In Fascist Italy, the Latin language was far from being a ‘dead’ language. The ideologues of Fascism theorized it as an important element of the regime’s project to renew the greatness of ancient Rome. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, still used Latin in its official documents, in its institutions as well as in the mass liturgy. How could the Fascist uses of the language be conciliated with the language’s religious significance? In his talk, Nicolò Bettegazzi will discuss some of the results of his PhD project on the cultural history of Latin in Fascist Italy, focusing in particular on the relations between Fascist and Catholic latinity. This lecture is part of a two-days event organized within the framework of the Anchoring the Fascist revolution and with the contribution of the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas of the University of Oslo (IFIKK); Research Council of Norway (NFR).
About the speaker
Nicolò Bettegazzi is currently employed as lecturer in Greek and Latin literature and culture at the University of Groningen. His PhD project investigates the different roles of Latin in conciliating Fascist ideology and Catholicism during the Fascist ventennio (1922-1943).
© image: undated commemorative postcard of the Lateran Pacts. From left to right: the king of Italy Victor Emmanuel III, Pius XI, and Benito Mussolini. Above them are the Latin words for ‘Peace and Joy’.