Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2001.09.30

Thomas on McGill on Thomas.   Response to 2001.08.23

Response by Richard F. Thomas, Classics, Harvard University ( )

Given the very positive and comprehensive review Scott McGill has written of my Virgil and the Augustan Reception, I hope I will not seem churlish in responding to his statement that there are "a few typos and mistakes in the text." While that is doubtless the case, four of the the five examples he gives (n. 3) do not add up. They are as follows:

"on p. xi, where the word 'don't' in a citation is ungrammatical." I would rather label the usage in the anonymous, per litteras citation ("it don't help to use the sort of language that goes back to the worst years of Vietnam or the Spanish civil war") colloquial and perhaps archaic (OLD s.v. "do" A2cg: Pepys, Diary 1.62 "Sir Arthur Haselrigge do not yet appear in the House;" Richardson, Pamela 1.65 "He don't know you."). It is now a dialect form of SW England, but is not "ungrammatical."

"on p. 6, where the word 'obliterated' is inappropriate." I talk there of the failure of two critics to make mention of the arguments of two others: "Getty and Ryberg are better obliterated." The verb, and the etymology contained in it, seem to me perfectly appropriate.

"p. 23, where the word 'don't' is again ungrammatical." In that case ("an act of positivism that attempts to get back to a world that just don't exist") the form was due to an allusion: B. Dylan, To Ramona 17.

"p. 242 'assserts." I regret the form, which is in fact on p. 243.

"and p. 252, where pacisque seems to be an inaccurate citation." The form is accurate (Servius had it) and occurs in the text as cited (an article by Stauffenberg), though I of course prefer pacique, which I use on the same page when speaking in my own voice.

Again, none of this should be taken as criticism of M., but I since I was particularly happy with the production by CUP, I felt I should clarify things.

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