from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Longinus, Dionysius Cassius A.D. 210?-273. Greek philosopher. The influential volume of literary criticism On The Sublime is traditionally attributed to him.


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  • While never one to dismiss the formal features that make an articulation poetically/rhetorically effective, I'm inclined to think that we can best find the examples Longinus is talking of where the mannerisms are present but the figurative substance does not match the performance of importance with actual import.

    On the Sublime

  • The name of Longinus first appeared in a collection of early Christian texts known as the Apocrypha, where he was described as a centurion who had served his legion faithfully before poor eyesight ended his battlefield career.


  • Naturally, the study of legendary weapons, like Excalibur and the Spear of Longinus, is cryptohoplology.

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  • Yet these concepts turn out to be exceptionally unstable in the context of the Preface, and moreover, their instability stems from that about which Longinus is quite explicit: hypsous, height.

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  • His preceptor was John Dugloss, called Longinus, canon of

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  • Remember, too, that the next heathen of whom we read, that he acknowledged Christ, was also a Roman centurion, he whom the old legends call Longinus, who, when he saw our Lord upon the cross, said, 'Truly this _was_ the Son of God.'

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  • Cassius repents and converts to Christianity, taking the name of "Longinus".


  • "Longinus," they began to chant, the name echoing from the nearby hills.

    The Eternal Mercenary

  • And so it was that on the darkest day of our Lord’s sacrifice upon the cross, he was tormented in his final hour by a Roman centurion known as Longinus Gaius.

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  • The mere cult of it occupied many of the best intellects of the ancients, such as Longinus and Quintilian, whose writings have been preserved to us just because they were prized.

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