Classical Quarterly 49 (02):606- (1999)

In a discussion of the spread of Latin in ancient Palestine it has been argued that, apart from Westerners like Jerome who settled in the province and a number of translators from Greek into Latin and from Latin into Greek, three Latin authors whose works are extant may have been, with various degrees of probability, natives of the country. These are Commodian of Gaza, arguably the earliest extant Christian Latin poet; Eutropius, the author of a breviarium of Roman history, who apparently hailed from Caesarea; and the anonymous author of the Descriptio totius mundi et gentium, who certainly was a native of the Syro-Palestinian region, and conceivably of one of the Palestinian cities. Here I wish to discuss another case, which seems to me characteristic of the reluctance of scholars to admit that Latin, and Latin authors, were more prevalent in the East than is usually acknowledged. In fact, it may be not misleading to assert that the invariably adduced exceptions of Ammianus Marcellinus and Claudian as Latin writers from the East are exceptions by virtue of the quality of their work rather than by its very existence
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DOI 10.1093/cq/49.2.606
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