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A moan about STEM communicators talking classics

How to get your stuff back when the Romans stole it.

Some late night Latin translation. Festus wrote an abridgement of a lexicon by Verrius to which he added his own adaptations and supplements, but it barely survived into the modern world. Seriously: only one manuscript copy made it, and that was missing pages and damaged by pests, aging, and fire! Also surviving is an abridgment by Paul the Deacon. That's right, an abridgement of an abridgement, which was pretty common, concern for the busy pace of life not being merely a modern phenomenon.

Here's what Festus had to say about the reciperatores in ancient Rome, an institution dating back to at least 171 BCE. Latin from Lindsay's 1913 edition, trans. (along with any errors) my own. Some nice, if rather outdated, commentary on the biography and manuscript tradition of Festus is available online.

N.b. the reciperatores were members of a board at Rome appointed to oversee the legal process of claims for recovery. The word literary means 'recoverers', but that sounds fun…