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date: 30 January 2023

scholarship, ancient, Latinlocked

scholarship, ancient, Latinlocked

  • Robert A. Kaster


The origins of scholarship at Rome are lost to view, along with much of Rome's earliest scholarly writing. Suetonius' attempt (Gramm. 2) to trace Rome's first experience of Hellenistic scholarship to the visit of *Crates (3) of Mallos around 167 bce is more colourful than reliable; it no doubt captures, however, the kind of contact that was influential in the course of the 2nd cent., when a ‘great flock’ of learned men came to Rome from Greece (Polyb. 31. 24. 6 f.). By the end of the 2nd cent. and the start of the 1st not only was there substantial learning displayed in the Didascalica of *Accius and the satires of *Lucilius (1), but L. *Aelius had developed what would be the three main foci of Roman scholarship: ‘antiquities’, treating the institutions and beliefs of Rome and her neighbours; literary studies, including questions of authenticity and literary history (but little that we would recognize as ‘literary criticism’); and the more or less systematic study of language, especially (in this early period) *etymology and semantics.


  • Latin Literature
  • Philosophy

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