1. The Quest for a Definitive Text of Homer: Evidence from the Homeric Scholia and Beyond*

1§1 As of this writing, Homeric scholarship has not yet succeeded in achieving a definitive text of either the Iliad or the Odyssey. Ideally, such a text would encompass the full historical reality of the Homeric textual tradition as it evolved through time, from the pre-Classical era well into the medieval. The problem is that Homeric scholarship has not yet reached a consensus on the criteria for establishing a Homeric text that is “definitive.” The ongoing disagreements reflect a wide variety of answers to the many serious questions that remain about Homer and Homeric poetry. Crucial to most of these questions is the evidence provided by the Homeric scholia.
1§2 The relevance of the scholia (plural of scholion), that is, of annotations that accompany the text of Homer in a wide variety of manuscripts, was first made manifest to the world of modern Homeric scholarship in 1788, when Jean Baptiste Gaspard d’Ansse de Villoison published the tenth-century Venetus A codex manuscript of the Iliad of Homer (codex Marcianus 454). [1] In his Prolegomena, Villoison assesses the impact of the Venetus A scholia on Homeric scholarship: {3|4}
By way of these scholia, never before published, the greatest light is shed on Homer’s poetry. Obscure passages are illuminated; the rites, customs, mythology, and geography of the ancients are explained; the original and genuine reading is established; the variant readings of various codices and editions as well as the emendations of the Critics are weighed. For it is evident that the Homeric contextus, which was recited by the rhapsodes from memory and which used to be sung orally by everyone, was already for a long time corrupt, since it would have been impossible for the different rhapsodes of the different regions of Greece not to be forced by necessity to subtract, add, and change many things. That Homer committed his poems to writing is denied by Josephus at the beginning of Book I of his Against Apion, and this opinion seems to be shared by an unpublished Scholiast to Dionysius Thrax, who narrates that the poems of Homer, which were preserved only in men’s minds and memory and were not written, had become extinct by the time of Peisistratos, and that he accordingly offered a reward to those who would bring him Homeric verses, and that, as a result, many people, greedy for money, sold Peisistratos their verses as if they were Homeric. The Critics left these spurious verses in the Edition, but they did so in a special way, marking them with the obelus. [2]
1§3 This assessment in Villoison’s 1788 Prolegomena anticipated in some significant details the ultimately far more influential views of Friedrich August Wolf in his Prolegomena ad Homerum, published in 1795 [3] (English-language edition 1985). [4] In other details, however, Wolf’s assessment diverged radically from that of Villoison. This divergence is crucial for weighing the importance of the Homeric scholia and, by extension, even for establishing the text of Homer. The point of disagreement centers on what the scholia tell us about the ancient kritikoi or Critics, as Villoison refers to them in the passage just quoted.
1§4 These critics are the scholars responsible for the textual transmission of Homer in the Library of Alexandria, founded in the early third century BCE, {4|5} the era of Zenodotus of Ephesus, who is credited with the first Alexandrian “edition” of Homer. There were subsequent “editions” by Aristophanes of Byzantium, who became director of the Library around the beginning of the second century BCE, and by a later director, Aristarchus of Samothrace, the culmination of whose work is dated around the middle of the second century BCE. It is the “edition” of Homer by Aristarchus, as frequently cited by the scholia of the Venetus A manuscript, that constitutes the primary authority behind these Homeric scholia.
1§5 Here we come to the central point of divergence between Villoison and Wolf: whereas Villoison viewed the Venetus A scholia as an authoritative witness to an authoritative edition of Homer by Aristarchus, Wolf swerved from this position by questioning the authoritativeness of the Homeric scholia and, more fundamentally, the authority of Aristarchus as an editor of Homeric poetry. This swerve away from Villoison’s position is reflected in the fullest single collection of data currently available on the Homeric scholia, Hartmut Erbse’s edition of the Iliad scholia. [5] {5|6}
1§6 Erbse’s edition aims to encompass two main components of the scholiastic tradition on Homer: (1) “Ap.H.,” the archetype of the Venetus A scholia and a main source for the twelfth-century Homer commentator Eustathius (as also for the Etymologicum Genuinum), [6] and (2) c, the archetype of the b and the T scholia. [7] Erbse’s edition excludes, however, the so-called D scholia. [8] Erbse also excludes the material from the Homeric Questions of Porphyry (third century CE). [9]
1§7 Erbse divides what he calls the “major scholia” of Homer, as represented by A, b, and T, into two categories: (1) the data culminating in A, stemming from the so-called Viermännerkommentar, that is, the “four-man commentary,” or “VMK” for short, and (2) the data culminating in c, archetype of b and T, the so-called “exegetical” scholia. [10] As for the D scholia, they are assigned by default to a more amorphous category, the “minor scholia,” about which I will have more to say later. Also, there are Homeric “scholia” in papyri from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, some of which are cognate with but qualitatively different from the D scholia. [11] I will have more to say later on the papyrus scholia as well.
1§8 Erbse’s categories of Homeric scholia apply also to the textual tradition of the Odyssey, not just the Iliad, but here we find much less textual evidence. The two earliest minuscule manuscripts of the Odyssey, G (tenth century) and F (eleventh century), are without scholia. [12] There is nothing remotely comparable to the A scholia of the Iliad in the textual history of the Odyssey. Nor is there an edition of the Odyssey scholia that matches the scale of Erbse’s work on the Iliad scholia. [13]
1§9 Focusing on the A scholia of the Iliad, Erbse traces their data back to the VMK. [14] The subscriptio that we find at the end of each of the 24 books (except for a lacuna at the end of Book 17 and an omission at the end of Book 24) of the Venetus A Iliad gives the basic information about the VMK: παράκειται τὰ Ἀριστονίκου σημεῖα καὶ τὰ Διδύμου Περὶ τῆς Ἀρισταρχείου διορθώσεως, τινὰ δὲ καὶ ἐκ τῆς Ἰλιακῆς προσῳδίας Ἡρωδιανοῦ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ Νικάνορος Περὶ στιγμῆς ‘placed in the margins are the signs of Aristonicus and the work of Didymus entitled “On the Aristarchean edition [diorthōsis],” and some material also from the “Iliadic prosody” of Herodian and from the work of {6|7} Nicanor entitled “On punctuation”’. [15] Thus the VMK combines the Homeric scholarship of Didymus (on variant textual readings), [16] Aristonicus (on critical signs), [17] Nicanor (on punctuation), [18] and Herodian (on accent). [19] The VMK authors are to be dated as follows: Didymus flourished in the second half of the first century BCE and beginning of the first CE; Aristonicus was a contemporary of Didymus; Nicanor lived in the era of Hadrian; Herodian flourished about 200 years after Didymus, in the era of Marcus Aurelius. The data provided by the VMK are based ultimately on the Homer edition and commentary of Aristarchus, as we learn from the testimony of the first of the “four men” I list here, Didymus, as mediated by the scholia.
1§10 On the basis of data derived primarily from the Homeric scholia, Rudolf Pfeiffer reconstructs the history of Aristarchus’ edition of Homer as follows: first, Aristarchus made a hupomnēma or ‘commentary’ on the ekdosis or ‘edition’ of Homer produced by his immediate predecessor as head of the Library of Alexandria, Aristophanes of Byzantium; then, Aristarchus produced his own ‘edition’ and made a revised ‘commentary’ to accompany it; later, members of his school produced a revised ‘edition’. [20]
1§11 Here we return to the divergence of opinions, going all the way back to Villoison and Wolf, about the value and even the nature of the work accomplished by the ‘editors’ of Homer, especially Aristarchus, in transmitting the Homeric textual tradition. Depending on how we interpret the information attributed by the Homeric scholia to Aristarchus and other such scholars, there is room for a wide variety of different ideas about what exactly the definitive text of Homer may have been, and even whether there had existed such a thing as a “definitive” text.
1§12 In order to grasp the essence of this divergence, we may focus on the wording of Villoison’s original formulation, as highlighted in the passage quoted at the beginning. According to Villoison, the Homeric scholia provide essential background on the following three aspects of the Homeric {7|8} tradition: (1) the historical context, (2) the text itself, and (3) the oral traditions underlying but also “undermining” that text.
1§13 Starting with the first aspect, we see that Villoison valued the Homeric scholia for their providing a background on “the rites, customs, mythology, and geography of the ancients.” For Villoison, the Homeric scholia put the Homeric text back into its historical context(s):
Villoison’s hopes for the usefulness of the scholia—and the wide interest his huge, highly technical edition of them provoked—owed much to views of Homer that sprang up largely outside the professional tradition in philology, and in particular to a new sense of the poet’s historicity that grew out of the criticisms of him voiced during the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns. [21]
1§14 Turning to the second aspect, the Homeric text, we have already noted that the “Critics” to whom Villoison’s formulation primarily refers are the three Homer scholars of the Library or Museum at Alexandria who were credited with producing “editions” of Homer: Zenodotus of Ephesus, Aristophanes of Byzantium, and, especially, Aristarchus of Samothrace. The publication of Venetus A and its scholia, with well over 1,000 references to Aristarchus, produced a quantum leap of information about the premier Alexandrian editor of Homer. There was a sense of euphoria about prospects of recovering the Homer edition of Aristarchus, along with the commentary produced by his school. Villoison could hope to establish “the original and genuine reading,” on the basis of examining “the variant readings of various codices and editions as well as the emendations of the critics.” The A scholia of Homer seemed to bring Aristarchus back to life.
1§15 As we can see from his quoted formulation, however, Villoison’s optimism about restoring, through the scholia, the “original and genuine” text of Homer was tempered by his intuition about an oral tradition that transmitted but also “corrupted” this “text.” Here we come to the third of the three aspects of Homeric tradition highlighted by Villoison. His point about an oral Homeric transmission by way of rhapsōidoi (ῥαψῳδοί) ‘rhapsodes’ was seized on by Wolf, whose own elaborations on this third aspect of the Homeric tradition led ultimately to a destabilization of scholarly perspectives on the second and even the first aspects, concerning the Homeric text and its contexts as elucidated by the scholia. To this day, the destabilization continues, and most experts fail to agree on a unified explanation for the instabilities inherent in the ancient Homeric textual tradition. {8|9}
1§16 Wolf’s reformulation of Villoison’s assessment centers on the testimony of Josephus Against Apion 1.12–13, as invoked by Villoison in the passage quoted above. Josephus (first century CE), in his polemics with the Homer expert Apion (also first century), seems to be arguing from the premise that no original text of Homer survived. Wolf infers that the Homer scholars of Alexandria must have accepted this premise. Otherwise, Wolf reasons, Josephus could not get away with arguing, against an authoritative Homer expert like Apion (he was a student of the Aristarchean Didymus), that Homer did not write. Here is Wolf’s interpretation of the Josephus passage:
… the ancients themselves ascribed the origin of variant readings to the rhapsodes, and located in their frequent performances the principal source of Homeric corruption and interpolation. And this judgment, which began with the Alexandrian critics [footnote 76], is clearly supported by consideration of the nature of the case (Ch.25). [22]
At footnote 76, Wolf cross-refers to an earlier part of his treatise (Ch.18), where he argues not only that Homer did not use writing in composing his poetry but also that the Homer scholars of Alexandria must have known this:
This [= the passage cited from Josephus] is the only clear, authoritative testimony about the question. But it is weightier because it was written against the most learned Homeric commentator [= Apion], and no ancient defender of a different or contrary opinion survives. Therefore, however the overall credibility of Josephus may be assessed, that passage [of Josephus] will have all the force that clear words have. Recently he was reinforced by a certain scholiast [footnote 39], a coadjutor unworthy of any mention had he not gathered his tale, one soon corrupted by the stories of later grammarians, from the same Alexandrian remains. For it is clear that they did not draw it from Josephus (Ch.18). [23]
In his footnote 39, Wolf specifies that this additional testimony comes from the scholia to Dionysius Thrax published by Villoison himself in his Anecdota Graeca 2.182 [Grammatici Graeci 3.179]: the Greek text of the scholiast is translated thus: “For the works of Homer were lost, as they say. For in those days they were not transmitted by writing, but only by training so that they might be preserved by memory, etc.” [24]
1§17 The implications of Wolf’s inference are far-reaching: if he is right, then the Homer text inherited by the scholars of Alexandria has been “corrupted” {9|10} by oral transmission, and whatever “corrections” they make are likely to be conjectures. By extension, the evidence of the scholia, which reflect the work of the Alexandrian scholars, is devalued.
