Nonius Marcellus - Encyclopedia

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NONIUS MARCELLUS, Latin grammarian and lexicographer, flourished at the end of the 3rd or the beginning of the 4th century A.D. He is often called the "Peripatetic of Thubursicum" (in Numidia, probably his birth-place). He is the author of a sort of lexicon called De compendiosa doctrina, in 20 sections or chapters, the first twelve of which deal with language and grammar, the remaining eight with special subjects (navigation, costume, food, arms). The work is a compilation from commentaries on the authors quoted (whom Nonius only knows at second hand) and from existing dictionaries and grammars. Nonius is especially indebted to Verrius Flaccus and Aulus Gellius. The Doctrina is valuable as preserving fragments from old dramatists, annalists, satirists and antiquarian writers. It is remarkable that in the quotations from the authors cited Nonius always follows the same order, beginning with Plautus and ending with Varro and Cato. The grammarians Priscian and Fulgentius borrowed largely from his book; and in the 5th century a certain Julius Tryphonianus Sabinus brought out a revised and annotated edition.

Editions by L. Muller (1888); J. H. Onions, bks. i.-iii. (1895) W. M. Lindsay (1903) (reviewed in Classical Review, October 1904). See also articles in the Classical Review (Dec. 1888, June and July 1889); J. H. Onions (Oct. 1890, Oct. 1895, Feb. 1896, Feb. 1902); W. M. Lindsay; Journal of Philology, xvi. (1888), xviii. (1890), (J. H. Onions), xxi. (1893). ("The Printed Editions of Nonius," by H. Nettleship); P. Monceaux, Les Africains. Etude sur la ltterature latine d'Afrique (1894); Teuffel, Hist. of Roman Literature (Eng. trans.), 404A; M. Schanz, Geschichte der rOmischen Literatur, iv. I (1904).

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