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.
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.
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 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.
This paper falls into two main sections. The first deals with the defixio and its traditional definition as an example of so-called private inscriptions. Unlike public epigraphs, which were monumental, crafted by professionals, intended for display, and had (mainly) a commemorative function, defixiones (whether written by...magoi or amateurs) are usually considered to be among Antiquity’s most private texts. Nevertheless, curse tablets and public inscriptions share a very important feature: both contained messages meant to endure. This specific feature brings us to the second section of this article, which discusses the influence of public inscriptions on curse tablets: to what extent are defixiones a reflection of monumental epigraphy? Aspects such as the ordinatio of the text, the media employed or the way they were displayed (even inside a tomb) are analyzed in this regard. In an attempt to answer these questions, three publicly displayed curse tablets are discussed in depth.
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.
There is a collection of several hundred small Roman lead mirrors (former private collection) in the Hungarian National Museum. Greek or Latin inscriptions can be read on 17 mirrors. The present study publishes these items along with the drawings of the inscriptions. Such mirrors were found mainly in graves of women, functioning as escorts to t...he souls of the dead and as apotropaic amulets.
The morality/view of life of the ordinary provincial Roman is hard to discern; for the most part we must rely on the more literary inscriptions. The funerary verse inscriptions provide considerable material, but not individualized wording: they consist mostly of well-known patterns. At the same time these patterns form regionally different stru...cture types; hence they can throw light upon the funeral customs of the different regions. In Pannonia there were two main poem types: one of early Carnuntum, and one of Aquincum in the 3rd c. The differences between these communities in the way they thought about death are clearly visible. There were very few individualized poems referring to personal feelings: two such are analysed here in detail (TAq 769, TAq 512).
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The article tries to reconstruct the inscription of a magical gem found in 1883 in Torontál which went lost by now. For this reconstructive work I used other gem inscriptions and also other magical papyri and lead tablets in order to compare the two types of texts. The inscription contains the Soroor-logos and the Gigantorekta barophita-logos...as well. The gem and the inscription together were used for the protection of the uterus.
According to the well-known opinion of Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Plato was not familiar with Cretan customs when he wrote the Laws. If we compare the text of Nomoi with Cretan law inscriptions from the 7th-5th centuries, we can conclude that Plato’s knowledge of the laws of Cretan poleis was more profound than it had been assumed. It is especi...ally true in the case of the regulation of alcohol consumption on the basis of Laws 666a-b and an inscription form Eleutherna (Nomima II.98; Lupu 323).
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.
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 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.
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.