1§18 The Greek text of Josephus Against Apion 1.12–13, as we have seen it invoked by both Villoison and Wolf, is as follows:
ὅλως δὲ παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν οὐδὲν ὁμολογούμενον εὑρίσκεται γράμμα τῆς Ὁμήρου ποιήσεως πρεσβύτερον, οὗτος δὲ καὶ τῶν Τρωϊκῶν ὕστερος φαίνεται γενόμενος, καί φασιν οὐδὲ τοῦτον ἐν γράμμασι τὴν αὑτοῦ ποίησιν καταλιπεῖν, ἀλλὰ διαμνημονευομένην ἐκ τῶν ᾀσμάτων ὕστερον συντεθῆναι καὶ διὰ τοῦτο πολλὰς ἐν αὐτῇ σχεῖν τὰς διαφωνίας·
In general, no commonly recognized writing is found among the Greeks older than the poetry of Homer. But he too seems to have been later than the Trojan War, and they say that not even he left his poetry in writing, but it was preserved by memory [= verb diamnēmoneuein] and assembled [= verb suntithenai] later from the songs. And it is because of this that there are so many inconsistencies [diaphōniai] in it. [25]
As we see from the wording of Josephus, he claims that the poems of Homer were preserved by memory and assembled later from the songs. The idea of an ‘assembling’ of a text ‘from the songs’ suggests that the premise of Josephus’ argumentation is the existence of stories that told of a recension of the Homeric poems commissioned by the Athenian tyrant Peisistratos. [26] We may treat these stories as a historical reality in their own right, even if we do not choose to believe the contents of the stories. In other words, the historical reality is not necessarily what the stories say about a Peisistratean Recension, as Wolf argues, but merely the stories themselves—or, better, the narrative tradition. It can be argued, pace Wolf, that the stories of the Peisistratean Recension result from a political myth, fostered by the dynasty of Peisistratos himself, that pictured the tyrant as a culture hero who rescued and restored the poems of Homer, which had formerly become neglected, fragmented, and even lost. [27] It can also be argued that such stories are characteristic of a type of charter myth, attested not only in other archaic Greek traditions but also in those of a wide variety of different cultures, that serves {10|11} to explain the genesis of a centralized oral tradition in the metaphorical terms of written traditions, so that the gradual evolution of an oral tradition into a centralized institution is imagined by the myth as an instantaneous re-creation of a lost book—or of an obsolete archetype of an ultimate Book. [28]
1§19 There is reason, then, for resisting what both Villoison and Wolf infer from the stories of the Peisistratean Recension. These stories center on the notion of a lost text, and they make no explicit reference to the reality of oral transmission by Homeric performers called rhapsōidoi (ῥαψῳδοί) ‘rhapsodes’. Although there is indeed evidence to support both Villoison and Wolf in their arguing for the concept of a rhapsodic phase in the history of Homeric transmission, [29] the point is that the Alexandrian scholars argued for an altogether different concept: for them, especially for Aristarchus, the idea of an original written text of Homer was not so much a metaphor but a supposed reality. [30] For Aristarchus, it appears that Homer was an Athenian who lived around 1000 BCE, in the time of the so-called Ionian Migration (scholia A at Iliad XIII 197); [31] moreover, the scholiastic tradition stemming ultimately from Aristarchus implies that Homer wrote his poems (scholia A at Iliad XVI 719) and that Hesiod actually had a chance to read them (scholia A at Iliad XII 22a). [32] Although earlier traditions did indeed accept the idea of a rhapsodic transmission of Homer and Hesiod, [33] even picturing the {11|12} poets themselves as rhapsodes, [34] the later exegetical traditions of scholars like Aristarchus seem to have rejected this model, positing instead a literate Homer and Hesiod. [35]
1§20 Thus Wolf seems unjustified in thinking that the Homer scholars of Alexandria posited a phase of oral transmission to account for the variations that they found in the history of the Homeric text. The problem is, Wolf does not make a distinction between earlier and later views of Homer in ancient criticism: the premise of Josephus reflects an earlier Homeric model, while that of Apion promotes a later one, of Aristarchean provenance (to repeat: Apion was a student of the Aristarchean Didymus). [36] Wolf’s thinking on this point turns out to be a cornerstone for his overall theory that patterns of relative instability in the earlier phases of the Homeric textual tradition can be explained by positing even earlier phases of Homeric oral tradition. “Like Villoison, he [Wolf] saw the early oral transmission of the Homeric poems as the chief source of early variants and the chief stimulus for the development of textual criticism. … Unlike Villoison, however, Wolf insisted that the ancient critics had not had old enough materials to give their critical work a firm foundation.” [37] In other words, Wolf questions, in varying degrees, the reliability of the scholia and of their primary authorities—Zenodotus, Aristophanes, and even Aristarchus—as sources that can lead to the recovery of the “original” Homer text.
1§21 Villoison, by contrast, claims that these scholia establish the “original and genuine reading,” thereby affirming his conviction that the Alexandrian Homer scholars, especially Aristarchus, did indeed come close to recovering an “original” Homer text. Thus Villoison’s Homer text is Aristarchean, in {12|13} contrast to Wolf’s, which is meta-Aristarchean. Essentially, Villoison’s claim about the Venetus A text and the Venetus A scholia of the Iliad seems to match the goal of Aristarchus himself, who sought to recover an “original” text. [38]
1§22 To be sure, we may disagree fundamentally with the premise of Aristarchus, who searched for variants in Homeric textual transmission in order to find in each case the authentic variant. Instead, I argue for an evolutionary model, accounting for a plethora of different authentic variants at different stages (or even at any one stage) in the evolution of Homeric poetry as an oral tradition; variations in the textual tradition would reflect different stages in the transcribing of this oral tradition. [39]
1§23 Such a model is fundamentally at odds with the theories of Villoison, who puts his trust in Aristarchus, validating that Alexandrian scholar’s case-by-case search for the authentic reading in the text of Homer. Such a model is also at odds with the theories of Wolf, who distrusts Aristarchus’ ability to recover authentic readings in general. Whereas Aristarchus—and Villoison—may have gone too far in positing the authentic reading in any given case throughout the Homeric text, there is no reason to doubt that any Homeric variant attributed to Aristarchus can be considered an authentic reading. [40] For Wolf to cast general doubt on variant readings attributed to Aristarchus may well be going too far in the opposite direction.
1§24 In this regard, there is room for disagreement with the editors of the “English Wolf,” who set up the following dichotomy between Villoison and Wolf: “where Villoison heaped up without structure or order texts and data from all periods of Greek literature,” they claim, “Wolf moved systematically through the scholia, assembling what he took to be characteristic corrections attributed to the ancient readers and critics.” [41] This is to put the best light on Wolf’s general practice of discrediting not only Zenodotus but also Aristophanes and even Aristarchus. [42] According to this assessment, Wolf’s pessimistic formulation supposedly helps put Homer into a historical context. Pursuing this train of thought, the editors of the “English Wolf” quote {13|14} the verdict of Pfeiffer on Wolf as the man “who opened the eyes of his contemporaries and of posterity to the unique historical position of the Homeric poetry” [the emphasis is by Pfeiffer]. [43]
1§25 Ironically, Villoison’s optimistic formulation, articulating the goal of recovering the genuine Homer through Aristarchus, can lead to a clearer perspective about the earlier history of Homeric transmission, while Wolf’s pessimism about verifying the testimony of the three major Alexandrian Homer scholars, including Aristarchus, leads to a default mentality that finds certainty only in the later history of this transmission. To follow this mentality is to rely mostly on what Wolf considers the only verifiable historical reality, that is, the Homer text that evolved after the era of Aristarchus. Pierre Alexis Pierron, one of Villoison’s defenders, says sarcastically that the Iliad of Wolf is the Iliad known to the likes of Porphyry, who composed his Homeric Questions in the third century CE. [44]
1§26 There are other possible approaches to the Homer scholia, and one of them is even more optimistic than that of Villoison: we may consider any variant—whether it is found in the textual traditions or is attributed by the scholia to Zenodotus, Aristophanes, Aristarchus, or other Homer scholars—to be a potentially authentic written reflex of the oral poetic system of Homeric diction. [45] Let us focus for the moment on the three major Alexandrian Homer scholars. For Wolf, whenever Aristarchus is “right” about a reading and Zenodotus is “wrong,” or the other way around, the inference is that neither can be trusted. From the standpoint of oral poetics, however, I will argue that we cannot establish which given reading is “right” and which is “wrong” as we study the variants that survive in the Homeric textual tradition: all we can determine is what seems to be authentic or not, and we may even leave room for more than one authentic reading in any given situation—if we take into account the evolution of Homeric poetry in performance.
