Saturday, February 25, 2012

Exegesis of the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer

Like that of the Venetus A, the front matter of the Iliad manuscript known as E4 (Allen, = West F, Escorialensis Ω.I.12) has been a source of confusion and speculation for scholars. (For the Venetus A, see Allen 1899 and Hecquet 2009 in Recapturing a Homeric Legacy). While trying to understand this odd assembly of Homeric reference material—material which includes lives of Homer, a Proclan summary of the Cypria, an excerpt from the Batrachomyomachia (“Battle of Frogs and Mice”), and an excerpt from a work of the grammarian Tryphon, among other things—I came across a text on folio 2r entitled ἐξήγησις τῆς ἰλιάδος καὶ ὀδυσσείας ὁμήρου or "Exegesis of the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer." Not knowing what this work was, I typed the whole phrase into Google, and discovered this manuscript (Harley 5601), now on-line thanks to the British Library's Digitized Manuscripts initiative (funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation).

Harley 5601 (= Allen's BM6) is part of a late family of manuscripts (all fifteenth century), called p by Allen. Five of the six manuscripts in this family share the same prolegomena as E4. As Allen points out in his 1931 edition of the Iliad, however, the text of the Iliad in the manuscript family p is not related to E4. They simply do not share the same unique readings. This remarkable fact shows us once again that many, if not most, of our manuscripts of the Iliad are the product of selection and combination from two or more exemplars, and so represent multiple channels of transmission at the same time.

Like E4, Harley 5601 contains hypotheses before each book of the Iliad. It is clear, however, that those of Harley 5601 are not copied from E4, because the hypothesis for book 2 in Harley 5601 is much more fuller than the corresponding hypothesis in E4 (which seems to have been abbreviated by the scribe because of lack of space). (In E4, all books of the Iliad begin on the recto side of a folio. On the adjacent verso side, the scribe writes usually two hypotheses along with scholia if there is room. In this case, the end of book 1 three quarters of the way down the page left him very little space for the hypotheses to book 2.) The actual wording of the hypotheses (that of Harley 5601 and the second hypothesis for book 2 in E4) is the same until the scribe runs out of room on E4.

Harley 5601 postdates E4 by many centuries, but it seems clear that share a partial ancestor that predates E4. That ancestor had the prolegomena that these manuscripts share, and, very likely, one set of hypotheses. Their texts of the Iliad, however, have different ancestors. Perhaps E4's had the additional set of hypotheses that Harley 5601's did not, or perhaps that other set of hypotheses in E4 came from still another source.

Many questions remain about how these two manuscripts might be related. I am grateful to the Niarchos Foundation and the British Library for making these images freely available, so that further study can now take place—by anyone that wants to. These two manuscripts have almost certainly never been, and never will be, in the same room together. But now, if you have a big screen, you can zoom up on them in great detail, side by side.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Homer Multitext goes to Capitol Hill, thanks to our undergraduate researchers

Congratulations to the Homer Multitext undergraduate research team of Thomas Arralde (Holy Cross Class of 2013), Stephanie Lindeborg (Holy Cross Class of 2013) and Christine Roughan (Holy Cross Class of 2014)! Their project, “Editing the Oldest Complete Manuscript of the Iliad,” has been accepted for presentation at the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Posters on the Hill event. The event will take place on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 24, 2012, where they will present their work to members of Congress and other government officials. According to CUR, 850 applications were received this year, and only 74 were selected. Arralde, Lindeborg, and Roughan produced a complete digital edition of Book 1 of the Iliad in the Venetus A, including over 1200 individual scholia. Working collaboratively, they inventoried every bit of writing on each page, used digital tools to map the location (as a proportional area on the image of the page) of each scholion as well as other items on the page, assigned a unique identifier to each scholion, and transcribed a diplomatic edition of all the text, which they then marked up in TEI-XML. Their work in Summer 2011 was funded through the Mellon Summer Research Program for the Social Sciences, Arts, & Humanities at Holy Cross and the Holy Cross Alumni/Parent Fund for Summer Research.
See blog entries by Stephanie Lindeborg and Christine Roughan based on their research.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Catalogue of Ships

In this post I'd like to discuss the special treatment of the so-called "Catalogue of Ships" (Iliad 2.494–877) in the Venetus A and E4 manuscripts of the Iliad, as well as in the Venetus B and E3. The Catalogue of Ships, in which the Achaean and Trojan and allied forces at Troy are listed and described, has long been a subject of scholarly controversy, perhaps dating back to antiquity, and so it is worth making note of how it is treated in our oldest manuscripts of the poem. In the end, as we have seen several times now in other posts, E4 will be shown to have an intriguing connection with the scholarly material recorded in the Venetus A, and all four manuscripts will have something to say about the limitations of traditional critical editions of the Iliad.

