W. M. (Wallace Martin) Lindsay.

An introduction to Latin textual emendation, based on the text of Plautus online

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L, T, e.g. Pseud. 1041 lenune (B : lenonem CD) for ^ ?iw«c ; Pseud. 373
m&s for mi7e5. (For examples in -<4 see Studemund's Index.)

M, NT, e.g. Virg. A, xii. 515 eurmilam tor eumulant ; Lucr. i. 104
possum foT possunt.

(Final -nt in early minuscule was often expressed by a liga-
ture of majuscule N and T which might resemble M. )
''e.g. Most, 499 nam in ea eherurvtem (CD) for imrn
Trie AeJieruntem (B).

So trihum and tribuni. In the minuscule
M, NI, IN Laurentian MS. of Nonius (195 M. 16)

m, ni, in ] Bithynia was written bithia axid corrected by

suprascription of ni. This ni looks very like
m and has been so transcribed in the Escurial
copy of this MS. , which has bithiam.

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M N f ®*^' ^^^' ^^^ ^^^* ^°^ doyni ; Most. 576 mimis for nimis.
' 4 (For examples in ^ see Studemund's Index, and for con-
°^ ^ (^ fusion of the contraction-signs, below, p. 90. )
n, r (in very early minuscule), e.g. Bacm. 793 terus for temis ; Cure.
26 sinit for sirit. (Both instances may be otherwise explained. )
n, u, e.g. Stich. 7 S levUer for leniter (CD). So tioIo and volo, nossmdvos.
0, Q, e.g. Merc. 524 quern for ovem (at beginning of line).

So Virg. O. ii. 376 qties for (wes.
P, R, e.g. Mil. 363 peripe propero (B : ^ri perpropere CD) for
perire propera.

So ^araw and raras ; 2?rqpe and pro re or prorae.
r, y. The close similarity of the early forms of these two lettera led
to the adoption of the dotted form of y. The undotted y stood
in the archetype at Men. 305 cyathissare, where B has cyaUisare
and CD cratissare. In theLeydenMS. of Nonius (230 M. SO)cy(mo
is written exactly like crono. The Lauren tian copy has orono.
r, s (in early minuscule), e.g. Cwrc. 318 Osamarum for Gramarum.
rt, St. When written in ligature these groups are often hardly
r (in ligatures such as wm, 1^5), e.g. Bacch. 955 lumen tor limen.
•rr J \ ( For examples in A see Studemund's Index. ) In Nonius
^' . -! 18. 13 sumitur is mis written simitur in the Ley den
' ^ I MS., and in its copy, the Laurentian, the word is
I further corrupted to im{m)iUitur.
V, II /e.g. Pseud. 633 avi for cUii ; Pseud. 670 haec cavcUa

u, ii, li, ti, ll\ ^^ for ^«^<^ a/^ato es^.

So suam and si Jam; ut and ii<; its^'we and Usque ; dtirati
and c?i ^>a^^ ; sumpsi {sUpsi) and si ^ps^ ; nulli and ?ii
«7/i ; colus and coZ/is ; velut and -yeZ/iY.
In Nonius 108. 28 alheus of the Leyden MS. is miscopied
alhetis in the Laurentian ; 231. 22 the name Fufidius,
written /wpirfzi^, has in the Leyden MS. quite the appear-
ance of stipidivSf and is so copied in the Laurentian.
To the ligatures mentioned above may be added the
ligature-form of r in early minuscule which often led to
confusion. Thus ere is often wrongly copied as ee ; e.g.
expugnassee (E : expugnasse BJ) for expugnassere (D) in Amph.
210 may be due to a mistake of this kind.^ So too may

^ I would explain in this way the incipisse of the MSS. in CapU 532,
and read :
qudm, malum ? quid mdchiner ? quid c6mraimscar ? mdxumast {-mas

nugds ineptia indpissere : haereo {itieptias MSS.),
though the loss of the final -re before haereo (ereo) might also be re-
ferred to haplography.

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in uncials,

in other

the frequent substitution of or for ort^ e.g. oyoret (B^D) for
oportet in Amph. 268, 318, 992. The ligature ae is often
hardly distinguishable from e, so that in addition to the
similarity of the pronunciation of these letters (ch. v. § 9)
there was also a similarity of form.

