Ars grammatica

Ars grammatica

An Ars grammatica is a generic or proper title for surveys of Latin Grammar.

Extant works known as Ars grammatica have been written by

The most famous Ars Grammatica since Late Antiquity into the modern day has been that composed by Donatus.

Donatus's Ars Grammatica

Two Ars Grammatica circulate under the name Donatus. The first, the Ars Minor, is a brief overview of the eight parts of speech: noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, participle, conjunction, preposition, and interjection. (Nomen, pronomen, verbum, adverbium, participium, coniunctio, praepositio, interiectio). The text is done entirely in a question and answer format. "How many numbers does a noun have?" "Two: singular and plural."

Donatus's Ars Major is only a little longer, but on a much more elevated plane. It is a list of stylistic faults and graces, including tropes such as metaphor, synecdoche, allegory, and sarcasm. Donatus also includes schemes such as zeugma and anaphora.

Diomedes's Ars Grammatica

The Ars grammatica or De Oratione et Partibus Orationis et Vario Genere Metrorum libri III by Diomedes is a Latin grammatical trea­tise. Diomedes wrote probably in the late 300s CE. The treatise is dedicated to a certain Athanasius.

  • Book I the eight parts of speech;
  • Book II the elementary ideas of grammar and of style;
  • Book III poetry, quantity, and meters.

The third book on poetry is particularly valuable, containing extracts from Suetonius's De poetica. This book contains one of the most complete lists of types of dactylic hexameters in antiquity, including the teres versus, which may (or may not) be the so-called "golden line."

The Ars of Diomedes still exists in a complete form (although probably abridged). It was first published in a collection of Latin Grammarians printed at Venice by Nic. Jenson, about 1476. The best edition of Diomedes's Ars Grammatica is in H. Keil's Grammatici Latini, vol I.

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