Gli Incontri di filologia classica (INCF) sono una rivista scientifica internazionale a cadenza annuale. Nata per accogliere le relazioni discusse da studiosi appositamente invitati all’interno dei seminari che si tenevano presso l’Università di Trieste (da qui il titolo Incontri triestini di filologia classica, conservato fino al volume IX), la rivista pubblica, previa valutazione, contributi inviati alla redazione e/o discussi nell’ambito di incontri scientifici in Italia e all’estero.
This paper discusses the use of the word γλίσχρος (‘sticky’), which Platonists use to disqualify certain, mostly Stoic, etymologies. I argue that the expression derives from Plato Crat. 435c, a passage in which Socrates sets out a theory of word formation that informs Stoic etymologies. I furthermore suggest that when Neoplatonists use γλίσχρος to reject certain interpretations of Plato’s texts as misguided, this is because these interpretations are reminiscent of Stoic exegetical practices.
The origins of law coincide with the origins of language, as both Plato and Horace highlight. Thus, a systematic attempt to discover the etymological roots of words simultaneously reveals the source of legality. The article examines the etymological doctrina (‘learning’) of poets vis-à-vis the etymological reasoning of learned jurists. The Twelve Tables, Catullus, and Labeo engage in similar etymological pursuits. Ovid’s Byblis responds to Labeo’s etymologies. The jurist Ulpian echoes the poetics of Latin love elegy. Lawyers and poets meet on the common ground of etymology in their attempts to lay down the law.
In the late Latin world, a crucial role in using etymology and in providing us information about etymologizing (and the general debate around this topic) is played by grammarians, commentators, teachers, mythographers, encyclopaedists, Neoplatonists, Christian apologists and writers, who developed these issues and whose influence on later approaches was enormous. Focusing on the etymology of Saturnus, the paper deals with the scope and purposes of etymologizing in late Latin authors.
The paper investigates the use of etymologising in the Appendix Tibulliana and concludes that its purpose to link the probably late first-century AD author of this work with the great elegists of an earlier generation, namely Propertius, Ovid and, in particular, Tibullus. This etymologising takes place at the level both of common nouns and of proper names, with plays on the fictitious character names Lygdamus, Neaera and Cerinthus. In both cases the practice is firmly anchored in the literary techniques of Tibullus and the other elegists. The manipulation of earlier elegiac etymologising and of the previous literary identities of these character names provides the whole work with a structural unity and a specific chronological focus, and so lends weight to arguments for a single unitary author.