Scholarship Declines Into Compilation

Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,

History of Classical Scholarship (trans. Alan Harris):

“Higher education was centered entirely on the study of rhetoric, but that required preliminary training in the use of language by a ‘grammarian’. As early as the reign of Augustus, Tryphon compiled the first onomastikon, or vocabulary of the written language, and was also the first writer on syntax. Two hundred years later Herodian finally fixed orthography and ‘prosody’, both on strict classical principles. Innumerable manuals gave the classical vocabulary, and in time pasticheurs like Aristides became models of style in their own right. On the other hand, scholarly elucidation was reserved for an ever-diminishing range of poetical literature, and scholarship itself sank to the level of pure compilation.”

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