Archives par étiquette : Terentius Scaurus

Terentius Scaurus, Quintus

inc. loc., saec. I – II p. Chr.

His praenomen Q(uinctus) is attested in both the indirect (Char. gramm. p. 263, 11 and 272, 27) and the direct tradition (some manuscripts of the treatise De orthographia that Biddau [2008: p. lxiii] groups under the ‘g’ family). But more often he is cited as either Terentius Scaurus or simply Scaurus. The latter raises the possibility that some citations may come from other Scauri. Doubts hardly arise in relation to the other famous Scaurus, namely M. Aemilius, the orator and politician of the second century BC, even if Keil (ed. 573) and Barwick (ed. 487), to judge from their indices scriptorium, wrongly placed under Terentius Scaurus the quotation in Char. gramm. p. 186, 16-17, very likely from Aemilius Scaurus’ (see Law 1987: 75 n. 19) de uita sua (Uría 2009: 387 n. 1063). More importantly, the idea was long ago proposed (see Jeep 1893: 38-39; Barwick 1922: 86-87 and 238 [where a list of the reliable fragments is given], partly followed by Tempesti 1977: 217-220), that some of the fragments collected by Kummrow (1880: 1-7), namely those from the Explanationes in Donatum and some of those from Diomedes (in fr. 17 Kummrow, Scaurus is probably a trivialization of the Asprus witnessed by Anon. Bob. p. 4, 12 De Nonno [GL i 534, 39]; cf. Schmidt 2000: 287 n. 1; see also Law 1987: 76 on fr. 21 Kummrow), rather belong to a late school grammar of a later Pseudo-Scaurus (contra Holtz 1981: 82 n. 35 and 101 n. 28; Baratin 1989: 100, n. 1 and 355, n. 2; skepticism is shown by Schmidt 2000: 256). On similar grounds (mainly style and language reminiscent of late artes), doubts have been cast by Tempesti (1977: 218) on the authorship of De orthographia (contra Schmidt 2000: 257, and Biddau 2008: pp. xxxviii-xli). The ars minor which Law (1987) had attributed to Scaurus has been recently shown to be a later work (Reinikka 2008).

That Scaurus was a professional teacher of grammar is proved by the information provided by Gellius (Gell. 9, 15, 3 grammaticus uel nobilissimus) and in the Historia Augusta (Hist. Aug. Ver. 2, 5 grammaticus Hadriani, a phrase that seems to imply he was the teacher of Hadrian himself [so Holford-Strevens 2008: n.1]); also, he is mentioned next to other famous grammarians (such as Aemilius Asper, Valerius Probus, Verrius Flaccus) by Arnobius (Arnob. nat. 1, 59, 13) and Ausonius (Auson. 1, 1, 20; 11, 15, 12; 11, 20, 7; 27, 10, 27). Moreover, both his alleged quarrel with Caesellius Vindex (Gell. 9, 15) and a supposed (cf. below) correspondence with the Emperor on linguistic matters (Char. gramm. p. 271, 12) attest to his great prestige. As defended by Tempesti (1977: 176-177), and accepted by Schmidt (2000: 254), Holdford-Strevens (2008), and (more cautiously) Biddau (2008: p. xxvii), he might be the addressee of a letter in which Pliny (Plin. epist. 5, 12) asks a prestigious (5, 12, 4 auctoritas tua) Scaurus (Scauro suo) for approval of a speech he is planning to publish. If Pliny’s addresse is our Scaurus, his letter is the first notice we have on him; book five of Pliny’s letters is dated between 106 and 110 (Biddau 2008: p. xxvii), so it can be deduced that Scaurus was probably a respectable grammarian by the turn of the century; then he could have been born in the third quarter of the first century AD (“tra il principato de Nerone e quello di Vespasiano” is Biddau’s [2008: p. xxvii] proposal). Since Gellius seems to mention him as a “grammatico del passato” (Biddau 2008: p. xviii), and since there is no news linking Scaurus with the Emperors after Hadrian, his death is supposed to have occurred before 138 AD. His activity was obviously developed in Rome, but there is no evidence about his place of birth.

