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The following line is from a passage that I was reading:

If the Italian peninsula had been submerged in the Mediterranean after the fall of Rome, we would still have been in possession of much documentary evidence concerning growth and ascent of Roman empire, although the ponderable remains of the civilization and its architecture and the soil upon which the empire flourished would have been lost forever save as regards their colonial manifestations.

What is the precise meaning of save as regards their colonial manifestations?

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I think it mean "except their ..." – user19148 Jul 20 '12 at 21:47
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Save as means except here. Thus, "save as regards their manifestations" means "except for their manifestations". The whole paragraph is saying that even if Italy disappeared, much evidence of Roman empire still would exist elsewhere in the world.

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Thanks a lot jwpat7! – Karan Jul 20 '12 at 22:06
You won't generally encounter this type of language, save when reading intentionally enlivened prose. – Alex W Jul 20 '12 at 22:23

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