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Rufinus is known only for a work transmitted by the manuscripts as A commentary on the metres of Terence (Commentarium in metra Terentiana), which includes a section clearly taken from a different treatise and reconstructed with the title On the composition and rhythms of the orators (De compositione et de numeris oratorum). In the two sections, Rufinus uses different styles of address, identifying himself as u. d. (uir deuotus, ‘a devout man’) in the former work and as u. c. (uir clarissimus, ‘a right honourable man’) in the latter, perhaps as a result of an intervening change in his status. The incipit also gives Rufinus the adjective Antiochensis, ‘of Antiochia’, thus identifying him as a Latin teacher active in the Greek East.1 The inclusion of Servius among his authorities provides a terminus post at the end of the 4th century, while the presence of Rufinus as a source in Priscian places him no later than the 5th century.

Article

David K. Glidden

Ancient philosophy’s modern reception reflects methods of transmission and dissemination of ancient philosophic texts. Ancient Greco-Roman philosophy impacted modernity via six means of influence: printed books, libraries, critical scholarship, vernacular translations, eclectic borrowing, and thematic resonance.

The beginnings of the Italian and Northern European Renaissance awakened interest in ancient Greco-Roman authors. The increased wealth of a propertied class and the leisure time afforded by that prosperity stimulated literacy both for business and pleasure and provided fertile ground for philosophic reflection. The philosophical writings of antiquity were transformed as ancient authors became heralds and guides for the future, rather than relics of the past. All of the following modern philosophic discussions have classical roots: the concepts of virtue, human thriving, equality before the law, the centrality of hypothetical reasoning for scientific inquiry, the foundations of semiotics, the mathematically fathomable structures of physical reality, the existence of natural kinds and the identities they confer on particulars, as well as predicate and propositional logic and their impacts upon computing code. The ways we variously view reality and truth and how we gain confidence in fashioning a comforting reality owes everything to ancient insights. The same is true of the dichotomies that organize conceptual discrimination: being/nonbeing, permanence/impermanence, motion/rest—building blocks used in constructing varied understandings of the world, continually subject to revision and refinement. The impact of ancient philosophy on the modern era is broad and deep.

Article

Aristarchus of Samothrace is the most important Hellenistic philologist. He was head librarian of Alexandria, and produced editions of many Greek authors. Among his most important achievments (the one we have most information) is his edition with commentary of Homer, which had a great impact on the history of the Homeric text.Aristarchus (c. 216–144bce) was born in Samothrace but spent most of his life in Alexandria, where he was a pupil of Aristophanes of Byzantium. Ptolemy VI Philometor (king from 180 to 145bce) appointed him as a tutor to his sons (Sudaα 3892 and POxy. 1241, a papyrus dating to the 2nd centuryce), probably around 155bce. At Alexandria royal tutors often were also the head librarians in the Royal Library. Aristarchus occupied this role as a successor of other important scholars (Zenodotus, Apollonius Rhodius, Eratosthenes, and his own teacher Aristophanes of Byzantium) in the first half of the 2nd century .

Article

Maren Niehoff

Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 bce–45 ce) was a Jewish philosopher, Bible interpreter, and diplomat who produced one of the most voluminous and diverse oeuvres extant from antiquity. He started his career as a Bible commentator in the Jewish community of Alexandria, combining methods of Homeric scholarship with Platonic allegory and a transcendental theology of the God of Israel. As a budding philosopher, Philo significantly contributes to Middle-Platonism. Following an embassy to Gaius Caligula in Rome, Philo began to address wider Roman audiences and interpreted the Jewish tradition in the mode of Roman Stoicism. He provides a glimpse into the development of Roman Stoicism from Cicero to Seneca. His biographies of the biblical forefathers focus on characteristic anecdotes and anticipate Plutarch’s work. Philo’s works from his Roman period are paradigmatic for a broader merging of the Greek East with the Roman West and illuminate similar developments among the writers of the Second Sophistic.

Article

Simias or Simmias of Rhodes is primarily known as the inventor of pattern poetry (see technopaignia), but he was also a grammarian (see scholarship, ancient, Greek and gloss, glosses, Greek) and author of various poetic genres, including epigram and experimental lyric. He probably belonged to the first generation of Hellenistic poets, alongside Philitas of Cos. His poetry is characterized by learnedness and formal refinement.Nothing is known about Simias’ life (the form with the single m finds support in Rhodian epigraphy), but our scarce sources unanimously connect him with Rhodes, and this is confirmed by the Doric dialect of his poetic fragments, his self-characterization as a Doric poet in his sphragis (Ovum 4) and a likely allusion to the Rhodian cult of Helios in another fragment (fr. 7 Fränkel = Powell, Coll. Alex. p. 111, fr. 4).1 His date in the early Hellenistic period has been deduced from Hephaestion’s observation that Simias’ use of the choriambic hexameter was earlier than Philicus of Corcyra, a poet at the court of Ptolemy II (Heph.

Article

Callimachus was a Greek poet and scholar who flourished in the first half of the 3rd century bce in Alexandria, wrote in the context of its Library and Museum, and had close connections to the Ptolemaic court. Apart from six hymns and around sixty epigrams, Callimachus’s texts, both poetry and prose, have survived only in fragments. Chief among his fragmentary works are the Aetia, Iambi, and Hecale: the many papyrus fragments and quotations from these poems give evidence of their lasting impact and popularity in antiquity. Callimachus’s work is highly allusive, refined, learned, and experimental, but also attuned to its political and cultural context and engaged in a poetological discourse with predecessors and colleagues. In his poetry, Callimachus absorbs much of the earlier Greek literary tradition, and his experiments and innovations, while highly original, also reflect trends suggested by the generations preceding him. He in turn exercised great influence on later Roman and Greek poetry, particularly on the poets of Augustan Rome.

Article

In the context of Latin literature, inconsistency is most often invoked to mean self-contradiction: for example, in the second Georgic, Virgil declares that Italy is blissfully free from snakes, but in the following book, snakes pose a deadly threat to the Italian farmer and his animals. Inconsistency, however, can also describe general ambiguity, lack of unity, factual inaccuracy, and incoherence of almost any kind. A number of historically contingent factors affect how readers recognize and respond to inconsistencies. Ancient criticism of the Homeric poems and the Aeneid often considered inconsistencies flaws, and this tradition has influenced modern thinking about the topic. From the late 20th century onwards, critics have frequently viewed the creation of inconsistency as a deliberate authorial strategy: the reader is exposed to two different realities, and the resulting tension contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. The apparent receptivity of Roman literary culture to inconsistency may imply a worldview that had more in common with quantum mechanics than an Aristotelian universe dominated by the law of non-contradiction.

Article

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.Marcus Terentius Varro, (116–27bce), was born at Reate, in the Sabine territory (see sabini) NE of Rome. After studying at Rome with L. Aelius, the first true scholar of Latin literature and antiquities, and at Athens with the Academic philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon, Varro began a public career that brought him to the praetorship and, ultimately, to service on the Pompeian side (see .