Aulus Gellius descended from the gens Gellia from Samnium , of which two members came to Rome in the course of the second Samnite War . However, this does not mean, as Leofranc Holford-Strevens emphasizes, that the writer was directly related to other bearers of the name Gellius. This is also supported by the fact that Gellius mentions his namesakes Lucius Gellius Publicola and Gnaeus Gellius without expressing any relationship to them.
Although Aulus Gellius is referred to several times as Roman in the Metzler Lexikon Antiquity and this is also assumed to be probable in other places, his origin is disputed. Karl Sittl, for example, referred to him as an African in 1882, meaning that Gellius grew up in the province of Africa , where he acquired certain linguistic characteristics that can otherwise only be found in other African-Latin authors. The German classical philologist Wilhelm Kroll opposed this in 1897, who traced Gellius' African-style Latin back to his request to "write in an original and bizarre way".
Only in his 1988 monograph on Gellius does Leofranc Holford-Strevens refer again to the thesis that the writer comes from an African colony. In addition to Sittl's linguistic arguments, Holford-Strevens notes that, unlike most of his contemporaries, the writer does not have a three-part Roman name , but only the first and gentile names . From this, the classical philologist, based on George W. Houston and Edward Courtney, deduces the conclusion that Gellius either renounced the use of a cognomen out of a strictly conservative disposition or came from a Roman colony (for example in the province of Africa), which is also the lack of a cognom would explain.
The birth of Aulus Gellius is mostly dated to the 2nd century AD, as a more precise classification is difficult. An early attempt at dating Radulfus de Diceto puts the date of birth at 118 or 119 AD. Michael von Albrecht specifies the period in his history of Roman literature as “around 130”. Another thesis is based on the fact that Gellius defines the term iuventa ("youth") with men between the ages of 17 and 46 and subsequently describes himself as iuvenis ("young"). From 145 AD at the latest, Gellius received lessons from Sulpicius Apollinaris and must have been older than 17 at this point. From this it can be deduced that the latest possible time for Gellius' birth must be the year 128 AD, with Holford-Strevens additionally giving 125 AD as the earliest possible date of birth.
According to Gellius' own statements, after creating the toga virilis in Rome, he took grammar lessons from Sulpicius Apollinaris, when Sextus Erucius Clarus was Praefectus urbi and consul . Therefore, the period in which Gellius began his lessons can be determined to be 138 AD at the earliest and at the latest 145 AD. Then Gellius was instructed in rhetoric by Antonius Iulianus and Titus Castricius . It is not known when Gellius completed his rhetorical training, but afterwards he took lessons in philosophy from the sophist Favorinus .
Through his teacher Favorinus, Gellius had access to various evening parties, during which he probably also met Marcus Cornelius Fronto . However, Gellius himself never appears as the host.
After completing his training in Rome, Aulus Gellius stayed in Athens for further studies . Several classical philologists (including Georg Wissowa and Willy Theiler ) speak of a one-year stay, while Walter Ameling mentions a period of at least two years between 165 and 167. - There he met the philosopher Lukios Kalbenos Tauros , who was head of the Platonic Academy at the time . He also became a friend of the politician and patron Herodes Atticus and could have met Apuleius there.
Judicial Office, Marriage and the Noctes Atticae
After his first trip to Greece, Gellius was elected judge of the iudicia privata in Rome and from then on acted as a kind of people's judge in private disputes. During this time Gellius married and began working on the Noctes Atticae . Gellius later dedicates these to his children, whom he describes as negotiosi ("active, busy") and who, since they are already taking lessons at the time of publication, must be at least fifteen years old.
The exact date of publication of the Noctes Atticae is not known, but it is believed to be 170 AD. However, it could also be that the work was not published until after the death of Herodes Atticus, which would require dating to 178 or 179 AD.
His work Noctes Atticae leaves an acquaintance with the Greek philosopher Aelius Aristides open due to contradicting statements, but this point is still controversial in research. His death due to a summer fever, however, is widely recognized.
