or ME'SSIUS, a Roman grammarian, who lived under one of the later emperors.
He wrote a Latin phrase-book, entitled Quadriga, vel Exempla Elocutionum ex Virgilio, Sallustio, Terentio, et Cicerone per literas digesta.
It is called Quadriga from its being composed from four authors.
The work is valuable as preserving many passages from some of Cicero's lost writings, and from Sallust's History.
He first gives a phrase generally, then an example, thus: “Firmatus illius rei, Sallust. Hist. iii. Ad Cyzicum perrexit firmatus animi. -- Prudens illarum rerum, Sall. Hist. i. Prudens omnium quae senatus censuerat.
” The following words he arranges under the letter K :-- Kave, kareo, kaptus, khao
(abl. of chaos
) kassus, klaudus, kalleo, kalco, kausaius, klam.
In some MSS. the work is called M. Frontonis Exempla Elocutionum,
&c.; in others, Arusiani (or Volusiani) Messi Quadriga.
On the authority of the former MSS. it has often passed under the name of Fronto, and under his name it was published by Angelo Mai, from a MS. much mutilated, especially in the latter part.
But after what Fronto says on Cicero and other authors, it seems highly improbable that he would have employed himself in composing such a work from these authors.
He would have chosen some of his favourite writers, Ennius, &c.
It is possible that the work may be an extract by Arusianus from a larger
work by Fronto, which larger work would have been composed from a greater number of authors, including those which Fronto most admired.
The best edition is that by Lindemann, in his Corpus Grammaticorum Latin. Vet. vol. i. p. 199, from a MS.
in the Wolfenbiittel collection, in excellent condition, and which, with the exception of a few passages, gives the work complete.
It contains more than half as much again as Mai's edition.
This new part contains many of the most valuable passages, those from Cicero's lost writings and from Sallust's History.
The transcriber has prefixed the following remark: -- In aliquibus Codicibus pro Arusiani Messi male irrepsit Cornelii Frontonis.
Lindemann gives in the notes the exact references to the passages which in the MS. are referred to only by the book. [FRONTO.]
Niebuhr, in his edit. of Fronto,
Berlin, 1816, p. xxxi., &c.; Lindemann, Praefat. in Corp. Gramm. Lat. Vet.
i. p. 201, &c.