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The Worlds of Aulus Gellius$
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Leofranc Holford-Strevens and Amiel Vardi

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264827.001.0001

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Gellius and Fronto on Loanwords and Literary Models *

Gellius and Fronto on Loanwords and Literary Models *

Their Evaluation of Laberius

(p.41) 2 Gellius and Fronto on Loanwords and Literary Models *
The Worlds of Aulus Gellius

Alessandro Garcea

Valeria Lomanto

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the linguistic categories ‘Latin’, ‘Greek’, and ‘barbarian’, with particular reference to the debate in Gellius 19.13 over the status in Latin of the word, nanus (dwarf), thought barbarian by Fronto but proved Greek by Sulpicius Apollinaris. As such, it is admissible in Latin (where indeed it had been used by Helvius Cinna in relation to ponies); but even if not, use by Fronto would have conferred on it a higher standing than the vulgarisms introduced by Laberius enjoyed. It is demonstrated that grammatical tradition treats Latin as a form of Aeolic Greek, so that Greek loanwords are not intruders as barbarian words are. The chapter also considers the difference between the historical Fronto's approval for Laberius' word-choices and Gellius' own, on the whole unfavourable judgement on them.

Keywords:   Latin, Greek, barbarian, Fronto, Sulpicius Apollinaris, loanwords, Laberius, word-choices

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