Saturday, June 04, 2022



Cicero, Letters to Atticus 4.19.1 (Rome, end of November 54; tr. D.R. Shackleton Bailey, with his commentary):
Hurry back to Rome, come and look at the empty husks of the real old Roman Republic we used to know.

quin tu huc advolas et invisis illius nostrae rei publicae germanae puta<mina>?

puta<mina> Tucker

On the one hand we need a noun to govern the genitive rei publicae; on the other, we have puta, a vox nihili. The deficiency is supplied by Wesenberg's umbram or simulacrum after invisis, but 'entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem'; it is from the corrupt puta that the missing substantive should be sought. So Constans reasoned, but found nothing better than γῦπα. For putamina (to be found in an otherwise extravagant paper of T.G. Tucker's, Hermath. 15 (1909), p. 290) cf. Nonius, 232 putamina non solum arborum sunt verum omnium rerum purgamenta. nam quicquid ex quacumque re proicitur putamen appellatur. Plautus in Captivis (655) nucleum amisi, reliqui pigneri putamina. All of virtue in the free constitution has departed, leaving only the husks, the lifeless trappings.
... get the smell of a Dictatorship in your nostrils ...

... olface dictaturam ...
Cf. 4.18.3:
... there is some whiff of a Dictatorship in the air ...

... non nullus odor dictaturae ...

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