Why is the Catalogue of Ships so controversial? It is by no means the only catalogue in surviving Homeric poetry, but at nearly four hundred verses in length it is by far the longest. Its placement in the narrative, at the start of a battle in the tenth year of the war, seems odd. The catalogue follows a circuitous geographical progression that begins in Boeotia, and the region of Boeotia and its neighboring areas are disproportionately represented. The Catalogue seems to reflect, for the most part, the political geography of Bronze Age Greece, but there are many exceptions and aspects that are hard to explain. As Oliver Dickinson (2011) has recently concluded:
All in all, the Catalogue is a strange compilation, and it does not seem possible to devise any rational explanation for its peculiarities. Here, as with many Homeric problems, the lack of pre-Homeric or contemporary "heroic" poetry is a major obstacle to the creation of plausible hypotheses. The most that can be safely said is that the Catalogue is likely to have been compiled from materials of different origins and dates and that care has been taken to harmonize it to other Greek traditions; but, although in some parts it does show a degree of historical consistency, on the whole it is most unlikely to bear any resemblance to the probable political configuration of those parts of Greece that it covers at any time period. 
In fact, many of the controversies associated with the Catalogue of Ships can be at least partially explained if we understand it to have been composed as part of a traditional system of oral composition-in-performance that evolved over many centuries. Names and places that seem obscure to us would have had a prominent place in the epic tradition at one time or another. Some places that flourished in the Bronze Age no doubt became obscure already even for ancient audiences of the Archaic period, but a brief record of their heroes was preserved and eventually crystallized as part of the Catalogue. In many ways, such a catalogue functions as an index to the full diachronic expanse of the Epic Tradition itself. As for the oddity of having the Achaean and Trojan forces listed in the tenth year of the war, we can easily see how, in an oral tradition in which the song is composed anew each time, episodes could be rearranged to meet the needs of the current composition. It has long been understood that there are many episodes in the Iliad that logically belong far earlier in the story of the Trojan War (such as the scene in Book 3 in which Helen points out the Achaean heroes to Priam and the old men watching from the walls, and indeed the duel for Helen by Paris and Menelaos, which also takes place in that book). As the Iliad evolved into the monumental poem that we know, those chronologically earlier episodes came to be folded into the narrative structure of the poem, and became integral to it.

Understanding the traditional and oral nature of the Catalogue does not explain all of the questions associated with it, however, and the controversies it has generated may explain why it is missing from several manuscripts of the Iliad, including the Townley and the Genavensis and a 3rd-century papyrus. The Venetus A, the Venetus B, E3, and E4 all include the Catalogue, but it is formatted in such a way that sets it apart visually.

Let's look first at E4, and the compare it to the other manuscripts. If you look at Folio 21v (you may want to look first, for comparison, at Folio 21r), you'll quickly see that it is not a typical one.  The folios of E4 usually have two columns of equal-sized text on each folio, and these columns are surrounded by scholia. The left columns contain the text of the poem and the right columns consist of a paraphrase. Here we are in the middle of Book 2, but what we find is in fact a title page.  

Each book of the Iliad in E4 has a title page that spreads over two folios, from the verso of one folio on the left side to recto of the other on the right. (See, e.g., folio 187v and 188r.) On the left side page, scholia surround a central text block, which typically includes scholia followed by one or more (usually two) brief prose summaries, or hypotheses. These hypotheses are transmitted in a variety of manuscripts, including Ve1 (= West Z, Rom. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 6 + Matrit. 4626), a ninth-century manuscript containing “D” scholia that is older than any of our minuscule manuscripts of the Iliad itself. After the hypothesis of each book, on the facing page and above the main text of the poem and its paraphrase, comes a title line (e.g. “rhapsody 10 of the Iliad of Homer”) followed by a one-verse summary of the plot of the book in dactylic hexameter. The title line is placed over the column of text that contains the Iliad, while the summary is placed over the column that contains the paraphrase.

Folio 21v of E4 in fact follows exactly the pattern that we find for the beginning of each book of the Iliad. A large portion of the page is taken up by a block of scholia, which is itself surrounded by other scholia. (The sources of these distinct groups of scholia will be explored in another post.) Next we find: ὑπόθεσις τῆς Βοιωτίας written in crimson ink at the center of the page. Instead of "Rhapsody ___," the Catalogue of Ships has been given the title of Βοιωτία, a title which may well have been a traditional way of referring to it in antiquity, reflecting the central importance of the region of Boeotia in the Catalogue. And, as for other books in E4, we find two hypotheses.

A question immediately springs to mind. Where do these hypotheses come from? Has the Catalogue always been treated as a separate composition, such that hypotheses survive for it just as for the twenty-four books of the Iliad? A closer look, however, reveals that these hypotheses are not quite the same as those of other texts. For one thing, they have lemmata: each begins with a quotation of Iliad 2.494. The other hypotheses in E4 have no such lemmata. Where there are two hypotheses for other books, the second one is usually preceded by ἄλλως or καὶ ἄλλως. That is not the case here. Moreover, if we turn to Folio 22r, we find other differences from other books. Though the folio is formatted much as the initial folio of a book of the Iliad would be in E4, there is no paraphrase in the right column. The right column is instead taken up with scholia. (This holds true for the entire length of the Catalogue of Ships in E4.) There is no metrical summary, and instead of a title, we find merely the ὑπόθεσις τῆς Βοιωτίας of the previous folio repeated (even though what follows is poetry, not a summary).

If the hypotheses for the Catalogue in E4 were related to those of the other books of the Iliad, we would expect to find them in the other manuscripts that preserve these hypotheses, such as Ve1, but we do not. To be more precise, they do not survive as hypotheses. They must have another source, and in fact we do find them preserved among the "D" scholia as scholia. The source seems to be most likely the same one that preserves the other scholia with lemmata in E4, scholia which, as we have seen, are related to the scholarly material that we find in the Venetus A. So let's turn now to the Venetus A (folio 34r), and see what we find there.

If we look at folio 34r of the Venetus A, we see that line 2.494 immediately follows upon what precedes it. There is no gap in the text nor a title line nor a metrical summary. But other features do indeed set it apart. The first letter of 2.494 in the Venetus A is a beautiful capital beta, such as you find at the beginning of books. Moreover a decorative line has been placed between verses 493 and 494. It is as if the scribe is aware of a tradition that treats the Catalogue of Ships as a separate unit, and formats it accordingly.

