Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Nothing Can Endure Forever
I add remarks on a few other inscriptions in Mr Lommatzsch's supplement to Buecheler.See also (apparently independently) F.A. Todd, "Two Pompeian Metrical Inscriptions," Classical Review 53.5/6 (November-December, 1939) 168-170 (at 170):
2292, p. 155, lately exhumed at Pompei.
nihil durare potest tempore perpetuo.Mr Lommatzsch appends this note:
cum bene sol nituit, redditur oceano.
decrescit Phoebe, quae modo plena fuit.
Venerum feritas saepe fit dura leuis.
'1 lege nil. u. 1-3 aliunde sumptos credas (ex poeta neoterico?), si reputes quam rudis iste fuerit poeta in u. 4. Veneres inuenit Catullus.'The first three verses show clearly how to correct the sense, language, and metre of the fourth. What the man meant to write was
uentorum feritas saepe fit aura leuis.
It is with no sinful pride in my sagacity that I offer the correctionThe graffito (now lost) is Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum IV 9123, translated by Kristina Milnor, Graffiti and the Literary Landscape in Roman Pompeii (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 69, as follows:
VENTORVM feritas saepe fit AVRA leuiswhich I made on first reading the inscription in Della Corte's New Excavations (p. 80).
Nothing is able to endure forever;Id., p. 70:
Once the sun has shone brightly, it returns to the ocean;
The moon grows smaller, who just now was full;
The savagery of the winds often becomes a light breeze.
I think that Marcello Gigante, "Cultura in Pompei antica," Cronache pompeiane 1 (1975) 25-47 (at ?), conjectured Austrorum as the first word of the fourth line. See also his Civiltà delle forme letterarie nell'antica Pompei (Naples: Bibliopolis, 1979), p. 238. Both are unavailable to me.