Late Latin

Late Latin

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Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 of Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

. The English dictionary definition of Late Latin dates this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD extending in Spain to the 7th. This somewhat ambiguously defined period fits between Classical Latin
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

 and Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

. Although there is no scholarly consensus about exactly when Classical Latin should end, nor exactly when Medieval Latin should begin, Late Latin is characterized (with variations and disputes) by an identifiable style.

Being a written language, Late Latin is not identifiable with Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

. The latter during those centuries served as proto-Romance, a reconstructed ancestor of the Romance languages
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

. Although Late Latin reflects an upsurge of the use of Vulgar Latin vocabulary and constructs, it remains to a large extent classical in overall features, depending on the author. Some are more literary and classical, some more inclined to the vernacular. Nor is Late Latin identical to Christian or patristic
Patristics
Patristics or Patrology is the study of Early Christian writers, known as the Church Fathers. The names derive from the Latin pater . The period is generally considered to run from the end of New Testament times or end of the Apostolic Age Patristics or Patrology is the study of Early Christian...

 Latin, the theological writings of the early Christian fathers. These are considered a subset of Late Latin, but much of the latter, especially in the early part of the period, was written by pagans.

Late Latin formed during a time when mercenaries from non-Latin-speaking peoples on the borders of the empire were being subsumed and assimilated in large numbers and the rise of Christianity was introducing a heightened divisiveness in Roman society, creating more of a need for a standard means of communicating between different socioeconomic registers
Register (sociolinguistics)
In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

 and widely separated regions of the sprawling empire. A new and more universal speech evolved from the main elements: classical Latin, Christian Latin, which featured sermo humilis, "ordinary speech" in which the people were to be addressed, and all the various dialects of Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

. The linguist, Antoine Meillet
Antoine Meillet
Paul Jules Antoine Meillet was one of the most important French linguists of the early 20th century. Meillet began his studies at the Sorbonne, where he was influenced by Michel Bréal, Ferdinand de Saussure, and the members of the Année Sociologique. In 1890 he was part of a research trip to the...

, said Sans que l'aspect extérieur de la langue se soit beaucoup modifié, le Latin est devenu au cours de l'epoque impériale une langue nouvelle, "without the exterior appearance of the language being much modified, Latin became in the course of the imperial epoch a new language" and Servant en quelque sorte de lingua franca à un grand empire, le Latin a tendu à se simplifier, à garder surtout ce qu'il avait de banal .... "Serving as some sort of lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 to a large empire, Latin tended to become simpler, to keep above all what it had of the ordinary ...."

Late and post-classical Latin


Neither Late Latin nor Late Antiquity are modern terms or concepts; their origin remains obscure. They are not ancient, either. A notice in Harper's New Monthly Magazine of the publication of Andrews' Freund's Lexicon of the Latin Language in 1850 mentions that the dictionary divides Latin into ante-classic, quite classic, Ciceronian, Augustan, post-Augustan and post-classic or late Latin, which indicates the term already was in professional use by English classicists in the early 19th century. Instances of English vernacular use of the term may also be found from the 18th century. The term Late Antiquity meaning post-classical and pre-medieval had currency in English well before then.

Imperial Latin


Wilhelm Sigismund Teuffel's first edition (1870) of History of Roman Literature defined an early period, the Golden Age, the Silver Age and then goes on to define other ages first by dynasty and then by century (see under Classical Latin
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

). In subsequent editions he subsumed all periods under three headings: the First Period (Old Latin
Old Latin
Old Latin refers to the Latin language in the period before the age of Classical Latin; that is, all Latin before 75 BC...

), the Second Period (the Golden Age) and the Third Period, "the Imperial Age", subdivided into the Silver Age, the 2nd century, and Centuries 3–6 together, which was a recognition of Late Latin, as he sometimes refers to the writings of those times as "late." Imperial Latin went on into English literature; Fowler's History of Roman Literature mentions it in 1903.

