“Kill Me If I Forget Tacitus”

J.E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship Vol. II (Justus Lipsius)

“His [Lipsius’] main strength lay in textual criticism and in exegesis. His masterpiece in this respect was his Tacitus, of which two editions appeared in his life-time (1574, 1600), and two after his death, the latest and best, that of 1648, including Velleius. It was not until 1600 that the readings of the two Medicean mss were published (by Pichena), when one of the earliest of his emendations, gnarum (for G. navum) id Caesari, was confirmed. He was so familiar with the text of Tacitus, that he ‘offered to repeat any passage with a dagger at his breast, to be used against him if his memory failed him.'”

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