Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Fiona Hobden, Amanda Wrigley (ed.), Ancient Greece on British Television. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. Pp. 272. ISBN 9781474412599. £75.00.

Reviewed by Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University (lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il)

Version at BMCR home site

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[Authors and titles are listed below.]

This edited collection by Fiona Hobden and Amanda Wrigley provides a welcome addition to Edinburgh University Press' Screening Divinity series and, more widely, to research into the reception of the ancient world on screen. Its focus is ground breaking in three ways: firstly, it is concerned with Greece rather than Rome; secondly, it examines television (and on occasion, radio) rather than film; and thirdly, it concentrates on Britain rather than the United States. With regard to the first aspect, it builds upon work by Alastair Blanshard and Kim Shahabudin, and in particular by Gideon Nisbet.1 As concerns television, works by Arthur Pomeroy, and more recently Monica Cyrino and Antony Agoustakis, have turned the spotlight on the small screen.2 The present work is the first in-depth study of the British (or more frequently English) screen reception of the ancient world, and as such it is to be welcomed. No such work can ever be close to being exhaustive, and the editors make no claims to such an achievement. The range of genres and works examined, however, provide an admirable start for research into a hitherto somewhat neglected field.

The book consists of an introductory chapter by the editors, in which they set out their aims and objectives. Beginning with a case study of the 1965 BBC adaptation of Plato's Symposium, through which they highlight some of the themes picked up throughout the book, they discuss the particular emphases of their research, and provide a short survey of the reception of antiquity in British popular culture. This introduction is then followed by ten chapters covering documentary, sci-fi and fantasy, tragedy, including one chapter on radio. Each chapter concentrates on specific case-studies that highlight the different genres, combining "close analysis of individual television programmes, production contexts and (where possible) audience engagement" (2). Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.

Chapter one, Fiona Hobden's contribution on television documentaries, focuses on a number of productions, from the BBC's Armchair Voyage: Hellenic Cruise (1958) to Treasures of Ancient Greece (2015), but the main thrust of the chapter is not so much the genre itself, as an examination of documentary as a means through which to discuss the constantly fluctuating understanding of the 'legacy' of the Greeks, as applied to modern Britain. She argues persuasively that while the question of "are we the Greeks?" (38) has a range of different answers, a strong and direct connection between ancient Greece and modern Britain is nevertheless never denied, and indeed at the core of such programmes. Peter Golphin's chapter, following on from Hobden's, examines this connection in a different manner, discussing, in one of the strongest pieces in the book, Louis MacNeice's utilization of ancient Greece in radio productions broadcast between 1941 and 1944, for anti-fascist propaganda purposes during the Second World War. With John Wyver's contribution, the book moves back again to documentaries, and indeed back once more even to the same production in the shape of Hellenic Cruise, here contrasted with The Glory That was Greece (BBC, 1959). Wyver's focus is slightly different from Hobden's, arguing that these programmes were the natural development of tourism and education, as they spread into the new democratising medium of television. Nevertheless, more cohesion might have been provided by placing the two chapters consecutively, and indeed, by providing more cross-referencing between them, especially since The Glory That was Greece would seem to fit very well into Hobden's thesis.

The next three chapters turn the spotlight on Greek tragedy, starting with Amanda Wrigley's chapter on adaptations of the genre for teenagers on Schools Television in the early 1960s. This is a little studied area, and Wrigley's contribution provides a welcome and fascinating insight into the differing ideologies of the BBC and independent television with regard to both television and education at this time. Through her demonstration that tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were watched mainly by teens in the less academically focused secondary modern schools, Wrigley again highlights the democratizing nature of television, in this case directed at a younger audience. Tony Keen's piece on a specific production of Greek tragedy for the small screen, The Serpent Son (1979), which was a BBC adaptation of Aeschylus' Oresteia, draw attention to a very different approach to contemporary Athenian drama, namely the science-fiction aesthetic elements in this three-episode series. These aspects, inspired by the archaeology of Minoan Crete, were influenced by a desire to be experimental and to present a primitive and exotic view of ancient Greece that contrasts sharply, as Keen demonstrates, with traditional representations of the classical world. Visual aesthetics remain the focus in the next chapter by Lynn Fotheringham, who examines Don Taylor's televised productions of Sophocles' Oedipus cycle and Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis from 1986 and 1990 respectively. These adaptations were the last Greek tragedies to appear on British television for almost two and a half decades, and, like The Serpent Son, consciously attempted to distance the genre from its customary methods of staging. In this case, the impetus was a socialist agenda on the part of the working-class born director, whose desire to make classical drama accessible to general audiences led him to reject realism in place of stylized timelessness. Although the reactions of viewers were very mixed, as Fotheringham outlines, nevertheless, he did achieve his aim of engaging with the mass audience to whom he was attempting to introduce Greek tragedy in a meaningful manner.

In the following two chapters, the focus shifts again, this time to fantasy and science-fiction. Sarah Miles looks at two different television receptions of Odysseus presented for children in the mid-1980s, Ulysses 31 and Odysseus: The Greatest Hero of Them All, both screened by newly launched Children's BBC in 1985-86. As Miles explains, although each treated the Homeric sources differently, with the former utilizing popular film and Japanese animation, and the latter contemporizing the tale with humour, colloquial language and Anglicised settings, both were careful to maintain close connection with the original myth, and both were creative and innovative receptions that introduced younger viewers to the mythological hero. Amanda Potter, in the following chapter, provides a wide-ranging survey of the use of Greek myth in Doctor Who and its spinoffs, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood. Although Greece has featured less obviously than Rome in these productions, it does appear in the form of historical setting for some episodes, such as 'The myth makers', series from 1965. It also provides a framework for the alien encounters that occur throughout, which recall the battles against monsters and foreign threats that permeate Greek mythology. Potter's illuminating chapter traces the changing use of myth over the entire period, up to and including the present day, which has seen an upsurge in the popularity of classical myth in popular culture.

The final chapter in the book that utilises traditional format, by Anna Foka, ties together the earlier and later chapters, by examining a subject that combines both fantasy and documentary, namely a 2010 Timewatch episode about the mythical Atlantis, 'Atlantis: The Evidence', identified in the production with bronze age Thera. Foka's emphasis in this piece is on the use of digital technology that is utilized along with archaeological evidence, in order to 'legitimise fiction as fact' (198), and validate the premise of the programme. Through so doing, as she highlights, the episode provides a potent illustration of the evolution of the historical documentary as cultural form, and the power of digital tools in contemporary television. Remaining with documentary, an interview conducted by Fiona Hobbs with ancient historian, Michael Scott and documentary director and producer, David Wilson, rounds off the book. This provides a welcome and lively finish that gives a very valuable insight into the practical considerations that govern such productions, as well as some of the ethical and ideological dilemmas behind decisions made in the process.

Overall, this is a fascinating collection of articles on a hitherto under-examined field of research, which opens up a number of questions and paves the way for further study. Well-produced, and with illustrations illuminating each chapter, its accessible language makes it of equal use to undergraduates, graduate students, professional academics and even interested laymen. Some clearer signposting, with division of the book into sections, perhaps according to genre, might have made the connections between the chapters clearer; and a closing chapter by the editors, drawing out these connections and conclusions, would have been welcome. Such a comment is, however, no more than a desire for more from a well-produced volume that left me both excited and deeply enriched by its content.

Table of Contents

Fiona Hobden and Amanda Wrigley. Broadcasting Greece: An Introduction to Greek Antiquity on the Small Screen.
1. Fiona Hobden, Are We the Greeks? Understanding Antiquity and Ourselves in Television Documentaries.
2. Peter Golphin, Louis MacNeice and 'The Paragons of Hellas': Ancient Greece as Radio Propaganda.
3. John Wyver, The Beginnings of Civilisation: Television Travels to Greece with Mortimer Wheeler and Compton Mackenzie.
4. Amanda Wrigley, Tragedy for Teens: Ancient Greek Tragedy on BBC and ITV School Television in the 1960s.
5. Tony Keen, The Serpent Son (1979): A Science Fiction Aesthetic?
6. Lynn Fotheringham, Don Taylor, the 'old-fashioned populist'? The Theban Plays (1986) and Iphigenia at Aulis (1990): Production Choices and Audience Responses.
7. Sarah Miles, The Odyssey in the 'Broom Cupboard': Ulysses 31 and Odysseus: The Greatest Hero of them All on 'Children's BBC', 1985-6.
8. Amanda Potter, Greek Myth in the Whoniverse.
9. Anna Foka, The Digital Aesthetic in Atlantis: The Evidence (2010).
10. Fiona Hobden, Greece in the Making: From Intention to Practicalities in Television Documentaries. A Conversation with Michael Scott and David Wilson.


1.   Alastair J. L. Blanshard and Kim Shahabudin, Classics on Screen: Ancient Greece and Rome on Film. London, UK: Bristol Classical Press, 2011; Gideon Nisbet, Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture. Revised and Expanded Edition. Exeter: Bristol Phoenix Press, 2008.
2.   Arthur Pomeroy, Then it was Destroyed by the Volcano: the Ancient World in Film and Television. London: Duckworth, 2008; Monica Cyrino, Rome, Season One: History Makes Television. Malden, MA – Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008, Rome, Season Two: Trial and Triumph. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015; Monica Cyrino and Antony Augoustakis, STARZ Spartacus: Reimagining an Icon on Screen. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.

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Richard J. A. Talbert, Challenges of Mapping the Classical World. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, 2018. Pp. 202. ISBN 9781472457820. $140.00.

Reviewed by Sergio Brillante, Università degli Studi di Bari​ (brillante.sergio@gmail.com)

Version at BMCR home site

[The Table of Contents is listed below.]

Tutti coloro che in questi anni abbiano utilizzato e apprezzato il Barrington Atlas of Classical the Greek and Roman World non potranno fare a meno del nuovo volume di Richard Talbert. Si tratta, infatti, di una raccolta di quattordici saggi del benemerito editore del Barrington Atlas scritti fra il 1990 e il 2013 e dedicati ai vari tentativi compiuti in età moderna di fornire una adeguata rappresentazione cartografica del mondo antico. Fra essi un posto d'onore occupa proprio il Barrington Atlas, sulla cui genesi e successiva elaborazione si concentrano ben sei degli scritti presenti nel volume, di cui alcuni inediti.

Apre l'opera un'introduzione in cui l'autore ripercorre alcune tappe della sua carriera scientifica1 e rende conto della scelta degli articoli selezionati per il volume (v. l'indice alla fine della recensione). Questi ultimi, riediti senza aggiornamenti o modifiche evidenti,2 sono organizzati secondo l'ordine cronologico degli argomenti trattati: si inizia con una recensione al volume di Goffart sugli atlanti del mondo antico prodotti fra il 1570 e il 1870 e si finisce ancora con una recensione, apparsa su questa rivista,3 all'Historischer Atlas der antiken Welt di Wittke, Olshausen e Szydak, pubblicato nel 2007.

Quanto si inserisce fra questi due estremi cronologici può essere suddiviso in due gruppi: nel primo si passano in rassegna e si discutono i vari tentativi compiuti in età moderna – in particolare a partire dal 1872 – di fornire una adeguata rappresentazione cartografica del mondo antico, mentre nel secondo sono compresi diversi contributi relativi in diversa misura all'esperienza del Barrington Atlas.

Fra gli scritti del primo gruppo ritroviamo due recensioni, due testi introduttivi per la riedizione degli atlanti di William Smith e Heinrich Kiepert, e anche alcuni articoli già molto noti e apprezzati fra quanti si occupano degli studi di geografia antica in età moderna o di storia della filologia fra XIX e XX secolo. Particolarmente importante è ad esempio lo studio di Talbert su Carl Müller e sulle carte da lui disegnate per contribuire all'Atlas of Ancient Geography di William Smith e George Grove, pubblicato a Londra da John Murray fra il 1872 e il 1874 (Carl Müller (1813-1894), S. Jacobs, and the Making of Classical Maps in Paris for John Murray). Prima della pubblicazione di questo scritto nel 1994, la vita di Müller, pur ben noto quale editore di testi importanti per la casa editrice Firmin-Didot come i Fragmenta historicorum Graecorum e i Geographi Graeci minores, era avvolta quasi interamente nell'ombra. Ben poco si sapeva di lui oltre le date di nascita e di morte rese note solo nel 1982 da Raoul Baladié.4 Talbert, invece, pubblicò un gruppo consistente di alcune sue lettere collegate all'impresa di Smith da cui emergeva addirittura il carattere di Müller e la sua dedizione alla scienza («I am guided by the interest of science rather than by motives of purely material kind») che, ad esempio, lo portava a correggere continuamente e fino all'ultimo le sue carte sulla base dei più recenti risultati dell'archeologia (pp. 11, 33, 44).

