Cynthia Damon (ed.), Studies on the Text of Caesar's Bellum civile

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pg 266

Numerous emendations have been proposed for this corrupt spot, none of which imposes itself. Most derive from one of three approaches to finding a replacement for the nonsensical ualeribus:

1. Supplying a geographical reference, specific or general: uallibus, Balearibus, etc. This approach is straightforward, but we have no information about the background—fuerant—of the discoverers to use in vetting suggestions.

2. Supplying a military office: ab alebribus, ab oleribus, etc. Of this type the closest to the paradosis is Holder's ab alebribus, based on Festus' definition of alebria: 25.4 (Müller) alebria bene alentia. That expression would certainly be unfamiliar enough to instigate corruption. A variation on this approach is to supply a military task or operation: in operibus, in alaribus, cum pabulatoribus, etc. This sort of expression is perhaps the best fit for Plutarch's στρατιῶται‎ (Caes. 39.2 ἀλλὰ ῥίζαν τινὰ κόπτοντες οἱ στρατιῶται καὶ γάλακτι φυρῶντες προσεφέροντο, καί ποτε καὶ διαπλάσαντες ἐξ αὐτηζ ἄρτους καὶ ταῖς προφυλακαῖς τῶν πολεμίων ἐπιδραμόντες ἔβαλλον εἴσω καὶ διερρίπτουν‎. Exempli gratia I report Kindscher's ab operibus, a common expression at home in siege contexts generally (cf. BAfr 61.8 in operibus occupati, Liu. 31.46.11 in obsidione et in operibus, etc.), and in our context perhaps connected with the opera mentioned at 3.44.5 and 3.58.1. The tense of fuerant is something of a problem for both versions of this approach.

3. Replacing both fuerant and ualeribus: uiuebant oleribus, studebant oleribus, etc. Plausibility is a problem for this approach. Daggers seem inevitable.

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