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«Marginalia and Commentaries in the Papyri of Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes PhD thesis / Dept. of Greek and Latin University College London ...»

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Nikolaos Athanassiou

Marginalia and Commentaries in the Papyri of Euripides,

Sophocles and Aristophanes

PhD thesis / Dept. of Greek and Latin

University College London

London 1999


Name of candidate: Nikolaos Athanassiou

Title of Thesis: Marginalia and commentaries in the papyri of

Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes.

The purpose of the thesis is to examine a selection of papyri from the

large corpus of Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes. The study of the texts

has been divided into three major chapters where each one of the selected papyri is first reproduced and then discussed. The transcription follows the original publication whereas any possible textual improvement is included in the commentary. The commentary also contains a general description of the papyrus (date, layout and content) as well reference to special characteristics.

The structure of the commentary is not identical for marginalia and hy-pomnemata: the former are examined in relation to their position round the main text and are treated both as individual notes and as a group conveying the annotator's aims. The latter are examined lemma by lemma with more emphasis upon their origins and later appearances in scholia and lexica.

After the study of the papyri follows an essay which summarizes the results and tries to incorporate them into the wider context of the history of the text of each author and the scholarly attention that this received by the Alexandrian scholars or later grammarians. The main effort is to place each papyrus into one of the various stages that scholarly exegesis passed especially in late antiquity. Special treatment has been given to P.Wurzburg 1, the importance of which made it necessary that it occupies a chapter by itself. The last chapter of the thesis deals with the issue of glosses, namely their origin and use in the margins of papyri. The focus is again on the history of early collections of tragic and comic vocabulary and their appearance in the margins or hypomnemata. The parallel circulation of hypomnemata and glossaries often compiled by the same people and some special features of the glosses in our material led to the condusion that most glosses at least in the earlier periods were copied from hypomnemata. The thesis ends with a presentation of all conclusions from the previous chapters in relation to the history of scholarship and book production in late antiquity.

Table of Contents Pages Preface 4 Chapters

1. The papyri of Euripides 8 P. Oxy.3716: Orestes 9 P. Mich. Inv.3

–  –  –

Preface The first time I heard about marginalia and commentaries in papyri was in the autumn term of 1993 in a paper delivered by Prof. H. Maehler in the Department of Greek and Latin at UCL. Since then the initial awe in front of such a specialized and unknown to me subject was gradually replaced by curiosity and interest to work further into this field and to explore some of its "secrets". The decision that this would be the subject of my PhD research was made the following year.

The papyrological evidence about hypomnemata and annotation on classical Greek authors covers a substantial amount of texts and literary genres from Homer and Hipponax to Callimachus and Apollonius of Rhodes. Some of it has already been thoroughly studied in the first editions of the papyri, or in monographs and articles by various scholars under different perspectives. There have been, however, very few attempts to reconsider as a whole all this evidence which is scattered in papyrological publications and to draw conclusions about the nature and methods of the ancient exegesis as illustrated in papyri.

The main idea behind the present study was to reexamine a selection of annotated papyri or hypomnemata on papyrus from the corpus of Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes. The focus is not on the purely papyrological aspect since most of the material has already been adequately published. A general description of the papyri, however, is always given insofar as this is necessary for the better understanding of the marginalia and of the circumstances under which they were written. The principal objective of our work is to compare the material provided by the papyri to the scholia of the byzantine manuscripts (usually to the so-called scholia vetera but occasionally to the scholia recentiora too). The scholia recentiora reflect the studies of the famous Byzantine scholars such as Tzetzes, Triclinius and Moschopoulos but they contain also elements of much earlier exegesis which has not been preserved in the scholia vetera.

A study of ancient exegesis on classical literarure would not be complete without a constant consideration of all the relevant material in lexicography of late antiquity and Byzantine times. Entries in Hesychius, Suda, the Etymologica and other lexica were used in order to help us reconstruct the origins and various channels through which Alexandrian and Graeco-Roman scholarship has been transmitted up to the present times. The study of the lexica confirmed the known fact that in antiquity a systematic exchange of material between commentaries, glossaries


and possibly monographs took place; unfortunately the evidence from monographs is still too limited to be of any use in this study. Given the complexities surrounding the sources of lexicographical material, it was inevitable that occasionally some questions remained unanswered and some links were based upon a certain amount of speculation. Hopefully, however, we managed to throw some more light upon the development of scholarship on drama and the radical changes that this kind of exegetical material underwent during the first seven centuries of our era.

In dealing with marginalia and hypomnemata in papyrus one needs to be consistent with a very precise terminology which would help to avoid confusion as far as different and successive forms of the scholarly material are concerned. First of all, the very familiar term "scholium / a" refers exclusively to the bulk of exegesis transmitted in the margins of the byzantine manuscripts and not to any earlier form of marginal annotation as has been the practice of many earlier editors of papyri. Within "scholia" we distinguish between "scholia vetera" and "scholia recentiora" or preferably "scholia byzantina", which in old editions used to be edited together. "Marginal note / marginalia" refers to the annotation of papyri in general, although it was necessary to specify as "interlinear" a note or a gloss inserted between the lines of the main text. The terms "commentary" and "hypomnema" are usually interchangeable, namely they are both used to define the same kind of literary work introduced by the Alexandrian scholars. Accordingly, the terms for the people responsible for marginal annotation and commentaries are "annotator" and "commentator". "Lemma" denotes the excerpt from the main text which had been cited in a commentary or a lexicon and "explanation" is whatever sort of exegetical material followed.