Seguono poi nel volume un articolo sulle carte disegnate da Pierre Lapie a corredo del Recueil des Itinéraires anciens di Emmanuel Miller (1845), e un testo in cui vengono elencati e esaminati i più significativi atlanti del mondo antico prodotti fra il 1870 e il 1990. Per quanti vogliano accostarsi con consapevolezza e senso critico a tali strumenti questa rassegna costituirà – e, anzi, ha già costituito – un utilissimo punto di riferimento.5

Se in questo primo gruppo di scritti i personaggi e le imprese passati al vaglio sono diversi, il secondo ha invece un unico indiscusso protagonista, il Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Aprono le file tre testi precedentemente inediti: il progetto del Barrington Atlas presentato nel settembre 1990 all'US National Endowment for the Humanities, le norme per i suoi contributori e i report semestrali sullo stato di avanzamento del lavoro redatti fra l'agosto 1991 e il maggio 2000. Avrebbe forse utilmente chiuso la serie la ripubblicazione dell'introduzione poi effettivamente preposta al Barrington Atlas, in modo da mostrare al meglio la relazione, ampiamente positiva, fra scopi iniziali e obiettivi raggiunti. Al suo posto troviamo invece un articolo del 2003, in cui si discuteva retrospettivamente delle finalità perseguite e delle tecniche utilizzate per il Barrington Atlas, ed anche due testi che gettavano uno sguardo sul futuro. Nel primo si proponeva l'istituzione di un centro dedicato alla cartografia del mondo antico, che ha poi effettivamente preso vita (l'Ancient World Mapping Center della University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), mentre il secondo, scritto in collaborazione con Tom Elliot, rifletteva sulle potenzialità del GIS.

Nel momento in cui uno studioso decide di selezionare alcuni dei suoi contributi e di raccoglierli in un libro, questi si caricano di ulteriori significati e permettono di scorgere degli aspetti prima solo latenti. In questo caso emerge evidente l'interpretazione che Talbert dà alla storia degli studi, sentita soprattutto nei suoi risvolti pratici più che storici: le imprese del passato sono discusse per conoscere e comprendere meglio le difficoltà con cui hanno avuto a che fare quanti si sono già cimentati nella realizzazione di una carta del mondo antico al fine di evitarle in futuro. Manca dunque una più profonda contestualizzazione storica delle vicende ripercorse nel volume, ma si apprezza la possibilità di acquisire una migliore conoscenza delle tecniche e delle sfide—i challenges del titolo—sottese alla produzione degli atlanti del mondo antico. Il volume, che giunge in un momento in cui le ricerche sulla ricezione della geografia antica fra XIX e XX secolo si ritagliano uno spazio crescente,6 riuscirà di grande utilità agli studiosi di storia della cartografia, di storia degli studi classici e a chiunque voglia capire meglio cosa significa davvero disegnare la carta di un mondo oggi scomparso.


Introduction, p. 1
1. rec. W. Goffart, Historical Atlases: The First Three Hunderd Years. 1570-1870, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2003 (2003), p. 6
2. introduzione a W. Smith, G. Grove (ed.), Atlas of Ancient Geography Biblical and Classical, London: I.B. Tauris, 2013, p. 8
3. Carl Müller (1813-1894), S. Jacobs, and the Making of Classical Maps in Paris for John Murray (1994), p. 20
4. A Forgotten Masterpiece of Cartography for Roman Historians: Pierre Lapie's Orbis Romanus ad illustranda itineraria (2008), p. 49
5. introduzione a H. Kiepert, Formae Orbis Antiqui, Roma: Quasar 1996, p. 61
6. The Primary Classical Atlases and Map Series between 1870 and 1990 (1992), p. 69
7. rec. S. Débarre, Cartographier l'Asie Mineure. L'orientalisme allemand à l'épreuve du terrain (1835-1895), Paris: Peeters 2016 (2017), p. 110
8. Classical Atlas Project: Narrative Description 1990 (inedito), p. 113
9. Classical Atlas Project: Instructions for Compilers 1990 (inedito), p. 122
10. Classical Atlas Project: Half-yearly Reports to the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, August 1991-May 2000 (inedito), p. 129
11. Maps for the Classical World: Where Do We Go from Here? (1997), p. 166
12. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World: The Cartographic Fundamentals in Retrospect (2003), p. 169
13. Mapping the Ancient World (2002), p. 188
14. rec. A.-M. Wittke, E. Olshausen, R. Szydak, Historischer Atlas der antiken Welt. Der Neue Pauly. Supplemente. Band 3, Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2007 (2009), p. 193
Index, p. 199


1.   Di questa è ora possibile avere un'idea precisa grazie all'utilissima bibliografia degli scritti di Talbert pubblicata in L.L. Brice, D. Slootjes (ed.), Aspects of Ancient Institutions and Geography. Studies in Honor of Richard J.A. Talbert, Leiden: Brill 2015; cf. BMCR 2018.12.42.
2.   Tuttavia, sarebbe stata necessaria una revisione linguistica dei vari documenti in modo da eliminare refusi e errori di trascrizione (e.g. p. 32, l. 7 dal basso: leggere altère in luogo di attère; p. 36, l. 14 dal basso: eu in luogo di en; p. 43, l. 3: Ainsi in luogo di Suffi).
3.   BMCR 2009.07.22. Anche la recensione allo studio di Ségolène Débarre era già apparsa su questa rivista: BMCR 2017.05.27.
4.   R. Baladié, Pour une nouvelle édition des géographes grecs mineurs, in Cahiers du Centre G. Radet 2, 1982, p. 11, n. 7. Successivo a quello di Talbert il contributo di D. Marcotte, Un manuscrit de Carl Müller, in L. Canfora (ed.), Studi sulla tradizione classica per Mariella Cagnetta, Roma-Bari: Laterza, 1999, p. 331-336.
5.   Particolarmente utile la seconda appendice, in cui si raccolgono gli indici di tutti gli atlanti discussi all'interno dell'articolo. Non mi pare sia esplicitata nel volume l'originaria sede di pubblicazione dell'articolo (Journal of Roman Archaeology 5, 1992, pp. 5-38).
6.   Due recenti incontri di studio – uno svoltosi a Bari nel 2017 ed uno a Firenze nel 2018 – hanno esplicitamente avuto questo tema come esclusivo oggetto di indagine. Gli atti del primo sono da poco stati pubblicati a cura di chi scrive (in «Futuro Classico» 4, 2018), mentre quelli del secondo sono in preparazione per le cure di Serena Bianchetti e Veronica Bucciantini.

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Jason Tuckwell, Creation and the Function of Art: Technē, Poiesis, and the Problem of Aesthetics. Bloomsbury studies in continental philosophy. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. Pp. viii, 231. ISBN 9781350010765. $95.99.

Reviewed by Janet M. Atwill, University of Tennessee (jatwill@utk.edu)

Version at BMCR home site


Drawing on elements of Aristotle's depiction of technē, Jason Tuckwell offers an account of artistic production embedded in the work of continental philosophers and an eclectic array of theoretical mathematicians and evolutionary theorists. Tuckwell demonstrates familiarity with the Aristotelian corpus throughout the text; specific references, however, are often relegated to endnotes. Moreover, the liberties Tuckwell admits he takes with Aristotle may put off some readers from the start. For example, he explains that his argument requires that he "diverge from Aristotle for whom technē is a rational faculty" (3). The elements of Aristotle's philosophy that most inform Tuckwell's discussion are the distinctions between technē and epistēmē and the relationships between nature and material and efficient causality. The result is a dense read, likely to have the most appeal to those whose intellectual commitments are grounded less in ancient philosophy than in continental/postmodern thought.

The author begins with the premise that contemporary aesthetic theory continues to view the work of art as an "object for ideal contemplation" (8). In contrast, technē is the "power of the particular," which, he asserts, has nothing to do with imitating a form (1). Chapter One argues that technē performs a radical critique of epistēmē. Entitled "Functions and Models," the chapter posits that technē redefines the conventional paradigm of problem formation whereby "the value of a problem often concerns how well it anticipates its own resolution" (2). Under the sign of technē, problems are not there to be solved: "problems are approached via their inherently productive and generative properties—they create and disgorge differences" (2). Tuckwell goes on to summarize Gilles Deleuze's critique of Plato and then invokes a phalanx of theoretical mathematicians to support this alternative epistemology: Benoit Mandelbrot, L. E. J. Brouwer, Alan Turing, Albert Lautman, Fernando Zalamea, Norman Madarasz, and Colin McLarty. Not all of these theorists are found in the bibliography. For example, Tuckwell appears to draw on Hermann Weyl for his interpretation of Brouwer and Zalamea for Lautman. But by Tuckwell's account, all challenge the notion of a "scientific epistēmē," which the author identifies with "eternal, unchanging 'truths'" (14). Thus Brouwer's mathematical "intuitionalism" yields a "dynamic" theory of function that brings "a resolute skepticism to bear upon universal propositions or axioms" (17), and the mathematician's rejection of the "law of the excluded middle" disrupts a correspondence theory of representation (18-19). Little effort is made to define the particularities of epistēmē in Plato's or Aristotle's own terms. Tuckwell is intent on replacing "certainty" and "representation" with Brouwer's notion of "repetition and creative transformation" (20). This artistic process is increasingly depicted as autonomous, and artists are, more or less, incidental agents: "the function of creation works to overcome origination" (46); and "[t]he work of art is functional"—but in an "autopoietic" sense (48). Innovation—or poēsis—is defined as deviation in that process: "Functions are irruptive events; in the midst of poesis [sic], they are the emergence of something new, precisely insofar as they deviate the productive order" (47).

Chapter Two elaborates Tuckwell's theory of artistic subjectivity. On the one hand, his subject is the product of poēsis—"a largely primary, bottom up, generative process [that] is responsible for the appearance of all beings" (53). On the other hand, technē persists in a dialectical relationship with "bodies": "Technē governs transformations from bodies to ideas and from ideas to bodies" (57). Direct questions about artistic intention are largely negated by the theoretical terms of this chapter, which draws on René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Lacan. Cartesian doubt "dismantles all ties between immanent presence and epistēmē" (56). Paraphrasing Freud, Tuckwell asserts that the psychoanalyst's notion of the unconscious deals "a third Copernican blow to the centrality of the subject" (68). But the unconscious is so closely tied to processes associated with technē that it appears as a set of psychic operations, despite Tuckwell's claims for its autopoietic character. In his treatment of Lacan, Tuckwell goes so far as to posit that we might "locate technē in how Lacan addressees the process of formative functionality in his theory of the mirror stage" (70). Still, within the terms of Lacanian psychology, Tuckwell ascribes to technē a "higher order autopoietic" function, an "immanent agency" (73).

Chapter Three, entitled "Deviant Technē", begins in more familiar territory, but as the chapter develops much of that territory is found in endnotes (pp. 194-6). Tuckwell's primary concern could be defined as agency. Tuckwell quotes generously from Aristotle's discussion in the Physics of the four causes and art's relationship to nature. Tuckwell's sense of agency would seem to be well served by Aristotle's concepts of efficient and material causality. He invokes Aristotle's example in the Physics of the relationship between the tree and the bed: "the work of art deviates the generative progression of the tree (telos) so that its materiality may be fashioned into a bed" (85). Tuckwell places formal and final causality in the domain of unchanging epistēmē, an interpretation that dismisses the situated and temporal senses of telos found in various places in the corpus. For example, in the Poetics Aristotle suggests that the end of tragedy is catharsis in the audience (1449b28), and in the Rhetoric the hearer is explicitly described as the telos of a speech (1358b1-2). Despite Tuckwell's resistance to such conventional notions as "nature," he relies on evolutionary theory to explain the agency associated with technē. He begins with French philosopher Gilbert Simondon's theory of "machinic evolution." In broad terms, Simondon argues that technological evolution proceeds without a well-defined starting point (let alone a formal cause) and it develops with no telos (89-94). Tuckwell goes on to compare the evolutionary models of Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, maintaining that the recursiveness in Lamarck's theory of adaptation has more in common with technē than Darwin's dependence on random mutation (110-14). Basically, Tuckwell attempts to use technē to illustrate a kind of purposive activity that proceeds without a rational agent or a point of origination or end.

The final chapter is entitled "The Function of Art." Though one might expect some engagement with audience (or aesthetic) response, Tuckwell offers instead an iteration of the processes he associates with technē, declaring that poēsis consists of two. The first, primary process is identified with production; its material causes are "dominated by repetition and strongly determine what is brought into being" (132). The second process works "by deviating 'primary' processes" (132). He describes it as "an entire counterflow of efficient causes that emerge at every particular being" (132). At this point, Tuckwell acknowledges that some form of rationality and human intervention are essential to the artistic process. It is "animated" by "logistikós—the series of calculations without which thought is not possible" (133). And: "Poesis does not diversify and diverge of itself—it is forced to deviate by particular beings" (133). Having acknowledged that art requires some kind of rational calculation, as well as the intervention of living beings, Tuckwell assumes a more conventional vocabulary and tone through the end of the chapter. He surveys disciplinary distinctions that shape difference art forms (137-43). And the riddle of human subjectivity is answered, basically, with the acknowledgement that art creates subjects, and subjects create art.

