Friday 29 May 2015


Quintilian, I.5.67:
nam "Solitaurilia" iam persuasum est esse "Suovetaurilia", et sane ita se habet sacrum, quale apud Homerum quoque est. Sed haec non tam ex tribus quam ex particulis trium coeunt. Ceterum etiam ex praepositione et duobus vocabulis dure videtur struxisse Pacuvius: "Nerei repandirostrum incurvicervicum pecus."

As for Solitaurilia it is by now universally believed to stand for Suovetaurilia, a derivation which corresponds to the actual sacrifice, which has its counterpart in Homer as well. But these compounds are formed not so much from three words as from the fragments of three. On the other hand Pacuvius seems to have formed compounds of a preposition and two vocables (i.e. nouns) as in "The flock of Nereus snout-uplifted, neck-inarched": the effect is unpleasing.
The Homeric passage is Od.11.130-1:
ἕρξας ἱερὰ καλὰ Ποσειδάωνι ἄνακτι, | ἀρνειὸν ταῦρόν τε συῶν τ’ ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον,

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