Browsing by Subject "Rooman kirjallisuus"

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  • Reinikka, Anna (2013)
    This doctoral thesis contains the first edition of an anonymous Late Antique Latin elementary grammar discovered by Dr. Vivien Law more than two decades ago. The thesis presents not only the edited text and translation of the Ars Pseudo-Scauri (thus named because of the attributions of both Dr. Law as well as a Late Antique compiler known as Sergius), but also a commentary which aims to help the reader to make out the connections this text shares with other extant grammars. In the introduction and commentary, an attempt has also been made to describe certain developments in Roman language science, as well as to determine if and how they influence the doctrine of the Ars Pseudo-Scauri. In addition to a few articles by Vivien Law, little else has been written on this grammar. However, within the past few decades since the discovery of the text, an important adjustment in the paradigm of the study of ancient linguistics has taken place, with the repudiation of the traditional, static model of historiography in favour of one that emphasizes the fact that grammatical science was in lively interaction with philosophy in late Antiquity. In 1987 Dr. Law came to the conclusion that the text which has been preserved for us is either the Ars minor of Q. Terentius Scaurus, or a later abbreviation of a longer grammatical work by Scaurus. However, the attribution of this grammar to Scaurus appears not to be well founded. The text contains many doctrinal aspects which speak against such an early attribution, aspects which were not adequately addressed by Dr. Law in her article. The thesis argues against the attribution of this grammar to Q. Terentius Scaurus. The issue of dating the grammar, taking into account recent developments concerning the historiography of ancient linguistics, is also addressed. In the commentary and the introduction the content of the Ars Pseudo-Scauri is reviewed in the light of the recent hypotheses on the interaction between grammar and philosophy, which is today considered to have taken place from the first and second century AD onwards, in contrast with previous views which assumed a much earlier date. The fairly recently discovered Ars Pseudo-Scauri has not been subject to much analysis to date, and, more importantly, the few previous endeavours have not taken into account the developments which have shed new light on the study of ancient linguistics.
  • Korkiakangas, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The object of this study is the case marking of the subject in early medieval charter Latin. The work explores whether and how the nominative/accusative-type morphosyntactic alignment changed into a semantically motivated (active/inactive) alignment in Late Latin before the disappearance of the case system. It is known that the accusative originally the case of the direct object extended in Late Latin to the subject function in which Classical Latin allowed only the nominative. On this basis, it has been postulated that in Late Latin the nominative/accusative contrast was (re)semanticized so that the nominative came to encode all the Agent-like arguments and the accusative all the Patient-like arguments. The study examines which semantic and syntactic factors determine the selection of the subject case in each subject/finite verb combination in the Late Latin Charter Treebank (LLCT). The LLCT is an annotated corpus of Latin charter texts (c. 200,000 words) written in Tuscany between AD 714 and 869. The central result of the study is that the Latin of the LLCT shows a semantically based morphosyntactic alignment in those parts of nominal declension where the morphological contrast between nominative- and accusative-based forms is morphophonologically intact. The following picture of intransitivity split turns up: the low-animacy subjects of the LLCT occur more often in the accusative than do the agentive high-animacy subjects. Likewise, the accusative percentage of SO subject constructions is higher than that of A/SA subject constructions. The common denominator of the examined semantic variables is likely to be the control exercised by the subject over the verbal process. Syntactic factors seem to influence the case distribution pattern as well. For example, the immediate preverbal position of the subject implies a high retention of the nominative. The immediate preverbal position of SV(O) language is a canonical subject position where the syntactic complexity measured as dependency lengths is at its lowest and the cohesion of the verbal nucleus at its highest. Thus, a by then already marked nominative form results. The control of the subject over the verbal process (semantic variable) and the cohesion of the verbal nucleus (syntactic variable) may be partly conflated, i.e., both may affect the subject case selection in certain conditions.
  • Heikkinen, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The Venerable Bede s eighth-century De arte metrica was the most important treatise on Latin metrics to emerge in the early Middle Ages. It played a central role in the transmission of the classical literary tradition to the medieval audience, but, at the same time, constitutes one of the first efforts at creating a textbook on metrics that was primarily intended for the monastic curriculum. This historical background, together with the author s Christian agenda, is present in virtually every aspect of the way the work discusses the Latin poetic heritage. The main focus of De arte metrica is on hexameter verse and the problems inherent in its composition at a time when syllable quantity had disappeared from spoken Latin. The work departs from previous grammatical tradition by incorporating syllable lengths into its discussion of poetic metres, a didactic solution necessitated by the linguistic conditions of Anglo-Saxon England. Even here, Bede consciously strives to create a consistently Christian literary norm. Instead of relying on the example of Vergil and other classics, he seeks to base his presentation of metrical rules, from syllable lengths to larger structures, on the example of Christian poets, most notably Sedulius, implying that pagan authors were even prosodically less advanced than Christian ones. Bede s views have been influenced by his belief in the biblical origins of metre, an idea expounded by several Christian apologists. Bede s discussion of other poetic metres is mainly restricted to those employed in Christian hymnody, and their simplified analyses correspond with Christian usage. Bede is also the first author to give an appropriate presentation of rhythmic or non-quantitative verse, anticipating later medieval poetic practices. The aim of this thesis is to examine the ways in which Bede sought to recast the classical poetic heritage in a form more appropriate for Christian scholars. This usually manifests itself in minute alterations of wording, but sometimes Bede takes a definite stand for the virtues of Christian verse as opposed to the pre-Christian classics. As many of Bede s definitions influenced numerous generations of medieval grammarians and poets, and the work itself became a model for the genre of Artes metricae, the strong role of its Christianising tendency must not be underestimated.