If we look above and to the right of the text block, we find several scholia that are easy to spot with their semiuncial lemmata—a quotation of verse 494. What follows the lemma of the first of these scholia is what has been formatted as the first hypothesis of E4. The comment following the second of these lemmata is very close to what has been formatted as the second hypothesis in E4:

The notes do not match perfectly, and I am not asserting that the Venetus A is the source of the hypotheses of E4, only that the scribe of E4 has drawn here from a scholia tradition that we also find in A.

If we compare the Venetus B (folio 31v) and E3 (folio 30v), we find that they too, like E4, format the start of the Catalogue of Ships as if it were the beginning of a new book of the Iliad. These manuscripts do not contain hypotheses for any of the books, so we would not expect to find one here. They both have a title line however: ἀρχὴ τῆς Βοιοτίας. And they both have an initial capital, as in the Venetus A.

Among the oldest manuscripts of the Iliad, we have seen that two omit the Catalogue of Ships entirely, and four format it in such way that make it clear that it was perceived as being in some sense a separate composition, or else its own "whole," much as the other books or "rhapsodies" of the Iliad. What does this formatting signify? Might it reflect, in some dim way, an ancient performance tradition, in which the Catalogue was performed on its own as a unit, as has been suggested for the individual books of the poem? (Cf. Aelian, Varia Historia 13.14, where the Catalogue of Ships is named explicitly as one of the episodes that "the ancients" used to perform separately.) Or is it the result of scholarly debate in antiquity, debates which may have deemed the Catalogue unHomeric? I don't yet have answers to these questions. But visual inspection reveals once again what is otherwise obscured in a traditional edition. If we did not have these images, we would only know that A, B, E3, and E4 include the Catalogue of Ships, and we would be unable to see how it has been so carefully set apart from the rest of Book 2 in each manuscript.

Further reading:

Dickinson, O. 2011. "Catalogue of Ships." In M. Finkleberg, ed. The Homer Encyclopedia.  Blackwell.

Tsagalis, C. 2010. "The Dynamic Hypertext: Lists and Catalogues in the Homeric Epics." In C. Tsagalis. ed. Homeric Hypertextuality. Trends in Classics 2. De Gruyter. 323–347.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Comparing Scholia: one example

In this blogpost, I will compare what four of our manuscripts contain in their scholia on one particular line of the Iliad, Iliad 10.435. I have chosen this line because in our book, Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush, Casey Dué and I discuss the scholia on this line at length, having found that the scholia provided the best evidence for the traditional stories about Rhesos, the Thracian king whom Diomedes kills during the night raid. When we were writing the book, we had the photography only for the Venetus A and B, and we used the edition of Maass (1887) for the Townley (British Museum, Burney 86) to look at three versions of commentary on this line. Now we can add the scholia from the two Escorial manuscripts, which we often refer to by Allen’s notation of E3 and E4. I am not going to develop here any full-blown arguments about the scholia, but rather just make some observations and raise some questions. I will note some of the details of the stories about Rhesos, but our book provides a much fuller discussion.

To start, here are the readings of line 10.435 and the corresponding scholia read directly from the photography of the four manuscripts (A, B, E3, and E4), with case endings expanded and capitalization normalized for proper names:

Venetus A (134v):
10.435: ἐν δέ σφιν Ῥῆσος βασιλεὺς. παῖς Ἠϊονῆος·
and among them is the king, Rhesos the son of Eioneus.

Ῥῆσος γένει μὲν ἦν Θρᾷξ, ὑιὸς δὲ Στρυμόνος τοῦ αὐτόθι ποταμοῦ καὶ Εὐτέρπης μιᾶς τῶν Μουσῶν. διάφορος δὲ τῶν καθ’ αὑτὸν γενόμενος ἐν πολεμικοῖς ἔργοις ἐπῆλθε τοῖς Ἕλλησιν, ὅπως Τρωσὶ συμμαχήσῃ, καὶ συμβαλὼν πολλοὺς τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἀπέκτεινεν. δείσασα δὲ Ἥρα περὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων Ἀθηνᾶν ἐπὶ τὴν τούτου διαφθορὰν πέμπει. κατελθοῦσα δὲ ἡ θεὸς Ὀδυσσέα τε καὶ Διομήδη ἐπὶ τὴν κατασκοπὴν ἐποίησε προελθεῖν. ἐπιστάντες δὲ ἐκεῖνοι κοιμωμένῳ Ῥήσῳ αὐτὸν τε καὶ τοὺς ἑταίρους αὐτοῦ κτείνουσιν, ὡς ἱστορεῖ Πίνδαρος. ἔνιοι δὲ λέγουσι νυκτὸς παραγεγονέναι τὸν Ῥῆσον εἰς τὴν Τροίαν, καὶ πρὶν γεύσασθαι αὐτὸν τοῦ ὕδατος καὶ οἱ ἵπποι αὐτοῦ τοῦ Σκαμάνδρου πίουσιν καὶ τῆς αὐτόθι νομῆς, ἀκαταμάχητος ἔσται εἰς τὸ παντελές.