2. In uncial writing the same confusions are usually
possible as in capital script. The letters whose uncial
and capital forms differ are a, d, e, h, m, q, u. Uncial
g, when the " tag " of the letter consists, as it often
does, of a faint hair-line drawn almost horizontally
under the circle, is hardly to be distinguished from c.
Uncial d is even more prone than capital d to be mis-
taken for o; and it is properly speaking the uncial
form of u which is so like i in the ligatures un, um, us,
etc. (see above), though these ligatures are used also in
capital script, especially when letters had to be crowded
into the end of a line. The uncial e, as well as a
rounded form of t, was easily mistaken for c.

Uncial, but hardly capital, confusions of letters are :

C, G with E, T (see above), e.g. se for S. C. "senatus consultum "
in Cic. Phil. x. 6. 13.

In a Lyons MS. of St. Hilary written in uncials of the
sixth century the e is very like c. (See the photographed
specimen page in the Album Paliographique.) The a
is often like n.

D with A, e.g. vide and viae; dudor and audor ; dvjxi and auxl.

D with S (occasionally with OS in ligature), e.g. quod and quos; quid

and quis ; datis and satis ; deditio and seditio ; sede and sesc.

U with CI, TI, LI (see p. 87), e.g.su^vi&ndsciain; aves a.nd ades ;
uvis and civis ; uhi and tihi ; parum and partim.

3. In Irish or Anglo-Saxon script the most readily
confused letters are r, n, s. The g is often mistaken
by copyists for z. Subscript i (see above) is particu-
larly common in this script.

The Lombard form of a, not unknown in Caroline min-
uscule, is easily confused with cc or oc; the Lombard (and
Yisigothic) t with ot or at, or ai or it ; the Jc with Ic or he.

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The Visigothic g looks like a ligature of cL A form
of t closely resembles a.

In the Merovingian script the characters are so
rudely and irregularly formed that the possibilities of
confusion are very numerous, as ^ numerous almost as
in the early Roman cursive hand which we find in the
graffiti of Pompeii. There is a great temptation for an
editor, puzzled with the variety of mistakes in the
MSS. of a classical author, to solve the difficulty by
the hypothesis that the archetype, if a mediaeval MS.,
was in Merovingian script, or, if of much earlier date,
was in early Roman cursive.

4. A word of caution must be added against overhasty inference of
inference about the script of an archetype from one or two Ircffe^ype
instances of the confusion of letters in a MS. What seems
at first sight the confusion of one letter with another may
often really be the confusion of one word with another, e.g.
militia and malitia (see the preceding chapter). And in
many cases some accidental peculiarity in the archetype,
quite unconnected with the general character of its script,
may give rise to the confusion. Thus in the Laurentian MS.
of Nonius (181 M. 20), a MS. written in ninth- or early tenth-
century Caroline minuscules, the word socordia was first written
cocordia, then the letter c at the beginning of the word was
corrected to s. The correction has been made in such a way
that the corrected letter looks as much like g as anything
else ; and in the Harleian MS., which is a direct copy of the
Laurentian, the word is copied gocordia. How mistaken in
this case would be the inference that since socordia has been
written gocordia in the Harleian MS., it must have been
copied from an original in which s had habitually or fre-
quently the form of c ! We must be careful, too, to distin-
guish miswritings which are due to Late Latin pronunciation,
e.g. sci and si (see p. 68 above), from those which arise from
the similarity of one letter to another. The want of this
distinction is a fault in Hagen's Gradus ad Criticen.


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Few con- 1. In the Capital and uncial MSS. preserved to us a
capiteTand very Sparing use is made of contractions. In the Am-
MHs^ brosian Palimpsest, for example, we find only B- for
-huSj e.g. OMNIB- "omnibus," Q- for que, e.g. Pseud.
613 ATQ-AMANT "atque amant " (atqanmnt of JB
curiously reproduces this), Fers. 194 Q-ANTVK
" queantur " ; while a wavy line over the letter u in-
dicates an m,^ over the letter n indicates the word 71071.
It was scribes accustomed to these contractions who
made mistakes like Lucr. v. 1071 desertibus auhantur
for deserti baubantur ; Virg. A. xi. 572 nutribus at for
nutribat ; Psevd. 328 queam for quam.

