Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Aulus GelliusAn Antonine Scholar and his Achievement$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263196.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 July 2019

The Latin Language

The Latin Language

(p.172) 10 The Latin Language
Aulus Gellius

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Oxford University Press

Gellius despises run-of-the-mill professional grammarians for their ignorance both of other disciplines and of Republican Latin, which furnished exceptions to their arbitrary rules. This attitude should not be called a championing of anomaly against analogy, since anomaly had dissolved into the competing principles, of which the most important in Gellius's eyes is the authority of approved writers; arguments from ratio (analogy or etymology) are acceptable provided they support it. Nevertheless, he is aware that language changes over time, especially pronunciation. His discussions of etymology are very sensible by ancient standards; he is also aware that euphony plays an important part in writers' choices. His ventures into textual criticism show an appreciation of the lectio difficilior, but the readings he produces from supposedly authentic manuscripts must be judged on their merits.

Keywords:   authority, analogy, anomaly, etymology, grammarians, language, Latin, lectio difficilior, manuscripts, textual criticism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .