One day towards the end of the eighth century the scribe of cod. Paris. Lat. 7530, a miscellany to which we owe the carmen de figuris , began to copy out for us, on the 28th leaf of the MS, the Thyestes of Varius. He transcribed the title and the prefatory note, which run thus: INCIPIT THVESTA VARII. Lucius Varius cognomento Rufus Thyesten tragoediam magna cura absolutam post Actiacam uictoriam Augusti ludis eius in scaena edidit, pro qua fabula sestertium deciens (...) accepit. Then he changed his mind: he proceeded with a list of the notae employed by Probus and Aristarchus, and the masterpiece of Roman tragedy has rejoined its author in the shades. (shrink)
‘uester, de uno, per indignationem’ says Achilles Statius at the first of these two places, and again ‘uester, de uno’ at the second. Muretus on the other hand explains ‘uestrae saeuitiae, ferocitatis illius, uobis omnibus, qui formosi estis, innatae.’ Most commentators have taken part with Muretus, and deny that uester in these two passages means tuus; nor is the usage recognised in the lexicons. But when it comes to explaining what, if not tuus, uester does mean, the interpreters are not (...) agreed: they contradict one another, and they even contradict themselves. (shrink)
I have not read the Thebais more than three times, nor ever with intent care and interest; and although in putting these notes together I have consulted a large number of editions—Bernartius, Tiliobroga, Geuartius, Cruceus, Gronouius, Barthius, Veenhusen, Beraldus , ed. Bipontina, Lemaire , Queck, O. Mueller , Kohlmann, Wilkins, Garrod, Klotz, and the translations of Marolles, Nisard, and Mozley —it may well be that profitable matter has escaped me and that some of my comments have been made before.
It neither is nor need be doubted that tutamen opis, preserved like many another true lection in the margin of G and R, is what Catullus wrote. The tutū opus which OGR present in their texts is a simple error arising from the abbreviation of tamen as S0009838800022916_inline1. But the verse still fails to satisfy and is universally esteemed corrupt. The description of Peleus as dear exceedingly to his yet unborn and unbegotten son is so absurd a form of address (...) that all editors now adopt from the interpolated MSS the conjecture ‘clarissime nato.’ This description is neither absurd nor untrue, but it is yet untimely, and sorts ill with the bridegroom's other titles. The ‘decus eximium,’ the ‘magnae uirtutes,’ the ‘tutela Emathiae,’ all are already his: the glory reflected from his heroic son belongs to the future and is part of that prophecy to which in the next two verses he is bidden to give ear. clarissime nupta would be appropriate, and would resemble 25 ‘eximie taedis felicibus aucte’ and Ouid. met. XI 217 sq. ‘coniuge Peleus | clarus erat diua’; but ‘most illustrious in thy son’ breaks away from the rest of this prelude and forestalls what is to come in 338 and the following verses. There is therefore an undercurrent of feeling that even now all is not well: ‘de coniectura ilia dubitari potest, cum propriae Pelei ipsius uirtutes hie praedicentur’ says Baehrens, and Schwabe even proposes so wretched an alternative as ‘carissime fato.’. (shrink)
These minute annotations, put together for a paper read to the Cambridge Philological Society on February 15, are mostly taken from jottings which I made some thirty years ago in the margin of Leo's edition. There they would have stayed, but for the appearance in 1918 of the Illinois index uerborum compiled by Messrs Oidfather, Pease, and Canter, which is not merely what its title promises, but also aims at recording the conjectures of the present century, and has enabled me (...) to cancel three or four proposals which I found anticipated. Other people, from Dr U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff downward, so often print emendations of mine as their own, or indeed as anyone else's, that I am even more anxious than I otherwise should be to avoid printing as mine the emendations of other people. (shrink)
This is the way to say in Latin ‘you see my face, though you cannot see the rest of me’. So her. X 53 ‘tua, quae possum, pro te uestigia tango’, 135 ‘non oculis sed, qua potes, aspice mente’, art. III 633 ‘corpora si nequeunt, quae possunt, nomina tangunt’, trist. IV 2 57 ‘haec ego summotus, qua possum,. mente uidebo’, 3 17 sq. ‘esse tui memorem… quodque potest, secum nomen habere tuum’, 10 112 ‘tristia, quo possum, carmine fata leuo’, ex (...) Pont. IV 4 45 ‘absentem, qua possum, mente uidebo’.1 But that is not what Ovid seeks to say: he means ‘you see my face in such fashion as you can’, not in the flesh but in counterfeit presentment; and Latin expresses this meaning otherwise. As Ovid here speaks of his own likeness on a ring, so in ex Pont. II 8 55 he speaks of the likenesses of Augustus Tiberius and Liuia on a medal; and he says ‘nos quoque uestra iuuat quod, qua licet, ora uidemus’. Arellius Fuscus in Sen. suas. 4 I puts the same thought in the same way, ‘cur non ab infantia rerum naturam deosque, qua licet, uisimus, cum pateant nobis sidera et interesse numinibus liceat ?’ In her. XIII 41 sq. ‘qua possum, squalore tuos imitata labores dicar’ many MSS have changed the adverb into quo agreeing with the substantive hard by; and similarly here the ‘quae potes’ of the text has come from ‘qua potes’. (shrink)
So far his weapons of defence are taken from a common armoury; but in the next verses he develops the argumentum ad hominem which was foreshadowed in ‘eques’ and ‘intra fortunam qui cupis esse tuam.’ Such promptings, says he, come strangely from Maecenas, whose own discreetness and self-repression will be famous in history, and whom he is resolved, so far as in him lies, to imitate.
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