Monthly Archives: September 2016

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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G or L: Who Can Tell?

    A few weeks ago, Laudator Temporis Acti blogged about a translated novel set in a Greek classroom, in which the Greek was badly botched. As he noted, “You’d think that, in a short novel that takes place inside a Greek … 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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Lost in the Etymological Jungle

Etymology is a tricky business. Here’s a simple proof for doubting students: English cognates are routinely formed from the present and participial stems of Latin verbs, often from both stems of the same verb. The present and participial stems of … 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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