Tuesday, September 27, 2011


José Luis Vidal, José Ignacio García Armendáriz, Adolfo Egea (ed.), Paulo minora: estudios sobre poesía latina menor y fragmentaria. Barcelona: Publicacions i edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona, 2011. Pp. x, 306. ISBN 9788447534941.

Reviewed by John Henderson, King's College, Cambridge (jgh1000@cam.ac.uk)

Version at BMCR home site

Here, presented by Vidal, and each headed by a minimal abstract in English and Spanish, are eleven essays issuing from a major 2007 Barcelona conference gathering scholars from all over Spain to share information and ideas about the also-rans of Latin poetry.

1. Alejandro Coroleu, 'La poesía latina menor en el Renacimiento' (pp. 1-15) clears up how, and how come, C16th school anthologies, collections of archaic poetry (Stephanus 1564), hotchpotch flosculi moralisés (Mirandola 1507), and pastoral, whether culled from Virgil through Petrarch and Boccaccio to the then present-day (Benedetto Filologo 1504) or taken from the Vienna MS of Nemesian, Calpurnius and Grattius supplemented by its discoverer Sannazaro's own efforts (1539), gave way to editions of minor classics and -ana such as Erasmus' Nux and, in particular, Scaliger's Virgilii Appendix (1566), with its own appendix of sundries, and Pithou's Pervigilium (1577) and thematic omnigatherum Epigrammatia et poemata vetera (1590). These two friends' works pre-mixed the two traditions that later separated into (1) the Anthologia Latina collection(s) edited, after the 1609 discovery of the Codex Salmasianus, by Burman the Younger (1759-1773), and reedited by Riese (1869-1870, Vol. 1);1 and (2) the Poetae latini minores edited (and so-named) by Burman the Elder (1731), and amplified and thematized by Wernsdorf (1780- 1799). With Baehrens' PLM (1879-1883) and Wight Duff's Loeb Minor Latin Poets (1934), the two traditions overlapped anew for the modern era.

2. Francisco Socas, 'Desguace y restauración de la Anthologia Latina' (pp. 48) unpacks the (C9th ?) Codex Salmasianus with its miscellany accreted from a C6th base strung together in Vandal Africa (heavily bagged for Dido) and its modern title shared with Saumaise's discovery at Heidelberg of the Greek Anthology in the Palatine Library (1606-1607): a scrapbook of off-canon poems starting with a bunch of centos and Hosidius Geta's Medea tragedy, then lining up amassed epigrams, riddle collections, and so on, besides the Pervigilium and whole authored collections; never an anthology, then, but always and forever an agglutination of agglutinations, snowballed from other codices by editorial studium augendi, and dramatized in Riese's untidy stratification by date of collection, with roughly a thousand pieces written between Augustus and the print era. Socas runs us generously through the variously bizarre contents and Riese's patchy performance before briskly interring Shackleton Bailey's abortive — '(¿fallido?)' — actualización of this editors' graveyard (1982, vol. I.1) and finally summarizing the task that awaits its superhero. In vain?

3. Xaverio Ballester, 'Poetae latini minimi' (pp. 49-70) dismantles prejudices written into blank(et) belittling labels ('minor') before disentangling the 'minimalist' world of fragmentariness represented by the FPR tradition from Baehrens' supplement to his PLM (1886) through Courtney's FLP (1993) — and, for Hispanophones, Carande (2003- 2004: next chapter). Ballester introduces minors majoring in Latin ('iuniores') to the trials, snares and pratfalls of citationality with neat illustrations and witster formulations.

4. Rocío Carande Herrero, 'Problemas métricos en la editión de poesía fragmentaria' (pp. 71-89) takes on a row of running sores in FLP-land that don't turn on prosody and metre, and then a score more that do. The common pursuit continues. That minority taste.

