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I.1‑3

This webpage reproduces a section of
Institutio Oratoria

by
Quintilian

published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1920

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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I.7‑12

(Vol. I) Quintilian
Institutio Oratoria

p5 Book I

Chapters 4‑6

4 1 As soon as the boy has learned to read and p63write without difficulty, it is the turn for the teacher5 of literature. My words apply equally to Greek and Latin masters, though I prefer that a start should be made with a Greek: 2 in either case the method is the same. This profession may be most briefly considered under two heads, the art of speaking correctly and the interpretation of the poets; but there is more beneath the surface than meets the eye. 3 For the art of writing is combined with that of speaking, and correct reading precedes interpretation, while in each of these cases criticism has its work to perform. The old school of teachers indeed carried their criticism so far that they were not content with obelising lines or rejecting books whose titles they regarded as spurious, as though they were expelling a supposititious child from the family circle, but also drew up a canon of authors, from which some were omitted altogether. 4 Nor is it sufficient to have read the poets only; every kind of writer must be carefully studied, not merely for the subject matter, but for the vocabulary; for words often acquire authority from their use by a particular author. Nor can such training be regarded as complete if it stop short of music, for the teacher of literature has to speak of metre and rhythm: nor again if he be ignorant of astronomy, can he understand the poets; for they, to mention no further points, frequently give their indications of time by reference to the rising and setting of the stars. Ignorance of philosophy is an equal drawback, since there are numerous passages in almost every poem based on the most intricate questions of natural philosophy, while among the Greeks we have Empedocles and among our own poets Varro and Lucretius, all of p65whom have expounded their philosophies in verse. 5 No small powers of eloquence also are required to enable the teacher to speak appropriately and fluently on the various points which have just been mentioned. For this reason those who criticise the art of teaching literature as trivial and lacking in substance put themselves out of court. Unless the foundations of oratory are well and truly laid by the teaching of literature, the superstructure will collapse. The study of literature is a necessity for boys and the delight of old age, the sweet companion of our privacy and the sole branch of study which has more solid substance than display.

6 The elementary stages of the teaching of literature must not therefore be despised as trivial. It is of course an easy task to point out the difference between vowels and consonants, and to subdivide the latter into semivowels and mutes. But as the pupil gradually approaches the inner shrine of the sacred place, he will come to realise the intricacy of the subject, an intricacy calculated not merely to sharpen the wits of a boy, but to exercise even the most profound knowledge and erudition. 7 It is not every ear that can appreciate the correct sound of the different letters. It is fully as hard as to distinguish the different notes in music. But all teachers of literature will condescend to such minutiae: they will discuss for instance whether certain necessary letters are absent from the alphabet, not indeed when we are writing Greek words (for then we borrow two letters6 from them), but in the case of genuine Latin words: 8 for example in words such as seruus and uulgus we feel the lack of the Aeolic digamma; there is also a sound intermediate between p67u and i, for we do not pronounce optimum as we do opimum, while in here the sound is neither exactly e nor i.a 9 Again there is the question whether certain letters are not superfluous, not to mention the mark of the aspirate, to which, if it is required at all, there should be a corresponding symbol to indicate the opposite: for instance k, which is also used as an abbreviation for certain nouns, and q, which, though slanted slightly more by us, resembles both in sound and shape the Greek koppa, now used by the Greeks solely as a numerical sign:7 there is also x, the last letter of our alphabet, which we could dispense with as easily as with psi. 10 Again the teacher of literature will have to determine whether certain vowels have not been consonantalised. For instance iam and etiam are both spelt with an i, uos and tuos both with u. Vowels, however, when joined as vowels, either make one long vowel (compare the obsolete method of indicating a long vowel by doubling it as the equivalent of the circumflex),b or a diphthong, though some hold that even three vowels can form a single syllable; this however is only possible if one or more assume the role of consonants. 11 He will also inquire why it is that there are two vowels which may be repeated, while a consonant can only be followed and modified by a different consonant.8 But i can follow i (for coniicit is derived from iacit):9 so too does u, witness the modern spelling of seruus and uulgus. He should also know that Cicero preferred to write aiio and Maiiam with a double i; in that case one p69of them is consonantalised. 12 A boy must therefore learn both the peculiarities and the common characteristics of letters and must know how they are related to each other. Nor must he be surprised that scabillum is formed from scamnus or that a double-edged axe should be called bipennis from pinnus, "sharp": for I would not have him fall into the same error as those who, supposing this word to be derived from bis and pennae, think that it is a metaphor from the wings of birds.

13 He must not be content with knowing only those changes introduced by conjugation and prefixes, such as secat secuit, cadit excidit, caedit excidit, calcat exculcat, to which might be added lotus from lauare and again inlotus with a thousand others. He must learn as well the changes that time has brought about even in nominatives. For just as names like Valesius and Fusius have become Valerius and Furius, so arbos, labos, vapos and even clamos and lases10 were the original forms. 14 And this same letter s, which has disappeared from these words, has itself in some cases taken the place of another letter. For our ancestors used to say mertare and pultare.11 They also said fordeum and faedi, using f instead of the aspirate as being a kindred letter. For the Greeks unlike us aspirate f like their own phi, as Cicero bears witness in the pro Fundanio, where he laughs at a witness who is unable to pronounce the first letter of that name. 15 In some cases again we have substituted b for other letters, as with Burrus, Bruges, and Belena.12 The same letter too has turned duellum into bellum, and as a result some have ventured to call the Duelii Belii. What of stlocus and stlites? 16 What of the connexion between t and d, a connexion p71which makes it less surprising that on some of the older buildings of Rome and certain famous temples we should find the names Alexanter and Cassantra? What again of the interchange of o and u, of which examples may be found in Hecoba, notrix, Culcides and Pulixena, or to take purely Latin words dederont and probaueront? So too Odysseus, which the Aeolian dialect turned into Ulysseus, has been transformed by us into Ulixes. 17 Similarly e in certain cases held the place that is now occupied by i, as in Menerua, leber, magester, and Dioue victore in place of Dioui victori. It is sufficient for me to give a mere indication as regards these points, for I am not teaching, but merely advising those who have got to teach. The next subject to which attention must be given is that of syllables, of which I will speak briefly, when I come to deal with orthography.

