81-100 of 504 Results  for:

  • Latin Literature x
Clear all

Article

Christopher Pelling

Roman biography did not wholly derive from its Greek equivalent: their own political and family customs led Romans to value the recording of the deeds of their great men. We hear of songs at banquets praising the famous, of dirges (*nenia) at funerals, and of a native tradition of funeral laudations (*laudatio funebris). Such laudations were preserved and kept among the family records, together with the likenesses (*imagines) of distinguished ancestors: Cicero (Marcus Tullius) (Brut.62) complains about the inaccuracies of these laudations. Sepulchral inscriptions were important too, and became very elaborate, often giving details of private as well as public matters (cf. the ‘laudations’ of Murdia and Turia, CIL 6. 2. 10230 and 1527, 31670, see *‘Laudatio Turiae’). The flavour of such formal memorials is as recurrent in Roman biography as that of encomium in the Greek counterpart; it is, for instance, one of the elements detectable in *Tacitus (1)'s Agricola.

Article

The Ostrogothic king *Theoderic (1) appointed this leading nobleman consul (510), and *magister officiorum (?522). He resisted official oppression, was implicated in a senatorial conspiracy, imprisoned, and executed. His De consolatione philosophiae is a prison dialogue with Philosophy, a *Menippean mixture of prose and verse, owing much to *Martianus Capella and *Augustine. It justifies providence on a Stoic and Neoplatonic basis (see stoicism; neoplatonism), without overt *Christianity; its reconciliation of free will and divine prescience is philosophically notable; it shows high literary genius, and an astounding memory for classical texts under trying conditions. Boethius' Greek scholarship was rare in Italy; he planned introductions and translations for the mathematical and logical disciplines, and complete translations of *Plato (1) and *Aristotle. The project was never completed, and much is lost or fragmentary. Survivors: De arithmetica and Institutio musica (on which see below); a commentary on *Cicero's Topics, translations and commentaries for *Porphyry's Isagoge, and Aristotle's Prior Analytics, Categories, and Perihermeneias; translations of Aristotle's Topics and Sophistici elenchi.

Article

Andrew Barker

Boethius' Institutio musica, mainly paraphrased from Greek sources, deploys Pythagorean harmonics (see pythagoras), within the quadrivium, to promote understanding of music's extraordinary powers. Books 1–3 (introduction and mathematical demonstrations) and possibly book 4 (divisions of the monochord, modes) derive from a lost work by *Nicomachus (3). Book 5 (incomplete) renders *Ptolemy (4)Harmonica 1, very selectively: perhaps Harmonica 2–3 were intended to follow.

Article

H. Maehler

Books existed in *Egypt long before they came into use in Greece. Systems of writing had been invented and developed for administrative purposes in both Egypt and *Mesopotamia by c.3000 bce. While the Sumerians (see sumerian) and Babylonians used clay tablets for their *cuneiform scripts, the Egyptians used papyrus. A blank sheet of papyrus was found in the tomb of the vizier Hemaka in Saqqara of c.3000 bce. The oldest surviving inscribed papyrus texts are the temple accounts of Abusir of c.2450 bce. A number of fine statues of seated scribes of the same period suggests that this profession was already well established and that writing had been practised for centuries, long enough for the ‘hieratic’ script to develop through the adaptation of hieroglyphs to the use of reed-brush and papyrus. The hieroglyph for ‘book-roll’ is first attested in the first dynasty (c.

Article

Stephen Hinds

The accelerated rise of the book-roll in the 4th and 3rd cents. bce has artistic consequences which are first strongly felt in the Alexandrian Library. The scholar-poets who classify and collect into books the literature of the past apply the same principles of editorial organization in the publication of new poetry. Anthologies of epigrams, whether by one hand or by several, proliferate. *Callimachus (3), who has an early involvement in the classification of *Pindar's epinicians (fr. 450), gathers his own Iambi into a poetry book, and perhaps also his six Hymns; analyses of the fragmentary Aetia indicate considerable sophistication in its book-construction. *Antimachus' Lyde and *Philitas' Paegnia may have exploited the book as an artistic unit before Callimachus; not so the archaic elegies of Theognis' Gnomology to Cyrnus (19–254), whose arrangement (at least as we know it) seems to be Hellenistic (M.

