When I was trying to find information to answer ktm5124's question about “anticipātiō, anticipātiōnis”, I came across a passage that I am not advanced enough to understand fully. I'd like to ask for some help with the translation.

The following paragraph comes from "Emendationes in Collumellam" by Vilelmus Lundström (in Eranos, 1907):

XI, 2, 12 antilucanam hunc locum editurus scribendum curaui cum S A. Vix enim crediderim librarios ante- in anti-, quod iis alienum esset, mutauisse; contra anti- in ante- ut sponte mutarent, consuetudo facile persuadebat (cfr I, 10 antestites S m. pr., quod librarius exemplari suo diligentius inspecto ipse correxit). Quam ob rem si quis infra 2. 55 antilucanis (ubi antelucanis S A R) restituere uelit, equidem neque alteri dissuadere neque tamen ipse facere ausim. Nam inter -ĕ- et -ĭ- uacillare auctorem ipsum credo (cfr beneuolentia et beniuolentia sat multis locis).

I'm having particular trouble understanding how to read the first sentence. My attempt so far:

XI, 2, 12 *antilucanam*  - "XI, 2, 12 *antilucanam*"
hunc locum               - "this place (here)"-acc.
editurus                 - m-s-nom. fut active part. of "edo" = "going to publish"?
scribendum               - acc. gerund or gerundive of "scribo" = "for writing"?
curaui                   - 1s-perf of "curo" = " I took care of"?
cum S A.                 - "with SA"

It seems to have the first person singular as the subject, with the main verb "curavi", but I don't understand the grammatical roles of the other words in the sentence.

I think I have the gist of the rest of the sentences, with a few difficult spots bolded below:

I believe scribes very rarely changed ante- into anti-, which was alien to them; contrariwise convention easily persuaded (?) [consuetudo facile persuadebat] that they freely changed anti- into ante- (compare I, 10 antestites S m. pr., which I consider a scribe more diligently corrected himself by his copy (?) [quod librarius exemplari suo diligentius inspecto ipse correxit]). And therefore, if anyone wants to restore below 2. 55 antilucanis (where antelucanis S A R), certainly I dare neither to dissuade the one nor however do so [him?]self [neque alteri dissuadere neque tamen ipse facere]. For I believe the author himself vacillates between -ĕ- et -ĭ- (compare beneuolentia and beniuolentia in many places).

1 Answer 1


There is an editorial rule of thumb: 'The more difficult reading is to be preferred,' and in this case the author, Lundström, prefers antilucanam and antilucanis(line 4), when the other versions S A, and (line 4) S A and R are in favour of the dictionary preference antelucanus.

XI 2, 12 antilucanam: when preparing this locus for publication I (curavi) gave special attention to the writing of S and A.

In this statement of the Difficilius melius principle, he uses a 1st person negative imperative: vix plus the perfect subjunctive.

Let me not believe that copyists have changed anti- into ante-, which would have been alien to them; By contrast, ante- into anti-, common practice easily persuades (imperfect habitual) that they
might change spontaneously. (compare...source 'S'...which the copyist himself has corrected, his own exemplar having been inspected (ablative absolute) more closely.)

The last two sentences are almost what you have written:

...if anyone should wish to replace the [difficult] antilucanis, with the [easy] antelucanis, as S A R [do], I [supply velim] would not wish to dissuade that 'other person (dative),' but I would not, riskily, wish to do so myself.

  • Thank you! So in the third sentence, "ipse" can be translated as "myself", even though there is no accompanying first-person pronoun?
    – Asteroides
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 1:59
  • Yes, the nominative by default is the author. By the way scribendum is ' written stuff' just as legendum is 'reading matter.'
    – Hugh
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 2:04
  • Ah, I think I get it. So it is correct to say that "scribendum" is the object of "curaui" and "hunc locum editurus" is a subordinate, participial phrase?
    – Asteroides
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 2:09
  • Yes; Lundström is 'about to publish' or 'is in the process of preparing to publish on this locus, at the time when he pays special attention to the scribendum A S
    – Hugh
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 2:18

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