Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Josef Wiesehöfer
Old Persian (abbr. OP), an *Indo-European language of western Iran (first millennium
John Chadwick and Anna Morpurgo Davies
Anna Morpurgo Davies
W. Sidney Allen and Jonathan G. F. Powell
Our knowledge of the pronunciation of classical Latin is derived from a variety of sources. Most direct are the specific statements of Latin grammarians and other authors (though allowance must be made for the fact that the former tend to be of later date). Other sources are: puns, word-play, contemporary etymologies, and onomatopoeia; the representation of Latin words in other ancient languages; later developments in the Romance languages; the spelling conventions of Latin, and especially any deviations from these; the internal structure of Latin itself and of its metrical patterns (see
It is impossible to reconstruct the vocal totality of a language spoken before the invention of sound-recording; but we can make a reasonably good approximation to the sounds of standard urban Latin as spoken around the turn of the era. It should be remembered that the pronunciation of Latin must have varied chronologically, socially, and geographically. In particular, the relatively static nature of the written medium in later antiquity may well have concealed significant changes in pronunciation.
Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter
Sabelli is not synonymous with *Sabini. It is the Roman name for speakers of *Oscan. They called themselves Safineis and their chief official *meddix. They expanded from their original habitat (reputedly Sabine Amiternum) by proclaiming sacred springs (see
J. F. Healey
Sicel was the language of the Siculi, spoken in eastern Sicily and preserved in a few inscriptions in the Greek alphabet (see
Sumerian is the earliest known language of ancient *Mesopotamia, written on clay and stone in *cuneiform script. Unrelated to other known languages, it is agglutinative and ergative. Largely superseded by (Semitic) *Akkadian, it was used for some religious and literary purposes into the Seleucid period.
Robert A. Kaster
Varro (according to Petrarch) was “the third great light of Rome”—after Vergil and Cicero—and certainly Rome's greatest scholar. Though the great bulk of his work survives only in fragments, the quotations and paraphrases that those fragments preserve make his influence on subsequent writers evident: much of later Latin literature, from the Aeneid of Vergil down to St. Augustine's City of God, would look very different had they been unable to draw upon his learning. His writings covered nearly every branch of inquiry: history, geography, rhetoric, law, philosophy, music, medicine, architecture, religion, and more.