Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2002.10.10

Sibylle Ihm, Ps.-Maximus Confessor: Erste kritische Edition einer Redaktion des sacro-profanen Florilegiums Loci communes (Palingenesia LXXIII).   Stuttgart:  Franz Steiner Verlag, 2001.  Pp. CVIII + 1153.  ISBN 3-515-07758-8.  EUR 91,00.  

Reviewed by Dimitrios A. Christidis, Department of Classics, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Word count: 2094 words

The Loci communes or Capita theologica, falsely attributed to Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662), is a very important sacro-profane florilegium, of which until recently there was no critical edition based on a thorough examination of the existing manuscripts. The commonly used edition was that of Franciscus Combefis (1675), reproduced by J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 91 (1865), while the editions of Victor Semenov (1893) and Margaret Phillips (1977) were based only on one manuscript (Parisinus gr. 1169 and Vaticanus gr. 739 respectively). In the year 2001 two critical editions of Ps.-Maximus' florilegium were published simultaneously: one by Sibylle Ihm (reviewed here) and another by Étienne Sargologos, Florilège sacro-profane du Pseudo-Maxime. Introduction, texte critique, notes et tables, Hermoupolis-Syros: Typokykladiki, 2001, pp. 749.

The first chapter in Ihm's edition (after the Acknowledgments and the Table of contents) is an Introduction in five sections. In the preliminary first section Ihm emphasizes the particular importance of Ps.-Maximus' Loci communes (containing fragments and sentences of Christian and pagan authors, thematically arranged in 71 chapters) among the existing sacro-profane florilegia and marks out three recensions of the text: a) a shorter one (MaxI), b) a longer one (MaxII), and c) an abridged version of MaxII, with a different arrangement of chapters, namely 1-35, 43-71, 36-42 (MaxU; "U" from the German word "Umstellung" = transposition). MaxU was the main source of the later Gnomica Basileensia and Florilegium Rossianum, while MaxII was one of the sources of Florilegium Laurentianum, Ps.-Antonius' Melissa, and Florilegium Baroccianum (which Ihm, following É. Sargologos, names "Patmosflorilegium", contra M. Richard, Dictionnaire de Spiritualité 5 [1962] 494-495, J. F. Kindstrand, Byzantion 54 [1984] 537, n. 4, and D. A. Christidis, Hellenika 42 [1991-1992] 211 and Hellenika 43 [1993] 329, n. 1).

The second section is a very useful overview of the edited (and of a few unedited) Greek florilegia and gnomologia, with a short description of their contents, the relationships between them, the manuscripts preserving them, their editions, and detailed related bibliography. In the third section the sources of the Loci communes are examined, especially the unedited Corpus Parisinum, the Sacra Parallela of Joannes Damascenus, and the florilegium of Joannes Stobaeus. The fourth section deals with the relationship between the recensions MaxI and MaxII. While M. Phillips (1982) maintained that MaxII was the original, and MaxI an abridged version of MaxII, contra H. Schenkl (1888), who believed that MaxI was the original, and MaxII an expansion of MaxI, Ihm argues convincingly that both MaxI and MaxII derive separately from another common original, which she names "Ur-Maximus". In the final, fifth, section of the Introduction Ihm discusses the date of Loci communes, and gives for "Ur-Maximus" 650 as a terminus post quem, for MaxI the 10th century as the latest date, for MaxII the end of the 9th century as the earliest and the 10th century as the latest, and for MaxU the end of the 10th century as the latest date.

The second chapter is a detailed and meticulous presentation and description of the most important manuscripts preserving each of the three different recensions of Loci communes (MaxU, MaxII, MaxI), as well as the manuscripts of other related florilegia, such as Florilegium Laurentianum, Corpus Parisinum, Florilegium Rossianum, and Florilegium Atheniense. The third chapter deals analytically with the relationship a) among the manuscripts of each recension (MaxU, MaxII, MaxI), and b) among the three recensions, resulting in a stemma codicum for each case. The fourth chapter presents the previous editions of MaxI (Gesner and Combefis), MaxII (Phillips), and MaxU (Semenov), as well as the partial editions and studies of A. Mai, C. Tischendorf, A. Westermann, R. Dressler, A. Michajlov and L. Tartaglia, while the fifth chapter presents the translations of Loci communes (either the whole or some sections of the text) in Latin, Slavic, Armenian and Arabic. The sixth chapter contains the principles of Ihm's edition, and the seventh the abbreviations (sigla) used.

The eighth chapter consists of the critical edition of the text, namely that of the MaxU version. Ihm numbers the fragments according to the arrangement of MaxU, giving after a slash the equivalent number of MaxII. The text of each fragment is preceded by a reference to the previous editions of Semenov, Combefis, and Westermann (I wonder why the edition of Phillips is excluded). It is followed by an apparatus in seven parts: a) critical apparatus of the MaxU text; b) references to Gnomica Basileensia and to Florilegium Rossianum, florilegia related to MaxU; c) critical apparatus of the equivalent MaxII text, from which MaxU is derived; d) references to the Florilegium Laurentianum, "Patmosflorilegium" (i.e. Florilegium Baroccianum), and Ps.-Antonius' Melissa, florilegia related to MaxII; e) critical apparatus of the equivalent MaxI text; f) references to the sources of Loci communes, i.e. Corpus Parisinum, Sacra Parallela and Stobaeus, then (separated with a dash) references to other florilegia containing the fragment; and g) reference to the original source of the fragment, that is to the ancient author of the text.

