Stilo, L. Ae'lius Praeconi'nus
a Roman eques, was one of the earliest grammarians at Rome, and also one of the most celebrated.
Cicero describes him as most learned in Greek and Roman literature, and especially well acquainted with ancient Latin works. Aelius gave instruction in grammar to Varro, who speaks of him with the greatest respect, and frequently quotes him; and he was also one of Cicero's teachers in rhetoric.
He received the surname of Praeconinus, because his father had been a praeco, and that of Stilo on account of his compositions.
He belonged to the aristocratical party in the state, and accompanied Q. Metellus Numidicus into exile in B. C. 100, and, no doubt, returned with him to Rome in the following year.
Aelius, however, did not aspire himself to any of the offices of state, and did not speak in public; but he wrote orations for many of his friends, such as Q. Metellus, Q. Caepio, Q. Pompeius Rufus and Cotta, upon which Cicero does not bestow much commendation.
It was by his grammatical works that he acquired the most celebrity.
He wrote Commentaries on the Songs of the Salii and on the Twelve Tables, a work De Proloquiis,
He and his son-in-law, Ser. Claudius, may be regarded as the founders of the study of grammar at Rome.
Conjectured author of the
Rhetoric ad C. Herennium
Some modern writers suppose that the work on Rhetoric ad C. Herennium, which is printed in the editions of Cicero, is the work of this Aelius, but this is mere conjecture. [Comp. Vol. 1. pp. 726, 727.]
Cic. Brut. 56
1.2, de Leg.
2.23, de Orat.
1.43; Suet. de Ill. Gramm. 2, 3 ; Quint. Inst. 10.1.99
; Gel. 1.18
; Varr. L. L.
5.18, 21, 25, 66, 101, 6.7, 59, 7.2, ed. Müller; Van Heusde, Dissert. de Aelio Stilone, Ciceronis in Rhetoricis magistro, Rhetoricorum ad Herennium ut videtur auctore. Inscrta sunt Aelii Stilonis et Servii Claudii Fragmenta,
Traj. ad Rhen. 1839; Gräfenhan, Geschichte der Klassichen Philologie im Alterthum,
vol. ii. pp. 251, 252, Bonn, 1844.