Sunday, November 30, 2008


Federico Biddau (ed., trans., comm.), Q. Terentii Scauri De orthographia. Bibliotheca Weidmanniana, 6, Pars. 5. Hildesheim: Weidmann, 2008. Pp. cxiv, 244. ISBN 9783615003413. €58.00 (pb).
Reviewed by Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Oxford University Press (

Q. Terentius Scaurus, perhaps the most eminent grammaticus of Hadrian's time having already flourished under Trajan,1 wrote, besides a number of works now lost or but partially preserved, a treatise on spelling previously edited by Helias Putschius and Heinrich Keil in their collections of Latin grammarians, which now appears by itself in a new critical text translation and detailed commentary. It must now be accounted the standard edition, and deservedly so.

The long introduction begins with a bibliography; then, after a survey of the scanty evidence for Scaurus' life and works,2 and a synopsis of De Orthographia, Biddau vindicates the work's authenticity against the doubts of Anna Maria Tempesti, who deemed its language too reminiscent of treatises from late antiquity; the obvious comparison is with Velius Longus, whom he finds not only writing in a similar vein but taking issue with its doctrines. Indeed, failing demonstration that language or content was incompatible with a second-century date, resemblance proves only that the style of such texts, purely practical as they were, was little affected by the changing fashions in higher literature. Nor indeed were Scaurus' precepts: despite his Hadrianic connection, he rejected archaic or Republican spellings such as ai for ae, ei for long i, maxumus, and caussa, and is silent on the intervocalic ii attested for Cicero by Quintilian and for Juvenal by the corruptions in his manuscripts.

There follows an account of Scaurus' sources: opinions may vary on the value of such exercises, but this one is sensibly conducted. I should like to know, however, how Scaurus (or another author subjected to such analysis) is supposed to have used his sources: the likeliest model for an ancient author is not repeated direct recourse to unwieldy rolls, but excerpting into notebooks as he read, often collecting extracts on the same topic from several writers who may have said the same thing with slightly different wording or emphasis, occasionally neglecting through human frailty to note a passage that might have served his purpose (whence modern surmises of why he abandoned his usual source), and then choosing and combining when he wrote. Added to which must be the casual recollection of things heard from childhood onwards, and oral or epistolary discussions with other litterati; after all, there is much that we ourselves know but could not say how first we came to know.

Next comes a description of the textual witnesses, detailing their date, provenance, contents, and history, their reliability is reserved for later. Although it is usually desirable to preserve one's predecessors' sigla, Biddau's adoption and imitation of those in Keil has unfortunate consequences. The Greek letters ψ and ω for the first two printed editions may suggest families of manuscripts, and the Parisini lat. 13025 olim Saint-Germain des Prés 1180 and nouv. acq. 763 are indicated by F with superior s and n respectively, as if they were correctors of F (Par. lat. 7521).3 To make things worse, since the sigla are printed in italic, the superiors run into the serifs of F, making the two sigla hard to distinguish; that is particularly unfortunate on pp. LXXXIV-LXXXVI, concerning their relationships to M (Clm 14252).

Before constructing his stemma, Biddau turns to demonstrating that the text designated by Keil 'Appendix Scaurina' (by analogy with Scaurus' son Scaurinus, though Cicero's Pro Scauro was known as his Scauriana) was not written by Scaurus and contradicts his doctrines. The stemmatic discussion proper is well reasoned and convincing; the sources offering a complete text are divided into a 'Romance' and a 'Germanic' branch, and even those presenting only the start of the text are classified, though their only useful contribution is the definition of orthography [I.1], omitted in the integri. An ensuing treatment of the tradition discusses the characteristics of the surviving and lost manuscripts and their editorial history.

Amidst so much detail, Biddau occasionally forgets to mention things at the proper moment: at p. LXV, referring to the copy of the editio princeps held at Fano, he passes over the sixteenth-century annotator designated the 'anonimo fanese' at p. CXIII (cf. p. 2), and likewise at p. LXVII we are told that the text in V (Vat. lat. 1491) breaks off at prae(ponitur, but are not given the place till p. CXI, namely V.18, p. 25, l. 6.

To dwell a moment on V: I do not understand how a scribe's failure to turn the last written page causes the text's incompleteness to be due 'alla sua posizione all'interno del codice'. Still, the main point is clear: whatever caused the scribe to break off from his task, it was not a defective Vorlage; indeed, as Biddau following Keil shows (p. LXXVIII), the text of Scaurus added to V is taken from Adam Petri's edition of 1527,4 which presents the word in midline (fo. 23r, l. 8 up).

Biddau divides the text into numbered chapters, sections, and subsections, which he cites in preference to both Keil's pagination and his own; since internal references are always preferable to external, this is very welcome. He also deserves praise for his freedom in emendation: apart from some twenty changes of his own (several of them spelling adjustments in accordance with Scaurus' own teaching), most of which are persuasive,5 he incorporates numerous conjectures from his predecessors. Notable amongst them are those entered by Janus Parrhasius in a copy of the first edition now in the Bodleian Library, which often anticipate other scholars' corrections, including Biddau's own. At III.4.2, p. 11, l. 2, where uertant is corrected to uertunt, the apparatus reads 'conieci, et postea iam Parrh(asium) adnotasse cognoui';6 but at IV.9.4, p. 17, l. 12, where for grecie or the like Biddau reads 'Graece', he omits to mention that Parrhasius had done so before him, albeit turning 'faedae [sic for 'foedus'] . . . incisum' into 'titulus . . . incisus'.

One could wish that Biddau had gone further in emending. In the very first sentence, p. 5, l. 3, 'Orthographia igitur est ratio recte syllabis scribendi', the translation 'quanto alle sillabe' hardly allays doubts about the syntax and sense of syllabis: what is 'writing with syllables'? The commentary does not explain. Nor will adjustment of the case to syllabas suffice: it is not only syllables that we write. To be sure children, having learnt their letters, were taught their syllables; to be sure Scaurus says not a little about syllabic structure and correct word-division; but these topics do not exhaust either the discipline or his treatise. The word should be omitted altogether, thus restoring the definition to its standard type;7 in the grievously truncated original one may suppose a reference to letters, syllables, and words from which syllabis was displaced into the definition by the process described at p. XCI.

V.11, p. 23, l. 7. G begins the syllable when followed by digamma, 'ut gue'; the same equation of the 'Aeolian letter' with consonantal V recurs at V.18, p. 25, l. 6, (Q) 'neque subiicitur excepta uau'. After 'ut gue', however, the paradosis offers gfe, where K. L. Schneider saw that f stood for digamma; thus emended, the sequence remains appended to gue as a phonetic transcription (so Biddau 137), but with no syntactical connection such as hoc est or tamquam. This seems unlikely; rather we have a reader's annotation incorporated in the text and needing to be deleted.

VI.3.2, p. 27, l. 10 = Lucilius 353 Marx: the short i as a letter-name may be defended by Plautus, Mercator 304,8 but there is no justification for the biblicizing construction 'pilam in qua lusimus' when in is so easily deleted as a dittography of m: Biddau's parallel Varro, LL 10. 22 'in tabula . . . in qua latrunculis ludunt', tells against him, for board-games are played on a board with pieces as ball-games are played with a ball. Marx cited v. 641, where 'in duplici . . . pila' means 'by playing double-ball', and examples in which money is lost in alea or in vino, in dicing and drinking; thus at Digest 11. 5. 4. 2 'repetitio eius quod in alea lusum est' means 'a claim for what was gambled away in dicing'. Why for that matter should Lucilius use the perfect lusimus rather than the present, particularly in parallel to piso = pinso? Scaliger saw all this over four hundred years ago (as Biddau knows, p. CV), and ought to have been followed.

VI.8.2, p. 33, ll. 4-5: 'ea nomina . . . quae in "ψ" Graecam uocem efferuntur'; psi is not a sound but a letter, nor do Latin words end in Greek letters. Biddau translates 'col suono dello "ψ" greco', and should have read Graeci.

VIII.5.2, p. 49, l. 4, with p. 210: 'cum in illis [sc. 'obseruo', 'obsido'] "b" littera euidenter sonum suum uindicet': since there is not the slightest doubt that bs was pronounced [ps] as in French (contrast English [bz]), Biddau ought to have promoted his conjecture '"p" littera' from apparatus to text.

The apparatus is very full; too full, recording all manner of quisquiliae and even readings of the codex descriptus V that cannot be conjectures: even if at IV.9.5, p. 19, l. 12, V's Caruitio for its model's Carutio is worth recording, since it is discussed at p. LXXVIII, there is no need to note that it abbreviates the praenomen elsewhere spelt out as spurio. Redundant too is the repetition of 'etiam' in the note on VIII.4.3, p. 45, l. 11: sufficient was 'in r seclusi: r ω: in er B' (nor do I understand 'secludens conieci').

The translation is clear, except when Biddau includes matter deleted in the text, and accurate, except when he seeks sense where there is none. It is enlivened at VI.3.2, p. 26, l. 8 up, by the ambiguous 'falli tenui', meaning in fact 'make them thin' (the original is 'tenues', jussive subjunctive).

The commentary is abundantly learned and should be read on any point discussed by Scaurus whether or not his own views are of primary importance to the reader. It is, however, concerned with text and content rather than diction, saying nothing for instance on the syntax of 'nemo autem umquam tam insulse per "u" <">artubus" dixerit' (VIII.2.6, p. 43, ll. 15-16), where the translation 'nessuno d'altra parte sarebbe mai tanto insulso da dire "artibus" con la "u" reproduces the normal construction "tam insulsus fuerit qui . . . dixerit"; and though in discussing the tradition Biddau notes certain sources' propensity to change the indicative into the subjunctive or vice versa, he is silent on Scaurus' own unclassical uses of the subjunctive after 'quoniam' (e.g. II.3.2, p. 7, ll. 2-3; VIII.5.3, p. 49, l. 11),9 and 'sicubi' (VIII.4.7, p. 47, l. 10). That apart, I shall confine my remarks to a few observations on matters of detail.

IV.4.1, pp. 92-3. The use of l for r is not confined to speakers of languages that do not distinguish the sounds: it has also been reported among Welsh children.10

V.4, p. 134. Biddau notes that the name uau was described as Aeolian by Priscian. It was the original Semitic name, which no doubt remained in use amongst those Greeks who retained the /w/ phoneme, becoming digamma amongst those for whom it was a mere shape; at Rome its appearance in Sappho and Alcaeus, together perhaps with the supposed closeness of Aeolic to Latin, earned it the name of littera Aeolica.

V.10, p. 136. The mysterious syllable fne is plausibly ascribed to a post-Scaurian interpolator for whom φ was f not ph; if so, then we shall surely think of Dafne. To be sure e, as Biddau does not seem to recognize, stands in these expositions for any vowel: when he writes (ibid., on V.11) that gne does not seem to occur since igne was probably divided ig-ne, tautosyllabic gne may indeed not be found as such, but gn followed by a vowel is exemplified by Gnaeus and gnatus.

V.12, p. 138 n. 29. hac is said to be '[i]l nome della h in catalano antico'; and in modern Catalan too.

V.15, p. 139. Scaurus notes that the only consonant-group beginning with m is mn as in Mnester, but Biddau refers to discussions elsewhere of cm, dm, gm, tm without observing that in them m is the second letter not the first.

VI.5.1, p. 156. Scaurus claims that uemens is the correct form, not uehemens, since the word is derived from uis mentis not ueho; Biddau might have noted that the pronunciation /ehe/ is first attested in Marcus' letter to Fronto Ep. M. Caes. 2. 10. 2, written in 142, whereas /e:/ is required by several passages in the classical poets.

VII.3.2, pp. 179-82. Scaurus' understanding of Greek acrophonic numerals is clearly defective, but is δύο δ τρία τ sheer invention or misinterpretation of Δ used for δέκα and Τ for τάλαντον? (How Velius Longus equated Π with 50 let another guess.)

VII.3.4, pp. 182-3. That ad and da, ha and ah 'aliam uocem et aliam efficiant potestatem' is plain enough, but what of as and sa? The former is indeed a Latin word, but what potestas ('significato' rightly Biddau) has sa? One might have expected '"es" et "se"' or '"is" et "si"'; but how should either pair have been corrupted?

