Goldwin Smith Professor of Latin in Cornell University
Quicquid praecipies, esto brevis, ut cito dictaPercipiant animi dociles teneantque fideles:Omne supervacuum pleno de pectore manat. --HORACE, Ars Poetica.
COPYRIGHT, 1895; 1908; 1918 BY CHARLES E. BENNETT
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The present work is a revision of that published in 1908. No radical alterations have been introduced, although a number of minor changes will be noted. I have added an Introduction on the origin and development of the Latin language, which it is hoped will prove interesting and instructive to the more ambitious pupil. At the end of the book will be found an Index to the Sources of the Illustrative Examples cited in the Syntax.
The present book is a revision of my Latin Grammar originally published in 1895. Wherever greater accuracy or precision of statement seemed possible, I have endeavored to secure this. The rules for syllable division have been changed and made to conform to the prevailing practice of the Romans themselves. In the Perfect Subjunctive Active, the endings -īs, -īmus, -ītis are now marked long. The theory of vowel length before the suffixes -gnus, -gna, -gnum, and also before j, has been discarded. In the Syntax I have recognized a special category of Ablative of Association, and have abandoned the original doctrine as to the force of tenses in the Prohibitive.
Apart from the foregoing, only minor and unessential modifications have been introduced. In its main lines the work remains unchanged.
ITHACA, NEW YORK, October 16, 1907.
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FROM THE PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The object of this book is to present the essential facts of Latin grammar in a direct and simple manner, and within the smallest compass consistent with scholarly standards. While intended primarily for the secondary school, it has not neglected the needs of the college student, and aims to furnish such grammatical information as is ordinarily required in undergraduate courses.
The experience of foreign educators in recent years has tended to restrict the size of school-grammars of Latin, and has demanded an incorporation of the main principles of the language in compact manuals of 250 pages. Within the past decade, several grammars of this scope have appeared abroad which have amply met the most exacting demands.
The publication in this country of a grammar of similar plan and scope seems fully justified at the present time, as all recent editions of classic texts summarize in introductions the special idioms of grammar and style peculiar to individual authors. This makes it feasible to dispense with the enumeration of many minutiae of usage which would otherwise demand consideration in a student's grammar.
In the chapter on Prosody, I have designedly omitted all special treatment of the lyric metres of Horace and Catullus, as well as of the measures of the comic poets. Our standard editions of these authors all give such thorough consideration to versification that repetition in a separate place seems superfluous.
ITHACA, NEW YORK, December 15, 1894.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
PART I. SOUNDS, ACCENT, QUANTITY, ETC.
PART II. INFLECTIONS.
PART III. PARTICLES
PART IV. WORD FORMATION.
PART V. SYNTAX.
SYNTAX OF NOUNS.
SYNTAX OF ADJECTIVES.
SYNTAX OF PRONOUNS.
SYNTAX OF VERBS.
WORD-ORDER AND SENTENCE-STRUCTURE
HINTS ON LATIN STYLE.
PART VI. PROSODY.
THE LATIN LANGUAGE.
1. The Indo-European Family of Languages.--Latin belongs to one group of a large family of languages, known as Indo-European. This Indo-European family of languages embraces the following groups:
ASIATIC MEMBERS OF THE INDO-EUROPEAN FAMILY.
a. The Sanskrit, spoken in ancient India. Of this there were several stages, the oldest of which is the Vedic, or language of the Vedic Hymns. These Hymns are the oldest literary productions known to us among all the branches of the Indo-European family. A conservative estimate places them as far back as 1500 B.C. Some scholars have even set them more than a thousand years earlier than this, i.e. anterior to 2500 B.C.
