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Article

R. A. Kaster

Asmonius, grammarian cited by *Priscian as the author of a (lost) *ars dedicated to the emperor *Constantius II and of a treatise on metre. The latter may survive under the name ‘*Ap(h)thonius’.

Article

Roland Gregory Austin and Jeffrey Wills

The recurrence of sounds in proximity is a common feature of language, observable in all periods of Latin, with various stylistic effects.The repetition of initial sounds appears in formulaic language of all levels in (a) idioms and proverbs: ‘purus putus’, ‘fortes fortuna iuuat’, ‘domo doctus dico’; (b) prayers: ‘quod felix faustum fortunatumque siet’, ‘utique tu…pastores pecuaque salua seruassis’ (Cato Agr. 141); (c) legal formulae: ‘per lancem liciumque’ (Gell. NA 11. 18. 9).Alliteration is well attested in early Latin, perhaps aided by word stress on initial syllables. In the native *Saturnian verse, it can characterize one half-line (e.g. *Naevius' epitaph beginning ‘inmortales mortales si foret fas flere’, Gell. 1. 24. 2) or link two in the manner of Anglo-Saxon versification (e.g. ‘prima incedit Cereris Proserpina puer’, Naev. 29(31)). Sometimes a single alliteration extends over a line in comic accumulation ‘Cerconicus, Crinnus, Cercobulus, Collabus’ (Plaut. Trinummus 1020) or epic intensity ‘machina multa minax minitatur maxima muris’ (Enn. .

Article

R. A. Kaster

Ateius Philologus, Lucius, a noted scholar of the Ciceronian age and a teacher of both *grammar and *rhetoric (Suet. Gram. 10). Born at Athens, he was enslaved (probably in 86 bce) and later manumitted. He took the name Philologus as a mark of his varied learning and claimed to have written 800 books on all kinds of subjects. None survives, but sources refer to an epitome of Roman history composed for *Sallust, stylistic precepts composed for *Asinius Pollio, a work on rare or obsolete words (Liber glossematorum), a literary catalogue (Pinakes), and a treatise on the question ‘Did Aeneas love Dido?’BibliographyRealencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, s.

Article

Peter G. M. Brown

Atellana (sc. fabula), in origin a native Italian farce, named after *Atella in Campania but doubtless common in Oscan towns, and probably early known in Rome, where it was normally performed in Latin. (Livy 7. 2 and Val. Max. 2. 4. 4 provide evidence for the amateur status of actors in Atellana; the implications are disputed.) It was a masked drama, largely improvised, with stock characters: Bucco (‘the fool’), *Dossennus (‘the glutton’), Maccus (‘the clown’, the most frequently occurring name in titles of Atellanae), Manducus (‘the chewer’, an ogre or bogeyman, thought by many to be an alternative name for Dossennus), Pappus (‘the old gaffer’). It became a literary form for a short time in the period of *Sulla, its principal exponents being L. *Pomponius and *Novius. Other named authors are Aprissius (one line survives) and perhaps Sulla himself (if this is what his ‘satyric comedies’ were); and a Mummius is said by Macrobius to have revived the genre later (three short fragments survive). Atellanae continued to be performed at least until the time of *Juvenal.

Article

Antony Spawforth

*Hadrian's famous institution for the study of Greek *rhetoric and letters in the centre of Rome. In the 4th cent. ce it was the setting for public *declamation in Latin as well. Its location is uncertain.

Article

David Whitehead

Athenaeus (2) Mechanicus is the named author of a surviving treatise On Machines; military ones, for use in siege-warfare. The work is addressed to a ‘Marcellus,’ and nowadays orthodoxy identifies him with M. Claudius Marcellus, the short-lived (42–23 bce) nephew & son-in-law of Augustus. That in turn makes it plausible that the writer himself is Athenaeus of Seleucia-on-the-Calycadnus, a Cilician Greek intellectual known to have been in Rome in the 20s, and a contemporary, in that milieu, of Vitruvius. There is indeed material common to A.’s treatise and to sections of Book 10 of Vitruvius' On Architecture—material that, it seems, they took from their teacher Agesistratus of (?)Rhodes.Short and not always coherent though it is, the On Machines has a two-fold importance. One is in the material mentioned already: Athenaeus and Vitruvius in tandem (together with a middle-Byzantine version of the same material) provide a succinct but useful summary history of military machinery from its beginnings to the early Hellenistic period, highlighting especially the mechanici who served Alexander the Great.

