ed krentz wrote:Some time ago someone said that the ancient Grammarian Dionysios Thrax was later than the first century B.C. All the sources I have for classical Greek date his grammar to the first century (OCD 3rd ed., Der Kleine Pauly, etc.).
I would appreciate the bibliography that gives the evidence for the later dating, if someone can supply it.
Eleanor Dickey (with my emphasis added) wrote:A short, simple grammatical introduction entitled Τέχη γραμματική is traditionally attributed to Dionysius (c.170-c.90 BC), a pupil of Aristarchus. This handbook was enormously influential from late antiquity onward and is certainly one of the most important surviving grammatical works. If the attribution to Dionysius can be trusted, the handbook is also the only Hellenistic grammatical treatise to survive to modern times. Dionysius' authorship, however, has been doubted since antiquity and has recently been the focus of considerable discussion; some scholars maintain that the entire treatise is a compilation of the third or fourth century AD, while others defend its complete authenticity and date it to the end of the second century BC. There is also a range of intermediate positions, which in recent years have gained much ground against both the more extreme views: some portion of the beginning of the work could go back to Dionysius, while the rest was written later, or the entire work (or sections of it) could be originally Dionysius' but seriously altered (and perhaps abridged) by later writers. Some argue that if the Τέχη is spurious, we must revise our whole view of the development of Greek grammatical thought, to put the creation of fully developed grammatical analysis in the first century BC. Others maintain that Aristarchus and his followers already possessed an advanced grammatical system and that the date of the Τέχη therefore makes little difference to our view of the evolution of grammar.
Eleanor Dickey. Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises: From Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period (Kindle Locations 1294-1303). Kindle Edition.
MAubrey wrote:... Eleanor Dickey's Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatise, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period is an excellent little volume that can be had rather cheaply and is quite a unique and useful resource for for the contemporary state of research on Ancient Greek scholarship. Here's the first paragraph from her discussion of Thrax:Eleanor Dickey (with my emphasis added) wrote:A short, simple grammatical introduction entitled Τέχη γραμματική is traditionally attributed to Dionysius (c.170-c.90 BC), a pupil of Aristarchus. ...
To the best of my knowledge, the general consensus currently is that only the beginning portion can be confidently attributed to Dionysius himself, with the rest of the treatise being from the later centuries.
Alan Patterson wrote:MAubrey wrote: wrote:To the best of my knowledge, the general consensus currently is that only the beginning portion can be confidently attributed to Dionysius himself, with the rest of the treatise being from the later centuries.
On what basis is this statement made?
P. H. Matthews, “Greek and Latin Linguistics," 6-7 wrote:For the origin of grammar as such we have a text traditionally ascribed to Dionysius Thrax which, if genuine, is vitally important. We have already cited its definition of grammar, which is generally accepted. But the sections which follow deal with letters, syllables, nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech in a way that is not only unrelated to this definition, but also strikingly similar to their treatment by Donatus and other grammarians of the late Empire. If they are genuine, then grammatical description had already been fixed at least in one tradition, by the end of the second century BC, and the subsequent history is largely that of sheep following sheep. But an alternative explanation is that this material was attached to Dionysius' name, perhaps by a process of rewriting or mangling an existing treatise, in the period after Apollonius Dyscholus. As a compendium it is very neat and, like the grammars of Donatus, it has had immense influence. But it is not safe to take it as evidence for Doinysius' own time.
If this text is rejected, the only substantial source for linguistic analysis in this period is the De Lingua Latina ('On the Latin Language') of Varro, from the mid first century BC. Only a fragment survives (six books, with lacunae, of an original 25), and we are obliged to read it largely out of context, except for that which Varro himself supplies.
Given the deficiencies in our sources, and the discrepancies between ancient categories of inquiry and our own, no survey of ancient linguistics can entirely escape a charge of distortion. A balanced history is not possible, or possible only at a general level. It is clear, for instance, that the earliest grammarians borrowed many categories from Stoic philosophy. But it is hard to say in detail what they borrowed and what adaptions they made: our sources for Stoic doctrine are inadequate, the earliest grammatical texts are arguably three centuries after the event, and no ancient doxographer himself addresses this issue.
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