Great news: the Townleyana manuscript digitised!

I have just received, as everybody subscribed to the Liverpool Classicists mailing-list, the message that the British Library digitised the manuscript of Homer’s Iliad named after its owner Charles Townley and containing the so-called T-scholia.

I just had a quick look at the beginning of book 12, where the Trojan rivers are mentioned. This passage is to be found on folio 123r. I chose this part as we, Simona Stoyanova and myself, were working in the last couples of month on Demetrios’s fragments 29 to 31. These three fragments are in Gaede’s edition actually three clusters of several texts. First there is Strabo 13.1.43-45 [C 602-603] which is a close description of the river system of the Troad. Gaede adds to this first witness several of the scholia to Il. 12.20, most of them coming precisely from the manuscript which has been digitised. Further we find some elements from Hesychius and Eustathius.

Interesting to find fr. 64, a comment on the Simois, as an interlinear scholia here. Gaede’s arrangement puts this fragment in a completely different context. It is linked to the fragments mentioning the homonymy between places in Crete and in the Troad rather than to those describing the river system. It is therefore very helpful that the digitised folio reminds us of the context of its transmission.

Then the layout is also interesting. The comments on the rivers are separated in two blocks designated with two different signs. In the first the Rhesos is the lemma and the comment is about this river only whereas the second contains the remarks about the Caresos, the Rhodios, the Grancios and the Scamander. This has not been taken into account in Gaede’s presentation and we may start thinking about whether this may have some meaning or not. But, anyway, it is a huge progress that we can look at it now in such an easy way!

See further: Medieval manuscripts blog

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