[at the bottom of the folio] ὅσοι ἐκ Μουσῶν τίκτονται: Ορφεὺς, ἐκ Καλλιόπης ἢ Κλειοῦς, Λῖνος Τερψιχόρης ἢ ὥς τινες Εὐτέρπης· Ῥῆσος Τερψιχόρης ἢ Εὐτέρπης· Θρὰξ [perhaps corrected to Θρᾲξ], Θαλλίας· Παλαίφατος, Ἐρατοῦς Θάμυρις ὁ Θρᾷξ, Μελπομένης καὶ Ἀχελῴου. Σειρῆνες, Πολυμνίας Τριπτόλεμος.

Rhesos by birth was Thracian, and the son of Strymon the river there and of Euterpe, one of the Muses. Being excellent among his own people in the deeds of war, he went against the Greeks, to act as an ally to the Trojans, and joining battle he killed many of the Greeks. Hera, fearful for the Greeks, sends Athena for the purpose of this man’s destruction. Coming down, the goddess made both Odysseus and Diomedes go forth on a spying mission. Those men, standing over the sleeping Rhesos, kill both him and his comrades, as Pindar gives the story. But some say that Rhesos arrived at Troy during the night, and before he tasted the water and his horses drink from the Skamandros and the pasture there, he will be utterly unconquerable. [Note: This translation reflects what actually appears in the text of the scholia, a text that others have found in need of correction because of the syntax problems in this last sentence.]

The following number are born from Muses: Orpheus from Kalliope or Kleio, Linos from Terpsikhore or, as some say, Euterpe, Rhesos from Terpsikhore or Euterpe, Thrax from Thallia, Palaiphatos from Erato, Thamyris the Thracian, from Melpomene and Akheloos. The Sirens from Polymnia, Triptolemos (also?). [Note: This version differs from that in our book, which was based on “normalized” readings, cf. Dindorf’s editions of the Venetus A scholia, and van Thiel’s edition of the so-called D scholia, a collection of scholia from several sources once (erroneously) attributed to Didymus.]

Venetus B (138v):
10.435: ἐν δέ σφιν Ῥῆσος βασιλεὺς. παῖς Ἠϊονῆος·
and among them is the king, Rhesos the son of Eioneus.

α’ (first scholion on 138v) Ῥῆσος Στρυμόνος τοῦ ποταμοῦ Θράκης καὶ Εὐτέρπης τῆς Μούσης υἱός· ἱστορεῖ δὲ Πίνδαρος ὅτι καὶ μίαν ἡμέραν πολεμήσας πρὸς Ἕλληνας, μέγιστα αὐτοῖς ἀνεδείξατο κακά· κατὰ δὲ θείαν πρόνοιαν, νυκτὸς αὐτὸν Διομήδης ἀναιρεῖ :~

Rhesos is the son of Strymon the river in Thrace and Euterpe the Muse. Pindar gives the story that having fought in battle for even one day against the Greeks, he demonstrated the greatest evils for them. And by divine forethought, Diomedes kills him at night.

E3 (133v):
10.435: ἐν δέ σφιν Ῥῆσος βασιλεὺς παῖς Ἠϊονῆος·
and among them is the king, Rhesos the son of Eioneus.

α’ (first scholion on 133v): Ῥῆσος Στρυμόνος τοῦ ποταμοῦ Θράκης· καὶ Εὐτέρπης τῆς Μούσης υἱός· ἱστορεῖ δὲ Πίνδαρος ὅτι καὶ μίαν ἡμέραν πολεμήσας πρὸς Ἕλληνας· μέγιστα αὐτοῖς ἐνεδείξατο κακά· κατὰ δὲ θείαν πρόνοιαν νυκτὸς αὐτὸν Διομήδης ἀναιρεῖ :~

Rhesos is the son of Strymon the river in Thrace and Euterpe the Muse. Pindar gives the story that having fought in battle for even one day against the Greeks, he demonstrated the greatest evils for them. And by divine forethought, Diomedes kills him at night.

E4 (90v):
10.435: ἐν δέ σφιν, Ῥῆσος βασιλεὺς παῖς Ἠϊονῆος
and among them is the king, Rhesos the son of Eioneus.

ἱστορία Ῥῆσος μὲν γένει μὲν ἦν Θρὰξ· υἱὸς δὲ Στρυμόνος τοῦ αὐτόθι ποταμοῦ καὶ Τέρπς [=Τερψιχόρης] μιὰς τῶν Μουσῶν διάφορος δὲ τῶν κατ’ αὐτὸν γενόμενος ἐν πολεμικοῖς ἔργοις ἐπῆλθετο Ἕλλησιν ὅπως Τρωσὶ συμμαχήση καὶ συμβαλων πολλοὺς τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἀπέκτεινε. ἡ δὲ Ἥρα δείσασα πρὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων, Ἀθηνᾶν ἐπὶ τὴν τούτου διαφθορὰν πέμπει. κατελθοῦσα δὲ ἡ θεὰ Ὀδυσσέα καὶ Δϊομήδης ἐπὶ τὴν κατασκοπὴν ἐποίησε προσελθεῖν. ἐπιστάντες δὲ ἐκεῖνοι κοιμωμένω Ῥήσω αὐτὸν τὲ καὶ τοὺς ἑταίρους αὐτοῦ κτείνουσϊν ὡς ἱστορεῖ Πίνδαρος ἕνιοι λέγουσι νυκτὸς παραγεγονέναι τὸν Ῥῆσον εἰς τὴν Τροίαν καὶ πρὶν γεύσασθαι αὐτὸν τοῦ ὕδατος τῆς χώρης φονευθῆναι χρησμὸς δέ φησί ἐδέδοτο αὐτῷ ὅ τι εἰ αὐτὸς γεύσεται τοῦ ὕδατος καὶ οἱ ἵπποι αὐτοῦ, τοῦ σκαμάνδρου πίωσϊν καὶ τῆς αὐτόθι νομῆς; ἀκαταμάχητος εἶναι εἰς τὸ παντελές :~

