World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

British Romance

Article Id: WHEBN0021389619
Reproduction Date:

Title: British Romance  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Middle English, Romano-British culture, Ogham, Britons (Celtic people), Old Welsh, African Romance, Deva Victrix, Pannonian Romance
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

British Romance

British Romance
Region Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon England
Extinct Early Middle Ages
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist List

British Romance, British Vulgar Latin or British Latin are terms used for the Vulgar Latin spoken in southern Great Britain (what became England and Wales) in Late Antiquity (an era also known in British history as "Sub-Roman").

Evidence and development

Kenneth H. Jackson, who pointed out that "Latin was a living spoken language in Britain under the Empire", used the evidence of loan-words in Welsh and Old Irish to try to diagnose 12 distinct features of British Romance.[1] Jackson's account of this has been disputed by later writers, and the matter of the distinctiveness of British Vulgar Latin is currently unclear.[2]

If it did exist as a distinct dialect group, it has not survived extensively enough for diagnostic features to be detected, despite much new sub-literary Latin being discovered in England in the 20th century.[3]

As late as the 8th century the Saxon inhabitants of St Albans near the Roman city of Verulamium were aware of their ancient neighbour, which they knew alternatively as Verulamacæstir (or, under what H. R. Loyn terms "their own hybrid", Vaeclingscæstir, "the fortress of the followers of Wæcla") interpretable as a pocket of Romano-Britons that remained within the Anglo-Saxon countryside, probably speaking their own local neo-Latin[4]

Rutupiae did its work in the storms of the fourth century. Of its fate in the fifth century we as yet know little. The abundance of late coinage, if it be not due to a limited period of very exceptional congestion, suggests that Richborough may, like Verulamium, have sheltered a Romanized population well on into that dark century.[5]

Other evidences are related to Wroxeter (Roman Viroconium Cornoviorum) [6] and Kent's Rutupiae [7]

See also



  • Adams, J. M., The Regional Diversification of Latin 200 BC - AD 600, (Cambridge, 2007)
  • Jackson, Kenneth H., Language and History in Early Britain: A Chronological Survey of the Brittonic Languages, First to Twelfth Century A. D., (Edinburgh, 1953)
  • Wollman, Alfred, "Early Latin loan-words in Old English", in Anglo-Saxon England 22 (2007), pp. 1–26

Further reading

  • Charles-Edwards, Thomas, "Language and Society among the Insular Celts, AD 400–1000", in M. J. Green (ed.), The Celtic World, ed. (London, 1995), pp. 703–36
  • Gratwick, A. S., "Latinitas Britannica: Was British Latin Archaic?", in N. Brooks (ed.) Latin and the Vernacular Languages in Early Medieval Britain, (Leicester 1982), pp. 1–79
  • MacManus, D., "Linguarum Diversitas: Latin and the Vernaculars in Early Medieval Britain", Perita 3 (1987), pp. 151–88
  • Mann, J. C., "Spoken Latin in Britain as evidenced by the Inscriptions", in Britannia 2 (1971), pp. 218–24
  • Shiel, N., "The Coinage of Carausius as a Source of Vulgar Latin", in Britannia 6 (1975), pp. 146–8
  • Smith, C., "Vulgar Latin in Roman Britain: Epigraphic and other Evidence", in Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt 2.29.2 (1983), pp. 893–948
  • Snyder, Christopher A. 1996. "Sub-Roman Britain (AD 400-600): A Gazetteer of Sites". British Archaeological Reports (BAR) British Series No. 247. Oxford: Tempvs Reparatvm.

External links

  • Celtic Inscribed Stones Project
  • Verulamium
  • Anglo-norman roots from early medioeval England
  • Ethnic and cultural consequences of the war between Saxons and romanised Britons
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.