On inscriptions we find a large number of terms in
common use expressed by contractions, sometimes by
the initial letter only, e.g. S-C- for senatus coTisultum,
B'P' for res publica, sometimes by the initial letters

^ This line (over any vowel) for m is in early MSS. properly written
with an up-turned hook at one end and a down-turned hook at the other,
while the line indicating the contraction of a word is a straight line.
But this distinction came to be dropped. The extension of one or other
(or both) of these signs to indicate an n varied in usage at different
times. Often the contraction for n is limited to the end of a line, while
the contraction for 7n is used freely at any part of the line. But there
was always a possibility of a minuscule scribe being left uncertain
whether to interpret a horizontal stroke over a vowel in a majuscide
original as an m or as an w.

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of syllables, e.g. PF for praefedus, sometimes with

the addition of the final letter, e.g. SCDS for secundus,

DS for deus.^ A great many of these appear, sometimes

with majuscule, sometimes with minuscule characters,

even in mediaeval MSS., and have occasionally been

misunderstood by copyists, as well as by modern editors.

Thus s{enatus) c(onsultym) in Cicero Att. iii. 15. 5 has

become sic, in Cicero Phil. x. 6. 13 se : c{larissimo) m(ro)

in Cicero PhiL ix. 1. 3 has become cui; M. Varro in

Gellius ii. 25. 9 has become Mauro ; nam Ael(ius) Lam(ia)

in Velleius ii. 116 has become nam etiam; h{ora) i

(he. prima) s(emis) in Cicero Att. xv. 24 appears as his;

and nothing is commoner than to find the conjunction

qvs for the name Q{uintus).

Along with this system of contractions by means of

single letters there was in ancient Rome a fully-developed

system of shorthand writing, the signs for which were

known as the Notae Tironis, so called from Tiro, the

freedman of Cicero. Certain of these shorthand signs

to express syllables were adopted for convenience of

writing by mediaeval scribes. Thus a curved stroke like

an apostrophe indicated the syllable us, e.g. f "tus"^;

other strokes represented the syllables er, ur, en, is etc.

If these shorthand strokes were accidentally omitted,

or made with a dry pen by the scribe of an original, or

overlooked by the scribe of a copy, a corrupt reading

was the result. Thus periratus has become piratus in

True. 656.

2. In the sixth and seventh centuries a host of Great num-
ber in sixth

^ A collection of these contractions, or, to use the Latin term, Tiotae, and seventh
"quae in monumentis pluribus et in historiarum libris sacrisque centuries,
publicis reperiuntur," was made by the grammarian Valerius Probus
in the time of Nero. The surviving extracts from this work have been
published by Mommsen in vol. iv of the Ghrammatid Latini, ed. Keil.
Gitlbauer tries to explain some corruptions in MSS. of Livy by sup-
posing them to be due to the use of these Tiotae in ancient texts.

^ The same sign with p represented the word post. Hence it is that
B reads ^W5 in Men. 1117, while CD have rightly _pos^.

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contractions were in use in various scripts, and in
many cases the same sign was capable of signifying
quite different words. Thus the letter s, with its
contracted use indicated by a horizontal stroke above
or some other mark, stood for si, sed, secundum, sunt,
and on occasion also sanctus, scriptum, supra, senatus,
and so on ; the letter n, with accompanying mark of
contraction, stood for nam, non, nunc, and also nos, nobis,
nosier, nomen etc. So confusing a state of matters
could not be allowed to last ; and accordingly we find
the number gradually lessened by Carolingian and
other scribes, and differentiating marks introduced to
distinguish, e.g., sed from si, non from nunc.

