Saturday, August 11, 2012

Catalog of Ships Summary Scholia in the Escorial Υ.1.1

Guest post by Stephanie Lindeborg, College of the Holy Cross Class of 2013

The Catalog of Ships is the last half of Iliad Book 2, in which the forces of the Greek army are listed and summarized. Looking at the Escorial Υ.1.1 manuscript, I, along with my colleague Neil Curran, discovered that the scribe included paleographic features in addition to the main scholia in conjunction with the Catalog. The Υ.1.1 and the Venetus B feature “summary scholia” that denote the number of cities (if applicable) in each Greek region and the number of ships they brought. (The scholia in Venetus B will be discussed in more depth in a subsequent post). It would appear that these numbers are derived directly from the poetry. It is easy enough to see that the number of ships are directly stated in the poetry. The number of cities would appear to be the number of the cities listed by name in each section of the main text. For an example of what I mean by “summary scholia,” the scholion on 31v of the Υ.1.1 reads: “Λοκρῶν πολεὶς Η νῆες Μ” and translates to: “The eight cities of Locris [brought] forty ships.” (The caption links to the image of the full page with this portion highlighted.)

Summary scholion for Locris on Υ.1.1 31v
The format is almost always the same in each summary scholion (i.e., region, number of cities, number of ships). Within the Catalog further visual features used by the scribe help clarify where each section of the catalog starts.  In the Υ.1.1, this visual distinction is accomplished by outdenting the beginning line of each regional section:
Note the 'outdenting' of the two lines beginning with οἱ, Iliad 2.536 and 2.546, on Υ.1.1 31v
For the purposes of these investigations, I define the regions as each place which is said in the poetry to have brought a specific number of ships (so because the poetry says Mycenae brought one-hundred ships, Mycenae is noted as a unique region). The names of each region I derive from the scholia which summarize them. The Υ.1.1 outdents all but two of the twenty-nine so defined regions.

The twenty-nine Greek regions include, in order of appearance: Boeotia, Minya, Phocis, Locris, Euboea, Athens, Salamis, Argos, Mycenae, Lacedaemonia, Pylos, Arcadia, Elis, Doulichion, Cephallenia, Aetolia, Crete, Rhodes, Syme, Nisyros, Phthia, Phylace, Pherae, Methone, Oichalia, Ormenius, Argissa, Cyphus, and Magnetes. Only eighteen of these regions are marked by summary scholia in the Υ.1.1 in its current state, leaving eleven without. The following regions are missing such a summary scholion: Athens, Salamis, Argos, Arcadia, Rhodes, Syme, Nisyros, Phthia, Phylace, Pherae, and Magnetes. I will consider two possibilities to account for the missing scholia. The first is that when the manuscript was trimmed and rebound these scholia were cut off. The second possibility is that these scholia were never added to the manuscript in the first place, omitted either purposely or accidentally by the scribe.

The evidence that they were lost in the trimming process is compelling. Of the eighteen scholia that are present only nine (Locris, Euboea, Mycenae, Lacedaemonia, Pylos, Elis, Doulichion, Argissa, and Cyphus) are present in their entirety and very few of those leave any space between the edge of the scholion and the edge of the folio. Four of the scholia (Boeotia, Minya, Phocis, and Cephallenia) are cut off about halfway through but are still fairly discernible. Five (Aetolia, Crete, Methone, Oichalia, and Ormenius) are almost entirely cut off, containing at most only a few letters. These were more difficult to identify as their names were not easily picked out. My identification of these scholia was made based on the content of the main lines and what I could make out (for example I identified Ormenius because it was near the lines on Ormenius in the main text and the numeral for forty was visible, which matches the number stated in the main text). I further cross-checked these identifications with the Venetus B, which I will discuss in a subsequent post. 

If we could assume that the eleven missing scholia were cut off when the manuscript was trimmed, then we could simply lament the loss of the physical evidence and concern ourselves with other questions such as the twin nature of the Υ.1.1 and the Venetus B manuscripts. However, we must consider the possibility that some of these scholia never made it into the manuscript. The simplest explanation in that case would be that the scribe unintentionally omitted them. The gaps of missing scholia are restricted to a whole folio side, meaning there are no folio sides that have some but not all of the scholia they could have. It is possible that the scribe accidentally skipped a whole folio side when adding the ship summaries.

After ascertaining the quire arrangement of the Υ.1.1, I was able to look at whether the quires had anything to do with why these summary scholia are missing in the Υ.1.1. Because manuscripts were typically composed in several passes, it is a serious possibility that scribes could accidentally skip entire quires when adding certain features. This is something we always investigate when we have seemingly incomplete sets of features. The Catalog begins on 30v and the summary scholia start appearing on 31r. 30v through 31v are the last three folio sides of the fourth quire. 32r starts the fifth quire which continues through 39v, the end of the Catalog and the end of Book 2. The first three scholia that are missing (Athens, Salamis, and Argos) ought to appear at the beginning of the fifth quire. It is also probable that these three were cut off when the manuscript was rebound. Since the rest of the missing scholia are contained within a quire that has many of the summary scholia present, the theory that the scribe could have skipped over an entire quire is impossible.

The other possibility is that the scribe purposely excluded certain scholia, perhaps because he deemed them of lesser importance. But that motivation would mean that the “less important” scholia may have included: Athens, Salamis, Argos, Arcadia, Rhodes, Syme, Nisyros, Phthia, Phylace, Pherae, and Magnetes. It's rather hard to believe that this list of places could be deemed unimportant, when Phthia is the homeland of Achilles and other great heroes are named in conjunction with these places (i.e., Ajax and several sons of Heracles). There is no evidence to say that the scribe skipped places that did not bring a large number of ships for some of the missing ones brought as many as forty ships (Phylace) and he includes places that brought as few as seven (Methone). There seems to be no distinguishing characteristic that sets aside the missing places from those that are present.

In the Υ.1.1, these scholia raise questions about how the manuscript was composed. One of the striking features in the Υ.1.1 are the first three summary scholia. While all the others in the Υ.1.1 are located in the interior margin, the first three in the Υ.1.1 are instead placed in the exterior margin. There is no clear reason as to why these scholia are located in the exterior, nor why the scribe puts no other summary scholia in the exterior. We can only surmise that it was a conscious choice made by the scribe and that it made more sense to him not to continue putting the scholia in the exterior. The fact that these scholia are in the exterior tells us that they were planned to fit outside of the main scholia and so were, more likely than not, written after the main scholia. They were either written before the scribe finished with a folio or as a second pass through Book 2. If the former is true, that might explain why some scholia are missing. Including another type of scholia in another location on the page might have complicated the process enough that the scribe forgot to include some of the scholia he was supposed to. If the scribe were adding the scholia as a separate set, going back through the entire Catalog to add them in a separate pass specifically for that purpose rather than as he worked on each folio individually, then it is highly unlikely that he would have forgotten to include some of them. I conclude, therefore, that the summary scholia were probably not added in a second pass in the Υ.1.1.

While conducting my investigation, I found it particularly helpful to organize my data into a table. Below is this table which includes the content of each summary scholion, the folio it appears on, the outdented line associated with the region, the relative location of the scholion, the quire number, and another other important notes on the state of the scholion.

1 comment:

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