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An acrostic in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica

 
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 14:26 - Latin Language, Unsolved Mysteries and Myths, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
Haec ubi non ulla iuvenes formidine moti
accipiunt (dulce et dura sic pergere mente), 175
terga sequi properosque iubet coniungere gressus.
litore in extremo spelunca apparuit ingens
arboribus super et dorso contecta minanti,
non quae dona deum, non quae trahat aetheris ignem,
infelix domus et sonitu tremebunda profundi. 180
at varii pro rupe metus: hinc trunca rotatis
bracchia rapta viris strictoque immortua caestu
ossaque taetra situ <et> capitum maestissimus ordo
per piceas, quibus adverso sub vulnere nulla
iam facies nec nomen erat; media ipsius arma 185
sacra metu[que] magnique aris imposta parentis.


Val. Fl. 4

The acrostic reads LANIABO. However, in older editions line 184 used be rendered as "respicias." So, we would have had LANIABOR, which is a lot more interesting. Did the acrostic contain a self-fulfilling prophesy about the transmission of the text?

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