But, as may be imagined, this change in the use of
contractions was a fertile source of errors in MSS.
When a scribe accustomed to one set of contractions
had to copy a MS. in which a different set of con-
tractions was used, he would inevitably make many
mistakes ; and even in transcribing contractions with
which he was familiar he might, if the same sign were
used in more than one sense, expand it now and then
in a wrong way. We have many instances in our
minuscule MSS. of Plautus. The identity of the signs
e for em and e for est (also for et) has caused quid est in
Pseud, 1066, written quide in the original of CD, to be
wrongly copied by the scribe of C as quidem. The
identity of the signs h for non and n for nam has led to
nam being substituted for non in Pseud, 521, non for
nam in Pseud, 642. Especially the contractions of the
relative pronouns and adverbs varied in use from time
to time. We find quoniam, quom {cum, qum) and
quando confused over and over again in Plautus MSS.,
and similarly qui, quid, quia etc. etc.^

A contraction was often indicated by a suprascript

^ These relative forms were confused even when not written in
contraction. (For examples in A see Studemund's Index.)

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letter. Thus m stood for mihi, m for modo, P for the


syllable pr% p for the syllable pra, and so on. And
the u of the relative and other words was often supra-
script in a more or less conventional form (cf. ch. ii.

3. A knowledge of the contractions used in Latin MSS.
is of immense importance to every one who concerns himself
with the emendation of Latin texts. For a fuller account
of them than can be given here the student may consult
Chassant Dictionnaire des Abr^iations, or the larger and more
important work Walther Lexicon Diplomaticum. Neither
of these books, however, provides us with a satisfactory
account of the limitations of particular contractions
to particular centuries or particular scripts. When our
knowledge of these limitations is more complete, it will
be possible to trace with more certainty the history of a text
than can be done at present. For the confusion of con-
tractions is at least as important a clue to the date and Give clue to
country of an archetype as the confusion of letters. A J^^t '^ °^
feature, for example, of Visigothic MSS. is their use of a
contraction for per (Thompson Greek and Latin Palaeography
p. 224), which in the minuscule of other countries would
represent pro. Irish scribes, to whose labours both in
monasteries in Ireland and on the continent we owe the
preservation of many texts of ancient authors, used a
peculiar set of contractions. One of these was h' for autem,
a sign resembling a sign used elsewhere for hoc; and it is
fairly safe evidence of an Irish or Anglo-Saxon original if
we find in a copy hoc substituted for autem, as in the Namur
MS. of Bede (see Plummer's edition, Introd. p. Ixxxvii).
(In two British Museum fourteenth-century MSS. of Cicero
Orator we find enim substituted for autem. See Sandys Introd.)

The difficulty found by continental monks in reading and
transcribing the numerous MSS. in Irish writing, or in that
variety of Irish writing known as Anglo-Saxon, is illustrated
by a ninth -century MS. of St. Ambrose now at Florence

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(Laur. Ashb. 60 c. 55). This MS. is written in the Irish
hand, but a subsequent hand has added over each peculiarly
Irish contraction its interpretation in the usual Caroline
script ; e.g, above h* is written aut or au to represent atUem,
and so on. (A photograph of a page of this MS. is given in
the Collezione Fiorentina No. 40.)
Errors aris- 4. Besides the other possibilities of error arising from
Sem. "* ^^® ^ise of contractions, the contraction - stroke may on
occasion have been mistaken for a stroke of deletion. At
any rate this is Keller's explanation of corruptions in MSS.
of Horace like cesserat for concesseraty written ccesserat, with
line above the first c {G. i. 28. 13) ; genio for ingenio (igenio)
(G. L 27. 16) ; vims for invisus (luistLs) {G. iii. 27. 71). And
the " apex," the accent-stroke placed above a vowel to indicate
length, especially in monosyllables such as o (e.g. Asin, 540
B\ prde, se, te, nos etc., but also in the adverbs illo (e.g. Amph.
197, 203, Gapt. 359, Gurc. 340 B), ilia etc., was occasionally
mistaken for the contraction-sign : e.g. furtis est for furti se
in Poen. 737 ; mendato for me dato in Poen, 159 ; unam for
una adv. in Amph 600.