1§27 In investigating the historical layers separating the Homeric scholarship of Zenodotus, Aristophanes, and Aristarchus, Wolf manages to discredit all three to the extent that none of them can lay claim to be the consistent transmitter of the authentic reading. Here is where a return to Villoison helps broaden the perspective. His text of the Iliad, relying on the Venetus A {14|15} scholia, helps reconstruct the earlier history of Homeric transmission, even if he overprivileges the testimony of Aristarchus against that of Zenodotus and Aristophanes, let alone the earlier Athenian transmission. [46]
1§28 In this light it is instructive to study, as a historical model, the editorial work of Pierre Alexis Pierron on the Iliadic text. [47] Pierron builds on the work of Karl Lehrs, the moving force of the “Königsberg School,” who consistently defended the value of Aristarchus’ Homeric scholarship as transmitted primarily through the A scholia. [48] Pierron’s edition represents an approximation, however fragmented, of Aristarchus’ own editorial work on the Iliad text. [49] Such an Aristarchean edition of Homer, achieved primarily by way of the A scholia, is valuable not so much for its avowed goal of pinpointing the singular text that Aristarchus had hoped to recover but for its illustrating the variety of multiple readings that were apparently still available to this ancient scholar in his ongoing quest to find in each case the one true reading. What the Homeric scholia reveal, however imperfectly, is that Aristarchus’ attempt to reconstruct the single truth of an original Homeric text had led him to scan a multiplicity of existing Homeric texts. [50] Attracted to the idea of that singularity, Villoison placed his trust in Aristarchus. Facing the reality of multiple Homeric textual transmission, Wolf despaired of ever recovering the original Homer text.
1§29 The differences between Villoison and Wolf in weighing the importance of the Homeric scholia have left to this day a legacy of uncertainty about the criteria needed for editing Homer. The Homer edition used until recently by most English-speaking Classicists as the definitive or near-definitive text, the Oxford Classical Text of T. W. Allen (with D. B. Monro), has been called into question. [51] For example, Helmut van Thiel, the editor of a rival edition of Homer (both the Iliad and the Odyssey), [52] condemns Allen’s {15|16} earlier edition as fundamentally defective in its methodology, [53] and he reinforces his condemnation by deliberately making his manuscript sigla different from those of Allen. [54]
1§30 It is open to question, however, whether van Thiel’s own Homeric editions are any more definitive than Allen’s: as Michael Haslam points out, with specific reference to van Thiel’s Odyssey (1991), such an edition “is founded on the premise of the exclusive authority of the vulgate.” [55] By his shorthand reference to the “vulgate” text of Homer, Haslam means the medieval transmission, as distinct from readings attested in the scholia, in papyri, or in the indirect tradition (Homer-quotations and the like). [56] The editorial method espoused by van Thiel is to treat as mere conjectures the variants attributed by the scholia to the Alexandrian editors. [57] In response to current descriptions of such a method as “conservative,” Haslam adds, parenthetically: “… not that there is actually anything conservative about preferring medieval manuscripts to ancient ones.” [58] It is also essential to keep in mind, as Haslam succinctly puts it, that many medieval variant manuscript readings are “infiltrators from the scholia.” [59] Also, there were many Homeric readings that the medieval tradition simply did not preserve. [60]
1§31 Even the inconsistencies of modern usage in applying the word “vulgate” to various different phases of a reconstructed Homeric text illustrate the ongoing uncertainties in establishing a definitive text of Homer. For Arthur Ludwich, the “vulgate” Homeric text is pre-Alexandrian, derived from an Athenian prototype, which is the ultimate source for the medieval manuscript tradition. [61] Similarly for Marchinus van der Valk, a pre-Aristarchean “vulgate” had “preserved the authentic text,” and this text “was also transmitted by the vulgate of the medieval manuscripts.” [62] For both Ludwich and van der Valk, this “vulgate” is distinct from the Homer “editions” of the Alexandrians, especially that of Aristarchus. For van der Valk, however, the readings of the “vulgate” are generally more authentic than the variant readings attributed by the Homer scholia to scholars like Aristarchus, which he generally takes to be “conjectures”; for Ludwich, by contrast, such {16|17} variants are not “conjectures” but authentic readings preserved by the scholia from the Alexandrian editions of Aristarchus and others. [63] For Ludwich, the Alexandrian “edition” of Aristarchus represents a quantum leap beyond the pre-Alexandrian “vulgate”; for van der Valk, by contrast, the pre- and post-Alexandrian “vulgate” text is relatively superior to the Alexandrian “edition” of Aristarchus, which may not even be deserving of the term “edition.” [64]
1§32 The term “Wolfian vulgate” has been applied to post-Wolf editions of Homer that tend to discount the judgments of Alexandrian critics, especially with reference to criteria of excluding lines in the Homeric corpus. [65] Such an edition is the Monro-Allen 1920 Oxford Classical Text of the Iliad. In other respects, though, this edition follows the criteria of Aristarchus, occasionally adopting the variant readings attributed by the Homer scholia to Aristarchus or to his Alexandrian predecessors. [66] By contrast, the more recent Homer editions of van Thiel go beyond Monro-Allen and most other previous editions in moving toward the “Wolfian vulgate” as the definitive text. Ironically, the impetus toward privileging the “Wolfian vulgate” and challenging most of the Alexandrian editorial criteria transmitted by the scholia has been championed by the editor of the major Iliad scholia, Hartmut Erbse. [67] Rudolf Pfeiffer, in his summary of the efforts of Lehrs and others to rehabilitate the authoritativeness of Aristarchus as editor of Homer, singles out Erbse’s minimizing the authority of the Alexandrian editors. [68] Pfeiffer begins by saying: “it looks to me as if by a sort of unconscious counter-revolution Wolf has now been put back on the throne from which Lehrs had driven him.” [69]
1§33 It may well be an overstatement to say that Wolf has been reinstated as the driving force behind Homeric studies. Still, the “Wolfian vulgate” version of the Homeric text is once again ascendant in some quarters, culminating in the Homer editions of van Thiel. A key to this ascendancy is the work of Erbse, culminating in his edition of the Iliad scholia. As we have seen, the centerpiece of Erbse’s edition, as also of Villoison’s, is the testimony of the A scholia. Much as Villoison had supplemented the testimony of the A scholia with those of the B scholia, so also Erbse with that of the c branch comprised of the b and T scholia. {17|18}
1§34 And yet, Erbse’s edition cannot provide a complete picture of the Homer scholia. The corpus encompassed by this edition, massive as it is, preserves but a fraction of the information that had once been available and is still sporadically visible in the Homer commentaries of papyri from the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Moreover, Erbse’s edition omits the D scholia, as we have already noted. This is a major loss, since these scholia supplement considerably the picture of ancient Homeric scholarship. [70]
1§35 To be sure, there are counter-trends to the trend of accepting the default of a “Wolfian vulgate.” There are those who systematically argue for validating the editorial standards of the Alexandrians (Zenodotus and Aristophanes as well as Aristarchus), especially with reference to their choices of variant readings. [71] As of this writing, they are in a minority. Still, some aspects of their views are gaining ground: a case in point is the growing acceptance of arguments for the validity of Aristarchus’ criteria in establishing an “authentic” numerus versuum, a fixed number of verses deemed genuine in the text of the Homeric poems. [72]
