Category Archives: Curculio

When Did Ovid Die?

For Ovid’s 2059th birthday, here’s a note on his death-year. It could use some footnotes, but this should do for a funeral offering. We’re all celebrating commemorating the 2000th anniversary of the death of Ovid this year, but the date … Continue reading

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Bad Temperament: Seneca, E.M. 2.3

Just posted: a note on Senecan prose, titled as above. The PDF is here. Comments welcome.

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Peripatetic Conjectures

I try to walk an hour a day, and find that memorizing verse is an excellent way to pass the time: usually Latin verse, most often Horace or Catullus. I can’t keep more than a dozen or so texts in … Continue reading

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It Takes an O to Make a Ring: Catullus 50.21

Just uploaded: a textual note on Catullus, titled as above: PDF. Comments, anyone?

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Catullus 16.14: Ring Composition with a Twist?

Just uploaded: another conjecture, this one in Catullus: PDF. I suspect it will amuse more than it persuades.

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Blame the Author, or the Scribe? (Pliny, Ep. 10.4.3)

Just uploaded: another conjecture, this one in the letters of the Younger Pliny: PDF. Comments?

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An Inadvertent Conjecture: Horace, C. 3.1.5

Just uploaded: another conjecture, this one of arguable authorship: PDF. Comments are even more welcome than usual. I’m hoping someone can answer the question just before the post scriptum.

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Two Kinds of Textual Conjecture in One: Horace, I. 12.12

I have just written another textual note (a page and a half – 585 words), this one a really obvious, but apparently original, emendation of one of Horace’s dirtiest poems. Here is the link to the PDF. As always, comments … Continue reading

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Statius, Thebaid 1.250: Conjecturing an Intertext

    Juno’s first words in the Thebaid (1.248-51) come in reply to Jupiter’s announcement (214-47) of his plan to punish both Argives and Thebans for their various sins:     Sic pater omnipotens. ast illi saucia dictis flammato uersans inopinum corde dolorem talia … Continue reading

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A Tactful Cue (and Non-Q) in Horace (Ep. 1.13.17)

    The last four lines of the epistle to Vinnius, on his way to deliver a copy of Horace’s Carmina to Augustus, are clear enough, but one of the conjunctions seems dubious (16-19): neu uolgo narres te sudauisse ferendo carmina quae … Continue reading

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Vigils and Strigils: Juvenal 3.262

    The man crushed by a collapsing stone-wagon never comes home, and his household, though still unaware of his death, finally gives up waiting for him (260-63):         obtritum uulgo perit omne cadauer more animae. domus interea secura patellas iam lauat et … Continue reading

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Marring Marlowe: A Low Pun in Edward II?

    Contemporary humanists often seem to operate on the principle that any possible pun in Shakespeare and his contemporaries is real or intended (loaded word!) or somehow present to the alert reader, inevitably adding to the meaning of the passage. It … Continue reading

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Mood and Voice: A Footnote on Horace, Epode 10

    In their commentaries on the Epodes, both D. Mankin (Cambridge, 1995) and L. C. Watson (Oxford, 2003) note the appropriateness of the name Inachia in 12.17:     “Inachia langues minus ac me; Inachiam ter nocte potes, mihi semper ad unum     mollis … Continue reading

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Catullus 41: Is the Line-Order as Screwed Up as the Subject?

    I quote the whole poem, since it is so short, with Mynors’ apparatus, which is conveniently sized for my purposes:(1) Anneiana puella defututa, tota milia me decem poposcit, ista turpiculo puella naso, decoctoris amica Formiani. propinqui, quibus est puella curae, … Continue reading

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Two Conjectures on Horace’s 16th Epode

    Horace introduces his proposed solution for the corruption of contemporary Rome with a Greek precedent (17-22):(1) nulla sit hac potior sententia: Phocaeorum     velut profugit exsecrata civitas agros atque Lares patrios habitandaque fana     apris reliquit et rapacibus lupis,        20 ire pedes quocumque … Continue reading

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Two Kinds of Crux, neither of them Christian (Maecenas, Fr. 4.4)

    Thousands of lines of excellent verse dedicated to Maecenas survive, but only a few precious bits of his own – precious in more ways than one. Seneca (E.M. 101.10-12) preserves, and comments on, one of the most interesting (Fr. 4 … Continue reading

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Iccius’ Socratic Domus: Horace, C. 1.29.14

    The last stanza of Horace’s Ode to Iccius (1.29.13-16) follows some adynata – ‘Who will deny that anything is possible . . .’(1) cum tu coemptos undique nobilis libros Panaeti Socraticam et domum     mutare loricis Hiberís,         pollicitus meliora, tendis? Commentators … Continue reading

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No Adduction Needed: A Tense Problem in Persius 4.2

    Persius opens his fourth satire with an obscene double entendre and a couple of historical presents:(1) ‘Rem populi tractas?’ (barbatum haec crede magistrum dicere, sorbitio tollit quem dura cicutae) ‘quo fretus? dic hoc, magni pupille Pericli. 2 dura αGL : … Continue reading

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Not Just Any Old Things: Horace, Ep. 1.2.57

    Forms of res are found three times in eight lines in Horace’s second epistle: rebus in 50, res (singular) in 51, rebus again in 57. This seems excessive, and the last instance is dubious in itself.(1) The context is clear … Continue reading

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A Minimal Solution for a Ruined Punchline: Martial 12.50.2

    Martial describes a selfish rich man’s estate (12.50):(1) Daphnonas, platanonas et aerios pityonas     et non unius balnea solus habes, et tibi centenis stat porticus alta columnis,     calcatusque tuo sub pede lucet onyx, pulvereumque fugax hippodromon ungula plaudit,     et pereuntis aquae … Continue reading

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