List of Contractions

5. Here is a list of the commoner contractions found in
minuscule MSS. of the eighth to the twelfth centuries. In
each case, imless otherwise stated, a horizontal stroke would
be written above the letter in MSS. Some examples of
mistakes arising from the contractions are added : —

a (1) **aut," (2) "autem," later usually au or aid, (3) "an.**
Cf. Amph. 271 acerto (D) for avi certo.

wkb "anima."

an "ante."

ap **apud."

c"con." Cf. Trin, 1148 qui nunc laudo (CD) for quin
conlaudo (written with this contraction in B).

d{\) "deest," (2) "dicit" or "dixit," later dt, dit, dxt, etc.
So c?r ** dicitur," dnr " dicuntur." (3) " de."
ds "deus," often confused with dns "dominus."

e " est." Also " em," " et" (see below, and occasionally "esse ").
Cf. Pseud. S7 est si for etsi; Pseud. 2S6 jampridet for jampridem.

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ec " esse," eet "esset.V

ecda "ecclesia."

epla "epistola." i

eg **ergo," later usually g^ as g was "igitur."
Confusion of ego and ergo is very common in MSS. (See
Appendix A.) In Men. 806 investigo has become invcnisti ergo
(written with g and suprascript 0) in one MS.

eps "episcopus."

fr "frater," often confused with sr " super."

gla "gloria."

gra "gratia." In True. 464 aegram {egrd B) has become egrcUia
in C.

h "haec," and occasionally **hoc."
h with suprascript i, "hie."
h with dot over shoulder of letter, " hoc."
he "hunc."
ho "homo."

ht "habet,"Are "habere."
In Men. 452 habere, written hare in the archetype, has become
hue re.

i with dot on both sides, " id est. "
id {I) "idem"; (2) "id est."
U "item."

I "vel." Also vZ (see below).
lib "liber."

m with suprascript i, "mihi."
m with suprascript 0, " modo."
mr (\) "mater" ; (2) "martyr."
7ns "mens."

n with dot on each side, "enim." A variation of this sign,
peculiar to Irish and Anglo-Saxon script, has often been misunder-
stood by copyists.

n with suprascript c, "nee."

n with suprascript i, "nisi."

n (1) "non," (2) "nam," and occasionally (3) "nunc," (4)
"nomen." Cf. MU. 1197 nam B, nm CD.

In Aid. 711 nam ego, etc., nam had the variant turn in the
original of BDEJ ; hence n^m ego non BDEJ.

The omission of non, so important a word to the sense of a sen-
tence, was from a scribe's point of view the mere omission of a single
letter. True. 616 is a clear example of the omission of a negative :
si aequom facias adventores meos <non> incuses, quorum
mihi d6na accepta et grdta habeo.

TIC "nunc." Cf. Trin. 1148 qui nunc laudo (CD) for quin con-
laudo {quin claudo with line above c B).

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nmn or ?m, occasionally no **nomen." So noe '* nomine."
nr "noster." So nri "nostri," etc.

oia "omnia." So cmis "omnes," ois or orrds "omnis," etc.
mnps "omnipotens."

p "prae."

^with horizontal stroke through lower part of straight line,
"per," and occasionally ** par."

p with loop through ditto, *'pro."

p with suprascript o or t^ or with shorthand sign for us, ** post "
(see above).

pihr " presbyter."

pp (1) ** propter" ; (2) " papa."

pr "pater."

lu Asin. 842 pater was in the original of j&J written par, which
has been corrected in J to pareiis.

pt "praeter."

q "quae."

q with stroke traversing the vertical line, (1) "quam"; (2)
"qui." Sometimes an i is further written above to indicate
"quid," for which word we find also the shaft of q prolonged
upwards so as to make a monogram of q and d,

q followed by a comma, a point, a colon, or a semi-colon, " que."

g with suprascript a, "qua."

q with suprascript o, " quo."

q with suprascript i, " qui."

q followea by a sign like our numeral 2, " quia."

Of the confusion of qui, quid, quia, qua, quam examples ere
Tntc. 370 ; Pseud. 779, 1063.

qd " quod." Often confused with " quid " written qid.

qm "quoniam." Also qn, qnm, quo. Of the confusion- of
the words quoniam, quando, quom examples are Aul. 9, Capt. 490,
Men. 1151, Cos. 583, Mil. 1287, 1419, Bacch. 292 (cf. 304). (In Mil.
839, where the line begins with quoniam, all the minuscule MSS.
have the contraction qm with a stroke above ; cf. Bacch. 290.)

qn "quando." Also qdo, (On the confusion of quando and
quoniam see above. )

s (1) "sunt," also st ; (2) "sive," also siu, and occasionally su
(like the contraction of "sum"); (3) "sanctus"; (4) "si"; (5)

In Aul. 354 has swntfacturi has become Jias facttiri. Cf. Men.
340 scd qua for siqiia.

s followed by semi-colon, " sed."

s with suprascript i, (1) "sibi " ; (2) occasionally "sicut."

scds "secundus," scdm "secundum."

scs "sanctus," scni "sanctum."

sic "sicut."

