The dark serpent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After reviewing current suggestions for improving the text of Lucr. 3.658, this article argues for accepting Marullus' serpentem and emending line-final utrumque to et atro. These proposals, the author contends, significantly improve the syntax of a corrupt line that nevertheless has been retained unaltered in several recent texts of the Epicurean poet. As various parallels show, the newly suggested ater is a particularly appropriate term for characterizing the menacing serpent of Lucretius' poem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-910
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 12 2014


  • Lucretius
  • ater
  • descriptive ablative (ablativus qualitatis)
  • textual criticism
  • utrumque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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