[At the top of the folio] ὅσοι εκ μουσῶν τΐκτονται: ὀρφεὺς· ἐκ καλιόπης · ἢ κλειοῦς: λΐνος· τερψϊχώρης: ῥῆσος· εὐτέρπης: θράξ, θαλείας: παλαίφατος, ἐρατοῦς: θάμυρϊς ὁ θράξ· μελπομης καὶ ἀχελώου: σειρῆνες, πολυμνίας:~ [Note: as will be apparent in my observations, the look of this scholion is important for understanding it, so I have not normalized the capitalization in this case.]

Story: Rhesos by birth was Thracian, and the son of Strymon the river there and Terpsichore one of the Muses. Being excellent among his own people in the deeds of war, he went against Greeks, to act as an ally to the Trojans, and joining battle he killed many of the Greeks. Hera, fearful for the Greeks, sends Athena for the purpose of this man’s destruction. Coming down, the goddess made both Odysseus and Diomedes go against [him] on a spying mission. Those men, standing over the sleeping Rhesos, kill both him and his comrades, as Pindar gives the story. But some say that Rhesos arrived at Troy during the night, and before he tasted the water of the area he was murdered. An oracle had been given to him, they say, that if he himself would taste the water and his horses drink from the Skamandros and the pasture there, he will be utterly unconquerable.

The following number are born from Muses: Orpheus, from Kalliope or Kleio; Linos from Terpsichore; Rhesos from Euterpe; Thrax from Thaleia; Palaiphatos from Erato; Thamyris the Thracian from Melpomene and Akheloos; Sirens from Polymnia.

—All of the manuscripts have the same reading for the line of the poetry itself, but in the scholia, we see two different versions of the “back story” of Rhesos. There is an obvious affinity between A and E4, on the one hand, and between B and E3 on the other. The close similarity between B and E3 is not surprising, since the two have long been recognized as closely related (an earlier post by Matthew Davis addressed the argument that B and E3 are even “twins”). But whether there are common sources that A and E4 share (as these scholia suggest) is something that we are starting to investigate. It hasn’t been well-recognized or explored, to my knowledge.

– The Townley manuscript (T) has a scholion similar to that of B and E3, but it has some particular features. According to the edition of Maass, here is how T reports the story:

Ῥῆσος Στρυμόνος τοῦ ποταμοῦ τῆς Θρᾴκης υἱὸς καὶ Εὐτέρπης Μούσης. ἱστορεῖ δὲ Πίνδαρος ὅτι καὶ μίαν ἡμέραν πολεμήσας πρὸς Ἕλληνας μέγιστα αὐτοῖς ἐνεδείξατο κακά, κατὰ δὲ πρόνοιαν Ἥρας καὶ Ἀθηνᾶς ἀναστάντες οἱ περὶ Διομήδεα ἀναιροῦσιν αὐτόν.
Rhesos is the son of Strymon the river of Thrace and Euterpe, a Muse. Pindar gives the story that having fought in battle for even one day against the Greeks he proved to be the greatest evils for them, and having been roused by the forethought of Hera and Athena, those around Diomedes kill him.

We see in T that Hera and Athena are explicitly named, as they are in the A and E4 scholia, instead of the less specific “divine” forethought reported in B and E3. Yet T also has the more general “those around Diomedes” rather than simply Diomedes himself named as the killer of Rhesos. Is that a way of including Odysseus (who is also explicitly named in the A and E4 versions)?

—The A scholion seems to have a copying mistake, which is made more obvious when we look at the E4 version of Rhesos’ story. It looks like the scribe picked up after the second τοῦ ὕδατος when he was only at the first, missing what appears in E4 between the two appearances of “water.” And so the word “oracle” (so crucial for understanding the importance of Rhesos) doesn’t appear in the A version. Thus, E4 is a more complete version of the “oracle” story about Rhesos (that version is also available in earlier manuscripts, according to van Thiel’s edition of the so-called D scholia).

–Although all the manuscripts name Eioneus as Rhesos’ father in the line of the Iliad, all the scholia agree that his father is the river Strymon, but none directly confronts the difference from the poetic line. Perhaps this discrepancy is due to the “two father” phenomenon among Greek heroes, according to which they are the son of both a divine father and a mortal one: for example, Herakles is both the son of Zeus and the son of Amphitryon.

—The identification of Rhesos’ mother, however, is more one of a choice between two Muses, Euterpe or Terpsichore. B and E3 name Euterpe only. A lists Euterpe in the scholion recounting Rhesos’ back story, but in the separate scholion listing offspring of the Muses, it gives the two possibilities of Euterpe or Terpsichore. E4, on the other hand, names Terpsichore in the scholion about Rhesos’ back story, but names only Euterpe in its scholion listing the offspring of the Muses. The variation is not surprising from a mythological point of view (variation is a hallmark of Greek mythology), but those differences in A and E4 raise further questions about the source(s) for these scholia, and at what point those differences occurred in their transmission.

