Bryn Mawr Classical Review 95.09.25

Walter Stockert, Euripides: Hippolytus. Stuttgart/Leipzig: Teubner, 1994. Pp. xxxviii + 118. ISBN 3-8154-1330-3.

Reviewed by John Gibert, University of Colorado (

Walter Stockert recently earned the gratitude of Euripidean scholars with a text of Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis accompanied by a full introduction and a large and useful commentary (Wiener Studien Beiheft 16.1-2, Vienna, 1992). In a review of that work one would have a great deal to say about the editor's discoveries, judgment, and selection and presentation of material. The work under review here is a critical edition of Hippolytus for the Teubner series of individual plays by Euripides. It is a fine production, but it would seem that the main reason for a new critical edition of Hippolytus is the desire to have the play represented in the series. As Stockert knows very well, W. S. Barrett's investigation of the mss. of this play laid such a solid foundation for the text that even J. Diggle could add, as he says, almost nothing new in this regard. Diggle did collate five late mss.; he cheerfully admitted that they merely vindicated Barrett's judgment by contributing virtually nothing to the text. There is no other work by Diggle devoted exclusively to Hipp., either in Studies on the Text of Euripides or in Euripidea. Nor, I think, would Stockert claim that the textual problems left unsolved by Barrett and Diggle, or admitting a better solution than they proposed, are particularly numerous or urgent; at any rate his text differs from theirs in a fairly small number of places, and he is slightly more inclined than they to indicate corruption rather than print a solution. Some may consult this edition chiefly for its collection of testimonia and up-to-date bibliography, though the latter, unlike some in the series, is practically limited to textual discussions. Still, Stockert has made a distinct contribution to the study of the text. His thoughts and justifications are set out more fully in a companion article (Prometheus 20, 1994, 211-33).

Stockert follows Barrett for his brief outline of the mss. and their relationships. We learn that he has corrected some readings here and there. One of these (at 40) supports him in a choice that enters the text; the others entail only minor changes in the apparatus. I turn now to the text itself. According to D. J. Mastronarde in his review of volume I of Diggle's OCT Euripides, Diggle's text of Hipp. differs from Murray's (the OCT predecessor) in over 140 places; well over one hundred of these differences were anticipated by Barrett. Mastronarde also mentions that several choices were strongly advocated by Barrett but rejected by Diggle (CP 83, 1988, 151-60, at 154). It looks as if Stockert's degree of independence from Diggle, against whose text I collated his, pretty nearly resembles Diggle's from Barrett. I count 26 places in which Stockert differs from Diggle. I omit colometry (2 small differences), the choice of an accent for KLUEIN (8 differences), and punctuation (significant only at 1013), and I assume that the accent on YEUDESI in Diggle's text at 1288 is a typographical error. Of the 26, 5 are shared with Murray but not Barrett, 3 with Barrett but not Murray. (This of course is no measure of the influence of Barrett, since he influenced Diggle so greatly.)

It will be apparent to those not previously aware of the health of the text of Hipp. that modern scholarship has here achieved a rare degree of consensus. This was not inevitable. Cases in which variants are attested as ancient, or have a good chance of being so, are plentiful. Only a few of Stockert's divergences from Diggle result from the choice between such variants (at 116, 712, 1041, 1266-7). Where editors have not reached consensus, the range of solutions to problems is by now pretty familiar. For this play and within this range, I think Stockert may fairly be called conservative. Unless I missed something, he never accepts a solution where Diggle sets a crux; on the other hand, he resorts to daggers 9 times where Diggle accepts a solution. Perhaps "conservative" also describes the two occasions on which he unconventionally employs obeli in the text though his comment in the apparatus is merely "susp." (953, 1007). On the other hand, Stockert does delete a few more lines than Diggle (5, on 3 occasions; see below); he does not retain any lines deleted by Diggle.

Stockert is not an editor who rashly catapults himself into the text. Indeed, he does not appear there once, unless I overlooked it. Instead, he divides his appearances between the regular apparatus and a 7-page appendix consisting of coniecturae quaedam minus probabiles. In fact he carries modesty so far that he does not even record in this appendix two substitutes for LO/GOU at 671 that he ventures in his Prometheus article (223 n. 94), even though he lists 8 guesses by other scholars!

Before turning to a selection of individual problems, I note a few other curiosities relating to this appendix. Wilamowitz turns up there often, but he finds his way into the "respectable" apparatus an impressive number of times as well. The name Diggle, however, is found only in the apparatus, never in the appendix; his solutions are not improbable. Under 867 Stockert reports that Barrett considers E)PEISFREI\S possible; I cannot verify this. Finally, what is the remark fort. recte (under 758, again attached to a suggestion of Barrett's) doing in an appendix of coniecturae minus probabiles?! As this example illustrates, the trick is to achieve a rational division between such an appendix and apparatus. For example, at line 649 Stockert's apparatus offers 3 conjectures, but Willink's defence of the paradosis is deemed improbable and relegated to the appendix. Since it is comparatively recent (1968), one might fairly look for it alongside the conjectures. In general, however, there is no cause for complaint in the presentation, which is always clear and intelligent. The only typographical errors I found were in the apparatus at 761, where Prometheus confirms that Stockert intended "potius A)KTA=S" (genitive, perispomenon), and in the text at 766 (where there should be no iota subscript under the last letter of KATEKLA/SQH).

