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[8] The controversial theme, “A certain man in his will ordered his heirs to erect statuam auream hastam tenentem,'” turns on a similar ambiguity; for it raises the question whether it is the statue holding the spear which is to be of gold, or whether the spear should be of gold and the statue of some other material. The same result is even more frequently produced by a mistaken inflexion of the voice, as in the line:
quinquaginta uhi erant centum inde occidit Achilles.1

1 “Achilles slew fifty out of a hundred,” or “a hundred out of fifty.” Translated from a Greek line in Arist. Soph. El. i. 4. (πεντήκοντ᾽ ἀνδρῶν ἑκατὸν λίπε δῖος). Quinquaginta is the object of occidit. Faulty reading might make it go with ubi erant, leaving centum as the object of occidit, and making nonsense of the line.

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