We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Nox Philologiae

Aulus Gellius and the Fantasy of the Roman Library

Erik Gunderson

Publication Year: 2009

In this strikingly original and playful work, Erik Gunderson examines questions of reading the past—an enterprise extending from antiquity to the present day. This esoteric and original study focuses on the equally singular work of Aulus Gellius—a Roman author and grammarian (ca. 120-180 A.D.), possibly of African origin. Gellius’s only work, the twenty-volume Noctes Atticae,is an exploding, sometimes seemingly random text-cum-diary in which Gellius jotted down everything of interest he heard in conversation or read in contemporary books. Comprising notes on Roman and classical grammar, geometry, philosophy, and history, it is a one-work overview of Latin scholarship, thought, and intellectual culture, a combination condensed library and cabinet of curiosities.
            Gunderson tackles Gellius with exuberance, placing him in the larger culture of antiquarian literature. Purposely echoing Gellius’s own swooping word-play and digressions, he explores the techniques by which knowledge was produced and consumed in Gellius’s day, as well as in our own time. The resulting book is as much pure creative fun as it is a major work of scholarship informed by the theories of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.7 KB)
 

Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.8 KB)
 

Editor's Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.0 KB)
pp. vii-

read more

Editor's Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.2 KB)
pp. ix-

Now that the first printing of this volume has long since become generally unavailable and is only to be found with some difficulty on the dustiest shelves of select antiquarian bookshops, the hour has perhaps arrived to make the Nox Philologiae broadly accessible once again for the...

Original Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.1 KB)
pp. 1-

read more

The Author's Preface: Verfremdungseffekt

pdf iconDownload PDF (91.6 KB)
pp. 5-7

. . . they can find other, more agreeable pursuits. And so also do I worry about the future, about the fate of books and bookishness, of children and childishness. Is it our business to relax, or are we to indulge in perpetual study? Is the distinction in fact distinct? Are the bibliophile's...

read more

The Other Preface: Again and Again

pdf iconDownload PDF (131.6 KB)
pp. 8-17

The Oxford Classical Text of the Noctes Atticae contains two praefationes. One begins with the words Omnium qui extant Gellii codicum uetustissimus idemque optimus est codex rescriptus Vaticanus Palatinus 24 (A) litteris rusticis saeculo quarto scriptus.1 ...

read more

The Third Preface: Gellius's Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF (227.5 KB)
pp. 18-44

Enough beating around the bush. Let us read. Let us read Gellius reading. Let us look for the rules of the game as set forth by Gellius as he opens his text. This is an important, a necessary task. But it is also a difficult one: the opening remarks of Gellius both are and are not adequate to what follows. ...

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (107.6 KB)
pp. 45-51

Volume One

read more

Book One: Authority

pdf iconDownload PDF (333.0 KB)
pp. 55-98

Accounts of language circulated in antiquity. However, it is probably inaccurate to describe these as theoretical, as "theories of language." Such a designation would imply that language was a discrete object, that it was a self-contained thing to which the mind might apply itself in...

read more

Book Two: Logic

pdf iconDownload PDF (269.1 KB)
pp. 99-131

Ratio is a complex word. It has many different meanings. It straddles a variety of different semantic fields. It participates in a wealth of idioms. As I have already discussed, for an ancient scholar of Latin, the first association upon hearing the word ratio would likely be analogia and etymologia. ...

read more

Book Three: Usage

pdf iconDownload PDF (255.3 KB)
pp. 132-165

As with ratio, so with usus: the case is analogous. The uses of the word "use" are many and varied. They cover a number of semantic fields. There are various idiomatic phrases in which the word participates. Usus is the actual use of a thing or the means of potentially using a thing. ...

read more

Book Four: Index of Names

pdf iconDownload PDF (262.7 KB)
pp. 166-201

My lemma is taken from Porphyrio's commentary on Horace's Epistles.1 I have chosen a commentary on dramatic characters to open my commentary on characterization in Gellius. Porphyrio is explaining a passage from Horace. Horace, though, is writing a letter to Caesar. ...

Book Five: Index of Things

pdf iconDownload PDF (175.8 KB)
pp. 202-221

Volume Two

read more

Book Six: Books of Books

pdf iconDownload PDF (229.1 KB)
pp. 225-251

If the figure of the painter in Velázquez's Las Meninas helps us to appreciate the problem of Gellius as author and character, the Noctes itself is nevertheless not just like that one canvas. It also resembles a number of Magritte's (non)paintings: La trahison des images and La condition humaine, for example.1 ...

read more

Book Seven: Authors of the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF (260.9 KB)
pp. 252-286

Auctoris Auctores: the phrase plays roughly the same game as libri librorum. Is this "the authors of the author" or "the author's authors." Who is the subject of the implied verb "to author" and who the object? The action is reciprocal, reciprocum...

Book Eight: Readers of Readings

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.2 KB)
p. 287-287

Appendix: It Was to Be/It Is to Be

pdf iconDownload PDF (122.2 KB)
pp. 288-298

Unplaced Fragments

pdf iconDownload PDF (93.5 KB)
pp. 299-304

Spurious Fragments

pdf iconDownload PDF (68.2 KB)
pp. 305-306

Bibliography [Includes List of other works in series]

pdf iconDownload PDF (126.5 KB)
pp. 307-313


E-ISBN-13: 9780299229733
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299229702

Publication Year: 2009