There are, however, insoluble problems with the beginning and end of Imperial Latin. Politically the excluded Augustan Period is the paradigm of imperiality, and yet the style cannot be bundled with either the Silver Age or with Late Latin. Moreover, the 6th century in Italy was no longer the Roman Empire; the rule of Gothic kings prevailed. Subsequently the term Imperial Latin was dropped by historians of Latin literature, although it may be seen in marginal works. The Silver Age was extended a century and the final four centuries represent Late Latin.

Christian, patristic, vulgate and ancient Latin



Low Latin



Low Latin is a vague and often pejorative term that might refer to any post-classical Latin from Late Latin through Renaissance Latin depending on the author. Its origins are obscure but the Latin expression media et infima Latinitas sprang into public notice in 1678 in the title of a Glossary (by today's standards a dictionary) by Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange
Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange
Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange or Ducange was a distinguished philologist and historian of the Middle Ages and Byzantium....

. The multi-volume set had many editions and expansions by other authors subsequently. The title varies somewhat; most commonly used was Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis. It has been translated by expressions of widely different meanings. The uncertainty is understanding what media, "middle", and infima, "low", mean in this context.

The media is securely connected to Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 by Cange's own terminology expounded in the Praefatio, such as scriptores mediae aetatis, "writers of the middle age." Cange's Glossary takes words from authors ranging from the Christian period (Late Latin) to the Renaissance, dipping into the classical period
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

 if a word originated there. Either media et infima Latinitas refers to one age, which must be the middle age covering the entire post-classical range, or it refers to two consecutive periods, infima Latinitas and media Latinitas. Both interpretations have their adherents.
In the former case the infimae appears extraneous; it recognizes the corruptio of the corrupta Latinitas Cange said his Glossary covered. The two-period case postulates a second unity of style, infima Latinitas, translated into English as "Low Latin" (which in the one-period case would be identical to media Latinitas). Cange in the glossarial part of his Glossary identifies some words as being used by purioris Latinitatis scriptores, such as Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 (of the Golden Age). He has already said in the Preface that he rejects the ages scheme used by some: Golden Age, Silver Age, Brass Age, Iron Age. A second category are the inferioris Latinitatis scriptores, such as Apuleius
Apuleius
Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

 (Silver Age). The third and main category are the infimae Latinitatis scriptores, who must be post-classical; that is, Late Latin, unless they are also medieval. His failure to state which authors are low leaves the issue unresolved.

He does however give some idea of the source of his infima, which is a classical word, "lowest", of which the comparative degree is inferior, "lower." In the Preface he opposes the style of the scriptores aevi inferioris (Silver Age) to the elegantes sermones, "elegant speech", the high and low styles of Latinitas defined by the classical authors. Apparently Cange was basing his low style on sermo humilis, the simplified speech devised by Late Latin Christian writers to address the ordinary people. Humilis (humble, humility) means "low", "of the ground". The Christian writers were not interested in the elegant speech of the best or classical Latin, which belonged to their aristocratic pagan opponents. Instead they preferred a humbler style lower in correctness, so that they might better deliver the gospel to the vulgus or "common people."

Low Latin in this view is the Latin of the two periods in which it has the least degree of purity, or is most corrupt. By corrupt du Cange only meant that the language had resorted to non-classical vocabulary and constructs from various sources, but his choice of words was unfortunate. It allowed the "corruption" to extend to other aspects of society, providing fuel for the fires of religious (Catholic vs. Protestant) and class (conservative vs. revolutionary) conflict. Low Latin passed from the heirs of the Italian renaissance to the new philologists of the northern and Germanic climes, where it became a different concept.

In Britain Gildas
Gildas
Gildas was a 6th-century British cleric. He is one of the best-documented figures of the Christian church in the British Isles during this period. His renowned learning and literary style earned him the designation Gildas Sapiens...