VIII.6.4, pp. 217-24, on Scaurus' quotation from the Carmen Saliare. Biddau demonstrates at great length that the divine name should be Leucetie not Leucesie, but fails to address the difficulty in understanding tremonti as the ancestral form of tremunt, namely that the Indo-European third-person plural primary ending -onti, preserved as such in Doric and as ut' in Ukrainian, should have retained its final *i unscathed in even the earliest Latin.11

Matters of detail apart, Biddau's edition is a meritorious achievement, and should restore Scaurus to modern scholars' attention; may one hope for a study of his principles, and their consistent or inconsistent applications, in relation to those of other grammarians, notably his contemporary Velius Longus, and to actual usage as revealed on inscriptions and in other documents?


1. Gell. 11. 15. 3. He was Hadrian's teacher according to HA Verus 2. 5; the younger Pliny submitted a speech to him for approval (Ep. 5. 12; strangely doubted by Sherwin-White). (As to the HA, at p. XXVII the name 'Giulio Capitolino' is rightly put in quotation marks, yet at p. XXXII Biddau can still speak of 'gli scrittori della Storia augusta' in the plural.)

2. In which Gellius' Noctes Atticae are given the publication date 169, long known to rest on a fifteenth-century scribe's unsuccessful attempt at patching up an absurdity in his twelfth-century author Ralph of Diss: Gotthold Gundermann, Trogus und Pompeius bei Radulfus de Diceto, ed. Georg Goetz (Berichte über die Verhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Phil.-hist. Klasse, 78/2; Leipzig, 1926), 29; Leofranc Holford-Strevens, 'More Notes on Aulus Gellius', Liverpool Classical Monthly, 145-51 at 151; id., Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and his Achievement (Oxford, 2003), 15-16.

3. Cf. O with superior s, the siglum for Dúngal, later bishop of Pavia, as the corrector of the Lucretian Oblongus in Leiden, miscalled 'corrector Saxonicus' (not the last Irishman to be so traduced) till identified by Bernhard Bischoff in the exhibition catalogue Karl der Grosse, Werk und Wirkung (Aachen, 1965), 206, no. 365.

4. The demonstration is so convincing that I fail to understand why at p. CX he suddenly develops cold feet ('pur non avendo una prova veramente inoppugnabile di un tale rapporto').

5. At IV.3, p. 11, ll. 17-18 'utraque enim <est> ut flatus', one might prefer Keil's 'est flatus' (Biddau himself admits that 'la sistemazione scelta m'eparsa meno sicura', p. CXIV); at V.3, p. 21, p. 6, where the paradosis has '"O" praeiectiua est "e" litterae ut "d"', Putschius' oe for 'd' seems better accommodated to the structure of these precepts than Biddau's 'a', though palaeography favours the latter (his attempt to find a parallel at V.2.1 depends on interpreting '[A littera] "u" sequitur ut uau' as 'segue la "u" usata come vau', which only an Olympic hurdler should attempt).

6. More elegant would have been 'ante conieceram quam Parrh. iam idem fecisse cognoui'.

7. So 'bene dicendi scientia' for rhetoric at Quintilian IO 2. 14. 5, cf. 2. 15. 38, 7. 3. 12), 'scientia bene modulandi' for music at Censorinus, De die natali 10. 3, Augustine, De musica 1. 2. 2 (cf. Lucio Cristante, Martiani Capellae de nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii liber IX (Padua, 1987), 36 n. 5). All these formulae no doubt go back to Varro.

8.Where Demipho specifies the three letters he claims to have learnt as a m o; see Wilhelm Schulze, 'Die lateinischen Buchstabennamen', Kleine Schriften, 2nd edn. (Göttingen, 1966), 444-67 at 460-1.

9. Cf. VII.1.1, p. 35, ll. 8-10 'quoniam genetiuus singularis non debeat minorem numerum habere syllabarum quam nominatiuus -- quin immo interdum etiam maior sit', where the 'Romance' branch has 'debet' (supralinearly altered into 'debeat' in MS Bern, Burgerbibliothek 330) and 'fit', both noted under 'abuso dell'indicativo' at p. XCV; rightly as to the witnesses, but 'abuso del congiuntivo' as to the author.

10. J. Morris Jones, A Welsh Grammar Historical and Comparative (Oxford, 1913), 19. Cf. the Russian tongue-twister Karl u Klary ukral korally, a Klara u Karla klarnet ('Karl has stolen corals off Clara, and Clara a clarinet off Karl').

11. Against, see e.g. Andrew L. Sihler, New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (New York, 1995), 467 n. 1. (read complete article)


Edith Hall and Amanda Wrigley, eds, Aristophanes in Performance 421 BC-AD 2007: Peace, Birds, and Frogs. London: Legenda, 2007. Pp. xx, 390. ISBN 9781904350613. $69.00.
Reviewed by Lee T. Pearcy, The Episcopal Academy and Bryn Mawr College (

[Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]

This book is full of wonders: an eighteenth-century musical comedy based on Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris (p. 72), a best-selling nineteenth-century translation of Plutus into Gujarati (pp. 116-134), and the news that with just a little tweaking, the frogs' chorus from Ranae can be sung to the tune of Cavanaugh and Barris' 1928 hit, "Mississippi Mud" (pp. 295-296). The conference at Oxford in 2004 that led to this publication of papers must have been great fun. The book retains much of the flavor of that original venue. Most of the papers are short, illustrations pepper the text, and the book is organized into sessions--sorry, sections: "Precedents," treating the reception of Aristophanes in the second and third centuries A.D. and in England before 1914; "Excursus: Publication as Performance," which examines influential translations made in England under the Commonwealth, in revolutionary France, and in India during the Raj; "Revival to Repertoire," which looks at academic and professional performances; and finally "Close Encounters," an exploration of individual productions and their impact.

As Edith Hall says in her "Introduction: Aristophanic Laughter Across the Centuries," these papers "represent the first attempt . . . to document phases in the relationship between performance history and a selection of Aristophanic dramas, from antiquity until the third millennium" (p. 4). She later observes (p. 66) that for crucial periods of this history, so little is known that "excavation of evidence and narrative" must constitute much of a scholar's work on the reception of classical drama. Hall's insights underscore the importance of studies of dramatic performance and the need for continued work on reception and performance. Readers encountering epic or lyric texts in solitude seldom leave any trace of their experience. Dramatic texts, in contrast, are scripts for performance, and in the modern era performances leave a record behind: eyewitness descriptions, costume sketches, playbills, photographs, musical scores, and all the archival detritus that sometimes makes it possible to talk of "remounting" or "reviving" a production. Dramatic production, also, is a collaborative endeavor. Producer, director, actors, audience, designers of set, lighting, and costumes, all join in a complex, public act of interpretation. If the script is Aristophanes or another ancient author, translators also contribute to the mix. Every production, indeed every performance, constitutes an interpretation. Every interpretation bears the marks not only of its multiple interpreters, but also of its age. Studying dramatic productions of Aristophanes or any other ancient playwright affords unique opportunities to recover the process of reception, not merely its final product. In that opportunity lies the importance of this book and of the growing field of performance study.

Because Hall has provided, as is now usual in collections of this kind, an introduction describing and commenting on each essay, I will not do so here. Instead let me comment on four papers that seem especially important or interesting to me and then touch briefly on one theme that runs through several of the contributions. If I do not mention an essay, that does not mean that it is negligible. Every one of the nineteen essays in this book will repay careful attention and suggest avenues for further research.

Ewen Bowie's "The Ups and Downs of Aristophanic Travel" opens the volume, rather surprisingly, in the Second Sophistic--not, one would think at first, the most promising period for Aristophanic reception. Bowie shows, however, that Lucian and Antonius Diogenes (an author new to me, at least) both drew on Peace, Birds, and Frogs, as well as other plays by Aristophanes, to create their new literature of fantastic journeys and social comment. The paper closes with a valuable table "intended to give a skeletal account of the distribution of quotations between different Aristophanic comedies in Dio, Plutarch, Aelius Aristides, Lucian, Maximus of Tyre, Pausanias, and Athenaeus" (p. 43). Other researchers will use this skeleton to build a fuller picture of the "productive intertextuality" (p. 38) that joins Old Comedy to the products of the Second Sophistic.

Edith Hall's second contribution, "The English-Speaking Aristophanes 1650-1914," traces the reputation of Aristophanes from the Commonwealth and Restoration through the eighteenth century and Victorian era up to the First World War. Her "excavation of evidence" (p. 66) reveals that Caroline readers and audiences encountered a different dramatist than their counterparts in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Caroline Aristophanes appeared as a character in masques and as an influence on Restoration comedy; English Augustan and Victorian Aristophanes seldom appeared on stage at all. He lent his authority to political conservatives even as he made moral crusaders nervous; as Doctor Arnold said in the preface to his abridgement of Clouds (Eclogae Aristophanicae, Part I, London: F. and J. Rivington, 1852), "By those who wish to form a moral estimate of his writings . . . the whole works must undoubtedly be studied; but surely it is undoubtedly true, that no youthful mind (to say no more) ought to be filled with impure thoughts, expressed in the very mode of all others that is likely to make them haunt the memory in after years." Hall's survey suggests that an interpreter's political stance and circumstances may guide his willingness to see Aristophanes performed, and that in the modern era, conservative Aristophanes is likely to be found in the study, while his liberal counterpart takes the stage.

Historians of drama often neglect academic productions--those put on in schools, colleges, and universities for edification as much as entertainment-- in favor of their more glamorous sisters of the professional stage. In "Aristophanes Revitalized! Music and Spectacle on the Academic Stage," Amanda Wrigley gives these dowdy academics a makeover and reveals that, as in the movies, unsuspected charms can be revealed when the librarian takes off her glasses. Wrigley examines the performance context of the 1892 Frogs at Oxford and finds connections with Oscar Wilde and "Aesthetic Hellenism." She discusses the music and libretto, which (like that of the 1886 Philadelphia Acharnians) had a facing translation based on that by John Hookham Frere, and suggests that the traffic of influence between academic and professional productions ran both ways: English traditions of comedy and burlesque influenced the music and stage business of academic productions in Greek, and academic productions in turn pointed the way to political interpretations of Aristophanes on the commercial stage in the twentieth century.

Sean O'Brien begins "A Version of The Birds in Two Productions" by setting forth his qualifications to write about Aristophanes: he has no Greek, although he did "A" level Latin in school, and he claims no particular expertise in Greek comedy, or indeed in comedy of any sort. He is, however, a poet who knows how verse drama works, and in 2002 London's Royal National Theatre invited him to produce the script for their staging of The Birds. With the aid of a literal translation made by David Gribble and Claudia Wagner, and perhaps the ghost of that long-ago Latin reminding him of the distance between a literal translation and the feel of the original, he did so. Nine-tenths of O'Brien's intelligent essay explores his experience as one member of the team behind the National's full-bore, Cirque du Soleil-inspired production, which ran a little over three hours in its opening performance. It was not, apparently, an entirely happy collaboration. O'Brien knew what he had found in Aristophanes and what he hoped to see when his version got up on its legs and talked; in the end, though, he discovered that the script-writer is never the star of a theater's team. For a writer, as he says, working as part of a production team "may mean an enlightening interaction with artists from other areas of expertise; or it may mean that people monkey around with the text; or it may mean both." O'Brien is charitable enough to claim that the last of these was his experience (p. 283). It is clear that he prefers the production to which he gives the two closing pages of his essay, put on by threeoverden, a small company of five actors and a musician based in the north of England. Their production was physical, with lots of dance and movement, but according to O'Brien the words drove the action, as they should in Aristophanes, and performance took less than two hours.

