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Virgil Murder


Les poètes latins

  • Horace, Ep. 2.2.126-142
  • Posted : 2010-08-12 21:33:16 By Visitor
  • On the More Analyses page, an argument is made for the spuriousness of these lines. But when would an interpolator such as Augustus have had an opportunity to alter the poem? All the manuscripts include these lines (so far as I can tell from the notes in the Oxford edition, anyway), so the change must have been made to the archetype, before any copies were made. We may assume that Horace was still alive when the letter was published; would even Augustus have dared make such an alteration when the author was able to denounce it, at least among his friends in private? Again, much is made of the vulgarity of 'ringi' at line 128. But doesn't 'sapere et ringi' fit Catullus in some of his more scurrilous works? Then Horace is simply declaring that he will not write like that. Perhaps 'ringi' echoes the 'nimis aspera' of line 122, which a good poet will smooth out 'sano cultu.' - mjt
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  • Posted : 2010-08-14 09:05:27 By Visitor
  • How Augustus, Rome’s absolute master, succeeded in imposing his interpolations, possibly even in the author’s lifetime, that’s a very interesting question, but not one that directly concerns a philologist. As for your objection to my argument aiming at proving the spuriousness of Epist. 2. 2. 126-42, it’s not me (« much is made of the vulgarity of ‘ringi’ », you write), but yourself (forgive me) who are making (too) much of what is on the whole a simple detail. However, to reply to the objection you raise on this point, I would suggest that: 1) the comparison with Catullus lacks pertinence here, for we must take into account the difference of genres (so, for instance, the word ‘lagoena’, perfectly acceptable in a satire, seems to be out of place in the epistle; 2) Catullus, « in his most scurrilous works », could well give voice to anti-Ego ; 3) the fact that Horace « is simply declaring that he will not write like that » (a rather strange statement from him, isn’t it?) does not excuse, so I think, the vulgarity of the style. -jym
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