POPOSCI, momordi, pupugi and cucurri seem to be the approved forms, and to-day they are used by almost all better-educated men. But Quintus Ennius in his Satires wrote memorderit with an e, and not momorderit, as follows: 1
'Tis not my way, as if a dog had bit me (memorderit).So too Laberius in the Galli: 2
Now from my whole estateThe same Laberius too in his Colorator: 3
A hundred thousand have I bitten off (memordi).
And when, o'er slow fire cooked, I came beneath her teeth,[p. 47] Also Publius Nigidius in his second book On Animals: 4 “As when a serpent bites (memordit) one, a hen is split and placed upon the wound.” Likewise Plautus in the Aulularia: 5
Twice, thrice she bit (memordit).
How he the man did fleece (admemordii).But Plautus again, in the Trigemini, said neither praememordisse nor praemomordisse, but praemorsisse, in the following line: 6
Had I not fled into your midst,Atta too in the Conciliatrix says: 7
Methinks he'd bitten me (praemorsisset).
A bear, he says, bit him (memordisse).Valerius Antias too, in the forty-fifth book of his Annals, has left on record peposci, not poposci 8 in this passage: “Finally Licinius, tribune of the commons, charged him with high treason and asked (peposcit) from the praetor Marcus Marcius a day for holding the comitia.” 9 In the same way Atta in the Aedilicia says: 10
But he will be afraid, if I do prick him (pepugero).Probus has noted that Aelius Tubero also, in his work dedicated to Gaius Oppius, wrote occecurrit, and he has quoted him as follows: 11 “If the general form should present itself (occecurrerit).” Probus also observed that Valerius Antias in the twenty-second book of his Histories wrote speponderant, and he quotes his words as follows: 12 “Tiberius Gracchus, [p. 49] who had been quaestor to Gaius Mancinus in Spain, and the others who had guaranteed (speponderant) peace.” Now the explanation of these forms might seem to be this: since the Greeks in one form of the past tense, which they call παρακείμενον, or “perfect,” commonly change the second letter of the verb to e, as γράφω γέγραφα, ποιῶ πεποίηκα, λαλῶ λελάληκα, κρατῶ κεκράτηκα, λούω λέλουκα, so accordingly mordeo makes memordi, posco peposci, tendo tetendi, tango tetigi, pungo pepugi, curro cecurri, tollo tetuli, and spondeo spepondi. Thus Marcus Tullius 13 and Gaius Caesar 14 used mordeo memordi, pungo pepugi, spondeo spepondi. I find besides that from the verb scindo in the same way was made, not sciderat, but sciciderat. Lucius Accius in the first book of his Sotadici writes sciciderat. These are his words: 15
And had the eagle then, as these declare,Ennius too in his Melanippa says: 16
His bosom rent (sciciderat)?
When the rock he shall split (sciciderit).* * * * * 17 Valerius Antias in the seventy-fifth book of his Histories wrote these words: 18 “Then, having arranged for the funeral, he went down (descendidit) to the Forum.” Laberius too in the Catularius wrote thus: 19
I wondered how my breasts had fallen low (descendiderant).[p. 51]