Most people who know anything at all about Aristophanes know two things: he is obscene, and he is political. Most translators and producers struggle to cope with these aspects of Old Comedy. Politics in particular forms a leitmotif running through many of the essays in this collection. Two papers, Gonda van Steen's "From Scandal to Success Story: Aristophanes' Birds as Staged by Karolos Koun" and Angeliki Varakis' "The Use of Masks in Koun's Stage Interpretations of Birds, Frogs, and Peace," deal with Karolos Koun's ground-breaking, occasionally banned 1959 production of Birds, and that production figures in several other contributions to the volume. Van Steen and Varakis both explore how aesthetic decisions about producing Aristophanes cannot avoid being political decisions as well--simple staging or "the opulence of bourgeois theatre," naturalistic or stylized masks, and in Greece especially the tug of Roumeli against Hellas, folklore and fakelore against classicism and neoclassicism. In "'Aristophanes is Back!' Peter Hacks's Adaptation of Peace," Bernd Seidensticker reminds us that classical theater behind the Berlin Wall displayed "astounding breadth, variety, and quality" because the reception of antiquity provided one of the few possibilities for evading the constraints of socialist realism and official art. Unlike Koun's controversial but clear political statements, whatever political content East German Aristophanes had was veiled, muted, and ambiguous. Martina Treu's "Poetry and Politics, Advice and Abuse: The Aristophanic Chorus on the Italian Stage" and Francesca Schironi's "A Poet without 'Gravity': Aristophanes on the Italian Stage" might almost be talking about different poets in different countries. In Treu's Italy, Aristophanes was rarely performed in the twentieth century (p. 256); in Schironi's, he "enjoyed a certain public profile," with at least 74 official productions since 1911 (p. 267). Treu's Aristophanes uses the chorus to provide an "alternative version" (p.258) of Athenian reality that grounds the plays in political life, and Marco Martinelli's politically engaged All'inferno! provides the best illustration of contemporary Aristophanic reception in Italy (pp. 262-265). Schironi's Aristophanes is "mainly reduced to the level of farce" (p. 272) and avoids Italian politics whenever possible.

From eighteenth-century France to twenty-first-century America, it seems to have been hard to make Aristophanes speak to contemporary political issues. The political content of productions seems often to have been problematic, ambiguous, or simply a distraction imposed on an otherwise coherent production, and the subtitle of one essay, "From Political Statement to Artistic Failure," makes explicit what can be read between the lines of many others. The exact quality of Aristophanes' ritual obscenity may well be beyond recovery, and whatever meaning a giant phallus had in fifth century Athens, it almost has to mean something else now. As this valuable collection of essays inadvertently demonstrates, the same may be true of Aristophanes' satire and its oversized political figures.


Edith Hall, "Introduction: Aristophanic Laughter across the Centuries"
Ewen Bowie, "The Ups and Downs of Aristophanic Travel"
Matthew Steggle, "Aristophanes in Early Modern England"
Edith Hall, "The English-Speaking Aristophanes, 1650-1914"
Rosie Wyles, "Publication as Intervention: Aristophanes in 1659"
Charalampos Orfanos, "Revolutionary Aristophanes?"
Phiroze Vasunia, "Aristophanes' Wealth and Dalpatram's Lakshmi"
Amanda Wrigley, "Aristophanes Revitalized! Music and Spectacle on the Academic Stage"
Gonda van Steen, "From Scandal to Success Story: Aristophanes' Birds as Staged by Karolos Koun"
Angeliki Varakis' "The Use of Masks in Koun's Stage Interpretations of Birds, Frogs, and Peace"
Bernd Seidensticker, "'Aristophanes is Back!' Peter Hacks's Adaptation of Peace"
Mary-Kay Gamel, "Sondheim Floats Frogs"
Betine van Zyl Smit, "Freeing Aristophanes in South Africa: From High Culture to Contemporary Satire"
Malika Bastin-Hammou, "Aristophanes' Peace on the Twentieth-Century French Stage: From Political Statement to Artistic Failure"
Martina Treu, "Poetry and Politics, Advice and Abuse: The Aristophanic Chorus on the Italian Stage"
Francesca Schironi, "A Poet without 'Gravity': Aristophanes on the Italian Stage"
Sean O'Brien, "A Version of The Birds in Two Productions"
Michael Silk, "Translating/Transposing Aristophanes"
Vasiliki Giannopoulou, "Aristophanes in Translation before 1920" (read complete article)


Keith Yellin, Battle Exhortation: The Rhetoric of Combat Leadership. Studies in Rhetoric/Communication. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2008. Pp. x, 191. ISBN 9781570037351. $34.95.
Reviewed by Gregory S. Aldrete, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (

This installment in the Studies in Rhetoric/Communication series by the University of South Carolina Press is a study of the speeches that commanders have given to their troops on the eve of battle. In what is a very short book, Keith Yellin ambitiously attempts to analyze pre-battle orations across a vast span of time, cultures, and contexts, ranging from 5th century B.C. Greek hoplites to near-contemporary examples of American officers in Iraq. The source materials that he draws upon are similarly diverse, and include firmly historically documented exhortations such as the printed D-Day message distributed by Eisenhower to the invasion troops, fictional speeches in works of literature such as Henry V's speeches in Shakespeare, and even satiric ones such as that delivered by Bill Murray to a group of recruits in the comedic film Stripes. Yellin's book is a welcome addition to the fields of military history and rhetoric in that it laudably calls attention to a potentially rich subject that, as Yellin notes, has been underexplored by scholars in these fields. The book makes some useful observations, but the generally uncritical nature of Yellin's use of the primary sources at times undercuts the reliability of his conclusions. Coupled with the sometimes superficial level of analysis (dictated by the wide-ranging scope of his inquiry combined with the brevity of the book), this results in a work that is predominantly more of a suggestion of directions for future inquiry than a definitive study of the topic.

The book is organized into four chapters, the first three of which examine general aspects of pre-battle oration while the fourth focuses more narrowly on American military exhortations over the last half-decade.

Chapter One, "Bracing for Combat," asserts that the habit of commanders attempting to inspire their troops prior to combat is a universal and timeless phenomenon. This argument is made by citing scattered examples of such orations, including, from the pre-modern period, Moses to the Hebrews in the Old Testament, Agamemnon to the Greeks in the Iliad, Caesar to his legionaries in de Bello Gallico, Cortes to the conquistadors in Bernal Diaz de Castillo's account, and Elizabeth I's Tilbury speech before the Spanish Armada. While the basic point that officers often address the troops before battle is likely true, it might have been more compelling if so many of the examples employed had not been fictitious or of dubious accuracy. This chapter next very briefly surveys the treatment of this topic by rhetoricians and military theorists from Quintilian and Vegetius to the present, and emphasizes that while the subject of morale has drawn considerable attention, this specific context has been relatively neglected. Yellin cites a useful typology of rhetorical appeals identified by the 17th century military theorist Raimondo Montecuccoli ranging from "Our cause is just" to "Death ends all suffering."

The chapter ends with a case study of a "defining exemplar" which illustrates various types of battle exhortation, the battle of Mantinea as described by Thucydides. Not content with Thucydides, however, Yellin includes a lengthy imaginative reconstruction of what a hypothetical "Spartan regimental commander" might have said and done to rally his troops at various points as the battle unfolded. This example is used to illustrate that there are various types of exhortation that may occur before and during a battle, including not just verbal encouragement from the top down, but horizontally among the men themselves. While the individual points derived from this case study may be valid, a methodology which relies on an imaginative recreation and a historical account of questionable accuracy is problematic. Yellin does admit that there are serious questions about the historical reliability of the pre-battle speeches described by ancient authors such as Thucydides, but asserts that the accuracy of any given speech is irrelevant because the generals would have been familiar with a standard set of rhetorical tropes for battle orations from their own study of earlier authors and so would have crafted their own actual pre-battle speeches to resemble the (probably) fictitious ones that they had read. While it is certainly true that there were most likely similarities among and repeated imagery in ancient battle speeches, this circular argument is not very reassuring if one desires to know what a particular general said on a specific occasion. After a brief discussion of this issue, Yellin rather cavalierly dismisses any doubts about the reliability of these accounts with the assertion "because historical narratives have often proven trustworthy, we should be slow to dismiss historical speeches out of hand." (p.22) Even in rhetorical terms, this is a rather weak argument, but it is all we get in the way of source criticism.

Chapter Two, "Indoctrination," focuses on four examples of battle exhortation: the famous admonition of a Spartan mother to her son to return "with your shield or on it" recorded by Plutarch, Henry V's Harfleur and Agincourt orations in Shakespeare, George C. Scott's rendition of Patton's address to his troops in the movie Patton, and Bill Murray's speech to a group of unpromising recruits in Stripes. Yellin argues that these examples both further illustrate the standard tropes of battle oration and demonstrate that the audience for such speeches includes not only soldiers but society in general. He asserts that battle speeches are such a widely-known phenomenon that the general public has been socialized to immediately recognize this form of discourse and to be familiar with its conventions. At least for modern American society, this conclusion seems sound if unremarkable. As the author himself briefly notes, however, the form and substance of these sorts of rhetorical appeals are probably most familiar to a modern American audience from the context of competitive team sports, where the coach's pre-game speech and the rituals of team bonding are widely known both from personal experience and innumerable depictions in the media.

Chapter Three, "Tensions," which investigates a set of factors that must be successfully mediated in order to produce the most effective battlefield exhortation, contains some of the more subtle and interesting ideas of the book. For instance, Yellin considers how an officer must walk a fine line between appearing too aloof from the troops he commands and being overly familiar with them. Using a variety of historical examples, Yellin illustrates how where an officer falls on this spectrum can greatly affect the manner in which the soldiers respond to his rhetorical appeals and whether these exhortations succeed or fail. Similarly, using Julius Caesar as an exemplar, he analyzes the tension that commanders must negotiate between driving the troops hard and judiciously indulging them, and how this relationship influences when inspirational appeals are made and what form they take. Other tensions examined include mediating the level of violence of soldiers and appeals which manipulate the concept of one's reputation. Overall this is one of the best parts of the book, largely because it focuses on a few specific topics and explores them thoroughly.

The final chapter, "Evolutions," somewhat misleadingly promises to analyze the effects of "environment and audience" on battle exhortation. By "environment," however, Yellin does not mean the physical setting, but rather the psychological situation. Similarly by "audience," he is referring more to the mental state and attitudes of the soldiers than to truly disparate groups of people. In this chapter, he limits his examples to the United States military from W.W. II to the present. As a study of changes within the American armed forces over the last several decades and how these have affected the sort of appeals that officers can make of their men, this is an effective and interesting chapter. By restricting his focus to a specific military over a short time period, Yellin achieves a depth of analysis and degree of conviction in this chapter that are lacking in some of the earlier ones. Yellin is himself a former U.S. Marine Corps captain and is clearly on his home ground in this chapter. Unlike in the first two chapters, Yellin here also makes use of examples of failed as well as successful battle exhortations, and, as is often the case, the negative examples are more revealing than the positive ones. This chapter does the best job of flipping around the discourse and examining the reception of battle oration among those whom are its target. Such an analysis is no doubt easier to provide in this section because its contemporary focus means that the soldiers' reactions can be more readily obtained, but at least some attention given to the reception that the speeches cited in the first two chapters received among their audiences would have been welcome.

One major issue that is almost entirely ignored but that would have been fundamental to the effectiveness of battle exhortation is how physical, environmental factors would have played a significant role in dictating how, or even if, a commander could indulge in the sort of battle exhortation that this book studies. For a great many of the examples given, there are serious practical questions as to how many of the troops at any given oration could actually have heard the general's inspiring words. Over the last few decades, John Keegan's "face of battle" concept has enjoyed considerable popularity among military historians, with its call for an emphasis on the experience of the average soldier and on how physical, environmental, and psychological factors affect the outcomes of battles. Yellin makes a single stray reference to Keegan concerning his comments on commanders' speeches, but the book would benefit from applying a Keeganesque analysis to pre-battle orations.

Certainly movies set in the ancient, medieval, and pre-modern worlds have accustomed us to the scene of a heroic commander firing up the assembled troops with a rousing oration, and on the surface, many primary source accounts appear to support this impression. There is no doubt that it is an appealing image, but it may well represent more of an idealized fantasy than a practical reality. Consider an ancient army of 20,000 or more soldiers gathered together to hear their general's speech. Assuming that the men were not muttering among themselves, could even the most quietly attentive hoplite or legionary situated somewhere in the middle of these massed ranks have really heard anything but intermittent snatches of his general's words over the incessant background noise of the clinking and jangling of the men's armor and weapons as they shifted uncomfortably in their full battle equipment, the stamping and snorting of hundreds or thousands of nervous horses, the flapping and cracking of banners and flags overhead, and any ambient sounds produced by the environment or the weather such as wind, rain, rustling leaves, running water, waves breaking, and so on? Finally, how many of his men could the general reach with his unamplified voice? The usual limit on projecting coherent complex speech with the human voice is around 100 yards in the direction in which a speaker is facing. Even in an ideal situation with no wind, what percentage of the notional 20,000 soldiers could have been within the range of their general's voice? Of course the general might have delivered multiple versions of his speech to different segments of his army and summaries of his words might have been passed from man to man or throughout the army by the officers, but the popular image of the ancient general exciting his troops with his words just before yelling "charge" and rushing forward is simply not practicable. Although Yellin several times mentions environmental constraints on battle orations, he never properly discusses them, and throughout the book seems to assume that the soldiers in the pre-modern examples that he discusses all really heard their commander's carefully composed words.

