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An Acrostic in Vergil (Aeneid 7. 601–4)?

  • D. P. Fowler (a1)


In any competition for monuments of wasted labour the collection of accidental acrostics in Latin poets published by I. Hilberg would stand a good chance of a prize. But amongst his examples of ‘neckische Spiele des Zufalls’ (269) is one I am gullible enough to believe may be more significant. In Aeneid 7. 601–15 Vergil describes the custom of opening the gates of war in a long anacoluthic sentence, the first four lines of which run:

Mos erat Hesperio in Latio, quern protinus urbes

Albanae coluere sacrum, nunc maxima rerum

Roma colit, cum prima movent in proelia Mortem,

Sive Getis inferre manu lacrimabile bellum…



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1 1st die IliasLatina von einem Italicus verfasst oder einem Italicus gewidmet?WS 21 (1899), 264305; 22 (1900), 317–8.

2 Pease on Cic. de div. 2. 111, Vogt, E., ‘Das Akrostichon in der griechischen Literatur’, AA 13 (1966), 80–97 and the literature cited p. 80 n. 1.


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