Sextus Empiricus is one of the most important ancient philosophical writers after Plato and Aristotle. His writings are our main source for the doctrines and methods of Scepticism. He probably lived in the second century AD. Eleven books of his writings have survived, covering logic, physics, ethics, and many other fields. Against the Grammarians is the first book of Sextus' Adversus Mathematicos, his broad-ranging polemic against the various liberal studies of classical learning. It is prefaced by a short general attack on the arts (included in this volume); then Sextus focuses on the grammatical writers of the classical era, categorizing, analysing, and criticizing their doctrines. The result is not only an invaluable source for ancient ideas about grammar, language, and literary technique, but an excellent example of sustained Sceptical reasoning. David Blank presents a new translation into clear modern English of this important treatise, together with the first ever commentary on the work. In an extended introduction he discusses Against the Grammarians in the broad context of Sextus' work as a whole, Scepticism in general, and the history of ancient writings in this field.
`Blank's edition is a triumph. The translation is excellent. The commentary is very full - nearly five times the text - and provides good treatments of the individual arguments and exceptionally rich citations of related grammatical texts, most of which are unlikely to be familiar to the general classicist.' Tad Brennan, The Classical Review, 2000. `It is the leading virtue of B's commentary that he always guides us through the screen of Sextan perversity into the positive riches that lie behind.' Tad Brennan, The Classical Review, 2000. `Read Sextus alone and he may strike you as a footling; read B's commentary and a lost world of scholarship and intelligent controversy emerges from the mist.' Tad Brennan, The Classical Review, 2000. `B. has poured into this volume the results of decades of immersion in the study of ancient grammar, and the pay-off for readers is immense.' Tad Brennan, The Classical Review, 2000. `The ancient philosophers among you will have already read this book, such is the importance of its topic, the excellence of its author, and the prestige of its series, whose general editors. . .have backed an unbroken string of winners.' Tad Brennan, Classical Review 50
Series: Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 1st November 1997
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97 x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.74