Ars Grammatica: A Bibliographic Survey, Two Essays on the Grammar of the Latin and Italian Subjunctive, and a Note on the Ablative Absolute

Ars Grammatica: A Bibliographic Survey, Two Essays on the Grammar of the Latin and Italian Subjunctive, and a Note on the Ablative Absolute

Ars Grammatica: A Bibliographic Survey, Two Essays on the Grammar of the Latin and Italian Subjunctive, and a Note on the Ablative Absolute

Ars Grammatica: A Bibliographic Survey, Two Essays on the Grammar of the Latin and Italian Subjunctive, and a Note on the Ablative Absolute

Excerpt

The discipline of classical philology once held sway as one of the most prestigious areas of scholarship, and the great German classicists of the nineteenth century were most responsible for its exalted status. Romance philology soon followed upon the footsteps of its venerable elder sister, from which it borrowed the name and in whose light it shone with incomparable glory.

Now the use of the very term 'philology', in both areas, occasionally seems open to question. In particular, one could say that a history of classical philology as such, especially for the ancient period, approaches impossibility and, when it is attempted, its label can become a misnomer. Our sharpened historical sense has confronted us with a choice: either we decide to trace the background of a MODERN discipline -- and though in this case we are on perfectly legitimate ground, we find ourselves entangled in a maze of ideally related but historically distinct facts --; or we attempt to rebuild a discipline as it actually developed in times past and from the viewpoint of its contemporaries. In this latter case, what has been called 'philology' becomes a conglomeration of the following: philologia as actually used in antiquity (very rarely); specific schools of literary scholarship (Alexandrian, Pergamenian, Stoic ...), then called 'grammar' or, in some Stoic circles, 'criticism' -- and this flows into broad history of (classical) scholarship, as practiced by J. E. Sandys --; educational practices, methods, and programs, especially with reference to literature courses and modi operandi borrowed from this area (as done by H. I. Marrou); finally, and most specifically, curricular literary studies, beginning with grammatica .

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