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Opillus, D. (?) Aurelius

(188 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Scholar from the Republican period, Italic, freedman of an Epicurean and hence a teacher of philosophy at first, and later of rhetoric and grammar. In 92/91 BC he followed the exile Rutilius Rufus to Smyrna where he lived to a ripe old age; for his life as a whole, see Suet. Gram. 6 (cf. in this respect [5]), who calls him an antiquarian Buntschriftsteller. Of his works ( Musae/'Muses'; Pinax/'Tablet'), only grammatical fragments (explanations of words, etymologies) have attained a position in the glossographic tradition via the filter of Varro. O.…

Public recital

(1,354 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] I. Origins and development The PR of literature (Latin recitatio), especially of poetry, represented one of the most important media of transient oral literature in the Roman Imperial Period, contributing enormously to a colourful cultural life. PR existed alongside, and in competition with, declamation (Rhetoric, Declamationes) and theatre (Tragedy, Comedy), of which the texts, not always published and sometimes fluid (improvised e.g. in the artful speeches and the dialogues of the mime), attained in performance the type of publication typ…

Praetexta

(372 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Ancient term (particularly Diom. 3, GL 1,489,14 ff.; on the pattern of the termini cf. [2]) designating the historical drama of the Romans in the Republican Period. Like the historical epic, the genre was introduced in Rome by Naevius [I 1]. A more rarely realized type - cf. Naevius' Lupus (vel Romulus?) - portrayed exemplary figures of early Roman history, while most of the pieces (Naevius' Clastidium, Ennius' Ambracia, Pacuvius' Paulus) were intended to honour patrons posthumously by praising their victories, i.e. they were probably performed at their ludi funebre…

Favorinus

(523 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Rhetorician with philosophical interests, author of  Buntschriftstellerei, a representative of the  Second Sophistic, born about AD 80-90 in Arelate. His life is recounted in Philostr. VS 1,8 and the Suda (also s.Gell. NA 16,3,1 et passim). He was described as a hermaphrodite (Philostr.: ἀνδρόθηλυς, εὐνοῦχος; andróthēlys, eunoûchos; Polemon in Förster Scriptores physiognomonici 1,160,10: sine testiculis natus, cf. [6]). He was trained in Massalia, heard Dio Chrysostom speak in Rome (?) and became an acclaimed speaker. In Ephesus he wa…

Differentiarum scriptores

(270 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] In antiquity the interest in identifying more closely the specific meaning ( proprietas ac differentia; Quint. Inst. 1 pr. 16) of synonyms that are related in their root or different in form but semantically very close ( polliceri/promittere, nullus/nemo, intus/intro, [1. 47]) extends back to Greek philosophy of language (Plato and the Sophists, the Stoa, later Cicero, Nigidius Figulus). In Rome it finds its place in oratory (Cato), rhetoric (Quint. Inst. 9,3,45ff.), jurisprudence and especially among the grammarians …

Iuvencus, C. Vettius Aquilinus

(264 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Spanish presbyter of aristocratic origin whose Latin epic Evangeliorum libri was written under Constantinus [1] probably after 325 (cf. the epilogue 4,802-812 and Jer. Chron. 232 H. re AD 329; Vir. ill. 84,2; Epist. 70,5); a second, likewise hexametric work regarding the Ordo sacramentorum (Jer. Vir. ill. 84,1) is lost. - The biblical epic to the New Testament, framed by a prologue and an epilogue, describes the story of Christ's life in 4 bks. of Virgilian scope (i.e. an average of about 800 vv.) in the style of a Gospel …

Marullus

(237 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] [1] Roman teacher of rhetoric from Cordoba, 1st cent. BC 1st-century BC Roman teacher of rhetoric from Cordoba, teacher of Seneca the Elder (Sen. Controv. 1, praef. 22-24) and his friend M. Porcius Latro (ibid., praef. 24; 2,2,7; 7,2,11). His method of instruction consisted of isolated practice in individual areas of inventio and elocutio (see ibid. praef. 23; partes orationis ). While Latro esteemed M.'s sententiae (ibid. 1,2,17), Seneca, citing a range of sententiae and colores, characterises him as a ‘dry fellow, who offers little that is attractive b…

Dirae

(220 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Bucolic poem of the early Imperial period, in which the poet puts a curse on his expropriated land. The link with Verg. Ecl. 1 and 9 resulted even before the Vergil biographies of Donatus (based on Suetonius) (§ 17) to its attribution to  Vergilius (but cf.[3]). Maintaining the topic, v. 104 begins a new poem without a topical break (cf. v. 41. 89. 95 with 107), known as Lydia, but without ancient evidence regarding that title, probably written by the same author (cf. [5]). It is an elegiac lament of a lover separated from his Lydia. Both piece…

Laus Pisonis

(168 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Panegyricus ( Panegyrics) by an unknown author probably around AD 39/40 [3], to C. Calpurnius [II 13] Piso (Caesoninus) who then in 65 became a figurehead in the conspiracy against the emperor Nero. Therefore an attribution to Calpurnius [III 3] Siculus (last [2. 71-76]) or Lucanus (most recently [1. 139ff.]) cannot be taken into consideration. In 261 carefully constructed hexameters the author engagingly expresses his intention to be received into the circle of the addressee. …

Ravenna Annals

(297 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] ( Chronica Italica in [1], better Chronicon Constantinopolitanum (cf. [7; 8. 41-43]). Originally simply an informative chronicle in Latin, based on the calendar structure of the Consularia Constantinopolitana [1. 197-245], written or expanded in Constantinople in the 4th century AD for a ruling class, eager for knowledge, on the periphery of the court  (for the images contained cf. [2; 3; 4]). An early phase extending as far as AD 387 is transmitted in the Fasti Vindobonenses posteriores (Cod. Vindobonensis no. 3416, 15th century) and Fasti Vindobonenses priores

Rhetorica ad Herennium

(224 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] Latin textbook of rhetoric from the late Republican Period (dating to c. 50 BC compellingly argued in [5. 65 ff.]). It deals in 4 books with the canon of the officia oratoris ( officium [7]). Its source was a Latin textbook also used by Cicero for his De inventione ([4; 6];  [7. 271 ff.] newly adopted the old idea that Cicero used the Rhetorica ad Herennium). Attributed to Cicero from Late Antiquity on, the work is today - although with insufficient proof - often attributed to an author by the name of Cornificius named by Quint. Inst. 3,1,21 …

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…
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