Horace has told us that the author of a literary work,
qui uariare cupit rem prodigialiter unam,
falls into absurdities. Much more likely to meet this fate is the interpolator who has the same ambition. The above four lines are a case in point; for it is fairly certain that if this Hymn were presented to readers as it came from the hand of its author, the whole passage with its phenomenal bull and its four pacifist dogs which apparently had agreed together not to bark and bite, ‘as is their nature to,’ would not be found in the text. Undoubtedly it is true, though it is by no means a marvel (θαμα), that the bull which was somewhere else and the dogs which were following in his wake were not taken by the infant cattle-lifter who was satisfied, as he well might be, with a trifle of fifty cows. The veracity of the interpolater in this regard may, therefore, pass without question, and furthermore his knowledge of epic metre does not fail seriously till he reaches the fourth line, although ό δ ταρος is not really epic and λλων not ἄλλων is required in the opening line, for he certainly did not mean, as he unwittingly says ‘other bulls,’ but ‘the others, the cows.’ After ο μνἔλειθεν (not οἳ μν as a recent edition has it) it is quite out of the question that οĩ τε κύνες ὃ τε ταȗρος, two flagrant examples of the later article, should follow.