Following this the teacher concerned will note the number and nature of the parts of speech, although there is some dispute as to their number. 18 Earlier writers, among them Aristotle himself and Theodectes, hold that there are but three, verbs, nouns and convinctions. Their view was that the force of language resided in the verbs, and the matter in the nouns (for the one is what we speak, the other that which we speak about), while the duty of the convinctions was to provide a link between the nouns and the verbs. I know that conjunction is the term in general use. But convinction seems to me to be the more accurate translation of the Greek συνδεσμός. 19 Gradually the number was increased by the philosophers, more especially by the Stoics: articles were first added to the convinctions, then prepositions: to nouns appellations were p73added, then the pronoun and finally the participle, which holds a middle position between the verb and the noun. To the verb itself was added the adverb. Our own language dispenses with the articles, which are therefore distributed among the other parts of speech. 20 But interjections must be added to those already mentioned. Others however follow good authority in asserting that there are eight parts of speech. Among these I may mention Aristarchus and in our own day Palaemon, who classified the vocable or appellation as a species of the genus noun. Those on the other hand who distinguish between the noun and the vocable, make nine parts of speech. But yet again there are some who differentiate between the vocable and the appellation, saying that the vocable indicates concrete objects which can be seen and touched, such as a "house" or "bed," while an appellation is something imperceptible either to sight or touch or to both, such as the "wind," "heaven," or "virtue." They added also the asseveration, such as "alas" and the derivative13 such as fasciatim. But of these classifications I do not approve. 21 Whether we should translate προσηγορία by vocable or appellation, and whether it should be regarded as a species of noun, I leave to the decision of such as desire to express their opinion: it is a matter of no importance.

22 Boys should begin by learning to decline nouns and conjugate verbs: otherwise they will never be able to understand the next subject of study. This admonition would be superfluous but for the fact that most teachers, misled by a desire to show rapid progress, begin with what should really come at the end: their passion for displaying their pupils' talents p75in connexion with the more imposing aspects of their work serves but to delay progress and their short cut to knowledge merely lengthens the journey. 23 And yet a teacher who has acquired sufficient knowledge himself and is ready to teach what he has learned — and such readiness is all too rare — will not be content with stating that nouns have three genders or with mentioning those which are common to two or all three together. 24 Nor again shall I be in a hurry to regard it as a proof of real diligence, if he points out that there are irregular nouns of the kind called epicene by the Greeks, in which one gender implies both, or which in spite of being feminine or neuter in form indicate males or females respectively, as for instance Muraena and Glycerium. 25 A really keen and intelligent teacher will inquire into the original of names derived from physical characteristics, such as Rufus or Longus, whenever their meaning is obscure, as in the case of Sulla, Burrus, Galba, Plautus, Pansa, Scaurus and the like; of names derived from accidents of birth such as Agrippa, Opiter, Cordus and Postumus, and again of names given after birth such as Vopiscus. Then there are names such as Cotta, Scipio, Laenas or Seranus,14 which originated in various ways. 26 It will also be found that names are frequently derived from races, places and many other causes. Further there are obsolete slave-names such as Marcipor or Publipor15 derived from the names of their owners. The teacher must also inquire whether there is not room for a sixth p77case in Greek and a seventh in Latin. For when I say "wounded by a spear," the case is not a true ablative in Latin nor a true dative in Greek. 27 Again if we turn to verbs, who is so ill-educated as not to be familiar with their various kinds and qualities, their different persons and numbers. Such subjects belong to the elementary school and the rudiments of knowledge. Some, however, will find points undetermined by inflexion somewhat perplexing. For there are certain participles, about which there may be doubts as to whether they are really nouns or verbs, since their meaning varies with their use, as for example lectum and sapiens, 28 while there are other verbs which resemble nouns, such as fraudator and nutritor.16 Again itur in antiquam silvam17 is a peculiar usage. For there is no subject to serve as a starting point: fletur is a similar example. The passive may be used in different ways as for instance in

panditur interea domus omnipotentis Olympi18

and in

totis usque adeo turbatur agris.19

Yet a third usage is found in urbs habitatur, whence we get phrases such as campus curritur and mare navigatur. 29 Pransus and potus20 have a meaning which does not correspond to their form. And what of those verbs which are only partially conjugated? Some (as for instance fero) even suffer an entire change in the perfect. Others are used only in the third p79person, such as licet and piget, while some resemble nouns tending to acquire an adverbial meaning; for we say dictu and factu21 as we say noctu and diu, since these words are participial though quite different from dicto and facto.

5 1 Style has three kinds of excellence, correctness, lucidity and elegance (for many include the all-important quality of appropriateness under the heading of elegance). Its faults are likewise threefold, namely the opposites of these excellences. The teacher of literature therefore must study the rules for correctness of speech, these constituting the first part of his art. 2 The observance of these rules is concerned with either one or more words. I must now be understood to use verbum in its most general sense. It has of course two meanings; the one covers all the parts of which language is composed, as in the line of Horace:

"Once supply the thought,

And words will follow swift as soon as sought";22

the other restricts it to a part of speech such as lego and scribo. To avoid this ambiguity, some authorities prefer the terms voces, locutiones, dictiones. 3 Individual words will either be native or imported, simple or compound, literal or metaphorical, in current use or newly-coined.

A single word is more likely to be faulty than to possess any intrinsic merit. For though we may speak of a word as appropriate, distinguished or sublime, it can possess none of these properties save in relation to connected and consecutive speech; since when we praise words, we do so because they suit the matter. 4 There is only one excellence that p81can be isolated for consideration, namely euphony, the Greek term for our uocalitas: that is to say that, when we are confronted with making a choice between two exact synonyms, we must select that which sounds best.