5. José Carlos Fernández Corte, '¿Era Licinio Calvo un poeta menor? Una aproximación de historia literaria immanente' (pp. 91-120) suggests that Baldy became a 'titch' (exigui ... Calui, Ov. Tr. 2.431, et al.: pp. 108- 10) because — according to his fellow writers' evidently loaded assessment — he wrote as tiny an amount, in as pared down an aesthetic, as a determined minimalist could manage. Fernández Corte's exercise in 'literary phenomenology' hunts down no less loaded agenda informing modern editions and literary scholarship, where he keeps playing Cicero's mis/match in oratory (Brutus 283-284) and/or/as Catullus' other (better? lesser?) half (par ... similisque, Ov. loc. cit.), as our turn comes to juggle (that mere diminutive) Catullus' poems 14 with 52, 49 with 50 and with 96, parallels between his oeuvre and the reimagined remains of Calvus', and the range of testimonia on the latter. (All these materials are set out, with translation provided, in the 'Apéndice', pp. 113-120.) Anyone for social swank — 'el mundo de Clodia' and Claudii — figureheading the far from minora 'long poems'? And/Or anyone for posey poesy — like either poetaster hero/minnow (uariis ... furta modis (Ov. loc. cit. 432)? The red rag remark, after Barthes on Queneau, (let's) 'assume the literary mask but at the same time point a finger at it',2 marks and minutes what must have been the liveliest discussion on the day (p. 99 n. 25).

6. Antonio Ramírez de Verger, 'La carta de Safo a Faón (epist. 15): ¿Ovidiana o pseudo-Ovidiana?' (pp. 121-135) holds out for authenticity, against the majority verdict since Francke (1816). Vindicating the claims of Epistula Sapphus attested by Marius Plocius, Ausonius, verses in florilegia datable to around the C9th and to MSS from the Frankfurt codex through the C15th, to fit with the letter listed last in Amores 2.18 (34 ~ ES 181). Doubted and flawed loci are cleared (1, 8, 49, 53, 129-34 with 129-30 before 133-134 and siccae as climax, 181) and/or healed (emend 63 inops to et est; at 96 accept uerum ut or accept sed te ut or else emend; emend 113 postquam se dolor inuenit to sed p. d. increuit). That Ovid, after Catullus, should make Sappho to Phaon the ultimate in singles is so right!3 (But she was shifted to fifteenth, between singles and doubles, from either first or last, by D. Heinsius in 1629.)

7. María Consuelo Álvarez Morán and Rosa María Iglesias Montiel, 'Algunas precisiones sobre Las Elegiae in Maecenatem' (pp. 137-165) sketch the fortunes of the Maecenas poem/s, included in the Appendix Vergiliana since Scaliger (1573) and found already listed between Copa and Ciris in a C9th library catalogue, before arguing, along with many other majuscularities, that, whatever the proem's relation to Consolatio ad Liviam, the Ovidian phrase deflere fata in line 1 and Met. 7.388, 8.699 only, points to a terminus post of 8 CE, soon after the release of the epic, for a composition thus datable to c. 10-14 CE. Lines 36 and 102 parrot Amores 2.6.26. The beryl of 19 is Maecenas' (from fr. 2). They accept Maeonii in the crux at 37 as = 13 Etrusci. The Achilles' heel of discincture (21, cf. 24) metapoetically aligns Maecenas with the elegist (Am. 1.2.41). Line 62 bungles adaptation of Am. 3.7.8. The Ovidian Omphalized Hercules of 69-86 (esp. 71-78 ~ Her. 9.65-80) will allude to Maecenas' De cultu suo (leave Terentia out of it!). claua torosa at 79 is reference point for Sen. NQ 1.7.1, Plin. HN 9.93, not inspired by them. The exempla at 107ff. directly recall Ovidian Medea working with magical ingredients of stag and crow on Peliades and Aeson (Met. 7.265-274). They reckon. 8. José-Ignacio García Armendáriz, 'Los hiertos de Columela, en prosa y en verso' (pp. 167-199) reads busily through the (supposedly) supplementary book of verse intercalated in the manual. Triangulated with Virgil and the prose version of book 11 to bring out the poemification (variatio and copia, feat. pictorialism, expressionism, Hellenism, textual frisson plus mythic, astronomic, geographic, cosmic animation). The processing and storage book 12 ought to figure in here, already metapoetically prequelled at the vintage finale (423-32) along with the rest of the garden of verse, from the outset (p. 199: numeri/adnumerari, numeroso ... horto, Praef. 3,4, v. 6).

