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Asmonius

(185 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] ( Apthonius the communis opinio, but see Prisc. gramm. 3,420,1-7 and GL 6,80,30-81,3; [3. 62-68]). Aelius Festus Asmonius, Latin grammarian of the 4th cent. AD; author of a lost grammar dedicated to Constantius II (Prisc. gramm. 2,516,15-16) and of a comprehensive metrics in 4 books, which was already mutilated at the start as early as late antiquity and was combined with the beginning of the grammar of  Marius Victorinus (but cf. GL 6,173,32); furthermore A. may be the author of supp…

Priscianus

(740 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] The last important Latin grammarian, b. in Mauretanian Caesarea [1], pupil of Theoctistus, worked as professor of grammar at Constantinople into the first decades of the 6th cent. AD. On his circle, cf. [5]-[8]. His main work, the (1) Institutio de arte grammatica ('Textbook of Grammar'), consists (after an introductory epistle) of 18 books (1-7: De nomine; 8-10: De verbo; 11: De participio; 12-13 De pronomine; 14: De praepositione; 15: De adverbio et interiectione; 16: De coniunctione; 17-18: De constructione = 'syntax') and seems to have been written in se…

Dicta Catonis

(378 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Versified handbook of popular ethics from the 3rd cent. (cf. Carm. epigr. 1988, 51; [1. LXXIII]); widely known by the end of the 4th cent. at the latest. The text, of which the Dutch philologist M. Boas made a lifelong study [1. LXXXff.], exists in version Y (or V) with 306 vv. and in a more extensive version F, with 331 vv. but altered by interpolations and recasting, aside from the Barberini recension [1. XXXVIff.]. The title of Y runs Marci Catonis ad filium libri, where F (Codex Verona cap. 163) has Dicta M. Catonis ad filium suum [1. LXVff.; 2. 30ff.], since Erasmus …

Helenius Acron

(176 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Roman grammarian, especially commentator. His partial commentary on Terence ( Adelphoe and Eunuchus) is taken into account in grammatical tradition; traces of his more famous commentary on Horace ([3. 1,3] puts him above Porphyry and Modestus) are to be found in the various reviews of the scholia, in particular in  Porphyry. As Gellius appears not to know H., yet H. is used by Porphyry (on Hor. Sat. 1,8,25) and Iulius Romanus (Charisius, Gramm. p. 250,11ff. Barwick) dating to the later 2nd ce…

Ciris

(245 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Latin epic in 541 hexameters about  Scylla betraying her native city Megara to the Cretan king Minos and being transformed into a bird. The plot assumes knowledge of the mythical tradition and neglects narrative continuity and logic for the sake of individual scenes and profiling the heroine's emotions. This is characteristic of the epyllium in the elegiac tradition. Contrary to an ascription from late antiquity, Virgil (cf. Donat. Vita Verg. 17) has been ruled out as the author. …

Pacuvius

(912 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
Roman writer of tragedies in the Republican period, of Oscan-Messapian origin, nephew of Ennius (Plin. HN 35,19). [German version] A. Biography Born in 220 BC (cf. Cic. Brut. 229) in Brundisium (Jer. Chron. p. 142 H.), died shortly before 130 BC in Tarentum. Apart from this chronology, which comes from Accius' Didascalica and Varro’s De poetis [18. 48f., 53, 62] and has been preserved in works from Sueton’s De poetis [17. 36] to Jerome, there are traces of another tradition, which was perhaps shaped by Cornelius Nepos’ [2] Chronica. [2. 8, 5], which P.took up a generation later (…

Obsequens, Iulius

(381 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Author of a liber prodigiorum, which for the years 190-11 BC, i.e. at the end of Livy's [III 2] Roman history, arranges accounts of portents ( Prodigium ) of salient historical events by and alongside their dates. The title of the edition princeps of the work [4] shows that it was begun in 249 BC (for the significance of the starting date cf. [5. 76f.; 10. 158ff.], and that therefore the portents for 249-191 have been lost. O. evidently relates Rome's success to its observance of divine signs, whose expiation averts thre…

Aemilius Asper

(169 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] The grammarian A., most likely from the late 2nd cent. AD, sums up the tension between archaistic and classical tendencies of the school canon in the 2nd cent. with his explanations of  Terentius,  Vergilius and  Sallustius. In his exegesis, the interest in historical-linguistic detailed phenomena takes second place to textual criticism, stylistics and the comparison with Greek classics. In late antiquity, he together with  Probus and  Terentius Scaurus constitutes a triad of gram…

Pervigilium Veneris

(315 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Anonymous Latin poem in 93 trochaic tetrameters, purporting to be a processional song sung on the eve of a Venus festival in Hybla, Sicily. A refrain appearing at the beginning and end of the poem and at irregular intervals within it isolates a series of short sections, which add up to three major parts: 1. praise of spring and announcement of the festival (vv. 2-26); 2. vizualisation of the festival, place of the action (28-56); 3. praise of the power of Venus (59-79); the final part (81-92) culminates in a melancholy reflection by the poet. The poem, which raises a numbe…

Carmina triumphalia

(181 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Song of the soldiers, whose parade concluded a triumphal procession. There is evidence to show that in the carmina triumphalia, the triumphant general received both praise (Liv. 4,20,2) and mockery. The reported antiphony may particularly refer to the latter (Liv. 4,53,11). Obscene ridicule and satire in this context were generally compared with the satirical poetry at weddings (Fescennine verses); they were seen as apotropaic, or rather seen as a further admonishment along with the hominem te esse memento of the bearer of the corona triumphalis. The evidence is …