I have summarized only a sampling of the theories Tuckwell brings to his task of creating an epistemology—perhaps even an ontology—based on his interpretation of Aristotelian technē. As a reader I am left with two questions: one rhetorical and the other philosophical. Is it wise to bring in every theory at hand to make such an argument? There are flashes of brilliance in some of the connections Tuckwell makes with diverse areas of inquiry. Evolutionary theories may, indeed, offer a useful perspective on Aristotle's sense of nature and efficient causality. However, when a text devolves into charts reminiscent of high school calculus, readers like myself begin to question the good-faith relationship a reader wants to maintain with a writer. Philosophically, I am struck by the dogmatic character of a postmodern orientation that requires such intellectual acrobatics simply to avoid ascribing agency to a human being. Those who do not find such gymnastics excessively tedious will appreciate this book.

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Gabriella Bertolini, Kosmos tis somatikos: il "sistema" metaforico del Filebo di Platone. Ricerche di filologia, letteratura e storia, 25. Roma: Tored, 2018. Pp. 371. ISBN 9788899846053. €40,00 (pb).

Reviewed by Diego De Brasi, Philipps-Universität Marburg (debrasi@uni-marburg.de)

Version at BMCR home site

[The author apologizes for the lateness of this review.]

Schon seit der Antike gilt Platons Philebos als 'sperriger' Dialog ohne große literarische Ansprüche.1 In dieser Hinsicht ist Gabriella Bertolinis Buch, das nach meiner Kenntnis die erste monographische Untersuchung mit einem Fokus auf literarischen Aspekten des Dialogs darstellt, eine willkommene Ergänzung der Sekundärliteratur zum Philebos. 2

Bertolinis Monographie ist äußerst leserfreundlich strukturiert: Auf eine kurze Einleitung (Introduzione generale, 5-28) folgen ein Kapitel, das die verschiedenen semantischen Felder der im Dialog auftretenden Metaphern im Licht des gesamten platonischen Oeuvres präsentiert (29-81), und zwei Kapitel, die grundsätzlich eine fortlaufende Lektüre des Dialogs darbieten. Dabei liegt das Augenmerk eher auf dem ersten, etwas kürzeren Teil des Philebos (11a-31b1), während die Behandlung des zweiten Teils, der sich über fast vierzig Stephanusseiten erstreckt und damit fast doppelt so lang wie der erste Teil ist (31b2-67b13), etwas kürzer ausfällt (Kap. 2: 83-171; Kap. 3: 173-242). Dies lässt sich durchaus durch den Charakter des Dialogs selbst erklären: Der erste Teil des Philebos präsentiert eindeutig die meisten und am ausführlichsten ausgearbeiteten metaphorischen Referenzen, der zweite Teil ist hingegen aus philosophischer Perspektive dichter, aber in literarischer Hinsicht etwas weniger ausgearbeitet als sein Pendant. In einem Fazit resümiert Bertolini systematisch die Ergebnisse ihrer Analyse (Conclusioni, 243-273). Zwei appendices bieten eine ausführliche und sehr nützliche Zusammenstellung aller Passagen des Dialogs, in denen Metaphern und Personifikationen vorkommen, begleitet von einer italienischen Übersetzung (275-301; 303-333). Ein dritter appendix setzt sich mit der Frage nach der Einheit des Dialogs auseinander (335-338). Der Band wird durch eine Bibliographie (339-348), einem Index locorum (349-361) und einem Index nominum (363-367) abgerundet.

Ausgangspunkt der Analyse ist hauptsächlich eine Auseinandersetzung mit der von Elizabeth E. Pender vorgelegten Untersuchung zu den platonischen Metaphern.3 Insbesondere akzeptiert Bertolini Penders Annahme, dass bei Platon Metaphern und Personifikationen keine kognitive Funktion haben, nicht. In methodischer Hinsicht beruft Bertolini sich hingegen vor allem auf die Terminologie von Michael Silk, der in Anlehnung an I. A. Richards in einer Metapher drei Elemente erkennt: das tenor (T), d.h. das Bezeichnete, das vehicle (V), d.h. das Bezeichnende, und schließlich sogenannte neutral terms, d.h. Begrifflichkeiten, die kontextabhängig sowohl dem tenor als auch dem vehicle zugeordnet werden können. Seltsamerweise wird jedoch diese Terminologie im Laufe der Textanalyse nicht wirklich angewandt und nur zu Beginn des abschließenden Fazits in einer Anmerkung kurz erwähnt (Fußnote 1, S. 243) sowie am Ende der Analyse wiederaufgenommen (265-267), so dass man sich als Leser fragt, ob sie von der Autorin tatsächlich für hermeneutisch tragfähig gehalten wird.

Grundsätzlich ist bei einer Besprechung von Bertolinis Buch die Wertung seiner Grundthese und Gesamtdarstellung von der Würdigung der zahlreichen, punktuellen philologischen Kommentare zu einzelnen Passagen des Dialogs zu unterscheiden. Beide fallen durchaus positiv aus, wobei in Hinsicht auf die Grundthese auch einige kritische Bemerkungen geäußert werden müssen.

Bertolini arbeitet fünf metaphorische Felder heraus, die im Philebos bedeutungstragend sind:

i. agonistische Metaphorik
ii. Personifikationen
iii. Jagdmetaphorik
iv. Wegmetaphorik
v. religiöse Metaphorik

Dabei betont Bertolini, dass all diese metaphorischen Felder miteinander verflochten sind und zu besonderen theatralischen Effekten im Dialog beitragen (265-272). Ferner stellt sie fest, dass hauptsächlich die agonistische Metaphorik und die Personifikation des logos als tatsächlicher Akteur des Dialogs sinntragend für die Wirkungsentfaltung des Textes auf den Rezipienten sind. Beide Aspekte sind vor allem in der Eingangs- und Abschlussszene des Dialogs präsent und tragen dazu bei, im Philebos eine Ringkomposition zu erkennen. Zentral für Bertolini ist in dieser Hinsicht, dass sowohl die agonistische Metaphorik als auch die Personifikation des logos in der Ökonomie des Dialogs sozusagen instrumentalisiert werden, um den Unterschied zwischen dem ‚unproduktiven' Streit von Philebos und Sokrates, der dem im Dialog dargestellten Gespräch zwischen Sokrates und Protarchos vorausgegangen war, und eben dieser philosophisch fruchtbaren Unterhaltung hervorzuheben. Die literarische Analyse der von Platon verwendeten Metaphorik scheint also eine Lektüre zu unterstützen, welche auch in einem ‚späten' Dialog wie dem Philebos die aus den sogenannten sokratisch-aporetischen und mittleren Dialogen bekannte Dichotomie von Philosophieren im Sinne des platonischen dialegesthai und nicht-philosophischem, auf den Diskussionssieg orientierten Diskutieren in den Fokus rückt. Obwohl bereits diese Erkenntnis die hermeneutische Diskussion zu diesem Dialog weiterführen kann, hätte man sich an dieser Stelle – und dies ist m.E. das größte Manko des Buches – eine deutlichere Positionierung der Autorin gewünscht sowohl innerhalb der wichtigsten Stränge der heutigen Platonforschung als auch und vor allem zur philosophischen Interpretation des Dialogs selbst. Denn weder nimmt Bertolini explizit Stellung in der Debatte um einen skeptischen, immer suchenden oder dogmatischen, esoterischen Platon (vgl. 227), noch versucht sie, Überlegungen zu den systematischen Fragestellungen anzustellen, die den Zugang zum Philebos geprägt haben, wie z.B. die Frage nach der möglichen Bedeutung der am Ende des Dialogs präsentierte Wertskala. Vielmehr beschränkt sie sich darauf, zu bemerken, dass bei der Behandlung solcher systematischer Fragestellungen die literarischen Aspekte nicht oder zumindest nicht genügend berücksichtigt werden (233). Freilich kann und sollte man aufgrund von Bertolinis Analyse nun diese Aspekte bei künftigen philosophischen Interpretationen des Dialogs einbeziehen. Hätte die Autorin indes auch selbst Stellung zu diesem Problemgeflecht genommen, wäre die Argumentation sicherlich ausgewogener gewesen.

Betrachtet man hingegen die zahlreichen, in der durchgehenden Analyse des Dialogs immer wieder vorkommenden philologischen, semantischen und textkritischen Anmerkungen, ist Bertolini für ihren differenzierenden, nach Möglichkeit allen in der Platonforschung gebotenen Deutungen einer Passage berücksichtigenden Zugang zum Text zu preisen. Ich beschränke mich auf zwei Beispiele, um dies zu verdeutlichen. In 13d3-8 lesen wir:

ὅτι σε μιμούμενος ἐγὼ καὶ ἀμυνόμενος ἐὰν τολμῶ λέγειν ὡς τὸ ἀνομοιότατόν ἐστι τῷ ἀνομοιοτάτῳ πάντων ὁμοιότατον, ἕξω τὰ αὐτὰ σοὶ λέγειν, καὶ φανούμεθά γε νεώτεροι τοῦ δέοντος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἡμῖν ἐκπεσὼν οἰχήσεται. πάλιν οὖν αὐτὸν ἀνακρουώμεθα, καὶ τάχ᾽ ἂν ἰόντες εἰς τὰς ὁμοίας ἴσως ἄν πως ἀλλήλοις συγχωρήσαιμεν.
In zeitgenössischen Kommentaren wird die Passage als nautische Metapher interpretiert. Dorothea Frede übersetzt z.B.:
Wenn ich meinerseits, um dich nachzumachen und mich zu verteidigen, erdreistete zu sagen, das Unähnlichste sei dem Unhähnlichsten von allen am ähnlichsten, – solche Behauptungen wären von der gleichen Art wie deine. Damit würden wir uns aber ungebührlich kindisch aufführen und unser ganzes Gespräch würde stranden. Wir sollten es lieber wieder flottmachen; vielleicht erreichen wir ja eine gemeinsame Basis, wenn wir einander gewisse Konzessionen machen.4
Obwohl sie letztendlich diese Deutung offenbar bevorzugt, erinnert Bertolini zunächst daran, dass diese Interpretation in der Antike und bis Henri Estienne mit einer anderen konkurrierte, wonach ἀνακρουώμεθα im Sinne von ‚anstimmen' aufgefasst wurde. Erst mit Stallbaum habe sich die nautische Interpretation durchgesetzt. Davon ausgehend betrachtet sie dann die verschiedenen Implikationen beider Deutungen, wobei ihre Ausführungen auf einer soliden Überprüfung der Bedeutung des Verbs ἀνακρούομαι in verschiedenen Gattungen und Epochen und insbesondere in der alten Komödie basieren (98-102).

Bei ihrer Analyse von 14b1-4 diskutiert sie hingegen mit Präzision die unterschiedlichen lectiones des Textes und argumentiert plausibel für minimale aber wichtige Änderungen zum Text der editio oxoniensis (111-115).5

Alles in allem ist es Bertolini gelungen, eine gut lesbare, anregende literarische Analyse des Philebos zu bieten, auf der, hoffentlich, künftige Untersuchungen aufbauen werden. Ihr Verdienst besteht vor allem darin, mit philologischer Präzision verschiedene Passagen beleuchtet und systematisch als Zeichen eines Narrativs interpretiert zu haben, welches das platonische dialegesthai als Königsweg zur Erkenntnis darstellt.


