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Ps. Aurelii Augustini Regulae, crit. ed. with tr. and comm. by Luca Martorelli, Hildesheim 2011 (Collectanea Grammatica Latina 7).
The Regulae transmitted under St. Augustine’s name is a treatise on the eight parts of speech. It falls within the broad class of grammatical works that Vivien Law has defined as the “regulae-type.” These are characterized by a remarkable attention to formal aspects of language and the presence - specifically for declinable parts of speech - of practical rules for inflection and extremely long lists of examples. The material is subdivided into nine sections: De nomine, De pronomine, De verbo, De participiis, De adverbiis, Item de adverbiis, De coniunctione, De praepositionibus, De interiectione. The presence of two chapters on adverbs derives from the author’s use of different sources and probably responds to a perceived need to offer a more complete version of a treatment that was deemed inadequate. It is interesting to note that one of these sources belongs to the ars-class (“Schulgrammatik-type”), especially since other sections of the work also seem to draw on this typology, viz. the chapter on conjunction and, with less certainty, the ones on prepositions and interjection. The length of chapters varies widely: those on nouns, pronouns, and verbs take up more than twice the space of all the others combined, though this is to be expected. In treating the declinable parts of speech, the grammar follows an extremely rigid plan: enumeration of a rule, presentation of a model, and a list of examples whose numbers vary. As regards nouns, the masculine and feminine gender are passed over, perhaps because they were considered less difficult for the intended student. The proposed classification maintains that the four genders it treats (neutrum, commune, omne, and epicoenum) should be divided according to their possible endings. In each of these cases, the author gives a sample noun, for which he furnishes a complete declension, and a list of nouns that decline in the same way. An identical schema is followed for verbs, although there we find a complete paradigm only for the first conjugation. For the others the author furnishes a few practical rules: (a) how to recognize a verb of the first and second conjugation from the second person singular of the present indicative; (b) how to differentiate the first and second conjugations from the third on the basis of the simple future; (c) how to distinguish the third correpta from the third producta on the basis of the present imperative. The work makes no reference to the five declensions or to the verbal stem of perfect tense, a fact that confirms its independence from Donatus’s model and the artigraphic tradition. The fact that our author does not consider interjection to be an actual part of speech is especially noteworthy, as this is a position that has no parallel among the Latin grammarians. Some of the chief characteristics of the text include the following: the ordering of final letters as a useful aide-memoire; the presence of long lists of declensions and conjugations; a tendency to repeat concepts already explained, even ones covered very recently; the search for brevitas; exhortations that the reader not overestimates the difficulty of topics already addressed; frequent use of the second singular person and the presence of discursive elements that strive to reproduce the back-and-forth of a classroom lecture; and the recourse to grammaire des fautes, i.e. explication of erroneous forms (“do not say so, but use this other form”). Although some of these attributes are also present in Ps.-Palaemon’s Regulae, another grammar that draws at least in part from the same source, one feature that is peculiar to our treatise is the richness of its citations of auctores. These are 88 and include not only authors of the quadriga Messii (Terence, Cicero, Sallust, Vergil), but also Horace, Lucan, and Juvenal (in addition to a single quotation of the Sibylline Books). Our text appears fundamentally to be a handbook intended for students speaking Latin slightly above the elementary level. This is made clear, among other things, by the absence of any treatment of masculine and feminine genders and by the omission of complete paradigms for the second and third conjugation, in addition to its broad complement of literary examples that presupposes the student’s familiarity with these texts. In comparison with the texts of Ps.-Palaemon mentioned above, the form of our Regulae is more elaborate and intended for use at a higher level. [L. Martorelli; tr. C. L. Caterine].