Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

of Livius Andronicus, Naevius, Ennius, Pacuvius, and Accius were quite largely responsible for at least the following effects: 1. The awakening of an interest in Greek literature and the cultivation of literary taste. 2. A dissemination of knowledge of Greek mythology. 3. A metrical revolution. 4. The development of a polished literary standard of forms, syntax, and style, which is rendered more noticeable when compared with the colloquialism of comedy. 5. The enrichment of the language by the coinage of new words.

The purpose of this paper is to determine as far as possible to what extent, and along what lines, the language and literature of Rome were enriched by the word-coinage of these early tragic poets.

The period from Livius Andronicus to Accius was the great formative period of Latin. The Romans were suddenly awakened to the fact that their language was a rough and primitive instrument for the expression of the exact, the delicate, the picturesque idea. The early tragic poets must therefore have been constantly hampered, among other difficulties, by the lack of suitable words with which to convey their finer shades of meaning.

We must acknowledge at the start the limitations within which we are compelled to work. We seldom, if ever, can attain mathematical certainty with regard to the author of a word, and the date of its genesis; for some earlier writer, whose works are lost, may have used it. Moreover, a large proportion of the meagre tragic fragments that we do possess have been preserved to us merely because they contain in each instance some unusual word. Again, the condition of the text sometimes leaves us in doubt.

Having frankly admitted, however, that we may look for only a varying degree of probability in our conclusions, we may take courage from the following facts: 1. The old Latin grammarians frequently leave us no reasonable ground of doubt. 2. A comparison of the original Greek in many cases makes it nearly certain that the word arose then and there as a translation. 3. A large number of words bear on their faces the stamp of mere linguistic experiments that were never imitated. 4. A reasonable regard for the laws of word-derivation in Latin and a constant comparison with what seems to have been taking place in that line in each period of the language will enable us to keep our conjectures from going too wide of the mark.

In the preparation of this paper Ribbeck's collection of the fragments of the tragic writers has been used for the text; but, as a rule, conjectural readings have not been taken into account.

LIVIUS ANDRONICUS. There are but 42 verses or fragments of his tragic writings extant. Of the 10 words which appear to have more or less claim to be considered the creations of Livius Andronicus, 3 are transliterations from the Greek, 4 are new compounds, i is a new form of derivative, and 2 are new adverbs. Not a single one seems to have become very common in the language, and 2 (} of the whole number) never occur again. More of the new words are new compounds than are found under any other head. The proportion of new words is nearly one to every four fragments of verses. Two (simus and inhumigo) seem worthy to have endured.

Naevius. In the case of Naevius more new words occur in his comedies and his Belluni Punicum than in the tragedy fragments; with the former, however, we are not now concerned.

There appear to be about 17 new words in 65 verses, the percentage being but a trifle larger than in Livius Andronicus. Of these, 6 (more than 1) are taken from the Greek, 5 are new compounds (3 of these being of the poetic picturesque type), and the others are new derivatives. Although but one of this list is surely a am að leyóuevov, most of them seem to have been confined to the ante-classical period, except in so far as they were revived in comparatively late Latin. It is perhaps noteworthy that there are more Greek words in the Campanian Naevius than in the Greek slave Andronicus. It was worth while to use valentia, which might well have held its own against the more cumbrous valetudo; and of course such words as suavisonum and frondifer deserved to be repeated often by succeeding poets.

ENNIUS. With Ennius the field of our investigation widens. There remain of his tragedy over 400 verses or fragments. Here the proportion of new words appears to be much smaller than in the two preceding writers, there being but 42, or about 1 in 10. A study of these, however, brings out several points of interest. 1. There are only 2 Greek words in the list. Ennius was too great a poet to borrow his diction extensively from the Greeks. 2. On the other hand, there are about 20 new compounds (about 1 of the whole number); there are also several derivative verbs and nouns in -men and -mentum. 3. The än leyóueva number 7; signitenens and velivolans are typical poetic descriptive words, such as every true Roman poet in the earlier period coined; blandiloquentia and visceratim are strong words and deserved the better fate of being incorporated in the permanent body of the language; obvaro and augifico seem rather needless compounds; but hariolatio is a word that has no good equivalent, and could ill be spared. 4. Derivatives like hostimentum and peniculamentum apparently did not meet with a favorable reception. Compounds in ficus and fico seem to have been overdone, e.g. in the case of nugifico and regifice. 5. Quite a number of these words coined by Ennius became the lasting possessions of the language, such as: exalbesco, flammifer, velivolus, deflagro, reciproco, regimen, inauratus, optumates, pervicacia, nearly of the whole number. 6. Several more were used by the early poets after him, influencing the whole language through them, and then, falling out of use for awhile, were taken up again in the post-Augustan or postclassical period, such as: propitiabilis, derepente, nitido, elimino, flaccet, erisceratus. 7. Ennius was not conservative in the form of words, as is evidenced by his variant forms in the case of common words. So, for instance, he uses caemienta (f.), but caementum (n.) was the form that endured; similarly sanguen for sanguis, veter for vetus ; further we find velivolans and velivolus side by side, the latter of which endured; and tabum was added to tabes, and both endured. 8. It is not easy to see why such words as expectoro, altisonus, scrupeus, convestio, and conglomero should not have cut a more important figure in the later language. 9. If, on the whole, Ennius coined fewer words than might have been expected from his unique position in Roman literature, his efforts were on sounder lines, and the effect on the language of his successors is discernible at once, particularly in the line of expressive compounds.

