This is an explanation for passage 2 of LSAT preptest 36, the December 2001 LSAT. This passage is about the Renaissance in England and how scholars ignore many important Latin works because linguists’ studying Latin texts lack of technical knowledge.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- Linguists studying the Renaissance ignore technical works written in Latin.
- But intellectual historians can’t understand Latin. So few people study technical works written in Latin.
- Reasons for the failures: few linguists understand science or other non-literary subjects. Few technical specialists know Latin.
This is a neutral, descriptive passage. It tells us about a problem: historians of the Renaissance rarely understand both Latin and technical subjects (e.g. law, science, theology). So few people can study the Latin originals of important technical works written during the English Renaissance.
Literary texts written in Latin have been studied. Technical works in English are well understood. But scholars have a big blind spot. Nobody is studying the important technical works that were written in Latin.
This means we misunderstand the Renaissance. England was linked to the European continent. Its intellectuals communicated with intellectuals on the continent who wrote in Latin. We miss all of this if we focus on works written in English.
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