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I want to say that the author wrote for the Latin people (common folk of 1200 in Italy) as his main audience. That is, for the wide audience of general populace and not just for the scholars.

My current sentence (in context) is:

He conceived his work for the Latin populace, that is for the wide audience, which is why it contains a lot of information on how to solve everyday problems, including those connected with business and commerce.

However, I do not like the "for the Latin populace" part. I have tried "for the Latins" and "for the Latin people", but neither sounds right.

Is there a common expression for this in English?

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Which is more significant: the fact that they are "regular Joes," or the fact that they are Latins specifically (and therefore different in some way from Germans, Franks, etc.)? –  phenry May 10 '11 at 23:08
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I thought that people living in Italy at that time was still called Italian. –  kiamlaluno May 11 '11 at 2:37
    
@phenry - Both actually. One without the other would not be the exact meaning I am looking for, thanks! –  drozzy May 11 '11 at 3:40
    
Actually I think "populace" works well, especially if this is a formal essay. It emphasizes the common people, which is what you wanted, and it sounds properly formal. –  user1579 May 13 '11 at 14:53
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5 Answers

What about "for a Latin readership" ?

Actually, since you mention together
- 1200 AD,
- Latin
- and populace,
I think you actually mean Latin in the sense of Latium (Lazio).

That's because, if I'm not mistaken, Medieval Latin was not used by common people in 1200 AD but rather by scholars and ecclesiastic people.

So I guess it might rather be:
- for the Latin masses
- for the Latin general public or
- for the Latin common people

And may be you could also change "Latin" for Latium, Roman or Papal States... or whoever were the dominant families at the time (Colonna, Altavilla...).

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That's nice, +1. –  Will Martin May 10 '11 at 22:50
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Perhaps "He addressed his work to the common people of Italy" or similar?

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people of Italy is rather cumbersome... I will, of course, use this if there is no other option. –  drozzy May 10 '11 at 22:46
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If it is proper to use "Latin" as a noun referring to a people or ethnic group, I would suggest "He addressed his work to ordinary Latins."

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I like "ordinary Latins", not sure if it is correct. –  drozzy May 10 '11 at 22:45
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The people you hope will read your writing are your audience; the people who actually do are your readership. The populace offers (or fails to offer) political or moral support.

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+1 for the distinction between audience and readership. –  Alain Pannetier Φ May 11 '11 at 6:04
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How about the "populace"? It has the added benefit of coming directly from the latin populus. It means: the people.

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Uh, he specifically said he doesn't like "populace". –  Marthaª May 11 '11 at 17:30
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