5 In the first place barbarisms and solecisms must not be allowed to intrude their offensive presence. These blemishes are however pardoned at times, because we have become accustomed to them or because they have age or authority in their favour or are near akin to positive excellences, since it is often difficult to distinguish such blemishes from figures of speech.23 The teacher therefore, that such slippery customers may not elude detection, must seek to acquire a delicate discrimination; but of this I will speak later when I come to discuss figures of speech. 6 For the present I will define barbarism as an offence occurring in connexion with single words. Some of my readers may object that such a topic is beneath the dignity of so ambitious a work. But who does not know that some barbarisms occur in writing, others in speaking? For although what is incorrect in writing will also be incorrect in speech, the converse is not necessarily true, inasmuch as mistakes in writing are caused by addition or omission, substitution or transposition, while mistakes in speaking are due to separation or combination of syllables, to aspiration or other errors of sound. 7 Trivial as these points may seem, our boys are still at school and I am reminding their instructors of their duty. And if one of our teachers is lacking in education and has done no more than set foot in the outer courts of his art, he will have to confine himself to the rules published in the elementary text-books: the p83more learned teacher on the other hand will be in a position to go much further: first of all, for example, he will point out that there are many different kinds of barbarism. 8 One kind is due to race, such as the insertion of a Spanish or African term;c for instance the iron tire of a wheel is called cantus,24 though Persius uses it as established in the Latin language; Catullus picked up ploxenum25 (a box) in the valley of the Po, while the author of the in Pollionem, be he Labienus or Cornelius Gallus, imported casamo from Gaul in the sense of "follower." As for mastruca,26 which is Sardinian for a "rough coat," it is introduced by Cicero merely as an object of derision. 9 Another kind of barbarism proceeds from the speaker's temper: for instance, we regard it as barbarous if a speaker use cruel or brutal language. 10 A third and very common kind, of which anyone may fashion examples for himself, consists in the addition or omission of a letter or syllable, or in the substitution of one for another or in placing one where it has no right to be. 11 Some teachers however, to display their learning, are in the habit of picking out examples of barbarism from the poets and attacking the authors whom they are expounding for using such words. A boy should however realize that in poets such peculiarities are pardonable or even praiseworthy, and should therefore be taught less common instances. 12 For Tinga of Placentia, if we may believe Hortensius who takes him to task for it, committed two barbarisms in one word by saying precula for pergula: that is to say he substituted c for g, and transposed r and e. On the other hand p85when Ennius writes Mettoeoque Fufetioeo,27 where the barbarism is twice repeated, he is defended on the plea of poetic licence. 13 Substitution is however sometimes admitted even in prose, as for instance when Cicero speaks of the army of Canopus which is locally styled Canobus, while the number of authors who have been guilty of transposition in writing Trasumennus for Tarsumennus has succeeded in standardising the error. Similar instances may be quoted. If adsentior be regarded as the correct form, we must remember that Sisenna said adsentio, and that many have followed him on the ground of analogy: on the other hand, if adsentio is the correct form, we must remember that adsentior has the support of current usage. 14 And yet our fat fool, the fashionable schoolmaster, will regard one of these forms as an example of omission or the other as an instance of addition. Again there are words which when used separately are undoubtedly incorrect, but when used in conjunction excite no unfavourable comment. 15 For instance dua and tre are barbarisms and differ in gender, but the words duapondo and trepondo28 have persisted in common parlance down to our own day, and Messala shows that the practice is correct. 16 It may perhaps seem absurd to say that a barbarism, which is an error in a single word, may be made, like a solecism, by errors in connexion with either number or gender. But take on the one hand scala (stairs) and scopa (which literally means a twig, but is used in the sense of broom) and on the other hand hordea (barley) and mulsa (mead): here we have substitution, omission and addition of letters, but the blemish consists in the former case merely in the use of singular for plural, p87in the latter of plural for singular. Those on the other hand who have used the word gladia are guilty of a mistake in gender. 17 I merely mention these as instances: I do not wish anyone to think that I have added a fresh problem to a subject into which the obstinacy of pedants has already introduced confusion.

The faults which arise in the course of actual speaking require greater penetration on the part of the critic, since it is impossible to cite examples from writing, except in cases where they occur in poetry, as when the diphthong is divided into two syllables in Europai and Asiai;29 or when the opposite fault occurs, called synaeresis or synaloephe by the Greeks and complexio by ourselves: as an example I may quote the line of Publius Varro:

tum te flagranti deiectum fulmine Phaethon.30

18 If this were prose, it would be possible to give the letters their true syllabic value. I may mention as further anomalies peculiar to poetry the lengthening of a short syllable as in Italiam fato profugus,31 or the shortening of a long such as unius ob noxam et furias;32 but in poetry we cannot label these as actual faults. 19 Errors in sound on the other hand can be detected by the ear alone; although in Latin, as regards the addition or omission of the aspirate, the question may be raised whether this is an error when it occurs in writing; for there is some doubt whether h is a letter or merely a breathing, practice having frequently varied in different ages. 20 Older authors used it but rarely even before vowels, saying aedus or ircus, while its conjunction with consonants was for a long time avoided, as in words such as p89Graccus or triumpus. Then for a short time it broke out into excessive use, witness such spelling as chorona, chenturia or praecho, which may still be read in certain inscriptions: the well-known epigram of Catullus33 will be remembered in this connexion. 21 The spellings vehementer, comprehendere and mihi have lasted to our day: and among early writers, especially of tragedy, we actually find mehe for me in the older MSS.

22 It is still more difficult to detect errors of tenor or tone (I note that old writers spell the word tonor, as derived from the Greek τόνος), or of accent, styled prosody by the Greeks, such as the substitution of the acute accent for the grave or the grave for the acute: such an example would be the placing of the acute accent on the first syllable of Camillus, 23 or the substitution of the grave for the circumflex in Cethêgus, an error which results in the alteration of the quantity of the middle syllable, since it means making the first syllable acute; or again the substitution of circumflex for the grave on the second syllable of Appi, where the contraction of two syllables into one circumflexed syllable involves a double error. 24 This, however, occurs far more frequently in Greek words such as Atrei, which in our young days was pronounced by the most learned of our elders with an acute accent on the first syllable, necessitating a grave accent on the second; the same remark applies to Nerei and Terei. Such has been the tradition as regards accents.34

p91 25 Still I am well aware that certain learned men and some professed teachers of literature, to ensure that certain words may be kept distinct, sometimes place an acute accent on the last syllable, both when they are teaching and in ordinary speech: as, for instance, in the following passage:

quae circum litora, circum

piscosos scopulos,35

26 where they make the last syllable of circum acute on the ground that, if that syllable were given the grave accent, it might be thought that they meant circus not circuitus.36 Similarly when quale is interrogative, they give the final syllable a grave accent, but when using it in a comparison, make it acute. This practice, however, they restrict almost entirely to adverbs and pronouns; in other cases they follow the old usage. 27 Personally I think that in such phrases as these the circumstances are almost entirely altered by the fact that we join two words together. For when I say circum litora I pronounce the phrase as one word, concealing the fact that it is composed of two, consequently it contains but one acute accent, as though it were a single word. The same thing occurs in the phrase Troiae qui primus ab oris.37 28 It sometimes happens that the accent is altered by the metre as in pecudes pictaeque volucres;38 for I shall read volucres with the acute on the middle syllable, because, although that syllable is short by nature, it is long by position: else the last two syllables would form an iambus, which its position in the hexameter does not allow. 29 But these same words, if separated, will form no exception to the rule: or if the custom under discussion prevails, the old law p93of the language will disappear. (This law is more difficult for the Greeks to observe, because they have several dialects, as they call them, and what is wrong in one may be right in another.) But with us the rule is simplicity itself. 30 For in every word the acute accent is restricted to three syllables, whether these be the only syllables in the word or the three last, and will fall either on the penultimate or the antepenultimate. The middle of the three syllables of which I speak will be acute or circumflexed, if long, while if it be short, it will have a grave accent and the acute will be thrown back to the preceding syllable, that is to say the antepenultimate. 31 Every word has an acute accent, but never more than one. Further the acute never falls on the last syllable and therefore in dissyllabic words marks the first syllable. Moreover the acute accent and the circumflex are never found in one and the same word, since the circumflex itself contains an acute accent. Neither the circumflex nor the acute, therefore, will ever be found in the last syllable of a Latin word, with this exception, that monosyllables must either be acute or circumflexed; otherwise we should find words without an acute accent at all. 32 There are also faults of sound, which we cannot reproduce in writing, as they spring from defects of the voice and tongue. The Greeks who are happier in inventing names than we are call them iotacisms, lambdacisms,39 ἰσχνότητες (attenuations) and πλατειασμοί (broadenings); they also use the term κοιλοστομία, when the voice seems to proceed from the depths of the mouth. 33 There are also certain peculiar and indescribable sounds for which we sometimes take whole nations to fault. To sum up then, if all the faults of which we have just spoken be avoided, p95we shall be in possession of the Greek ὀρθοέπεια, that is to say, an exact and pleasing articulation; for that is what we mean when we speak of correct pronunciation.

