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date: 02 March 2021

Verrius Flaccus, Marcuslocked

  • R. A. Kaster

Extract

Marcus Verrius Flaccus, (c.55 bce?–c.ce 20?), a *freedman and innovative teacher who became tutor of *Augustus' grandsons (see iulius caesar (3), c. and iulius caesar (4), l.). He was, after *Varro, the most distinguished scholar of Rome, cultivating the joint study of language and antiquities characteristic of Latin scholarship since L. *Aelius. His (lost) minor works ranged from orthography and the language of M. *Porcius Cato(1) (De obscuris Catonis), to res Etruscae (Etruscan matters) and the Saturnalia (Saturnus; see saturnus, saturnalia), to ‘things worth remembering’ (res memoria dignae, a miscellany much used by the elder *Pliny(1)); he also compiled the Fasti Praenestini (Inscr. Ital. 13. 2: 107 ff.). The breadth of learning that marked such writings made his major work, De verborum significatu, the richest and most influential achievement of ancient Latin lexicography. Arranged alphabetically, with several books for each letter, the work treated rare and obsolete words, incorporating extracts from early authors and much other antiquarian material; it is known from the partially preserved epitome of Sex.

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