Article

H. D. Jocelyn and Jonathan G. F. Powell

Brevis brevians, ‘abbreviation (of a long syllable) through the agency of a (nearby) short (syllable)’; the Latin term used by Louis Havet (1880) to denote a phenomenon in some forms of early Latin dramatic verse first clearly isolated by C. F. W. Mueller (1869) and dubbed by him Iambenkürzung, ‘shortening of an iambic sequence’. (Eng. ‘iambic shortening’, modern Lat. correptio iambica). Thus, for example, a word of iambic shape like amo (˘ ˉ ) may be scanned ˘ ˘; the sequence ˘ ˉ ˉ as in voluptatem may become ˘ ˘ ˉ. The phenomenon is probably to be explained with reference to the stress accent, but the details continue to be disputed. It is rarely, if ever, found in the cretic and bacchiac verses of drama, or in the dactylic hexameter of narrative poetry. Although it disappears from Latin verse after the 2nd cent. bce, some individual words (e.

Article

R. A. Kaster

Quintus Caecilius Epirota, a freedman of T. *Pomponius Atticus and friend of *Cornelius Gallus, taught grammar under *Augustus. After Gallus’ death (27 bce) he opened a select school for older pupils and was the first to lecture on *Virgil and other contemporary poets (Suet.

Article

Peter G. M. Brown

Caecilius (RE 25) Statius, author of fabulae palliatae (fl. 179 bce, d. 168), according to Jerome, who says he was an Insubrian Gaul, perhaps from Milan. He was taken to Rome as a slave and subsequently freed. *Terence, Hecyra 9–27, tells how his plays were produced by *Ambivius Turpio, who encouraged him after initial setbacks and helped him to succeed. He was highly regarded in antiquity: among others, *Volcacius Sedigitus ranked him first of the authors of palliatae, and *Varro praised his plot-construction and ability to stir the emotions. Cicero criticized his Latinity but assumed general familiarity with his works. Some 42 titles and about 280 lines survive, showing a style akin to that of *Plautus. Most important are three passages of Plocium (‘The Necklace’), quoted by Gell. NA 2. 23 together with *Menander (1)'s original Greek, which show Caecilius to have adapted as freely as Plautus; until 1968 these were the only extended passages of Roman comedy that could be compared with their Greek original.

Article

Of Novum Comum, one of *Catullus' friends, composed a poem on Cybele (Catull. 35).

Article

R. A. Kaster

(early 2nd cent. ce), grammarian whose miscellany was criticized by contemporaries (e.g. Gell. NA 6. 2, 11. 15) and excerpted by later writers (extracts on orthography: Keil, Gramm. Lat. 7. 202–7).

Article

R. A. Kaster

Caesius Bassus (1st cent. ce), a friend of *Persius Flaccus, who dedicated his sixth satire to him and whose poems he allegedly ‘edited’. *Quintilian (10. 1. 96) thought Bassus’ own lyric poems the only Roman examples of the genre worth reading besides Horace's odes. Later metricians (e.g. *Terentianus Maurus) relied upon his theoretical writings; these may be partly represented by an acephalous treatise falsely attributed to *Atilius Fortunatianus (Keil, Gramm. Lat. 255–72). The excerpts on metre printed at Gramm. Lat. 6. 305–12 are not his work.

Article

M. Winterbottom

Calpurnius Flaccus, of unknown date, author of *declamations from fifty-three of which extracts survive.

Article

Antony Spawforth

A contemporary of the younger *Pliny (2) (Ep. 5. 17), wrote an elegiac poem, ‘Constellations’, with a Greek title (Οἱ Καταστερισμοί). Probably identical with the consul of ce 111C. Calpurnius Piso (PIR 2 C 285) or his brother. See constellations and named stars.