The edition is completed by a) an Index of the differences in the arrangement of fragments in several manuscripts of each recension (MaxU, MaxII, MaxI), b) a detailed Bibliography in five parts (Collections of fragments, Editions of florilegia, Editions of ancient texts, Bibliography on manuscripts, and Further secondary literature), and c) the Indices of the beginnings of the fragments, and the authors of the fragments (separately the Christian and the pagan authors).

Ihm's edition is an excellent work of sound scholarship, by a diligent, meticulous, and hard-working scholar. It is an edition of the text of MaxU, but through the critical apparatuses one can also restore both the text of MaxII and of MaxI. Even when a fragment existing in these two recensions is missing from MaxU, Ihm includes it in smaller printing: if it exists in MaxII, it is numbered accordingly (e.g. -./12.); if it exists only in MaxI, it is numbered according to MaxII with the addition of a letter (e.g. -./-./30a.). Even in these cases the text is followed also by a full apparatus.

In such a huge and complicated work it is quite natural to find some minor errors and omissions, which certainly do not diminish its excellence. They are cited just as suggestions for improvement:

a) In a couple of cases some older editions of texts are used, instead of more recent ones: for Aelius Aristides, the edition of G. Dindorf (1829), instead of B. Keil (1898) and of F. W. Lenz-C. A. Behr (1976-1980); for Anthologia Palatina, the edition of F. Dübner (1864-1872), instead of H. Beckby (1957-1958); for the fragments of Theophrastus the edition of F. Wimmer (1866), instead of W. W. Fortenbaugh-P. M. Huby-R. W. Sharples-D. Gutas (1992).

b) In some cases there is no reference to existing editions of fragments: for the sentences of Cato and Romylus there is no reference to J. F. Kindstrand, "Two Romans in Late Greek Florilegia: Cato Maior and Romulus", Classica et Mediaevalia 38 (1987) 92-104 and 104-111 respectively (e.g. fr. 6,76./110. is Cato, fr. 1 Kindstrand, p. 95; fr. 8,41./43. is Cato, fr. 4 Kindstrand, p. 95; fr. 15,59./71. is Romylus, fr. 2 Kindstrand, p. 107); for some of the fragments of Cyrillus Alexandrinus' Contra Iulianum, no reference to C. J. Neumann, Iuliani imperatoris librorum Contra Christianos quae supersunt. Insunt Cyrilli Alexandrini fragmenta Syriaca, ab Eberhardo Nestle edita, Lipsiae 1880, pp. 64-87 (e.g. fr. 3,20./18. is fr. 38 Neumann, pp. 81-82; fr. 23,11./11. is fr. 33 Neumann, pp. 78-79; fr. 19,-./-./17a. is fr. 51 Neumann, p. 87); for the fragments of Nilus Ancyranus, no reference to I. C. Orelli, Opuscula Graecorum veterum sententiosa et moralia, vol. I, Lipsiae 1819, pp. 320-375 (e.g. fr. 14,20./19. is fr. 257 Orelli, p. 354; fr. 14,22./21. is fr. 259 Orelli, p. 356; fr. 14,24./23. is fr. 256 Orelli, p. 354; fr. 67,15./38,16. is fr. 252 Orelli, p. 354); for Cypsellus, Serinus and Thespides (not Thespis, as stated in the Index, p. 1152) no reference to Orelli, o.c., vol. II, Lipsiae 1821, pp. 206-208, 190-197, and 202-203 respectively (e.g. fr. 54,-./61,13. is Cypsellus, fr. 1 Orelli, p. 206; fr. 21,24./27. is Serinus, fr. 23 Orelli, p. 196; fr. 35,18./19. is Serinus, fr. 26 Orelli, p. 196; fr. 56,19./63,19. is Thespides, fr. 5 Orelli, p. 202).

c) Sometimes a reference to a florilegium related to MaxII is omitted: Florilegium Baroccianum (or "Patmosflorilegium", according to Ihm) is not mentioned on p. 611, fr. 28,12./12. ("Patm. 15.85"); on p. 973, fr. 66,-./37,9c. ("Patm. 7.38"); on p. 1014, fr. 69,12./40,12. ("Patm. 23.64"); on p. 1016, fr. 69,16./40,17. ("Patm. 19.22a"); on p. 1018, fr. 69,18./40,23. ("Patm. 19.22b"); on p. 1018, fr. 69,19./40,24. ("Patm. 23.106"); on p. 1030, fr. 70,23./41,27. ("Patm. 16.61"); on p. 1033, fr. 70,30./41,34. ("Patm. 56,63"); Ps.-Antonius is missing on p. 349, fr. 14,17./16. ("Ant. I.46 925B-C").