—The E4 version of the list of the offspring of the Muses led me to rethink the way I had previously read the A version. My reading of the A version was influenced by modern editions of the scholia, such as Dindorf’s. But seeing the list in E4, with the purplish-red ink used for the names of the offspring, alerted me to a different way to read the list. In my earlier reading of the list of A, the order of mother and child switches in the middle of the list: at the beginning (e.g., Orpheus, Linos) the child is listed first, with the mother named in the genitive following; then, after Rhesos is named, it seems to switch to naming the mother first (still in the genitive) and then the offspring. The case of Rhesos then becomes even stranger, since in that reading the adjective “Thracian” (Θρᾴξ) follows the names of the two possible Muses who were his mother, Terpsichore or Euterpe. But there are two details here that raise questions about the reading: one is that Thamyris later in the list is called “Thracian” and the adjective is put in the more usual attributive position after the article ὁ. The other, as the list in E4 shows more clearly, is that there is a mythological figure named simply Θρᾴξ, who is a son of Ares and (presumably, according to this list), the Muse Thaleia (or Thallia, as A spells it).

Further complicating this question of how to read this list, though, is that in other sources, the Sirens are identified as offspring of Akheloos and Melpomene (e.g. Apollodorus 1.3.4), which would support reading them together in the A scholion, as others have done. And the list in A concludes with the name of Triptolemos: how should he be included in the list if the order of mother and offspring has not been reversed? Also as a child of Polymnia? Or was his mother’s name (mistakenly) omitted? Comparing the A scholion to the E4 version, and E4’s use of color to make the structure of the list more obvious, raises several questions about how to read the A version, questions not obvious when reading the scholion in modern editions.

–Now that we are beginning to see more affinities between the scholia in A and E4 (although there are also very different documents from one another in other ways), do E3 and E4 have a complementary nature similar to A and B as a pair? If so, that raises intriguing questions about how these Byzantine manuscripts were later collected in European libraries. Did book collectors like Cardinal Bessarion (who owned A and B and willed his personal library to the Republic of Venice) and King Philip II of Spain (who acquired E3 and E4 for his library) want to have a “complete” set of scholia to the Iliad (or some such notion) in their libraries? Was there scholarly interest at that time in having multiple manuscripts with different versions of scholia, or was prestige in owning such possessions the prime motivation?

Comparing these scholia thus raises different kinds of questions about the manuscripts themselves, including their sources and the history of their acquisition and ownership, in addition to the many intriguing subjects raised by the content of these "mythological" scholia.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush now on-line

An on-line version of Parts I and III of Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush: A Multitext Edition with Essays and Commentary is now available from the Center for Hellenic Studies. Hard copies may be purchased from Harvard University Press. Part II (texts and text commentaries) will be added soon.

UPDATE 2/4/12: Part II is now available as well.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The dog of Orion

In a previous post, I attempted to describe folio 188r of the eleventh-century manuscript of the Iliad known as E4, in order to make some preliminary observations about the manuscript and its relationship to other Medieval manuscripts of the Iliad with scholia. It was a difficult task, even with the help of my colleagues Christopher Blackwell, Mary Ebbott, and Neel Smith. E4 has not been well studied, and it has many features that make it unlike the other manuscripts we have digitized as part of the Homer Multitext. It became clear to me as I was working on it that I could not fully appreciate 188r without understanding its facing page on the left side, folio 187v. I have now had the chance to study 187v in detail, and it has only confirmed my initial impression of the manuscript, that it is an unusual, very likely unique assemblage of text and paratexts that span multiple lines of transmission. The scholia contained on folio 187v, which comment on the text of 188r (containing Iliad 22.1–37), are particularly indicative of the unique character of E4.

Folio 187v is taken up by a hypothesis to book 22, a large selection from Porphyry, and scholia, both with and without lemmata, including comments on the text of the Iliad that is written on 188r. It should be noted from the beginning that there are two separate hands in this manuscript, which both Allen and Erbse deem to be contemporaneous. The first hand has written the hypothesis, the scholia immediately following it, and the text of the poem and paraphrase on the next folio. The second hand has written the selection from Porphyry and the scholia in the margins.

At the top of folio 187v is the excerpt from Porphyry’s Homeric Questions. The following is a transcription, based on visual inspection of the manuscript images and Schrader’s (1880-1882) edition:
ἠγνόησαν οἱ πολλοὶ ὅτι ἡ κλίσις παρ’ Ὁμήρῳ τὴν περιοχὴν σημαίνει, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐσχηματισμένα ἀπ’ αὐτῆς ῥήματα. <ὣς οἱ μὲν κατὰ ἄστυ πεφυζότες ἠύτε νεβροὶ ἱδρῶ ἀπεψύχοντο πίον τ’ ἀκέοντό τε δίψαν, κεκλιμένοι καλῇσιν ἐπάλξεσιν· αὐτὰρ Ἀχαιοὶ τείχεος ἆσσον ἴσαν, σάκε’ ὤμοισι κλίναντες> (Iliad 22.1–4)· λέγει γάρ· περιεχόμενοι τῷ τείχει οἱ Τρῶες, οἱ δ’ Ἀχαιοὶ τὰ σάκη περιέχοντες τοῖς ὤμοις. Οὕτω λύσεις καὶ τὸ <οἵ δ' ἐπὶ ρὴγμῖνι θαλάσσης κυκλίατο> (Iliad 16.67–68)· λέγει γὰρ ὁτι περιεχόμενοι ὑπὸ τῶν Τρώων ἐπὶ ῥηγμῖνι θαλάσσης συνηλάθησαν.  καὶ τὸ <ἠέρι δ’ ἔγχος ἐκέκλιτο καὶ ταχέ’ ἵππω> (Iliad 5.356) δηλοῖ περιείχετο. καὶ τὸ <κεῖθ’ ἁλὶ κεκλιμένη ἐριβώλακος ἠπείροιο> (Odyssey 13.235), κεῖται περιεχομένη. καὶ πάλιν <ὅς δ’ἐν Ὕλῃ ναίεσκε μέγα πλούτοιο μεμηλὼς λίμνῃ κεκλιμένος> (Iliad 5.708) δηλοῖ περιεχόμενος. καὶ <ἀσπίσι κεκλιμένοι> (Iliad 3.135)· περιεχόμενοι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀσπίδων. ἀπὸ τοῦ κλείω· τὸ γὰρ ἀποκλεισθὲν περιέχεται· <οὐδὲ πύλῃσιν εὗρ’ ἐπικεκλιμένας σανίδας> (Iliad 12.120). τὸ δ’ αὐτὸ παρίστησι καὶ τὸ <ἀλλ’ ἐν γὰρ Τρώων πεδίῳ πύκα θωρηκτάων πόντῳ κεκλιμένοι ἑκὰς ἥμεθα> (Iliad 14.739–40), ἀντὶ τοῦ ὑπὸ τοῦ πόντου περιεχόμενοι.

