Latein ist tot, es lebe Latein! Kleine Geschichte einer grossen Sprache.
List Verlag, Berlin, 2007. 414p. Bound wrps.To release one's book with a major non-academic publishing house and reach the best seller list (?) may sound like a classicist's wildest dream, but 'Latein ist tot, es lebe Latein' (Latin is dead, long live Latin) shows that this dream can indeed come true. Under this somewhat cumbersome title lies hidden one of the most entertaining and illustrative, and at the same time comprehensive, histories of the Latin language from the time of antiquity until today. The author has gained cult status among German academics, as he fights for the active use of the Latin language and, whenever the situation is suitable, appears regularly dressed up in public in the typical Roman dress of toga and sandals. Yet, Wilfried Stroh, also known in latinized form as Valahfridus, emeritus Professor of the University of Munich, is without doubt one of the Germany's most respected classicists. (...) What starts out as an overview of the literature of the classical period evolves itself as a history of European higher education and science, and along the way the reader learns a lot about the silent mechanisms that interlink language, literature and the course of historical events. Furthermore, Stroh's book is simply a good read, always entertaining and vivid, sometimes gripping and novel, even for specialists. (...) In conclusion Stroh's book is the best marketing tool the Latin language could have, useful for students of all ages as well as parents who are undecided which language their children should learn at school. The classicist also can profit from reading it, as it takes a fresh and uncommon perspective on the subject. As Stroh presents the reader with the florilegia of the Latin literature, previous knowledge about literary and cultural history of antiquity and early modern times is not a necessary prerequisite, though certainly helpful. There remains the urgent need for an English translation-- although I am convinced that Wilfried Stroh would prefer (and is according to his illuminating website currently working) a Latin one. (HENDRIK MÜLLER-REINEKE in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2007.12.33).