34 All other faults in speaking are concerned with more words than one; among this class of faults is the solecism, although there have been controversies about this as well. For even those who acknowledge that it occurs in connected speech, argue that, since it can be corrected by the alteration of one word, the fault lies in the word and not in the phrase or sentence. 35 For example whether amarae corticis40 or medio cortice41 contains a solecism in gender (and personally I object to neither, as Vergil is the author of both; however, for the sake of argument let us assume that one of the two is incorrect), still whichever phrase is incorrect, it can be set right by the alteration of the word in which the fault lies: that is to say we can emend either to amari corticis or media cortice. But it is obvious that these critics misrepresent the case. For neither word is faulty in itself; the error arises from its association with another word. The fault therefore lies in the phrase. 36 Those who raise the question as to whether a solecism can arise in a single word show greater intelligence. Is it for instance a solecism if a man when calling a single person to him says uenite, or in dismissing several persons says abi or discede? Or again if the answer does not correspond to the question: suppose, for example, when someone said to you "Whom do I see?", you were to reply "I." Some too think it a solecism if the spoken word is contradicted by the motion of hand or head. 37 I do not entirely concur with this view nor yet do I p97wholly dissent. I admit that a solecism may occur in a single word, but with this proviso: there must be something else equivalent to another word, to which the word, in which the error lies, can be referred, so that the solecism arises from the faulty connexion of those symbols by which facts are expressed and purpose indicated. 38 To avoid all suspicion of quibbling, I will say that a solecism may occur in one word, but never in a word in isolation. There is, however, some controversy as to the number and nature of the different kinds of solecism. Those who have dealt with the subject most fully make a fourfold division, identical with that which is made in the case of barbarisms: solecisms are brought about by addition, for instance in phrases such as nam enim, de susum, in Alexandriam; 39 by omission, in phrases such as ambulo viam, Aegypto venio, or ne hoc fecit: and by transposition as in quoque ego, enim hoc voluit, autem non habuit.42 Under this last head comes the question whether igitur can be placed first in a sentence: for I note that authors of the first rank disagree on this point, some of them frequently placing it in that position, others never. 40 Some distinguish these three classes of error from the solecism, styling addition a pleonasm, omission an ellipse, and transposition anastrophe: and they assert that if anastrophe is a solecism, hyperbaton might also be so called. 41 About substitution, that is when one word is used instead of another, there is no dispute. It is an error which we may detect in connexion with all the parts of speech, but most frequently in the verb, because it has greater variety p99than any other: consequently in connexion with the verb we get solecisms of gender, tense, person and mood (or "states" or "qualities" if you prefer either of these terms), be these types of error six in number, as some assert, or eight as is insisted by others (for the number of the forms of solecism will depend on the number of subdivisions which you assign to the parts of speech of which we have just spoken). 42 Further there are solecisms of number; now Latin has two numbers, singular and plural, while Greek possesses a third, namely the dual. There have however been some who have given us a dual as well in words such as scripsere and legere, in which as a matter of fact the final syllable has been softened to avoid harshness, just as in old writers we find male merere for male mereris. Consequently what they assert to be a dual is concerned solely with this one class of termination, whereas in Greek it is found throughout the whole structure of the verb and in nouns as well, though even then it is but rarely used. 43 But we find not a trace of such a usage in any Latin author. On the contrary phrases such as devenere locos,43 conticuere omnes,44 and consedere duces45 clearly prove that they have nothing to do with the dual. Moreover dixere,46 although Antonius Rufus cites it as proof to the contrary, is often used by the usher in the courts to denote more than two advocates. 44 Again, does not Livy near the beginning of his first book write tenuere arcem Sabini47 and later in adversum Romani subiere? But I can produce still better authority. For Cicero in his Orator says, "I have no objection p101to the form scripsere, though I regard scripserunt as the more correct."48 45 Similarly in vocables and nouns solecisms occur in connexion with gender, number and more especially case, by substitution of one for another. To these may be added solecisms in the use of comparatives and superlatives, or the employment of patronymics instead of possessives and vice versa. 46 As for solecisms connected with expressions of quantity, there are some who will regard phrases such as magnum peculiolum49 as a solecism, because the diminutive is used instead of the ordinary noun, which implies no diminution. I think I should call it a misuse of the diminutive rather than a solecism; for it is an error of sense, whereas solecisms are not errors of sense, but rather faulty combinations of words. 47 As regards participles, solecisms occur in case and gender as with nouns, in tense as with verbs, and in number as in both. The pronoun admits of solecisms in gender, number and case. 48 Solecisms also occur with great frequency in connexion with parts of speech: but a bare statement on this point is not sufficient, as it may lead a boy to think that such error consists only in the substitution of one part of speech for another, as for instance if a verb is placed where we require a noun, or an adverb takes the place of a pronoun and so on. 49 For there are some nouns which are cognate, that is to say of the same genus, and he who uses the wrong species50 in connexion with one of these will be guilty of the same offence as if he were to change the genus. 50 Thus an and aut are conjunctions, but it would be bad Latin to say in a question hic aut ille sit;51 ne and p103non are adverbs: but he who says non feceris in lieu of ne feceris, is guilty of a similar mistake, since one negative denies, while the other forbids. Further intro and intus are adverbs of place, but eo intus and intro sum are solecisms. 51 Similar errors may be committed in connexion with the various kinds of pronouns, interjections and prepositions. It is also a solecism52 if there is a disagreement between what precedes and what follows within the limits of a single clause. 52 Some phrases have all the appearance of a solecism and yet cannot be called faulty; take for instance phrases such as tragoedia Thyestes or ludi Floralia and Megalensia:53 although these are never found in later times, they are the rule in ancient writers. We will therefore style them figures and, though their use is more frequent in poets, will not deny their employment even to orators. 53 Figures however will generally have some justification, as I shall show in a later portion of this work, which I promised you a little while back.54 I must however point out that a figure, if used unwittingly, will be a solecism. 54 In the same class, though they cannot be called figures, come errors such as the use of masculine names with a female termination and feminine names with a neuter termination. I have said enough about solecisms; for I did not set out to write a treatise on grammar, but was unwilling to slight the science by passing it by without salutation, when it met me in the course of my journey.