1.   Siehe in jüngster Zeit z.B. John V. Garner, The Emerging Good in Plato's Philebus (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2017) (BMCR 2018.09.28), der etwas lapidar urteilt: "Unlike other dialogues of Plato, the Philebus is far from a dramatic masterpiece" (ix).
2.   Freilich ist der Philebos schon öfters Objekt eher literaturwissenschaftlich orientierter Analysen, wobei auch in solchen Fällen das Augenmerk vor allem auf der philosophischen Relevanz einiger allgemeiner Aspekte, wie z.B. die Bedeutung der Dialogform, die Frage nach der rezeptionsästhetischen Intention bzw. die Darstellung der Gesprächspartner, lag. Vgl. z.B. Christopher Gill, „Dialogue Form and Philosophical Content in Plato's Philebus", in Plato's Philebus. Selected Papers from the Eight Symposium Platonicum, edited by John Dillon and Luc Brisson (Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag 2010), 47-55 ; Annie Larivée, „Le Philèbe, un protreptique?", Phoenix 65 (2011), 53-65; Thomas Alexander Szlezák, Das Bild des Dialektikers in Platons späten Dialogen, (Berlin/New York, 2004) (zum Philebos: 193-217).
3.   Elizabeth E. Pender, Images of Persons Unseen. Plato's Metaphors for the Gods and the Soul, International Plato Studies 11 (Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 2000).
4.   Frede geht auf die Doppeldeutigkeit des Ausdrucks in ihrer Anmerkung 3, S. 16 ein, verweist jedoch nur auf Goslings Kommentar (Oxford 1975, 78) und lehnt die Interpretation (vielleicht etwas verfrüht) kategorisch ab.
5.   τὴν τοίνυν διαφορότητα, ὦ Πρώταρχε, τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ τοῦ τ᾽ ἐμοῦ καὶ τοῦ σοῦ μὴ ἀποκρυπτόμενοι, κατατιθέντες δὲ εἰς τὸ μέσον, τολμῶμεν, ἄν πῃ ἐλεγχομένω μηνύσωσι πότερον ἡδονὴν τἀγαθὸν δεῖ λέγειν ἢ φρόνησιν ἤ τι τρίτον ἄλλο εἶναι. Der Oxforder Herausgeber, John Burnet, folgt Robert G. Bury in der Tilgung von τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ und lehnt Grovius' Emendation ἐλεγχομένω für ἐλεγχόμενοι der handschriftlichen Tradition ab.

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Monday, May 20, 2019


Paola Angeli Bernardini, Maria Grazia Fileni, Tipologie e modalità della mediazione nella Grecia antica: le fonti letterarie. Biblioteca di Quaderni urbinati di cultura classica, 14. Pisa; Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2017. Pp. 148. ISBN 9788862279895. €48,00 (pb). ISBN 9788862279918. ebook.

Reviewed by Giovanna De Sensi Sestito, Università della Calabria (giovanna.desensi@unical.it)

Version at BMCR home site

[Authors and titles are listed below.]

Il volume compare nella Biblioteca di «Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica» (nr. 14); trae origine dal convegno sul tema tenutosi presso l'Università di Urbino nel 2016 e propone una versione molto ampliata delle relazioni svolte in quella sede.

Nell'Introduzione A. P. Bernardini (9-14) sottolinea l'importanza che ha la parola in ogni forma di intermediazione per dare conto della scelta "filologica" di circoscrive alle fonti letterarie di ambito greco il campo d'indagine su cui vertono i contributi del volume, rispetto alla molteplicità di approcci ed ambiti possibili per un tema che investe l'intera gamma dell'agire umano.

Delle tre sezioni in cui si articola il volume, la prima (Dal testo al contesto conciliatorio) contiene quattro saggi che affrontano il tema della mediazione nell'ambio consueto della vita sociale, politica, religiosa e familiare. Andrea Cozzo (17-27), che ha di recente imposto all'attenzione degli studiosi il tema della mediazione con la sua trattazione a tutto campo,1 qui si sofferma in particolare sul ruolo difficile e delicato del mediatore ideale, ricercandone nei testi le qualità fondamentali, i tipi di argomento (razionali, emotivi, valoriali) da utilizzare nei diversi contesti per favorire la riconciliazione e l'abilità di porsi in relazione con le parti e di farle interagire con rispetto e gentilezza.

I poemi omerici sono un campo privilegiato di indagine sulla mediazione umana e divina per la riccchezza delle situazioni che esemplificano. Maria Grazia Fileni (28-38) affronta il tema in riferimento sia alla mediazione fisica, con l'interposizione di figure umane e divine, sia alle strategie retoriche della persuasione, analizzate in dettaglio nel I libro dell'Iliade nel contesto dei dissidi tra gli dei sull'Olimpo e sul campo davanti a Troia. Muovendosi sulla traccia del volume di A. Cozzo, Alberto Camerotto (39-51) sviluppa il tema dell'alterità e del superamento della contrapposizione etnica attraverso la xenia, richiamando i vari contesti dell'Iliade e dell'Odissea che si prestano ad illustrarli. Oretta Olivieri (52-59) sposta l'attenzione sui rapporti interpersonali riflessi nella lirica arcaica e sul diverso modello di equidistanza che Solone interpreta all'interno di tutta la società ateniese e invece Teognide circoscrive alla cerchia dei pari, nel contesto del simposio, il solo deputato alla riflessione politica.

Nella seconda sezione (La mediazione nel teatro) l'attenzione si concentra sulla mediazione narrativa, di interesse recente nel campo degli studi filologici, qui indagata nelle opere teatrali. Liana Lomiento e Marco Dorati (63-82) affrontano il tema in Sofocle per mettere a fuoco la sottile mediazione che il il poeta svolge nei confronti del suo pubblico tra la versione tradizionale del mito e la sua originale trasposizione, salvaguardando la compatibilità complessiva del "destino" mitologico dei personaggi, reinventati nella loro complessità psicologica. Affrontando separatamente due tipologie, L. Lomiento illustra i casi di conflitti impossibili e mediazioni necessarie nelle tragedie Trachinie, Elettra e Filottete, mentre M. Dorati tratta delle mediazioni impossibili e dei conflitti necessari riflessi nell'Edipo a Colono e nell'Aiace.

I diversi livelli della mediazione del coro nella tragedia (drammatico, rituale, performativo, mitico) sono analizzati da Giampaolo Galvani (83-95) all'interno dell'Andromaca di Euripide, dove si esplica, in tutta la sua complessità, su tre diversi piani, quello drammatico che oppone nell'oikos Andromaca ad Ermione, quella della contrapposizione della situazione storica presente a quella della guerra di Troia, e infine nell'accostamento di generi letterari diversi con l'inserimento dell'epinicio per Peleo. Luigi Bravi (96-102) propone una analoga indagine sul coro dell'agone comico, volta ad individuare costanti, variabili, e peculiarità nelle strutture agonali presenti in otto delle undici commedie pervenute di Aristofane.

La terza sezione (Mesotes religiosa e mesotes politica) riporta il tema sul terreno tradizionale della vita religiosa, sociale e politica. Donato Lo Scalzo (105-116) analizza le diverse forme in cui gli animali svolgono una funzione di mediazione tra dèi e uomini, dal valore simbolico di alcuni di essi e soprattutto degli ibridi, alla funzione sacrificale e di strumento della comunicazione col divino, alla mediazione sapienziale consolidata nella tradizione favolistica e dei proverbi. Nicola Serafini (117-124) analizza il ruolo di mediatore tra l'umano e il divino che il sacerdote svolge nella religione greca non solo sul piano religioso, ma anche su quello politico ed economico, ben documentato soprattutto in età ellenistica. Infine Mauro Moggi (125-132) offre una fine, sintetica, riflessione sul ruolo risolutivo che Aristotele attribuisce alla mesotes come valore comune condiviso, e al ceto politico dei mesoi e alla mese politeia come antidoto preventivo della lotta civile e come condizione per preservare l'homonoia nella polis.

Nel volume la mediazione è assunta come una lente di ingrandimento per cogliere più a fondo, nei diversi testi sottoposti ad analisi, dinamiche e strategie di volta in volta praticate in vari contesti. È proprio il tema a dare unità al volume, che rappresenta un tentativo riuscito e un modello replicabile per ripensare in termini di mediazione i vasti campi del sapere, oltre che dell'agire antico. Il volume è completato da utili indici dei nomi e dei passi discussi.

Autori e titoli

Paola Angeli Bernardini, Introduzione
Andrea Cozzo, "La mediazione o la difficile arte di mettere d'accordo nella Grecia antica. Cosa dire e come dirlo"
Maria Grazia Fileni, "Aspetti della mediazione umana e divina nell'Iliade"
Alberto Camerotto, "Le parole alate nel mezzo: variazioni epiche tra il duello e la xenia"
Oretta Olivieri, "Teognide, il poeta che non media"
Liana Lomiento, Marco Dorati, "La mediazione narrativa nella tragedia di Sofocle"
Giampaolo Galvani, "La mediazione del coro nell'Andromaca di Euripide"
Luigi Bravi, "Il ruolo di mediazione del coro nell'agone comico"
Donato Loscalzo, "Animali tra dèi e uomini nella Grecia antica"
Nicola Serafini, "La figura del sacerdote e il suo ruolo di mediatore fra divino e umano"
Mauro Moggi, "Mesotes, mesoi, meson: l'antidoto aristotelico contro la stasis"


1.   A. Cozzo, «Nel mezzo». Microfisica della mediazione nel mondo greco antico, Pisa 2014.

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Roland Glaesser, Lucan lesen - ein Gang durch das Bellum Civile. Sprachwissenschaftliche Studienbücher. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2018. Pp. 202. ISBN 9783825368791. €19,00 (pb).

Reviewed by Matthias Heinemann, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (heinemam@uni-mainz.de)

Version at BMCR home site


Roland Glaesser hat sich mit seinem Gang durch das Bellum Civile Lucans vorgenommen, das Publikum für das Epos von LucanspezialistInnen auf StudienanfängerInnen, LehrerInnen und Literaturinteressierte auszudehnen. Der Verfasser, der zum furor-Begriff bei Lucan promoviert hat und sich bereits zuvor für die Vermittlung Lucans in der Schule eingesetzt hat,1 sieht sein Werk entsprechend nicht als „Forschungsbericht oder eine eingehende fachwissenschaftliche Untersuchung" (S. 9).

Eine Einführung zu Lucans Bellum Civile ist durchaus ein Forschungsdesiderat: Vergleichbar ist allenfalls Frederick M. Ahls nur auf Englisch erschienenes Werk Lucan – An Introduction (1976). Glaessers Lucan lesen dürfte also einerseits den Forschungsstand aktualisieren und beseitigt andererseits eine mögliche Sprachbarriere für das deutsche Publikum.

Glaesser gliedert sein Buch in zwei Hauptteile („Teil 1: Eine Werkschau – Das Bellum Civile Lucans", S. 11-115; „Teil 2: Themen und Aspekte des Bellum Civile", S. 116-157). Diesen schickt er eine anderthalbseitige Einleitung („Lucan und seine Zeit", S. 10-11) voraus, in der er knapp Lucans Leben darstellt. Schon an dieser Stelle ergibt sich aber eine grundsätzliche Problematik, die in einer Einleitung zu einem Themenfeld vermieden werden sollte: In der Frage nach der Vollendung des Bellum Civile legt Glaesser sich dahingehend fest, dass das Werk als unvollendet zu gelten hat und suggeriert, dass dies die communis opinio der Fachwelt sei.2 Jüngst zeigte Christine Walde (2017) aber, dass die Diskussion um die Abgeschlossenheit des Bellum Civile zum einen nicht beendet, zum anderen aber auch insgesamt infrage zu stellen ist.3

Im ersten Hauptteil stellt Glaesser seine Werkschau vor (S. 11-115). Buch für Buch präsentiert er textchronologisch den Inhalt des Bellum Civile, indem er mit wenigen einleitenden Worten das jeweilige Buch in grobe Abschnitte gliedert: Seine Ausführungen zum ersten Buch Lucans etwa sind in drei Unterabschnitte („1,1 – 182: Das Proöm", S. 12; „1,183 – 391: Rubico-Überschreitung und eine Redetrias", S. 17; „1,466 – 695: Stimmung in Rom, Vorzeichen und Vorhersagen", S. 21) aufgeteilt.4 Diese strukturschaffenden Grobabschnitte unterteilt er meist noch einmal feiner durch Kurzüberschriften, etwa „Die Patria und der fehlende Würfel" zu 1,186-227 (S. 18).5 In den Unterkapiteln paraphrasiert Glaesser das Geschehen kommentierend („[Lentulus] ruft dazu auf, Pompeius den Oberbefehl zu übertragen. Diese nachgeschobene Ermächtigung erhebt diesen endgültig zum Vertreter der res publica d. h. der besseren Sache" (S. 45)). Diese strukturierte Vorgehensweise leuchtet durchaus ein, da so der Inhalt des Epos kompakt dargestellt werden kann. Damit wird ein Desiderat des intendierten Zielpublikums erfüllt, das ein Interesse daran haben dürfte, die Handlung des Bellum Civile möglichst effizient erfassen zu können.6 Zudem verdeutlicht der Durchgang durch das gesamte Werk, dass Lucan nicht auf Auszügen oder Einzelszenen basierend interpretiert werden kann. Allerdings liefert Glaesser—und hier wiederholt sich, was sich schon an seiner Darstellung der Frage nach der Vollendung des Werkes in der Einleitung gezeigt hat—gleichzeitig zur Präsentation der Handlung häufig nur (s)eine Interpretation des Geschehens. Alternative Deutungen bleiben an vielen Stellen außen vor (oder werden allenfalls in den Endnoten gestreift). Dabei müsste doch gerade die Einführung in ein Werk nicht nur offen für Varianten abseits der eigenen Meinung sein, sondern den Rezipienten mögliche Ambivalenzen vor Augen führen; gerade diese Ambivalenzen zeichnen Lucans Epos ja aus, was die in der Forschungsliteratur vorhandenen Kontroversen deutlich zeigen. So erfährt etwa der Marsch Catos durch die Wüste (Luc. 9,371b-949, S. 94-104) nur wenig Problematisierung. Dass Cato im Namen der virtus seine Soldaten in einen grausamen Tod führt, erkennt Glaesser zwar auf der Handlungsebene als nichtige Tat des „vorbildlichen Feldherrn" (S. 99), sieht aber dennoch eine erfolgreiche Sinngebung auf der Textebene. Auch die Parallelen und Unterschiede zwischen Cato und Alexander (und Caesar) werden sehr einseitig und vereinfacht präsentiert: Cato sei das „Gegenbild" der zwei anderen Feldherren (S. 97). Dies entspricht nicht dem aktuellen Forschungsstand, da etwa Maes (2009) und Kimmerle (2013) aufgezeigt haben, dass durch diese Parallelen-Trias die Grenzen zwischen den drei Figuren eher verschwimmen, als dass scharfe Konturen entstünden.7 Bezeichnenderweise fehlen beide Werke im Literaturverzeichnis.

