Wednesday, May 23, 2012

HMT Collaborator Interviewed for Ars Technica's Coolest Jobs in IT

Ryan Bauman, a researcher at the University of Kentucky's Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, has been interviewed by Ars Technica for their series on the Coolest Jobs in IT. In the article Bauman discusses his work on the Homer Multitext Project, including multispectral and 3-D imaging of ancient manuscripts. He talks about how gratifying it is to do research that benefits both humanists and computer scientists at the same time: "The most interesting part is finding research questions that touch on both sides," he said. "Finding something that a humanities scholar is interested in that we can help them answer using some kind of digital approach that is also challenging enough on the digital side that it pushes computer science forward as well." 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A discovery in the E4 scholia

Detail from folio 27v of E4
This week I have begun to explore in much more depth than I have thus far the scholia in Escorialensis Ω.I.12 (otherwise known as E4, or West F) and how they relate to those of other manuscripts. In other posts I have discussed how E4 brings together several different sources of commentary and places them in different locations around the page depending on the nature of the folio. These sources include the "Homeric Questions" of Porphyry (and possibly older material of this genre), "D" scholia of the type that you find in the Venetus A, "D" scholia of the type that you find in the later hand of the Venetus B, and exegetical scholia of the type that you find in the first hand of the Venetus B and E3.

Often in my work I use Erbse's edition of the scholia to help me transcribe the exegetical scholia of E4 (Erbse's edition does not include the "D" scholia or Porphyry). But because Erbse was working with the limitations of print, his edition often condenses, abbreviates, combines, and/or separates comments that appear in multiple sources, in order to save space. As a result, Erbse is rarely a reliable guide to what is actually in E4. Usually, if E4 is particularly difficult to decipher at any given point, the most helpful comparison will be the high resolution images that we have published of the Venetus B. And indeed it has been my working assumption that the source of E4's exegetical scholia is, if not B, then something very much like B. While transcribing the scholia on folio 27v of E4 this week, however, I found evidence that the scribe(s) of E4 had access to a fuller source of the scholia than that of the Venetus B or even, in this case, of the Venetus A.

At the top of the left margin on folio 27v of E4, on which we find verses 38-76 of book 3 of the Iliad, there is a comment in reference to line 3.46 and following about whether the passage should be read as a question or not. This comment, which mentions Nicanor by name (he is the scholar whose work On Punctuation is cited in the subscription at the end of each book in the Venetus A), happens to survive in A, B, E3, and T as well as in E4. Here is the note as it survives in the manuscripts other than E4 (with each individual manuscript presenting only very minor deviations from this text):
 τοιόσδε τινὲς [[τινὲς has been left out in E4, but is attested here in other manuscripts]] κατὰ πεῦσιν καὶ θαυμασμόν· τοιοῦτος ὢν δειλός, συναγαγὼν πλῆθος; διελθὼν πέλαγος, γυναῖκα ἀνδρὸς πολεμικοῦ ἤγαγες· σῷ τὲ πατρὶ· καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις κακὸν μέγα; εἶτα ἀπὸ ἄλλης ἀρχῆς· <οὐκ ἂν δὴ μείνειας Μενέλαον> [Iliad 3.52]· ἠθικῶς μετὰ πεύσεως ἢ καὶ διαβεβαιωτικῶς· τινὲς δὲ τὸ πᾶν, οὕτως· τὸν η ἀντὶ τοῦ ει διφθόνγου· εἰ τοιοῦτος ὢν ἐπηγάγου πλῆθος· καὶ ἀπὸ ξένης γῆς γυναῖκα ἀνδρὸς πολεμϊκοῦ ἤγαγες· οὐκ ἂν ὑπομείνειας τὸν ταύτης ἄνδρα· ὃ καὶ προκρΐνει Νϊκάνωρ ὡς μᾶλλον τὴν δικαιολογίαν ἔχον. 
Some read it as an interrogative and an incredulous question: “Did you, being such a coward, cross the sea leading a multitude and bring with you the wife of a war-like man, you great evil to your father and the rest of us?” Then from another beginning [i.e., a new sentence] is οὐκ ἂν δὴ μείνειας Μενέλαον (Iliad 3.52), which would be appropriate with a question or as a statement. But some read the whole passage this way, namely reading the η the instead of the ει diphthong. “If being such a one you led a multitude and took the wife of a war-like man from a foreign land, you could not withstand the husband of that woman” is what Nicanor prefers on the grounds that it sounds more like courtroom rhetoric.
This is where the note ends in A, B, E3, and T, but in E4 it continues.
τινὲς δὲ οὐ κατὰ πεῦσιν καὶ θαυμασμὸν· οὕτω δειλὸς ὢν τοσούτων ἀρχηγὸς γενόμενος τῆ πατρΐδϊ καὶ τοῖς οἰκειοις κακὼν· ὁ η κεῖται ἀντῒ τοῦ ει· καὶ τὸ τοιόσδε ἐν παραγωγῇ. διὸ ἐβαρύνθη ὁ η : 
But some do not take it as an interrogative and an incredulous question: “Being so worthless, you being the originator of so many bad things for your fatherland and for your countrymen.” The η is there instead of the ει. And the τοιόσδε is inflected. For this reason the η is marked with a grave accent.
Interestingly, the Genavensis manuscript seems to preserve a compressed version the entire note, according to the edition of Nicole (1966). But though compressed, it contains two segments that are in E4 but not in the other manuscripts—the τινὲς δὲ οὐ and τὸ τοιόσδε ἐν παραγωγῇ. It would seem that the scribe of the Genavensis had access to the same fuller note that the scribe of E4 copied, but he must have compressed it for reasons of space. When the images of the Genavensis are published (very soon, we hope!), we will be able to test this hypothesis.

In any case, we find here just one small example of a place where E4 preserves text that is available nowhere else, text moreover that has not been published in Erbse or in any edition of the scholia. I expect many more such places to come to light in the course of studying this manuscript.