The Ancient Library

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with Zenodotus at Alexandria. For such a task the times after Alexander were quite fit. Life had fled from the literature of the Greeks ; it was become a dead body, and was very properly carried into Egypt, there to be embalmed and safely pre­served for many ensuing centuries. It was the task of men, who, like Aristarchus, could judge of poetry without being able to write any themselves, to preserve carefully that which was extant, to clear it from all stains and corruptions, and to ex­plain what was no longer rooted in and connected with the institutions of a free political life, and therefore was become unintelligible to all but the learned. Three men, who stand in the relation of masters and pupils, were at the head of a numerous host of scholars, who directed their attention either occasionally or exclusively to the study and criti­cism of the Homeric poems. Zenodotus [zeno­dotus] laid the foundation of systematic criticism, by establishing two rules for purifying the corrupted text. He threw out, 1st, whatever was contra­dictory to, or not necessarily connected with, the whole of the work ; 2d, what seemed unworthy of the genius of the author. To these two rules his followers, Aristophanes and Aristarchus, added two more ; they rejected, 3d, what was contrary or foreign to the customs of the Homeric age, and 4th, what did not agree with the epic language and versification. It is not to be wondered at that Zenodotus, in his first attempt, did not reach the summit of perfection. The manner in which he cut out long passages, arbitrarily altered others, trans­posed and, in short, corrected Homer's text as he would have done his own, seemed shocking to all sober critics of later times, and would have proved very injurious to the text had not Aristophanes, and still more Aristarchus, acted on sounder prin­ciples, and thus put a stop to the arbitrary system of Zenodotus. Aristophanes of Byzantium [aris­tophanes], a man of vast learning, seems to have been more occupied with the other parts of the Greek literature, particularly the comic poets, than with Homer. He inserted in his edition many of the verses which had been thrown out by Zeno­dotus, and in many respects laid the foundations for what his pupil Aristarchus executed. The re­putation of the latter as the prince of grammarians was so great throughout the whole of antiquity, that before the publication of the Venetian scholia by Villoison, we hardly knew how to account for it. But these excellent scholia, which have chiefly enabled us to understand the origin of the Homeric poems, teach us also to appreciate their great and unrivalled interpreter, and have now generally led to the conclusion, that the highest aim of the am­bition of modern critics with respect to Homer is to restore the edition of Aristarchus, an under­taking which is believed to be possible by one of the most competent judges, chiefly through the assistance afforded by these scholia. (Lehrs, de AristarcM Studiis Homeric^ 1833.) Lehrs has discovered the sources from which these scholia are derived. 1. Aristonicus, ITepl <n7/*etW t<£v rijs 'lAtaSos Kal 'OSvtnrei'as. These ffrj^eia are the critical marks of Aristarchus, so that from Aristo­nicus we learn a great many of the readings of Aristarchus. 2. Didymus, IIe/>l tvjs 'Apia-rdpxov SwpQuffetas. 3. Herodian, npoffafiia 'O^ptKij: the word prosody contained, according to the use of those grammarians, not merely what is called pro­sody now, but the rules of accentuation, contrac-


tion, spiritus, and the like. 4. Nicanor, o-Tiypijs, on the stoppings. On Aristarchus we need not say much here [aristarchus] : we will only add, that the obelos, one of the critical marks used by Aristarchus, and invented, like the accents, by his master, Aristophanes, was used for the a0e-T7?(m, i.e. to mark those verses which seemed im­proper and detrimental to the beauty of the poem, but which Aristarchus dared not throw out of the text, as it was impossible to determine whether they were to be ascribed to an accidental carelessness of the author, or to interpolations of rhapsodists. Those verses which Aristarchus was convinced to be spurious he left out of his edition altogether. Aristarchus was in constant opposition to Crates of Mallus, the founder of the Pergamene school of grammar. This Crates had the merit of trans­planting the study of literature to Rome. With regard to Homer, he zealously defended the alle­gorical explication against his rival Aristarchus. [crates.] In the time of Augustus the great compiler, Didymus, wrote most comprehensive commentaries on Homer, copying mostly the works of preceding Alexandrian grammarians, which had swollen to an enormous extent. Under Tiberius, Apollonius Sophista lived, whose lexicon Homeri-cum is very valuable (ed. Bekker, 1833). Apion, a pupil of Didymus, was of much less importance than is generally believed, chiefly on the authority of Wolf: he was a great quack, and an impu­dent boaster. (Lehrs, Quaest. Epicae, 1837; see apion.) Longinus and his pupil, Porphyrius, of whom we possess some tolerably good scholia, were of more value. The Homeric scholia are dispersed in various MSS. Complete collections do not exist, nor are they desirable, as many of them are utterly useless. The most valuable scholia on the Iliad are those which have been referred to above, which were published by Villoison from a MS. of the tenth century in the library of St. Mark at Venice, together with the scholia to the Iliad previously published, Ven. 1788, fol. These scholia were reprinted with additions, edited by I. Bekker, Berlin, 1825, 2 vols. 4to., with an appendix, 1826, which collection contains all that is worth reading. A few additions are to be found in Bachmann's Scholia ad Homeri Iliadem, Lips. 1835. The. most valuable scholia to the Odyssey are those published by Buttmann, Berl. 1821, mostly taken from the scholia originally published by A. Mai from a MS. at Milan in 1819. The extensive com­mentary of Eustathius is a compilation destitute of judgment and of taste, but which contains much valuable information from sources which are now lost. [eustathius, No. 7.] The old editions of Homer, as well as the MSS., are of very little im­portance for the restoration of the text, for which we must apply to the scholia. The Editio Princeps by Demetrius Chalcondylas, Flqr. 1488, fol., was the first large work printed in Greek (one psalm only and the Batrachomyomachia having preceded). This edition was frequently reprinted. Wolf reckons scarcely seven critical editions from the Editio Prin­ceps to his time. That of H. Stephanus, in Poet. Graec. Princ. her. Carm., Paris, 1566, foL, was one of the best. In England the editions of Barnes, Cantab., 1711, 2 vols. 4to., and of Clarke, who published the Iliad in 1729, and the Odyssey in 1740, were generally used for a long time, and often reprinted. The latter was published with additions by Ernesti, Lips. 1759—1764, 5 vols.

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