Gaius Licoppe, born 27 June 1931, is a Belgian radiologist from Brussels who has dedicated his life to the promotion of the Latin language as the common patrimony of a united Europe and the only cultural factor that can unify Europe.
In 1973 he became interested in Latin as a living language after coming upon a copy of the Assimil method published by Clément Desessard Lingua Latina sine molestia. He then subscribed to the Latin periodicals Vita Latina and Latinitas, after which he soon started to attend the spoken Latin seminars which Dr. Cælestis Eichenseer had been celebrating every year from 1973 through his "Societas Latina".
In 1983 he organised in Belgium one of the seminars of the Societas Latin, of which he had by now become a member. That year, he also produced a film of Plautus's comedy Rudens.
In 1984 he started publishing a new Latin periodical, Melissa, with the help of Francisca Deraedt. That year, he opened the "Domus Latina" as a meeting point of Latin speakers from Europe and America.
In 1986 he created the "Fundatio Melissa" for perennial Latinity.
In 1987 he invited the Finnish Professor Tuomo Pekkanen to speak on the premises of the European Community and there started a strong relationship with Latin speakers in Finland.
He is a strenuous advocate of the use of Latin, especially in the context of the European Union. In his own words, cultura Græco-Romana et lingua Latina sunt unicum patrimonium commune gentium Europæarum (the Greco-Roman culture and the Latin language are the only common patrimony of the peoples of Europe).
In his honour, Alanus Divutius (pen name of Alain Van Dievoet), a Latin poet from Brussels, composed this poem:
AD GAIVM LICOPPE
LATINITATIS VIVAE DEFENSOREM ET PROPAGATOREM
Ars longa est, dicunt medici, sed vita brevis lux,
sic via longa quoque est usque ad Latium redivivum:
tu medicus bene scis teque ars perlonga juvabit,
jampridem linguam qui sanes semisepultam,
nec via longa tibi gravis, indefesse viator,
qui multos homines, multas urbesque Latino
ore loquens nosti, prae te vexilla Latina
gestans pacifice per terras undique sparsas.
Tuque gregis nostri, patrone et optime ductor,
perge diu nobis constanti mente favere
atque animo forti Latii defendere linguam,
ne misere pereat quondam regina triumphans.
Perge etiam calamo docto varioque docere
lectores, carpens passim nova mella Melissae.
Sic eris usque quod es, fortis, bonus atque fidelis,
fundator solidus, constructor et ædificator,
omnibus attentus, semper quoque firmus amicus,
ni nimis est, etiam cum te pituita molestat!
- Calepinus novus, 2002
- Le latin et le politique. Les avatars du latin à travers les âges, 2003
- Plauti Rudens, 1983
See alsofr:Guy Licoppe
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