The intent of this paper is to present some considerations on the language of the inscriptions found in Scythia Minor, a region located on the northeast side of Moesia Inferior, in the area between Callatis and Noviodonum. The analysis is based on the Greek and Latin epigraphs collected in the four volumes of the
Inscriptiones Daciae et Scythiae Minoris antiquae
edited by Pippidi-Russu. The examination of the Greek epigraphs reveals a substantial stability of the language, which results from the clear Greek background of the territory. Apart from the older inscriptions of Callatis (a colony of Megara), which typically display dorian features, the great bulk of the Greek texts are characterised by very common phenomena of the
. On the other side, the Latin documents show a high frequency of substandard variations in the morphological and syntactical domain (as compared to the other eastern provinces), a situation which seems to reflect a poor linguistic competence of the speakers.
Support verb constructions are documented throughout the history of Latin. These syntagms are characterized by the presence of a support verb with a more or less reduced semantic force, and a predicative (abstract or verbal) noun that often constitutes its direct object. The present contribution deals, specifically, with the use of facio as a support verb (as in bellum facere, iter facere, insidias facere etc.), focussing on the post-classical and late period. Two main questions shall be discussed: (a) whether, and if so, how facio becomes more productive in later centuries in both non-Christian and Christian sources; (b) what type of semantic evolution the verb undergoes in later Latin and whether, in this respect, continuity or rupture should be assumed with regard to the earlier period. This last point will enable us to suggest a more convincing explanation of an often-quoted passage of Cicero (Phil. 3. 22), in which the expression contumeliam facere is found.