I did find a few Latin errors and typos in the epigraphs. Publishers need to hire specialists to proofread even short quotations . But wouldn’t it be simpler to scan the Latin text from The Aeneid (can this be done?) or photocopy and paste the Latin lines? (I don’t know if this can be done in the publishing world.)
Most of the Latin is correct here. But what is tani, I wondered when I read the epigraph for Hadas’s poem, “The Cause.” Then I realized, it was tanti (“of so much”). I checked the Latin text in the Aeneid to make sure I was right. Yes, I was. So I began going directly to the Latin text of the Aeneid so I wouldn’t get stuck on modern typos. Sadly, the Latin epigraph to Hadas’ beautiful poem “No Way Out” was not just cryptic because of mistakes, but nonsensical. I thought I must be going mad, until I compared it to the text in my Latin edition. I underlined the three errors below so you can see them.
I won’t give a complicated explanation.
Quem (singular whom) should have been qui (plural who).
vellant should have been vellent. It’s a spelling mistake–the vowel a should be an e–but since everything looks true in print, I wondered at first if it was an archaic form of the subjunctive. No, it was just a typo!
aligat (binds) should have been alligat or adligat. A simple spelling error.
Now don’t be put off: this is a great book. I am awed by Hadas’s poetry. And hardly anybody reads Latin anymore, so it will not spoil your experience. It didn’t spoil mine. But publishers, whether they be corporate or small presses, need to pay more attention to detail.
N.B. WordPress no longer has a spellcheck feature . Does that reflect a growing carelessness about detail in the larger culture? We can all use a second pair of eyes, even if it’s only the fallible spellcheck. As it is, I’m looking through bifocals!