previous next

Transposition of syllables and letters

The transposition of syllables and of letters is usually an indication of an uneducated copyist. In Epid. 285, for example, te nolo was written te lono. Forms like dixti, 2nd singular perfect indicative, being unfamiliar to the scribe of the archetype (p. 9), often appear as dixit etc., the scribe having regarded them as illiterate spellings of this kind (cf. Capt. 155).

Often the cause is to be found in the practice of writing letters like a, u above the line in early minuscule (cf. Thompson Greek and Latin Palaeography p. 228); at might thus become ta, tu might become ut. The letter h, especially when added as a correction, was frequently written in the form of the Greek rough-breathing or "daseia" (as in ῾ο) above the line (e.g. Amph. 299 hercle, in the original of BDEJ); and an h so written was in danger, not only of being overlooked by a copyist or mistaken for another letter, but also of being written before instead of after the letter above which it stood. In a Bodleian fifteenth-century MS. of Virgil (Canon. Lat. 61), written in Italy, the word Daphnim in Ecl. v. 20 was first miscopied as dahpnim, then corrected; and it is clear from various indications that in the original the h was expressed by this suprascript sign.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: