Tuesday, July 12, 2016


A Misprint

David S. Wiesen, St. Jerome as a Satirist: A Study in Christian Latin Thought and Letters (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1964), p. 120, quoting Jerome, Letters 22.13:
Videas plerasque viduas ante quam nuptas infelicem conscientiam mentita tantum vestem protegere, quas nisi tumor uteri et infantum prodiderit vagitus, erecta cervice et ludentibus pedibus incedunt.
When I read that, I couldn't parse mentita, so I knew there must be something wrong. For vestem read veste. Here is F.A. Wright's translation, with his note:
You may see many women who have been left widows before they were ever wed,3 trying to conceal their consciousness of guilt by means of a lying garb. Unless they are betrayed by a swelling womb or by the crying of their little ones they walk abroad with tripping feet and lifted head.

3 I.e. unmarried women who pretend to be widows.
James Willis, Latin Textual Criticism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972), has exercises for the budding textual critic in the form of corrupt passages from Latin authors to be emended. It would be an easy matter to assemble a large collection of corrupt passages, not from medieval manuscripts, but from modern printed books.


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