The word hepat(i)arius seems to be a hapax found in Plautus's Curculio.

The meaning and use of the adjective seems interesting, but this question is focused on its form. Is the right form hepatarius or hepatIarius? The latter is what's found in the version of Curculio indexed by the PHI corpus, which is from Plauti Comoediae edited by F. Leo (1895). Per Logeion, the word is also indexed under this spelling in the 2016 Gaffiot dictionary, DMLBS, and LaNe.

The main reference I've found for the shorter form hepatarius is Lewis and Short. I also find some results elsewhere when searching online for hepatarius, but I'm unsure of their trustworthiness. Should I conclude it's a typo, or is there actual uncertainty about which of these is original? Are both forms attested in manuscripts of Plautus?

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    OLD also lists hepatiarius, not hepatarius
    – cnread
    Jan 5, 2022 at 0:30
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    Why not look it up in the TLL? publikationen.badw.de/en/thesaurus/lemmata#46215 I’m still trying to encourage more folks here to use it (for academic reasons of course)
    – Alex B.
    Jan 5, 2022 at 14:53
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    Also google.com/books/edition/…
    – Alex B.
    Jan 5, 2022 at 15:14
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    @AlexB. Well, until you reach a word that begins with rep-... I had missed that they came out with new fascicles this year and last year and that it's all online for free now, so thanks for the heads up on both of those.
    – cmw
    Jan 6, 2022 at 0:49

1 Answer 1


The meter is unfortunately not helpful here, as both with the i and without the i fit the anceps in that foot of the iambic senarius. But the manuscripts do weigh in. From Alex B.'s link:

hepatiarius E3. G. Valla. he patiarius E. (u s. v.) J. epatiarius B. epatarius F Z. apatarius Guyetus ab ἀπατᾶν ducens.

The manuscript tradition is therefore in favor of hepatiarius. My guess is that it's easier to lose the -i- from haplography than gain a spurious one.

I'm guessing the word was coined from the rare hepatia, found only in Lucilius, Petronius, and Apuleius, rather than directly from the Greek, which would explain the -i- being part of the stem.

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