Education: Ad Cultores Optimos

To most people, 67-year-old Monsignor Antonio Bacci of the Vatican might seem a lonely man. He admits that he is—sometimes. His title is Secretary of Briefs to Princes, but not even the princes to whom he writes always understand what he says. The language Monsignor Bacci uses officially is an elegant Ciceronian Latin, and few men, says he ("inter doctos quoque viros"), can read it with ease.

For the last ten years Monsignor Bacci has been doing his best to revive and enliven the Latin of Cicero (106-43 B.C.). As editor of the Latin Dictionary of Modern Terms, he has translated hundreds...

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