Saturday, April 30, 2016


Is Latin Sudus an Auto-Antonym?

An auto-antonym is a word that can mean the opposite of itself. According to Lewis and Short, sudus can mean both dry and damp:
sūdus, a, um, adj. [se-udus; cf.: sudum siccum quasi seudum id est sine udo, Fest. pp. 294 and 295 Müll.], without moisture, dry....

II. Somewhat moist = subudus; "ardentia viscera adhuc suda de sanguine", ARN. 7, 3.
But Reifferscheid in his edition of Arnobius' Adversus Nationes (Vienna, 1875 = Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, IV), p. 239, adopts Sigismund Gelenius' conjecture uda for the manuscript's suda at 7.3. On the manuscript variants udis and sudis at Apuleius, Metamorphoses 11.2, see Apuleius of Madauros, The Isis-Book (Metamorphoses, Book XI). Edited with an Introduction, Translation and Commentary by J. Gwyn Griffiths (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975), pp. 70 (text and apparatus) and 119 (commentary).

On the other hand, Arnobius isn't the only evidence for the meaning "somewhat moist." See the data collected by Henry Nettleship, "Nonius Marcellinus," Lectures and Essays (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885), pp. 277-321 (at 305):


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