Thursday 30 October 2014

Linguistic Landscaping to the detriment of the people

The emperor Gaius Caligula published his laws so as to be illegible. For whom (for whose benefit) was this 'sign' written ?

eius modi vectigalibus indictis neque propositis, cum per ignorantiam scripturae multa commissa fierent, tandem flagitante populo proposuit quidem legem, sed et minutissimis litteris et angustissimo loco, uti ne cui describere liceret.

When taxes of this kind had been proclaimed, but not published in writing, inasmuch as many offences were committed through ignorance of the letter of the law, he at last, on the urgent demand of the people, had the law posted up, but in a very narrow place and in excessively small letters, to prevent the making of a copy.

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