LIFE offers various amusements, and anyone these days who can choose among them will come late to the study of hiatus in Greek prose. Germany in the 1880s, so it seems, was less fortunate, and few greater excitements were known to young or old than the hunt for hiatus; but now that we no longer strait-waistcoat our classical authors and the austerity of those times is discredited, few collectors of hiatus are to be found, and there are people even in (...) Germany who have never identified a single specimen. Yet there is nothing to be said for underrating an author' stylistic pretensions, still less for encouraging others to do the same; and the textual critic, whose path is slippery enough at the best of times, can ill afford to dispense with footholds. There has been no broad study of hiatus in Greek prose since 1841, when Benseler in a long and original book De hiatu in oratoribus et historicis Graecis went through the text of 27 authors and attempted to determine their practice. (shrink)
In a brief article under the present title, Adam Parry raised a simple but profound question: were there certain things that the inherited vocabulary of oral poets did not allow them to sayF; The mere raising of this question, whatever his answer, is enough to make the article one of the more important contributions to Homeric studies in the last fifty years. As it happens, his answer was affirmative, and it has not been contested. Contested it will now be.
No speech in Attic tragedy has made a stronger impression on later generations than Medea's farewell to her children. Four changes of mind and two displays of maternal affection lay bare the depths of a tortured soul; ‘there, in a short space, arelove and hatred, firmness and hesitation, fierce joy and unfathomable sorrow’.
When did Livy write his history? How many books had it, and what did the lost ones cover? Such answers as can be given to these questions come almost entirely from the one extant summary, the Periochae. The manuscripts of the Periochae disagree, however, on a matter of considerable interest: out of a hundred or so, only three, supported by a lost fourth, have been cited as adding to the title Ex libro CXXI the subtitle qui editus post excessum Augusti (...) dicitur. When the latest editor, P. Jal in the Collection Budé , declares himself unconvinced of its authenticity , he leaves the reader to decide whether authenticity means truth, authorial origin, or presence in the archetype; but whatever it means, seeds of suspicion have been sown. (shrink)
Recent months have brought forth a new edition of Nemesianus and a 294-page study of the textual tradition that he shares with Calpurnius. The edition, prepared by P. Volpilhac for Budé , offers nothing new on the tradition beyond reports of a few manuscripts known to previous editors; but Luigi Castagna's book I bucolici latini minori: una ricerca di critica testuale makes an earnest attempt at solving once and for all the problems that survived the last contribution of any weight, (...) Giarratano's edition . Though most of what Castagna says is true, however, his readers may be cushioned against the sharper points by an undue amount of padding, which also fails to hide gaps. Before he proceeds to his own edition of Nemesianus, therefore, a few things can usefully be said. (shrink)