Another criticism, which is really an issue of semantics, is that while the book claims to be a study of a universal phenomenon and includes a great many generalizing statements about soldiers, commanders, and their attitudes toward combat, the book in reality more narrowly focuses on the western military tradition and a set of attitudes and assumptions shared by civilizations within the western cultural tradition. Other than a brief reference to Zulus dancing and chanting and one quotation from a native American serving with Custer's scouts, the examples are all drawn from armies and situations within the history of western civilization. As a study of battle oration specifically within the western tradition, the book is fine, but if the book intends to make a more universal argument (as it seems to claim), Yellin needs to draw upon a broader range of texts and examples including non-western militaries and battles. Such an analysis incorporating, for example, speeches given to Japanese samurai drawing upon the Bushido code, or the words of Native American military leaders might provide interesting contrasts with and/or supplements to the list of possible motivational appeals that Yellin discusses.

I am reviewing this book for an audience of classicists, and there are a few issues that are probably of more concern to this group than for other readers at whom this book is targeted. The fairly uncritical use of ancient primary sources and the casual acceptance of ancient pre-battle speeches as being representative of what was actually said on those occasions have already been mentioned. Admittedly there is no way around this gap in the sources, but there should be more recognition that an exhortation that Julius Caesar gave to his legionaries before a battle would not have been the same as the version of that speech which he wrote down much later for dissemination to a completely different audience for totally distinct rhetorical purposes. Also, in a few instances, the translations from ancient texts contain some unfortunate word choices. For example, there are repeated mentions of ancient Greek "knights," which surely conjures up misleading mental images of heavily armored medieval horsemen to a general audience unfamiliar with ancient Greek warfare. Similarly, there are numerous references to Spartan hoplites finding inspiration by hearing, above the roar of battle, the distant, reassuring sound of "the pipes." This inevitably evokes images of bagpipes rather than flutes, an impression which is not helped by immediately following this passage with an account of a W.W. I Scots Fusilier whose disintegrating unit rallied when they likewise heard the sound of "the pipes."

Yellin's book offers the generalization that in many cultures across a long span of time verbal exhortation has been a standard aspect of preparing soldiers for battle, and for encouraging them once engaged in combat. While the book emphasizes such broad similarities, conversely, its most enlightening insights are often made when it observes specific differences in rhetorical discourse that take place within a narrower context, as in the last chapter. Its most important contribution is to draw deserved attention to battle exhortation as a historically and culturally significant form of communication that has been relatively neglected by military historians and that has often been marginalized within the study of rhetoric. (read complete article)


Roger D. Woodard (ed.), The Ancient Languages of Europe. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. xix, 261. ISBN 9780521684958. $39.99 (pb).
Reviewed by Zsolt Simon, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (

Four years after the publication of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages (ed. by Roger D. Woodard) that aroused much scholarly appreciation,1 a paperback version of the Encyclopedia has come out. Not in one bulky volume, but in five volumes of average thickness, in the usual layout standards of the publisher. The five volumes have been arranged in geographical order, i.e., (1) Mesopotamia, Egypt and Aksum; (2) Syria-Palestine and Arabia; (3) Asia Minor; (4) Asia and the Americas; (5) Europe. It is the last one that is reviewed here.

As the editor has chosen the 5th c. A.D. as a terminus ante quem for 'ancient' languages because of pragmatical reasons (p. xv-xvi), the volume contains the following languages: Attic Greek, Greek dialects (pp. 14-49 and 50-72, resp., both by the editor), Latin (pp. 73-95, by James P. T. Clackson), Sabellian (pp. 96-123, actually only Oscan and Umbrian, since South Picene is underrepresented in the chapter), Venetic (pp. 124-140, both by Rex E. Wallace), Etruscan (pp. 141-164, by the late Helmut Rix), Continental Celtic (pp. 165-188, by Joseph F. Eska), Gothic (pp. 189-214, by Jay H. Jasanoff), Ancient Nordic (pp. 215-229, by Jan Terje Faarlund) and an Appendix on the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European by the late Henry M. Hoenigswald, the editor and J. P. T. Clackson (pp. 230-246). An introductory chapter is devoted to a wide selection of undeciphered and fragmentary languages (pp. 1-13, by the editor).2

The reason for this selection is not quite clear. All literate languages are included -- at least per tangentem. The omission from such an encyclopaedia of non-literate languages known only from onomastic material, glosses or some loanwords is defensible. Yet since the non-literate Illyrian has also been treated here (extensively, at greater length than e.g. Messapic), Scythian or Sarmatian - also known from onomastic material only and from Nebenüberlieferung -- should also have been included (especially because in fact, they are slightly better known, than Illyrian3). And since Illyrian is included, the similarly nebulous Ostalpenindogermanisch (the language of pre-Roman Alpine tribes and the Pannon) should also have a place here.4

Individual chapters provide a short descriptive grammar of the given languages and dialects in a unified and straightforward manner: 1. Historical and cultural contexts. 2. Writing system(s). 3. Phonology. 4. Morphology. 5. Syntax.5 6. Lexicon. 7. Reading List and Bibliography. Some authors have slightly diverged from this general pattern (Gothic lacks 'Lexicon'), the only unfortunate cases are where the section 'Reading List' is missing (Latin, Sabellian, Venetic, Etruscan, Ancient Nordic): as these chapters, of course, cannot replace the detailed standard grammars, an annotated 'Reading List' is of great importance for those who decide to explore a given language further.

As can be observed from this general structure, the main--logical--goal was to give a synchronic description. But Woodard's chapters (Attic Greek and Greek dialects) are overloaded with diachronic information: not only with the changes from Proto-Greek to the dialects (which are, of course, necessary to understand the dialect forms), but also with the Proto-Indo-European background, which is absolutely unnecessary from a synchronic point of view.6

Needless to say, such short descriptions should be up to date and based on the communis opinio of the scholarly community, and idiosyncratic views should be minimized. By and large this volume is in this tradition, though minor flaws can still be frequently found; they have been listed by earlier reviewers and therefore do not need to be repeated here.7 Only the first section on Latin and some parts of the introduction pertaining to the fragmentary languages can be seriously challenged.

J. P. T. Clackson is a well-known follower of the hypothesis of the secondary convergence of Sabellian and Latino-Faliscan, instead of an Italic branch, since 'it has proved difficult to demonstrate conclusively that these similarities result from genetic affiliation, and have not arisen through convergence of separate branches of Indo-European over time. Our present state of knowledge of Sabellian and the early history of Latin is not sufficient to allow a definite answer to this question' (p. 74). However, this is not the case. Handbooks of Latin historical grammar contain long lists of unique shared innovations of Latino-Faliscan and Sabellian (which is the only way to prove the existence of an Italic branch), some of them are quoted by Wallace in the same volume, too (p. 97), so Clackson's view cannot be upheld today.8

Though by adopting a periodization of Latin 'Early or Old Latin, from earliest times to c. 100 B.C.; Classical Latin, c. 100 B.C.-A.D. 14, Post-Classical A.D. 14-c. 400, Late Latin from c. 400 onwards' (p. 74) Clackson is clearly in renowned company;9 this periodization is obviously based on the history of the Latin literature, and not on that of the language itself. At the same time, there are other well-known periodizations, based on the changes of the Latin language.10 Wherever one puts the obviously arbitrary borders, the period before the fundamental changes of vowel weakening, syncope and rhotacism definitely must be separated from the periods after these changes and cannot be treated together under the simplifying heading 'Early or Old Latin'. Another disadvantage of Clackson's periodization that it lacks a date to mark the end of Latin, which, of course, was different depending on the region, but it can be dated by sociolinguistic devices around 750 in Gaul and around the turn of 9th and 10th c. in Italy and in Hispania.11

Contra the introduction (p. 4-5), Early Insular Celtic is known not only from Ogham Irish, but also e.g. from the inscriptions of British coinage.12 And if one accepts the philologically sound argumentation of K. Forsyth that Pictish is actually a Celtic language (Woodard does not mention this work, p. 5), then the scope becomes even wider.13 What is certain, however, is that there was no 'Thraco-Phrygian' (p. 9), since Phrygian is clearly very closely related to Greek (and both belong to Balkan Indo-European / Balkanindogermanisch).14 More than a decade after the discovery (and publication) of the defixio of Pella the treatment of Macedonian (pp. 9-11) as a distinct language, and not a Greek dialect is questionable, and only a mention of this tablet without its consequences is not enough.15

The only main problem of this volume is its up-to-dateness. Even the manuscripts of the hardback edition were completed well before its publishing (as Rix himself noted in the chapter on Etruscan, he couldn't include the results of two books from 1999 and 2000 (!)) and also the past four years have seen the birth of many important monographs.16 The above-mentioned reviews of the hardback edition suggest many corrections. Thus both these corrections and an addition would have been very useful, and this reprint would have been a good chance to include these critical remarks, which unfortunately never happened (a funny consequence is that Maps 1. & 2. (p. 49, 123) are already historical, since they show Yugoslavia as an existing country).

To sum up: this volume is a useful reprint for those who cannot pay $160 for a single book (especially if they are interested only in some chapters), but at the same time a missed chance for updating and making an excellent book even more reliable.


1. See the generally very positive reviews: Yves Duhoux: Les langues de l'antiquité: un important nouveau manuel. Cahiers de l'Institut de Linguistique de Louvain 30/4 (2004) 73-80; Joshua T. Katz: BMCR 2005. 08. 36; K. Jongeling: BiOr 62 (2005) cols. 620-622; Eirik Welo: JIES 33 (2005) 439-450; Jared S. Klein: An Encyclopedia of Ancient Languages. JAOS 125 (2005) 91-97; Raimo Anttila: Diachronica 23 (2006) 448-452; Karl Horst Schmidt: Krat 51 (2006) 65-69.

2. The volume is introduced by technical lists and two prefaces by the editor (pp. v-xiv.) and rounded off with full tables of contents of the former and paperback versions and with indices (pp. 247-261).

3. Cf. Rüdiger Schmitt: Andere altiranische Dialekte and Roland Bielmeier: Sarmatisch, Alanisch, Jassisch. In: Rüdiger Schmitt (ed.): Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden, 1989, 92-93, 236-245, resp.

4. See the works of Peter Anreiter: Breonen, Genaunen und Fokunaten. Vorrömisches Namengut in den Tiroler Alpen. Budapest, 1997; Der Ablaut in 'ostalpenindogermanischen' Namen. In: id.-Jerem, Erzsébet (eds.): Studia Celtica et Indogermanica. Festschrift für Wolfgang Meid zum 70. Geburtstag. Budapest, 1999, 23-38; Die vorrömische Namen Pannoniens. Budapest, 2001. For criticism see e. g. Béla Adamik: Review of Anreiter 2001. Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 43 (2003) 262-268.

5. Syntax is treated in the philologically oriented, traditional and the (post)modern way. The continuous emphasis on head-first/head-final typology is cumbersome, since the authors who cite it need to add the counterexamples immediately (e. g. p. 90, 180, 227.). It is worth noting that although poetic texts are widely held as ill-fitted for syntactical investigations, Clackson cites Vergil's Aeneid I. 109 for scrambling and extreme displacement of the relative pronoun (p. 90.).

6. Since Woodard does not draw a clear-cut line between descriptive and historical linguistics, it is logical that he suggests only historical Greek grammars as 'excellent linguistic overviews' (p. 48).