9. Vicente Cristóbal, 'El Pervigilium Veneris: caracterización del poema, notas textuales y traducción' (pp. 201-29) introduces the weirdly sexy/hymnic 'pre-mediaeval, folkloric (rather: fakeloric?)' rave in trochaic tetrameters catalectic (or tr. sept. à la versus quadratus), before constituting his text to accompany an updated version of his 2005 translation into dead-ringer, perhaps direct descendant, octosyllables: 'Quien no amó, mañana ame, y manãna ame el que amó' ... Get(ting) Ready for Love ('Praise her!', Bad Seeds) has been getting back toward the paradosis for a century, and Cristóbal takes this on several more times out of ten minutiae: v. 6, gazas (MSS), not casas (Pithou, from v. 44, which instead 'de-glosses' v. 6); v. 13 floribus (MSS, cf. 49, 58), not floridis (Riglerus, with pictorialized Golden Line); v. 15 urget in notos penates (MSS), not u. i. nodos tepentes (Lipsius, cf. 26) etc. (Quite how to gather these punsome teeming breast-rose-hymen- buds bedewed between 14 and 21!); v. 22 mane tutae (Scaliger, 'kept safe'; cf. 82), not manet tute/mane tute/mane tuae (MSS), etc.; v. 23 †prīus† (MSS: unmetrical but accentual, cf. 72, Romulēas? ), not Cypridis (Bücheler: palmary), etc.; v. 29 et puer comis (MSS except comes S) , not it p. comis (Pithou); v. 35 in ˆ armīs (Pithou), not inermis (MSS; with ?, ed. Formicola); v. 50 praeses (Scaliger, metri causa; but, rather, cf. 7), not praesens (MSS); keep lacuna before v. 58 (overriding past doubts); v. 60 totis (MSS), not totum (Salmasius, with Silver Line and cf. Ov. Fast. 1.26, 168). An ad calc. note points to literature on New Year festivals and lyric spring, then on through Pater's chapter on 'Flavian' in Marius to the metafictional turn in Fowles' Magus, to Lope de Vega and more Iberian mystagogues (flagged for future treatment).

10. Antonio Alvae Ezquerra, 'Technopægnia latinos' (pp. 231-261) reviews the Roman joci-verse down to the Fall of Rome through a typology of technopaegnism featuring: figured and echoic verse; rhopalics; the cento; acro-/meso- /telestics, the palindrome and anacyclics; mono-/di-/tetra-stich series (alphabetical, calendrical, teamsheet, etc.). Ausonius and the Latin Anthology are the main sources and the main resources are Ausonius' prefaces to Technopaegnia and Cento Nuptialis.

11. Joan Gómez Pallarès, 'Vergilius a minore: una lectura epigráfica del final de la Eneida' (pp. 263-292) busts the envelope with a hobby-horse essay devoted to showing how, at the death, Virgil's 'opus maximum' (p. 291) and, in its wake, the epitaphic tomb of the sphragis for Odes 1-3 are no way above appropriating the fully Roman discourse of epigraphic-lapidary verse on the (im)mortal theme of mors immatura.4 In seeing-sending off Turnus, the 'Daunian' standing in the Antihero figure's shoes on every Roman-Italian boot hill, one more lifespan uncompleted and incomplete (along with Camilla's, Patroclus', Hector's, Brutus', Antony's ... ), the final sheet winds down the Aeneid (12.919-952) by mobilizing — and so returning to use for all Roman epitaphs to come ever after— the motifs fatalis, fortuna (iniqua), ater (with acerbus at 6.429, 11.28), lumen, acer, monimentum, eripior, membrum, indignor. Gómez Pallarès urges direct — twin-barrelled — linkage between Virgil's | ille humilis supplex ... | protendens (930-931) and | dicar ... uiolens ... ex humili potens | on Horace's monumentum (Odes 3.30.10-12). He enjoys citing reams of inscriptions from Hispania much more than he can the barbarous English of his 'ABSTRACT'.

In the end papers to this variegated volume, an 'Index Auctorum' gives a comprehensive index locorum (essential) plus a few mediaeval and modern items (pp. 293-300); and a roll call of recentiores (pp. 301-306) (useful, at any rate, for the history of scholarship).


1.   With Bücheler's Carmina latina epigraphica as Vol. 2.
2.   'Zazie and literature', in Critical Essays (1972), p. 113.
3.   See Vic Rimell, 'Epistolary fictions: authorial identity in Heroides 15', PCPS 45 (1999), pp. 109-35 / Ovid's Lovers: Desire, Difference, and the Poetic Imagination (2006), chapter 4.
4.   This has become a hot topic, as in Martin Dinter's continuing series of studies of 'inscriptional intermediality' and 'epicgram', from 'Epic and epigram — minor heroes in Virgil's Aeneid', CQ 55 (2005), pp. 153-169 onwards.

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