1§36 New editorial work on the D scholia will considerably enhance our knowledge of ancient Homeric scholarship, though the results of this work too will fall far short of the whole picture. [73] Moreover, the textual history of these scholia is even more complicated than that of the A scholia. In order to grasp the essence of the D scholia, we must start with the broader concept of “minor scholia,” a category that includes the D group. The “minor scholia” can be divided into four categories: [74] {18|19}
1. scholia written in papyrus texts of Homer (some of these scholia derive from school-texts, others from learned disquisitions) and interlinear scholia written in medieval manuscripts; the interlinear scholia found in the Homer texts of A and T, which stem from the D scholia, were published in the editions of Dindorf and Maass [75]
2. Homeric glossaries found in papyri and in medieval manuscripts; the basic format is to start with a lēmma, that is, with an individual word or phrase taken from the Homer text, and then to explain that lēmma
3. Homeric lexica, found in papyri and in medieval manuscripts
4. running paraphrases in prose, found in papyri and in medieval manuscripts
1§37 The lēmmata of the papyrus “scholia” can sometimes be traced back to the writings of Alexandrian scholars, though much of the information found in these texts comes from less scholarly sources. [76] We may note in general that the papyrus “scholia,” like the medieval ones, often omit the name of the scholar whose authority had been invoked, and that the actual sources range from sophisticated scholarly epitomes and disquisitions (some of which must have had direct access to the work of Alexandrian scholars) to relatively unsophisticated schoolmasterly or schoolboyish paraphrases. [77]
1§38 What is remarkable about the medieval D scholia corresponding to the papyrus “scholia” is their tendency to preserve the relatively more learned versions of the ancient sources. [78] Also, the D scholia sometimes “have lemmas not represented in the direct transmission of the poems.” [79]
1§39 The bulk of the “minor scholia” transmitted by the “archetype” of the medieval manuscript versions of the D scholia—as well as the codex of the lexicon of Apollonius Sophista and the codex of the lexicon of Hesychius—must have been very similar to what is already a fairly consolidated corpus of information as reflected in the Homer papyrus scholia of the Roman period (most of the Homer papyri stem from this period). [80] This much said, it is important to keep in mind that the D scholia preserve only a part of the traditions reflected in the Homer papyrus scholia. [81]
1§40 Finally, the D scholia tradition preserves another important component of scholarly heritage stemming from the period of Alexandrian Homer scholarship, drawing on the scholarly genre of the mythological historia; the chief source is a “complex” known as the Mythographus Homericus. [82]
1§41 We may perhaps detect a general sense of hesitation on the part of most Homer scholars today about the prospect of tracing the information found in medieval manuscript scholia back to corresponding information in papyrus scholia. Such reluctance can be explained in part as a lingering reaction to the excesses of earlier scholars who thought that they had recovered from {19|20} the scholia the apparatus of Aristarchus himself. Constructions of stemmata linking the readings found in the scholia of papyri with the readings in the scholia of medieval manuscripts are nowadays deemed to be impossible even in the case of the “beloved” Venetus A manuscript, since “collation spreads readings unsystematically: there are no separate lines of transmission.” [83] The point is well taken, though there may be a danger in going too far in the other direction by not crediting the readings found in the scholia of the Venetus A manuscript with an authority comparable to that of readings in other scholia, especially the D scholia. In the case of the D scholia, it has been said with some justification that their “authority” is often “bolstered by papyri.” [84]
1§42 There is perhaps a further danger: an undervaluing of the Venetus A scholia leads to an undervaluing of the Homer editions of Aristarchus, Aristophanes, and Zenodotus, which in turn leads to an overvaluing of the “Wolfian vulgate.” In order to find a balance, we may consider the testimony of the Homer scholia themselves on the concept of the “vulgate.”
1§43 Applications of the term “vulgate” to various aspects of the Homeric textual tradition can be traced back ultimately to the usage of Aristarchus—or at least of Didymus, the epitomator of Aristarchus—as reflected especially in the Homer scholia. According to the scholia, the khariesterai (χαριέστεραι) or ‘more elegant’ texts of Homer were (1) the manuscripts that were “edited” by previous scholars and (2) the so-called politikai (πολιτικαί) or ‘city editions’ stemming from Massalia / Marseille (= ἡ Μασσαλιωτική [Massaliōtikē]), Chios (= ἡ Χία [Khia]), Argos (= ἡ Ἀργολική [Argolikē]), Sinope (= ἡ Σινωπική [Sinōpikē]), Cyprus (= ἡ Κυπρία [Kupria]), and Crete (= ἡ Κρητική [Krētikē]), while the texts of Homer that were dēmōdeis (δημώδεις) ‘popular’ or koinai (κοιναί) ‘common’ did not belong to the previous two privileged categories. [85] In the context of such negative comparisons, the usage of plural koinai (κοιναί) and singular koinē (κοινή) ‘common’ has been equated with Latin vulgata or ‘vulgate’. [86]
1§44 But the biblical Latin analogy can mislead: in Jerome’s Epistle to Sunnia and Fretela, the word koinē, which he glosses in Latin as the vulgata or ‘vulgate’, is applied to two ‘common’ Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible, one of which is the editio or ‘edition’ of one Lucian while the other is the {20|21} editio of Origen of Alexandria (late second to mid-third century CE)—that is, the Septuagint as edited in the Hexapla of Origen. [87] As in the usage of the Homer scholia, there is an element of negative comparison here as well: conceding that the Greek term koinē is applicable to both of the Greek-language biblical ‘editions’ in question, Jerome goes on to contrast the ‘old corrupt edition’ of Lucian with the ‘uncorrupted and immaculate’ version that serves as the source for Jerome’s Latin vulgate translation:
κοινή autem ista, hoc est communis, editio ipsa est quae et septuaginta, sed hoc interest inter utramque quod κοινή pro locis et temporibus et pro voluntate scriptorum vetus corrupta editio est, ea autem quae habetur in ἑξαπλοῖς et quam nos vertimus ipsa est quae in eruditorum libris incorrupta et immaculata septuaginta interpretum translatio reservatur.
This koinē, that is, this common edition, is the same thing as the edition of the Seventy, but there is this difference between the two: that the koinē—in line with different times and different places and different whims of people who wrote it down—is an old and corrupt edition, whereas by contrast the one that is found in the Hexapla and which we have translated is the same thing as the actual translation [into Greek from Hebrew] of the Seventy interpreters, which has been conserved without corruption and without blemish in the books of the erudite.
Jerome Epistles 106.2
In other words, the ‘edition’ of the Septuagint that Jerome uses as his own textual source is koinē to the extent that it is a ‘common’—in the sense of ‘general’ or even ‘universal’—text, but it transcends the designation of koinē to the extent that it is a ‘corrected’ text, freed from ‘corruptions’ associated with a text that is ‘common’—in the sense of ‘vulgar’. The word koinē has the aura of an authoritative but relatively ‘uncorrected’ text.
