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3.6 Comparison of Vitruvius’s Latin with those of other classical authors

erstellt von Kulawik Veröffentlicht 05.06.2019 20:47, zuletzt verändert: 05.06.2019 20:47

Still other obstacles present themselves when one tries to read Vitruvius:

Pare ad alcuni spesse volte strano il modo del parlar di Vitruvio; essendo molto lontano da quello ch’usano Cesare, e Cicerone, e gli altri buoni scrittori Romani; onde si farà una opera latina de modi di parlar di Vitruvio, ove si vedrà se molte durezze, che s’accusano in lui si posson difendere per esempio d’altri buoni autori, e quelle che non haveranno questo scudo, si notaranno, come proprio, e particolar suo idioma.[Tolomei 1547, 82r]

To some [people] Vitruvius’s mode of speaking seems to be strange and to be fra from the that used by Caesar, Cicero and the other good Roman authors; therefore one will make a Latin work about the speakings modes of Vitruvius where one will see if many of the harshnesses, of which he is accused, could be defended, e. g., with examples from other good authors, and for those which do not have such an excuse it will be noted as his own, particular idiom.

This planned volume seems to be motivated by the dissatisfaction that philologists of classical Latin may have felt when reading the text of the Roman engineer and architect whose «way of speaking» obviously did not meet their standards. Again, no trace of such a study has been identified yet — but in this special case one may doubt that such a book really existed or ever reached some considerable state of preparation because it would not have been necessary to understand Vituvius and therefore may not have been seen as a crucial aim for the project in general. But it is possible that at least similar preparations were made, e. g., for the publication of Philandrier’s book. This may also be true for the next book.