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Caper, Fla'vius

a Roman grammarian of uncertain date, whose works " de Latinitate," &c., are quoted repeatedly with the greatest respect by Charisius, Rufinus, Servius, and others, but especially by Priscian.


Fragments of his Grammatical Works

We possess two very short tracts entitled Flavii Capri grammatici vetustissimi de Orthographia libellus, and Caper de Verbis mediis. Barthius (Advers. 21.1, 35.9) has conjectured, with much plausibility, that these are not the original works of Caper, but meagre abridgements by a later hand. Servius (ad Virg. Aen. 10.344) cites " Caper in libris enucleati sermonis," and (ad Aen. 10.377) "Caper in libris dubii generis." St. Jerome (Adv. Rufin. ii.) speaks of his grammatical " commentarii" as a book in common use; and Agroetus, who wrote a supplement to the " Libellus de Orthographia et Proprietate ac Differentia Sermonum," refers to his annotations on Cicero as the most celebrated of his numerous productions. He is also frequently ranked among the scholiasts upon Terence, but apparently on no good grounds. (Schopfen, de Terentio, &c., Bonn, 1821.)


Caper was first published among a collection of Latin grammarians printed at Venice about 1476, and reprinted in 1480, 1491, and often afterwards. The best edition is that contained in the " Grammat. Latin. Auct. Antique " by Putschius (pp. 2239-2248), Hanov. 1605.


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