  • Halla-aho, Hilla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    This dissertation studies the language of Latin letters that were written in Egypt and Vindolanda (in northern Britain) during the period 1st century BC 3rd century AD on papyri, ostraca, and wooden tablets. The majority of the texts is, in one way or another, connected with the Roman army. The focus of the study is on syntax and pragmatics. Besides traditional philological methods, modern syntactic theory is used as well, especially in the pragmatic analysis. The study begins with a critical survey of certain concepts that are current in the research on the Latin language, most importantly the concept of vulgar Latin , which, it is argued, seems to be used as an abstract noun for variation and change in Latin . Further, it is necessary to treat even the non-literary material primarily as written texts and not as straightforward reflections of spoken language. An examination of letter phraseology shows that there is considerable variation between the two major geographical areas of provenance. Latin letter writing in Egypt was influenced by Greek. The study highlights the importance of seeing the letters as a text type, with recurring phraseological elements appearing in the body text as well. It is argued that recognising these elements is essential for the correct analysis of the syntax. Three areas of syntax are discussed in detail: sentence connection (mainly parataxis), syntactically incoherent structures and word order (the order of the object and the verb). For certain types of sentence connection we may plausibly posit an origin in spoken Latin, but for many other linguistic phenomena attested in this material the issue of spoken Latin is anything but simple. Concerning the study of historical syntax, the letters offer information about the changing status of the accusative case. Incoherent structures may reflect contaminations in spoken language but usually the reason for them is the inability of the writer to put his thoughts into writing, especially when there is something more complicated to be expressed. Many incoherent expressions reflect the need to start the predication with a thematic constituent. Latin word order is seen as resulting from an interaction of syntactic and pragmatic factors. The preference for an order where the topic is placed sentence-initially can be seen in word order more generally as well. Furthermore, there appears a difference between Egypt and Vindolanda. The letters from Vindolanda show the order O(bject) V(erb) clearly more often than the letters from Egypt. Interestingly, this difference correlates with another, namely the use of the anaphoric pronoun is. This is an interesting observation in view of the fact that both of these are traditional Latin features, as opposed to those that foreshadow the Romance development (VO order and use of the anaphoric ille). However, it is difficult to say whether this is an indication of social or regional variation.
  • Tuomela, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The aim of this intellectual historical study is to examine the views of the later Stoics Seneca the Younger, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Hierocles and Marcus Aurelius on the sameness of the virtues of man and woman, a question which gives a very non-anachronistic perspective on sameness, otherness, equality and inequality in Greek and Roman thinking. Other authors and material discussing women s virtues are used as an ideological background and context. The basis of the study consists of two thoughts found in Stoicism since its beginning: that the individual virtues are common to all human beings and that virtue as such is natural and possible to all. It is obvious that these two thoughts can be found also in the later Stoics, discussed most intentionally and consistently by Musonius who also most unambiguously equates woman with human being . Thus, even bravery is not a masculine but a human virtue, and the sameness of man and woman does not mean that a woman becomes "masculine", but their sameness is based on their common (rational) humanhood. Equality resulting from sameness is especially in Musonius not only theoretical but also practical in a wider sense and on a larger scale than usual, above all in the division of tasks, whereas Seneca, advocating many traditional ideals, constructs the gender of women mostly very conservatively and even reacts negatively to contemporary changes in women s social/societal roles and spheres. He also refers to women s emotional "weakness", but does not see it as specific only to women and seems to be convinced that women, too, can overcome it and be (at least in principle) equal in virtue - emphasising thus, after all, the fundamental sameness rather than otherness of women. The views of the later Stoics provide a rather exceptional and ungendered perspective on individual virtues, capacity for virtue and philosophical education, as well as on sameness, otherness, equality and inequality, and what is "masculine", "feminine" or "human". Thus, their views are also an important contribution to discussions of who a "full" human being is, in an era when a "human being" was in the first place a (free) man.