PacuviuS. The bulk of fragments of the tragedies of Pacuvius is little greater than in the case of Ennius; but the proportion of new words is considerably larger, the total number of 66 being nearly one in 6 verses. Furthermore, we discover at once a marked tendency to experiment with the language, not only on the lines already followed by Ennius, but on others, in some of which none had led, and few would follow.

An examination of the complete list of words brings out the following facts: 1. Only one Greek word occurs. 2. Nine compound adjectives, all the way from the picturesque tardigradus to the monstrous incurvicervicius, and 6 compound verbs illustrate an increasing tendency. 3. The most striking phenomenon, however, is the appearance among the derivatives of not less than 17 new abstract nouns, 6 ending in -tas, 8 in -tudo, and 3 in -or. These range from the indispensable to the fantastic, from unanimitas to anxitudo; and remind one of the two periods in the development of the English language (one immediately after Chaucer, the other during the “revival of learning”) when it was the fashion to produce such words as 'facundious,' pulcritude,' 'consuetude,' mulierosity,'

solertiousness, etc. Various derivative verbs (some 13 in all) should be added here, especially 4 inceptives. 4. Other words include but 3 adverbs, and do not need especial notice. 5. That Pacuvius was an experimenter who went too far to be cordially and thoroughly imitated is evident at once from the fact that 25 of these 66 new words never occur again. On the other hand, quite a number found a permanent place in the language. Of course Latin did not need prolixitudo and concorditas; and geminitudo and matresco were plainly called for only by the occasion. But there was undoubtedly a place for mollitudo and timiditas, while bonifer and globosus could hardly be spared from the working force of the language. Although the verse containing the two enormities, incurvicervicus and repandirostrus, is commonly cited to prove the devotion of Pacuvius to outlandish compounds, a careful search fails to discover good ground for the charge. 6. Tardigradus is worthy of Lucretius, and should have endured. The same is true of macor, taetro, cornifrons, and abjugo ; while unanimitas, largificus, and flexanimus certainly deserved a more extended use than they ever enjoyed. 7. On the whole, the inference can hardly be avoided that the complete works of Pacuvius would doubtless show extensive contributions to the language along the well-established lines of composition and derivation.

Accius. In Accius the total number of new words is larger than in any of his prede. cessors in Roman tragedy; but, the number of verses being about 700, the 78 words do not bring the percentage up so high as was the case in Pacuvius, and not much above that of Ennius. Of those 78 words, 25, or nearly }, are amat λεγόμενα.

Accius evidently followed the general tendencies already observed in Pacuvius.

1. We find no case of borrowing from the Greek except the imitation of terpáTrolis, quadrurbem. 2. Among new compounds, the adjectives number 6, the verbs 9, and the nouns 2. There is an apparent falling off in the coinage of the picturesque descriptive adjectives; sonipes endured as a poetic word; while such compounds as taurigenus and fallaciloquus were doomed to retirement. But disicio, allido, oblittero, and eniteo were valuable acquisitions to the language. Such a noun as vitisator, used later by Vergil, is hardly inore than an epithet. 3. The craze for new abstracts has not died out yet. There are 12 in -tas, and i in -tudo. Vastitas, crudelitas, and stupiditas were useful additions; magnitas, honestitudo, and that ilk, are mere doubles of words already in common use; while noxitudo, nitiditas, and the like, did not secure the stamp of popular approval. Of the derivative verbs the inceptives in -sco continue to be the most noteworthy additions; yet most of them died a speedy death. Such formations as vastesco and sanctesco do not seem in harmony with the genius of the language. There were, however, several useful derivative verbs, like divito and locupleto. 4. The list of derivative adjectives shows the largest increase of any, including II words, of which exspes, fremibundus, vorax, and praefervidus endured. 5. Indecorabiliter is the only new adverb and that a árag Ley buevov. 6. Appetisso, delitor, celebresco, per fremo, tabificabilis, orbifico, and taetritudo might well have endured. 7. Accius illustrates pretty well what was to be expected from one who kept up to the mark of word-coinage set down by his immediate predecessors. There are fewer fanciful forms, but a more earnest effort to broaden the language and to give parallel forms to many already existing words. The language did not, however, in most cases, care for doubles of this kind, and hence it is that so large a proportion of his new words perished at once.

