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Virgue pater subito, nuplaque mater eral,
” So the most authentic copies have it, and not (as in the more common) decimo mense. This passage gives a sanction to the received reading in the verse now before us, and may serve to evince that we ought not to substitute plena luna instead of dena luna, as the learned Gronovius fancied. The great Scaliger thinks it was originally nona, as agreeing better with the thing referred to. But there is no necessity for such a nice calculation; for we find almost all the ancient poets allow ten months in this case: witness, that well-known line of Virgil; “Motri longa decem tulerunt fastidia menses.
” Our poet also, in the second book of his Fasti; “Luna novum decies imphrat cornibus orbem:
Quae fuerat virgo credita, mater orat.
” And Book 3; “Vel quia bis quinto femina mense parit.
” And in his Metamorphoses, book 8; “Et quos sustinui bis mensium quinque labores.
” So also Seneca, and almost all the poets. Now, as quini and deni calculi are commonly used for quinque and decem calculi, in like manner luna dena may here be supposed to imply the same as luna decima.
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