55 I therefore resume the path which I prescribed for myself and point out that words are either p105native or foreign. Foreign words, like our population and institutions, have come to us from practically every nation upon earth. 56 I pass by words of Tuscan, Sabine and Praenestine origin; for though Lucilius attacks Vettius for using them, and Pollio reproves Livy for his lapses into the dialect of Padua, I may be allowed to regard all such words as of native origin. 57 Many Gallic words have become current coin, such as raeda (chariot) and petorritum (four-wheeled wagon) of which Cicero uses the former and Horace the latter. Mappa (napkin) again, a word familiar in connexion with the circus, is claimed by the Carthaginians, while I have heard that gurdus, which is colloquially used in the sense of "stupid," is derived from Spain. 58 But this distinction between native and foreign words has reference chiefly to Greek. For Latin is largely derived from that language, and we use words which are admittedly Greek to express things for which we have no Latin equivalent. Similarly they at times borrow words from us. In this connexion the problem arises whether foreign words should be declined according to their language or our own. 59 If you come across an archaistic grammarian, he will insist on absolute conformity to Latin practice, because, since we have an ablative and the Greeks have not, it would be absurd in declining a word to use five Greek cases and one Latin. 60 He will also praise the patriotism of those who aimed at strengthening the Latin language and asserted that we had no need of foreign practices. They, therefore, pronounced Castorem with the second syllable long to bring it into conformity with all those Latin nouns which have the same termination in the nominative as p107Castor. They also insisted on the forms Palaemo, Telamo, and Plato (the last being adopted by Cicero), because they could not find any Latin nouns ending in -on. 61 They were reluctant even to permit masculine Greek nouns to end in -as in the nominative case, and consequently in Caelius we find Pelia cincinnatus and in Messala bene fecit Euthia, and in Cicero Hermagora.55 So we need not be surprised that the majority of early writers said Aenea and Anchisa. 62 For, it was urged, if such words are spelt like Maecenas, Sufenas and Asprenas, the genitive should terminate in -tis not in -e. On the same principle they placed an acute accent on the middle syllable of Olympus and tyrannus, because Latin does not allow an acute accent on the first syllable if it is short and is followed by two long syllables. 63 So too we get the Latinised genitives Ulixi and Achilli together with many other analogous forms. More recent scholars have instituted the practice of giving Greek nouns their Greek declension, although this is not always possible. Personally I prefer to follow the Latin method, so far as grace of diction will permit. For I should not like to say Calypsonem on the analogy of Iunonem, although Gaius Caesar in deference to antiquity does adopt this way of declining it. 64 In other words which can be declined in either way without impropriety, those who prefer it can employ the Greek form: they will not be speaking Latin, but will not on the other hand deserve censure.

65 Simple words are what they are in the nominative, that is, their essential nature. Compound p109words are formed by the prefix of a preposition as in innocens, though care must be taken that two conflicting prepositions are not prefixed as in imperterritus:56 if this be avoided they may in certain cases have a double prefix as in incompositus or reconditus or the Ciceronian subabsurdum. They may also be formed by what I might term the combination of two independent units, as in maleficus. 66 For I will not admit that the combination of three is possible at any rate in Latin, although Cicero asserts that capsis57 is compounded of cape si vis, and there are to be found scholars who contend that Lupercalia likewise is a compound of three parts of speech, namely luere per caprum. 67 As for Solitaurilia it is by now universally believed to stand for Suovetaurilia, a derivation which corresponds to the actual sacrifice, which has its counterpart in Homer58 as well. But these compounds are formed not so much from three words as from the fragments of three. On the other hand Pacuvius seems to have formed compounds of a preposition and two vocables (i.e. nouns) as in

Nerei repandirostrum incurvicervicum pecus:

                                  "The flock
Of Nereus snout-uplifted, neck-inarched":

the effect is unpleasing. 68 Compounds are however formed from two complete Latin words, as for instance superfui and subterfugi; though in this case there is some question as to whether the words from which they are formed are complete.59 They may also be formed of one complete and one incomplete p111word, as in the case of malevolus, or of one incomplete and one complete, such as noctivagus, or of two incomplete words as in pedisecus (footman), or from one Latin and one foreign word as in biclinium (a dining-couch for two), or in the reverse order as in epitogium (an upper garment) or Anticato, and sometimes even from two foreign words as in epiraedium (a thong attaching the horse to the raeda). For in this last case the preposition is Greek, while raeda is Gallic, while the compound is employed neither by Greek nor Gaul, but has been appropriated by Rome from the two foreign tongues. 69 In the case of prepositions they are frequently changed by the act of compounding: as a result we get abstulit, aufugit, amisit, though the preposition is ab, and coit, though the preposition is con. The same is true of ignauus and erepublica.60 70 But compounds are better suited to Greek than to Latin, though I do not think that this is due to the nature of our language: the reason rather is that we have a preference for foreign goods, and therefore receive κυρταύχην with applause, whereas we can scarce defend incurvicervicus from derisive laughter.

71 Words are proper when they bear their original meaning; metaphorical, when they are used in a sense different from their natural meaning. Current words are safest to use: there is a spice of danger in coining new. For if they are adopted, our style wins but small glory from them; while if they are rejected, they become a subject for jest. 72 Still we must make the venture; for as Cicero61 says, use softens even these words which at first seemed harsh. On the other hand the power of onomatopoeia is denied us. Who would tolerate an attempt to imitate p113phrases like the much praised λίγξε βιός,62 "the bow twanged," and σῖζεν ὀφθαλμός,63 "the eye hissed"? We should even feel some qualms about using balare "to baa," and hinnire, "to whinny," if we had not the sanction of antiquity to support us.

6 1 There are special rules which must be observed both by speakers and writers. Language is based on reason, antiquity, authority and usage. Reason finds its chief support in analogy and sometimes in etymology. As for antiquity, it is commended to us by the possession of a certain majesty, I might almost say sanctity. 2 Authority as a rule we derive from orators and historians. For poets, owing to the necessities of metre, are allowed a certain licence except in cases where they deliberately choose one of two expressions, when both are metrically possible, as for instance in imo de stirpe recisum and aeriae quo congessere palumbes or silice in nuda64 and the like. The judgment of a supreme orator is placed on the same level as reason, and even error brings no disgrace, if it result from treading in the footsteps of such distinguished guides. 3 Usage however is the surest pilot in speaking, and we should treat language as currency minted with the public stamp. But in all these cases we have need of a critical judgment, especially as regards analogy (a Greek term for which a Latin equivalent has been found in proportion). 4 The essence of analogy is the testing of all subjects of doubt by the application of some standard of comparison about which there is no question, the proof that is to say of the uncertain by reference to the certain. This can be done in two different ways: by comparing similar words, paying special attention to their final syllables p115(hence monosyllables are asserted to lie outside the domain of analogy)65 and by the study of diminutives. 5 Comparison of nouns will reveal either their gender or their declension: in the first case, supposing the question is raised as to whether funis be masculine or feminine, panis will supply a standard of comparison: in the second case, supposing we are in doubt as to whether we should say hac domu or hac domo, domuum or domorum, the standard of comparison will be found in words such as anus or manus. 6 Diminutives merely reveal the gender: for instance, to return to a word previously used as an illustration, funiculus proves that funis is masculine. 7 The same standard may be applied in the case of verbs. For instance if it should be asserted that the middle syllable of fervere is short, we can prove this to be an error, because all verbs which in the indicative terminate in -eo, make the middle syllable of the infinitive long, if that syllable contain an e: take as examples such verbs as prandeo, pendeo, spondeo with infinitives prandere, pendere, spondere. 8 Those verbs, however, which terminate in -o alone, if they form the infinitive in e, have the e short; compare lego, dico, curro, with the infinitives, legere, dicere, currere. I admit that in Lucilius we find —

fervit aqua et fervet: fervit nunc fervet ad annum.66

"The water boils and boil it will; it boils and for a year will boil."