In the somewhat more than 1600 fragmentary verses of Roman tragedy we find, accordingly, 213 words which there is more or less reason to consider coined by the tragic writers. Of these, 55 (or a little more than 1) never appear again; and of the rest, a good-sized majority never came into very common use. This fact may appear a little disappointing at first thought, but we have already seen that the conditions under which we study this question are such as to bring the rarest words into special prominence. And even those which did not themselves become a permanent part of the language, exercised an indirect influence that cannot be estimated. Not only did the tragedians set the pace in word-building, but also scores of their new words were accepted and incorporated in the language. It is remarkable, considering the source of this body of dramatic literature, how few Greek words (not over 18 in all the fragments) were borrowed. It indicates a better self-deñial and a keener industry than we have sometimes been inclined to credit to these writers. It was rather in the lines of the expressive compound and the timely derivative that we find the tendencies most marked. Probably the least valuable fashion was that of multiplying ponderous abstract nouns, which seem particularly out of place in poetic composition.

Tragedy showed the Romans how to write dignified Latin poetry, combining beauty and feeling, and marked out plainly the line along which the vocabulary of each author should enrich the language in a perfectly rational development. In the main the succeeding Roman writers followed suit. The greatest failure to measure up to the possibilities before them was in the expressive composition of words. Such word-painting as we find in Ennius and Pacuvius might have been

continued by the poets that followed, and extended indefinitely; and geniuses like Lucretius and Catullus made good use of the example. But, as in English, by non-use the facility of such composition was rapidly diminished, and the language lost here much of its flexibility.

Remarks were made by Professor A. G. Harkness and by Dr. Knapp.

Adjourned at 12.45 P.M.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Association reassembled at 3.15 P.M.

Professor Albert Harkness reported that the Auditing Committee had examined the account of the Treasurer, compared it with the vouchers and found it correct. The report was adopted.

15. Notes on the vécula of Peisandros, Aristophanes, Aves, 1553– 1564, by Professor B. Perrin, of Yale University.

This is a parody on the vécula of Odysseus, full of Ilomeric reminiscences. The Niurn is the 'Nkeavós of k 508, \ 13, w 11, and the unwashed Socrates as Yuxaywyós answers to the Hermes of w. Peisandros takes the rôle of Odysseus in , and goes down to the confines of Hades to consult his own spirit, not that of Teiresias. As a sacrifice, — the ram and black sheep of Odysseus, Peisandros has a camel-lamb. He sacrifices it, then like Odysseus turns away (årņ10€ 1561), when up there comes to him from the lower world — Chairephon the Bat (so called as the spirits of the suitors are compared to bats w 6 ff.).

In 1561, noting the surprising lack of correspondence with 1 36 ff., commentators almost universally suspect or correct år 10€. Kuck's earlier kadroto, and his later karî de are fair examples of corrections made to restore correspondence with Homer. But the årñxoe of Aristophanes is faultless in its tradition, whereas

35-49 shew clear signs of alteration from an original context which corresponded minutely with « 526-536, the forerunner-passage. At just the point where the minute correspondence is broken, we find in a group of verses to which the Alexandrian critics took exception. They are memorable and faultless verses in themselves, but they are not adapted closely to their present context.

At soine point in the tradition of the Homeric poems, probably the time of their committal to writing, the desire to preserve this å vôos led to its substitution in 1 in place of verses corresponding minutely to k 528–530, where there is an expression of which the ånde of Aristophanes is a faultless parody.

It is most natural surely that a brilliant parody of the vékula of Odysseus should base itself on the main account of that vékula rather than on its forerunner-passage, i.e. on , rather than on k. Either, then, the manuscript of Aristophanes' Odyssey had at 1 38 something corresponding to the amovóo pi tpaneo dai of K 528, or the oral tradition of the poem, kept vivid by public recitation, had this. We thus get a glimpse of a written or oral status of a famous passage in Homer

« ПредишнаНапред »