Sunday, January 10, 2010

Papīrius and Appius Claudius

On pg. 151 in connection with the absolute chronology of Rhotacism I mention the well known case of L. Papirius Crassus who, according to Cicero, was the first of his gens no longer to write his name as Papisius. I should have add a macron to the first i in this form. Not only is the length attested in verse (Lucil. 1259 prima Papiria Tusculidarum#, here referring to the tribus Papiria), but if the i had been short it would of course have been lowered to e in this environment (Weiss 2009:117).

In fn. 15 on the same page I write: "According to Sextus Pomponius (Dig., in 312 BCE Appius Claudius updated the list of censors replacing Valesii with Valerii and Fusii with Furii." This is not quite correct and confusingly stated. What Pomponius actually says is:

Idem Appius Claudius... R litteram invenit, ut pro Valesiis Valerii essent, et pro Fusiis Furii.

Of course, there is no way that what Pomponius says can be literally correct—Appius Claudius didn't invent the letter R, which was one of the original 21 letters taken over from Etruscan. What this passage is normally assumed to mean is that Appius Claudius introduced the use of the letter r for these names which previously had been spelled with s. Neither this passage nor any other explicitly states that this spelling innovation took place in Appius Claudius' censorship, but that is a plausible inference. So the sentence in fn. 15 should be emended to:

According to Sextus Pomponius (Dig., Appius Claudius "invented the letter r" so that Valesii became Valerii and Fusii became Furii." This is normally interpreted to mean that in redacting the senatorial roll in his capacity as censor in 312 BCE Claudius rewrote these nomina, formerly spelled with s, with the letter r. See Ryan 1998:138.

Ryan, F. X. 1998. Rank and Participation in the Republican Senate. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.

No comments:

Post a Comment