Biagio Gatto (UCL) - 2015-16 Students

The continuity of classical culture in Priscian’s Grammar

This project is a linguistic and cultural-historical study of the last two books of Ars grammatica by Priscian of Caesarea, the last great Latin grammarian, who lived and worked in Constantinople in the fifth and sixth centuries AD. It looks at a chapter in the history of Western linguistics in the context of one of the last figures to forge a connection between Eastern and Western intellectual history.  My research will look at the status of syntax in Latin linguistic thought and its development under Priscian in a specific cultural-historical context. A synchronic study of Priscian will inform a diachronic study of his role in western intellectual history. I want to show how language, and ideas about language, have their place in the ‘reception’ of the ancient world. It is striking that a work of grammar (and rhetoric) made such a central contribution to maintaining the continuity of classical culture.

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