A Scholion on Pisistratus and Homer (Anecd. Gr. II 767–768 Bekker)

Hermes 150 (2):246 (2022)
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Abstract

An infamous Byzantine scholion about Pisistratus and Homer (Anecd. Gr. II 767–768 Bekker) includes the wildly anachronistic comment that Pisistratus tasked seventy-two scholars, including Zenodotus and Aristarchus, with editing the Homeric poems. The scholion is therefore rightly impugned in modern scholarship. It has however been overlooked that a ninth century Arabic version of the scholion exists in a letter by the Syrian scholar Qusṭā ibn Lūqā (d. 912 ad), which omits mention of the seventy-two scholars and Zenodotus and Aristarchus. As the Arabic version is the earliest precisely dated testimonium for the scholion, it allows for a reconsideration of the textual tradition of this legend about the editorial activity of Pisistratus.

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