7. See esp. Duhoux (n. 1.), Klein (n. 1.) 92-96 and Katz (n. 1.). Some additions: The problem of Latin /h/ (which disappeared before rhotacism and was resuscitated later in educated pronunciation only) remains unmentioned (p. 76-77). Feriae, uti, sacer, pius and cena are not restricted to Italic (p. 121), see e.g. Michiel de Vaan: Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages. Leiden-Boston, 2008, 212-213, 648, 532, 468, 106, resp. The speculative nature of the view that '[t]he nonsyllabic allophones of the first two laryngeals seem to be voiceless, that of the third, voiced' (p. 233) should have been indicated. There was no neutralization of final *-ms and *-ns in PIE (p. 234) and thus acc. pl. cannot be reconstructed as *-ms / *-ons (p. 239) as the Hittite acc. pl. -us < *-Cms / *-oms clearly shows (see already H. Craig Melchert: Anatolian Historical Phonology. Amsterdam-Atlanta, 1994, 180, 185-186). When describing the PIE root structure (p. 237) it would have been worth noting that it does not apply to grammatical words. The view '*so ,,and he" (maintained as such in Hittite)" (p. 240) is false: su in Hittite is a semantically neutral sentence-initial conjunctive particle with preterite verbs of Old Hittite (Joseph Weitenberg: The Use of Asyndesis and Particles in Old Hittite Simple Sentences. In: Onofrio Carruba (ed.): Per una grammatica ittita. Pavia, 1992, 305-353), and for the etymological problems see now Alwin Kloekhorst: Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon. Leiden-Boston, 2008, 772). The augment cannot be projected into PIE time (p. 241) if it is attested only in the closely related groups of Indo-Iranian and Balkan Indo-European languages.-The reading lists sometimes lack important text-editions and monographs: of the Rhaetic (Stefan Schumacher: Die rätischen Inschriften. Geschichte und heutiger Stand der Forschung. Budapest, 1992) and the Messapic inscriptions (Carlo de Simone - Simona Marchesini: Monumenta linguae messapicae 1-2. Wiesbaden, 2002). Helmut Rix's analysis of Rhaetic and Etruscan is a must (Rätisch und Etruskisch. Innsbruck, 1998), the same goes for the dissertation of Joshua T. Katz on PIE pronouns (p. 240). In the case of Mycenean dialects (p. 94), Ivo Hajnal: Sprachschichten des mykenischen Griechisch. Salamanca, 1997 is missing. For the history of Latin, Baldi's somewhat problematic work (see the review by Gerhard Meiser: Krat 47 (2002) 108-115) has been cited, but Andrew L. Sihler: A New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin. New York - Oxford, 1995 not (p. 94).

8. Some unique shared morphological innovations can be added to his list, only to quote the firmest evidence: 1) the merge of ablative and instrumental (in abl. sg. and instr. pl.); 2) adverbs on *-ēd from adjectives of the 1st and 2nd declinations; 3) the transformation of the present paradigm of the copula (*esom/*som); 4) the transformation of PIE present-types into the same four conjugations; 5) the *-k-extension of the root *dheh1- 'to do'. For full lists (including the phonological isoglosses, discussions and refs. to earlier literature), see esp. Helmut Rix: Latein und Sabellisch. Stammbaum und/oder Sprachbund? IncLing 17 (1994) 13-29; Ausgliederung und Aufgliederung der italischen Sparchen. In: Alfred Bammesberger, Theo Vennemann (eds.): Languages in Prehistoric Europe. Heidelberg, 2003, 150-156; Gerhard Meiser: Lautgeschichte der umbrischen Sprache. Innsbruck, 1986, 36-38; Veni vidi vici. Die Vorgeschichte des lateinischen Perfektsystems. München, 2003, 30-33; Frank Heidermanns: Nominal composition in Sabellian and Proto-Italic. TPS 100 (2002) 185-202; Peter Schrijver: Review of Meiser 2003. Krat 51 (2006) 46-64; Brent Vine: On 'Thurneysen-Havet's Law' in Latin and Italic. HS 119 (2006) 211-249; de Vaan (n. 7.) 5. Cf. further Gert Klingenschmitt: Die lateinische Nominalflexion. In: Oswald Panagl, Thomas Krisch (eds.): Latein und Indogermanisch. Akten des Kolloquiums der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft 1986 in Salzburg. Innsbruck, 1992, 89-135; Robert van der Staaij: A Reconstruction of Proto-Italic. PhD dissertation. Leiden University; Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel: Kernitalisch, Latein, Venetisch. Ein Etappenmodell. In: Michaela Ofitsch - Christian Zinko (eds.): 125 Jahre Indogermanistik in Graz. Festband anlässlich des 125j ährigen Bestehens der Forschungsrichtung 'Indogermanistik' an der Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz. Graz, 2000, 47-70.

9. Similarly e. g. Gerhard Meiser: Historische Laut- und Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache. Darmstadt, 1998, 2; de Vaan (n. 7) 14.

10. Oswald Szemerényi: Latein in Europa. In: Karl Buüchner (ed.): Latein und Europa. Traditionen und Renaissancen. Stuttgart, 1978, 26-31 (= Scripta Minora II. Innsbruck, 1987, 1002-1007); Helmut Rix: Das letzte Wort der Duenos-Inschrift. MSS 46 (1985) 193-194 with n. 6; followed by Heiner Eichner: Reklameiamben aus Roms Königszeit. Die Sprache 34 (1988-1990) 223, n. 32.

11. See esp. József Herman's detailed analysis: The end of the history of Latin. Romance Philology 49 (1996) 364-382.

12. See Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel: Die Sprache altbritannischer Münzlegenden. ZCP 44 (1991) 36-55.

13 Katherine Forsyth: Language in Pictland. The Case Against 'Non-Indo-European Pictish'. Utrecht, 1997. Jongeling (n. 1.) 620 n. 1. already missed this reference.

14. It will be noted that Woodard refers to the Phrygian chapter where Brixhe dismisses Thraco-Phrygian in favour of a close relationship with Greek. On the relationship of Phrygian see esp. Günter Neumann: Phrygisch und Griechisch. SbO+AW 499. Wien, 1988; Gert Klingenschmitt: Die Verwandschaftsverhältnisse der indogermanischen Sprachen. In: Jens E. Rasmussen (ed.): In honorem Holger Pedersen. Kolloquium der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 25. bis 28. März 1993 in Kopenhagen. Wiesbaden, 1994, 244-245; Joachim Matzinger: Phrygisch und Armenisch. In: Olav Hackstein - Gerhard Meiser (eds.): Sprachkontakt und Sprachwandel. Akten der XI. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Halle an der Saale, 17.-23. September 2000. Wiesbaden, 2005, 381-386.

15. The discovery has been followed by lively scholarly discussion, see esp. Laurent Dubois: Une tablette de malédiction de Pella: s'agit-il du premier texte macédonien? REG 108 (1995) 190-197; Claude Brixhe: Un 'nouveau' champ de la dialectologie grecque: Le Macédonien. AION 19 (1997) 41-71; Ivo Hajnal: Methodische Vorbemerkungen zu einer Palaeolinguistik des Balkanraums. In: Bammesberger, Vennemann (n. 7.) 123-124 and most recently James L. O'Neil: Doric forms in Macedonian inscriptions. Glotta 82 (2006) 192-210.

16. E.g. an excellent introduction to PIE linguistics (Benjamin W. Fortson: Indo-European Language and Culture. An Introduction. Oxford, 2004), the new edition of Rhaetic inscriptions (Budapest, 2004, cf. n. 7.) and a detailed analysis of the relationship of Messapic (Joachim Matzinger: Messapisch und Albanisch. IJDL 2 (2005) 29-54). (read complete article)


Sabine Fourrier, Antoine Hermary, Amathonte VI. Le sanctuaire d'Aphrodite. des origines au début d'époque impériale. Études Chypriotes XVII. Avec la collaboration de Philippe Columeau, Bettina Fischer-Genz, Marie-Dominique Nenna, Martin Schmid and des contributions de Michel Amandry, Marie-Françoise Billiot, Sandrine Marquié, Jean-Denis Vigne. Athens: École française d'Athènes, 2006. Pp. 222; figs. 508. pls. 50; 1 plan. ISBN 2-869958-220-X. €100 (pb)
Reviewed by Anja Ulbrich, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany (

This book is meant to be the "first publication" (p. 1) of the excavations in the sanctuary of Aphrodite on the acropolis of the ancient city of Amathous on the southern coast of Cyprus, conducted by a team of the École française d'Athènes since 1976. Its goal is to document and discuss the development of this major urban cult-place from its foundation in the 8th century BC until the erection of the first monumental temple building in the 1st century AD. Thereby it aims to address various aspects of the site, such as its features and components, spatial organisation, equipment, cult practice and votive practice including animal sacrifice. In order to do so, it draws heavily on data already published and discussed in various preliminary reports, articles and monographs, including the Amathonte series and the Guide to Amathous, adds hitherto unpublished or only partly published material, such as Archaic pottery and animal bones, and draws comprehensive conclusions about the complete assemblage from the site.

The book is divided into a brief introduction and five main chapters, some very short, some very extensive, complemented by two appendices, and bibliography, index, and numerous plans, drawings and photographs.

A brief introduction of 4 pages by A. Hermary addresses the goal of the book, the history and method of the excavation and its documentation, its scale and limitations, and the major problems of the evidence including poor and complicated stratigraphy (a general predicament in Cypriot archaeology, aggravated by massive disturbances through the erection of the monumental first temple in the 1st century AD).

In chapter 1 (pp. 5-13), Hermary briefly reviews the literary, epigraphic and material evidence for the cult and the sanctuary of Aphrodite or Venus in Amathous in chronological order from its earliest appearance in ancient literary sources through the first explorations in the 17th century up to the early years of the French excavations that began in 1976. He summarises the general setting and topography of the cult-place within the city on the summit of the acropolis. He also addresses the questions of its extent and boundaries and the location of the entrance in any given period.

In chapter 2 (pp. 15-48), Hermary and various collaborators briefly and comprehensively present and discuss the different features and main find contexts of the site, the nature of associated material and finds and their validity for chronology. These contexts are: a tomb on the summit of the acropolis already carved into the rock in CG I (Hermary); the two Archaic deposits of the Bothros and the grotto (Fourrier); the monumental stone vases near the entrance of the 7th or 6th century BC (Hermary); a kiln of the Hellenistic to early imperial periods (Fischer-Genz); the Doric portico erected in the late 2nd and early 1st century BC (Hermary, Marquie, Schmid); and other buildings south of the temple of the 1st century BC (Hermary, Schmid). The chronology depends mainly on pottery from these contexts, and in the case of the stone vases on the iconography of the handle-decoration. The chapter ends with a summary of the general arrangement and spatial organisation of the sanctuary from the Archaic to the early Roman period and a short comparison with evidence from other Cypriot temene.

In an extensive chapter 3 (pp. 49-126), Fourrier presents the Archaic material from the bothros and the grotto, focussing on the massive amount of local pottery from both contexts. A first short section (pp. 49-51) discusses the methodology for pot-counting, and the validity and problems of the Gjerstad-system as a basis for classifying the material. Section 2 establishes a detailed system of classification for the wares from both contexts. Fourrier basically draws on the Gjerstad-system with an updated chronology (pp. 49-50 with all relevant references). Gjerstad distinguished seven different morphological phases in Cypriot Iron Age pottery within its different wares, which are defined basically by the type of decoration.1 However, Fourrier has now rearranged the material from Amathous principally by vessel-types or shapes and then by their subtypes and variations. These categories include vessels of the different wares defined by Gjerstad, but Fourrier also introduces locally made wares such as Black Slip mixte including intentionally blackened Red Slip, Black-on-Red or Bichrome Red, and thin-walled bowls. The main distinction in this typology is between open and closed shapes, which are subdivided according to their body profiles, rim shapes and handle types. Each of the types and subtypes is briefly defined and described, and comparanda from other Amathousian and Cypriot contexts are listed, followed by a list of the main examples from the sanctuary proper sorted by find context. This section ends with a concluding paragraph on the repertoire of shapes, illustrated by statistical charts. The next two sections deal with the complete assemblages of material from the bothros and the grotto separately. Here, the finds -- objects of bone, shell, stone, faience, metal, and terracotta, the latter including lamps, inscribed pot-sherds, and a small amount of imported pottery from Greece and the Levant -- are published with comparanda from Cypriot and non-Cypriot contexts. The great majority, however, consists of local Cypriot pottery, here documented by the same pieces as in the preceding typology section, but now sorted by the wares defined by Gjerstad and presented with measurements and descriptions of the clay and charts documenting the amount and relative proportions of each ware within both assemblages. The few pieces of coarse ware are also included. All the material, particularly the local Cypriot pottery, is amply illustrated by drawings and photographs.