Article

Atilius  

Peter G. M. Brown

Author of fabulae palliatae, perhaps earlier than *Caecilius Statius (one title and nineteen words survive); noted for his harsh style, but praised by *Varro for stirring the emotions. Probably identical with the Atilius who translated *Sophocles' Electra (badly, according to Cicero Fin. 1. 5; an extract was chanted at Caesar's funeral), perhaps not with L. Atilius of Praeneste, named in the Terentian *didascaliae as a director of (probably revivals of) Terence's plays.

Article

R. A. Kaster

Atilius Fortunatianus (date uncertain, before 4th cent. ce?), grammarian and author of a metrical handbook (*ars) dedicated to a former pupil of senatorial family. The first part of the ars deals with general principles (Keil, Gramm. Lat. 6. 279–94), the second with Horatian metres (ibid. 294–304). The work depends largely on earlier authorities, especially *Caesius Bassius.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Attius Labeo, a translator of both Iliad and Odyssey (see homer) into Latin, attacked for his lack of learning by his contemporary *Persius Flaccus (Sat. 1. 4, 49 with *scholia).

Article

Audax  

R. A. Kaster

Compiler of a derivative school-grammar in question-and-answer format (De Scauri et Palladii libris excerpta: Keil, Gramm. Lat. 7. 320–362). He perhaps was a correspondent of Augustine (Ep. 260. 61).

Article

R. A. Kaster

Aufidius Modestus, (late 1st cent. ce), an authority on Virgil and Horace (if the Horatian scholar is not *Iulius Modestus).

Article

R. A. Kaster

Aurelius (RE 176) Opillus, a freedman who taught philosophy, rhetoric, and grammar, and accompanied P. *Rutilius Rufus into exile at Smyrna (Suet. Gram. 6). He was cited by *Varro and *Verrius Flaccus as an authority, especially on Plautine diction; his (lost) works included a nine-book miscellany (The Muses) and a catalogue (Pinax) of the plays doubtfully attributed to *Plautus.

Article

R. B. Rutherford

Aurelius, Marcus, Marcus is most famous for a work his subjects never saw, the intimate notebook in which he recorded (in Greek) his own reflections on human life and the ways of the gods, perhaps before retiring at night. The title Meditations is purely modern: τά εἰς ἑαυτὸν (‘to himself’), found in our MSS, may not go back to the author, but is surely accurate. Internal evidence suggests that he was past his prime when he wrote (2. 2, and other references to his age or imminent death), and that at least parts were composed during his lengthy campaigns against the German tribes. It seems to have survived almost by accident; it was unknown to the writers of his time and for long afterwards, but seems to have surfaced in the 4th cent. (Them., Or. 6. 81c, not a certain allusion). In general the closest analogies for the thought are with *Epictetus, but Marcus is interested less in sustained exposition.

Article

Roger P. H. Green

Ausonius, Decimus Magnus, of Bordeaux, (*Burdigala), statesman, teacher, and writer, enjoyed one of the more meteoric careers of the 4th cent. ce. The son of a humble doctor, he taught grammar and rhetoric for 30 years before being appointed tutor of the emperor's son and heir and summoned to Trier (Augusta Treverorum) in the mid-360s. When in 375 Valentinian I died and *Gratian duly succeeded, Ausonius enjoyed a remarkable political ascendancy, placing family and friends in positions of influence and gaining for himself a praetorian prefecture and the consulship of 379. Most of his retirement he spent cultivating literary friendships in Aquitaine and writing poems which shed interesting light on his outlook and environment.His rather obscure politics have always attracted less attention than his writings, which apart from a panegyric of Gratian and a few of his letters and dedications, are all in verse. His longest and most famous poem is the Moselle, a lively and colourful description relatively untouched by contemporary tendencies to flatter or plagiarize.