Dass Glaesser Alternativen, soweit er sie überhaupt aufzeigt, häufig in die Endnoten verlagert, wird etwa an der Szene des Abholzens des heiligen Hains bei Massilia (Luc. 3,372b-452) ersichtlich. Glaesser sieht Caesars Vorgehen als klar negativ an („Damit ist die Tat negativ gewertet", S. 35f.). Schon Matthew Leigh (1999) interpretiert die Szene ganz im Gegenteil positiv; auch Dorothee Gall (2005) hat glaubhaft gezeigt, dass die Szene nicht negativ gewertet wird. Glaesser erwähnt beide Artikel in der Endnote 18 zu Buch 3 (S. 168), lässt im Fließtext aber weder eine mögliche Zweideutigkeit erkennen, noch bezieht er in seiner Endnote überhaupt Stellung zu den konträren Meinungen.8 Gerade weil dieses Buch kein wissenschaftliches Zielpublikum avisiert, müsste den Leserinnen und Lesern vermittelt werden, dass es durchaus Gegenentwürfe zu den vorgestellten Interpretationen gibt.

Der zweite Hauptteil („Themen und Aspekte", S. 116-156) skizziert einige der vorherrschenden Forschungsfragen zum Bellum Civile: Das Fehlen des „traditionellen" Götterapparates und die diffus auftretenden Schicksalsmächte interpretiert Glaesser unter Einbezug aktueller Forschungsmeinungen als Zweifel des Erzählers am Sinn des Weltgeschehens (S. 116-124). Er erkennt Lucan richtig als „frei gestaltende[n] Epiker" (S. 124), der Historiographie zwar nutze, aber kein historisch „wirkliches" Geschehen produziere. Im Folgenden charakterisiert Glaesser die Hauptpersonen des Epos („Figuren im Netz der Deutung", S. 124-132). Caesar steigere sich im Verlauf des Werks zum „Dämon des alles zerstörenden furor" (S. 125), Pompeius könne als tragische Gestalt gesehen werden, Cato sei ein idealer stoischer Weiser. Glaesser hält aber zurecht fest, dass eine Betrachtung der Hauptpersonen als Beispiele eines stoischen Menschenbildes fehlginge, da stattdessen die Sinnlosigkeit des Tuns Hauptthema ist. Nichtsdestotrotz wird auch an der nachträglichen Charakterisierung der Hauptfiguren noch einmal deutlich, dass Glaesser nicht die gesamte Bandbreite der zur Verfügung stehenden Forschung präsentiert: Die Figuren Lucans lassen sich, wie etwa Walde (2003 & 2006) und Maes (2009) aufgezeigt haben,9 nicht einfach und eindeutig charakterisieren. Im folgenden Kapitel („Dichterisches", S. 132-137) skizziert Glaesser Komposition und Stil des Epos. Die Ausführungen zu den Möglichkeiten Lucans bei der erzählerischen Umsetzung von Historie in ein Epos (S. 136f.: Auslassung, Erweiterung, Umstellung) muten recht banal und damit überflüssig an. Glaesser schließt seinen zweiten Hauptteil („Gedankliches, Weitere Leitmotive", S. 137-147) mit Hypothesen zur Intention des Autors: Die Darstellung der Zerstörung der Freiheit sei nicht nur eine Verurteilung Caesars, sondern eine Absage an den Prinzipat allgemein. Ob das Bellum Civile aber ein „Manifest politischen Widerstands" (S. 140) ist, muss fragwürdig bleiben. Glaesser stellt dies zwar gleichfalls in Frage, differenziert aber nicht, ob der Erzähler des Epos (nicht zu verwechseln mit dem historischen Autor) nicht vielleicht gerade in seiner häufig übertrieben offensichtlichen Kritik an Caesar, die bei genauerer Betrachtung ambivalenter wird, Kritik an seiner eigenen Darstellung provozieren, also zum Nachdenken anregen will. Der Raum, den Glaesser großzügig auf den Ansatz zu einer Differenzierung der Schicksalsmächte verwendet hat, wäre vielleicht besser in der Ausführung einiger „Leitmotive" angelegt gewesen: Die drei Frauenfiguren Marcia, Cornelia und Cleopatra charakterisiert er nicht, sondern versteht sie offenbar bloß als Beiwerk in den „Liebesszenen" (Cato und Marcia: Luc. 2,326-391; Pompeius und Cornelia: Luc. 5,722-815; Caesar und Cleopatra: Luc. 10,53-171), die wiederum (anscheinend allein) der Charakterisierung der (männlichen) Protagonisten dienen (S. 135). Dies verwundert, da Finiello (2005) und Sannicandro (2010) zu diesen Aspekten schon wertvolle Vorarbeit geleistet haben (und Glaesser sie zu Erictho bzw. Marcia auch erwähnt).10

Glaesser schließt sein Werk mit einer kurzen Schlussbemerkung (S. 157), in der er knapp die offensichtlichste Rezeption Lucans skizziert (Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe); gerade für LehrerInnen sind solche Ansatzpunkte für Verknüpfungen im Schulunterricht sicherlich hilfreich, so knapp sie auch sind. Es folgen die Endnoten, die die Nachvollziehbarkeit des Textes erheblich erschweren (im Werkdurchgang beginnt bei jedem neuen Buch die Zählung von vorn; S. 159-189 für Hauptteil 1 und S. 189-194 für Teil 2), das unverständlich selektive Literaturverzeichnis (neben den oben genannten Arbeiten von Kimmerle, Maes und Walde fehlen etwa alle Publikationen von Paolo Esposito und noch der von Paolo Asso herausgegebene und absolut einschlägige Companion to Lucan;11 S. 195-201) und eine kurze Stichwortliste, die gruppenweise alphabetisch sortiert zu sein scheint: erst nach zentralen Begriffen des Epos (etwa furor und pietas), dann nach den Hauptpersonen (Caesar, Cato und Pompeius), und schließlich nach allgemeinen Stichwörtern (etwa „Auftritte", „Exkurse", „Tod") (S. 202).

Einerseits bietet Glaessers Gang durch das Bellum Civile letztlich seinem Zielpublikum durchaus einen Zugang zu Lucan und seinem Werk. Andererseits ist fraglich, ob dieser Zugang Begeisterung für das grandiose Epos wecken kann; allgemein kulturwissenschaftliche Gedanken etwa zum Wesen von Bürgerkriegen, mittels derer man auch einen Aktualitätsbezug hätte herstellen können, sind nicht vorhanden. Dadurch, dass Glaesser außerdem Ambivalenzen sowohl des Bellum Civile als auch innerhalb der Forschung nur lückenhaft erwähnt, erzeugt er über weite Strecken einen recht eindimensionalen Eindruck von Lucans Werk. Das wird dem Bellum Civile jedoch nicht gerecht und ist auch kontraproduktiv für das selbstgesteckte Ziel, für das Epos zu werben.


1.   Glaesser, Roland: Verbrechen und Verblendung: Untersuchung zum Furor-Begriff bei Lucan mit Berücksichtigung der Tragödien Senecas, Diss. Heidelberg 1983 und ders.: „Lucans Synkrisis des Pompeius und Caesar. Hinweis auf einen in der Schule - zu Unrecht - nicht gelesenen Dichter", Der altsprachliche Unterricht 31.3 (1988) 53-67.
2.   In Endnote 12 zur Einleitung (S. 159) spricht Glaesser von einer erfolgten „Widerlegung der These", dass das Bellum Civile als vollendet gelten könne; S. 115 konstatiert er, das Ende von Lucans Bellum Civile sei nur zufällig gleich mit demjenigen Caesars.
3.   Walde, Christine: „Tu ne quaesieris scire nefas quem finem … di dederunt …: Reflexionen zur Debatte um das Ende von Lucans Bellum Civile", in: Schmitz, Christine; Kortmann, Jan; Jöne, Angela (Hrsg.): Anfänge und Enden. Narrative Potentiale des antiken und nachantiken Epos, Heidelberg 2017, 169-198.
4.   Allein die Gliederung zu Buch 1 umfasst nicht alle Verse. Der Truppenkatalog Caesars (1,392-465) wird zwar unter 2.4 geführt (S. 20); laut Überschrift (S. 17) soll der zweite Teil des ersten Buchs aber nur aus den Versen 1,183-391 bestehen.
5.   Auch hier weicht die Behandlung des ersten Buchs anscheinend grundlos von der sonstigen Vorgehensweise ab: Die Untergliederung des Prooemiums trägt bloß die jeweils besprochenen Verszahlen (1.1: „zu den Versen 1,1-7", S. 12).
6.   Eine sehr lobenswerte Alternative in der Herangehensweise bietet Horsfalls Companion to the Study of Virgil (²2000), der im Falle der Aeneis auf die Zweiteilung von Inhaltswiedergabe und Behandlung der wichtigsten Themen verzichtet.
7.   Kimmerle, Nadja: Lucan und der Prinzipat. Inkonsistenz und unzuverlässiges Erzählen im 'Bellum Civile', Berlin 2015, 59-65, bes. S. 65 und Maes, Yanick: „One but not the Same? Cato and Alexander in Lucan's Pharsalia 9,493-618 (and Caesar too)", Latomus 68 (2009), 657-679.
8.   Leigh, Matthew: „Lucan's Caesar and the Sacred Grove - Deforestation and Enlightenment in Antiquity", in: Esposito, Paolo; Nicastri, Luciano (Hrsg.): „Interpretare Lucano", Quaderni del dipartimento di scienze dell'antichità 22, Napoli 1999, 167-205 und Gall, Dorothee: „Masse, Heere und Feldherren in Lucans Pharsalia", in: Walde, Christine (Hrsg.): Lucan im 21. Jahrhundert, München 2005, 89-110.
9.   Vgl. Walde, Christine: „Le Partisan du mauvais goût? Anti-Kritisches zur Lucan-Forschung", in: Schröder, Bianca-Jeanette; Schröder, Jens-Peter: Studium Declamatorium, Festschrift für Joachim Dingel zum 65. Geburtstag, Berlin und München 2003, 127–152 und dies., „Lucan's Caesar and the Reception of the Bellum Civile", in: Wyke, Maria (Hrsg.), Julius Caesar in Western Culture, Malden 2006, 45–61.
10.   Finiello, Concetta: „Der Bürgerkrieg: Reine Männersache? Keine Männersache! Erictho und die Frauengestalten im Bellum Civile Lucans", in: Walde (2005), und Sannicandro, Lisa: I personaggi femminili del Bellum Civile di Lucano, Rahden 2010.
11.   Asso, Paolo (Hrsg.): Brill's Companion to Lucan, Leiden 2011.

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Friday, May 17, 2019


Penelope J. Goodman (ed.), Afterlives of Augustus, AD 14-2014. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Pp. xv, 418. ISBN 9781108423687. £90.00.

Reviewed by Matthew P. Loar, University of Nebraska–Lincoln (mloar2@unl.edu)

Version at BMCR home site


This volume records the proceedings from one of many conferences held in 2014 to mark the bimillenary of Augustus' death, this one in Leeds.1 Its primary aim is to open new avenues of inquiry into the reception of Augustus from antiquity to the modern day, which it does by devoting space to historical periods and material that tend to be sidelined in contemporary work on Augustus' afterlives. In particular, the volume looks beyond the two periods that typically receive the most attention — "the so-called Augustan age literature of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England, and the association between Mussolini and Augustus in 1930s Italy" (1-2) — focusing instead on a fuller-scope investigation of Augustus' appearances before, after, and between these two eras. In the process, the volume points up the constructedness of our contemporary vision of Augustus and attempts to deconstruct piece-by-piece the Augustus that has been bequeathed to us by two thousand-years' worth of receptions.

