Page title

"A Festan Fest"

Main page content




September 23, 2021

Event Subtitle / Short Description

Speaker & Affiliation

Ben Fortson, University of Michigan


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Via Zoom


The (probably) 2nd-century-CE Latin lexicon of Festus, fragmentarily preserved in one truncated and heavily damaged manuscript as well as indirectly in an epitomized version by Paul the Deacon, is generally considered a valuable treasure-trove of antiquarian lore, bearing as it does sole witness to many archaic words, quotes from otherwise lost works, and material pertaining to early Roman culture and society. But there is much more of interest to this work than simply the ancient material that it contains. In this talk I will first introduce and survey the lexicon and its problematic history and transmission for those unfamiliar with it, then discuss some recent scholarship on specific entries, and finally explore some issues pertaining to its place in the history of lexicography and the organization of knowledge.