The Sanskrit, in modified form, has always continued to be spoken in India, and is represented to-day by a large number of dialects descended from the ancient Sanskrit, and spoken by millions of people.
b. The Iranian, spoken in ancient Persia, and closely related to the Sanskrit. There were two main branches of the Iranian group, viz. the Old Persian and the Avestan. The Old Persian was the official language of the court, and appears in a number of so-called cuneiform inscriptions, the earliest of which date from the time of Darius I (sixth century B.C.). The other branch of the Iranian, the Avestan, is the language of the Avesta or sacred books of the Parsees, the followers of Zoroaster, founder of the religion of the fire-worshippers. Portions of these sacred books may have been composed as early as 1000 B.C.
Modern Persian is a living representative of the old Iranian speech. It has naturally been much modified by time, particularly through the introduction of many words from the Arabic.
c. The Armenian, spoken in Armenia, the district near the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains. This is closely related to the Iranian, and was formerly classified under that group. It is now recognized as entitled to independent rank. The earliest literary productions of the Armenian language date from the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era. To this period belong the translation of the Scriptures and the old Armenian Chronicle. The Armenian is still a living language, though spoken in widely separated districts, owing to the scattered locations in which the Armenians are found to-day.
d. The Tokharian. This language, only recently discovered and identified as Indo-European, was spoken in the districts east of the Caspian Sea (modern Turkestan). While in some respects closely related to the three Asiatic branches of the Indo-European family already considered, in others it shows close relationship to the European members of the family. The literature of the Tokharian, so far as it has been brought to light, consists mainly of translations from the Sanskrit sacred writings, and dates from the seventh century of our era.
EUROPEAN MEMBERS OF THE INDO-EUROPEAN FAMILY.
e. The Greek. The Greeks had apparently long been settled in Greece and Asia Minor as far back as 1500 B.C. Probably they arrived in these districts much earlier. The earliest literary productions are the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, which very likely go back to the ninth century B.C. From the sixth century B.C. on, Greek literature is continuous. Modern Greek, when we consider its distance in time from antiquity, is remarkably similar to the classical Greek of the fourth and fifth centuries B.C.
f. The Italic Group. The Italic Group embraces the Umbrian, spoken in the northern part of the Italian peninsula (in ancient Umbria); the Latin, spoken in the central part (in Latium); the Oscan, spoken in the southern part (in Samnium, Campania, Lucania, etc.). Besides these, there were a number of minor dialects, such as the Marsian, Volscian, etc. Of all these (barring the Latin), there are no remains except a few scanty inscriptions. Latin literature begins shortly after 250 B.C. in the works of Livius Andronicus, Naevius, and Plautus, although a few brief inscriptions are found belonging to a much earlier period.
g. The Celtic. In the earliest historical times of which we have any record, the Celts occupied extensive portions of northern Italy, as well as certain areas in central Europe; but after the second century B.C., they are found only in Gaul and the British Isles. Among the chief languages belonging to the Celtic group are the Gallic, spoken in ancient Gaul; the Breton, still spoken in the modern French province of Brittany; the Irish, which is still extensively spoken in Ireland among the common people, the Welsh; and the Gaelic of the Scotch Highlanders.
h. The Teutonic. The Teutonic group is very extensive. Its earliest representative is the Gothic, preserved for us in the translation of the scriptures by the Gothic Bishop Ulfilas (about 375 A.D.). Other languages belonging to this group are the Old Norse, once spoken in Scandinavia, and from which are descended the modern Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish; German; Dutch; Anglo-Saxon, from which is descended the modern English.
i. The Balto-Slavic. The languages of this group belong to eastern Europe. The Baltic division of the group embraces the Lithuanian and Lettic, spoken to-day by the people living on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. The earliest literary productions of these languages date from the sixteenth century. The Slavic division comprises a large number of languages, the most important of which are the Russian, the Bulgarian, the Serbian, the Bohemian, the Polish. All of these were late in developing a literature, the earliest to do so being the Old Bulgarian, in which we find a translation of the Bible dating from the ninth century.
j. The Albanian, spoken in Albania and parts of Greece, Italy, and Sicily. This is most nearly related to the Balto-Slavic group, and is characterized by the very large proportion of words borrowed from Latin, Turkish, Greek, and Slavic. Its literature does not begin till the seventeenth century.
