The Full Wiki

Old Latin: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old Latin
Prisca Latinitas
Titus Maccius Plautus, an Old Latin writer
Alt text
Spoken in Roman Republic
Region Italy
Language extinction Developed into Classical Latin in 1st Century BC
Language family Indo-European
Official status
Official language in Rome
Regulated by Schools of grammar and rhetoric
Language codes
ISO 639-1 la
ISO 639-2 lat
ISO 639-3 lat
Expansion of the Old-Latin speaking world, 2nd century BC. It is unlikely Latin was spoken much beyond the green area; for example, Corsica kept its ancient, unknown language until the late Roman empire.

Old Latin (also called Early Latin or Archaic Latin) refers to the Latin language in the period before the age of Classical Latin; that is, all Latin before 75 BC.[1] The term prisca Latinitas distinguishes it in New Latin and Contemporary Latin from vetus Latina, in which "old" has another meaning.

The use of "old", "early" and "archaic" has been standard in publications of the corpus of Old Latin writings since at least the 18th century. The definition is not arbitrary but these terms refer to writings that utilize some spelling conventions and word forms not generally in use in works written under the Roman Empire. This article presents some of the major differences.

Contents

Philological constructs

Advertisements

The old-time language

The concept of Old Latin (Prisca Latinitas) is as old as the concept of Classical Latin, both dating to at least as early as the late Roman republic. In that time period Marcus Tullius Cicero, along with others, noted that the language he used every day, presumably the upper-class city Latin, included lexical items and phrases that were heirlooms from a previous time, which he called verborum vetustas prisca,[2] loosely translated as "the old-time language." The adjective priscus, prisca, priscum, means old-time in the perfective aspect; that is, it is gone and is not coming back.

During the classical period, Prisca Latinitas, Prisca Latina and other expressions utilizing the adjective always meant these remnants of a previous language, which, in the Roman philology, was taken to be much older in fact than it really was. Viri prisci, "old-time men," were the population of Latium before the foundation of Rome.

The four Latins of Isidore

In the Late Latin period, when Classical Latin was behind them, the Latin- and Greek-speaking grammarians were faced with multiple phases, or styles, within the language. Isidore of Seville reports a classification scheme that had come into existence in or before his time: "the four Latins" ("Latinas autem linguas quatuor esse quidam dixerunt").[3] They were Prisca, spoken before the founding of Rome, when Janus and Saturn ruled Latium, to which he dated the Carmina Saliorum; Latina, dated from the time of king Latinus, in which period he placed the laws of the Twelve Tables; Romana, essentially equal to Classical Latin; and Mixta, "mixed" Classical Latin and Vulgar Latin, which is known today as Late Latin. The scheme persisted with little change for some thousand years after Isidore.

Old Latin

In 1874 John Wordsworth used the definition:[4]

By Early Latin I understand Latin of the whole period of the Republic, which is separated very strikingly, both in tone and in outward form, from that of the Empire.

Although the differences are striking and can be easily identified by Latin readers, they are not such as to cause a language barrier. Latin speakers of the empire had no reported trouble understanding old Latin, except for the few texts that must date from the time of the kings, mainly songs. Thus the laws of the twelve tables, which began the republic, were comprehensible, but the Carmen Saliare, probably written under Numa Pompilius, was not entirely.

An opinion concerning Old Latin, of a Roman man of letters in the middle Republic, does survive: the historian, Polybius,[5] read "the first treaty between Rome and Carthage", which he says "dates from the consulship of Lucius Junius Brutus and Marcus Horatius, the first consuls after the expulsion of the kings." Knowledge of the early consuls is somewhat obscure, but Polybius also states that the treaty was formulated 28 years after Xerxes I crossed into Greece; that is, in 452 BC, about the time of the Decemviri, when the constitution of the Roman republic was being defined. Polybius says of the language of the treaty: "...the ancient Roman language differs so much from the modern that it can only be partially made out, and that after much application by the most intelligent men."

There is no sharp distinction between Old Latin as it was spoken for most of the republic and classical Latin, but the earlier grades into the later. The end of the republic was too late a termination for compilers after Wordsworth; Charles Edwin Bennett said:[6]

'Early Latin' is necessarily a somewhat vague term ... Bell, De locativi in prisca Latinitate vi et usu, Breslau, 1889,[7] sets the later limit at 75 B.C. A definite date is really impossible, since archaic Latin does not terminate abruptly, but continues even down to imperial times.

