How did ancient people learn foreign languages?

Mar 2017
Right this second, the language of international diplomacy is English. That's only been for the last 70 yrs or so. Prior to that, maybe to the 1600's or more, it was French.

The official legal language from somewhere around the 1800's back to Rome was Latin. There's a thread where a Polish guy got a Latin legal document translated from the 1800's (I think) about his family. Latin is STILL the legal language of the Roman Catholic Church.

More than a hundred years after the end of the Hellenistic era, the scientific language in Rome was Greek. Galen (1st-2nd century ACE) was born in Turkey, wrote his medical stuff in Greek ... as did others. In retrospect, it's kind of surprising that almost all modern medical & biologic terms are Latin (I wonder why Linnaeius picked Latin instead of continuing with Greek --- I blame him, I guess -- or maybe it was Vesalius).

Similar History Discussions