' view that Britain fell to the Anglo-Saxons because it was morally slack was already well known to the scholarly world. The northern Protestants now worked a role reversal: if the language was "corrupt" it must be symptomatic of a corrupt society, which indubitably led to a "decline and fall", as Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 put it, of imperial society. Writers taking this line relied heavily on the scandalous behavior of the Julio-Claudian dynasty
Julio-Claudian Dynasty
The Julio-Claudian dynasty normally refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula , Claudius, and Nero, or the family to which they belonged; they ruled the Roman Empire from its formation, in the second half of the 1st century BC, until AD 68, when the last of the line,...

 and the bad emperors reported by Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 and other writers and later by the secret history of Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

, who hated his royal employers to such a degree that he could not contain himself about their real methods and way of life any longer. They, however, spoke elegant Latin. The Protestants changed the scenario to fit their ideology that the church needed to be purified of corruption. For example, Baron Bielfeld, a Prussian officer and comparative Latinist, defined his interpretation of the low in Low Latin, which he saw as medieval Latin, prejudicially as follows:
The fourth age of the Latin tongue is that of the remainder of the middle age, and the 1st centuries of modern times, during which the language fell by degrees into so great a decadency, that it became nothing better than a barbarous jargon. It is the style of these times that is given the name of Low Latin. ... What indeed could be expected from this language, at a time when the barbarians had taken possession of Europe, but especially of Italy; when the empire of the east was governed by idiots; when there was a total corruption of morals; when the priests and monks were the only men of letters, and were at the same time the most ignorant and futile mortals in the world. Under these times of darkness, we must, therefore, rank that Latin, which is called lingua ecclesiastica, and which we cannot read without disgust.


As Low Latin tends to confuse Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

, Late Latin and Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 and has unfortunate extensions of meaning into the sphere of socioeconomics, it has gone out of use by the mainstream philologists of Latin literature. A few writers on the periphery still mention it, influenced by the dictionaries and classic writings of former times.

Late Latin authors




As Teuffel's scheme of the Golden Age and the Silver Age is the generally accepted one, the canonical list of authors should begin just after the end of the Silver Age, regardless of what 3rd century event is cited as the beginning; otherwise there are gaps. Teuffel gave the end of the Silver Age as the death of Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 at 138 AD. His classification of styles left a century between that event and his final period, the 3rd–6th centuries BC, which was in other systems being considered Late Antiquity.

Starting with Charles Thomas Crutwell's A History of Roman Literature from the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius, which first came out in 1877, English literary historians have included the spare century in Silver Latin. Accordingly the latter ends with the death of the last of the five good emperors in 180 AD. Other authors use other events, such as the end of the Nervan–Antonine dynasty
Nervan–Antonine dynasty
The Nerva–Antonine dynasty was a dynasty of seven consecutive Roman Emperors who ruled over the Roman Empire from 96 to 192. These Emperors are Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and Commodus....

 in 192 AD or later events. A good round date of 200 AD gives a canonical list of nearly no overlap.

The transition between Late Latin and Medieval Latin is by no means as easy to assess. Taking that media et infima Latinitas was one style, Mantello in a recent handbook asserts of "the Latin used in the middle ages" that it is "here interpreted broadly to include late antiquity and therefore to extend from c. AD 200 to 1500." Although recognizing "late antiquity" he does not recognize Late Latin. It did not exist and Medieval Latin began directly at 200 BC. In this view all differences from Classical Latin
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

 are bundled as though they evolved through a single continuous style.

Of the two-style interpretations the Late Latin period of Erich Auerbach
Erich Auerbach
Erich Auerbach was a philologist and comparative scholar and critic of literature. His best-known work is Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, a history of representation in Western literature from ancient to modern times.-Biography:Auerbach, who was Jewish, was born in...

 and others is one of the shortest: "In the first half of the 6th century, which witnessed the beginning and end of Ostrogoth
Ostrogoth
The Ostrogoths were a branch of the Goths , a Germanic tribe who developed a vast empire north of the Black Sea in the 3rd century AD and, in the late 5th century, under Theodoric the Great, established a Kingdom in Italy....

 rule in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Latin literature becomes medieval. Boethius was the last 'ancient' author and the role of Rome as the center of the ancient world, as communis patria, was at an end." In essence, the lingua franca of classical vestiges was doomed when Italy was overrun by the Goths, but its momentum carried it one lifetime further, ending with the death of Boethius in 524 AD.

