A B C et Cetera: The Life & Times of the Roman Alphabet


In the classic abecedarian fashion, ABC Et Cetera takes the reader on a wild and wooly ride through Roman history. Sixty percent of our working vocabulary descends directly from Latinate roots, and here we find not only the words, but also, through clever peregrinations, a generous overview of Roman history. Nothing in Roman culture or Romance is beyond the measure and mischief of the brothers Humez: not unicorns, Vestal Virgins, or maledicta balloons; not Roman nomenclature or dating systems; not Roman religion, education, humor, law, war, slavery, or literature; and not even the ubiquitous ampersand (a ligature of the contradiction et per se).

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boston
Publication year:
  • 1987


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