1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dositheus Magister

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DOSITHEUS MAGISTER, Greek grammarian, flourished at Rome in the 4th century A.D. He was the author of a Greek translation of a Latin grammar, intended to assist the Greek-speaking inhabitants of the empire in learning Latin. The translation, at first word for word, becomes less frequent, and finally is discontinued altogether. The Latin grammar used was based on the same authorities as those of Charisius and Diomedes, which accounts for the many points of similarity. Dositheus contributed very little of his own. Some Greek-Latin exercises by an unknown writer of the 3rd century, to be learnt by heart and translated, were added to the grammar. They are of considerable value as illustrating the social life of the period and the history of the Latin language. Of these Έρμηνεύματα (Interpretamenta), the third book, containing a collection of words and phrases from everyday conversation (καθημερινὴ ὁμιλία) has been preserved. A further appendix consisted of Anecdotes, Letters and Rescripts of the emperor Hadrian; fables of Aesop; extracts from Hyginus; a history of the Trojan War, abridged from the Iliad; and a legal fragment, Περὶ ἐλευθερώσεων (De manumissionibus).

Editions: Grammatica in H. Keil, Grammatici Latini, vii. and separately (1871); Hermeneumata by G. Götz (1892) (in G. Löwe’s Corpus glossariorum Latinorum, iii.) and E. Böcking (1832), which contains the appendix (including the legal fragment); see also C. Lachmann, Versuch über Dositheus (1837); H. Hagen, De Dosithei magistri quae feruntur glossis (1877).