Bilingual Europe

Latin and Vernacular Cultures - Examples of Bilingualism and Multilingualism c. 1300-1800


Bilingual Europe presents to the reader a Europe that for a long time was ‘multilingual’: besides the vernacular languages Latin played an important role. Even ‘nationalistic’ treatises could be written in Latin. Until deep into the 18th century scientific works were written in it. It is still an official language of the Roman Catholic Church. But why did authors choose for Latin or for their native tongue? In the case of bilingual authors, what made them choose either language, and what implications did that have? What interactions existed between the two?

Contributors include Jan Bloemendal, Wiep van Bunge, H. Floris Cohen, Arjan C. van Dixhoorn, Guillaume van Gemert, Joep T. Leerssen, Ingrid Rowland, Arie Schippers, Eva Del Soldato, Demmy Verbeke, Françoise Waquet, and Ari H. Wesseling†.
Open Access


Open Access

Biographical Note

Jan Bloemendal, Ph.D. (1997) in classics and neo-Latin, University of Utrecht, is senior researcher at the Huygens Institute and chief editor of the Erasmi Opera Omnia (ASD). He has edited Vossius’ Poeticae institutiones (2010) and was co-editor of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World (2014). He published on drama, emblematics, theology and the classical tradition.

Review Quotes

"the papers collected in this volume offer a fine, broad overview on questions concerning bilingualism and the state of the field." – Florian Schaffenrath, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, in: Journal of Jesuit Studies 3/1 (2016), pp. 108-110

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Bilingualism, Multilingualism and the Formation of Europe
Jan Bloemendal

Hispania, Italia and Occitania: Latin and the Vernaculars, Bilingualism or Multilingualism?
Arie Schippers

Latin and the Vernaculars: The Case of Erasmus
Ari Wesseling

The Multilingualism of Dutch Rhetoricians: Jan van den Dale’s Uure van den doot (Brussels, c. 1516) and the Use of Language
Arjan C. van Dixhoorn

Types of Bilingual Presentation in the English-Latin Terence
Demmy Verbeke

An Aristotelian at the Academy: Simone Porzio and the Problem of Philosophical Vulgarisation
Eva Del Soldato

Science and Rhetoric from Giordano Bruno’s De Immenso to Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems
Ingrid Rowland

Vom Aristarchus zur Jesuiten-Poesie: Zum dynamischen Wechselbezug von Latein und Landessprache in den deutschen Landen in der Frühen Neuzeit / From Aristarch to Jesuit Poetry: The Shifting Interrelation between Latin and the Vernacular in the German Lands in Early Modern Times
Guillaume van Gemert

From Philosophia Naturalis to Science, from Latin to the Vernacular
H. Floris Cohen

The Use of the Vernacular in Early Modern Philosophy
Wiep van Bunge

Le bilinguisme dans l’Université du XVIIIe siècle / Bilingualism in the Eighteenth-Century University
Françoise Waquet

Latinitas Goes Native: The Philological Turn and Jacob Grimm’s De desiderio patriae (1830)
Joep T. Leerssen

Works Cited
About the Authors
Index of Personal Names
Index of Geographical Names


All those interested in early modern cultural history, the history of Latin, literature, philosophy, and the sciences.