Article

Avianus  

J. H. D. Scourfield

Avianus or Avienus (the MSS give both forms), Roman fabulist (fl. c. 400 ce). He dedicated his 42 fables in elegiacs to one Theodosius, who is commonly held to be *Macrobius (Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius); it is possible (though not more) that he is the Avienus who appears in the latter's Saturnalia (who is certainly not the geographical writer *Avienus). His chief source is the Greek fabulist *Babrius, though whether he used Babrius direct or via the Latin prose paraphrase of the 3rd-cent. rhetorician *Iulius Titianus or some other intermediary is debated. He made little use of *Phaedrus (4). As a poet Avianus leaves much to be desired. He is imprecise in expression, and lacks the dramatic instinct of the good story-teller. His language and syntax display features characteristic of late antique Latin, which sit uncomfortably with the many echoes of Virgil, themselves often inappropriately deployed. The metre is broadly Ovidian (see ovid), though there are examples of non-classical prosody.

Article

J. H. D. Scourfield

Avienus or Avienius (the correct form is disputed), Postumius Rufius Festus, Latin poet (fl. mid-4th cent. ce). A member of a senatorial family from Volsinii in Etruria, and himself proconsul of Africa and Achaia, Avienus wrote three *didactic poems which survive in whole or part: (1) Descriptio orbis terrae, an adaptation in hexameters of the Greek geographical poem of *Dionysius (9) ‘Periegetes’, with omissions, additions, and amplifications, and describing noteworthy things in physical and political geography while reproducing much ancient ignorance which learned contemporaries could have corrected; (2) Ora maritima, a description in iambics of the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Black Sea coasts, written after the Descriptio, to which it refers. The surviving part deals mainly with the coast between Marseilles (Massilia) and Cadiz (Gades); though poorly organized, this preserves important early material for our knowledge of ancient geography and seafaring, perhaps collected in a Greek text which was Avienus' immediate source; (3) *Arateaphaenomena, sometimes divided into Phaenomena and Prognostica, an astronomical poem in hexameters based on the Greek original of Aratus (1), on which Avienus expands.

Article

Christopher Pelling

Bellum Africum, a record of *Caesar's war in Africa (winter 47–46 bce). Its 98 chapters have some literary pretensions and merit, though the military narrative is too slow and painstaking for modern tastes. Its authorship was uncertain even in antiquity (Suet. Iul. 56. 1). The style shows diversity and suggests some education; the content points to a trained soldier who took part in the campaign, though not a man in Caesar's confidence. The attribution to A. *Hirtius (see bellum alexandrinum) is impossible.

Article

Christopher Pelling

Bellum Alexandrinum (‘Alexandrian War’), a work continuing *Caesar's commentary on the Civil War. Only the first 33 chapters deal with the war at *Alexandria (1); then follow the campaign of Cn. *Domitius Calvinus against *Pharnaces II (chs. 34–41), the war in Illyricum (42–7), the disturbances during Q. *Cassius Longinus' tenure in Spain (48–64), and finally Caesar's campaign against Pharnaces (65–78) ending in the victory at Zela (2 August 47). One view in antiquity (Suet. Iul. 56. 1) made *Hirtius the author of this work and also of the *Bellum Africum and the *Bellum Hispaniense; Hirtius himself writes, perhaps in anticipation, of completing a continuation down to Caesar's death (preface to B. Gall. 8). For this work, though not for the other two, stylistic comparison with Bellum Gallicum 8 makes his authorship quite possible.

Article

Christopher Pelling

Bellum Civile (“Civil War”), title of three works.

(1)*Caesar's commentaries on the war begun in 49 bce: Caesar is unlikely to have used the title himself.

(2) Lucan's epic (see annaeus lucanus, marcus): this, or De Bello Civili, is the best-attested ancient title, though the popular alternative Pharsalia (cf. 9. 980–986) is regaining some scholarly fashion.

(3) The poem of 295 hexameters introduced into *Petronius Arbiter's Satyricon (119–124).

Some criticism of Lucan is clearly suggested, especially his suppression of divine machinery; but interpretation is not straightforward, given the satirical characterization of the speaker Encolpius.

Article

Christopher Pelling

Bellum Hispaniense (‘Spanish War’), an account of the campaign which ended at Munda (45 bce). Its author was an eyewitness, certainly not A. *Hirtius (see bellum alexandrinum), but clearly from *Caesar's army. His level of education was not high, and his Latin is an intriguing blend of colloquialism and literary pretension, even including quotations from *Ennius. The text is lamentable, but many obscurities may spring from the author's incapacity to express complexity. His closeness to the events produces a clear impression of the atrocities of war.