Bennett's own date of 100 B.C. did not prevail but rather Bell's 75 B.C. became the standard as expressed in the four-volume Loeb Library and other major compendia. Over the 377 years from 452 BC to 75 BC Old Latin evolved from being partially comprehensible by classicists with study to being easily read by men of letters.

Corpus

The Forum inscription, one of the oldest known Latin inscriptions. It is written boustrophedon, albeit irregularly. From a rubbing by Domenico Comparetti.

Old Latin authored works began in the 3rd century B.C. These are complete or nearly complete works under their own name surviving as manuscripts copied from other manuscripts in whatever script was current at the time. In addition are fragments of works quoted in other authors.

Numerous inscriptions placed by various methods (painting, engraving, embossing) on their original media survive just as they were except for the ravages of time. Some of these were copied from other inscriptions. No inscription can be earlier than the introduction of the Greek alphabet into Italy but none survive from that early date. The imprecision of archaeological dating makes precise dates impossible but the earliest survivals are probably from the 6th century B.C. Some of the texts, however, surviving as fragments in the works of classical authors, had to have been composed earlier than the republic, in the monarchy. These are listed below.

Fragments and inscriptions

Notable Old Latin fragments with estimated dates include:

Works of literature

Cato the Elder and his wife

The authors are as follows:

Script

Old Latin surviving in inscriptions is written in various forms of the Etruscan alphabet as it evolved into the Latin alphabet. The writing conventions varied by time and place until classical conventions prevailed. The works of authors in manuscript form were copied over into the scripts of other times. The original writing does not exist.

Orthography

Some differences between old and classical Latin were of spelling only; pronunciation is thought to be essentially as in classical Latin:[8]

  • Single for double consonants: Marcelus for Marcellus
  • Double vowels for long vowels: aara for āra
  • q for c before u: pequnia for pecunia
  • gs/ks/xs for x: e.g. regs for rex, saxsum for saxum
  • c for g: caius for gaius

These differences did not necessarily run concurrently with each other and were not universal; that is, c was used for both c and g.

Phonology

Diphthong changes from Old Latin (left) to Classical Latin (right)[9]

Phonological characteristics of older Latin are the case endings -os and -om (later Latin -us and -um), as well as the existence of diphthongs such as oi and ei (later Latin ū or oe, and ī). In many locations, classical Latin turned intervocalic /s/ into /r/, which is called rhotacism. This rhotacism had implications for declension: early classical Latin, honos, honoris; Classical honor, honoris ("honor"). Some Old Latin texts preserve /s/ in this position, such as the Carmen Arvale's lases for lares.

Grammar and morphology

Nouns

Latin nouns are distinguished by grammatical case, a word with a termination, or suffix, determining its use in the sentence, such as subject, predicate, etc. A case for a given word is formed by suffixing a case ending to a part of the word common to all its cases called a stem. Stems are classified by their last letters as vowel or consonant. Vowel stems are formed by adding a suffix to a shorter and more ancient segment called a root. Consonant stems are the root (roots end in consonants). The combination of the last letter of the stem and the case ending often results in an ending also called a case ending or termination. For example, the stem puella- receives a case ending -m to form the accusative case puellam in which the termination -am is evident.[10]

In Classical Latin textbooks the declensions are named from the letter ending the stem or First, Second, etc. through Fifth. A declension may be illustrated by a paradigm, or listing of all the cases of a typical word. This method is less frequently applied to Old Latin, and with less validity. In contrast to Classical Latin, Old Latin reflects the evolution of the language from an unknown hypothetical ancestor spoken in Latium. The endings are multiple. Their use depends on time and locality. Any paradigm selected would be subject to these constraints and if applied to the language universally would result in false constructs, hypothetical words not attested in the Old Latin corpus. Nevertheless the endings are illustrated below by quasi-classical paradigms. Alternate endings from different stages of development are given, but they may not be attested for the word of the paradigm. For example, in the Second Declension, there was never a *campoe, "fields", but there was a poploe, "people."