1§45 Similarly in the case of Aristarchus, it can be argued that his category of koinai or ‘common’ texts of Homer, mentioned throughout the Homeric scholia, may be traced back to an authoritative but relatively ‘uncorrected’ textual source, and the most likely reconstruction is an Athenian “City Edition,” as current in the fourth century. [88]
1§46 A piece of evidence that may be cited in favor of this reconstruction is the fourth-century Athenian usage of the adjective koinos as ‘common’ in the {21|22} ideological sense of ‘general, standardized, universalized’; [89] such a description would fit the Iliad and Odyssey as “owned” by the Athenian State, on the occasion of seasonally-recurring performances at the Festival of the Panathenaia. [90]
1§47 Another piece of evidence comes from the patterns of fluctuation that we see between plural koinai and singular koinē in the medieval Homer scholia: there are cases where the plural koinai in these medieval texts is matched by the distinctive singular koinē in the testimony of annotations written in papyrus texts of Homer. [91] Here too, as in Jerome’s assessment of the word koinē, we may detect the aura of an authoritative but relatively ‘uncorrected’ text. [92]
1§48 Thus the argument that the koinē Homer text stems from an Athenian “City Edition” cannot be countered by suggesting that Aristarchus would have actually preferred an Athenian “City Edition,” if indeed he had access to such a thing, over other editions. [93] The Homer scholia make it clear that Aristarchus’ criterion for distinguishing a superior from an inferior ekdosis or ‘edition’ is the variable scholarly quality of the editing process, that is, of diorthōsis or ‘correction’—in the sense of restoring ‘genuine’ or ‘original’ readings to a ‘corrupted’ text. Accordingly, I propose to use ‘corrective editing’ as a working translation of diorthōsis. [94]
1§49 To the extent that the koinē Homer is ‘common’ in the uneroded and privileged sense of a ‘general, standardized, universalized’ text stemming from {22|23} an earlier past, we can expect Aristarchus to value it; to the extent that this same koinē is ‘common’ in the eroded and non-privileged sense of ‘vulgar’, we can expect him to prefer the more ‘corrected’ editions from the more recent past, including those of Aristophanes and Zenodotus. This pattern of preference could only be expected to intensify in the post-Aristarchean era, by which time the privileged sense of koinē would have eroded further.
1§50 According to an explanation that differs from the one offered here, the mentions of plural koinai in the Homer scholia refer simply to “the early Ptolemaic papyri that we may see as specimens of the ‘common’ text(s).” [95] This is to assume, however, that plural koinai and the more distinctive singular koinē mean ‘common’ only in the eroded sense of ‘vulgar’. It is also to assume that koinē is merely a foil, an inferior copy. Rather, it may be an authoritative point of departure for the process of scholarly diorthōsis ‘corrective editing’ that ostensibly leads to the edition of a superior text. [96]
1§51 The authenticity of koinē readings, where the designation koinē is actually made explicit by the scholia, can be confirmed on the basis of two independent criteria: (1) comparative linguistics and (2) oral poetics. [97] But this is not to discredit the authenticity of non-koinē readings that the scholia attribute to the diorthōsis or ‘corrective editing’ of scholars like Aristarchus. In many instances, the variant readings attributed to Aristarchus or Aristophanes or Zenodotus can likewise be confirmed on the basis of those same two independent criteria of comparative linguistics and oral poetics. [98] Thus it is unjustified to assume, as have many Homeric scholars, that the variant readings resulting from the diorthōsis ‘corrective editing’ of Alexandrian critics are as a rule scholarly conjectures. As I will show at a later point in the book, many of these variants stemming from the learned editions prove to be just as authentic, from the standpoint of oral poetics, as the variants stemming from the “City Editions” or from the koinē texts in general.
1§52 Ironically, an assumption that Wolf had made about oral traditions led him to accept one of the two working assumptions of Alexandrian critics like Aristarchus. These critics assumed both that the Homeric text was ‘corrupted’ and that they could ‘correct’ these corruptions by combining the internal evidence of Homeric diction with the external evidence of variant manuscript traditions. Though Wolf did not accept the assumption of the Alexandrian critics that they had the means to ‘correct’ the ‘corruptions’, he took as a given their assumption that there were indeed ‘corruptions’ {23|24} in the first place. For a scholar like Aristarchus, such ‘corruptions’ were a matter of textual traditions that had gone wrong. For Wolf, they became something else, a matter of oral traditions that had made the textual traditions go wrong.
1§53 The study of living oral traditions, as we shall see in the chapters that follow, refutes this assumption: the process of composition-in-performance, typical of oral traditions, does not ‘corrupt’ an ‘original’ composition. Even the concept of ‘original’ misleads in the context of this argumentation, in that any performance in an oral tradition can re-create a given composition into a new ‘original’—though of course the degree of re-creation may vary considerably, depending not only on the nature of the given tradition but also on a wide variety of historically-determined contingencies.
1§54 In the chapters that follow, I have more to say about oral traditional poetry and about the process of recomposition-in-performance. I will argue that different authentic variants can be generated by the same oral tradition at different historical points of its evolution. I will also argue that the principle of variation affects not only the content but even the length of a given recomposition-in-performance.
1§55 The Homer scholia are a most valuable source for reconstructing the evolution of Homeric textual traditions from oral traditions. As we shall see, however, such reconstruction cannot recover any single definitive text. Different Homeric texts may have been definitive at different historical moments, but no single Homeric text can be deemed definitive beyond its own historical context. [99] {24|25}


[ back ] * The original version of this essay is N 1997d.
[ back ] 1. Villoison 1788.
[ back ] 2. Villoison 1788:xxxiv; the translation and the underlinings highlightings are mine. I leave untranslated his use of the Latin noun contextus, which conveys the metaphorical sense of ‘fabric, structure’; compare the Latin verb contexere ‘weave, restart weaving where one had left off weaving’. Here and everywhere, I use single rather than double quotes for translating the meanings of words and phrases. On the rhapsōidoi or ‘rhapsodes’, professional performers of Homeric and other archaic poetry, see below. The obelus is a horizontal mark, placed next to a verse in the left-hand margin of a text, to indicate the editor’s doubts about the authenticity of the verse. I will have more to say about this sign as the discussion proceeds.
[ back ] 3. Wolf 1795.
[ back ] 4. Grafton, Most, and Zetzel 1985; hereafter abbreviated as GMZ. Besides translating Wolf’s original Latin text into English, GMZ have written an introduction and notes focusing on Wolf’s influence on Homeric scholarship. GMZ 7–8 give their own translation of the passage from Villoison p. xxxiv quoted above. They do not stress Wolf’s fundamental debt to this specific formulation by Villoison. On that subject, see Pierron 1869 I xxiii and II 509n1.
[ back ] 5. Erbse 1969–1988. More below on the other scholia. On the problems of dating the origins of compilations of scholia in general, see Wilson 1967:244–256; also the reactions in the addenda of Erbse 1969–1988 II 547, with specific reference to the Homeric scholia.
[ back ] 6. Erbse 1969–1988 I xlvii. See pp. xlv–xlvi on the wording in Eustathius I 76 8: ἐν τοῖς Ἀπίωνος καὶ Ἡροδώρου εἰς τὸν Ὅμηρον ὑπομνήμασι ‘in the Homer commentaries of Apion and Herodorus [probably corrupted from “Heliodorus”]’, whence the abbreviation “Ap.H.” On Heliodorus, see Dyck 1993a:2n6. Editions of Eustathius: van der Valk 1971–1988, Stallbaum 1825.
[ back ] 7. Erbse I p. li traces the b scholia (the family of the B manuscript, as also of C, E3, and others) and the T scholia back to a larger family c, which may also have been a source for Eustathius.
[ back ] 8. For more on the D scholia (formerly known, wrongly, as the Didymus scholia), see below; also Haslam 1997:61 and n17. These scholia are mixed in with the A and B scholia, as printed in the edition by Dindorf, volumes I–VI (1875–1888); volumes V–VI, edited by Maass (1887–1888), contain the T scholia. The D scholia have been edited by van Thiel 2000b and published electronically in the form of a “Proecdosis,” on which see van Thiel 2000a.