Chapter 4 (pp. 127-64), written mainly by Hermary with contributions by Fisher-Genz, Vigne and Nenna, discusses literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidence for cult and votive practices in the sanctuary. Topics addressed are the literary and epigraphic evidence for a harvest-festival for Aphrodite in Amathous (Hermary); the nature and shape of the cult-image (Hermary); and various types of votive offerings dating from the Archaic period to early imperial times (Hermary et al.). These votive offerings include dedications of statues by king Androkles himself attested by inscriptions in the late 4th century BC (Hermary), and other small votive objects including parts of jewellery in metal and precious or semi-precious stone (Hermary) and glass (with Fischer-Genz) as well as other votive objects of gold, ivory, bone, shell (Vigne), bronze and iron, faience and glass (Hermay, Nenna), stone and terracotta (Hermary), all of which are presented here for the first time in more or less detail followed by a brief summary on the nature of the votive offerings. The late Hellenistic and early Roman glass vessels are published (in greater detail than other objects here) by N. Nenna. Other categories, however, are only documented by lists or a very few pieces which needed to be added to previously published material, e.g., most of the terracottas were published in a separate volume, but some hitherto unpublished are just listed here, but not discussed in detail or as a group of material. A separate section deals with the dedication of a thesaurus by king Androkles to Aphrodite, addressing its functions in cult practice with regard to marital rites and ritual prostitution. Another section discusses the role of water in the sanctuary and in the general cult practice as attested by the monumental stone vases and several fragments of stone basins. The last paragraph concentrates on other cults in the sanctuary, which might be attested by the cultic use of an existing tomb on the highest ground in the temenos and a Hellenistic dedicatory inscription to Sarapis, Isis, Aphrodite and other gods including Ptolemaios and Kleopatra dating from the period of 142/1-132/1 BC.

In chapter 5 (pp. 165-96), Hermary discusses the structures in the sanctuary connected with animal sacrifice, and Columeau presents the animal bones. A brief review of the scarce literary and epigraphic evidence on animal sacrifice in Cypriot sanctuaries by Hermary is complemented by Columeau's analysis of the animal bones from other published Archaic and post-Archaic sacred contexts. Sheep and goat predominate, followed by cattle; very few bones show traces of burning, calcination or butchery marks. Comparisons with evidence from the Artemision at Ephesos, the Heraion on Samos and the Aphrodite sanctuary at Miletos show, for Amathous, a much higher proportion of sheep and goat in relation to cattle in all periods, while -- as at Miletos -- pigs are not attested at all. Moreover, in Amathous, changes of preference can be observed between the Archaic and later periods with respect to the type and age of the animals sacrificed and the body-parts kept and deposited within the sanctuary. In the next section, Hermary discusses the Archaic or Classical structures in the sanctuary that are associated with animal sacrifices, drawing on many comparisons from Cyprus and the Aegean. Features at Amathous include 12 rings carved out of the bedrock most probably for tying animals destined to be sacrificed, and various channels and round holes carved in the rock, possibly for posts to hang meat or smaller animals. The structures also include an angular foundation for a fence, a rectangular altar-bothros carved in the rock west of the sacrificial area and a cubic gypsum offering table with several mouldings and a circular channel around its upper surface. The concluding paragraph summarises the results, pointing out the lack of pigs and birds among the sacrificial animals, and the lack of evidence for burnt sacrifice. Hermary suggests that suitable offerings to Aphrodite were liquids, such as wine, water and juice, as well as grain, fruit and vegetables as recorded in some ancient Greek sources.

Appendix 1 (Amandry) publishes and partly illustrates 18 apparently hitherto unpublished Hellenistic coins from the site: 12 are from the Paphian mint, and one each from Salamis, Tyre and possibly Alexandria.

Appendix 2 (Schmid) presents the late Hellenistic and Early Roman architecture in greater detail, including possibilities for reconstructing the Doric portico and other buildings.

This is a valuable book: Firstly, it pulls together and cross-references disparately published evidence for and from the sanctuary and presents it comprehensively by contexts and by aspects of cult and votive practice. Secondly, it provides a methodical analysis and critical discussion of the different contexts, the structures in the temenos, and the different kinds of material associated with them. The documentation and illustration of contexts and finds by charts, drawings, photographs, plans, phase plans and reconstructions are high quality, systematic, extensive and well arranged; references to illustrations in the text are accurate and frequent. The treatment, documentation and discussion of material, particularly the Archaic pottery, is excellent, and, in its extensive use of comparanda from Cypriot and other Mediterranean contexts, exceeds the standards of previous publications of pottery from Cypriot sites. The authors offer alternative interpretations for different features and aspects of the sanctuary, debating them in the light of a vast amount of comparanda and evidence from Amathous, Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole. In these respects, the book goes far beyond the scope and standard of most preliminary or even final publications of Cypriot sanctuaries.

The few weaknesses of the book are partly caused by the vast amount of material and evidence which needed to be included in the publication. The result is a somewhat imbalanced presentation of the different types of material, with very detailed treatment for instance of the Archaic pottery and animal bones, but more general or even summary discussions of the votive offerings, and bare mentions of the votive sculptures, post-Archaic pottery and incense burners. Some of this material has been published elsewhere, such as the votive sculptures and terracottas presented in Amathonte V and the material from other contexts at Amathous excavated by the French team such as the palace and the city wall. The items from the sanctuary on the acropolis are only briefly mentioned in the section on the nature and shape of the cult image (p. 128) and have a short paragraph in the section on the nature of the votive offerings (pp. 130-32). In view of the amount and chronology far down into the post-Archaic period, the votive sculptures and terracottas deserve a separate comprehensive and more detailed section in chapter 4 on the nature of votive-offerings.

Another group of neglected material is the Classical, Hellenistic and early Roman pottery, which reflects both votive practice and ritual -- including drinking and/or dining -- even if the evidence is mostly from disturbed levels or late fills. Only part of this has been published elsewhere, such as some Hellenistic pottery (pp. 45-46).2 Post-Archaic pottery is only mentioned briefly in the discussion of the stratigraphy of certain contexts, such as the kiln (p. 35), the Hellenistic portico (p. 40-41) and the later pre-imperial buildings (p. 46). However, there is no comprehensive or statistical information on local wares, shapes, imports and contexts including disturbed layers, which are all indispensable for a publication aiming to document the development of the site and its cult-practice up till the early imperial period. This stands in marked contrast to the excellent publication of the Archaic pottery (see above) which, however, also has its weaknesses. One of them lies in the nature of the material, displaying a great variety of shapes, sizes and other details all freely combined, which make consistent and strict classifications difficult: this is a general problem in Cypriot archaeology. Thus, the distinction between some of the deep bowls (figs. 205-218) and jars (figs. 383-388) does not seem clear. Unfortunately, a few shapes are not documented by drawings at all, such as big bowls or basins (p. 63 D), amphorae with knob-shaped bases (p. 79 D), and jars with folded rim (p. 81, C.2). One also wonders whether the bowls in figs. 168 and 169, only decorated outside, might not actually be lids as shown in figs. 395-96 and 398. The fact that the author does not distinguish the different types of Black slip mixte, as explained on p. 51, in her coded catalogue-numbers for individual pieces and their drawings, but invariably names them bs is a bit confusing. As regards these catalogue-numbers, it would also have been more user-friendly, if their composition had been explained briefly in an introductory sentence in the typology, or in a footnote or even in the list of abbreviations at the end of the book (p. 205). One has to infer from the text that, apparently, those numbers are made up of abbreviations for contexts, shape, ware -- in Gjerstad-abbreviations -- and a running number for the series of a certain type. However, the abbreviation co for the fine-walled bowls remains enigmatic (perhaps it stands for coloured rim-zone?).

The same problem of unexplained abbreviations appears in the charts of the bone analysis, which refer to earlier studies of other international specialists and earlier publications of the author. The abbreviations are not at all evident to an archaeologist who is not specialised in this field and not French. This critique applies also to the very short and patchy list of abbreviations (p. 205) which only lists the more common internationally known or, by textual context, easily understandable abbreviations for Cypriot wares and periods in English and French, but not the more specialised ones used in this publication for the material, e.g. glass (ve), torpedo amphora (t), small object (po) etc.

Finally, the complete and extensive bibliography is a slightly inconsistent mixture of Harvard-type and title abbreviations, e.g. listing Amathonte I-III under that rubric, but Amathonte IV and V under the name of Queyrel or Hermary, respectively.

The values and merits of Amathonte VI, however, exceed its relatively minor weaknesses by far. The book is a highly satisfactory publication of the sanctuary of Aphrodite at Amathous, and convincing in its systematic, comprehensive and, in places, detailed and extensive treatment of the evidence and material by addressing important aspects of Cypriot religion and cult practice within its Mediterranean context. Thus, Amathonte VI sets new standards for the publication of, and research on, Cypriot sanctuaries and contributes greatly to the study of Cypriot religion and cult.


1. For the classification and chronology of Cypriot pottery established by Gjerstad see E. Gjerstad, The Swedish Cyprus Expedition IV.2., The Cypro-Geometric, Cypro-Archaic and Cypro-Classical periods (Stockholm 1948), 48-91 figs. I-LXXI (pottery); 184-427, summarised on p. 427 (chronology). The system was further elaborated in E. Gjerstad, Pottery Types, Cypro-Geometric to Cypro-Classical, Opuscula Atheniensia III, Lund 1960, 106-122 with figs.

2. F. Burkhalter, La céramique hellénistique et romaine du sanctuaire d'Aphrodite à Amathonte, BCH 111, pp.353-391. (read complete article)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Domenico Cufalo (ed.), Scholia Graeca in Platonem. I: Scholia ad dialogos tetralogiarum I-VII continens. Pleiadi 5.1. Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2007. Pp. cliii, 331. €66.00. ISBN 9788884983534.
Reviewed by Stephanos Matthaios, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (

Das Studium der antiken Philologie hat in den letzten Jahrzehnten durch eine anwachsende Forschungstätigkeit einen starken Impuls erhalten. Ein wesentlicher Anstoß zur Wiederbelebung des Interesses an diesem für den Klassischen Philologen stets aktuellen, da mit den Grundlagen seiner Wissenschaft eng verwandten Gebiet ging von der Arbeit an den inzwischen abgeschlossenen Editionen zweier zentraler Scholiencorpora aus, der Ilias-Scholien von H. Erbse (Berlin 1969-88) und der zu Aristophanes, die in einem von W.J.W. Koster und D. Holwerda geleiteten Kollektivprojekt (Groningen 1960-2007) durchgeführt wurde. Das grösste Verdienst der derzeitigen Beschäftigung mit der antiken Philologie liegt in der Verlagerung ihres Schwerpunkts von einer bloßen Geschichtsdarstellung zu der Erforschung ihrer Besonderheit im Kontext der antiken Fachliteratur. Ein Forschungsdesiderat bleibt jedoch nach wie vor, die noch bestehenden Lücken im editorischen Bereich zu schließen sowie einige der verfügbaren Ausgaben entsprechend den jüngst erzielten Ergebnissen zu aktualisieren und gegebenenfalls zu ersetzen. Diesem Desiderat kommt Domenico Cufalo mit seiner Edition der Scholien zu den ersten sieben Tetralogien Platons nach; die Ausgabe der Scholien zu den Tetralogien VIII-IX und zu den unechten Werken Platons steht noch aus, da sie auf einer anderen Handschriftenbasis beruhen.

