This paper aims to investigate whether a statistical analysis of linguistic data in inscriptions may serve for the study of sociolinguistic variation within the Latin Language. In particular, this study focuses on the quantitative vs. qualitative phonemic opposition within the vowel system of the so-called “Vulgar” Latin. In order to do so,... we will study the relative frequency of the <ae>/<ē> and <ae>/<ĕ> graphemic oscillations in three different corpora of both synchronic and syntopic - but diaphasically and diastratically different - inscriptions from the city of Rome (cf. Mancini 2014). All the inscriptions considered in this sample date back from ca. 50 AD to ca. 250 AD (the last date referring to the “end” ofso-called Classical Latin according to Adamik 2015). Our results may point to the existence of a “disturbance” within the quantitative-based vowel system of Classical Latin, at least as far as some sub-standard varieties of the language are concerned.
Present paper intends to explore the process of the transformation of the vowel system as evidenced in the pre-Christian and Christian inscriptions of the Roman provinces Africa Pro-consularis including Numidia and Mauretania Caesariensis. With the help of the LLDB-Database, the phonological profiles of the selected African provinces will be dr...awn and compared to those of six more territorial units, i.e. Sardinia, Hispania, Gallia, Dalmatia, the city of Rome and Bruttium et Lucania. Then the dialectal position of the selected African provinces will be described by various methods of phonological analysis regarding vocalism in both periods. It will be demonstrated how the selected African provinces did not form a homogeneous dialectological area. The vocalism of Latin in later Africa Proconsularis including Numidia turns out to be of the same type as of the later Latin in Sardinia, while the vocalism of the Latin in later Mauretania Caesariensis might have started to develop toward the eastern or Balkan type of vocalism. Regarding consonantism, especially the b-w merger, later Mauretania Caesariensis shows explicitly different trends from what we see in later Africa Proconsularis.
This paper focuses on the distribution of the alternation of <B> and <V> in a corpus of Latin inscriptions from Sardinia (1st century BC – 7th century AD). The distribution of the graphemes has been related to the dating and the provenance place of the inscriptions, and the total number of occurrences has been compared with the nu...mber of corresponding forms in Classical Latin. The amount of other consonantal misspellings in the texts has been examined as well, in order to verify whether the absence of misspellings could be due to a high degree of literacy of those involved in the crafting of the inscriptions. The results of the survey show a widespread graphemic confusion between <B> and <V> in the island, especially from the third century AD. In most of the cases, Classical Latin /w/ is represented as <B>, both in initial and internal position. It will be shown that the examination of the variables considered here could shed light on the evolution of Latin /b/ and /w/ in Sardinia.
The epitaph of Priest Iohannes (CIL III 9527, Salona, August 13, 599 or AD 603) is one of the few inscriptions from the sixth-century Salona, which can be dated with precision. It is also one of the rare inscriptions from Dalmatia of this period, which mention a person (proconsul Marcellinus) known from other sources (Registrum epistularum of P...ope Gregory the Great). However, its linguistic importance seems to be summarized in the remark of its most recent editor Nancy Gauthier (2010) that the language of the epitaph reflects the features of Latin spoken in Dalmatia at the time (“la langue vivante”). The aim of this paper was to check the plausibility of this statement by comparing the Vulgar Latin features in the inscription with the results of research on Latin in late Dalmatia. Also, a new interpretation of the word obsis l. 13 is proposed.
Previous studies analyzed the Vulgar Latin of the inscriptions of Pannonia Inferior, Dalmatia and Venetia et Histria, comparing the differences between the provincial capitals and the countryside of the provinces, in order to verify the hypothesis of Untermann (1980) and Herman (1983) about the existence of a larger regional dialect of Latin ov...er the Alps–Danube–Adria region. The analyses made clear that these geographic unites don’t constitute a solid and uniform dialectal area, but there are undeniable common characteristics, such as the weakness of the /w/~/b/ merger or the lack of sonorization, which allow us to suppose that the Vulgar Latin variants of these provinces were somewhat more connected among each other than with the rest of the empire. This study involves another province of the Alps–Danube–Adria region, Noricum, in the examination, systematically discusses the changes in the vowel and consonant systems based on the relative distribution of diverse types of non-standard data from the inscriptions of Noricum, and contrasts the linguistic phenomena of an earlier period (1st–3rd c. AD) with a later stage (4th–6th c. AD) of Vulgar Latin, attempting to define whether Noricum fits common characteristics found in the other provinces of the Alps–Danube–Adria region.