First declension (a)

The 'A-Stem Declension'. The stems of nouns of this declension usually end in –ā and are typically feminine.[11]

A nominative case ending of –s in a few masculines indicates the nominative singular case ending may have been originally –s: paricidas for later paricida, but the –s tended to get lost.[12] In the nominative plural, -ī replaced original -s as in the genitive singular.[13]

puellā, –āī
girl, maiden f.
Singular Plural
Nominative puellā puellāī
Genitive puell-ās/-āī/-ais puell-om/-āsōm
Dative puellāi puell-eis/-abos
Accusative puellam puellās
Ablative puellād puell-eis/-abos
Vocative puella puellai
Locative Romai Syracuseis

In the genitive singular, the –s was replaced with –ī from the second declension, the resulting diphthong shortening to –ai subsequently becoming –ae.[14] In a few cases the replacement did not take place: pater familiās. Explanations of the late inscriptional -aes are speculative. In the genitive plural, the regular ending is –āsōm (classical –ārum by rhotacism and shortening of final o) but some nouns borrow –om (classical –um) from the second declension.[13]

In the dative singular the final i is either long[15] or short.[16] The ending becomes –ae, –a (Feronia) or –e (Fortune).[15]

In the accusative singular, Latin regularly shortens a vowel before final m.[16]

In the ablative singular, –d was regularly lost after a long vowel.[16] In the dative and ablative plural, the –abos descending from Indo-European *–ābhos[17] is used for feminines only (deabus). *–ais > –eis > īs is adapted from –ois of the o-declension.[18]

In the vocative singular, an original short a merged with the shortened a of the nominative.[16]

The locative case would not apply to such a meaning as puella, so Roma, which is singular, and Syracusae, which is plural, have been substituted. The locative plural has already merged with the –eis form of the ablative.

Second declension (o)

The 'O-Stem Declension'. The stems of the nouns of the o-declension end in ŏ deriving from the o-grade of Indo-European ablaut.[19] Classical Latin evidences the development ŏ > ŭ. Nouns of this declension are either masculine or neuter.

Nominative singulars ending in -ros or -ris syncopate the -os:[20] ager not ageros. The nominative plural masculine follows two lines of development, each leaving a trail of endings. Roman generalizes the Indo-European pronominal ending *-oi. The sequence is *-oi>-oe>-ei>-e>-ī[21] The "provincial texts" generalize from the Indo-European nominative plural ending *-ōs appearing in the Third Declension:[21] *-ōs >-ēs, -eis, -īs,[22] from 190 BC on.[23]

campos, –ī
field, plain m.
saxom, –ā
rock, stone n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative campos camp-oe/-e/-ei/-ī
      /-ēs/-eis/-īs
saxom sax-ā/-ă
Genitive camp-ī/-ei camp-ōm/-ūm saxī sax-ōm/-ūm
Dative campō camp-ois/-oes/-eis/-īs saxō sax-ois/-oes/-eis/-īs
Accusative campom campōs saxom sax-ā/-ă
Ablative campōd camp-ois/-oes/-eis/-īs saxōd sax-ois/-oes/-eis/-īs
Vocative camp-e/-us camp-oe/-e/-ei/-ī
     /-ēs/-eis/-īs
saxom saxǎ
Locative campī/-ei/-oi camp-ois/-oes/-eis/-īs saxī/-ei/-oi sax-ois/-oes/-eis/-īs

In the genitive singular, –ī is earliest, alternating later with –ei: populi Romanei, "of the Roman people."[24] In the genitive plural, -om and -um (or -ōm and -ūm[22]) from Indo-European *-ōm survived in classical Latin "words for coins and measures";[25] otherwise classical has -ōrum by analogy with 1st declension -ārum.

In the dative singular, if the Praenestine Fibula is a fraud, Numasioi, the only instance of –ōi, does not count and the Old Latin ending must be –ō.

In the vocative singular, some nouns lose the –e, (0 ending) but not necessarily the same as in classical Latin.[26] The -e alternates regularly with -us.[27] The vocative plural was the same as the nominative plural.[28] Except for some singular forms that were like the genitive, the locative was captured by the ablative case in all Italic languages prior to Old Latin.[29]

Third declension (c)

The Consonant Declension. This declension contains nouns that are masculine, feminine, and neuter. The stem ends in the root consonant, except in the special case where it ends in -i (i-stem declension). The i-stem, which is a vowel-stem, partially fused with the consonant-stem in the pre-Latin period and went further in Old Latin.[30] I/y and u/w can be treated either as consonants or as vowels; hence their classification as semi-vowels. Mixed-stem declensions are partly like consonant-stem and partly like i-stem. Consonant-stem declensions vary slightly depending on which consonant is root-final: stop-, r-, n-, s-, etc.[31] The paradigms below include a stop-stem (reg-) and an i-stem (igni-).