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sps "spiritus," spm "spiritum."

sr "super," often confused with/r "frater."

ss (1) "suprascriptus," (2) "sancti" plur.

t "ter," in early MSS. also "tamen." Cf. Hor. C. i. 7. 22 ter
for tamen.

t with suprascript a, "tra."

t with suprascript *, ** tibi."

tin "tantum." Earlier also "tameu."

In Nonius 172 M. 12 Termestinorum, written in the archetype
tertneoctrinorum with contraction of ter (see above), has become m
the Leyden codex tm^trinonim, corrected to tamen extenwrum.

tn "tamen."

ts *'tuus."

u (1) "ut," and occasionally (2) "vero," (3) "vel."

u with suprascript 0, ** vero."

u with suprascript i, ** ubi."

ul "vel." Also I. The first sign is often miscopied "ut," the
second (according to Wattenbach Anleitung zur lateinischen Palaeo-
graphies p. 74) **et." Cf. True. 2i6 vi iU for velut.

ur "vester."

Of shorthand syllabic signs may be noticed : —
Apostrophe-sign, **us.*' Hence cm for cw^'ws in Hor. C. ii. 4. 14.
Reverted c-sign, " con." Also c with horizontal stroke above.
Sign like numeral 2, " ur."
1, " et." Also e (see above),
-j-, "est." Also e (see above).
= , " esse. " Also ee (see above).

Horizontal stroke, * * er " (see above on per, ter). Thus uia'^ ver. "
The sign for m has been already mentioned (p. 90). In early min-
uscule it often has an upright form that makes it like a suprascript i.

And of contractions of final syllables : —

r (or rt) with horizontal stroke above, " -runt. "

r with sloping stroke intersecting the last part of the letter,
" -rum." (An n with a similar stroke represents " -nus.")

h with horizontal stroke intersecting the shaft of the letter,
"-bis." (A d with a similar stroke represents **-dit"; and in
general this verbal ending " -it " is often represented by a mere con-
traction-stroke ; e.g. w with a horizontal stroke above it means "-vit,"
as well as **ut," "vero," "vel," "ver," etc., as mentioned above.)

b followed by colon, " -bus."

6. The signs for Numerals ^ have been productive Signs for
of many mistakes in MSS. Thus DC " six hundred " ""™^™ *'

' That is, the Roman numeral signs. The Arabic ciphers are un-
known in all except the later MSS.


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has been miscopied de in Livy xxvii. 28. 11, and ad DC
has occasionally become ad haec ; ad IIII has become
adivi in Cicero Att, xv. 1 1 ; VII ante has become uti
ante in Velleius ii. 10. 2. Conversely, m has been mis-
interpreted as sex in Cicero Fam. xv. 4. 9, and ii as (ho
in Cicero Fhil. x. 7. 15.

For these and a number of other examples the student
may consult Heraeus Qicaestiones de veil. codd. lAvianis p. 52.

A stroke was drawn above a numeral sign to indicate that
it was a numeral sign. Thus vi without this stroke will
mean " by violence," but with it " six." This stroke is often
mistaken for the stroke drawn above to indicate thousands,
so that in Cicero Legg. ii. 23. 58 we find in duodecim milia
instead of in duodecim (sc. tabulis), and in Livy xxii. 60. 19
sescentis written in the original DG with a stroke above has
been wrongly expanded to sescenta milia.

Bede complains of scribes' mistakes about numeral signs :
numeri . . negligenter describuntur et negligentius emen-
dantur {Opp, i. 1 49) ; and the author of the Flcyres Temponivi

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Online LibraryW. M. (Wallace Martin) LindsayAn introduction to Latin textual emendation, based on the text of Plautus → online text (page 8 of 11)