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The Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana in the Greek East

Dickey, E. ORCID: (2017) The Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana in the Greek East. Linguarum Varietas, 6. pp. 211-229. ISSN 2281-1435

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To link to this item DOI: 10.19272/201711601012


There has been much debate about the place of origin of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana, a large collection of bilingual language-learning materials found in papyri and medieval manuscripts: do they come from the centre, being created to teach Greek in Rome, or from the periphery, being created to teach Latin to Greek speakers? Evidence from their contents suggests a composite origin, with a core of early material from the centre to which has been added much material from the Greek-speaking periphery during the Roman Empire followed by a little material from late antique Gaul. When the Hermeneumata are compared with other Latin-learning materials from the Eastern Empire (i.e. papyri), they turn out to provide only one component of a large and varied group of materials; on their own they provide a rather misleading view of what ancient Latin-learning texts were like, though the descriptions of schools in the schoolbook sections of the colloquia give a more comprehensive impression. But what kind of schools do those descriptions really focus on: the Roman schools about which they were originally written, or the Greek schools in which they were used? The Colloquium Stephani may offer an answer to this question, for it appears to have remained in the centre and does not contain material from the periphery. In terms of content this version is very close to the others, suggesting that the others have not been significantly altered, but in tone it is very different, being full of moral exempla of a type characteristic of Roman education. Thus it is likely that the school descriptions in the other colloquia have been significantly altered in tone, but not in content.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:77570
Publisher:Fabrizio Serra editore

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