Rēgs –ēs
king m.
Ignis -ēs
fire m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative rēg/-s rēg-eīs/-īs/-ēs/-ĕs ign-is/-es ign-eīs/-ēs/-īs/-ĕs
Genitive rēg-es/-is/-os/-us rēg-om/-um/-erum ignis ign-iom/-ium
Dative rēg-ei/-ī/-ē/-ě rēg-ebus/-ebūs
     /-ibos/-ibus
ign-i/-eī/-ē ign-ibus/-ibos
Accusative rēgem rēg-eīs/-īs/-ēs ignim ign-eīs/-ēs/-īs
Ablative rēg-īd/-ĭd/-ī/-ē/-ĕ rēg-ebus/-ebūs
     /-ibos/-ibus
ign-īd/-ĭd
     /-ī/-ē/-ĕ
ign-ebus/-ebūs
     /-ibos/-ibus
Vocative rēg/-s rēg-eīs/-īs/-ēs/-ĕs ign-is/-es ign-eīs/-ēs/-īs/-ĕs
Locative rēgī rēgebos ignī ignibos

For the consonant declension, in the nominative singular, the -s was affixed directly to the stem consonant, but the combination of the two consonants produced modified nominatives over the Old Latin period. The case appears in different stages of modification in different words diachronically.[32] The nominative as rēgs instead of rēx is an orthographic feature of Old Latin; the letter x was seldom used alone (as in the classical period) to designate the /ks/ or /gs/ sound, but instead, was written as either 'ks', 'cs', or even 'xs'. Often a collapse or syncope/apocope of the full nominative occurs: Old Latin nominus > Classical Latin nomen; hominus > homo; Caesarus > Caesar.[33] The Latin neuter form (not shown) is the Indo-European nominative without stem ending; for eample, cor < *cord "heart."[34]

The genitive singular endings include -is < -es and -us < *-os.[35] In the genitive plural, some forms appear to affix the case ending to the genitive singular rather than the stem: regerum < *reg-is-um.[36]

In the dative singular, -ī succeeded -ēI and -ē after 200 BC.

In the accusative singular, -em < *-ṃ after a consonant.[35]

In the ablative singular, the -d was lost after 200 BC.[22] In the dative and ablative plural, the early poets sometimes used -būs.[22]

In the locative singular, the earliest form is like the dative but over the period assimilated to the ablative.[37]

Fourth declension (u)

The 'U-Stem' declension. The stems of the nouns of the u-declension end in ŭ and are masculine, feminine and neuter. In addition is a ū-stem declension, which contains only a few "isolated" words, such as sūs, "pig", and is not presented here.[38]

senātus, –ūs
senate m.
Singular Plural
Nominative senātus senātūs
Genitive senāt-uos/-uis/-ī/-ous/-ūs senāt-uom/-um
Dative senātuī senāt-ubus/-ibus
Accusative senātum senātūs
Ablative senāt-ūd/-ud senāt-ubus/-ibus
Vocative senātus senātūs
Locative senāti

Fifth declension (e)

The 'E-Stem' declension.

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns are among the most common thing found in Old Latin inscriptions. Note how in all three persons, the ablative singular ending is identical to the accusative singular.

Ego, I Tu, You Suī, Himself, Herself, Etc.
Nominative ego tu -
Genitive mis tis sei
Dative mihei, mehei tibei sibei
Accusative mēd tēd sēd
Ablative mēd tēd sēd
Plural
Nominative nōs vōs -
Genitive nostrōm,
-ōrum, -i
vostrōm,
-ōrum, -i
sei
Dative nōbeis, nis vōbeis sibei
Accusative nōs vōs sēd
Ablative nōbeis, nis vōbeis sēd

Relative pronoun

In Old Latin, the relative pronoun is also another common concept, especially in inscriptions. Unfortunately, the forms are quite inconsistent and leave much to be reconstructed by scholars.

queī, quaī, quod who, what
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative queī quaī quod
Genitive quoius, quoios quoia quoium, quoiom
Dative quoī, queī, quoieī, queī
Accusative quem quam quod
Ablative quī, quōd quād quōd
Plural
Nominative ques, queis quaī qua
Genitive quōm, quōrom quōm, quārom quōm, quōrom
Dative queis, quīs
Accusative quōs quās quōs
Ablative queis, quīs

Verbs

Old present and perfects

There is not much actual proof of the inflection of Old Latin verb forms and the few inscriptions we have hold many inconsistencies between forms. Therefore, the forms below are ones that are both proven by scholars through Old Latin inscriptions, and recreated by scholars based on other early Indo-European languages such as Greek and Italic dialects such as Oscan and Umbrian.