2. Home of the Indo-European Family.--Despite the many outward differences of the various languages of the foregoing groups, a careful examination of their structure and vocabulary demonstrates their intimate relationship and proves overwhelmingly their descent from a common parent. We must believe, therefore, that at one time there existed a homogeneous clan or tribe of people speaking a language from which all the above enumerated languages are descended. The precise location of the home of this ancient tribe cannot be determined. For a long time it was assumed that it was in central Asia north of the Himalaya Mountains, but this view has long been rejected as untenable. It arose from the exaggerated importance attached for a long while to Sanskrit. The great antiquity of the earliest literary remains of the Sanskrit (the Vedic Hymns) suggested that the inhabitants of India were geographically close to the original seat of the Indo-European Family. Hence the home was sought in the elevated plateau to the north. To-day it is thought that central or southeastern Europe is much more likely to have been the cradle of the Indo-European parent-speech, though anything like a logical demonstration of so difficult a problem can hardly be expected.
As to the size and extent of the original tribe whence the Indo-European languages have sprung, we can only speculate. It probably was not large, and very likely formed a compact racial and linguistic unit for centuries, possibly for thousands of years.
The time at which Indo-European unity ceased and the various individual languages began their separate existence, is likewise shrouded in obscurity. When we consider that the separate existence of the Sanskrit may antedate 2500 B.C., it may well be believed that people speaking the Indo-European parent-speech belonged to a period as far back as 5000 B.C., or possibly earlier.
3. Stages in the Development of the Latin Language.--The earliest remains of the Latin language are found in certain very archaic inscriptions. The oldest of these belong to the sixth and seventh centuries B.C. Roman literature does not begin till several centuries later, viz. shortly after the middle of the third century B.C. We may recognize the following clearly marked periods of the language and literature:
a. The Preliterary Period, from the earliest times down to 240 B.C., when Livius Andronicus brought out his first play. For this period our knowledge of Latin depends almost exclusively upon the scanty inscriptions that have survived from this remote time. Few of these are of any length.
b. The Archaic Period, from Livius Andronicus (240 B.C.) to Cicero (81 B.C.). Even in this age the language had already become highly developed as a medium of expression. In the hands of certain gifted writers it had even become a vehicle of power and beauty. In its simplicity, however, it naturally marks a contrast with the more finished diction of later days. To this period belong:
Livius Andronicus, about 275-204 B.C. (Translation of Homer's Odyssey; Tragedies). Plautus, about 250-184 B.C. (Comedies). Naevius, about 270-199 B.C. ("Punic War"; Comedies). Ennius, 239-169 B.C. ("Annals"; Tragedies). Terence, about 190-159 B.C. (Comedies). Lucilius, 180-103 B.C. (Satires). Pacuvius, 220-about 130 B.C. (Tragedies). Accius, 170-about 85 B.C. (Tragedies).
c. The Golden Age, from Cicero (81 B.C.) to the death of Augustus (14 A.D.). In this period the language, especially in the hands of Cicero, reaches a high degree of stylistic perfection. Its vocabulary, however, has not yet attained its greatest fullness and range. Traces of the diction of the Archaic Period are often noticed, especially in the poets, who naturally sought their effects by reverting to the speech of olden times. Literature reached its culmination in this epoch, especially in the great poets of the Augustan Age. The following writers belong here:
Lucretius, about 95-55 B.C. (Poem on Epicurean Philosophy). Catullus, 87-about 54 B.C. (Poet). Cicero, 106-43 B.C. (Orations; Rhetorical Works; Philosophical Works; Letters). Caesar, 102-44 B.C. (Commentaries on Gallic and Civil Wars), Sallust, 86-36 B.C. (Historian). Nepos, about 100-about 30 B.C. (Historian). Virgil, 70-19 B.C. ("Aeneid"; "Georgics"; "Bucolics"). Horace, 65-8 B.C. (Odes; Satires, Epistles). Tibullus, about 54-19 B.C. (Poet). Propertius, about 50-about 15 B.C. (Poet). Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 A.D. ("Metamorphoses" and other poems). Livy. 59 B.C.-17 A.D. (Historian).