The volume is structured loosely chronologically as opposed to thematically or geographically, with chapters grouped under the following four periods listed by Goodman in her introductory essay: Antiquity, Christianity and the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and Modernity. With the exception of James T. Chlup's chapter on Governor General of Canada, John Buchan's Augustus (1937) and Karl Galinsky's concluding chapter on Augustus in America, the essays are all Eurocentric (though Hobden does discuss some American material). Literary receptions of Augustus predominate, though some non-literary receptions are discussed, including monumental (Boeye & Pandey; Popkin), museological (Clareborn), and televisual (Hobden). Most of the essays complement each other well, but while Goodman makes some effort in the introduction to illuminate the connections between individual chapters, the connections in the essays themselves are more often implicit rather than explicit, or they are relegated to simple cross-references in the footnotes of chapters. Some attempt by the essays' authors to engage in dialogue with one another would have been welcome, though of course this is always a challenge (and desideratum) with edited volumes.

Following Goodman's introductory first chapter, which not only previews the essays but also lays out the rationale for the volume, the next five chapters cover material chiefly from antiquity. Alison Cooley draws heavily on Suetonius as she examines how Augustus already was fashioned as a god while in Campania during the days leading up to his death. Steven Green considers how Seneca's Apocolocyntosis and De Clementia, though written only a year or two apart, represent Augustus as an exemplar for Nero in radically different ways—a response to Nero's rapidly evolving reign and growing cruelty. Patrick Cook's chapter, "Embodying the Augustan in Suetonius and Beyond," seems a missed opportunity. For all its careful reading of how Suetonius describes and assimilates the bodies of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, and Nero as a way of legitimizing imperial succession, it does not attempt to square Suetonius' claims with the abundant surviving imperial portraiture of the four emperors. In the context of bimillenary celebrations of Augustus, the omission is especially striking since to my mind one of the most compelling features of the 2014 exhibition Augusto, which I had the fortune of seeing at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, was the room of portrait busts of the Julio-Claudian line, where one could easily recognize how Augustus' family and successors visually emulated the first emperor. Surprisingly, the only image included with Cook's chapter is not an imperial image but rather Lawrence Alma Tadema's "A Roman Emperor, AD 41" (1872), which also seems to be the only evidence falling under the category of "Beyond" referred to in the chapter's title. Some effort to marry or at least consider the interplay between literary and material evidence for Augustus and his successors' bodies would have strengthened the chapter's conclusions—a point made implicitly in Maggie Popkin's chapter in the volume, discussed below.

The next two chapters move toward non-Christian late antiquity and touch on a similar theme, though they do not engage with each other explicitly. Joseph Geiger tackles the question of how ancient authors from three distinct eras after Augustus—from Tiberius to Trajan, during the reign of Trajan, and then after Trajan—marked the beginning of the Principate, namely whether they cited Julius Caesar or Augustus as Rome's first emperor. Shaun Tougher considers the status of Augustus in Julian Augustus' fourth-century Caesars, querying what role Augustus plays for Julian as an imperial model. The missed connection between the two papers is Julian's decision to bring in Julius Caesar first into his imagined banquet of Caesars while slotting Augustus into the second position, thereby implying that Augustus was Rome's second, not first emperor. Although the chapters complement each other nicely, given the way students and scholars tend to utilize edited volumes—mining individual chapters as opposed to reading the full suite of essays sequentially—a gesture toward linking the two chapters explicitly would have better prodded readers interested in the one to also consult the other.

With the following four essays, the material creeps forward to Christianity and the Middle Ages. Michael C. Sloan considers the reception of Augustus in Orosius' Historiae Adversus Paganos, highlighting in particular how Orosius casts Augustus as the "secular forerunner of Christ" (104), and how Orosius' characterization of Augustus in turn influenced Charlemagne's understanding of the first emperor and thus motivated his own adoption of the secular title "Augustus." Charlemagne and the Carolingians reappear in the chapter by Jürgen Strothmann, where, as at the end of Sloan's essay, the question of Charlemagne's (and his successors') assumption of the nomen Augusti features prominently, as do the implications of this gesture for the "Carolingian concept of history" (148). In between these two chapters, Kosta Simić tracks Byzantine receptions of Augustus in the fourth, sixth, and ninth centuries, noting how Byzantine writers invoked the name and memory of Augustus to help negotiate the relationship between church and state at pivotal moments in Byzantine history. The three chapters represent a cohesive triad, as all three ultimately touch on the reception of Augustus more as an idea than as a person in the Early Middle Ages; readers drawn to one of these essays should therefore consider consulting all three.

The fourth of the essays to draw on evidence from the Middle Ages is Kerry Boeye and Nandini B. Pandey's investigation of the Augustan altar in S. Maria in Aracoeli in Rome and the theophanic legend behind its foundation. The chapter—the first in the volume to address material evidence and one of the strongest contributions in the collection—argues that the altar (and the legend of Augustus' erection of it) underscores the role of Augustus as "medieval exemplar of the subjugation of political power to the authority of Christ and ultimately the Church" (152). One of the chapter's major interventions is a new reading of the inscription etched into the altar: the authors explain how grammatical ambiguities (or seeming errors) in the text of the inscription actually help guide the viewer/reader's experience of the altar, namely by showing how the altar reifies Augustus' theophany and therefore enables the viewer/reader to "share in Augustus' transcendent revelation" (175). The chapter thus nicely complements Sloan's and Simić's essays insofar as it examines physical evidence for the phenomenon that both authors had previously isolated in Byzantine literature.

Robert Black's essay ventures into the world of the Italian Renaissance, surveying responses to Augustus by political thinkers spanning the years 1265 to 1536. Although the chapter is constituted mostly of lengthy quotations from various Renaissance writers without a clear overarching argument, the richness of the selections makes it a useful tool for readers interested in the reception of Augustus in the political thought of Italy from the Late Medieval period to the height of the Renaissance. Following Black, Bobby Xinyue travels north to France in the late Renaissance, offering a close reading of the prologue to Book 8 of Claude Barthélemy Morisot's relatively obscure Fasti (1649)—a work imagined as the six-book continuation of Ovid's Fasti. As Xinyue shows, Morisot's account of Augustus' triple triumph displays an Augustus who embodies all the qualities associated with seventeenth-century French monarchs, especially Louis XIV, thereby reinforcing the volume's prevailing theme of Augustus as exemplar for rulers of all kinds.

James T. Chlup moves the volume forward in history once again, taking the reader to the 1930s and the novelist, historian, and politician John Buchan's biography of Augustus (1937). Chlup's chapter deftly unravels the influence of Buchan's novels, his previous biography of Oliver Cromwell (1934), and his experience as Governor General of Canada on Augustus, ultimately arguing that Buchan's biography painted a picture of Augustus that was suitable and perhaps even necessary for the interwar period in which it was written. Martin Lindner considers the writing of another modern author, the German novelist Günther Birkenfeld, whose four historical Augustus novels—the first three being different versions of the same novel (1934, 1943/44, and 1962), while the fourth (1984) is a posthumous reprint of the 1943 version—each painted a slightly modified picture of the princeps, and therefore served as indicators of the particular German Zeitgeist in which they appeared. Kathleen S. Lamp rounds out this trio of essays on Augustus in contemporary literary studies by coming at the question of Augustus' reception obliquely, arguing against the exclusion of Augustus and the Augustan period from the rhetorical tradition, particularly because the Augustan period shows that "the visual and material can be rhetorical in the same way as the oral and the written" (267).

The final four essays in the volume are less easily categorized. The first, by Maggie Popkin, is largely ancient in its focus, as it traces the influence of Augustus' "triumphal" Parthian arch and its non-triumphal origins on later, similarly non-triumphal imperial arches—namely those of Titus, Septimius Severus, and Constantine—highlighting how these arches manipulated the memories of military victories and triumphal processions, leading to false narratives of these emperors' triumphs in modern historiography; based on the volume's organizational scheme, it is unclear why this essay does not appear earlier in the collection with the other ancient pieces. Fiona Hobden's essay veers from antiquity to the world of modern television documentaries, showing how three in particular from three different countries—I, Caesar (BBC Two, 1997), The Roman Empire in the First Century (PBS, 2001) and Augustus: Totengräber und Friedensfürst (ZDF, 2004)—present Augustus in ways that ultimately speak to their own contemporary political moments. Following Hobden, Amanda Clareborn casts a critical eye on the Augustan museum exhibitions launched in Rome in 2014, noting on the one hand how some of these exhibitions successfully challenged the prior fascist associations attached to Augustus, while lamenting (and indicting) on the other hand bureaucratic failures to fully capitalize on the museological potential of the bimillenary of Augustus' death. Concluding the volume is Karl Galinsky's breezy discussion of Augustus' (non-)reception in American culture—a satisfying, conversational bookend to a stimulating suite of essays.

In sum, this is a meaty collection that offers something for nearly everybody, and it should be a sine qua non for any scholars of Augustus looking to expand the chronological scope of their studies.


1.   The volume's editor, Penelope J. Goodman, has maintained a listing of all conferences and events held that year in commemoration of Augustus' death: http://augustus2014.com/2014-events/

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Jacek Rzepka, Greek Federal Terminology. Akanthina, 12. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2017. Pp. 110. ISBN 9788375312379. £20.00.

Reviewed by Elizabeth A. Meyer, The University of Virginia (eam2n@virginia.edu)

Version at BMCR home site

This short volume (79 pages of text, plus bibliography, general index, Greek terms, and index locorum) studies the language used by Greeks to describe the institutions and actions of Greek federal states. This is a useful project in itself, but it has a further end, to understand "whether and how Greeks perceived problems, institutions and issues related to federalism" and whether federal leagues contributed to a federalist political philosophy and to the general political language (mostly polis-based) of the Greeks (9-10). Rzepka's answer to all of the above is "yes."

The first chapter studies the word koinon and how Greek federal states were named. Koinon is the word often used by scholars for a federal state, but these federal states called themselves by ethnics, such as "the Aetolians" or "the Boeotians." Going more deeply into the uses of koinon versus ethnics in decrees, Rzepka notes that in Boeotia the damos votes that distinguished foreigners were to be proxenoi "of the koinon" (thus koinon means community or state here), while in Aetolia honorees are praised for the goodwill towards the koinon (and sometimes the ethnos, 22). Thus, parallel usage so far; but Aetolian usage also names the koinon as the decree-passing body, as do leagues of Akarnania, West Lokris, Phokis, Thessaly, and Arkadia (17-19), so that koinon also and more often means the primary federal assembly. The Achaeans distinguished between technical terms for meetings (synodoi and synkletoi) and the abstract, conceptual term for all the citizens, which was koinon (19). Decrees from other cities for the Aetolians replicate the word koinon when the Aetolian koinon has voted them a benefit that they are reciprocating, thereby acknowledging that koinon here means the Aetolians' voting assembly (20-22). Because such inscriptions also draw a careful distinction between the Aetolians' koinon and the granters' demos (of the Chians, of the Mytilenians, of Andros, of Athens), these other Greeks "understood the nature of Greek Federal states" (22) or at least "used federal terms in a considered and thoughtful manner" (23).

Chapter Two addresses the phenomenon of "council-based government." Synedriake politeia is Polybius' (novel) formulation (31.2.12): the term is used of Macedonia after 167 and its division into four merides, and means a constitution based on a"federal council." Rzepka studies usage in Polybius, Plutarch, and Pausanias, noting that Polybius uses synedrion as well as boulē for the councils of the Achaeans (but never synedrion for the council of a polis), while usage in the other two authors mostly follows that of Polybius in using both words (26-27). Pausanias also, however, uses synedrion for "state," since it was not unusual after the Hellenistic period for a (federal) state or even a (federal) assembly to be called a (federal) synedrion; the word itself is archaizing and recalls "'the good old days'" (34). The third-century Aetolian evidence is copious but confusing. Boularcheontes appear in numerous inscriptions, and their numbers range from one to six (although Rzepka thinks there should have been seven in 260 BC, equal to the number of Aetolian districts at the time, 29). He concludes that they were "representatives of the Confederacy as a whole" and "officials of the Aetolian districts" at the same time (29), although at 30-31 he notes that the district boularcheontes date to the second century and the federal boularcheontes to the third. A third title appears in only one inscription of 214/13, hoi prosstatai tou synedriou, although synedrioi themselves appear frequently. Rzepka concludes that hoi synedrioi were titles given to Aetolian councillors in general, while the boularcheontes were their chairmen (33). Fluctuations in the numbers of federal boularcheontes noted in inscriptions reflect not actual change, but merely the number of officials actually present at an action, with the first (or only one) mentioned the chairman of the group (32). All this is, despite Rzepka's laudable efforts, mildly bewildering, which probably explains why "modern students have rarely been attracted to Aetolian inscriptions, which . . . lack uniformity and seem to provide equivocal data on the organization of the state" (29).

