Ancient Latin

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Ancient Latin

Postby Q Valerius on Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:42 am

Quintus Foro SPD: Wow, I'm surprised relatively few people go here. I guess most join textkit's site. Eheu!

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here is proficient in ancient Latin. From what I gather from Baccanalibus, it is not the oldest text surviving, or there are still rules not present there? Anyone have any knowledge in this matter?

Valete.
Last edited by Q Valerius on Tue Nov 30, 2004 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:02 pm

Salve Quinte Vaemariane

In all your excitement, I am not sure I caught the question. Welcome to SVR!

By Bacchinalibus do you mean the senate's decree regulating such groups, circa 186 BCE? And rules? Rules of grammar and spelling were loose, so in any inscription you might find Roman Latin as it was spoken rather than how it is taught in schools today. Some of the texts we use today have had their Latin cleaned up by scholars, assuming errors in the Medieval transcription or for some other reason. But more Archaic Latin, yes there are some other examples and some would be older than 186.

Cato the Elder, De Agricultura, was written around the same time as the Bacchinalibus inscription, Ennius was writing earlier, and Livius Andronicus before Ennius. In other texts there are some fragments of Archaic Latin. Parts of the Hymn of the Salii were quoted by Late Republican authors as an example of Archaic Latin. How old it is no one knows. Another example is the Carmen Arvalum Fratrum of an uncertain date, but reproduced in an inscription from third century CE.

Look for Edward Courtney, Archaic Roman Prose, 1999. He provides some of the available examples and discusses constructions not found in later Latin. There is also a website that has some of examples of Archaic Latin, if I can relocate it I'll pass it on.

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:02 am

Don't forget the inscription on the Lapis Niger. It is the oldest known inscription in the Latin language dating from about 560 BCE:

quod hon … / … sakros es / ed sord …
… a has / recei : i … / …euam / quos : r …
…m : kalato / rem : ha … / … od : iouxment / a : kapia : dotau …
…m : i:te :r… / …m : quoi : ha / uelod : nequ … / …od : iouestod
…lou i(?) quiod …

Commentary from http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/159_Lapi ... canal.html:

The first line declares the sanctity of the site (sakros esed). The second line mentions the king (recei — to the king), which given the early date of the inscription, must be the real kings of Rome, not the rex sacrorum of the early Republic. The third line mentions the king's herald (kalatorem — calator) and beasts of burden (iouxmenta — iumenta) are named.

It is likely that the sanctuary was used for sacrifices, maybe performed by the king, in connection with the meetings held in the Comitium (hence the herald).
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Postby Q Valerius on Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:52 pm

Thanks for the Lapis Niger, I was not aware of it.

As for rules and such, I noticed that Senatus Consultum de Baccanalibus appears much older than Ennius, cf. quom in Bacc. with cum in Ennius and the 'd' for certain ablatives in Bacc. but missing in Ennius.
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Postby Q Valerius on Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:54 pm

Of course, one could also assume that Ennius was near the end of his life when Bacc came about, so they were really contemporaries, with Ennius only being about 20 years older (consider when he started writing...)

Look for Edward Courtney, Archaic Roman Prose, 1999. He provides some of the available examples and discusses constructions not found in later Latin. There is also a website that has some of examples of Archaic Latin, if I can relocate it I'll pass it on.


Thanks for the book, I'll have to check it out.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:04 pm

Salvete omnes

Lapis Niger refers to the pavement laid during the reign of Augustus. Beneath the Lapis Niger is the inscribed cippus to which you refer. The two are often confused.

The cippus once stood alone. The fill has reasonably dated it to after 525. Around the beginning of the Republic the locus was reconstructed into a fanum, enclosed with an altar and pillar on which there probably stood a statue. This fanum was then filled in when the pavement was laid over it. At that time the cippus and pillar were cut to street level. But the inscription had been visible at least in 35 BCE. It is in this last fill that a shard of Attic black pottery was found and led to the site's misidentification as the Volcanal and being misdated much earlier than it actually is. That shard was found mixed in with material from other eras and not in a stratified layer.

The reference to a king probably is to the rex sacrorum. The rex sacrorum was probably first instituted during the reign of Servius Hostilius who took the title magister populi rather than rex. This fanum adjoined the Comitium and is the likely place where the rex sacrorum performed his sacrifice for the Regifugum of 24 Februarius.

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