Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Is Crudus an Auto-Antonym? Probably Not

Lindsay C. Watson, A Commentary on Horace's Epodes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 297-298 (on Epode 8.5-6: hietque turpis inter aridas natis / podex velut crudae bovis):

Discussing crudae bovis, Watson rejects the explanations of Lambinus (quae cibum non concoquit ideoque nec continet, πολυχέσον = which doesn't digest food and so doesn't hold it in, much-defecating) and Müller (quae frustra studet exonerare ventrem = which tries in vain to empty the stomach). Watson used Lambinus' 1561 Lyon edition of Horace, where I don't see the word πολυχέσον on p. 438, nor in Lambinus' 1588 Paris edition, p. 306. The accent seems off in Watson's quotation, wherever he got it (lemma πολύχεσος in Liddell-Scott-Jones) — should it be πολυχέσου? Judging from the explanations of Lambinus and Müller, one would assume that crudus can have two contradictory meanings, viz. afflicted with diarrhea and afflicted with constipation. Neither meaning is recognized in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, s.v. crudus, although constipated could be inferred from sense 3.b: "(of persons or animals) having undigested food in the stomach, dyspeptic," with the citation from Horace's Epodes.


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