Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and his Achievement

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OUP Oxford, Nov 6, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 460 pages
Aulus Gellius originated the modern use of 'classical' and 'humanities'. His Attic Nights, so named because they began as the intellectual pastime of winter evenings spent in a villa outside Athens, are a mine of information on many aspects of antiquity and a repository of much early Latin literature which would otherwise be lost; he took a particular interest in questions of grammar and literary style. The whole work is interspersed with interesting personal observations and vignettes of second-century life that throw light on the Antonine world. In this, the most comprehensive study of Gellius in any language, Dr Holford-Strevens examines his life, his circle of acquaintances, his style, his reading, his scholarly interests, and his literary parentage, paying due attention to the text, sense, and content of individual passages, and to the use made of him by later writers in antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and more recent times. It covers many subject areas such as language, literature, history, law, rhetoric, medicine; light is shed on a wide range of problems in Greek as well as Latin authors, either in the main text or in the succinct but wide-ranging footnotes. In this revised edition every statement has been reconsidered and account taken of recent work by the author and by others; an appendix has been added on the relation between the literary trends of Latin (the so-called archaizing movement) and Greek (Atticism) in the second century AD, and more space has been given to Gellius' attitudes towards women, as well as to recurrent themes such as punishment and embassies. The opportunity has been taken to correct or excise errors, but otherwise nothing has been removed unless superseded by more recent publications.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
THE MAN AND HIS BOOK
9
Life and Date
11
Gellius and Apuleius
22
Composition and Purpose
27
Language and Style
48
Presentation and Sources
65
PRECEPTORS AND ACQUAINTANCES
81
Roman Orators and Poets
193
Language Poets Orators
226
History
241
Philosophy
260
Religion Superstition and the Supernatural
286
Rhetoric Law Medicine
290
Other Values and Interests Weak Spots and Blind Spots
306
Epilogue
329

Teachers
83
Favorinus
98
Honoured Orators
131
Miscellaneous Contemporaries
145
SCHOLARSHIP AND STUDY
155
Scholarly Reading
157
The Latin Language
172
Archaism and Atticism
354
Bibliography
364
Index Verborum Graecorum et Latinorum
396
Index Nominum et Rerum
408
ADDENDA 2005
437
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Page 1 - They must often have recollected the instability of a happiness which depended on the character of a single man. The fatal moment was perhaps approaching, when some licentious youth, or some jealous tyrant, would abuse, to the destruction, that absolute power, which they had exerted for the benefit of their people.
Page xiv - ... sudden fits of inadvertency will surprise vigilance, slight avocations will seduce attention, and casual eclipses of the mind will darken learning ; and that the writer shall often in vain trace his memory, at the moment of need, for that which yesterday he knew with intuitive readiness, and which will come uncalled into his thoughts to-morrow.

About the author (2003)

Educated Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1967, MA 1970) D.Phil. ('A Select Commentary on Aulus Gellius, Book 2') University of Oxford, 1971 Learned Reader, OUP, Printing Division, 1971-84 Desk-Editor, OUP, Publishing Division, 1984-95 Copy-Editor for Learned Editions, OUP, 1995-

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