[ back ] 9. See Schrader 1880–1882 and 1890. See also Sodano 1970.
[ back ] 10. Erbse 1969–1988 I xi–xii. The c scholia may also contain fragments of the VMK (p. lii). Although these scholia often reflect views that contradict those advocated by the school of Aristarchus at the Library in Alexandria, they are not necessarily to be traced back to the rival school of Crates at the Library in Pergamon: see Erbse I xii. See also Haslam 1994:44, arguing that the c scholia derive from commentaries and that the term “exegetical” is a misnomer.
[ back ] 11. Erbse 1969–1988 I xiii. See also Erbse 1960:170–171.
[ back ] 12. Haslam 1997:94.
[ back ] 13. An early edition: Dindorf 1855. See also Ludwich 1888–1890.
[ back ] 14. Erbse 1969–1988 I xii, xlvii.
[ back ] 15. Erbse 1969–1988 I xv; see also p. xlvii, where he argues that the source of the VMK data in A is an archetypal codex that had merged the four distinct commentaries. (Erbse adduces scholia A at Iliad X 398, ἐν μέντοι τῇ τετραλογίᾳ Νεμεσίωνος οὕτως εὗρον περὶ τῶν στίχων τούτων ‘this was my finding about these lines, in the tetralogy of Nemesion’, and he conjectures that Nemesion lived in the 5th or 6th century CE.) There is reason to dispute this argument, on the basis of comparative evidence discussed by Haslam 1978:71.
[ back ] 16. Schmidt 1854; Ludwich 1884:175–631.
[ back ] 17. Friedländer 1853; Carnuth 1869.
[ back ] 18. Friedländer 1850. Cf. Blank 1983.
[ back ] 19. Lentz 1867–1870. Cf. Dyck 1993b.
[ back ] 20. Pfeiffer 1968:217. On the second ekdosis ‘edition’ of Aristarchus, supposedly produced by his students, see Apthorp 1980:132. On his hupomnēma or ‘commentary’, see Lührs 1992:10, who describes it as a combination of an apparatus criticus and a commentarius criticus. In Ch.4 (p. 85) I discuss a more developed scenario for reconstructing the Homer editions of Aristarchus, with special reference to the work of Montanari 1998. I will also discuss the existence of two ekdoseis ‘editions’ attributed to Aristarchus in the post-Aristarchean era.
[ back ] 21. GMZ 8. The italics are mine. The contributions of the A scholia to an understanding of the historical context are more than matched by the bT scholia: for an illuminating survey, see Schmidt 1976. On the mythological world of the D scholia, see Lünstedt 1961.
[ back ] 22. GMZ 111. The italics are mine.
[ back ] 23. GMZ 94–95.
[ back ] 24. GMZ 95n39.
[ back ] 25. GMZ 94.
[ back ] 26. On the stories about a “recension” commissioned by Peisistratos or at least by a member of the dynasty of the Peisistratidai, see HQ 65–106. See also HQ 103–105 for arguments in support of dating the story of the Peisistratean Recension at least as far back as the fourth century BCE, the era of Dieuchidas of Megara (FGH 485 F 6, by way of Diogenes Laertius 1.57).
[ back ] 27. HQ 70–75.
[ back ] 28. HQ 70–75. Cf. Tzetzes Anecdota Graeca 1.6 ed. Cramer.
[ back ] 29. There is valuable information in the scholia at Pindar Nemean 2.1e (ed. Drachmann) about the rhapsode Kynaithos of Chios. I note especially the usage of apangellein in the sense of ‘perform publicly’, with reference to the performance of rhapsodes in the circle of Kynaithos (οἱ περὶ Κύναιθον … τὴν Ὁμήρου ποίησιν … ἐμνημόνευον καὶ ἀπήγγελλον ‘Kynaithos and his school … made a practice of … the remembering of the poiēsis of Homer, and they performed it publicly’), to be compared with the usage of the same word apangellein in Herodotus 7.142.1 in a similarly performative context. I also draw attention to the association of mnēmoneuein ‘practice the remembering of …’ with apangellein ‘perform publicly’. On the relationship of master and disciple in the traditions of the rhapsodes (cf. οἱ περὶ Κύναιθον), see Ritoók 1970:23–24.
[ back ] 30. PP 150–151.
[ back ] 31. As a supplement to scholia A at Iliad XIII 197 see Proclus περὶ Ὁμήρου 59–62 ed. Severyns 1938: τοῖς δὲ χρόνοις αὐτὸν οἱ μὲν περὶ τὸν Ἀρίσταρχόν φασι γενέσθαι κατὰ τὴν τῆς Ἰωνίας ἀποικίαν, ἥτις ὑστερεῖ τῆς Ἡρακλειδῶν καθόδου ἔτεσιν ἑξήκοντα, τὸ δὲ περὶ τοὺς Ἡρακλείδας λείπεται τῶν Τρωϊκῶν ἔτεσιν ὀγδοήκοντα. οἱ δὲ περὶ Κράτητα ἀνάγουσιν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς Τρωϊκοὺς χρόνους ‘As for the dating, Aristarchus and his school situate Homer at the time of the Ionian Migration, supposedly sixty years after the Return of the Herakleidai, which in turn was supposedly eighty years after the era of the Trojan War; by contrast, Crates and his school date him back to the era of the Trojan War’. On the rivalry of Aristarchus and Crates as editors of Homer, see below. Further discussion in PP 151; Pfeiffer 1968:228; Janko 1992:32n53, 71; Keaney and Lamberton 1996:67n2.
[ back ] 32. See Porter 1992:83.
[ back ] 33. E.g. “Plato” Hipparchus 228b–c, Plato Ion 531a, 532a.
[ back ] 34. E.g. Plato Republic 10.600d.
[ back ] 35. Wolf 1795 Ch.25, in arguing that the textual instability of Homeric poetry was due to the rhapsodes—and that the Alexandrian critics made the same inference—cites an account about the rhapsode Kynaithos of Chios in the scholia at Pindar Nemean 2.1c, e (cf. Eustathius I 10 30ff, etc.). Evidently Wolf thought that this account about Kynaithos derives from Aristarchus. I have argued in support of this derivation in N 2000f:99n6, and I will repeat the essentials of my argument later on at p. 29n15 below. According to this account about the rhapsode Kynaithos, as we will see, he “interpolated” his own verses into the poetry of Homer. The idea that Kynaithos was a rhapsode implies an oral tradition, but the idea that he was “interpolating” implies a written tradition, as far as Aristarchus was concerned. For Aristarchus, the task was to “correct” the textual instability of Homer.
[ back ] 36. See Jensen 1980:155, who argues explicitly that Josephus accepted an earlier model, which she outlines on p. 150. For Apion, see Neitzel 1977.
[ back ] 37. GMZ 17.
[ back ] 38. PP 107–152, Ch.5: “Multiform epic and Aristarchus’ quest for the real Homer.” On the relative disinterest of Aristarchus in the performative traditions of Homeric rhapsodes, see PP 130 and 151. For what seems to be a vestigial reference in the Homeric scholia to such performative traditions, see scholia T at Iliad XVI 131 (where it is prescribed that verses narrating the arming of Patroklos are to be performed at an allegro pace) and the comments of Richardson 1980:287.
