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Topic: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
Replies: 164   Last Post: Mar 12, 2010 2:43 AM

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Andrew Usher

Posts: 813
Registered: 12/13/04
Gauss and Latin
Posted: Dec 27, 2009 9:07 AM
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I have searched for things about Gauss's use of Latin that might bear
on the question, these can be found with Google:

The first is this, from Bell's 'Men of Mathematics':

' ... the supple Latin in which many of his greatest works were
written. It is an ever-to-be-regretted calamity that even the example
of Gauss was powerless against the tides of bigoted nationalism which
swept over Europe after the French Revolution and the downfall of
Napoleon. Instead of the easy Latin which sufficed for Euler and
Gauss, and which any student can master in a few weeks [! I'll be
charitable and assume Bell means students that have already been
exposed to classical Latin], scientific workers must now acquire a
reading knowledge of two or three languages in addition to their own.
Gauss resisted as long as he could, but even he had to submit when his
astronomical friends in Germany pressed him to write some of his
astronomical works in German.'.

I think Bell is distorting things at least somewhat when he says that
Gauss really wanted to write in Latin: after 1801 almost all his
personal notes were in German, and many of his Latin works were first
drafted in German.

The second is a letter (in English) written by Gauss's grandson that
mentions the publication of the Werke. He says that they will be
difficult reading, but adds to clarify that it is not because of the
Latin but the mathematics; so I suppose one could still assume in 1866
that Latin was sufficiently understood.

Andrew Usher


Date Subject Author
12/24/09
Read Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
Andrew Usher
12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
chazwin
12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/24/09
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12/24/09
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12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/24/09
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12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/24/09
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12/24/09
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12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/24/09
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James Hogg
12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
Peter T. Daniels
12/25/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
ostap_bender_1900@hotmail.com
12/25/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
jmfbahciv
12/25/09
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12/26/09
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Joachim Pense
12/26/09
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12/26/09
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jmfbahciv
12/26/09
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Peter T. Daniels
12/26/09
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Ioannis
12/26/09
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Peter T. Daniels
12/26/09
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garabik-news-2005-05@kassiopeia.juls.savba.sk
12/26/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/27/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
garabik-news-2005-05@kassiopeia.juls.savba.sk
12/27/09
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12/27/09
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12/27/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/28/09
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garabik-news-2005-05@kassiopeia.juls.savba.sk
12/28/09
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12/28/09
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12/28/09
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12/28/09
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garabik-news-2005-05@kassiopeia.juls.savba.sk
12/28/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
garabik-news-2005-05@kassiopeia.juls.savba.sk
12/28/09
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12/29/09
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12/29/09
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/25/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/25/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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3/11/10
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