Cufalos Edition ist das Ergebnis einer langjährigen intensiven Beschäftigung mit dem platonischen Scholiencorpus, die auf eine tesi di laurea über die Gorgias-Scholien und auf einen um die Hälfte reduzierten Vorläufer der jetzt publizierten Ausgabe, der von der Universität Florenz als tesi di dottorato angenommen wurde, zurückgeht. Es muss vorweg betont werden, dass man selten eine aus einer Dissertation erwachsene Arbeit sieht, die von so viel Disziplin, Sorgfalt, wissenschaftlicher Redlichkeit und philologischem Können ihres Verfassers zeugt. Cufalos Unternehmen erforderte hohe Kompetenz im Bereich der Kodikologie und Paläographie, aber auch spezielle Vorkenntnisse und erhebliche Vertrautheit mit der komplexen Entstehungs- und Überlieferungsgeschichte antiker Kommentare sowie grammatischer und lexikographischer Werke, die es Cufalo ermöglichten, zahlreiche gewichtige Entscheidungen, vor denen er in allen Phasen der Vorbereitung und Fertigstellung seiner Ausgabe stand, zu treffen.

Das Buch gliedert sich in drei Teile: Den Hauptteil bildet die textkritische Ausgabe der betreffenden Scholien (1-296). Ihr ist eine in italienischer Sprache abgefasste Einleitung vorausgeschickt (xv-cliii), in der alle Fragen, die mit der handschriftlichen Überlieferung, dem Bestand und Ursprung sowie der Datierung des Scholiencorpus zusammenhängen, detailliert erläutert werden (xv-cviii), ferner drei Appendices, in denen die Befunde seiner Untersuchungen durch paläographische und textgeschichtliche Indizien präzisiert werden (cix-cxxi) und eine Beschreibung der zugrunde gelegten Handschriften (cxxiii-cxxx) sowie ein Conspectus der in der Edition verwendeten Siglen und Abkürzungen (cxxxi-cliii) enthalten sind. Eine ausführliche Gesamtbibliographie zu den Prolegomena und der Edition (297-309) ist im letzten Teil beigegeben. Dieser enthält des Weiteren drei Register (311-331): zwei Namenindizes (Personen- und geographische Namen) und ein Stellenregister für Zitate antiker Autoren, die im edierten Scholiencorpus erwähnt werden.

Mit der vorgelegten Ausgabe erhebt Cufalo den berechtigten Anspruch, für den kritisch erschlossenen Scholienbestand die bislang verfügbare Edition von W.C. Greene zu ersetzen, die seit ihrem Erscheinen im Jahre 19381 den massgeblichen Text für das Corpus der Platon-Scholien lieferte. Trotz ihrer Vorzüge gegenüber den bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt auf der Grundlage einzelner Handschriften erfolgten Editionen2 konnte die Ausgabe von Greene "nur als Zwischenstufe auf dem Weg zu höherer Vollendung Geltung beanspruchen".3 Cufalos Edition beruht hingegen auf einer deutlich breiteren handschriftlichen Überlieferung als die von Greene -- die Hss. D (Cod. Marcianus Graecus 185 aus dem 11./12. Jh.) und P (Cod. Palatinus Graecus 173, aus der Mitte des 10. Jh.) wurden erstmalig für eine kritische Ausgabe der Platon-Scholien ausgewertet -- und auf einer gründlicheren Scheidung der verschiedenen Hände und des Scholienbestandes im berühmten Cod. Bodleianus Clarkianus 39 (B), dem sogenannten "Platon des Arethas", der 895 im Auftrag des Erzbischofs von Johannes Kalligraphos angefertigt wurde. Darüber hinaus stellt die vorliegende Ausgabe nicht nur in ihrer Anlage und technischen Ausführung einen erheblichen Fortschritt dar; vielmehr liegen ihr neue Ausgangspositionen zu Entstehungsbedingungen, Quellen und Alter der Sammlung zugrunde, die eine unterschiedliche Auswertung des Materials bedingten.

Bei keinem anderen Scholiencorpus sind die Fragen nach seinem Ursprung und seiner Ausformung mit so vielen Unklarheiten belastet, wie es bei den Platon-Scholien der Fall ist. Zu den wesentlichen Problemen zählt die Trennung des Bestandes in zwei Gruppen, in die so genannten scholia vetera, die vorwiegend philologischen bzw. lexikographischen Inhalt haben, und die des Arethas, die im Clarkianus überliefert sind und wahrscheinlich aus der Feder des Erzbischofs selbst stammen. Die Arethas-Scholien, die philosophischen Inhalt haben und auf nicht mehr identifizierbaren bzw. nicht mehr erhaltenen neuplatonischen Kommentaren beruhen, stellten bislang einen eigenständigen, vor allem aber, wie man glaubte, jüngeren Überlieferungszweig dar, eine Ansicht, die Greene dazu führte, diese in einem von den restlichen Scholien separaten Abschnitt seiner Ausgabe zu drucken. Abgesehen davon, dass dieses Verfahren die Benutzung der Greeneschen Edition erheblich erschwerte, wurde die Annahme einer unterschiedlichen Herkunft und Datierung dieser Scholien nicht konsequent umgesetzt. Dubletten von Arethas-Scholien, die in den restlichen Handschriften überliefert sind -- dies ist bei den Scholien zu Theätet, Sophistes und Alkibiades I fast die Regel --, führte Greene paradoxerweise an zwei Stellen an, sowohl unter den scholia vetera als auch zusammen mit den weiteren Arethas-Scholien, wobei er aber oft jeweils einem uneinheitlichen, durch die handschriftlich bezeugten Abweichungen bedingten Text folgte. Aber auch die Aussonderung eines alten Scholienbestandes, von der stets ausgegangen wurde, hält kritischer Überprüfung nicht stand: Die Übertragung "alexandrinischer" Verhältnisse auf die Entstehungsgeschichte der Platon-Scholien, d.h. die Scheidung eines alten Kerns von einer jüngeren, aus byzantinischer Zeit stammenden Bearbeitung bzw. einer neuen Sammlung ist angesichts der besonderen Quellensituation nicht angebracht. Damit hängt ein weiteres Problem eng zusammen, das Alter der verarbeiteten Quellen. In keinem anderen vergleichbaren Scholiencorpus sind die Primärquellen so jung, wie es bei den Platon-Scholien der Fall ist. Auf der anderen Seite steht fest, dass die Bildung der Sammlung aus Gründen der handschriftlichen Überlieferung das Ende des 9. bzw. den Beginn des 10. Jh. nicht überschritten haben kann. Diese Feststellungen haben bislang zu divergierenden Positionen hinsichtlich der Entstehungsbedingungen und der Datierung der Sammlung, vor allem der vermeintlichen scholia vetera geführt. Während T. Mettauer von einem einzigen Redaktor ausging, der die Arbeit an seinem Kommentar zu Beginn des 6. Jh. abgeschlossen habe,4 nahm L. Cohn die Existenz eines alten gelehrten Grundstocks philologischen Charakters an, der bis zur Fixierung der Sammlung spätestens im 9. Jh. durch Exzerpte aus neuplatonischen Kommentaren und Werken verschiedenen Inhalts erweitert wurde.5

Im ersten Kapitel seiner Einleitung (xv-xxviii) gibt Cufalo einen ausführlichen Forschungsüberblick und legt den status quaestionis dar. Daraus wird ersichtlich, dass weder mit Cohns Quellenuntersuchung noch mit der Greeneschen Ausgabe, die sich auf die Ergebnisse Cohns gründete, das letzte Wort über Herkunft, Entstehungsbedingungen und Datierung des platonischen Scholiencorpus gesagt wurde. Einen deutlichen Wendepunkt in Fragen der Platon-Rezeption markieren die seit der Mitte des vergangenen Jahrhunderts erbrachten Forschungsergebnisse, die gezeigt haben, dass die Platon-Scholien und das in ihnen dokumentierte Interesse an Platon ein Werk der nun auf das 9. Jh. anzusetzenden "philosophischen Renaissance in Byzanz" im Kreis des Photios und später des Arethas sind. Die Voraussetzungen für die Entstehung des Scholiencorpus waren vielfältig: die Existenz einer neuen Platon-Ausgabe und die Anfertigung von Sammlungen und Abschriften neuplatonischer Kommentare, wie der des Proklos, des Olympiodor, des Damaskios und des Hermeias sowie einer Reihe anonym überlieferter Prolegomena zur platonischen Philosophie. Es leuchtet daher ein, dass Arethas' eigene Kommentartätigkeit dem Bedürfnis nach einer umfassenden, philosophischen wie auch grammatisch-lexikalischen Erläuterung des platonischen Werkes nachkam bzw. mit ihr einherging.

Unter diesen Bedingungen sieht Cufalo das Desiderat einer neuen Ausgabe der Platon-Scholien in der Notwendigkeit begründet, eine zuverlässige Edition zu liefern, welche zudem das Quellenproblem und die Fragen nach der Entstehung und Datierung der Sammlung auf der Grundlage der neuen Forschungsergebnisse behandelt (xxvii). Beiden Ansprüchen wird der Herausgeber gerecht. Nach einer gründlichen Untersuchung der besonderen Verflechtungen, die die einzelnen Überlieferungsträger in Bezug auf den Textbestand untereinander aufweisen, werden in den drei darauf folgenden Kapiteln (xxviii-xliv: "Gli scoli al Gorgia"; xliv-lxii: "Gli scoli a Teeteto, Sofista ed Alcibiade I" und lxii- lxxxi: "Gli scoli ai restanti dialoghi") anhand repräsentativer Beispiele aus den einzelnen Handschriften bzw. Handschriftenfamilien die Entstehungsbedingungen des Corpus geschildert -- zu diesen Abschnitten sind auch die drei Appendices (cix-cxxi) zu konsultieren. Das Ergebnis dieser Untersuchung kann wie folgt zusammengefasst werden: Das Corpus ist Produkt einer progressiven Exzerpiertätigkeit aus Material mannigfachen Inhalts, welches eine unterschiedliche Verteilung in den verschiedenen Überlieferungsträgern findet: 1. ein Konglomerat philosophischen Charakters, das seinen Ursprung in neuplatonischen Kommentaren hat und das in allen handschriftlichen Zeugen (B, T und PW) vertreten ist, 2. eine Sammlung grammatischen bzw. lexikographischen Inhalts, die vorwiegend in den Hss. der Familie T und PW vorkommt, und 3. eine Sammlung mit vorwiegend parömiographischem Inhalt, die in T vertreten ist. Der Entstehungsprozess des Scholiencorpus begann im 9. und kam in der ersten Hälfte des 10. Jh. zum Abschluss. Aus diesen Ergebnissen zieht Cufalo gewichtige Konsequenzen für seine Ausgabe. Die erste betrifft das Editionsprinzip: Die Arethas-Scholien sind gemeinsam mit den vermeintlichen scholia vetera herauszugeben. Die zweite betrifft die Identifizierung und Datierung der Quellen: Als Ausgangsposition und Basis des Vorhabens gilt die Feststellung, dass das Alter der identifizierbaren Quellen bzw. der "ersten" Quellen nicht mit dem der Sammlung gleichzusetzen ist. Diese grundlegende These erläutert Cufalo im vorletzten Abschnitt der Einleitung (lxxxi-cvi: "Origine e la formazione del corpus"): Stellt die Sammlung ein Produkt des "ersten byzantinischen Humanismus" im 9./10. Jh. dar, so ist durchaus denkbar, dass ihre Quellen mit denen identisch sind, die zu dieser Zeit verfügbar waren. Neben der "Collezione Filosofica" tritt an die Stelle zahlreicher Lexika aus der Spätantike, die bislang als Quellen in Betracht gezogen wurden, ein Sammelwerk, die Synagoge lexeon chresimon in der erweiterten Version *S'', die auch dem Photios- und dem Suda-Lexikon zugrunde gelegen hat;6 ihr sind die einzelnen lexikographischen Werke, vor allem die attizistischen Lexika des Pausanias und Ailios Dionysios einverleibt worden. Diogenians Lexikon scheint noch selbständig herangezogen worden zu sein. Für den parömiographischen Bestand wurde die Epitome des Zenobios zugrunde gelegt; als Quelle für Scholien geographischen und mythographischen Inhalts kommen Sammelwerke in Frage, die in dieser Zeit entstanden sind.