The only work of Scaurus which has been preserved through direct tradition is his De orthographia; its preface and initial section are lost, this raising uncertainties about authorship (Biddau 2008: p. xxxiii and pp. xxxviii-xli). An influential teacher as he was, his impact was certainly more profound than one could guess from the relatively few fragments nominally ascribed to him. For instance, it is accepted (pace Barwick 1922: 86-87, who thinks it is the Scaurus iunior whom Audax excerpts) that much of his doctrine is behind the excerpta Audacis, even if mixed with material from Palladius (Schmidt 1993: 122). Also, in view of Scaurus dealing with pronouns (fr. 2-3 Tempesti = fr. 19-18 Kummrow = Char. gramm. p. 169, 20-25 and 173, 3-7), it has been proposed (Froehde 1892: 635) that other ‘entries’ dealing with pronouns in Charisius (ego [p. 162, 24-25], tu [p. 184, 8-9], te [p. 184, 11-13]) come from Scaurus as well; similar proposals are made by Tolkiehn (1910: 162) in respect to several quidam (allegedly = Scaurus) mentioned by Charisius: but so far this is only speculation. As for the nominal attributions, they allow to identify several grammatical works by Scaurus, although not all of them are unanimously accepted as genuine. This controversy is reflected in the two editors of his fragments, Kummrow (1880) and Tempesti (1977): the former identifies 26 fragments, whereas the latter only admits 13.

Thanks to Iulius Romanus it is certain that he wrote an ars grammatica in several books (Roman.-Char. gramm. p. 173, 4-5 artis grammaticae libris), probably organized around the “triade traditionnelle”, as proposed by Schmidt (2000: 255 “les notions fondamentales, les parties du discours et la stylistique”; cf. Barwick 1922: 239, and Wessner 1934: 672), although this scholar partly relies on the ars minor identified by Law (1987), which is now seen as unauthentic. The other uncontroversial work by Scaurus is a commentary on Horace: Iulius Romanus refers twice (fr. 8 and 7 Kummrow = fr. 5 and 6 Tempesti) to a book X of a commentary in artem poeticam; given that it would be difficult to accept that Scaurus wrote ten books on only one work of Horace, scholars tend to accept Zangemeister’s (1862: 42, with additional supporting arguments in 1884 and 1885) proposal that this book is the last one of a full commentary on Horace including two books on sat., one on epod., four on carm., two on epist. and one (the tenth!) on ars (Wessner [1934: 674], Tempesti [1977: 194] and Schmidt [2000: 258] support this hypothesis, whereas Froehde [1892: 636] and Lo Monaco [1995] are skeptical; on the separate traditions of the ars and the epist. see Brink 1963: 243 n. 4). Whatever the extent of this commentary, its existence seems to be proved by a quotation in Porph. Hor. sat. 2, 5, 92 (= fr. 6 Kummrow = fr. 7 Tempesti).

Even if only a few fragments (fr. 3, 4 and 5 Kummrow = fr. 8, 9 and 10 Tempesti) attest to a commentary on Virgil by Scaurus, and no matter that those fragments do not contain any information about title and book partitions, scholars admit (since Suringar [1834: ii 188-189] and Ribbeck [1866: 171]) that it existed (Tempesti 1977: 203;  Schmidt 2000: 258; Baschera 2006: 207), and accordingly reject the possibility that those fragments come from scattered remarks in other works by Scaurus, as suggested by Wessner (1934: 675). Doubts on the alleged (on the basis of fr. 1-2 Kummrow = fr. 12-13 Tempesti = Rufin. gramm. 15, 3-4 d’Alessandro [GL vi 561, 2-3] and 19, 19-21 d’Alessandro [GL vi 565, 1-2])  Commentarii in Plauti fabulas (Kummrow 1880: 2) are better founded, and expressed by most scholars (Keil, GL vii 7; Wessner 1934: 675; Schmidt 2000: 258; Baschera 2006: 207), in spite of the defense Ritschl (1845: i 375, followed by Cybulla 1907: 11-12, and, more cautiously, by Froehde 1892: 635, and Tempesti 1977: 212-213) made of the hypothesis that Scaurus had commented not only on the Pseudolus, but also on other plays of Plautus. Deufert (2002: 210 n. 63) leaves the question open; Carilli (1979: 38) and Jocelyn (1987: 61-62) suggest that Scaurus is known to Rufinus through Sisenna, and this is accepted by Deufert (2002: 245), but it is “non verificabile”, according to d’Alessandro (2004: p. xxiii, n. 26).

Finally, there is also a great controversy on the information implied in a chapter of Gellius (fr. 9 Kummrow = fr. 9 Tempesti = Gell. 11, 15). The phrasing of Gell.  11, 15, 3 (inter alia [illa codd.] quae de Caeselli erroribus composuit) led some scholars to think of a specific work on the mistakes of Caesellius Vindex (Kretzschmer 1866: 94; Kaster [1996] also mentions his ‘lost’ polemics against Caesellius), but doubts were already expressed by Kummrow (1880: 3, n. 8), who suggest that the remarks could have come from a letter. The richest discussion of the passage (Tempesti 1977: 179-184) concludes that Scaurus’ criticism on Caesellius must come from a more general work. Biddau (2008: p. xxx) seems to accept Tempesti’s view, even if he admits the doubts raised from the use of composuit, which Gellius usually refers to books.

