Guardians of language : the grammarian and society in late antiquity /

Main Author: Kaster, Robert A.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Berkeley : University of California Press, c1988.
Series: Transformation of the classical heritage ; 11
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Review by Choice Review

This impeccably researched and elegantly written book will prove absolutely invaluable for students of late antiquity and, indeed, for classicists in general. Kaster (University of Chicago) devotes the first half to an analysis of the social and cultural functions fulfilled by ancient grammarians. In the history of ancient education this is an important though much neglected topic--and Kaster's treatment is likely to remain definitive. Taking as his guide a Parsonian model of professions and professional elites, the author gives a richly nuanced account of the ways that ancient grammarians both resemble and differ from their modern counterparts. His analysis of the role of these ancient professionals in preserving the dominant values of the ruling elite is especially interesting and compelling. The second half of the book consists of an extremely learned prosopographical survey of grammarians and other pedagogues active between 250 and 565CE. The appendixes, detailed bibliography, and index are thorough and also very helpful. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and specialists. -P. Mitsis, National Humanities Center

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.