Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Occidentalism and Latin Language: The Lingua Franca of Knowledge

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Occidentalism and Latin Language: The Lingua Franca of Knowledge

Article excerpt


The Western Civilization has contributed so much effort to academic realm. However, the focus of contribution is mainly to the general process of knowledge construction without looking particularly into important aspects of it. This article examines the use of Latin Language in three disciplines, science, social science and humanities. This study adopts three strategies to investigate the use of The Latin language in three major disciplines; the Latin course, material collection and content analysis. The use of Latin in Science (zoology and botany), Law, Philosophy and Writing has shown a very significant role in order to assist the process of knowledge construction. The analyses show that Latin supports the knowledge construction process and it does help to assist the expansion of knowledge that is based on Western Civilization.

Keywords: Occidentalism, Greek, Rome, Latin

1. Introduction

Occidentalism is a concept that refers to the study of Europe and European's civilization, within and outside Europe, otherwise also known as 'the West.' Its scope encompasses aspects related to community life such as culture, architecture, politics, economics, history, philosophy, theology, and so forth. It is an accepted fact that European civilization is the youngest and yet recognized as the most advanced in the world. The contents of European civilization integrated elements from older civilizations, such as Chinese, Indian and Islamic civilizations, It is argued that the incorporation of elements from those civilizations has enriched European civilization, both in terms of tangible and intangible aspects.

In the context of knowledge construction, European civilization has made a major contribution to global academic and intellectual community through the construction and the introduction of various concepts, theories, approaches, and methodologies that have been accepted and used worldwide as a result of the adoption of European education system and research, albeit through colonialism, by many countries in the world's continents. At the same time, knowledge construction began long before European domination of the world, initiated during the Greek and Roman civilizations. The Greek and Roman have contributed much effort to the Western Civilization. Its impact has been influenced throughout the world. Art, poetry, music and architecture are all elements which have panned all over Europe and America. However, all of the elements will not have spread without communication that acts as the medium. This will refer to the use of Ancient Greek and Latin language.

Ancient Greek Language is An Indo-European language spoken primarily in Greece. It has a long and well documented history, the longest of any Indo-European language spanning 34 centuries. There is an ancient phase, subdivided into a Mycenaean period (texts in syllabic script attested from the 14th to the 13th century BC) and Archaic and Classical periods (beginning with the adoption of the alphabet, from the 8th to the 4th century BC); a Hellenistic and Roman phase (4th century BC to 4th century AD); a Byzantine phase (5th to 15th century AD); and a Modern phase (Encyclopedia Britannica 2010). Latin language has survived in one form or another for over 2,000 years. It is both the cognate and parent of many modern languages (Garger, 2012). According to Garger, Latin can be broken down into seven periods with approximate dates; Old Latin (origin - 75 B.C.), Classical Latin (75 B.C.E. - 200 A.D.), Vulgar Latin (200 - 900), Medieval Latin (900 - 1300), Renaissance Latin (1300 to 1500), New Latin (1500 - Present), and Contemporary Latin (1900 - Present). Latin originated in ancient Rome, but gradually, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the only people who spoke Latin were the Roman Catholic Church, who held on to some of the basic principles of the original Latin and yet conformed it to their own purposes so much that it is almost a different language than that of its original form. …

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