Having established, in the first two chapters, that federal leagues did employ a shared vocabulary, if not always with exactly the same meaning, Rzepka in his third chapter asks whether Greek federal states also worked "in a more or less similar way" (35). First, however, we return to Boeotia, and the chronology of its enactment formulae. In the fourth century BC we find edoxe toi damoi (perhaps to assert statehood and sovereignty without seeming to encroach on others' autonomia, a King's-Peace-based issue), then edoxe toi koinoi, and then again edoxe toi damoi, which followed (although perhaps not directly) the reintegration of Thebes into the League, but also marked a "traditionalist" return to the great fourth century as well as to an archaizing dialect (37). Otherwise, Greek federal states in the Hellenistic period referred to their assemblies as koina. This did not imply "an identical range of functions" (38), but Rzepka wonders whether federal Greeks discussed what their neighbors were doing. When, for instance, Philopoemen adduced (in addressing the Achaean council) the Aetolian regulation constraining the Aetolian strategos from expressing his own opinion on a matter of war (Livy 35.25.4-10), this is taken as a "hint" that "similarly named officials, operating in a similar legal framework, were expected to act in a similar way to one another" (40): federal Greeks did know how other leagues worked, and league structures did develop in concert with each other, in a type of peer-polity interaction. Rzepka's compelling example here is the switch of the Aetolian, Achaean, and Akarnanian Leagues to a single strategos in 279, 255/4, and in or after the 230s, respectively. In Aetolia this strategos may have replaced a board of three generals, who may in turn have replaced an aitolarch who, if he existed at all (he appears only in much later ghost-stories) might have been created in imitation of the Boeotian boeotarch (42-43). What worked was noticed and imitated, and Rzepka concludes that "most Greek leagues worked in a similar way" (44).

Chapter Four tackles the question of whether the language of federal leagues was chosen to strengthen communal feeling and promote that "community" among other Greeks. The known overlap in Athens between the official language of decrees and the language of the Attic orators inspires Rzepka to look for a similar relationship between the "political language of documents" and the "everyday political usage of elites," for which he (necessarily) looks to Polybius (45-47). Polybius has, in federal contexts (49), an exceptional insistence on using words of collaboration started with syn- (some of his own coining): is he adopting a language of federal elites? Rzepka's general answer is yes, but before arriving at this point he swerves backwards in time, to make the case (with the word synedrion) that terms describing political collaboration themselves have a longer history, and therefore that "the beginnings of federalist thought" are reflected in the "practices of the composite organizations, alliances and amphictyonies of the Classical age" (49). Compounds of koino- in Polybius do not yield as rich a harvest, appearing mostly to characterize joint rather than individual actions. The language of cooperation "became enriched and more nuanced during the Hellenistic Age . . . the federalist boom was crucial for this development" (51).

Building on Chapter Four, Chapter Five examines the words synteleia, isopoliteia, and sympoliteia. Thebes and the Boeotian League in the fourth century BC were singled out in the Oxyrhynchus Historian and Diodorus as a synteleia, a political arrangement that kept the Boeotian cities tributary to Thebes rather than allied with her. Synteleia generally had quite dark implications, apart from its (neutral) use for districts within the Achaean League at Polyb. 5.94.1. Sympoliteia in the best and most accurate sense, as the transformation of two polities into a single, united state (53), appears in Xenophon and is first seen epigraphically in the homologia of two poleis, Stiris and Medeon (Syll.3 647), rather than in a federal context. Federal uses of sympoliteia in epigraphy are infrequent (SEG XLVIII 588, a treaty between Demetrius Poliorcetes and the Aetolians; IG IX I2 3a, a treaty between the Aetolians and the Akarnanians; StV III 489, a treaty attaching Epidaurus to the Achaean League); most references come from Polybius, for whom it was the highest form of interstate collaboration. Then Rzepka tests the possibility that Polybius construed Aetolian isopoliteia as sympoliteia, tackles briefly the possibility that references in IG IX 2.234 to Pharsalian politeumenoi and sympoliteumenoi denoted citizens and second-class citizens, and concludes that the Aetolians switched to using isopoliteia in their documents so as not to imply second-class citizenship and give offense. The chapter ends by concluding that "the most perfect form of communal citizenship was . . . isopoliteia" while sympoliteia "was regarded with less enthusiasm" (66-67), which confused this reader, since at the beginning of the chapter (53), isopoliteia, a union "without the intention to merge the two different polities into a single state," was implicitly worse than sympoliteia, which created a single state. And was not the latter also more highly valued by Polybius? Although in general the English of the monograph is very good, something may have been lost in translation here.

The sixth chapter examines treaties or decrees of association. Two of them are Aetolian and grant isopoliteia; two are collective grants of the Aetolians and use the phrase "they shall be Aetolians equal and the same." Three are Achaean, and where not too fragmentary clearly recorded, or expected, that the new associates would use the new federal ethnic "Achaean" (71). These emphases seem to be two different strategies—the Aetolians stressing equality, the Achaeans participation and identity—but "both sides perfectly understood each other. The cooperative and federalist language was indeed much more unified than the political language of the Hellenistic poleis" (72).

Because double ethnics ("Aetolian from Kalydon") are common for Greeks who lived in ethnē and federal states, the question arises of whether this naming practice reflects a dual political allegiance, or indeed points to the existence of a federal league. Chapter Seven investigates, looking at inscriptions from Thermon, Delphi, Olympia, and Achaea Phthiotis. Because the Soteria victor-lists from Delphi "when federal leagues were at the height of their power" give Aetolian agonothetes in the form "Aetolian from [city]," it seems that this nomenclature was "the fullest and most perfect ethnic . . . for a Greek living in a federal state" (78), the official name in the official document. In manumissions, only Aetolian polis- names identified the manumittors, while abroad, Aetolians and Achaeans are identified only as such, without additional polis-names (79). The two questions with which the chapter began are not actually addressed, as the discussion follows a different path; Rzepka ends with the observation that "patterns of expanded ethnics differed from one region to another," and that some existed to distinguish homonymous cities, while others offered "a precise reference to the legal status of the individual . . . described" (83).

The Epilogue concludes that the Greeks did develop a federal political theory, that its language was present in the everyday language of the Greeks, and that such language had positive connotations. The Romans allowed "federalist ideas and slogans" to persist, and indeed some of the leagues themselves, but as a kind of social club. Individuals and cities valued simultaneous membership in more than one league (86-87), but as a way to strengthen their positions in home cities or regions.

I have given a full description of the contents of each chapter precisely because that is what this book is: evidence and observations, sometimes strung together rather loosely. Apart from the structuring by chapter, there is little argument, although some scholarly disputes are noted along the way. It admirably serves its purpose of surveying the terminology of leagues and providing a finder's guide to the evidence, proving that Greeks did indeed think differently but productively about leagues, and therefore provides an excellent starting-point for those who wish to delve deeply into federal language, organization, and action.

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Stephanie Roussou, Pseudo Arcadius' Epitome of Herodian's 'De Prosodia Catholica': Edited with an Introduction and Commentary. Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xxxviii, 596. ISBN 9780198805588. £120.00.

Reviewed by Filippomaria Pontani, Università Ca' Foscari (f.pontani@unive.it)

Version at BMCR home site

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Two years ago, through an unprecedented public crowdfunding, the citizens of Belluno (Italy) acquired on the market a copy of the rare second edition (1512) of the Institutiones Graecae grammaticae by their fellow countryman, the important humanist Urbano Bolzanio (1442-1524). This tribute to Bolzanio, a pupil of the Greek émigré Konstantinos Laskaris in Messina (himself the author of the famous Erotemata, the first Greek book published in the West in 1476, and the first book published by Aldo Manuzio in 1495), was more than an act of civic pride: Urbano's Institutiones was the first Greek grammar written in Latin, and thus represents a highlight in the process of systematisation and dissemination of grammatical thought that had started with Manuel Chrysoloras in late-14th-century Florence.

Bolzanio and Laskaris are the scribes of two out of five extant manuscripts of Ps.-Arcadius' Epitome of Herodian's General Prosody (also known as On Accents), a complex work that Stephanie Roussou has now made accessible in a learned and careful critical edition (with introduction and commentary) that represents a major improvement over its outdated predecessors, the editions by E. H. Barker (1820) and M. Schmidt (1860). Roussou is the first to make use of the two oldest witnesses preserved to our day: ms. Matritensis 4575 (M, written by Laskaris some time before 1482) and ms. Bodl. Baroccianus 179 (O, written by Laskaris' collaborator Leon Chalkiopoulos in 1495): both derive from the lost παλαιὰ βίβλος seen by Laskaris in the monastery of San Salvatore in Lingua Phari in Messina. The importance of these manuscripts has long been recognised, and Roussou's stemma codicum differs from that reconstructed by R. Schneider only in details of contamination: she plausibly contends that the Baroccianus was copied from both Laskaris' Matritensis and its antigraph (the παλαιὰ βίβλος), and that thus, despite its much more careless text, it must be reckoned an independent witness. On the other hand, Roussou's claim that Bolzanio's manuscript (now in Copenhagen, Hauniensis GkS 1965: siglum A) also shows signs of contamination with the παλαιὰ βίβλος, is less compelling (the coincidence in variants at 343.8 can be explained by way of polygenesis).

Roussou's description of manuscripts does not give a well-rounded historical picture of the transmission of this work. For one thing, it lacks the indication of watermarks, which might better clarify and articulate the two chronological stages of the tradition,1 one in late 15th-century Messina (mss. M, O, A) and one in 16th-century Italy (mss. Par. gr. 2102 and 2603, sigla C and B). Where and when were these latter manuscripts produced? If C was in the hands of the well-travelled copyist and forger Iakobos Diassorinos, what is its place in his activity as reconstructed by Carmen García Bueno?2

Precise descriptions of manuscripts are not just erudite quisquiliae, or elements in the history of the work's reception. Take mss. B and C: the very attribution of this treatise to Arcadius rests on the titles of these two codices, and it is therefore essential to ascertain that—as Geppert had already pointed out—Ἀρκαδίου γραμματική in ms. B (f. 17r) is indeed the fruit of a correction of an earlier title that probably, if the extant traces can be trusted, contained the genitive Θεοδοσίου, which also appears in the headings of mss. MOA. Furthermore, the problematic status of book 20 of Ps.-Arcadius' Epitome (probably the fruit of Diassorinos' concoction from pre-existing material, and thus judiciously left out from the present edition) has been intensely explored by scholars from Pfeiffer to Nagy with respect to the much-debated—and culturally inspiring—passage about the origin of Greek προσῳδία (pp. 211.8-216.12 Schmidt).3

More importantly, the reader ought to be reminded that Konstantinos Laskaris—on whom most of what we know of this Epitome ultimately rests, since mss. M, O and A were produced in his entourage—was not a simple scribe, but an experienced grammarian who understood well the text he was copying, to the point that he profited greatly from it in his own work (just like his pupil Bolzanio after him), most notably in book III of his Erotemata.4 Roussou herself (p. 52) credits Laskaris with a major textual intervention in book 19 of the Epitome, where he added an entire section on adverbs in order to fill a gap in his source. A more thorough study of Laskaris' autograph ms. Matritensis 4689, which was completed in 1488,5 would have provided more evidence on the dating and the purpose of Laskaris' study of Ps.-Arcadius' text, which, as we have seen, he ascribed to Theodosius and considered on a par with Herodian's lost masterpiece (see f. 113v περὶ τόνων τὰ τῶν ἄλλων καὶ Ἡρωδιανοῦ τὴν μεγάλην προσῳδίαν καὶ Θεοδοσίου ἐν βιβλίοις εἴκοσι).6 On ff. 114-117, that manuscript contains an epitome of book 16 of Herodian's General Prosody that is largely dependent on Ps.-Arcadius' text, and that should therefore be collated side by side with ms. M for that one book.

This state of affairs helps understand the strange expression "Lascaris apud Lentz" repeatedly occurring in Roussou's critical apparatus to pp. 309-34: this definition concerns the readings of Laskaris' epitome of Book 16 as reported by Lentz in the apparatus to his edition of Herodian's General Prosody; but a modern editor of Ps.-Arcadius should verify those readings by collating directly Laskaris' manuscript Matr. 4689, especially in light of their importance (e.g. the right reading H for I in p. 311.9, the longer supplement in p. 318.2, the correct verb μέμβλω for μέλπω in p. 319.7, the intelligent supplement of ἀρχόμενα in p. 320.10, etc.).