This paper offers a linguistic analysis of epigraphic texts originating in the Endovellicus sanctuary, with particular reference to their use of and variation in Latin. As this sanctuary was visited by mostly local pilgrims from Roman times to late antiquity, the aim of the linguistic analysis is to identify linguistic variation in the... sanctuary’s votive texts. The paper also demonstrates that differences in the spellings of the name of the god worshipped in the sanctuary may show characteristics of Vulgar Latin. The epigraphic corpus under study shows various Vulgar Latin traits common to other epigraphic texts known in Lusitania in the same period, with examples of the literary influence and high-level use of the Latin language, which may be related to the high social and cultural status of certain worshippers.
The paper focuses on a strange variant of the se vivo expression which can be found mostly in Moesia Inferior: the vivo suo fecit formula. It appears only in twelve inscriptions, but that makes up one third of all the occurrences of the se vivo fecit expression in this region. How can we account for this formula, whic...h cannot be explained by the classical Latin grammar? This intriguing form has attracted the attention of Giovanbattista Galdi, who in 2002 dedicated a paper to the possible origin of the formula. In this paper, he claims that the vivo suo form is the result of the interconnection of the Latin and Greek languages in Moesia Inferior, since the expression usually occurs in areas populated by Greeks. Galdi attributes the emergence of the formula to the fact that the Greek language does not have a possessive pronoun (like the Latin suus), but uses the genitive case of the reflexive pronoun (ἑαυτοῦ) to express the possessive relation. According to this theory the bilingual environment in Moesia Inferior, and more specifically the aforementioned Greek structure caused a confusion in Latin in the use of the possessive pronoun (suus) and the reflexive pronoun (se). The aim of my paper is to examine Galdi’s argument and to point out the problematic elements of this theory.
This paper examines writing and orthography in the work of Latin grammarians and spelling variants in epigraphic texts. It focuses on the uses of the letter H and the spelling of the word sepulchrum. The word’s spelling seems to be connected to the spelling of other words through the adjective pulcher, pulchra,...pulchrum. The analysis indicates that the teaching and learning of orthography had a limited influence on epigraphic texts, but there is evidence of the consistently high frequency of the spelling sepulcrum. The paper also shows how data on Latin orthography can help in understanding the chronology of the evolution of spelling in epigraphic texts.
Abstract: This paper focuses on the frequency of vowel deletion in a corpus containing the available Latin inscriptions from Sardinia. The frequency of the phenomenon has been examined with reference to the amount of other deviant spellings displayed in the epigraphic texts, the dating and the type of the inscriptions involved. The results of t...he analysis show a very low frequency of vowel deletion in the inscriptions from the island, which is consistent with the Romance evolution of the Sardinian varieties. In particular, late syncope is infrequent, especially when its relative frequency is compared with that provided for other areas of the Empire. Therefore, though it is possible to find a correlation between the data from Latin inscriptions and Romance, our results reinforce the conclusions put forward by Adamik,1 according to which the allegedly high frequency of syncope in late Latin and the assumption of a pan-Romance core of Romance syncope is not supported by inscriptional evidence.
The position of the word final –s, after a weakening in archaic Latin, seems to be fixed in the spoken language in the classical period. Then, it partially disappeared in the Romance languages: in modern languages, it is conserved only north and west of the Massa–Senigallia line, while we cannot find it neither in the eastern regions nor in... South Italy. Based on this fact, linguists generally claim that the weakening of the final –s started only after the intensive dialectal diversification of Latin, simultaneously with the evolution of the Romance languages. However, the data of the Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age (LLDB) do not verify this generally accepted opinion. We can find almost as many examples of the lack of word final –s as that of –m also from the earlier centuries of the Imperial age. The aim of this paper is to explore the reasons behind the inconsistencies between the scholarly consensus and the epigraphical data.