d) Some references to other florilegia containing a fragment could be added: e.g. on p. 81, fr. 4,6./6.: "Stob. 3,1,44; Gnom. tin. ap. Boissonade 3, p. 473"; on p. 381, fr. 15,59./71.: "App. Vat. 1.48 Sternbach, p. 176; Gnom. Neapolitanum 1.62 Sbordone, Rivista indo-greco-italica 19, fasc. 3-4 (1935) 9 [121] = Scritti di varia filologia, p. 177"; on p. 897, fr. 58,10./65,10.: "Gnom. Neapolitanum 1.8 Sbordone, Rivista indo-greco-italica 19, fasc. 3-4 (1935) 5 [117] = Scritti di varia filologia, p. 170" (cf. D. A. Christidis, "Ariston of Chios and Gnomologium Neapolitanum", Hellenika 51 [2001] 412-414).

e) Some additions to the original sources may be suggested: on p. 81, fr. 4,6./6.: "Porphyrius, Ad Marcellam 34 des Places, p. 126,7-8; [Libanius], fr. 88,24 Foerster 11, p. 666,10-11"; on p. 235, fr. 9,67./70.: "Epictetus, fr. 131 Schweighaeuser 3, p. 106"; on p. 321, fr. 12,99./107.: "Chilon, fr. 19 Mullach 1, p. 224"; on p. 536, fr. 23,16./16.: "Procopius Gazaeus, Epist. 142,1-4 Garzya-Loenertz, p. 71 = Epist. 147 Hercher, p. 591"; on p. 614, fr. 28,20./20.: "Demonax, fr. 30 Funk, p. 664"; on p. 614, fr. 34,35./30.: "Jo. Clim., Scala Parad., gr. 27, schol. 41 (PG 88,1128C)"; on p. 705, fr. 37,20./44,20.: "Plat. sent. 26 Stanzel, pp. 60-62; Theophr. fr. 472 Fortenbaugh-Huby-Sharples-Gutas 2, p. 298"; on p. 738, fr. 40,-./47,43.*: "Theophr. fr. 451 Fortenbaugh-Huby-Sharples-Gutas 2, p. 282"; on p. 776, fr. 46,10./53,11.: "Men. Mon., Appendix 12,28 Jaekel, p. 132"; on p. 1005, fr. 68,26./39,24.: "Soph. T 172 TrGF 4, p. 89"; on p. 1018, fr. 69,19./40,24.: "[Plu.], fr. inc. 79 Bernardakis 7, p. 159,10-11".

f) A few additions or transpositions are needed in the indices: on p. 1121, fr. 13,16./11. must be added to "Nilus Ancyr."; on p. 1110, fr. 23,11./11. must be transferred from "Didymus Alex." to "Cyrillus Alex.". I wonder also if it is proper to cite in the Index separately "Gerinus" (p. 1138), which is a misspelling in MaxU for "Serinus" (cited on p. 1150 of the Index), and "Orgias" (p. 1143), which is a misspelling in MaxU for "Gorgias" (cited on p. 1140 of the Index).

g) Some corrections are necessary: on p. xvii, SS 2: "Lucians Schrift" [not "Lucans Schrift"]; on p. 40, fr. 2,-./8b.: "e)lpisqeîsin" [not "e)lpistisqeîsin"]; on p. 73, fr. 3,42./39.: "Patm. 41.39" [not "Patm. 41.30"]; on p. 81, fr. 4,6./6.: "Sext. sent. 472 Chadwick, p. 65; Pyth. Sent. 123 Chadwick, p. 94" [not "Sext. sent. 123 Chadwick, p. 94"]; on p. 97, fr. 5,16./18.: "dikastás" [not "dikasás"]; on p. 98, fr. 5,18.*/20.: "oì(" [not "oî("]; on p. 126, fr. 6,-./58.: "puretoû" [not "purettoû"]; on p. 211, fr. 9,9./9.: "Basil., Mor. 15" [not "Mor. 15"]; on p. 329, fr. 13,7./7.: "supra c. 12.27./26." [not "supra c. 12.26./27."]; on p. 551, fr. 24,14./16.: "fhsín" [not "fhsin"]; on p. 703, fr. 37,16./44,15.: "Thessalh=s" [not "thessalh\s"]; on p. 763, fr. 43,-./50,19i.: "fúsis" [not "fusis"]; on p. 805, fr. 48,-./55,15a.: "a)skhtoû" [not "a)skh/tou"].

The critical edition of Ps.-Maximus' Loci communes was an enormous task, and Sibylle Ihm was brave enough to undertake it and competent enough to accomplish it in an excellent manner. Her edition offers much more than its modest subtitle suggests. It is not just "the first critical edition of one recension" of Loci communes, namely of MaxU; it gives valuable information for the manuscripts and the text of all the recensions of this important florilegium. At the same time Étienne Sargologos made a noteworthy contribution to the study of Ps.-Maximus, by publishing a critical edition of the recension MaxI of Loci communes (neither Ihm nor Sargologos seems to have been aware of the other's endeavors). We are really thankful to both. Sibylle Ihm deserves congratulations for her edition: she provided us with a splendid tool for the study of Loci communes, as well as for further research on the extremely complicated subject of Greek florilegia.

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