Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catalog of Ships Summary Scholia Part Two: Comparing the Υ.1.1 with the Venetus B

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

In my earlier post on paleographic features in the Catalog of Ships of the Escorial Υ.1.1 manuscript, we established that there are eighteen scholia, located primarily in the interior margin, which summarize the Greek forces by region. Because the Υ.1.1 is often called a “twin” of the Venetus B, it is our practice to run a comparison between the two manuscripts, especially for interesting, unexplored features such as these. My first step was to record and compare the content of each scholion. The Venetus B contains twenty-nine summary scholia, eleven more than I found in the Υ.1.1. The regions noted in the Venetus B scholia match the regions assigned numbers of ships in the poetry. There is no Greek region listed in the poetry that is not accounted for with a scholion in the Venetus B. When I compared the content of analogous scholia between the manuscripts, I found that they were identical. It should be noted that I was working with partial evidence in the Υ.1.1: many of its ship summary scholia have been cut off at the trimmed edges of the manuscript. Because these scholia have a formulaic syntax, I am confident that these “trimmed” scholia are the same in Υ.1.1 as they appear in Venetus B. The presence of eleven more scholia in the Venetus B leads me to believe that the scholia in Υ.1.1 are incomplete. I believe that the eleven scholia “missing” from the Υ.1.1, provided they were ever in the manuscript, had the same content as the scholia that are fully present in the Venetus B.

The next step of my comparison was to analyze the physical appearance of the two manuscripts, starting with the outdents that denotes the beginning of each regional section of the poetry in the Υ.1.1. I wanted to know if the Venetus B uses outdents similarly and, if it does, do they occur in the same places as in the Υ.1.1. The Venetus B without a doubt uses outdents, but I found that it does not use outdents with the same frequency as the Υ.1.1 does. The Υ.1.1 outdents every regional section except for Elis and Doulichion. The Venetus B outdents only nine out of the twenty-nine regional sections (Boeotia, Minya, Phocis, Cephallenia, Methone, Oichalia, Ormenius, Argissa, and Magnetes). When my colleague Neil Curran and I looked at the outdents for all of Book 2 in both manuscripts we found a total of 95 outdents in Υ.1.1. Venetus B had only 41, almost 57% fewer. When I compared line numbers, I found that only one of the lines (Iliad 2.344) outdented in Venetus B was not outdented in Υ.1.1, and Υ.1.1 had 53 additional outdents. While this tells us that the two manuscripts were organized by their respective scribes in similar ways, it also makes evident that they are not perfect twins. While their scribes were working with material that was much the same, they had at least some different ideas about structuring their manuscripts. 

My next step was to analyze the placement of the scholia in both manuscripts. Because we have “missing” scholia in the Υ.1.1, establishing a pattern in the Venetus B and correlation between the two manuscripts could help us determine the would-be locations of the “missing” scholia. I compared placement between the manuscripts by noting which line of the main text corresponded with the beginning of each scholion. I found that most (15 out of 18) of the shared scholia began in the same position relative to the main text, or were off by a line or two at most. The most notable exceptions were the first two scholia in both manuscripts. In Υ.1.1, the placement of the first scholion is already irregular just in context of the Υ.1.1 manuscript because it appears well after the lines that discuss Boeotia. In the Venetus B, the scholia on Boeotia and Minya both appear well after their reference in the main text. Both manuscripts avoid putting summary scholia on the first folio that starts the Catalog of Ships, but, while both manuscripts are irregular, the placement of their first scholia is different. Aside from the first two scholia in both manuscripts, I found that the placement of scholia in the Venetus B matches the placement of the scholia in the Υ.1.1 (for a summary of this placement see the chart below). This pattern and correlation allows us to predict on which folios the “missing” scholia should have appeared and roughly where in the margin we should be looking for the visual evidence.

Based on comparison with the Venetus B, I believe that scholia are missing from the following folios of the Υ.1.1: 32r, 33r, 34v, 35r, 35v, and 37r. Of these folios 32r, 33r, 35r, and 37r have narrow interior margins. In this situation it is plausible that the summary scholia were cut off when the manuscript was trimmed and rebound. To see for yourself, here is folio 32r (click on the caption to open the image in a zoomable format): 
Escorial Y.1.1, folio 32r: example of a narrow interior margin
Exceptions to this pattern are folios 34v and 35v, which have margins that appear wide enough to hold a scholia. While we might not be able to hope for all of the scholia to be present on folios such as these, it is surprising not to see any traces in the interior margins. If you compare a folio like 35v to 32r you can see the difference in the margin size. 
Escorial Y.1.1, folio 35v: example of a wider interior margin

When I compare the size of the margins to folio sides that have summary scholia but only in part (such as 36r), I am even more surprised that these folio sides with wider margins lack any trace of summary scholia. 
Escorial Y.1.1, folio 36r, example of narrow margin on which ship summary scholia have been cut off in rebinding
Close-up of one of the ship summary scholia from 36r (Methone) that has been cut off in rebinding

The lack of scholia on 34v and 35v is the strongest evidence for my hypothesis that the scribe of the Υ.1.1 did not include as many summary scholia as in the Venetus B from the start.  

In the previous post, we considered whether the scribe may have eliminated scholia about regions he deemed less important. Based only on my knowledge of the Υ.1.1, I could not exclude any of the “missing” scholia from the list and so could not come to a confident conclusion on that question. If we were to eliminate from the list the scholia that appear on 32r, 33r, 35r, and 37r because it is more likely they were originally there, our list of supposedly unimportant places narrows to: Rhodes, Syme, Phylace, and Pherae. This narrowed list still does not lend much credence to the assumption. Rhodes in particular is especially noted in the epic poetry with praises for its abundant resources and its connection to Tlepolemus, a son of Heracles. 

My last point of comparison is in the quire arrangement. The Venetus B is organized mostly into quaternions, and has a total of 42 quires. The Υ.1.1 is much more irregular in terms of the number of folio in a quire (it ranges from 6 to 8), but also contains a total of 42 quires. The exact content of all the corresponding quires is a subject for future investigation. For Book Two we can say that the first five summary scholia appear at the end of the fourth quire in both manuscripts, and subsequently the rest of the scholia appear in each manuscript’s fifth quire. This is interesting to us when we consider the claim that the manuscripts are “twins.” The fact that the content of the quires is similar (down to what appears in which quire), at least true for this specific situation, is strong evidence for the claim. 

In my investigation of the Venetus B’s relationship to the Υ.1.1, I constructed a comparative table to aid my analysis. It proved especially helpful to compare numerous features at the same time. Below is the table, which lists folio sides, outdents, relative location of the scholia, and quire number.

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