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date: 30 January 2023

Annaeus Cornutus, Luciuslocked

Annaeus Cornutus, Luciuslocked

  • Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Extract

Annaeus Cornutus, Lucius, Stoic philosopher, grammarian, and rhetorician whose pupils included *Lucan and *Persius (who honoured him in Sat. 5, and whose Satires he reportedly revised after the poet's death); exiled by Nero. His Life, now lost, was the last in Diog. Laert. 7; the description Λεπτίτης (Suda), denoting a citizen (not merely native) of *Lepcis Magna, refutes the common supposition that he was the younger Seneca's freedman, though patronage remains plausible. His one extant work (conjectural title Ἐπιδρομὴ τῶν κατὰ τὴν Ἑλληνικὴν θεολογίαν παραδεδομένων, ‘Summary of the Traditions concerning Greek Mythology’), addressed to a young child, uses *etymology and also *allegory to derive philosophical insights from divine names and myths. Lost writings included a critique of Aristotle's Categories, reviewing a previous Stoic treatment of the subject; a treatise on spelling, favouring contemporary usage over ancient and balancing the claims of etymology and pronunciation; and commentaries on Virgil (one addressed to *Silius Italicus).

Subjects

  • Latin Literature
  • Philosophy

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