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The Dark Serpent

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A Note on Lucretius DRN 3.658

image of Mnemosyne

After reviewing current suggestions for improving the text of Lucr. 3.658, this article argues for accepting Marullus’ serpentem and emending line-final utrumque to et atro. These proposals, the author contends, significantly improve the syntax of a corrupt line that nevertheless has been retained unaltered in several recent texts of the Epicurean poet. As various parallels show, the newly suggested ater is a particularly appropriate term for characterizing the menacing serpent of Lucretius’ poem.

Affiliations: 1: University of Miami, Department of Classics1252 Memorial Drive, 527D Ashe Administration BuildingCoral Gables, fl


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