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Two conjectures in Horace, Odes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

Howard Jacobson
University of Illinois, Urbana


I offer here two emendations of the text of the Odes, in two passages that make perfectly good sense, offer Latin that is unexceptionable, and have apparently never been questioned.

Shorter Notes
Copyright © The Classical Association 1996

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1 These two examples are cited by Nisbet, and Hubbard, , A Commentary on Horace Odes: Book II (Oxford, 1978), ad loc. I know no others. See too Kühner-Stegmann 1.224 (‘sehr selten’).Google Scholar

2 Horace Volume I: The Odes, Carmen Saeculare and Epodes with a Commentary (Oxford, 1904), p. 125.

3 The confusion of e and o is common. For examples in Horace, see e.g. C. 3.4.16, 4.14.4, Serm. 1.5.78. There are many examples in Lucretius, e.g. at 4.879, 5.1068, 6.589. To be sure, the strictly palaeographic argument will turn on whether Porphyrio (who had divos) read Horace in uncials, which we cannot know.

4 ‘Gods’, to be sure, is still implicit. Verbs like rogo, oro, quaero often leave out the external accusative when it is obvious from the context. See e.g. Stat. Silv. 3.2.130, alias…rogabimus auras (sc.deos or Aeolum); also Verg.Aen. 4.56–7, 4.451, 8.376–7, 11.101, Georg. 1.100–1, Lucr. 5.1229–30, Ovid, Fasti 4.407–8, Ars 1.442, Stat.Silv. 1.4.95, Theb. 10.66, Caes.B.G. 1.11.

5 Note too the contrast of the (presumed) mercator to the pauper colonus at 1.35.5–6.

6 Cf Floras, Praef. 1.2, ita late per orbem terrarum arma circumtulit ut… (of the Roman people).

7 So argued cogently by von, A.T.Bradshaw, S., CQ 20 (1970), 147–51.Google Scholar Accepted by Syme, R., History in Ovid (Oxford, 1978), 145 with note 3; The Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford, 1986), 403.Google Scholar

8 Laetus seems almost a vox propria in Venus-contexts. See e.g. Lucr. 1.23, Hor. C. 3.21.21, Mart. 6.21.2, Juv. 6.570, Stat. Theb. 2.191, Sil.1.2.143.

9 I am indebted to Professor R. G. M. Nisbet, who read an earlier version of these notes and offered several valuable suggestions.