Archive for September, 2010

A Book Mentioning Demetrios of Scepsis


In her Book, From Alexandria to Babylon, Francesca Schironi mentions Demetrios of Scepsis twice.

First when discussing the larger context of glossographical works, she describes the tradition of glossography in the library of Pergamon. And, even if she prefers the Alexandrian hypothesis, she mentions a fragment of Demetrios of Scepsis illustrating this kind of interests. Indeed in fr. 70 (Gaede) he attributes the word χεράδες to the dialect of Apollonia in Pontus. As it is difficult at first glance to see how this piece of information would fit a commentary on the Trojan Catalogue, it provides at least a good example illustrating how far-reaching his Τρωικὸς διάκοσμος must have been.
The interest of Demetrios, or more generally of scholars linked to the library of Pergamon, for places with strange, foreign names, especially those in the areas around Pergamon, can also be seen in the preserved attempts to explain for instance the name of Demetrios’ hometown Scepsis. Several attempts to explain the name have come down to us (see below january 2008). One of them is linked to the name of Demetrios (ΣD Il. 20.3) and Strabo wonders about the validity of Greek etymologies about “barbarian” names such as the one of Scepsis (Str. 13.1.52).

The second mention of Demetrios of Scepsis occurs in her commentary of fragment 5 of the preserved glossographical work. The wording ]ἐν τῷ Τρωικῷ[ suggests the title of a work and, of course, the one given by Demetrios to his work is among the first the be mentioned (ὁ Τρωικὸς διάκοσμος). This is certainly not the only possibility and the author makes several other suggestions.

But there is a striking coincidence to be mentioned. It has often been argued about Athenaeus that he may not have read all the sources he quotes but would have used lexicographical works, where he found the quoted sources already listed under the lemmata he was interested in. This seems to be true for at least two of the fragments of Demetrios coming from Athenaeus (Athen.4.141e = fr. 1 and Athen. 7.300d = fr. 11). To be more assertive further studies should be done on Athenaeus but even so, and only with a hypothetical mention of Demetrios, the book gives precious insight about such intermediary works one has to presuppose between the Hellenistic scholars and their later users.

Giuseppe Zecchini, La cultura storica di Ateneo, Milano 1989

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A Venue on Digital Edition in Leuven

The COMSt Network is organizing a workshop with an interesting programme. Even if it is focusing on Textual Criticism of Oriental Manuscripts, many papers are also very appropriated for digital edition in the field of Classics.

25-26 October 2010
the Workshop on Textual Criticism of Oriental Manuscripts
will be conducted by COMSt Team 2 (Philology / Text criticism) in Leuven, Belgium.

The Workshop is conceived as a first step in the preparation of the corresponding handbook chapter(s). The programme is therefore as follows:

Monday, 25 October

09:00 Welcome and Introduction: Johannes den Heijer (Louvain-la-Neuve)

09:30 Session 1: Critical editions : general principles and methodological considerations
chair: Caroline Macé (Leuven)

1. Alessandro Mengozzi (Turin), Philological traditions – different approaches to editorial methods
2. Ph. Roelli (Zürich), To what extent can the Lachmannian method be formalized?

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Session 2: History of Manuscripts and Textual Criticism
chair: Alessandro Bausi (Hamburg)

1. Marie Cronier (Paris), Text History as a tool for philology
2. Zuzana Gazakova (Bratislava), Fluid traditions in popular literature
3. Wido van Peursen (Leiden), Dealing with sacred texts and their linguistic features
4. Ugo Zanetti (Chèvetogne), Cataloguing and editing liturgical manuscripts

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Session 3: Specificities of textual transmission and editorial responses
chair: Antonia Giannouli (Nicosia)

1. Hugo Lundhaug (Oslo), Dating and interpreting texts from a bilingual setting
2. Sébastien Moureau (Nancy), Editing a translation of a lost treatise
3. Willy Clarysse (Leuven), Editing documentary texts

15:30 Coffee break

16:00 Session 4: Establishing the text – Round table
chair: Johannes den Heijer (Louvain-la-Neuve)

Participants: all welcome

17:00 Session 5: Lay out and presentation
chair: Alessandro Mengozzi (Bologna)

1. Paolo La Spisa (Louvain), Orthography. Linguistic particularities v/s normalization
2. Antonia Giannouli (Nicosia), Punctuation and other aspects of original formal aspects

18:00 General discussion
chair: Johannes den Heijer (Louvain-la-Neuve)

19:30 Dinner

Tuesday, 26 October

09:00 Session 6: From traditional to electronic editions, I: Tools
chair: Jost Gippert (Frankfurt)

1. Tara Andrews & Caroline Macé (Leuven), Digital Tools for Scholarly Editions
2. Various participants: Short additional presentations on specific tools and methods
Tara Andrews: the Interedition Project
Ilse De Vos: automatic identification of citations
Caroline Macé: phylogenetics and stemmatics
Sébastien Moureau: Classical Text Editor

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Session 7: From traditional to electronic editions, II: Project presentations
chair: Witold Witakowski (Uppsala)

1. Denis Searby (Stockholm), Digital solutions for the fluid textual tradition of Greek gnomologia
2. Aafke van Oppenraay (The Hague), Editing an Arabic-Latin text, present-day practice and wishes for the future

12:00 General conclusions
chair: Johannes den Heijer (Louvain)

Musisque Deoque

I had the opportunity to attend the last session of the Digital Classicist 2010 seminars. Linda Spinazzè, a young scholar from the University of Venice, presented a very interesting project, entitled Musisque Deoque. The project deals with Latin literature and proposes to provide digital editions of a set of ancient texts.
The choice of texts goes from the 3th century BCE up to the 7th century CE. For each of them a Latin text is provided where the editorial variants are highlighted and explained in a separated apparatus criticus. For each of the elements given, precise indications are made to offer the readers an easier understanding of the often difficult and varying abbreviations in an apparatus.
Further a research option for metrical criteria is provided, where the texts are listed under different meters and can be approached from this point of view.
In the paper however Linda Spinazzè announced another aspect of the project, manuscripts tracing on the net. She is currently developing a tool which would help to find the digital images of the variants listed in the apparatus of the text. The apparatus created by these means would therefore become extremely valuable as it would help to fill the previously inevitable gap between the manuscripts, disseminated in the libraries all over the world, accessible to few and showing each only one stage of the transmission, and the printed editions, a reproducible and easily available summary of all the manuscripts where one version is given as main text and the other variants are summed up in the appartus.
This project is therefore based on another approach than for instance the Homer Multitext Project. Whereas the project on the Homeric text starts from the manuscripts and finds new ways of presenting the complex state of preservation of the text, the Musisque deoque approach is starting from the currently available editions and tries to go back to the manuscripts, if they are available. The approach is less revolutionary than the one of the Homer Multitext Project, but it has the advantage to be applicable to a corpus of diversified texts, with different histories of transmission.


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