- Michael von Albrecht : History of Roman literature from Andronicus to Boethius and its continued effect . Volume 2. Third, improved and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-026525-5 , pp. 1270-1276.
- Julia Fischell: The writer Aulus Gellius and the themes of his Noctes Atticae. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 2011 ( online ).
- Richard Goulet: Aulu-Gelle. In: Richard Goulet (ed.): Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques. Volume 1. CNRS, Paris 1989, ISBN 2-222-04042-6 , pp. 675-687.
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens: Aulus Gellius. An Antonine Author and his Achievement. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1989, revised 2005 edition, ISBN 0-19-928980-8 .
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens (Ed.): The worlds of Aulus Gellius. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2004, ISBN 0-19-926482-1 (collection of articles on the current state of research).
- Jens-Olaf Lindermann: Aulus Gellius. Noctes Atticae, Book 9th Commentary. Weißensee Verlag, Berlin, 2006, ISBN 978-3-89998-097-4 .
- Klaus Sallmann , Peter Lebrecht Schmidt : Aulus Gellius. In: Klaus Sallmann (ed.): The literature of upheaval. From Roman to Christian literature, AD 117 to 284 (= Handbook of Ancient Latin Literature , Volume 4). CH Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-39020-X , pp. 68-77.
- Julia Fischell: The writer Aulus Gellius and the subjects of his Noctes Atticae. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 2011, p. 15 f.
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens: Aulus Gellius. To Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, p. 11.
- Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 5,6,15.
- Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 14,2,21.
- Michael von Albrecht: History of Roman literature from Andronicus to Boethius. Taking into account their importance for modern times . Second, improved and enlarged edition. KG Saur, Munich / New Providence / London / Paris 1994, ISBN 3-598-11198-3 , pp. 1174 .
- Gellius (3), Aulus . In: Kai Brodersen , Bernhard Zimmermann (ed.): Metzler Lexikon Antike . With 250 illustrations and 40 maps. 2nd Edition. JB Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2006, ISBN 978-3-476-05461-6 .
- Julia Fischell: The writer Aulus Gellius and the subjects of his Noctes Atticae. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 2011, p. 11 f.
- Karl Sittl: The local differences in the Latin language. With a special focus on African Latin. Publisher by Andreas Deichert, Erlangen 1882, p. 82 .
- Wilhelm Kroll: The African Latin . In: Otto Ribbeck , Franz Bücheler (ed.): Rheinisches Museum für Philologie . tape 52 , no. 4 . JD Sauerländer, 1897, ISSN 0035-449X , p. 576 .
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens: Aulus Gellius. To Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, pp. 11-15.
- Gellius (Aulus) . In: Conversations Lexicon. General German Real Encyclopedia . Twelfth revised, improved and increased edition. tape 7 . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1877, p. 141 ( google.at ).
- Radulfus de Diceto: Abbreviations chronicorum . In: William Stubbs (Ed.): Radulfi De Diceto Decani Lundoniensis Opera Historica. The Historical Works of Master Ralph De Diceto, Dean of London . tape 1 . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012, pp. 64 .
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens: Aulus Gellius. To Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, p. 16.
- Julia Fischell: The writer Aulus Gellius and the subjects of his Noctes Atticae. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 2011, pp. 13–15.
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens: Aulus Gellius. To Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, p. 12 f.
- Leofranc Holford-Strevens: Aulus Gellius. To Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, p. 12 (on Herodes Atticus) and pp. 22-26 (on Apuleius).
- Julia Fischell: The writer Aulus Gellius and the subjects of his Noctes Atticae. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 2011, p. 20 ff.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Agellius, Au|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Latin author and grammarian|
|DATE OF BIRTH||between 113 and 130|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||uncertain: Rome|
|DATE OF DEATH||at 180|
|Place of death||uncertain: Rome|