The most notorious editorial problem in Hipp. concerns the choral ode at 1102ff., where the singers (who are supposed to be Trozenian women) use two (possibly three) nominative singular masculine participles in first-person utterances. Since these participles occur in the strophes, while two feminine participles surface in the antistrophes, Verrall divided the ode accordingly between a secondary chorus of men, "friends of Hippolytus" (their status remains a matter of contention), and the chorus of women. The chorus of scholars remains divided. For example, Murray and Maas, joined by Fitton, Dimock, Bond, and Diggle, followed Verrall. Barrett rejected the idea and printed the paradosis, but at the same time he cautiously suggested in his commentary that the anomaly could be removed by altering a pronoun (TIN' to TIS in 1105) and the person of a verb (LEI/POMAI to LEI/PETAI in 1106). This solution was accepted by Willink and Sommerstein, joined now by Stockert. It seems that Sommerstein, who wrote on the problem in BICS 35, 1988, 35-9, has contributed the most to Stockert's decision. (For what it is worth, I agree with it.)

In general, Sommerstein's article is the single recent work to which Stockert owes most. He gives careful consideration to Sommerstein's arguments and suggestions concerning 649, 671, 798, 1013-5, 1046, 1123, and 1459. He also records a number of suggestions made per litteras by H. Friis Johansen, and in one place he acknowledges, though he does not put in the text, a conjecture by Diggle not in Diggle's edition (1133, accusative for genitive after A)MFI/ in its local sense). He also treats with great respect two suggestions made by his Vienna teacher and colleague W. Kraus in WS 101, 1988, 41-6. At 821 Stockert follows Kraus, who follows early editors in reading KATAKONA/ and BI/OS, both nominative. Both are found as variants, but not together until Triclinius' correction (or conjecture) in L. The idea is that A)BI/OTOS BI/OS, familiar as a "proverb" though not necessarily derived from here, is appended as a nominal sentence. The English editors all read BI/OU and construe A)BI/OTOS with KATAKONA/. Stockert also weighs but finally rejects Kraus' deletion of 1167-8. I confess that I see no merit in the latter suggestion of Kraus', little in the former.

As noted, Stockert agrees with Diggle on deletions (and Diggle agrees with Barrett, except on 691, which Barrett deletes and Diggle retains) -- with three exceptions, in all of which Stockert deletes. They are (1) 172, deleted by Murray, moved by Wilamowitz and Barrett between 180 and 181, and retained in its transmitted place by Diggle; (2) 513-5, deleted by Nauck, retained by all three English editors. At issue are the appropriateness of a reference to magic, the question whether these lines refer unambiguously to an aphrodisiac, and the related question whether Phaedra could misunderstand the Nurse's intentions if she heard the lines; and (3) 1046, deleted by Wheeler (apparently followed by Sommerstein). If I am to express my own opinions, I say nil mutandum in all three cases. On the other hand, Stockert resists many deletions proposed or supported recently: e.g. by West at 356-7 (355-7 del. Wheeler), by Willink at 409-12 (406-12 del. Barthold) and 1047-50 (1049-50 del. Nauck, 1049 iam Bergk), by Kovacs at 664-8 or Friis Johansen at 667-8 (664-8 in susp. voc. Valckenaer), and by Fitton at 1314-26 (!).

A few other passages worthy of comment. At 101 Stockert adopts the reading of the Sorbonne papyrus PE/LAS (*KU/PRIS vel *KU/PRIN codd.). The reading was defended, rightly I think, by R. Merkelbach in the inaugural issue of ZPE (1967, not 1962 as in Stockert's bibliography). At 758 Diggle accepted Willink's OI( without comment; Stockert comments in his apparatus vix recte. This, for him, is extraordinary vehemence. For example, Fitton's wholesale deletion of 13 lines, just mentioned, also rates a vix recte. From this the reader may gauge the average temperature of the whole. On 952-3 (locus vexatus) Stockert seems to ignore Barrett when he writes, "Das Verkaufte [misleading translation if Barrett is right] steht neben KAPHLEU/EIN in der Regel im Akkusativ" (art. cit. 226-7). On the other hand, his supposition that SI/TOIS is a gloss on DI' A)YU/XOU BORA=S is not unlikely. His BI/ON is serviceable, but H. Schwabl's A)/GOS vel A)/GH should not have made the apparatus. (In a strange twist, while politely refuting it in his Prometheus article (227), Stockert offers unconvincing support for this same conjecture in a sense opposite to that intended by Schwabl.) At 1007 Stockert is unconvinced by Murray's solution, adopted by both Barrett and Diggle; I suspect that he is right. He sets the daggers. He reaches for them again at 1453, where he cannot convince himself (with C. Segal and Diggle) that the sequence of verses 1452-5 is healthy, nor (with Wilamowitz and Barrett) that the sickness is cured by transposing 1453 and 1455. Daggers again at 1123 and 1459, where Diggle accepted A)FAI/AS, proposed independently by Fitton and Huxley, and other editors made do with the paradosis or a slight alteration. On the other hand, at 103-8 Stockert agrees with the majority of editors (but not Barrett, or Mastronarde, loc. cit.) that transposition is necessary.

I close with a puzzler. Plutarch twice transmits 218-9 in the order 219-8, implied also by a citation in the Timarion attributed to Lucian. To be possible in Euripides, this order requires a change in punctuation and in the form of a participle. In this situation, with the date of the variant unclear, one proceeds to arguments on the merits. But a parody in Aristophanes' lost Anagyros (fr. 53 K-A, date unknown) implies the same order as the secondary tradition; at any rate Stockert writes that it "seems to." He calls this a transposition, "die möglicherweise auf eine sehr frühe Überlieferungsphase zurückgeht" (art. cit. 216). Early indeed! If one believes that an Aristophanic parody attests a reading, how can one conclude that it is a variant and not the truth? (In this case the order universally transmitted by the mss. would be an error, hardly a conclusion to make editors tremble.) I suppose the answer is that one doesn't believe strongly enough that the parody attests the reading; i.e., one doesn't believe it at all.1


  • [1] I wish to thank Michael Halleran for helpful comments on this review.