In the preface to Noctes Atticæ, Gellius writes

Nos vero, ut captus noster est, incuriose et inmeditate ac prope etiam subrustice ex ipso loco ac tempore hibernarum vigiliarum Atticas Noctes inscripsimus, tantum ceteris omnibus in ipsius quoque inscriptionis laude cedentes, quantum cessimus in cura et elegantia scriptionis. Sed ne consilium quidem in excerpendis notandisque rebus idem mihi, quod plerisque illis, fuit.

In this passage, I don't think né [cónsilium] quidem is used to mean "not even [consilium]" as it usually is. In context, "but not even my aim in [or perhaps "my reason for"] excerpting and annotating them was the same as most of [those writers'] aim/reason" simply doesn't make any sense.

What does né . . . quidem mean in this passage? Was this use a) limited to Gellius, b) limited to post-Augustan Latin in general, or c) encountered in classical Latin as well?


1 Answer 1


Why do you say it doesn't make sense? His title and his style are different, so he says, but that is not all: not even his intention was the same as [that] of the aforementioned authors. I don't think this ne...quidem is that much different from other cases?

He says his style is different because it is uncontrived and inelegant (a Roman cliché, of course). His professed aim was different in that he sought not to present a great number of passages, like other authors, but rather a few select ones, for to him great quantity does not bring great quality.

  • OMG you're absolutely right. I don't know how I didn't get that. Mar 4, 2016 at 19:42

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