d. The Silver Latinity, from the death of Augustus (14 A.D.) to the death of Marcus Aurelius (180 A.D.), This period is marked by a certain reaction against the excessive precision of the previous age. It had become the practice to pay too much attention to standardized forms of expression, and to leave too little play to the individual writer. In the healthy reaction against this formalism, greater freedom of expression now manifests itself. We note also the introduction of idioms from the colloquial language, along with many poetical words and usages. The following authors deserve mention:
Phaedrus, flourished about 40 A.D. (Fables in Verse) Velleius Paterculus, flourished about 30 A.D. (Historian). Lucan, 39-65 A.D. (Poem on the Civil War). Seneca, about 1-65 A.D. (Tragedies; Philosophical Works). Pliny the Elder, 23-79 A.D. ("Natural History"). Pliny the Younger, 62-about 115 A.D. ("Letters"). Martial, about 45-about 104 A.D. (Epigrams). Quintilian, about 35-about 100 A.D. (Treatise on Oratory and Education). Tacitus, about 55-about 118 A.D. (Historian). Juvenal, about 55-about 135 A.D. (Satirist). Suetonius, about 73-about 118 A.D. ("Lives of the Twelve Caesars"). Minucius Felix, flourished about 160 A.D. (First Christian Apologist). Apuleius, 125-about 200 A.D. ("Metamorphoses," or "Golden Ass").
e. The Archaizing Period. This period is characterized by a conscious imitation of the Archaic Period of the second and first centuries B.C.; it overlaps the preceding period, and is of importance from a linguistic rather than from a literary point of view. Of writers who manifest the archaizing tendency most conspicuously may be mentioned Fronto, from whose hand we have a collection of letters addressed to the Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius; also Aulus Gellius, author of the "Attic Nights." Both of these writers flourished in the second half of the second century A.D.
f. The Period of the Decline, from 180 to the close of literary activity in the sixth century A.D. This period is characterized by rapid and radical alterations in the language. The features of the conversational idiom of the lower strata of society invade the literature, while in the remote provinces, such as Gaul, Spain, Africa, the language suffers from the incorporation of local peculiarities. Representative writers of this period are:
Tertullian, about 160-about 240 A.D. (Christian Writer). Cyprian, about 200-258 A.D. (Christian Writer). Lactantius, flourished about 300 A.D. (Defense of Christianity). Ausonius, about 310-about 395 A.D. (Poet). Jerome, 340-420 A.D. (Translator of the Scriptures). Ambrose, about 340-397 (Christian Father). Augustine, 354-430 (Christian Father--"City of God"). Prudentius, flourished 400 A.D. (Christian Poet). Claudian, flourished 400 A.D. (Poet). Boëthius, about 480-524 A.D. ("Consolation of Philosophy ").
4. Subsequent History of the Latin Language.--After the sixth century A.D. Latin divides into two entirely different streams. One of these is the literary language maintained in courts, in the Church, and among scholars. This was no longer the language of people in general, and as time went on, became more and more artificial. The other stream is the colloquial idiom of the common people, which developed ultimately in the provinces into the modern so-called Romance idioms. These are the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Provençal (spoken in Provence, i.e. southeastern France), the Rhaeto-Romance (spoken in the Canton of the Grisons in Switzerland), and the Roumanian, spoken in modern Roumania and adjacent districts. All these Romance languages bear the same relation to the Latin as the different groups of the Indo-European family of languages bear to the parent speech.