But with all due respect to so learned a man, if he regards fervit as on the same footing as currit and legit, 9 we shall say fervo as we say lego and curro: but such a form has never yet come to my ears. But this is not a true comparison: for fervit resembles p117servit, and on this analogy we should say fervire like servire. 10 It is also possible in certain cases to discover the present indicative of a verb from the study of its other tenses. I remember, for instance, refuting certain scholars who criticised me for using the word pepigi: for, although they admitted that it had been used by some of the best authors, they asserted that it was an irrational form because the present indicative paciscor, being passive in form, made pactus sum as its perfect. 11 I in addition to quoting the authority of orators and historians maintained that I was also supported by analogy. For when I found ni ita pacunt in the Twelve Tables, I noted that cadunt provided a parallel: it was clear therefore that the present indicative, though now obsolete, was paco on the analogy of cado, and it was further obvious that we say pepigi for just the same reason that we say cecidi. 12 But we must remember that analogy cannot be universally applied, as it is often inconsistent with itself. It is true indeed that scholars have attempted to justify certain apparent anomalies: for example, when it is noted to what an extent lepus and lupus, which resemble each other closely in the nominative, differ in the plural and in the other cases, they reply that they are not true parallels, since lepus is epicene, while lupus is masculine, although Varro in the book in which he narrates the origins of Rome, writes lupus femina, following the precedent of Ennius and Fabius Pictor. 13 The same scholars, however, when asked why aper became apri in the genitive, but pater patris, asserted that aper was an absolute, pater a relative noun. Further since both words derive from the Greek, they took refuge in the fact p119that πατρός provides a parallel to patris and κάπρου to apri. 14 But how will they evade the difficulty that feminine nouns whose nominative singular ends in -us never make the genitive end in -ris, and yet the genitive of Venus is Veneris: again nouns ending in -es have various genitive terminations, but never end in -ris, but yet we have no choice but to make the genitive of Ceres Cereris? 15 Again what of those words which, although identical in the form of the nominative or present indicative, develop the utmost variety in their inflections. Thus from Alba we get both Albanus and Albensis, from volo both volui and volavi. Analogy itself admits that verbs whose present indicative ends in -o have a great variety of perfect formations, as for instance cado cecidi, spondeo spopondi, pingo pinxi, lego legi, pono posui, frango fregi, laudo laudavi. 16 For analogy was not sent down from heaven at the creation of mankind to frame the rules of language, but was discovered after they began to speak and to note the terminations of words used in speech. It is therefore based not on reason but on example, nor is it a law of language, being in fact the offspring of usage. 17 Some scholars, however, are so perverse and obstinate in their passion for analogy, that they say audaciter in preference to audacter, the form preferred by all orators, and emicavit for emicuit, and conire for coire. We may permit them to say audivisse, scivisse, tribunale and faciliter, nor will we deprive them of frugalis as an alternative for frugi: for from what else can frugalitas be formed? 18 They may also be allowed to point out that phrases such as centum milia nummum and fidem deum67 involve a p121double solecism, since they change both case and number. Of course we were in blank ignorance of the fact and were not simply conforming to usage and the demands of elegance, as in the numerous cases, with which Cicero deals magnificently, as always, in his Orator.68 19 Augustus again in his letters to Gaius Caesar corrects him for preferring calidus to caldus, but because it is unpleasing and as he himself puts it in Greek περίεργον (affected). 20 Some hold that this is just a question of ὀρθοέπεια or correctness of speech, a subject to which I am far from being indifferent. For what can be more necessary than that we should speak correctly? Nay, I even think that, as far as possible, we should cling to correct forms and resist all tendencies to change. But to attempt to retain forms long obsolete and extinct is sheer impertinence and ostentatious pedantry. 21 I would suggest that the ripe scholar, who says "ave" without the aspirate and with a long e (for it comes from avere), and uses calefacere and conservavisse in preference to the usual forms,69 should also add face, dice and the like to his vocabulary. 22 His way is the right way. Who doubts it? But there is an easier and more frequented path close by. There is, however, nothing which annoys me more than their habit not merely of inferring the nominative from the oblique cases, but of actually altering it. For instance in ebur and robur, the forms regularly used both in writing and speech by the best authors, these gentlemen change their second syllable to o, because their genitives are roboris and eboris, and because sulpur and guttur keep the u in the genitive. So too femur and iecur give rise to similar controversy. p12323 Their proceedings are just as arbitrary as if they were to substitute an o in the genitives of sulpur and guttur on the analogy of eboris and roboris. Thus Antonius Gnipho while admitting robor, ebur and even marmur to be correct, would have their plurals to be ebura, robura and marmura. 24 If they would only pay attention to the affinities existing between letters, they would realize that robur makes its genitive roboris in precisely the same way that limes, miles, iudex and uindex make their genitives militis, limitis, iudicis and uindicis, not to mention other words to which I have already referred. 25 Do not nouns which are similar in the nominative show, as I have already observed, quite different terminations in the oblique cases? Compare uirgo and Iuno, lusus and fusus, cuspis and puppis and a thousand others. Again some nouns are not used in the plural, while others are not used in the singular, some are indeclinable, while others, like Jupiter, in the oblique cases 26 entirely abandon the form of the nominative. The same is true of verbs: for instance fero disappears in the perfect and subsequent tenses. Nor does it matter greatly whether such forms are non-existent or too harsh to use. For what is the genitive singular of progenies or the genitive plural of spes? Or how will quire and ruere form a perfect passive or passive participles. 27 Why should I mention other words when it is even doubtful whether the genitive of senatus is senati or senatus? In view of what I have said, it seems to me that the remark, that it is one thing to speak Latin and another to speak grammar, was far from unhappy. So much for analogy, of which I have said more than enough.

