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[4arg] On the word duovicesimus, which is unknown to the general public, but occurs frequently in the writings of the learned.

I CHANCED to be sitting in a bookshop in the Sigillaria 1 with the poet Julius Paulus, the most [p. 389] learned man within my memory; and there was on sale there the Annals of Fabius 2 in a copy of good and undoubted age, which the dealer maintained was without errors. But one of the better known grammarians, who had been called in by a purchaser to inspect the book, said that he had found in it one error; but the bookseller for his part offered to wager any amount whatever that there was not a mistake even in a single letter. The grammarian pointed out the following passage in the fourth book: 3 “Therefore it was then that for the first time one of the two consuls was chosen from the plebeians, in the twenty-second (duovicesimo) year after the Gauls captured Rome.” “It ought,” said lie, “to read, not duovicesimo, but duodevicesimo or twenty-second; for what is the meaning of duovicesimo?” . . . Varro 4 in the sixteenth book of his Antiquities of Man; there he wrote as follows: 5 “He died in the twenty-second year 6 (duovicesimo); he was king for twenty-one years.” . . .

1 See note 2, p. 128.

2 Quintus Fabius Pictor, who was sent as an envoy to Delphi after the battle of Cannae (216 B. C.), wrote a history of Rome from the coming of Aeneas to his own time. He wrote in Greek, but a Latin version is mentioned also by Quintilian (i. 6. 12) and was used by Varro and by Cicero.

3 Fr. 6, Peter.

4 There is a lacuna in the text which might be filled by “This question might be answered by.”

5 Fr. 1, Mirsch.

6 Of his reign.

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