comment reminded me how much I apreciate the philokalia and I am back into it, such a long book!

I guess the way it goes is that after the roman empire was sacked by the barbarians, the greeks were able to hold out. From 400 AD to 1500 AD they were a a kingdom opposed to the western kingdoms of the holy roman empire and all the other kingdoms that submitted to rome, like britain and france. I have heard that there was a lot of skepticism between the two (eastern and western) and eventually in 1204 the latin empire got sidetracked during one of the crusades and attacked the Byzantines, crippling the empire. This left them vulnerable to other countries and they were eventually destroyed by the ottoman turks, who were actually peaceful and kind during their rule. But it was at this time that the Slavs (Russians) and the greeks became close, eventually becoming the orthodox church. While I find some Russian orthodox texts interesting (Dostoyesvky is said to have read the philokalia many times) I find the greek texts as some of the most pure texts on faith hope and love, even though they are somewhat primitive in thought at times. I guess I just take the good with the bad and sometimes really enjoy what I learn. I haven't read enough of the philokalia (just halfway through one time) to suggest a particular text, but I am looking forward to reading the 12th and 13th century texts, where the theology is more full and complete.