Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Describing a single folio of E4: 188 recto

Folio 188 recto of the manuscript of the Iliad known as E4.
In this post I will give some basic information about the Iliad manuscript known as E4 (Allen, = West F, Escorialensis Ω.I.12), and then proceed to describe a single folio in detail, folio 188 recto. (Thanks to University of Houston undergraduates Kat Dybala and Matthew Davis for their contributions to my understanding of this folio!)  In this way it will be possible to see how E4 relates to other manuscripts in the Homer Multitext as well as the several features that distinguish it from them.

E4 is an eleventh-century parchment codex, thought by Allen and previous scholars to be later than E3 (also eleventh century).  It consists of 216 folios, containing a complete text of the Iliad, a commentary with lemmata on Iliad 1–2.300, lives of Homer, a summary of the Cypria, an excerpt from the Batrachomyomachia (“Battle of Frogs and Mice”), excerpts from Porphyry, and other scholia with lemmata. The main text of the Iliad begins on folio 7, where a new set of scholia likewise begins. Individual books are preceded by hypotheses and a one verse metrical summary (the same one verse summaries that you find in Venetus A). The layout of E4 is quite different from Venetus A, Venetus B, and E3. On each folio there are two columns. The left column contains the text of the poem and the right columns consist of a paraphrase. According to Allen (1931:148), E4 is not related to any of the other early minuscule manuscripts. The manuscript seems to have been acquired in Venice for the price of 25 ducats, according to a subscription on the last folio (liber mei Benedicti Cornelii quem emi meis pecuniis pretio ducatorum viginti q).

Folio 188r

Folio 188r of the manuscript known as E4 (= West F, Escorialensis Ω.I.12) marks the beginning of Iliad book 22. We may compare it to Venetus A folio 282r, Venetus B folio 292r, and E3 283r. Its facing page on the left side, folio 187v, is taken up by a hypothesis, a large selection from Porphyry, and scholia, including comments on the text of the Iliad that is written on 188r.

Layout and Adornment

The folio contains Iliad 22.1-37 in the left column, and a paraphrase in the right. There are scholia in the top and outer margins and between the lines of the paraphrase. This layout differs considerably from that of the Venetus A, the Venetus B, and E3, where there is a central block of Iliad text with scholia surrounding it in the top, bottom and outer margins, as well as, to a much less extent, in the inner margin.

A large omega in red comprises the first letter of the main text of the poem in the left column. The initial omicron of the paraphrase  text in right column is also in red, and somewhat larger than the rest of the paraphrase text, set in the margin to the left of the text block.  Occasionally the initial letters of the line in both the left and the right columns are highlighted in a similar way.

There is a metrical summary of the book in red ink that spans the width of the two text blocks. It is placed just under a decorative border across the top, also in red ink. The summary reads: ἱλιάδος χ ὁμήρου ῥαψωδίας : χι δ‘αρα τρὶς περὶ τεῖχος ἄγων κτάν‘ Ἕκτορ‘ Ἀχιλλεύς (Rhapsody 22 of the Iliad of Homer: Chi. And leading him around the walls three times, Achilleus kills Hektor). This is the same summary as in Venetus A. There is no other subscription on the page. Note that the Venetus B has a different summary: χῖ Θέτιδος γόνος ὡκὺς ἀπώλεσεν Ἕκτορα δῖον :- ἀρχὴ τῆς χῖ ὁμήρου ῥαψωδίας  :- (Chi. The swift offspring of Thetis kills brilliant Hektor.  [This marks] the beginning of rhapsody 22 of Homer). E3 has the same summary as B; for this book in E3 there does not seem to be anywhere the summary of A in any hand.

We can already see that E4 has many features that distinguish it from the other manuscripts with scholia, including those of comparable date. Its layout is different, it contains a running paraphrase of the poem, and its metrical summary at the start of each book matches the tradition that we find in A, not B. The hypotheses at the start of each book of E4 are not found in A, B, or E3.

Main text

There are 37 lines of the poem on folio 188r, considerably more than would be found on a typical folio of A, B, or E3. For this reason E4 consists of only 216 folios, whereas A has 327 and B has 338.

12    E4 reads δεῦρ’ ἐλιάσθης (with A, T, and several other mss.) whereas several papyri and B read δεῦρο λιάσθης.

18    E4 and the codex Ambrosianus read ἀφείλαο where most manuscripts read ἀφείλεο.

27    E4 reads ὀπώρηις along with A (the text of A appears to have been corrected here) where most mss. read ὀπώρης.

30    E4, A, and one other manuscript read ὁ δ’ where others and the papyri read ὁ γ’.

33    E4 reads γ’ ἐκόψατο where most other manuscripts and the papyri read γε κόψατο.

36    E4 and A read ἑστήκει where most manuscripts read εἱστήκει.

Although one folio cannot be considered a representative sample, E4’s text of the Iliad on this folio seems to resemble A more closely than B.


The scholia of E4 seem to have been collected from several different sources. There is a set of numbered scholia which corresponds to the numbered scholia in B, E3, and Laurentianus 32.3 (= Allen C and West C). There is another set of scholia in the same hand that is connected to the text with symbols, and these contain material from the so-called “D scholia” (also known as the scholia minora). This set of scholia is also found in B, but it is in the second, later hand of B. The scholia in this group are linked to the text through signs.

On folio 188r, we do find both numbered scholia and scholia linked to the text through symbols. Some scholia are written between lines of the paraphrase. The scholia that we find on E4 can all for the most part be found in B (not A), but they do not have the same layout as in B and their associated numbers and symbols do not correspond with those in B. In a future post I plan to provide a transcription of the scholia on folio 188r together with a comparison with the corresponding set on B and E3. There are definitely differences. For example, we find this comment at the top of folio 188r of E4:

ἀκέοντο: ἐθεραπεύοντο· κυρίως ἀκεῖσθαι τὸ ἄχος ἰᾶσθαι· καὶ τὸ ὃ δή ποτε θεραπεύειν· ὅθεν Φρύγες ἀκεστὴν τὸν ἰατρόν· καὶ Ἀθηναῖοι ἀκέστριαν.

Most of this comment, but not the whole, is in the numbered scholia of B and in E3 (with no lemma however in B or E3), while the whole, with the exception of ἐθεραπεύοντο, is also in T. So for this scholion, E4 resembles T more closely than B.

Preliminary observations

A preliminary study of a single folio reveals that E4 is a very unusual manuscript, both in its layout and content. Its main text seems very possibly in some way related to the tradition of A, while its scholia are related to those of B (and E3 and C). The scholia are related to those of B, but there are many differences between the two sets, most notably that the group of scholia connected by symbols are in a later hand of B (and not present in E3) while in E4 they are in the same hand and of the same date as the numbered scholia. As Allen observed, this manuscript cannot be precisely connected with any single other manuscript or manuscript family, and it would well deserve further study.

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