Sir Peterson's analysis of the manuscript tradition for the Verrine orations, with particular attention given towards removing word-order errors made by copyists.
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Sir William Peterson was principal of McGill University in Canada at the turn of the 20th century and is still respected as a translator of Latin prose, particularly that of Cicero. In this essay he discusses the manuscript variants in the Verrine Orations, a series of speeches given during the prosecution of Verres, governor of Sicily. These speeches which launched Cicero's bid for the consulship have been read and admired by generations of readers and still influence modern political speech writers. In this essay Peterson has placed the rival readings over against each other, supported each by the authority of manuscripts whose general character is now more or less fully known, in order to decide which was the original order of words and lines, as set down by Cicero, and which the inversion of a copyist