The aim of this study is to examine and describe the official language use of the Roman Empire under Justinian I, focusing on the choice between Greek and Latin, the two traditional official languages of the empire. Comparing the practice under Justinian with that of the ages before resp. after Diocletian's accession (284), the conclusion can be drawn that Justinian reformed the official language use on purpose, following the practice of the principate.
The aim of this study is to examine a sentence from Petron's Satyricon
usually considered tobe problematic and
corrupted (48, 4): tres bybliothecas habeo, unam Graecam, alteram Latinam.
However, we demonstrate that the old conjecture proposed for healing
that sentence, i.e. duas for tres, is untenable and in fact
grammatically impossible and so the reading of the Codex Traguriensis is
correct. Afterwards we explain the meaning of this sentence in accordance with
those interpreters who explain Trimalchio's silence on his own third library
with a kind of inferiority complex in the given situation activated by the
sociolinguistic pressure motivated by the hegemonic Graeco-Latin bilingualism
in the Roman World.
The aim of the project entitled “Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age” (
) is to develop and digitally publish a fundamental computerized historical linguistic database that incorporates and treats the Vulgar Latin material of the Latin inscriptions from a specific group of the European provinces of the Roman Empire in the first phase. This will, on the one hand, allow for a more thorough study of the regional changes and the diversity of the Latin language of the Imperial Age. On the other hand, it could also serve as a basis for subsequent international co-operation, in the course of which further work on the computerized historical linguistic database may be executed. This paper intends to present the past and the present, as well as the future possibilities of this Database.
It is a well known fact that the system of the official communication of the Roman Empire had undergone a striking change after Diocletian’s accession (284): Latin came into prominence and was used exclusively in the Eastern imperial administration where Greek had played an important role before Diocletian. So far this prominence of Latin has commonly been interpreted as an effect of a radical change in the language policy of the Roman state, claiming that Diocletian and Constantine I had introduced a new intolerant and aggressive language policy in the framework of the rehabilitation of the Roman Empire. In my paper I try to demonstrate that this alleged aggressive language policy never existed and that the prominence of Latin in the Eastern part of the Empire spontaneously resulted from the bureaucratic and governmental transformation of the Roman Empire that significantly increased the prestige of the Latin language.