[ back ] 39. PP 132–149. I will have more to say on this evolutionary model in Ch.2 below.
[ back ] 40. More on this point in Ch.5.
[ back ] 41. GMZ 18.
[ back ] 42. GMZ 8.
[ back ] 43. Pfeiffer 1968:214, quoted in GMZ 29.
[ back ] 44. Pierron 1869 I p. cxl.
[ back ] 45. PP 132–149, defending the validity of editorial testimony attributed to Zenodotus and Aristophanes as well as to Aristarchus. For the editorial methods of Zenodotus, see the indispensable work of Nickau 1977. For an overall work on Aristophanes of Byzantium, see Slater 1986.
[ back ] 46. That Zenodotus, in the process of editing Homer, did indeed produce his own text is argued by Rengakos 1993:12–14. He also argues that Aristarchus had direct access to the Homer edition of Zenodotus, even if Didymus and Aristonicus may not have (p. 14). So too Apollonius of Rhodes and Callimachus, both contemporaries of Zenodotus, had access to such a text (ibid.). See also Montanari 2002.
[ back ] 47. Pierron 1869.
[ back ] 48. Lehrs 1882.
[ back ] 49. See especially Pierron 1869 II.564n2, referring to the criticism of Wolf by Lehrs (1833) in his second edition of his work on Aristarchus.
[ back ] 50. More on this point in Ch.4.
[ back ] 51. Janko 1990:332 and 334 on the Monro and Allen edition of 1920. See also Janko p. 332n19 on the editorial strategy of the editio maior of Allen 1931. Even the intellectual integrity of Allen as editor has been called into question: see Wilson 1990. For a more balanced assessment of Allen’s methods, see Haslam 1997:89–90.
[ back ] 52. van Thiel 1991 and 1996.
[ back ] 53. See especially van Thiel 1991 iii; cf. Haslam 1997:95.
[ back ] 54. Haslam 1997:95.
[ back ] 55. Haslam 1997:100.
[ back ] 56. Haslam 1997:63.
[ back ] 57. See especially van Thiel 1991:ix–xiii.
[ back ] 58. Haslam 1997:100n133.
[ back ] 59. Haslam 1997:95.
[ back ] 60. Haslam 1997:96.
[ back ] 61. Ludwich 1898; cf. Allen 1924:327.
[ back ] 62. See van der Valk 1963/1964 I 609.
[ back ] 63. Cf. PP 185.
[ back ] 64. PP 185.
[ back ] 65. Apthorp 1980.xiii, enhancing the arguments of Bolling 1925.
[ back ] 66. Janko 1990:332–334.
[ back ] 67. Cf. Erbse 1959:275–303.
[ back ] 68. Pfeiffer 1968:214–215.
[ back ] 69. Pfeiffer 1968:215.
[ back ] 70. For a “Proecdosis” of the D scholia, see now van Thiel 2000a and 2000b.
[ back ] 71. See especially Rengakos 1993.
[ back ] 72. See especially Apthorp 1980.
[ back ] 73. On the D scholia, see again van Thiel 2000a.
[ back ] 74. This classification follows the valuable analysis of Henrichs 1971/1974. See especially Henrichs 1971:100–101.
[ back ] 75. Dindorf, volumes I–VI (1875–1888); volumes V–VI, edited by Maass (1887–1888). Cf. Henrichs 1971:101n11.
[ back ] 76. Henrichs 1971:102.
[ back ] 77. See especially Haslam 1997:94 on the medieval manuscript Genavensis 44, containing exegetical scholia at Iliad XXI that are “miraculously matched” by a second-century papyrus commentary on the same book.
[ back ] 78. Henrichs 1971:105.
[ back ] 79. Haslam 1997:96.
[ back ] 80. Henrichs 1971:106–107. Cf. Haslam 1997:60–61.
[ back ] 81. Henrichs 1971:109. There are two branches of sources for the Iliadic D scholia: a-1, edited by de Marco from select manuscripts (1932, 1941), and a-2, edited by Lascaris (1517). There is an edition by Asulanus (1528) of the Odyssean D scholia. See now also van Thiel 2000a and 2000b.
[ back ] 82. Montanari 1979:14; also p. 24n35 on the contributions of van der Valk in defining the Mythographus Homericus. Cf. Haslam 1997:61n17. Also Haslam 1990 and 1996. For an example of a historia preserved by way of the D scholia, see Haslam 1991:37.
[ back ] 83. Haslam 1997:95.
[ back ] 84. Haslam 1997:96.
[ back ] 85. More on these categories in Ch.4. See also Haslam 1997:71. For a defense of the authenticity of variant readings found in the politikai ‘city editions’, see PP 147–148, following Citti 1966; cf. Haslam 1997:69–71.
[ back ] 86. Allen 1924:317.
[ back ] 87. Jerome Epistles 106.2, as discussed by Allen 1924.317, 319. See in general Neuschäfer 1987. Cf. also Lührs 1992:8 on Origen’s editorial policy of avoiding personal emendations or conjectures in editing the text of the Septuagint.
[ back ] 88. PP 187–200, following (in part) Jensen 1980:109. This possibility is entertained but ultimately rejected by Haslam 1997:71.
[ back ] 89. Cf. Lycurgus Against Leokrates 102 and Demosthenes 18.170; also Isaeus 7.16, on the care taken in legitimizing texts recorded by the state of Athens: only after full verification ‘are they to be written down into the koinon grammateion’ (εἰς τὸ κοινὸν γραμματεῖον ἐγγράφειν). This usage confirms that the expression ἐν κοινῷ goes with both γραψαμένους and φυλάττειν in “Plutarch” Lives of the Ten Orators 841f, as discussed in PP 175n77: in this context, what is recorded and preserved by the Athenian state in standardized form is the corpus of tragedies attributed to Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. See also Bollack 1994.
[ back ] 90. PP 189. More in Ch.2 about the Panathenaia.
[ back ] 91. Haslam 1997:71 and n35.
[ back ] 92. Haslam 1997:71 notes that the relatively fuller and more accurate reporting of singular koinē vs. plural koinai in the papyri indicates “the severely reduced nature of the scholia.” I should point out, however, that singular koinē is also attested in the medieval Homer scholia, as for example at Iliad V 461b and XII 404a1. Such usages of the singular, relatively more common in the papyri and less common in the medieval scholia, can I think be traced back to an era that predates Aristarchus himself. By the time of Aristarchus, for whom there was evidently no need to posit a single surviving authoritative text of Homer, there would be no need to specify a singular koinē except perhaps in terms of a reconstruction.
[ back ] 93. I am paraphrasing here (and disagreeing with) the suggestion of Haslam 1997:71.
[ back ] 94. See further at Ch.4, p. 85.
[ back ] 95. Haslam 1997:71, following S. West 1967:26.
[ back ] 96. For more on diorthōsis as a process of ‘corrective editing’, see Ch.4, p. 85.
[ back ] 97. Janko 1992:26.
[ back ] 98. PP 148–149; cf. Muellner 1976:58–62. Also Bird 1994.
[ back ] 99. Haslam 1997:95 argues that the text of A merits no greater respect than the text-family of BCE3 or the text of T or the underlying text of D.