Excerpta Barbari

(198 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] A medieval Latin MS. (Parisinus Latinus 4884) contains the translation ( c. AD 700) of the Alexandrian version of a Christian world chronicle, which, because of its Vulgar Latin language, has been known as the ‘E.B.’ since J. J. Scaliger; it is based on a Greek version from the 5th cent. AD. The extant text, which ends in 387, is divided into three sections: a world chronicle from Adam to Cleopatra (p. 184-280 Frick); a list of rulers from the Assyrians to the Roman emperors (until Anastasiu…

Quintipor Clodius

(43 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Author of palliata from the late Republican era, known only from the polemics of Varro (in Non. p. 168,719 L.). Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) Bibliography Lit.: M. Brožek, De Quintipore Clodio meliori famae restituendo, in: Eos 56, 1966, 115-118.

Gorgoneion

(371 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] According to the myth, the G. is the head of the  Gorgo [1] Medusa killed by Perseus which could still turn people into stone after Medusa's death. Perseus finally handed it to Athena, who attached it to her   aegis . The significance of the G. as an object of representation, however, far exceeds the myth of Perseus and has complex older foundations. It belongs to the group of grotesque masks whose polyvalent functions go far beyond those of causing terror and deterring evil. Even though there are cer…

Porphyrio, Pomponius

(258 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Early 3rd-cent. author of a commentary on Horace for use in schools (in the form of marginal glosses), perhaps from Africa (before Iulius [IV 19] Romanus, cf. Charisius p. 285,10 ff. Barwick); a short biography precedes the text. The function of the work forced P. to dispense with textual variants; the source citations may have been mediated by Helenius Acron's scholarly commentary. P. himself was not very interested in archaisms; instead he emphasized the contemporary distance fr…

Iuvenalis, D. Iunius

(929 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Juvenal, the last outstanding satirical poet of Rome, probably from Campanian Aquinum (cf. Juv. Sat. 3,318ff. and ILS 2926 = CIL 10,5382), contemporary of Tacitus; from Sat. 13,16f. and 15,27f., [1] deduces that he was born in AD 67. The silence of his poems concerning autobiographical detail - in contrast to  Horatius - and the fictitious nature of the vitae (no. 1 Jahn), which were not compiled until late antiquity, make any reconstruction of the details of his life circumstances impossible. The statement that I. was active as a reciter…

Excerpta Valesiana

(140 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Two different historiographic texts dating from late antiquity, which H. Valesius first edited in 1636 from what is today called the Cod. Berol. Phill. 1885 (9th cent.). The first excerpt (a), entitled Origo Constantini imperatoris, comes from a collection of biographies of emperors (mid 4th cent.) and outlines the life of emperor Constantine [1] I from the year 305. The second (b), an excerpt ex libris chronicorum (6th cent.), covers the era from 474 to 526, in particular the rule of Theoderic; the tradition of the text is contributed to by t…

Declamationes

(311 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Practice speeches, representing the ultimate stage of education in rhetoric. They treated (mostly fictitious) model cases (Suet. Gram. 25,9) with the aim of preparing pupils for the pugna forensis (Quint. Inst. 5,12,17), and were practised in schools of rhetoric modelled after the Greek pattern; the name is of later date (Cic. Tusc. 1,7; Sen. Controv. 1, pr. 12). Despite criticisms of excesses, Quintilian gives a more positive assessment of their pedagogical utility than, say, Messalla (Tac. Dial. 35), who t…

Ianuarius Nepotianus

(134 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Revisor of the collection of exempla by  Valerius Maximus for rhetoric instruction, probably from the 4th cent. AD (based on linguistic arguments [1]). While the original organization was maintained, there were stylistic revisions and additions - partially from Cicero (cf. 7,3; 9,24 etc.). A more complete copy of the excerpt, which has survived in the Codex unicus ( Vaticanus Latinus 1321, s. XIV) only up to Val. Max. 3,2,7, was used still by Landolfus Sagax ( c.1000). Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) Bibliography 1 F. Buecheler, Kleine Schriften 3, 1930, 331-335 (11906…

Lector

(191 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] (‘reader’). Especially the letters of Pliny the Younger illustrate the custom of culturally enriching the mealtimes with - next to comoedi and lyristae (Plin. Ep. 1,15,2; 9,17,3; 36,4) - lectores (Nep. Att. 14,1; Gell. NA 3,19,1: servus assistens mensae eius - sc. Favorini - legere inceptabat ‘a slave, who stood by his - Favorinus' - table, began to read’), and its exceptional use as preparation for excerption, as in the case of Pliny the Older in Plin. Ep. 3,5,11f. ( super hanc - sc. cenam - liber legebatur, adnotabatur ‘a book was read at the table, Pliny took note…

Fabullus

(151 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Friend of  Catullus, recipient of the poem of invitation of Catull. 13, mostly mentioned together with Veranius: from Hispania Citerior they send Catullus a serviette (Catull. 12,14ff., cf. Catull. 9); about the time of his journey to Bithynia (57/6 BC) they are part of the cohors of a governor Piso (probably L. Calpurnius [I 19] Piso Caesoninus) and are disappointed, just as Catullus, in their financial expectations (Catull. 28 and 47). So this probably concerns two different jou…
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