Chapters 1, 2 and 3 are devoted to the papyri of each poet separately, and always conclude with some very specific considerations drawn from each group, with regard to the history of annotation of the dramatic texts in the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman world. The Appendix to Chapter 1 is a papyrus commentary which, though on Euripides, needed to be discussed separately and not in Chapter 1. Chapter 4 deals with the issue of marginal glosses and their links to the scholiographical and lexicographical tradition. The method of presenting the papyri examined in these chapters is as uniform as possible: main texts and marginalia are accurately reproduced but not always according to their first edition. Subsequent publications are taken into account, provided, of course, that they offer an improved version of the papyrus.


For reasons of economy of space, the papyrus text which is offered includes only the part of the papyrus that contains the marginalia; all the rest is omitted unless it is absolutely indispensable.

Because our interest was not in the readings of the main text, there is no critical apparatus.

However, important disagreements in the readings of the marginalia are always mentioned and judged in the discussion that follows.

All texts of papyrus commentaries are appended in full at the very end of this study in the form of photocopies from the first editions. Their lemmata, however, are discussed selectively and only if there is something new and important to be added to the first edition.

During this study I tried to check from the original as many papyri as possible but this was not achieved for texts belonging to collections abroad. The only exception was P.WUrzburg 1 (appendix to Ch.1) which I had the opportunity to examine carefully during my five month stay in WUrzburg as an Erasmus student in the winter of 1995-6. For the rest I had to rely on photographs which unfortunately were not all of the same quality, as far as cursive and faded marginalia are concerned. At this point I take the opportunity to apologize for not having indicated uncertain letters with the appropriate dots underneath as it is the practice in editions of papyri; this is exclusively due to the lack of the appropriate Greek fonts while typing the thesis. As already stated, however, all uncertain readings affecting the interpretation of the marginalia are cited and discussed as appropriate.

An earlier version of the P. Wurzburg 1 has been presented in WUrzburg and London, P. Oxy. 1805 and PSI 1192 from Chapter 2 at the Classical Association Conference in Lampeter, Wales. I would like to thank all these audiences for their useful criticism and suggestions.

Finally, I wish to thank a few people who stood by me and helped me at all stages of this research: first of all, my supervisor, Prof. H. Maehler, for his inspiring ideas, constant encouragement and all the valuable time he spent correcting earlier drafts of my thesis.

Secondly, Prof. K. Alpers from Hamburg University for advising me on the chapter of my work on glossaries, lexica and marginalia. His expertise saved me from many mistakes and his meticulous writings on lexica ha always been a very safe guide when I was looking for links between marginalia, scholia and lexica. Thirdly, the staff at the manuscripts Department of the Wurzburg University Library for allowing and facilitating my personal inspection of P.WUrzburg 1.

I also deeply thank my very good friend Dr Pantelis Michelakis for his continuous


support and useful exchange of ideas all these years as well as for his help with the final proofreading of the present thesis. I should not forget to mention also Mr and Mrs Sparsi for their warm hospitality in London for the past four years.

Above all, however, my greatest thanks go to my parents, Panagiotis and Stella Athanassiou, who believed in me and supported me throughout both emotionally and financially.

–  –  –

of two consecutive columns (11. 941-5 1, 973-83) with intercolumnar space. If, as the editor ( M.

Haslam in 1986 ) has assumed, vv. 957-9 were not included, the papyrus had about 31 lines to the column. The hand can be dated to the later second century B.C. There are no accents, breathings or any lectional aids apart from a stichometric K (=v.1000) which was probably used by professional scribes in order to calculate and receive their payment, and a diple obelismene indicating the transition from the antistrophe to the epode (1. 981).

We should start from what looks like a marginal note next to and above v. 946. Although the papyrus is damaged, one can see clearly the siglum (i attached to v. 946 and an interlinear variant from which only the letter v is preserved. The cursive script in which the Cr1 has been written has led the editor to the conclusion that it should be attributed to a date "no earlier than The papyri of Euripides the first century A.D." Apparently, then, the papyrus roll continued to be in use for nearly two centuries after it was written, in the hands of someone interested in matters of textual criticism or someone who checked the readings of his old copy against a more recent one. It was very common indeed for scribes or owners of papyri to correct their texts by comparing them to one or more other copies.' On the other hand, there has been some disagreement over the meaning of the siglum (r, often found in literary papyri. 2 The most plausible theory is that it was an abbreviation of the verb ir€t) or (ri(t€tat) whose general meaning was 'the expression or the word or the passage is under question '. In some cases, like the famousP. Oxy. 5.841 (Pindar, Paeans), Cii introduces variants. This led Grenfell and Hunt (p.15) as well as the successive editors, Turyn, Snell and Maehler to claim that behind the abbreviated Cri hides the name of the famous Alexandrian scholar Zenodotus. Lobel, however, in his commentary on P.

Oxy. 26.2442 expressed doubts as far as the explanation Zri(vóôotoc) is concerned: "I am doubtful of its interpretation as Zenodotus. I should say it always means (itei., Cii tctat or some other part of this verb ".The theory is still debatable but it does not seem to apply to this papyrus anyway, since Zenodotus, as far as we know, did not deal with tragedy.3 It seems clear that the marginal (r is related to the interlinear note. As the critical apparatus shows, a textual problem exists in v. 946. The manuscript tradition is divided between two variants: ltEtpOl5JL€voç and I€rpoojvouc. The papyrus seems to confirm the existence of the problem already in antiquity. The interlinear traces, of course, may belong to either of the two variants, the one being in the text, the other being inserted above it. This assumption made by the editor looks to me quite plausible and indeed within the old common practice of correcting the texts or taking notice of discrepancies in the manuscript tradition by using copies 'See for example P. Oxy. 1174 (Soph., Ichneutae) and P. Oxy. 2452 (Soph. Theseus ?), both examined in Chapter 2.

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