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Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World


Giuseppe Pezzini, Barnaby Taylor, Alexander Verlinsky, Anna Chahoud, Alessandro Garcea, Wolfgang D. C. De Melo, David Blank, Tobias Reinhardt, Casper C. de Jonge, James Zetzel
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  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108480666

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About the Authors
  • A familiar theme in Greek philosophy, largely due to the influence of Plato's Cratylus, linguistic naturalism (the notion that linguistic facts, structures or behaviour are in some significant sense determined by nature) constitutes a major but under-studied area of Roman linguistic thought. Indeed, it holds significance not only for the history of linguistics but also for philosophy, stylistics, rhetoric and more. The chapters in this volume deal with a range of naturalist theories in a variety of authors including Cicero, Varro, Nigidius Figulus, Posidonius, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The result is a complex and multi-faceted picture of how language and nature were believed to interrelate in the classical Roman world.

    • The first collection of essays on linguistic naturalism, an important but under-studied area of Roman linguistic and philosophical thought
    • Combines philosophical, literary and linguistic analyses of a wide variety of texts and authors
    • Moves beyond narrow, Cratylan models of naturalism to give a broader understanding of Roman naturalist thinking
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108480666
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: first thoughts on language and nature Giuseppe Pezzini and Barnaby Taylor
    1. Posidonius' linguistic naturalism and its philosophical pedigree Alexander Verlinsky
    2. Lucilius on Latin spelling, grammar and usage Anna Chahoud
    3. Nigidius Figulus' naturalism: between grammar and philosophy Alessandro Garcea
    4. Naturalism in morphology: Varro on derivation and inflection Wolfgang D. C. De Melo
    5. What's Hecuba to him? Varro on the natural kinship of things and of words David Blank
    6. Linguistic naturalism in Cicero's Academica Tobias Reinhardt
    7. Linguistic naturalism and natural style: from Varro and Cicero to Dionysius of Halicarnassus Casper C. de Jonge
    8. Natural law and natural language in the first century BCE James Zetzel.

  • Editors

    Giuseppe Pezzini, University of St Andrews, Scotland
    Giuseppe Pezzini is a lecturer in Latin at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He was an assistant editor for The Oxford Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (2012, 2013), and is working on an edition of Terence's Heauton Timorumenos for the Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries series.

    Barnaby Taylor, University of Oxford
    Barnaby Taylor is Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Exeter College, Oxford, and Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Oxford. His interests lie in Latin language and literature, particularly the language and linguistic thought of Lucretius.


    Giuseppe Pezzini, Barnaby Taylor, Alexander Verlinsky, Anna Chahoud, Alessandro Garcea, Wolfgang D. C. De Melo, David Blank, Tobias Reinhardt, Casper C. de Jonge, James Zetzel

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