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Aelius Stilo

AKA Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus

Born: c. 154 BC
Birthplace: Lanuvium, Latium
Died: 74 BC
Location of death: Rome, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Pagan
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Scholar

Nationality: Ancient Rome
Executive summary: Earliest Roman philologist

Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus, of Lanuvium, the earliest Roman philologist, was a man of distinguished family and belonged to the equestrian order. He was called Stilo (stilus, pen), because he wrote speeches for others, and Praeconinus from his father's profession (praeco, public crier). His aristocratic sympathies were so strong that he voluntarily accompanied Q. Caecilius Metellus Numidicus into exile. At Rome he divided his time between teaching (although not as a professional schoolmaster) and literary work. His most famous pupils were Varro and Cicero, and amongst his friends were Coelius Antipater, the historian, and Gaius Lucilius, the satirist, who dedicated their works to him. According to Cicero, who expresses a poor opinion of his powers as an orator, Stilo was a follower of the Stoic school. Only a few fragments of his works remain. He wrote commentaries on the hymns of the Salii, and (probably) on the Twelve Tables; and investigated the genuineness of the Plautine comedies, of which he recognized 25, four more than were allowed by Varro. It is probable that he was the author of a general glossographical work, dealing with literary, historical and antiquarian questions. The rhetorical treatise Ad Herennium has been attributed to him by some modern scholars.

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