Roussou's Schwerpunkt concerns the role of Ps.-Arcadius' Epitome as a source for the reconstruction of Herodian's lost masterpiece Περὶ καθολικῆς προσῳδίας, a foundational work on Greek orthography, prosody and grammar, whose idiosyncratic and arbitrary edition by A. Lentz has not yet been superseded and has misled generations of scholars. Chapter 2 of Roussou's introduction is a succinct and masterly overview of what we know about the nature, length, arrangement, and extant sources of Herodian's treatise, above all its epitomes—not only the two extant ones, namely, John Philoponus' Praecepta tonica, edited by G. Xenis in 2015, and the very work by Ps.-Arcadius edited here, but also the two fragmentary ones: the 4th-century parchment codex PAnt 2.67, and the 10th-century palimpsest Vind. Hist. gr. 10, which H. Hunger wrongly thought to be a witness of Herodian's very treatise. Passages such as the one on words ending in -ιος (pp. 159-60 R.) show the degree of overlap between Ps.-Arcadius and PAnt 2.67, and Roussou's apparatuses prove invaluable in assessing the relationship between the different sources. The peculiarity of Ps.-Arcadius' Epitome is that, while largely omitting the examples and quotations taken from ancient literary sources, it preserves closely Herodian's book-numbering and matter subdivision, even if—as stated in the work's preface—it digests the material in a more "reader-friendly" manner, namely by developing shorter sub-sections rather than by piling up doctrine in lengthy and heavy chapters.

Roussou discards the attribution of this Epitome to the imperial grammarian Arcadius, for which the only textual basis, as we have just seen, is the titles of two 16th-century codices descripti; on the other hand, she discusses at length the attribution to Theodosius, which emerges from Laskaris' manuscripts and references.7 The absence of any hint of the work in the lists of Theodosius' scholarly output, as well as some overt contradictions with doctrines we know as positively Theodosian, undermine this attribution. The work thus hovers in a vacuum: it was written by an anonymous author some time between the 2nd century CE and the early Byzantine age. The language of grammarians is too stereotyped and conservative to allow an exact dating, and even the more apparently "recent" words, such as p. 239.7, βοῦρκος, may belong to younger additions rather than to the original epitome.8 At times, however, one wonders if Roussou's text is compatible with a dating even in late antiquity: see e.g. the odd juxtaposition of hypothetical clauses in p. 237.2 (εἰ μὲν δισύλλαβα εἴη καὶ μακρᾷ παραλήγει), and the contradictory verbal concordance of neuter plurals in p. 329.9 (ἐὰν δὲ μὴ οὕτως ἔχῃ βαρύνονται).

A major feature of Roussou's edition is the attention to parallel sources: it should be stressed, however, that the texts listed by Roussou on pp. 75-80 (from Stephanus of Byzantium to the Etymologicum Magnum) are in fact indirect sources of Herodian's General Prosody rather than of the epitome here at stake. Hence, the many (too many?) references we find in the apparatus testimoniorum of Roussou's edition, do not represent testimonia to our text, but rather quotations from grammatical sources more or less directly indebted to Herodian (above all Theodosius, Theognostus, John Philoponus and Choeroboscus); that is, they are parallel comparanda that may occasionally help restore the corrupt text of Ps.-Arcadius' Epitome.

In some cases, these comparanda are listed without any indication of their mutual dependence.9 In other cases, some important evidence for Herodianic materials is neglected:
- p. 280.4: in the treatment of genitive Θῶνος (Ps.-Arcadius' text has been heavily restored by modern philologists) why not add a reference to the scholia to Od. 4.228 (the only occurrence of this term Θῶνος), where Herodian's doctrine on the issue is attested and discussed?
- p. 260.18: the toponym Κάρφη is corrected into Σκάρφη, but it also appears in schol. Od. 3.270a;
- p. 330.30: Roussou transposes καὶ τοῦ παρακειμένου, but neglects the fact (already discussed in Lentz's apparatus) that ἀκάχημαι and ἀλάλημαι were considered by Herodian as "Aeolic" forms of the present rather than the perfect, see e.g. schol. MaTY Od. 4.807c (ἐνεστώς ἐστιν Αἰολικός);
- p. 130.10: Ps.-Arcadius argues for the oxytone accentuation of words composed from bisyllabic verbal stems such as νεκροβαστάξ: Roussou refrains from tackling the flagrant contradiction with Choer. in Theod. 287.6-9 (quoted in the apparatus, but not further discussed), a passage that invokes the paroxytone accent for these same compound words: what was Herodian's view on the issue?

Roussou's introduction is rich in interesting and original materials: the learned essay on the two versions of Book 15 on enclitics (pp. 26-49) might have made the object of a separate article, and the insightful glossary of problematic or ambiguous terms occurring in Ps.-Arcadius, from βαρύτονος to κύριον to προσηγορικόν (pp. 58-75), will benefit every reader interested in grammatical terminology.10 The introduction understandably refrains from discussing the development of accentuation and orthography from the Alexandrian through the imperial age: these issues would deserve a book on their own, and they will rather concern the future editor of Herodian's fragmentary General Prosody. Still, in Roussou's commentary—mostly devoted to the critical discussion of single words—one finds some notes about the epitomator's modus operandi that would more naturally have found their place in the general introduction: I point exempli gratia to the perturbations of the alphabetical order, or to the sometimes baffling association of grammatical forms and phenomena that are not entirely consistent or homogeneous with each other (a recurring feature discussed on pp. 489-90).

Roussou's policy in establishing the text is prudent and judicious, above all in grounding it on a firmer basis. There is a tendency to posit many lacunae11; occasionally the supplements could be better motivated12; sometimes the indication of literary sources behind the glosses is inconsistent.13 But on the whole Roussou's choices in such a difficult (at times very difficult) text take due account of the interventions of her predecessor M. Schmidt, and add new, well-considered and useful conjectures, which often heal smaller textual troubles. For example, in p. 196.7 the supplement ἀγανός provides just the right word that could be glossed as πρᾷος; in p. 174.11 νόθος for transmitted ὄθος and p. 214.7 τιλτός for MO's non-existent τικτός are brilliant corrections, which solve the problem of the very inclusion of these adjectives within the respective paragraphs.14 In p. 130.10 previous editions had διασφὰξ ὀξύνεται, whereas the complete text now shows a reference to the rare noun σφάξ, otherwise attested only in paraphr. Lycophr. 317 Leone and in schol. Opp. hal. 1.744: if we see here a saut du même au même, one might restore the text as δια<σφὰξ μᾶλλον ἀπὸ ῥήματος ἢ ἀπὸ τοῦ> σφὰξ ὀξυτόνου.15

The critical apparatus is encumbered with a large number of trivial orthographical peculiarities. While it can be argued that these are far from irrelevant details in a work dealing precisely with orthography and accentuation, I believe that the innumerable cases where ms. O omits a rubricated initial (typically ὰ instead of Τὰ) could safely be obliterated, and so could the hundreds of omissions of iota mutum (save of course in passages where the iota mutum is at stake), and the many cases where normal Byzantine accentuation differs from ours (e.g. p. 313.1 ἄλλό τι rather than ἄλλο τι, in a passage not dealing with enclitics).

The book is well produced: the Greek is remarkably correct; mistakes and blunders are comparatively rare16; there remain occasional slips in the Latin17; a random check on manuscripts shows that Roussou's readings are generally reliable.18 In such a poorly studied text, one might have expected a fuller coverage of earlier conjectures.19 And the hasty reader will regret the lack of a conspectus siglorum (the sigla of manuscripts can be found on pp. 83-86). But minor quibbles aside, this edition is an important achievement, and will certainly become the standard text of Ps.-Arcadius for decades to come.


1.   Manuscripts of excerpts are rapidly dismissed on the ground that they "do not offer any good readings for the reconstruction of the text" (p. 87): but e.g. the excerpt on f. 64v of ms. Royal 16.D.XIV (a codex most probably older than either B or C) anticipates Schmidt's corrections Ἀρκεσίλαον and κέ ποθι for Ἀκεσίλαον and κέν ποθι in p. 299.18-20. No explanation is given of the sudden appearance of ms. Casanatensis 1710 in the apparatus to p. 307.7.
2.   El copista griego Jacobo Diasorino (s. XVI): estudio paleográfico y codicológico de sus manuscritos (diss., Madrid 2017).
3.   See Ph. Probert, "Ancient Theory of Prosody," in S. Matthaios, F. Montanari, A. Rengakos (eds.), Brill's Companion to Ancient Greek Scholarship (Leiden 2015), 923-48: 924-25, with earlier bibliography.
4.   The studies by Antonio Rollo are pathbreaking: see esp. A. Rollo, "La grammatica greca di Urbano Bolzanio," in P. Pellegrini (ed.), Umanisti bellunesi fra quattro e cinquecento, (Firenze 2001), 177-209.
5.   See T. Martínez Manzano, Constantino Láscaris. Semblanza de un humanista bizantino (Madrid 1998), 156-62, a useful discussion largely neglected in Roussou's introduction to the benefit of 19th-century scholarship.
6.   Incidentally, it is hard to believe that Laskaris' description of Herodian's book as πολύστιχος should be credited with any first-hand authority, as Roussou does on p. 6.
7.   Roussou's decision to mention the titles carried by the manuscripts in the apparatus' note to the first word of the text is odd: if the editor believed the title of mss. MO to be the fruit of Laskaris' conjecture, then he could have put it in brackets in the text.
8.   See p. 75, although it should be remarked that ms. C (i.e. its scribe Diassorinos) proved acutely aware of this lexical problem when replacing βοῦρκος with the more "ancient-looking" word βόρβορος.
9.   On p. 279 virtually the same sentence is quoted from the Etymologicum Gudianum, from the Etymologicum Magnum and from the Epimerismi Homerici (in this order), but the Epimerismi are here clearly the source of the etymologica; on p. 278 the text is restored through a reference to passages of Choeroboscus that are not included in the apparatus comparandorum; on p. 158 (see the discussion on p. 421) a single passage is quoted from Theognostus and from three Byzantine etymologica, whereas Theognostus and at most the Genuinum would have been enough (and even so, why does Roussou print ἀρχῆος on l. 7 rather than ἀρχηός as in most of the parallel sources?).
10.   The intepretation of κοινῶς as referring to a "colloquial" Ephesian gloss in p. 180.11 is prima facie problematic, and deserved some more comments on the linguistic side.
11.   E.g. p. 126.12 the name Πολυσπερχῶν is evoked simply because Σπέρχων has just been quoted, there is no need to think of a lacuna.
12.   p. 332.2 the saut du même au même does not really tally with the two lacunae posited by Roussou.
13.   If p. 115.16 ἀτμήν is identified as Callimachus' fr. 178, then p. 116.13 τιβήν should also be identified as Lycophr. 1104.
14.   It should be added that τικτός was omitted by BC, and that the impossible θικτός is printed by Schmidt not as his own conjecture but as the reading of ms. A, i.e. of Urbano Bolzanio: is this true?
15.   In fact, Roussou's statement (p. 385) that mss. BC omit the entire sentence ought to be corrected, because B has ὀξυτόνου, and C has ὀξύνεται.
16.   E.g. in p. 84 note 213, RGK I 237 is in fact II 237; p. 487 Ep. Hom. 357 is in fact Epim. Hom. A 357, and the attribution to Herodian is not in the text, but conjectured by Egenolff; on p. 1 Roussou is unaware that a new edition of the scholia to Euripides' Hippolytos has been published by J. Cavarzeran, De Gruyter 2017.
17.   p. 120 "statuerem" should be "statui"; p. 122 "librorum" should be "operum"; p. 125 "nominorum" for "nominum"; p. 128 "eundum" for "eundem"; p. 148 "scriptor" for "librarius"; p. 166 "hic" for "huc"; p. 177 "referre" for "referri"; p. 189 "inversam" for "inversum"; p. 311 "vel" for "an"; p. 330 "praebet" for "praebent".
18.   Ms. O has πής (not πῆς) in p. 275.4, εἶμαι (not εἷμαι) in p. 330.29, and it omits βιβλίον ιε´ in p. 276.13 (the app. crit. is confusing here).
19.   In p. 129.1 the lacuna had already been indicated by Schmidt; in p. 318.6 Lentz had conjectured κράζω for the unattested τράζω; in p. 329.5 the transmitted ἐγκαταλιπῶ presupposes a never attested aorist ἐγακτελίπην, and perhaps Lentz's correction ἐγκαταλειφθῶ deserved a mention.

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