In 1911, Auguste Audollent received a lead tablet with a Latin inscription on both sides coming from North Africa. It was lying almost undetected and forgotten for nearly one hundred years until the Hungarian visiting professor György Németh rediscovered it in the storage room of the Musée Bargoin in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The recently fi...nished complete reading of the text and its commentary will be published soon by Gy. Németh and the author of the present paper. This article aims to consider all the word forms and phrases of the tablet which differ from the Latin standard in order to look for an answer if the target, the context and the sources can be identified with the help of linguistic tools.
Present paper intends to explore the process of the transformation of the case system as evidenced in the inscriptions of the Roman provinces Africa Proconsularis and Numidia. First the peculiarities of the transformation of the case system in African Latin in the preChristian and Christian periods will be analysed. Then the African distributio...nal patterns of case system changes will be compared to those of other regions of the Empire selected for the survey including Spain, Gaul (including Germany), Italy, Illyricum, and the city of Rome. Finally, the results of the present analysis, especially those regarding the dialectological positioning of Roman Africa, will be compared with the results of the investigation of Gaeng 1992 regarding the later, Christian period.
Various studies proved that the methodology of J. Herman produces plausible and verifiable results in the field of Latin dialectology, but certain methodological questions remained still unanswered regarding our points of reference in the decision which proportions of the data of the inscriptional faults are classified significant; how to decid...e on the basis of the proportion of a certain error type if a certain linguistic change was in progress, if it was completed, or if it was not active in the examined territory; which types of errors can serve as base or bases of comparison for a specific examined error type; which periods and territories should be the point of reference in comparisons. In the present study, we attempt to give answers to these questions by running statistical surveys using different points of reference in statistical significance and different bases of comparisons in the error types, and we set up a list of expected results based on the known tendencies of sound changes in Vulgar Latin against which we will measure the actual results of the survey in order to determine which methods were the most effective in meeting the expected picture that we already know about the development of Romance languages.
The subject of this paper is a curious and somewhat problematic inscription on an altar from Aquincum. Among the many features of this inscription that are interesting for our study, the most striking one is the beginning of the text: the name of the god or goddess is controversial. Who exactly was Minitra? A Celtic goddess, or someone much bet...ter known from Roman religious life? According to Géza Alföldy, the native gods of Pannonia were venerated still in the 3rd century A.D., including Teutates, Sedatus, Ciniaemus and Minitra, etc. Since the inscription in question contains many vulgar Latin phenomena, it becomes questionable whether the name of the deity is written correctly, especially because, while the names of classical gods rarely appear misspelled, the names of the gods of so-called ‘eastern’ cults and mystery religions appear in a number of faulty variations. I will try to identify the deity through the analysis of Vulgar Latin phenomena.
The oldest Latin legend of Saint Margaret of Hungary (legenda vetus, LV, about 1275) survived in only one manuscript, a copy found in Bologna, dated to the beginning of 15th century (1409-10). The text of the legend in the manuscript is in many places debased and to some extent shortened. This paper deals with the question how... the Medieval Hungarian legend of Saint Margaret (the only surviving copy from 1510), which contains almost the complete text of LV in vernacular translation, can help in correcting the manuscript and reconstructing the original text of the oldest Latin legend. Medieval German translations of LV are also referred to. Some special problems of the edition (1937) are mentioned in this connection as well.
In this paper, a survey is conducted on the phenomenon of consonantal degemination through the corpus of epigraphic materials. The aim of this research is to understand the nature of this phenomenon and its possible implications in the field of dialectological studies.
This paper aims to reconsider the role of archaisms in epigraphy and, above all, their possible dialectal value. Indeed, according to a traditional theory, provinces that were colonized earlier by the Romans preserved archaic varieties of Latin. Scholars have often used inscriptions to support this idea, particularly in the case of Hispania..., but the results of this paper, which rely on the methodology of modern Computerized Dialectology, are negative in this regard.