28 Etymology inquires into the origin of words, and p125was called notation by Cicero,70 on the ground that the term used by Aristotle71 is σύμβολον, which may be translated by nota. A literal rendering of ἐτυμολογία would be ueriloquium, a form which even Cicero, its inventor, shrinks from using. Some again, with an eye to the meaning of the word, call it origination. 29 Etymology is sometimes of the utmost use, whenever the word under discussion needs interpretation. For instance Marcus Caelius wishes to prove that he is homo frugi, not because he is abstemious (for he could not even pretend to be that), but because he is useful to many, that is fructuosus, from which frugalitas is derived. Consequently we find room for etymology when we are concerned with definitions. 30 Sometimes again this science attempts to distinguish between correct forms and barbarisms, as for instance when we are discussing whether we should call Sicily Triquetra or Triquedra, or say meridies or medidies, not to mention other words which depend on current usage. 31 Such a science demands profound erudition, whether we are dealing with the large number of words which are derived from the Greek, more especially those inflected according to the practice of the Aeolic dialect, the form of Greek which most nearly resembles Latin; or are using ancient historians as a basis for inquiry into the origin of names of men, places, nations and cities. For instance what is the origin of names such as Brutus, Publicola, or Pythicus? Why do we speak of Latium, Italia or Beneventum? What is the reason for employing such names as Capitolium, collis Quirinalis or Argiletum?72

32 I now turn to minor points concerning which enthusiasts for etymology give themselves an p127infinity of trouble, restoring to their true form words which have become slightly altered: the methods which they employ are varied and manifold: they shorten them or lengthen them, add, remove, or interchange letters and syllables as the case may be. As a result perverseness of judgment leads to the most hideous absurdities. I am ready to admit that consul may be derived from consulere in the sense of consulting or judging; for the ancients used consulere in the latter sense, and its still survives in the phrase rogat boni consulas, that is bonum iudices, "judge fit." 33 Again senatus may well be derived from old age (for the senators are called "the fathers"): I concur in the derivations assigned to rex rector to say nothing of many other words where there can be no doubt, and do not refuse to accept those suggested for tegula, regula and the like: let classis be from calare (call out, summon), lepus be a contraction of levipes and vulpes of volipes. 34 But are we also to admit the derivation of certain words from their opposites, and accept lucus a non lucendo, since a grove is dark with shade, ludus in the sense of school as being so called because it is quite the reverse of "play" and Dis, Ditis from diues, because Pluto is far from being rich? Are we to assent to the view that homo is derived from humus, because man sprang from the earth, as though all other living things had not the same origin or as if primitive man gave the earth a name before giving one to himself? Or again can verbum be derived from aer verberatus, "beaten air"? 35 Let us go a little further and we shall find that stella is believed to be stilla luminis "a drop of light," a derivation whose author is so famous in literature that it would p129be unkind to mention his name in connexion with a point where he comes in for censure. 36 But those who collected such derivations in book form put their names on the title page and Gavius thought himself a perfect genius when he identified caelibes, "bachelors," with caelites, "gods," on the ground that they are free from a heavy load of care, and supported this opinion by a Greek analogy: for he asserted that ἠϊθεοι, "young men," had a precisely similar origin. Modestus is not his inferior in inventive power: for he asserts that caelibes, that is to say unmarried men, are so called because Saturn cut off the genital organs of Caelus. Aelius asserts that pituita, "phlegm," is so called quia petat uitam, because it attacks life. 37 But we may pardon anyone after the example set by Varro.73 For he tried to persuade Cicero, to whom he dedicated his work, that a field was called ager because something is done in it (agitur), and jackdaws graculos because they fly in flocks (gregatim), in spite of the obvious fact that the first word is derived from the Greek, the latter from the cry of the bird in question. 38 But Varro had such a passion for derivations that he derived the name merula "a blackbird" from mera uolans on the ground that it flies alone! Some scholars do not hesitate to have recourse to etymology for the origin of every word, deriving names such as Rufus or Longus from the appearance of their possessor, verbs such as strepere or murmurare from the sounds which they represent, and even extending this practice to certain derivatives, making uelox for instance find its origin in uelocitas,74 as well as to compounds and the like: now although such words doubtless have an origin, no special science is p131required to detect it, since it is only doubtful cases that demand the intervention of the etymologist.

39 Archaic words not only enjoy the patronage of distinguished authors, but also give style a certain majesty and charm. For they have the authority of age behind them, and for the very reason that they have fallen into desuetude, produce an attractive effect not unlike that of novelty. 40 But such words must be used sparingly and must not thrust themselves upon our notice, since there is nothing more tiresome than affectation, nor above all must they be drawn from remote and forgotten ages: I refer to words such as topper, "quite," antegerio, "exceedingly," exanclare, "to exhaust," prosapia, "a race" and the language of the Salian Hymns now scarcely understood by its own priests. 41 Religion, it is true, forbids us to alter the words of these hymns and we must treat them as sacred things. But what a faulty thing is speech, whose prime virtue is clearness, if it requires an interpreter to make its meaning plain! Consequently in the case of old words the best will be those that are newest, just as in the case of new words the best will be the oldest.

42 The same arguments apply to authority. For although the use of words transmitted to us by the best authors may seem to preclude the possibility of error, it is important to notice not merely what they said, but what words they succeeded in sanctioning. For no one to‑day would introduce words such as tuburchinabundus, "voracious," or lurchinabundus, "guzzling," although they have the authority of Cato; nor make lodices, "blankets," masculine, though Pollio preferred that gender; nor say gladiola, "small swords," though Messala used this plural, p133nor parricidatus for parricide, a form which can scarcely be tolerated even in Caelius, nor will Calvus persuade me to speak of collos, "necks." Indeed, were these authors alive to‑day, they would never use such words.

43 Usage remains to be discussed. For it would be almost laughable to prefer the language of the past to that of the present day, and what is ancient speech but ancient usage of speaking? But even here the critical faculty is necessary, and we must make up our minds what we mean by usage. 44 If it be defined merely as the practice of the majority, we shall have a very dangerous rule affecting not merely style but life as well, a far more serious matter. For where is so much good to be found that what is right should please the majority? The practices of depilation, of dressing the hair in tiers, or of drinking in excess at the baths, although they may have thrust their way into society, cannot claim the support of usage, since there is something to blame in all of them (although we have usage on our side when we bathe or have our hair cut or take our meals together). So too in speech we must not accept as a rule of language words and phrases that have become a vicious habit with a number of persons. 45 To say nothing of the language of the uneducated, we are all of us well aware that whole theatres and the entire crowd of spectators will often commit barbarisms in the cries which they utter as one man. I will therefore define usage in speech as the agreed practice of educated men, just as where our way of life is concerned I should define it as the agreed practice of all good men.


The Translator's Notes:

5 grammaticus is the teacher of literature and languages; at times it is necessary to restrict its meaning to "teacher of grammar."º

6 Y and Z.

7 KKaeso, Kalendae, Karthago, Kaput, Kalumnia, etc. The q-sound can be expressed by c. Koppa (ϙ) as a numeral = 90.

8 The two vowels are i and u. A consonant cannot be duplicated within one syllable.

9 The derivation is mentioned to show that two i's, not one, are found in the second syllable of coniicit.

10 i.e. of lares.

