Category Archives: Curculio: Latin

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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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Chicken (Pliny, Ep. 7.21)

(Note: a general bibliography for this and my other Pliniana will soon be uploaded and linked, and this note removed.)     Pliny’s Epistle 7.21 seems trivial at first. It is short enough to quote in full:(1) C. Plinius Cornuto suo s. … Continue reading

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“We’ve Made It Legal, but We Can’t Make It Right” (Martial 5.75)

    Any problems in this little poem are exegetical – there are no significant variants: Quae legis causa nupsit tibi Laelia, Quinte,     uxorem potes hanc dicere legitimam. As a punch-line, the pentameter, particularly the last word, seems rather flat. I suspect … Continue reading

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A Different Kind of Astronomical Conjunction (Pliny, Ep. 1.3.1)

    Pliny opens the third letter of his collection, to Caninius Rufus, with a series of questions about the latter’s luxurious villa in Comum – I mark the clauses I am most interested in (1.3.1):(1) Quid agit Comum, tuae meaeque deliciae? … Continue reading

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Female Turpitude Meets Male Torpitude (Catullus 11.18)

    Daniél Kiss’s Catullus Online: An Online Repertory of Conjectures on Catullus is a wonderful resource, which I have found complete and accurate in whatever I have checked, but rather depressing viewed at length. Only six of the sixty-eight lines in … Continue reading

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A Dumb Question about Animals (Pliny, Ep. 1.20.5)

    In the course of a long discussion of rhetoric addressed to Tacitus, Pliny argues that size matters in judging orations, with an extended analogy from living creatures (Epistulae 1.20.4-5):(1) Et hercule ut aliae bonae res ita bonus liber melior est … Continue reading

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Curculio 6: Two Adjectives in Seneca’s Agamemnon

How’s that for a boring title? As a continuation of my experiment with publishing original scholarship on this site, I have just uploaded an eight-page PDF containing two conjectures on the text of Seneca’s Agamemnon, titled as above (link). (I … Continue reading

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Curculio 1: Silius Italicus: Why Seventeen Books?

The unusual length of Silius Italicus’ Punica has often caused puzzlement. Antony Augoustakis discusses the point in the first chapter of the recent Brill companion to Silius. He credits Michael von Albrecht with noting that the number of books “corresponds … Continue reading

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