11th July 2019

Dr Barnaby Taylor publishes ‘Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World’


Dr Barnaby Taylor, Fellow and Lecturer in Classics, has co-edited Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World with Dr Giuseppe Pezzini, Senior Lecturer in Latin at the University of St Andrews.

Dr Taylor and Dr Pezzini have brought together a range of papers exploring linguistic naturalism – the notion that linguistic facts, structures or behaviour are in some significant sense determined by nature. This is a familiar theme in Greek philosophy, largely due to the influence of Plato’s Cratylus, but an under-studied area of Roman linguistic thought, important not only for the history of linguistics, but also for philosophy, stylistics, and rhetoric.

The chapters in Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World deal with a range of naturalist theories in a variety of authors including Cicero, Varro, Nigidius Figulus, Posidonius, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The result is a complex and multi-faceted picture of how language and nature were believed to interrelate in the classical Roman world.

Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World is published by Cambridge University Press and is available now here.

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