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LABERIUS in his Lake Avernus spoke 1 of a woman in love as amorabunda, coining a word in a somewhat unusual manner. Caesellius Vindex in his Commentary on Archaic Words said that this word was used on the same principle that ludibunda, ridibunda and errabunda are used for ludens, ridens and errans. But Terentius Scaurus, a highly distinguished grammarian of the time of the deified Hadrian, among other things which he wrote On the Mistakes of Caesellius, declared 2 that about this word also he was wrong in thinking that ludens and ludibunda, ridens and ridibunda, errans and errabunda were identical. “For ludibunda, ridibunda, and errabunda,” he says, “are applied to one who plays the part of, or imitates, one who plays, laughs or wanders.” But why Scaurus was led to censure Caesellius on this point, I certainly could not understand. For there is no doubt that these words, each after its [p. 335] own kind, have the same meaning that is indicated by the words from which they are derived. But I should prefer to seem not to understand the meaning of “act the laugher” or “imitate the laugher” rather than charge Scaurus himself with lack of knowledge. But Scaurus ought rather, in censuring the commentaries of Caesellius, to have taken him to task for what he left unsaid; namely, whether ludibundus, ridibundus and errabundus differ at all from ludens, ridens and errans, and to what extent, and so with other words of the same kind; whether they differ only in some slight degree from their primitives, and what is the general force of the suffix which is added to words of that kind. For in examining a phenomenon of that nature that were a more pertinent inquiry, just as in vinulentus, lutulentus and turbulentus it is usual to ask whether that suffix is superfluous and without meaning, παραγωγή, as the Greeks say, 3 or whether the suffix has some special force of its own. However, in noting this criticism of Scaurus it occurred to me that Sisenna, in the fourth book of his Histories, used a word of the same form. He says: 4 “He came to the town, laying waste the fields (populabundus),” which of course means “while he was laying waste the fields,” not, as Sisenna says of similar words, “when he played the part of, or imitated, one laying waste.” But when I was inquiring about the signification and origin of such forms as populabundus, errabundus, laetabundus, ludibundus, and many other words of that kind, our friend Apollinaris—very appositely by Heaven! —remarked that it seemed to him that the final syllable of such words indicated force and abundance, and as it were, an excess of the quality belonging to [p. 337] the primitive word. Thus laetabundus is used of one who is excessively joyful, and errabundus of one who has wandered long and far, and he showed that all other words of that form are so used that this addition and ending indicates a great and overflowing force and abundance 5
1 57, Ribbeck3.
2 Fr. 9, Kummrow.
3 That is, “an addition to the end of a syllable.”
4 Fr. 55, Peter.
5 In general these words in-bundus have the same force as the pres. participle; the intensive force in a few words comes originally from forms like versabundus, formed from intensive verbs. See Stolz, Hist. Lat. Gr. i, p. 570.
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