A shortened version of this same excerpt from the Homeric Questions appears on folio 137v of E4 (ad Iliad 16.68 κεκλίατο). The full excerpt appears in two places on the Venetus B as well: folio 214v (ad Iliad 16.68 κεκλίατο) and folio 292r (ad Iliad 22.3 κεκλιμένοι, as here). The comment is part of a larger discussion of the meaning of the word κλίσις in Homer, and Iliad 22.1-4 is cited along with several other passages. The scribe of Ε4 saw that this passage in Porphyry was relevant to the opening lines of 22 (in which the Trojans rest by “leaning” on the walls), and so he copied it here. He links the excerpt from Porphyry to the text of the poem (on folio 188v) by means of a graphical sign, or siglum, which is reproduced in the appropriate place on the other folio. 

Next follow several scholia, written across the full length of the page. These too are connected to the text of the poem by means of sigla (more on which below). After these scholia, the (two) hypotheses begin, with a title written in crimson ink: ὑπόθεσϊς τῆς χι ὁμήρου ῥαψωδίας

The hypotheses are followed by more scholia, which are contained within the same text block as the hypotheses. These scholia differ from the surrounding scholia in that they have lemmata. Very significantly, both of the scholia with lemmata recorded in this text block can also be found in A in some fashion. Let’s look at them more closely. 

First, we find in crimson ink ὅν τε κύν’ὠρίωνα followed by a lengthy mythological note, whose content is attributed to Eratosthenes, the third head of the library of Alexandria (c. 235–c. 270). The following is a transcription of the note, for which I have worked closely with the image of the manuscript folio, as well as the editions of Heyne (1834) and Van Thiel (2000)
Τὸν ἀστρῶον κύνα οὕτως ἔφη. ἔνιοι δέ φασι τόνδε τὸν κατηστερισμένον κύνα, οὐκ Ὠρίωνος, ἀλλὰ Ἠριγόνης ὑπάρχειν, ὃν κατηστερισθῆναι διὰ τοιαύτην αἰτίαν. Ἱκάριος γένει μὲν ἦν Ἀθηναῖος ἔσχε δὲ θυγατέρα Ἠριγόνην, ἥτις κύνα νήπιον ἔτρεφε. ξενίσας δέ ποτε ὁ Ἱκάριος Διόνυσον, ἔλαβε παρ’ αὐτοῦ οἶνόν τε καὶ ἀμπέλου κλῆμα. κατὰ δὲ τὰς τοῦ θεοῦ ὑποθήκας, περιῄει τὴν γῆν προφαίνων τὴν τοῦ Διονύσου χάριν, ἔχων σὺν ἑαυτῷ καὶ τὸν κύνα. γενόμενος δὲ ἐντὸς τῆς πόλεως, βουκόλοις οἶνον παρέσχε. οἱ δὲ ἀθρόως ἐμφορησάμενοι, οἱ μὲν εἰς βαθὺν ὕπνον ἐτράπησαν, οἱ δὲ περιλειπόμενοι νομίσαντες  θανάσιμον εἶναι τὸ πόμα πλήσσοντες ἐφόνευον τὸν Ἱκάριον. μεθ’ ἡμέραν δὲ νηψάντων αὐτῶν καταγνόντες ἑαυτῶν εἰς φυγὴν ἐτράπησαν. ὁ δὲ κύων ὑποστρέψας πρὸς τὴν Ἠριγόνην, δι’ ὠρυγμοῦ ἐμήνυσεν αὐτῇ τὰ γενόμενα. ἡ δὲ μαθοῦσα τὸ ἀληθὲς, ἑαυτὴν ἀνήρτησε. νόσου δὲ ἐν Ἀθήναις γενομένης, κατὰ χρησμὸν Ἀθηναῖοι τόν τε Ἱκάριον καὶ τὴν Ἠριγόνην ἐνιαυσιαίαις ἐγέραιρον τιμαῖς. οἳ καὶ καταστερισθέντες, Ἱκάριος μὲν Βοώτης ἐκλήθη, Ἠριγόνη δὲ παρθένος. ὁ δὲ κύων τὴν αὐτὴν ὀνομασίαν ἔσχεν. Ἱστορεῖ Ἐρατοσθένης ἐν τοις ἑαυτοῦ καταλόγοις.