Indicative Present: Sum Indicative Present: Facio
Old Classical Old Classical
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
First Person som, esom somos, sumos sum sumus fac(e/ī)o fac(e)imos faciō facimus
Second Person es esteīs es estis fac(e/ī)s fac(e/ī)teis facis facitis
Third Person est sont est sunt fac(e/ī)d/-(e/i)t fac(e/ī)ont facit faciunt
Indicative Perfect: Sum Indicative Perfect: Facio
Old Classical Old Classical
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
First Person fuei fuemos fuī fuimus (fe)fecei (fe)fecemos fēcī fēcimus
Second Person fuistei fuisteīs fuistī fuistis (fe)fecistei (fe)fecisteis fēcistī fēcistis
Third Person fued/fuit fueront/-erom fuit fuērunt (fe)feced/-et (fe)feceront/-erom fēcit fēcērunt/-ēre

Bibliography

Sources

  1. ^ "Archaic Latin". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  
  2. ^ De Oratoribus, I.193.
  3. ^ Book IX.6.
  4. ^ Wordsworth, John (1874). p. v.  
  5. ^ Histories III.22.
  6. ^ Bennett, C (1910). p. iii.  
  7. ^ Bell, Andreas (1889). De Locativi in prisca latinitate vi et usu, dissertatio inauguralis philologica. Breslau: typis Grassi, Barthi et soc (W. Friedrich).  
  8. ^ De Forest Allen (1897). p. 8. "There were no such names as Caius, Cnaius"  
  9. ^ Allen (1897), p.6
  10. ^ Bennett, Charles Edwin (1915) [1895, 1908]. A Latin grammar. Boston, Chicago: Allyn and Bacon. p. 12.  
  11. ^ Buck (1933), pp. 174-175.
  12. ^ Wordsworth (1874), p.45.
  13. ^ a b Buck (1933), p. 177.
  14. ^ Buck (1933), pp. 175-176.
  15. ^ a b Wordsworth (1874), p. 48.
  16. ^ a b c d Buck (1933), p. 176.
  17. ^ Buck (1933), p. 172.
  18. ^ Palmer (1988), p. 242.
  19. ^ Buck (1933), p. 173.
  20. ^ Buck (1933), pp. 99-100.
  21. ^ a b Palmer (1954), p. 243.
  22. ^ a b c d Allen (1897), p. 9.
  23. ^ Wordsworth (1874), p.56.
  24. ^ Lindsay (1894), p. 383.
  25. ^ Buck (1933), p. 182.
  26. ^ Buck (1933), p.181.
  27. ^ Grandgent, Charles Hall (1908) [1907]. An introduction to vulgar Latin. Heath's modern language series. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co.. p. 89.  
  28. ^ Bennett (1907), p. 126.
  29. ^ Buck, Carl Darling (2005) [1904]. A Grammar Of Oscan And Umbrian: With A Collection Of Inscriptions And A Glossary. Languages of classical antiquity, vol. 5. Bristol, Pa.: Evolution Publishing. p. 204.  
  30. ^ Buck (1933), p. 197.
  31. ^ Buck (1933), pp. 185-193.
  32. ^ Wordsworth (1874), pp. 67-73.
  33. ^ Roby (1872), p. 161.
  34. ^ Buck (1933), p. 185.
  35. ^ a b Bennett (1895), p. 117.
  36. ^ Roby (1872), p. 162.
  37. ^ Gildersleeve (1900), p. 18.
  38. ^ Buck (1933), pp. 198-201.

See also

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Proper noun

Singular
Old Latin

Plural
-

Old Latin

  1. The Latin language in the period before the age of Classical Latin; that is, all Latin before 75 BC.

Synonyms

See also


Ages of Latin
—75 BC    75 BC – 200    200 – 900    900 – 1300    1300 – 1600    1600 – 1900   1900 – present
Old Latin    Classical Latin    Late Latin    Medieval Latin    Renaissance Latin   New Latin    Recent Latin
See also: Vulgar Latin, Ecclesiastical Latin, Low Latin, Romance languages

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message