a1 Peterhouse, Cambridge
Of recent editors only Ehwald, I think, prints formosast rather than formosa est. This orthography is supported by that of the capital MSS of Virgil (O. Ribbeck, Prolegomena critica ad P. Vergili Maronis Opera Maiora , 419); the inscriptions offer no consistent guidance. Here, however, the intentions of the writer himself are evident: Ovid must have written formosast to give three words to each season. He can be seen, as so often, improving on his model, here the Virgilian ‘mini-catalogues’ (A. A. R. Henderson, ad loc.) of the Eclogues, exploiting the couplet form to produce a completely symmetrical effect. In his magisterial note on the orthography of prodelision at D.R.N. 1.993 Lachmann confined his remarks on the elegists to the last word of the pentameter, and his conclusion is asserted rather than argued. Here we have contemporary evidence that by Ovid at least the syncopated form was written as well as spoken.