LUCAN VII 423-5 BY D. A. KIDD haud multum terrae spatium restabat Eoae, ut tibi nox, tibi tota dies, tibi curreret aether, omniaque errantes stellae Romana uiderent. The Roman empire needed only the addition of the Far East to be world-wide. Lucan expresses this in characteristic style by saying that the heavenly bodies would then look down on some part of that empire all the time. There is no dispute about the general sense of the passage. But the phrase eyyantes stellae, which is practically a technical term for the planets wherever else it occurs, was explained by Housman 1) as meaning not the planets, but all the stars, including the fixed ones. The only reason he gave for this surprising inter- pretation was that the planets were irrelevant to the passage; and the only examples he adduced as supporting evidence were not of eyyaye, but of uagus and uagari. Housman's ruling on this phrase has been accepted without question and presented with little or no argument by subsequent editors of Lucan, and is enshrined in the Thes. L. L., V. 2, 809, 48 as the sole example of its kind. Thus Bourgery in the Bud6 edition 2)
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1966
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