Not everyone agrees that the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 came to an end with the fall of Rome, but argue that it continued and became the language of the reinstituted Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term which has been used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty in the Early Middle Ages. This dynasty is seen as the founders of France and Germany, and its beginning date is based on the crowning of Charlemagne, or Charles the...

 (predecessor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

) under Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

. Toward the end of his reign his administration conducted some language reforms. The first recognition that Late Latin could not be understood by the masses and therefore was not a lingua franca was the decrees of 813 AD by synod
Synod
A synod historically is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not...

s at Mainz
Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

, Rheims Tours
Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

 that from then on preaching was to be done in a language more understandable to the people, which was stated by Tours Canon 17 as rustica Romana lingua, identified as proto-Romance, the descendant of Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

. Late Latin as defined by Meillet was at an end; however, Pucci's Harrington's Mediaeval Latin sets the end of Late Latin when Romance began to be written, "Latin retired to the cloister" and "Romanitas lived on only in the fiction of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

." The final date given by those authors is 900 AD.

Through the death of Boethius, 524 AD


  • Domitius Ulpianus (170 AD – 228 AD), jurist, imperial officer
  • Julius Paulus Prudentissimus (2nd & 3rd centuries AD), jurist, imperial officer
  • Aelius Marcianus
    Aelius Marcianus
    Aelius Marcianus was a Roman jurist who wrote after the death of Septimius Severus, whom he calls Divus in his excerpts from the Pandects. Other passages in the same source show that he was then writing under Antoninus Caracalla, the son and successor of Severus. It also appears from his...

     (2nd & 3rd centuries AD), jurist
  • Herennius Modestinus
    Herennius Modestinus
    Herennius Modestinus, or simply Modestinus, was a celebrated Roman jurist, a student of Ulpian who flourished about 250.He appears to have been a native of one of the Greek-speaking provinces, probably Dalmatia...

     (3rd century AD), jurist
  • Censorinus
    Censorinus
    Censorinus, Roman grammarian and miscellaneous writer, flourished during the 3rd century AD.He was the author of a lost work De Accentibus and of an extant treatise De Die Natali, written in 238, and dedicated to his patron Quintus Caerellius as a birthday gift...

     (3rd century AD), historian, essayist
  • Quintus Gargilius Martialis
    Quintus Gargilius Martialis
    Quintus Gargilius Martialis was a Roman writer on horticulture. He has been identified by some with the military commander of the same name, mentioned in a Latin inscription of 260 as having lost his life in the colony of Auzia in Mauretania Caesariensis...

     (3rd century AD), horticulturalist, pharmacologist
  • Herodianus of Syria
    Herodian
    Herodian or Herodianus of Syria was a minor Roman civil servant who wrote a colourful history in Greek titled History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus in eight books covering the years 180 to 238. His work is not entirely reliable although his relatively unbiased account of Elagabalus is...

     (170 AD – 240 AD), historian
  • Gaius Asinius Quadratus (3rd century AD), historian
  • Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus
    Tertullian
    Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian , was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and...

     (160 AD – 220 AD), "the father of Latin Christianity", polemicist against heresy
    Heresy
    Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

  • Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus
    Cyprian
    Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and an important Early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education...

     (about 200 AD – 258 AD), converted rhetorician, bishop of Carthage, martyr
    Martyr
    A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

    , saint
    Saint
    A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

  • Novatianus (200 AD – 258 AD), theologian, rival pope, excommunicant
  • Quintus Serenus Sammonicus
    Serenus Sammonicus
    Quintus Sammonicus Serenus was a Roman savant, tutor to Geta and Caracalla who became fatally involved in politics, and an author of a didactic medical poem, Liber Medicinalis , probably incomplete in the form in which we have it, as well as many lost works...

     (2nd century AD, early 3rd century AD), scholar, educator
  • Commodianus
    Commodianus
    Commodianus was a Christian Latin poet, who flourished about AD 250.The only ancient writers who mention him are Gennadius, presbyter of Massilia , in his De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis, and Pope Gelasius in De libris recipiendis et non recipiendis, in which his works are classed as Apocryphi,...

