Obviously, the Latin language provided a huge background for medieval language, literature, and culture. It was the tie that bound so many cultures and countries together. It was the language of diplomats and that of intellectuals, who in turn controlled literacy and literature amongst the people.
References to history and older literature is often assumed natural in medieval literature, and those of us without a classical education feel bereft. In the next two posts I aim to give you basic resources that will allow you to find those references easily and learn more about the foundations of the medieval literature through the Latin language.