Die Vorzüge von Cufalos Edition und der Fortschritt gegenüber der von Greene werden bereits durch die Anlage der Ausgabe sichtbar -- die Editionsprinzipien und technische Einzelheiten werden im letzten Abschnitt der Einleitung (cvi-cviii: "La presente edizione") erläutert. Die einzelnen Scholien tragen neben der Angabe der Stephanus-Seite und des Lemmas eine laufende Nummer. Dieses Verfahren sorgt für Übersichtlichkeit und erleichtert das Auffinden der Verweise in den Begleitapparaten; hieran orientieren sich auch die Querverweise innerhalb der gesamten Edition. Nach jedem Scholion werden die Siglen der Handschriften, die es überliefern, angegeben; auf diese Weise erhält der Leser einen ersten Eindruck von Charakter und Inhalt der Scholien. Nach dem bewährten Verfahren bei der Edition von Scholiensammlungen und lexikographischen Werken ist am Textrand die zugrunde liegende Quelle verzeichnet. Quellenwechsel innerhalb ein und desselben Scholions wird mit einem senkrechten Strich markiert. Mit Petitdruck sind Scholien angeführt, die meist handschriftlich bezeugte Textvarianten zum betreffenden Bezugstext enthalten; diese hatte Greene nicht aufgenommen. Der griechische Text wird von drei Apparaten begleitet: Im ersten werden Parallelstellen aus dem Scholiencorpus verzeichnet. Der zweite besteht aus einem Testimonienapparat, der hauptsächlich die Quellen der Scholien betrifft. Der an die letzte Stelle gesetzte textkritische Apparat richtet sich nach der laufenden Nummer der Scholien; der Verzicht auf Zeilennumerierung im Verlauf des griechischen Textes ist zwar für die kürzeren Scholien kein Problem, bei den längeren Stücken dagegen wird die Orientierung durch die zahlreichen Angaben erschwert. Trotz der Fülle von Informationen, die Cufalo für seine Apparate, besonders für den Testimonienapparat verarbeitet hat, ist die Entscheidung, was gedruckt und was ausgelassen wurde, stets ausgewogen. Es ist ferner hervorzuheben, dass Cufalo auch die in diesem Band nicht edierten Scholien zur Kenntnis genommen und ausgewertet hat.

Die Entscheidungen des Herausgebers bei Fragen der Textkritik und Quellenzuweisung werden häufig im Testimonien- und textkritischen Apparat begründet. Bei der Textherstellung ist Cufalo stets bemüht, "la versione "originaria" degli scoli" (cvii) zu rekonstruieren. Dennoch ist bei einer Textgattung wie der Scholien- und sonstigen Gebrauchsliteratur der Begriff "original" besonders relativ; umso mehr, wenn der Entstehungsprozess einer Sammlung mehrere Phasen durchlaufen hat, wie es bei den Platon-Scholien der Fall ist. Woran ist unter diesen Umständen der ursprüngliche Wortlaut zu messen? Das Problem wird deutlich, wenn man Cufalos Unterscheidung zwischen einer a)- und einer b)-Version derselben Notiz an denjenigen Stellen, an denen die handschriftliche Überlieferung keinen einheitlichen Text bietet, auf ihre Plausibilität hin überprüft. In diesen Fällen werden die Textabweichungen nicht als bloße Textvarianten betrachtet, sondern als zwei unterschiedliche Text- bzw. Kommentar-Versionen gewertet, von denen die "ursprüngliche" meist schwer zu ermitteln ist. Dennoch geht Cufalo mit diesem editorischen Prinzip oft freizügig und nicht mit gleicher Konsequenz um, so dass sein Vorgehen nicht immer einleuchtet. Eine Trennung in zwei Versionen wiegt schwer, wenn dadurch substantielle Textunterschiede, die den Kern der Interpretation berühren, geltend gemacht werden. Oft aber wird dieses Verfahren von Textauslassungen und Kürzungen bedingt, die über den ursprünglichen Scholienwortlaut eigentlich wenig aussagen. Ein Beispiel für Cufalos Vorgehensweise ist die Erläuterung des Ausdrucks a)kroxeiri/zesqai im sch. Alc. I 107e6 (n. 12), die er in zwei Versionen, die erste (a) aus TW, die zweite (b) aus P rekonstruiert, ediert. Die Auslassungen bei P können jedoch nicht zwingend eine Unterscheidung von zwei Scholienversionen rechtfertigen. Ähnliche Kürzungen im Scholienwortlaut kommen auch kurz davor im sch. Alc. I 105b4 (n. 7) vor; hier, wie auch in anderen Fällen, hat sich Cufalo für eine einheitliche Edition des Scholions entschieden, wobei die angegebenen Siglen den in der jeweiligen Handschrift überlieferten Textbestand markieren. Die "synoptische" Ausgabe von zwei Versionen erscheint dagegen notwendig, wenn dies den Text von Handschriftenfamilien -- nach dem Muster von Erbses Ausgabe der Ilias-Scholien -- betrifft. Dies ist beim ersten Scholion zum Phaidros (nr. 1) der Fall. Wenn aber Cufalo die T-Version (sch. b) gegenüber der von W (sch. a) für ursprünglich hält, wie er im textkritischen Apparat z.St. erklärt, dann fragt man sich, warum er nicht jenen Text druckt und die Abweichungen von W im Apparat vermerkt. Ein stringenterer Umgang mit dem Prinzip der "synoptischen" Ausgabe von Scholienversionen würde sowohl der Übersichtlichkeit als auch der Ökonomie der Edition dienen.

Cufalos Bemühen, den ursprünglichen Scholienwortlaut zu eruieren, greift auch auf die Quellenfrage über. In diesem Zusammenhang hat Cufalo die genaue, wortwörtliche Übereinstimmung zwischen Scholion und der jeweils zugrunde gelegten Quelle gesucht und zur Richtschnur für die Ermittlung der letzteren gemacht. So hat er bei der Quellenzuweisung einer großen Anzahl von Worterklärungen zu der Synagoge bzw. zu deren erweiterten, aus späteren Lexika -- wohl gemerkt -- zu erschließenden Version *S'' vom Fragezeichen Gebrauch gemacht, um damit anzudeuten, dass die Quellenzuweisung nicht zweifelsfrei ist. Cufalos Entscheidung ist jedoch davon abhängig, ob der Scholienwortlaut dem der lexikographischen Quelle genau entspricht oder nicht. Dies hat den übermässigen Gebrauch des Fragezeichens zur Folge. Muss man aber immer davon ausgehen, dass der Scholiast seine Quelle wortwörtlich wiedergibt? Ein Beispiel unter vielen für Cufalos Vorgehensweise stellen die sch. Phaedr. 243b1 (n. 78) und 243b5 (n. 79) dar; am Scholienrand ist beide Male die angenommene Quelle, die Synagoge, mit Fragezeichen vermerkt. Die Unterschiede zwischen dem Wortlaut der Scholien und dem der Quellen sind jedoch so gering, dass man Cufalos Zweifel eigentlich als philologische Pedanterie betrachten könnte. Auch im Falle des sch. Symp. 221e4 a und b (n. 93) ist die Erklärung zu kanqhli/ous (in der Bedeutung ka/nqwn bzw. o)/nos) in der a-Version der Synagoge mit einem Fragezeichen, in der b-Version dagegen einer nicht identifizierbaren Quelle, wie das blosse Fragezeichen besagt, zugewiesen. Die unterschiedliche Quellenzuweisung scheint -- falls sie nicht durch einen typographischen Fehler bedingt ist -- nicht gerechtfertigt, wie ein Vergleich der in den Scholien überlieferten Erklärung mit denen in der Synagoge, bei Photios und in der Suda erkennen lässt. Auch hier würde man vom Herausgeber etwas mehr Entscheidungsmut erwarten. Ist die Zuweisung etwa zu der Synagoge aus inhaltlichen Gründen gesichert, dann kann man dem Scholiasten bzw. dem Redaktor der Sammlung die Freiheit einräumen, die aus seiner Quelle jeweils geschöpften Informationen zu verändern bzw. an die eigenen Interpretationszwecke anzupassen.

Eine lexikographische Quelle, die es verdient hätte, stärker in Betracht gezogen zu werden, ist das Cyrill-Glossar, welches im Vergleich zu anderen byzantinischen Lexika eine wesentlich grössere Verbreitung genossen hat. Das Cyrill-Glossar ist in die Synagoge einverleibt worden; auch das Hesych-Lexikon ist mit Cyrill-Glossen so stark interpoliert, dass diese sogar ein Drittel des Gesamtbestandes des Hesych ausmachen. Cufalo gibt an mehreren Stellen unter Berufung auf das Hesych-Zeugnis Diogenian (D) als Quelle an. Doch stellen diese angeblich aus Diogenian stammenden, bei Hesych überlieferten Erklärungen vielfach aus Cyrill interpolierte Glossen dar. Das ist z.B. bei der im sch. Phaedr. 258e7 (n. 113) überlieferten Erklärung zum Ausdruck pni/gei bzw. pni=gos der Fall. Die im Testimonienapparat zitierte Hesych-Stelle ist, wie Cufalo selbst vermerkt, eine Cyrill-Interpolation. Es erscheint daher plausibler, dass die Quelle des betreffenden Scholions die Synagoge oder doch das Cyrill-Glossar ist. Angesichts der großen Anzahl von Stellen, die von einer Verwandtschaft zwischen Cyrill und den in den Platon-Scholien überlieferten Worterklärungen zeugen, kann man die Möglichkeit einer Heranziehung und Verarbeitung des Cyrill-Glossars kaum ausschliessen.

Der Druck der Arbeit ist makellos. Der komplizierte Satz der Ausgabe ist sehr gut leserlich; zudem scheint die Edition bzw. der griechische Text frei von typographischen und sonstigen Fehlern zu sein. Dasselbe gilt für die umfangreichen Apparate und die zahlreichen, darin enthaltenen Stellenangaben und Verweise. Manche Unstimmigkeiten in den Abkürzungen und in der Zitierweise antiker Autoren und Werke (z.B. Did. statt des sonst verwendeten Kürzels Didym.; K als Abkürzung für das Cyrill-Glossar zur Angabe der Quelle am Scholienrand, Cyr. als sonst verwendetes Kürzel und ähnliches) bereiten keine allzu grossen Verständnisschwierigkeiten. Dass schließlich der Preis des Buches im Vergleich zu Ausgaben von Scholien und lexikographischen Werken bei anderen Verlagsreihen verhältnismässig niedrig gehalten wurde, kann dem Studium der antiken Philologie nur förderlich sein.

Mit der vorgelegten Edition hat Cufalo eine außerordentliche Leistung in einem schwierigen Kapitel antiker und byzantinischer Philologiegeschichte erbracht. Wie eingangs erwähnt, ist die vorgelegte Ausgabe als der erste Band einer Gesamtausgabe der Platon-Scholien verzeichnet und trägt daher die laufende Nummer 5.1 in der von Franco Montanari geleiteten Reihe Pleiadi. Der Rezensent kann nur den Wunsch äussern, dass die Arbeit am zweiten Band bald zum Abschluss und zur Publikation gebracht wird. An Platon wie auch an der antiken Philologie interessierte Forscher werden Cufalo dafür besonders dankbar sein.


1. W.C. Greene (ed.), Scholia Platonica, contulerunt atque investigaverunt Fredericus De Forest Allen, Johannes Burnet, Carolus Pomeroy Parker. Omnia recognita praefatione indicibusque instructa edidit Guillielmus Chase Greene. Philological Monographs 8, Haverford, Ps. 1938.

2. Stellvertretend sei hier die ausführliche Rezension zu Greenes Ausgabe von W.A. Oldfather in: Classical Philology 36 (1941) 371-89 erwähnt.

3. So H. Erbse, Untersuchungen zu den attizistischen Lexika. Abhandlungen der deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, phil.-hist. Kl., Jhrg. 1949, Nr. 2, Berlin 1950, 48 Anm. 2.

4. Siehe T. Mettauer, De Platonis scholiorum fontibus, Zürich 1880.

5. Siehe L. Cohn, "Untersuchungen über die Quellen der Platon-Scholien" in: Jahrbücher für classische Philologie, Suppl.-Bd. 13 (1884) 773-864.

6. Der Überlieferungsgeschichte der Synagoge gilt die Einleitung von I.C. Cunningham (ed.), Synagoge. Texts of the Original Version and of Ms. B, Sammmlung griechischer und lateinischer Grammatiker 10, Berlin/New York 2003. (read complete article)