     (3rd century AD), poet, Christian educator
  • Lucius Caelius Firmianus Lactantius
    Lactantius
    Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I, guiding his religious policy as it developed, and tutor to his son.-Biography:...

     (240 AD – 320 AD), converted rhetorician, scholar, Christian apologist and educator
  • Ammianus Marcellinus
    Ammianus Marcellinus
    Ammianus Marcellinus was a fourth-century Roman historian. He wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from Antiquity...

     (325/330 AD – after 391 AD), soldier, imperial officer, historian
  • Claudius Claudianus (4th century AD), court poet
  • Gaius Julius Solinus
    Gaius Julius Solinus
    Gaius Julius Solinus, Latin grammarian and compiler, probably flourished in the early third century. Historical scholar Theodor Mommsen dates him to the middle of the third century....

     (3rd or 4th century AD), topical writer
  • Nonius Marcellus
    Nonius Marcellus
    Nonius Marcellus was a Roman grammarian of the 4th or 5th century AD. His only surviving work is the De compendiosa doctrina, a dictionary or encyclopedia in 20 books that shows his interests in antiquarianism and Latin literature from Plautus to Apuleius. Nonius may have come from...

     (3rd or 4th century AD), topical writer
  • Marcus Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus
    Marcus Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus
    Marcus Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus, Roman poet, a native of Carthage, flourished about AD 283.He was a popular poet at the court of the Roman emperor Carus . He wrote poems on the arts of fishing , aquatics and hunting , but only a fragment of the last, 325 hexameter lines, has been preserved...

     (fl.
    Floruit
    Floruit , abbreviated fl. , is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something was active...

     283 AD), poet
  • Aquila Romanus
    Aquila Romanus
    Aquila Romanus, a Latin grammarian who flourished in the second half of the 3rd century AD.He was the author of an extant treatise De Figuris Sententiarum et Elocutionis, written as an instalment of a complete rhetorical handbook for the use of a young and eager correspondent...

     (3rd century AD), rhetorician
  • Eumenius
    Eumenius
    Eumenius , was one of the Roman panegyrists and author of a speech transmitted in the collection of the Panegyrici Latini .-Life:...

     of Autun (3rd century AD), educator
  • Aelius Festus Aphthonius
    Aelius Festus Aphthonius
    Aelius Festus Aphthonius was a Latin grammarian of the 3rd or 4th century, possibly of African origin, and considered to be one of the most important classical rhetoricians....

     (3rd or 4th century AD), grammarian
  • Calcidius
    Calcidius
    Calcidius was a 4th century Christian who translated the first part of Plato's Timaeus from Greek into Latin around the year 321 and provided with it an extensive commentary. This was done for Bishop Hosius of Córdoba...

     (4th century AD), translator
  • Gaius Marius Victorinus (4th century AD), converted philosopher
  • Arnobius of Sicca (4th century), Christian apologist
  • Caesar Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantius Augustus
    Constantine I
    Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

     (272 AD – 337 AD), last pagan and first Christian emperor, administrator, correspondent
  • Nazarius
    Nazarius
    Nazarius, , Latin rhetorician and panegyrist, was, according to Ausonius, a professor of rhetoric at Burdigala . The extant speech of which he is undoubtedly the author Nazarius, (4th century AD), Latin rhetorician and panegyrist, was, according to Ausonius, a professor of rhetoric at Burdigala...

     (4th century AD), rhetorician, educator
  • Gaius Julius Victor
    Gaius Julius Victor
    Gaius Julius Victor was a Roman writer of rhetoric, possibly of Gaulish origin. His extant manual is of some importance as facilitating the textual criticism of Quintilian, whom he closely follows in many places....

     (4th century AD), rhetorician
  • Gaius Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus
    Juvencus
    Gaius Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus, known as Juvencus or Juvenk, was a Roman Spanish Christian and composer of Latin poetry in the 4th century.-Life:...

     (4th century AD), Christian poet
  • Nonius Marcellus
    Nonius Marcellus
    Nonius Marcellus was a Roman grammarian of the 4th or 5th century AD. His only surviving work is the De compendiosa doctrina, a dictionary or encyclopedia in 20 books that shows his interests in antiquarianism and Latin literature from Plautus to Apuleius. Nonius may have come from...

