The <i>Bellum Africum</i>

J. N. Adams

in Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263327
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734168 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Bellum Africum

Show Summary Details


This chapter first addresses the ‘invention’ of literary prose. It takes two lexical examples to demonstrate the traditional character of the language, partly from Caesar himself, and partly from the Bellum Africum. The presented three passages all report the successful return of a military unit to base. The Bellum Africum abounds in forms of expression that can be paralleled in Caesar, reflecting no doubt on the one hand imitation of Caesar and on the other joint use of traditional language. Its most distinctive feature is its diversity. The archaism, poeticism, colloquialism, and the imitation of Greek in the work are specifically elaborated. There are many correspondences of phraseology between the Bellum Africum and the genuine Caesarian works. Varro and the author of the Bellum Africum did not place their archaisms, colloquialisms, or poeticisms exclusively in special contexts while restricting themselves to ‘standard’ language in unmarked contexts.

Keywords: Bellum Africum; literary prose; archaism; poeticism; colloquialism; imitation of Greek

Chapter.  11965 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.