New Latin

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The term New Latin, or Neo-Latin,[1] is used to describe the Latin language used in original works created between c. 1500 and c. 1900. Among other uses, Latin during this period was employed in scholarly and scientific publications. Latin vocabulary words created during this period for the purpose of expressing scientific ideas form the basis for much modern, scientific terminology, such as technical terms in zoological and botanical description and taxonomy.

The language of original Latin works created since the beginning of the 20th century is treated in the article on contemporary Latin.



Classicists use the term "Neo-Latin" to describe the use of the Latin language for any purpose, scientific or literary, after the Renaissance. The beginning of the period is imprecise; however, the spread of secular education, the acceptance of humanistic literary norms, and the wide availability of Latin texts following the invention of printing mark the transition to a new era at the end of the 15th century. The end of the New Latin period is likewise indeterminate, but Latin as a regular vehicle of communicating ideas became rare after the first few decades of the 19th century, and by 1900 it survived primarily in international scientific vocabulary cladistics and systematics. The term "New Latin" came into widespread use towards the end of the 1890s among linguists and scientists.

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