Article

Lindsay Watson

The author of seven pastorals, Calpurnius may be dated with reasonable security to the Neronian age. The crucial pieces of evidence are Eclogue 1. 75 ff., which seemingly allude to the comet that foretold *Claudius’ death and *Nero's accession in ce 54, and Eclogue 7, which celebrates the construction of a wooden amphitheatre in the *Campus Martius, and, almost certainly, the Munus Neronis (Neronian games) which inaugurated it in 57. Nevertheless, attempts continue to ascribe Calpurnius to a later period, on internal, stylistic, metrical, and lexical grounds. Of the author's life virtually nothing is known: his cognomen Siculus may not refer to his homeland, but symbolize his debt to *Theocritus. He is sometimes credited with the *Laus Pisonis (‘Panegyric on Piso’).Of the Eclogues, 1, 4, and 7 are court-poems, dealing in ascending chronological order with the early years of *Nero's reign. All three contain extensive monologues. By contrast, 2, 3, 5, and 6 are in dialogue form, and are concerned with rustic matters of a more traditional kind. In 1, two shepherds, Ornytus and Corydon—who is generally identified with Calpurnius—discover verses inscribed by Faunus on the bark of a tree, prophesying a new golden age. In contrast to Calpurnius’ model, Virgil Eclogue 4, the prophecy incorporates detailed references to contemporary politics.

Article

Brian Campbell

Caninius (RE 13) Rufus, a wealthy landowner and benefactor of *Comum, and friend of *Pliny (2) the Younger, who wrote to him mainly about their shared literary interests (Ep. 1. 3; 2. 8; 3. 7; 6. 21; 7. 18; 8. 4; 9. 33). Rufus intended to write an epic poem in Greek celebrating *Trajan's conquest of *Dacia.

Article

Canius Rufus, from Gades, a poet and friend of *Martial, who alludes to his versatility and merriment in epigram 3. 20 (cf. 1. 61. 9; 1. 69).

Article

cantica  

Peter G. M. Brown

The parts of a Latin drama with musical accompaniment, as contrasted with deverbia or diverbia (unaccompanied passages, in iambic senarii). Two types may be distinguished: (1) continuous sequences of long lines (septenarii or octonarii) in iambics, trochaics, or anapaests, generally known nowadays as “recitative” lines; (2) passages in a variety of metres, known in antiquity as mutatis modis cantica (“cantica with changes of metre”), in Plautus generally including lyric meters, whereas Terence normally uses combinations of recitative metres. Modern discussions tend to restrict the term to the second type, which is a particular feature of the comedies of Plautus. See metre, latin.

Moore, Timothy J. Recordings of Plautine Cantica .

Article

Donald Russell and Tobias Reinhardt

This phrase—‘fishing for good will’ (cf. *CiceroInv. rhet. 1. 22) —well describes what the ancient rhetoricians advise for the exordium of a speech (see rhetoric, roman). The hearer is to be rendered ‘attentive, teachable, and well disposed’: and the prescription for this last requirement involves a display of modesty and good manners on the part of the speaker.

Article

Joseph Farrell

The idea that a writer’s works form the record of a clearly defined career is a familiar but relatively understudied aspect of ancient literary history. In Greek literature, relevant motifs appear already in Homer (in the Iliad, Achilles’ self-referential singing of klea andron (9.189) in combination with Telemachus’s defense of Phemius’s novel, post-Iliadic theme in the Odyssey (1.345–352), and Hesiod (initiated by the Muses at Theogony 22–34 and at Works and Days 650–662 previously victorious—with Theogony?—in a singing contest at the funeral games of Amphidamas). But thinkers of the archaic and classical periods generally considered a poet’s work in a single genre as an expression of his immanent character, and not as the result of a career choice. Beginning with Thucydides and Xenophon, however, retired military men and politicians establish a normative career pattern in the genre of history. But in the Hellenistic period, as poets cultivate expertise in many genres (polyeideia), the career motif begins to come in to view.

Article

carmen  

Peta G. Fowler and Don P. Fowler

Carmen, from cano (?), “something chanted,” a formulaic or structured utterance, not necessarily in verse. In early Latin the word was used especially for religious utterances such as spells and charms: the laws of the *Twelve Tables contained provisions against anyone who chanted a malum carmen, “evil spell” (Plin. HN 28.2.18). Carmen became the standard Latin term for song, and hence poem (sometimes especially lyric and related genres1), but the possibilities of danger and enchantment inherent in the broader sense continued to be relevant, and there is often play on the different senses (see e.g. Ov. Met. 7. 167).