John Stafford wrote: > I have come into this thread late with a poor browser. Excuse me if I > ask a stupid question.
It's not stupid. It's actually pertinent to the subject of this thread - though I still haven't gotten any answer for how Enlightenment ideas might be related to the decline of Latin.
> When Latin fell from favor for international communication, scholarly or > other, in what field (if any in particular) did it fail first? Was Latin > particularly useful in the physical sciences or the philosophical > discourse when it began its decline?
It all non-scholarly fields I think Latin was dead by 1700. In philosophy, it wasn't much more alive: I can think of the major philosophical works of the 18c. written in English, French, or German: even Leibniz wrote his philosophy originally in French! In history, probably likewise: Gibbon considered writing his magnum opus in French, but certainly not in Latin. It is in more technical fields, mainly, that it remained an alternative for some time. Its obsolescence does not seem to be because Latin was not understood, though, which is why I asked the question.