Wednesday, November 08, 2017


Messius' Four-Horse Team

Cassiodorus, Institutions 1.15.7 (tr. Leslie Webber Jones, with his note):
Do not, therefore, wholly follow the rules of Latin style, that is, the Quadriga of Messius,41 when you are convinced of the authority of ancient codices; for upon occasion it is advantageous to overlook the idioms of human speech and to observe instead the criterion of divine communication.

41 Arusianus Messius (ca. A.D. 395). His work is so called (= "the four-horse team") because it contains examples of style taken from Terence, Vergil, Cicero, and Sallust.

Regulas igitur elocutionum Latinorum, id est quadrigam Messii, omnimodis non sequaris, ubi tamen priscorum codicum auctoritate convinceris; expedit enim interdum praetermittere humanarum formulas dictionum, et divini magis eloquii custodire mensuram.
The work survives and can be found in Heinrich Keil, ed., Grammatici Latini, Vol. VII: Scriptores de Orthographia (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1880), pp. 437-514, under the title Arusiani Messii Exempla Elocutionum ex Virgilio, Sallustio, Terentio, Cicerone Digesta per Litteras (with the actual text starting on p. 449). A sample entry, on p. 486:
In rem est pro utile est, Sal. Catil. (20,1) in rem fore credens, Ter. And. (III 3,14) si in rem est.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?