Classical Quarterly 44 (02):545- (1994)
AbstractAcontius rhetorically addresses the young man to whom Cydippe's parents have betrothed her, whom he imagines as showing excessive familiarity while visiting the girl's sickbed. In line 146, ‘spes’ may be considered the vulgate reading; the noun can be used concretely, of the object of one's hopes , a person in whom hopes are centred , or sometimes as an endearment . For application to a girl with suitors, cf. Ovid, Met. 4.795 ‘multorumque fuit spes invidiosa procorum’. Or one could take ‘spes’ in Her. 20.146 generally, = id quod spero. But, in any case, ‘spes’ is somewhat disappointing. After the strong imagery of 145 , we expect something no less definite in the pentameter, and, in particular, a word which will cohere with, and reinforce, the notion of providing access . In this respect ‘spes’ fails to contribute anything. Nor does the manuscript evidence point unambiguously to ‘spes’. Some manuscripts have the unmetrical ‘spem’, while Heinsius found in a Medicean manuscript the reading ‘sepem’, which was taken up by Burman, and by a number of other editors. To this, however, A. Palmer made an objection which seems not merely pedantic: ‘I should rather have expected per sepem; for a man has a right to go up to, as far as, another man's boundary.’
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