11 For mersare and pulsare.

12 i.e. Pyrrus, Phryges, Helena.

13 Generally interpreted collective: but see Colson, Class. Quart. x.1, p17; fasicatim = in bundles (from fascis).

14 Sulla = ? spindleshanks (surula). Burrus = red. Galba = caterpillar. Plautus = flat-footed. Pansa = splay-footed. Scaurus = with swollen ankles. Agrippa = born feet foremost. Opiter = one whose father died while his grandfather still lived. Cordus= late-born. Postumus = last-born, or born after the father's death. Vopiscus = a twin born alive (p75)after the premature birth and death of the other. Scipio= staff. Laenas from laena (cloak). Seranus = the sower. Cotta uncertain.

15 i.e. Marcipuer, Publipuer.

16 lectum may be acc. of lectus, bed," or supine or past part. pass. of legere, "to read"; sapiens may be pres. part. of sapere, "to know," or an adj. = "wise"; fraudator and nutritor are 2nd and 3rd pers. sing. fut. imper. pass. of fraudo and nutrio.

17 Aen. VI.179: "They go into the ancient wood."

18 Aen. X.1: "Meanwhile the house of almighty Olympus is opened."

19 Ecl. i.11: "There is such confusion in all the fields."

20 "Having dined," "having drunk." Active in sense, passive in form.

21 Supines.

22 Ars Poetica, 311.

23 cp. § 40.

24 Pers. v.71. Usually, though wrongly, spelt canthus.

25 Cat. xcvii.6.

26 In Or. pro Scauro.

27 The barbarism lies in the use of the old Greek termination -oeo in the genitive.

28 Two and three pounds in weight.

29 The archaic genitive as used by epic poets.

30 Phæthon for Phaëthon.

31 Aen. I.6.

32 Aen. I.45.

33 Cat. lxxvi.

34 The Roman accent was a stress, while the Greek was a pitch accent, though by the Christian era tending to change into stress. Roman grammarians borrow the Greek terminology and speak of accents in terms of pitch. The explanation of this is probably that the Roman stress accent was (p89)accompanied by an elevation of the pitch. Here the acute accent certainly implies stress; the grave implies a drop in pitch and the absence of stress. The circumflex means that the voice rises slightly and then falls off slightly, but implies stress. See Lindsay, Latin Language, pp148‑153.

35 Aen. IV.254.

36 i.e. that circum is the acc. of circus, and not the adverb indicating circuit.

37 Aen. I.1: qui coalesces with primus, ab with oris.

38 Georg. III.243.

39 Iotacism = doubling the i sound, e.g. Troiia for Troia; lambdacism = doubling the l.

40 Ecl. vi.62.

41 Georg. II.74.

42 i.e. nam cannot be coupled with enim; de being a preposition cannot govern an adverb ("from above"); in is not required with Alexandriam, which is the name of a (p97)town. Quoque, enim and autem cannot come first in a sentence. Ambulo per viam, ab Aegypto venio, ne hoc quidem fecit would be the correct Latin.

43 Aen. I.369: "They came to the places."

44 Aen. II.1: "All were silent."

45 Ovid, Met. xiii.1: "The chiefs sat them down."

46 Dixere, "they have spoken," was said when the advocates had finished their pleading.

47 LIV. I.XII: "The Sabines held the citadel." "The Romans marched up the slope against them."

48 Orat. xlvii.157.

49 Lit. "A great little fortune."

50 e.g. intus for intro, the genus being adverbs of place.

51 For hic an ille sit?

52 The meaning of this passage is uncertain, but the solecism in question is probably an anacoluthon.

53 Where strict grammar would require tragoedia Thyestis, ludi Florales, Megalenses. The normal usage would be simply to say Thyestes, Floralia, Megalensia.

54 I.IV.24. The promise is fulfilled in Book IX.

55 This form does not actually occur in Cicero, MSS. evidently wrongly giving Hermagoras.

56 Quintilian regards the negative in as a preposition. His objection to imperterritus (which is used by Vergil) seems to lie in the fact that while interritus is a natural way of expressing "unterrified," it is unreasonable to negative perterritus, which means "thoroughly terrified." The presence of the intensiying per conflicts with the force of the negative in.

57 Orat. xlv.154.

58 As in Od. XI.130. The word means sacrifices of a pig, sheep and bull.

59 i.e. if both elements are complete in themselves is the word a true compound?

60 Sometimes written as one word.

61 de Nat. deorum, I.XXXIV.95.

62 Homer, Il. IV.125.

63 Od. IX.394.

64 Aen. XII.208: "cut awwf the lowest root." Ecl. iii.69: "where airy doves have made their nest." Ecl. i.15: "on the naked rock." Stirps, palumbes and silex are usually masculine.

65 sc. because two monosyllables, unless identical, cannot have the same final syllable.

66 In Book IX.

67 i.e. nummum and deum, should, strictly speaking, be accus. singular.

68 xlvi.155.

69 For have, calfacere, conservasse.

70 Top. viii.35.

71 περὶ ἑρμ. 2.

72 For derivations see Index of Names at end.

73 de Lingua Lat. V.34 and 76.

74 The above makes Quintilian derive velox from velocitas, as Varro (L. L. VIII.15) derives prudens from prudentia. Those who regard this as incredible must with Colson transpose ut . . . velox to follow Rufos making Velox a cognomen, or with Meister read velo for velocitate, or velo citato (Colson).


Thayer's Notes:

a intermediate sounds: The emperor Claudius, something of a littérateur, decreed the addition of three letters to the alphabet: one of them for the consonantal u Quintilian would like to distinguish, and another that may well have represented the sound between i and u as in maximus/maxumus. They barely survived the emperor, and are very rarely met with even in official inscriptions (Quintil. I.7.26, Tac. Ann. 11.13, Suet. Claud. 41.3 and see my note there).

b Instead of "as the equivalent of the circumflex", it would probably be better to translate "or by using an apex" (based on a reading of vel rather than velut): see J. C. Rolfe, The Indication of Vowel Length in Latin (PAPhS 61:80‑98); either way though, this is a reference to the so‑called Accian vowels, which Quintilian will mention one more time (I.VII.14). For the whole question, and a photograph of an early funerary inscription on the Via Appia, see the Epitaph of Maarcus Caicilius.

c Spanish or African term: or of course any word borrowed from dozens of other nations conquered by the Romans; but Quintilian was born and raised in Spain, and we're reading a memory of his own childhood. His father, himself a teacher of rhetoric, must have told him many times, "Marcus, that's a Spanish word; you mustn't use it if you want to speak good Latin."

Page updated: 17 Nov 13