This note is also found with some variations on the Venetus A manuscript, though it is not included in Erbe’s edition of the scholia (because Erbse excludes the mythological scholia or “D” scholia from his edition). It is also found in the Venetus B, but in the later, 12th or 13th century set of scholia on that manuscript. (Hence it postdates the construction of E4.) 

A potentially very significant variation is recorded in this note on E4. What is significant about this note is not actually its content, but its lemma. The reading ὅν τε κύν’ὠρίωνα does not match the corresponding text of the poem on folio 188v of E4, nor is it found in any other manuscript, all of which read κύν’ὠρίωνος (“the dog of Orion”). In fact κύν’ὠρίωνα does not make much grammatical sense, though we could take the two accusatives, somewhat awkwardly, to be in apposition to one another (“the dog, Orion”). The Venetus Α scholia, however, record another discussion of this phrase, this one about the proper division of the words:
ὅντε κύν’ ὠρίωνος ὁ Σιδώνιος ὑφ’ ἓν ἀναγινώσκει. ἄμεινον δὲ κατὰ παράθεσιν, ὅτι οἱ κύνες πολλάκις ὀνομάζονται μετὰ τῶν κτητόρων, οἷον Κέρβερος Ἅιδου, Ὄρθρος Γηρυόνου, Ἄλκαινα Ἀκταίωνος· οὕτως κύνα Ὠρίωνος. τῷ δὲ κυνηγετικὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι καὶ πλησίον κατηστέρισαν τὸν κύνα.
“The dog of Orion”: The Sidonian reads it as one [word]. But it is better to read it as two, because dogs are often named with their owners, such as Kerberos of Hades, Orthros of Geryon, Alkaina of Aktaion; likewise the dog of Orion. Inasmuch as he was fond of hunting they also made his dog in the constellation next to him. 
Dionysius Sidonius was an Aristarchean scholar who seems to have been very familiar with the methods and scholarship of Aristarchus. (See Nagy 2009: 151–152.) In this comment he seems to be arguing for a reading, perhaps known to Aristarchus, that represents κύν’ὠρίωνος as one word. The only way that such a one-word reading could work grammatically would be if the word were in the accusative case: that is to say, something like κυνωρίωνα. Is it possible that the source from which the scribe of E4 was copying his scholia with lemmata had this other reading? Could such a reading have been corrupted by the influence of the genitive in other sources, so that instead of κυνωρίωνα we find in E4 κύν’ὠρίωνα (divided into two words)? If so, E4’s lemma here would be the sole witness to preserve what seems to be an ancient variation that was being discussed in antiquity. 

The other scholion recorded in this text block, also with a lemma in crimson ink, also has an interesting link to the A manuscript. 
Εἶσϊ τὴν ἑώαν ἀνατολὴν. ἅνεισιν ἀνατέλλει.
A version of this comment is found in several other manuscripts of Homeric so-called D scholia, including the 9th century manuscript Z (= Romanus, Bibl. Naz. Centr. Gr. 6 + Matrit. B. N. 4626), but it is not in B, T, C, or Ge. In the Venetus A, however, ανεισιν ἀνατελλει is written here in semiuncial script above εἶσιν. 
Detail from folio 282v of the Venetus A

This link is now a second indication that the scholia with lemmata in E4 are drawn from a tradition with ties to the Aristarchean scholarship that we find in the Venetus A. 

In the left margin and at the bottom of the folio, surrounding the text block containing the hypothesis and these scholia are additional scholia. These scholia, like those above the hypothesis, do not contain lemmata, and are clearly drawn from other sources. The first two of these scholia are preceded by a siglum in the outer margin, while the final three are preceded by Greek numerals (in the form of letters of the alphabet). The numbered scholia correspond to the numbered scholia in B, E3, and C. The scholia connected to the text with sigla contain material from the so-called “D” scholia. These scholia can also often found in B, but in the second, later hand of B. 

It is clear that the E4 brings together many different sources, which are used selectively and in combination. This is significant because it shows us that the Homeric scholia and other Homeric paratexts cannot be easily defined or placed in a neat stemma. Scribes clearly had a variety of sources available to choose from when constructing a manuscript. We should likewise assume that the text of the Iliad itself was collated in various ways as each manuscript was constructed.  While many scribes may have simply copied an exemplar, we know that they often compared what they were copying to other exemplars and made changes, or else recorded variations in the margins. This practice is especially clear in the Venetus A (on which see Allen 1889). In its text and scholia E4 may well preserve vestiges of the scholarly controversies of antiquity that survive nowhere else.

References cited in this post

Allen, T.W. 1899. “On the Composition of Some Greek Manuscripts: The Venetian Homer.” Journal of Philology 26: 161-181.

Allen, T. W.  1931a
--> . Homeri Ilias  I-III.  Oxford.

Dué, C., ed. 2009.  Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus A Manuscript of the Iliad. Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC.

Erbse, H., ed. 1969-1988. Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem I-VII. Berlin.

Heyne, C. G., ed. 1834. Homeri Ilias cum brevi annotatione curante C.G. Heyne; accedunt scholia minora passim emendata, necnon Heraclidis Allegoriae Homericae. Oxford.

Nagy, G. 2009. “Traces of an Ancient System of Reading Homeric Verse in the Venetus A.” In Dué 2009a: 133–158.

Schrader, H., ed. 1880-1882. Porphyrii quaestionum Homericarum ad Iliadem pertinentium reliquiae. Leipzig.