Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Meaning: use of a dialect in writing, originally from the alleged influence of the dialect of Padua (Patavium) on Livy's writing.

Usefulness: 1 (As literary criticism: "I don't mind patavinity, but some writers take it much too far." Or just to make it sound like you know something about Roman writers.)

Logofascination: 2

In the wild: No, unless you're prepared to stretch 'wild' to include history texts.

Degrees: 2

Connections: patavinity - Livy

Which is used in: Ekskybalauron, as Sir Thomas attempts to prove the valour and value of Scots by anecdote, in this instance a rather long one about a Dr Seaton*:
he spoke Latin as if he had been another Livy or Salustius: nor, had he been a native of all the three countries of France, Italy, and Germany, could he have expressed himself, as still he did when he had occasion, with more selected variety of words, nimbler volubility of utterance, or greater dexterity for tone, phrase, and accent, in all the languages thereto belonging.
It's interesting that Sir Thomas holds up Livy as a pure Latin speaker; Sir Thomas must have known of the patavinity critique. This is pure speculation, but as Sir Thomas was a Scot writing in English, I wonder if he empathised?

*I haven't quite been able to figure out who this was: there were a number of soldier Seatons, but none famed for their Latin, and a priest Seton who would have known Latin, but doesn't seem to have done any soldiering.

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