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66.4.Hall

War changes language (Thuc. 3.82.4 would love ‘collateral damage’). It has long been recognised (already by Nipperdey, but modern discussion of BC in particular may begin from the edition and commentary of Kraner/Hofmann/Meusel [1959]) that Caesar’s BC, Bk 3 in particular, exhibits peculiarities of diction, style and construction out of keeping with his remarkably consistent rhetorical and linguistic control elsewhere (Eden, Glotta [1963], 74ff., Hall, ‘Ratio...’ in Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter [Welch & Powell edd., London 1998], 11ff.). Caesar was a supreme orator (Tac. Ann. 13.3, Quint. 10.1.114), keen on systematisation of Latin orthography and precision in accidence (the lost de Analogia) – a man who used his words with exceptional care. So the relatively chaotic text and language (á¼…παξ λεγÏŒµενα, anacolutha, lacunae) of BC are prima facie puzzling – partly to be explained by the unfinished or unpolished nature of the work, perhaps. But given the rapid development of Latin orthography and style during the late Republic (in vulgar and military Latin as well as in the elevated style expected by the oratorically sophisticated intelligentsia), a typology of the lexical, grammatical, and syntactical developments evident in Caesar’s BC is a desideratum – for BC is as good a touchstone for the wider development of literary Latin as can be expected anywhere in the turbulent times in which it was composed. Prolegomena, therefore, to discussion and a more detailed treatment.

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