On the standardisation of the Latin language and writing in the Late Republic
Parole chiave:Latinitas, Standardisation, Latin orthography, Palaeography, Iconicity
This papers aims to illustrate the parallels between the standardisation of the Latin (written) language and the canonisation of the Latin script. During the centuries-long process of selection and regularisation that led to the emergence of what is currently labelled ‘Classical Latin’, a comparable process of progressive canonisation of the writing system took place. In particular, a palaeographic and linguistic inspection of two 3rd-century BC documents shows that the standard language excluded most of their orthographic spellings and linguistic forms, just as the classical canonised writings excluded many of their graphic tendencies and variants. Two orthographic proposals are also discussed that are directly related to the graphical design of the letterforms.