About the database

The searchable database currently contains the Greek code-switches in the correspondence of Cicero, Pliny and Fronto, and the Suetonian corpus, and provides information in the fields described below. For more detail, please see Mullen 2015 and Elder and Mullen 2019.

Field HeadingApplies toDescription
CorpusAll corporaThe main named author of the work: Cicero (ad Atticum, ad Brutum, ad Familiares, and ad Quintum Fratrem); Pliny; Fronto; Suetonius.
ReferenceAll corporaReferences to the most useful corpora of texts. Where the texts are difficult to navigate, page numbers are added (e.g. for Haines Loeb edition of Fronto).
DateAll corporaDates are provided where these are available; some are frustratingly vague (Fronto's correspondence), others are frequently accurate (Cicero's correspondence).
Source of code-switchSuetoniusSince the Suetonian text offers evidence of code-switches from sources other than letters (e.g. inscriptions, Suetonius' narrative), this column was necessary to identify the context of the code-switch.
AuthorAll corporaVery often this is known with a good degree of accuracy, except in some cases in Fronto's correspondence.
AddresseeAll corpora (only the epistolary examples in Suetonius)Often this is known with a good degree of accuracy, though there are exceptions across all the corpora.
Citation of Greek code-switchAll corporaThe Greek of the code-switch is set out, and if readings vary between the editions referenced, they are given.
Latin contextAll corporaThe Latin within which the Greek code-switch occurs is set out.
Inter-/Intra-sententialAll corporaThe switch is classified as either inter- or intra-sentential. See chapter 2 for further details.
Function of code-switchAll corporaOne or more salient functions of the switch into Greek are offered. Although clearly a highly subjective process, the authors have collaborated extensively on this to provide a consistent analysis. See Elder and Mullen 2019 for further discussion.
FlaggingAll corporaA note as to whether the switch is explicitly commented on in the text with phrases such as Graeci…appellant or quae Graeci…vocant. Quotations from authors are often introduced, but this practice has not been included under the ‘flagging’ category as it tends to serve other purposes (citation of author and origin or point of the quotation) rather than expressly highlighting a change of language.
Syntactic and grammatical informationAll corporaComments as to the syntactic and grammatical content of the switch and, where relevant, its link with the surrounding Latin are provided.
ContextAll corporaThis provides a brief summary of the content of the letter at the point of the code-switch.
CommentsAll corporaAdditional notes, philological or otherwise, are placed here, including, for example, information on whether the terms occur elsewhere, and whether it is possible that a switch may have been, at least in part, triggered by the same or similar switch in a previous letter within the epistolary conversation. Triggering does not seem to be the main reason for the switches in many cases and several examples, for instance ἐπέχειν and associated words in Att. VI.6.3 and VI.9.3 in exchanges between Cicero and Atticus where the function of the switch might have been classified as ‘triggered’, have been categorized as ‘Quotation: Atticus’. Of course we do not necessarily have all the relevant letters and firm dates are not always provided in the text so our chronological understanding of the letters has to be treated with care (especially in Fronto’s case), and thus our ‘time-line’ for any triggering may be faulty.