Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.02.45

Kenney on Burgess on Kenney on Ramírez de Verger.   Response to 2004.01.14

Response by E.J. Kenney (Peterhouse, Cambridge)

A postscript to my review of the Teubner Ovid. I welcome Professor Burgess's firsthand testimony on the fragility of emeralds and gladly stand corrected. Here now is a further correction on my own account. In rejecting utque for atque at AA 2.92 I was right, but for the wrong reason. Professor R.G. Mayer [not K.G. Mayor as in the review] has pointed out to me -- what indeed I should have been aware of -- that (a) the frequency with which inquit figures in a sequence of verbs in the perfect tense, including dixit, clearly indicates that the Roman ear accepted it indifferently as present or preterit according to context; (b) opinion among grammarians favours the view that inquit was originally an aorist. However, the real objection to utque (which I suspect may have been subconsciously nagging at me all along) is that inquit is not found subordinated to a temporal conjunction (i.e. such cases as Hor. Sat. 1.2.55-7 are irrelevant; for ut there see OLD s.v. B6a). To this 'rule' there is one important exception, but it is such as confirms it. In a rapid trawl through the major Latin poets I have found five instances of inquit in the cum-inversum construction, three of them in Ovid: Her. 12.147-52, F. 1.657-60, 4.357-60, Sil. Pun. 1.37-54 (s.v.l.), 12.253-60. In prose I have noticed in passing in the immense article in TLL Cic. Verr. 2.3.79, Rhet. Her. 4.65. As is well known, it is the essential characteristic of this construction that the roles of subordinate and main clause are reversed: 'cum introduces what is really a new main verb' (Woodcock, NLS section 237; cf. K-S II 338-40, H-S 623-4). I find it hard to believe that I am the first to have noticed what, once it is identified, seems a glaringly obvious point; but I have so far found no previous discussion of it. In any case, I think it disposes definitively of utque in our passage.

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