     (3rd and 4th centuries AD), grammarian, lexicographer
  • Julius Firmicus Maternus
    Julius Firmicus Maternus
    Julius Firmicus Maternus was a Christian Latin writer and notable astrologer, who lived in the reign of Constantine I and his successors.-Life and works:...

     (4th century AD), converted advocate, pagan and Christian writer
  • Aelius Donatus
    Aelius Donatus
    Aelius Donatus was a Roman grammarian and teacher of rhetoric. The only fact known regarding his life is that he was the tutor of St...

     (4th century AD), grammarian, rhetorician, educator
  • Palladius
    Palladius
    Palladius was the first Bishop of the Christians of Ireland, preceding Saint Patrick. The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion consider Palladius a saint.-Armorica:...

     (408/431 AD – 457/461 AD), saint, first bishop of Ireland
  • Sextus Aurelius Victor
    Aurelius Victor
    Sextus Aurelius Victor was a historian and politician of the Roman Empire.Aurelius Victor was the author of a History of Rome from Augustus to Julian , published ca. 361. Julian honoured him and appointed him prefect of Pannonia Secunda...

     (ca. 320 AD – 390 AD), imperial officer, historian
  • Eutropius (4th century AD), imperial officer, historian
  • Aemilius Magnus Arborius
    Aemilius Magnus Arborius
    Aemilius Magnus Arborius was the gallo-roman author of a poem in ninety-two lines in elegaic verse, titled Ad Nympham nimis cultam, which contains a great many expressions taken from the older poets, and bears all the traces of the artificial labour which characterizes the later Latin poetry. It...

     (4th century AD), poet, educator, friend of the imperial family
  • Decimius Magnus Ausonius
    Ausonius
    Decimius Magnus Ausonius was a Latin poet and rhetorician, born at Burdigala .-Biography:Decimius Magnus Ausonius was born in Bordeaux in ca. 310. His father was a noted physician of Greek ancestry and his mother was descended on both sides from long-established aristocratic Gallo-Roman families...

     (ca. 310 AD – 395 AD), poet, rhetorician, educator, friend of the imperial family
  • Claudius Mamertinus
    Claudius Mamertinus
    Claudius Mamertinus was an official in the Roman Empire. In late 361 he took part in the Chalcedon tribunal to condemn the ministers of Constantius II, and in 362, he was made consul as a reward by the new Emperor Julian; on January 1 of that year he delivered a panegyric in Constantinople by way...

     (4th century AD), imperial officer, panegyricist, embezzler
  • Hilarius
    Hilary of Poitiers
    Hilary of Poitiers was Bishop of Poitiers and is a Doctor of the Church. He was sometimes referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West." His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful. His optional memorial in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints is 13...

     (4th century AD), converted neo-Platonist, theologian, bishop of Poitiers, saint
  • Ambrosius
    Ambrose
    Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

     (337/340 AD – 397 AD), theologian, Bishop of Milan, saint
  • Lucifer (d. 370/371 AD), theologian, Bishop of Sardinia
  • Priscillianus (d. 385 AD), theologian, first person executed as a heretic
  • Flavius Sosipater Charisius (4th century AD), grammarian
  • Diomedes Grammaticus
    Diomedes Grammaticus
    Diomedes Grammaticus was a Latin grammarian who probably lived in the late 4th century AD. He wrote a grammatical treatise, known either as De Oratione et Partibus Orationis et Vario Genere Metrorum libri III or Ars grammatica in three books, dedicated to a certain Athanasius. Since he is...

     (4th century AD), grammarian
  • Postumius Rufus Festus Avienus
    Avienus
    Avienus was a Latin writer of the 4th century AD. According to an inscription from Bulla Regia, his full name was Postumius Rufius Festus Avienius.He was a native of Volsinii in Etruria, from the distinguished family of the Rufii Festi...

     (4th century AD), imperial officer, poet, translator
  • Priscianus Caesariensis (fl. 500 AD), grammarian