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Etymological Law

Ziogas, I.

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The origins of law coincide with the origins of language, as both Plato and Horace highlight. Thus, a systematic attempt to discover the etymological roots of words simultaneously reveals the source of legality. The article examines the etymological doctrina (‘learning’) of poets vis-à-vis the etymological reasoning of learned jurists. The Twelve Tables, Catullus, and Labeo engage in similar etymological pursuits. Ovid’s Byblis responds to Labeo’s etymologies. The jurist Ulpian echoes the poetics of Latin love elegy. Lawyers and poets meet on the common ground of etymology in their attempts to lay down the law.


Ziogas, I. (2021). Etymological Law. Incontri di filologia classica, 19, 179-200.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date May 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 10, 2021
Journal Incontri di filologia classica
Print ISSN 2464-8752
Electronic ISSN 2464-8760
Publisher EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Pages 179-200
Publisher URL


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