Although it is now seen as a fragment falso adscriptum, the so-called Appendice Scaurina (Biddau 2008: p. lxviii-lxxi) deserves some attention. It is quite a long portion of text (GL vii 29, 3–33, 13) added at the end of the De orthographia in all manuscripts transmitting its  final part; it is also preserved in a later shortened version in the Parisinus Latinus 7520 (also edited by Keil, GL vii 34, 5–35, 6). The efforts of some scholars (especially Keil, GL vii 9-10, and Goidanich 1906: 46-53) to prove that Scaurus is the author behind the anonymous fragment, have been recently dismissed with good arguments by Biddau; however, Schmidt (2000: 257, where “extraits de Varron” seems to be a mistake for “extraits de Scaurus”) seems to accept that the fragment includes “questions isolées” which were a complement to a lost work of Scaurus (the De litteris novis mentioned at GL vii 33, 11-12), itself part of the extra material which Scaurus promises at the end of the De orthographia (GL vii 28, 17–29, 2). Usener (1869, followed by Mazzarino [GRFM 288]) had assigned the piece to Varro, who is also seen by Schmidt (2000: 257) as the “contexte de la source”.

As for the sources, there is an extensive analysis by Biddau (2008: pp. xlii-liv, with rich bibliography), who deals with the influence of Varro, Remmius Palaemon, Verrius Flaccus and Annaeus Cornutus in Scaurus’ De orthographia. We can safely assume that he also draw material from Palaemon for his ars grammatica. On his part, Scaurus is thought to have been directly read (Schmidt 2000: 256) by Sulpicius Apollinaris, Caper, Diomedes, Cominianus (see Tolkiehn 1910: 161-164) and Donatus. It is still discussed whether or not his De orthographia was read by his contemporary Velius Longus (De Paolis 2010: 243, n. 36)

Fragments relating to definitions of both parts of speech and ‘virtues and vices’ suggest that Scaurus’ ars grammatica included the “triade traditionnelle” (see above). But more interestingly, he seems to have paid particular attention to quaestiones (as it was the case also in the De orthographia [see De Paolis 2010: 249 n. 52]), that is to say specific remarks on rare and dubious forms/uses, singularly in the antiqui (Pacuvius in fr. 19 Kummrow = fr. 2 Tempesti = Char. gramm. p. 169, 20-25; Laberius in fr. 10 Kummrow = fr. 4 Tempesti = Char. gramm. p. 271, 10-20; see Barwick 1922: 239). It is possible that two of these quaestiones are the source of both fr. 10 and 11 Kummrow (= fr. 4 and 13 Tempesti), even if Kummrow (1880: 3) suggests they might come from scholarly letters: Tempesti (1977: 192-193 and 213-215) thinks that Kummrow may be right (De Paolis [2010: 251 n. 56] speaks of “richieste scritte” and “scambi di opinione”), but she also mentions the possibility (as earlier Keil [cf. Froehde 1892: 635]), and later Law [1987: 74]) that those fragments come from the ars grammatica. This interest in quaestiones links Scaurus with the tradition of the treatises de latinitate (cf. De Paolis 2010: 245).



Kummrow (1880), 2-7; Tempesti (1977).


PIR¹ iii (1898), T 71; Gräfenhan (1843-1850), iv, 88-89; P. Wessner, ‘Terentius 70’, RE v a/1 (1934), 672-676; Teuffel–Kroll–Skutsch (1910⁶-1916⁶), iii, 67-68; Schanz–Hosius–Krüger (1922³), 156-158; R. A. Kaster, OCD (1996³) 1485; P.L. Schmidt, HLL iv (1997), § 433; P.L. Schmidt, ‘Terentius iii.3’, BNP.

Baratin, Marc (1989), La naissance de la syntaxe à Rome, Paris.

Barwick, Karl (1922), Remmius Palaemon und die römische Ars grammatical, Leipzig.

Baschera, Claudio (2006), ‘Scauro, esegeta virgiliano e non solo’, BStudLat 36, 205-209.

Biddau, Federico (2008), Q. Terentii Scauri De orthographia, Hildesheim.

Brink, Charles Oscar (1963), Horace on Poetry. Prolegomena to the literary Epistles, Cambridge.

Carilli, Maria (1979), ‘Le citazioni dell’Amphitruo plautino nella tradizione di Carisio’, SRIL 2, 35-56.

Cybulla, Kurt (1907), De Rufini Antiochensis commentarii, Königsberg.

d’Alessandro, Paolo (ed.) (2002), Rufini Antiochensis commentaria in metra Terentiana et de compositione et de numeris oratorum, Hildesheim – Zürich ­– New York.

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