Marco Antonio Gnifo
Marcus Antonius Gnipho

Marcus Antonius Gnipho (fl. 1st century BC) was a grammarian and teacher of rhetoric of Gaulish origin who taught in ancient Rome. Born in Gaul, he was exposed as a child, but was found, and grew up a slave. He was later freed, and according to Roman naming conventions took the nomen and praenomen of his former master, one Marcus Antonius. He may have been educated in Alexandria. He had a great memory and was well-read in both Greek and Latin. He was first employed as the private tutor of the young Julius Caesar, and later set up a school in his own house, where it is said he never haggled over pay, but relied on his pupils' generosity. The great orator Marcus Tullius Cicero is said to have frequented his school while praetor in 66 BC. Ateius the Philologist was another of his pupils.

He wrote a number of works, including De Latino Sermone ("On the Latin Language") in two books. The surviving Rhetorica ad Herennium has been ascribed to him, but this is not widely accepted; otherwise, none of Gnipho's works survive. Scholarly opinion in antiquity was that only De Latino Sermone was his, and that all other works ascribed to him were written by his disciples. He died at the age of fifty.

Gnipho Marcus Antonius

A distinguished Roman rhetorician, who lived in the last century before the Christian aera. He was born in b. c. 114, and was a native of Gaul, but studied at Alexandria. He was a man of great talent and extraordinary memory, and was thoroughly acquainted with Greek as well as Roman literature, and he is further praised as a person of a kind and generous disposition. After his return from Alexandria, he taught rhetoric at first in the house of J. Caesar, who was then a boy, and afterwards set up a school in his own house. He gave instruction in rhetoric every day, but declaimed only on the nundines. Many men of eminence are said to have attended his lectures, and among them Cicero, when he was praetor.

He died in his fiftieth year, and left behind him many works, though Ateius Capito maintained that the only work written by him was De Latino Sermone, in two books, and that the other treatises bearing his name were productions of his disciples. (Suet. De Illustr. Gram. 7; Macrob. Sat. iii. 12.) Schutz, in his preface to the Rhetorica ad Herennium (p. 23, &c.), endeavours to show that that work is the production of M. Antonius Gnipho ; but this is only a very uncertain hypothesis.

Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology
William Smith, Boston, 1867