Latin Forms of Address: From Plautus to Apuleius

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OUP Oxford, Dec 6, 2007 - Philosophy - 432 pages
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How did Romans address their children, their parents, their slaves, and their patrons? When one Roman called another 'dearest', 'master', 'brother', 'human being', 'executioner', or 'soft little cheese', what did these terms really mean and why? This book brings to bear on such questions a corpus of 15,441 addresses spanning four centuries, drawn from literary prose, poetry, letters, inscriptions, ostraca, and papyri and analysed during recent work in sociolinguistics. The results offer new insights into Roman culture and shed a fresh light on the interpretation of numerous passages in literature. A glossary of the 500 most common addresses and quick-reference tables explaining the rules of usage make this book a valuable resource for Latin teachers and all active users of the language, while the evidence for the investigations behind these conclusions will fascinate scholars and laymen alike. Original, jargon-free, and highly readable, this work will be enjoyed even by those with no prior knowledge of Latin.

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About the author (2007)


Eleanor Dickey is Assistant Professor of Classics at Columbia University.

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