The field of neo-Latin studies has experienced significant growth in the Anglosphere over the past two decades, having previously been a more contained and especially continental European specialism. What is ‘neo-Latin’ and why is it of increasing interest to classicists, classical receptionists, comparativists, and historians? In this paper I will offer a snapshot of the field at 2020; survey its significance for areas as diverse as history of religion, drama, medicine and science, and for historical periods from the Italian Renaissance through the colonial Americas and Ming China to Italian fascism. What are the attractions of and potential misconceptions about neo-Latin for curious classicists? And finally, how has the advent of Google books and other digital libraries and resources revolutionised the possibilities for research in neo-Latin down under?
Yasmin Haskell is Cassamarca Foundation Chair of Latin Humanism at the University of Western Australia (to which she returned in 2019 after two years as Chair of Latin and Director of the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol). She has published books and articles on Latin didactic and epic, the history of psychiatry and emotions, the reception of classical authors, and Latin in the Enlightenment. Her next book, Jesuits at Play: Latin Poetry and Team Spiritin the Early Modern Society of Jesus is in preparation for Bloomsbury. She is also editing a Latin epic (for Brill’s Jesuit Latin Library) on the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Americas in the eighteenth century.