This paper is aimed at supplementing the results obtained in Papini 2019. In particular, I will consider the position of the investigated <ae>/<ĕ> and <ae>/<ē> graphemic oscillations with respect to both 1) lexical stress (distinguishing between misspellings occurring in stressed and unstressed position) and 2) syllabi...c structure (i.e., open vs closed syllables). The aim of the present paper is to verify whether the relationship between the investigated spelling variations and these two variables might be regarded as simply due to chance.
The aim of this paper is to analyze binding curse tablets found in the Latin West from a material perspective, in order to rethink their multifaceted nature, since sometimes – but not always – defixiones are inscribed pieces of lead.
The purpose of the following discussion is to demonstrate that the philological study of the fortuna of the Admonitions of King Saint Stephen of Hungary provides important contributions to the characteristic stages of the development of Latinist scholarship from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance until today. The Admoniti...ons, a mirror of princes composed in the eleventh century and attributed to the first Christian king of Hungary, has attracted pious and scholarly attention for a millennium – including the hagiographic tradition of medieval Hungary and the legal tradition of the Corpus iuris Hungarici. Based on its late manuscript tradition, hypercritical scholars suggested that the Admonitions was a humanist forgery or at least an interpolated and stylistically polished text. From the Renaissance on, philologists and editors have addressed various issues of textual criticism such as the problem of dating and authorship, grammatical features (orthography, morphology, and syntax), stylistic devices (vocabulary, prose rhyme and rhythm), and textual parallels (Biblical, Classical, and Carolingian Latin). The way scholars have studied the Latinity of the Admonitions against the standards of Classical, Medieval, and Humanistic Latin for centuries reveals a great deal about their own approaches to their Latinist trade in particular – and therefore about Neo-Latin studies in general.
The monograph of Alexander Weiß on public slavery in the cities of the Roman Empire based on Greek and Latin inscriptions shed light on the role and functions of the public slaves, arguing that they had a much larger role in the administration of the provincial cities than previously thought. Weiß intended to collect all epigraphical data on...public slavery, although he could not study some smaller corpora in Pannonia, like IlJug or the Corpus of Greek inscriptions found in Pannonia (CIGP). A new collection of inscriptions from Aquincum (Tituli Aquincenses) and new inscriptions offer a great opportunity to reexamine the epigraphical data of Pannonia on public slavery, and examine whether the public slaves of Pannonia fit into the administrative categories listed by Weiß, or might reveal new functions.
This paper republishes 12 Greek and Latin inscriptions from Roman Dacia, in most cases with illustrations. Previous readings are improved and more ghost-names are removed. These inscribed monuments and objects (some of them, in the category of instrumentum inscriptum) are explained in their series or contexts, pertaining to the militar...y milieu or the cosmopolitan side of the province.
Etymology has recently become one of the most vibrant spheres of classical scholarship. Maltby’s epoch-making Lexicon has now been complemented by Marangoni’s Supplementum Etymologicum. The present article offers addenda to both. It limits itself to the scholia on Statius.
For the Greeks, the peony plant had exceptional properties. It was used for many medicinal remedies. The most frequent were gynecological, nervous and mental diseases (insanity), as well as other minor, varied uses. This plant becomes visible at night when the moonlight falls on it. For this reason, it soon became associated with astrological...and magical superstitions. These beliefs passed into the Latin world. It appears in herbaria and in medical treatises. In the Middle Ages it was still a plant frequently used in rural areas.
Around 200 inscriptions have been found at Potaissa so far. Some of them disappeared and their texts are known to us exclusively from publications, others are kept in museum collections. The subject of this study is their linguistic examination, by following the peculiarities and the deviations from the classical norms of the language. When pos...sible, this data will be related to details on the donors, on the provenance of the epigraphs, on their type, and on other information that can contribute to shaping the cultural-linguistic profile of the Roman town.