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Sprachpolitik im Römischen Reich

Zur Frage Einer Angenommenen Sprachpolitischen Reform Unter der Tetrarchie

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author: Béla Adamik

It is a well known fact that the system of the official communication of the Roman Empire had undergone a striking change after Diocletian’s accession (284): Latin came into prominence and was used exclusively in the Eastern imperial administration where Greek had played an important role before Diocletian. So far this prominence of Latin has commonly been interpreted as an effect of a radical change in the language policy of the Roman state, claiming that Diocletian and Constantine I had introduced a new intolerant and aggressive language policy in the framework of the rehabilitation of the Roman Empire. In my paper I try to demonstrate that this alleged aggressive language policy never existed and that the prominence of Latin in the Eastern part of the Empire spontaneously resulted from the bureaucratic and governmental transformation of the Roman Empire that significantly increased the prestige of the Latin language.

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. Ministry of the Interior official communication no. 52.550/1903, Ministry of the Interior Decree no. 27.899/1904. in.: Ferenczy, ibid., 158-159. Ferdinándy, ibid., 239. A child otherwise of legal age

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these rights in official communication, allowing for the use of the minority languages in only some administrative offices of only those settlements where the proportion of minority population was at least 20% in the latest census. The most important

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what is true or not rest upon limited groups of experts, those left aside develop alternative ways to express their opinion. Rumors provide parallel information, especially when official communication is limited to a top-down approach. ” [13] . Family

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