Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2003.06.37

P.K. Marshall, Hyginus: Fabulae. Editio altera.   Munich:  K.G. Saur, 2002.  Pp. xxii, 242.  ISBN 3-598-71237-5.  EUR 54.00.  



Reviewed by Wilfred E. Major, Louisiana State University (wmajor@lsu.edu)
Word count: 1566 words

The amusing and frustrating collection of mythological stories and information which classicists now normally cite as Hyginus' Fabulae is but the one surviving version of a reference work widely consulted by Roman writers of the imperial period, from authors like Ovid to generations of scholars whose efforts survive only vestigially in scholia. Although in its current mangled form, we cannot say how much the text resembles the work of Augustus' freedman Gaius Julius Hyginus or the work known as the Genealogiae, parts do provide a glimpse at what was commonly accepted and relayed among educated Romans concerning Classical Greek mythology. The Fabulae in their present form rank among some of the simplest, at times crudest, Latin from antiquity but they do provide intriguing material for even casual students of Classical mythology. Agamemnon returns Chrysis to her father Chryses, as in the Iliad, but she is pregnant with Agamemnon's child (Fab. 121). Antigone does not die tragically but is hidden by Haemon and bears him a son (Fab. 72). In an otherwise entirely unknown story, Cura creates the first human from mud, and after some debate, names it "human" from humus "ground" (Fab. 220).

While occasionally acknowledging their guilty pleasure, scholars generally treat the Fabulae with little to no respect, and the history of its editing in modern times perhaps reflects this attitude. This newest publication of Hyginus' Fabulae should, however, be the standard starting point henceforth for citing this text, but it will need to be used with great caution.

Peter K. Marshall's (M.) Teubner text of Hyginus' Fabulae first appeared in 1993. Overall, M. has set the benchmark for editing this problematic work. Editing the Fabulae presents very obvious and frustrating difficulties. A single manuscript formed the basis of the 1535 editio princeps. Its editor, Jacob Molsheim (or Möltzer, but publishing as Jacob Mycellus), struggled with reading and transcribing the Beneventan script. That single surviving manuscript was shortly thereafter dismantled, which left subsequent editors having to reconstruct a problematic exemplar from an unreliable printed edition. Two small fragments of the manuscript, subsequently recovered (published in 1870 and 1944), have shed some light on the nature and extent of the errors committed in that first edition. Parallel texts in another fragmentary manuscript (the fifth century Vat. Pal. lat. 24 = N) and scholiastic works provide valuable comparanda and insight to the history of the material included in the Fabulae. M.'s is the only edition to make use of all these resources. Subsequent to M.'s 1993 edition, Jean-Yves Boriaud published an edition for the Budé series (Hygin: Fables [Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1997]), but Boriaud inexplicably failed to use what few resources are available and generally produced a disastrous text (see M.'s withering review in CR 49 (1999) 410-412).

M. was well aware of the need for corrections to his 1993 edition, and had made notes for this purpose, but unfortunately did not live to see the improvements to press. These notes formed the basis for the corrections in this new edition, more accurately a corrected reprint. Sadly, while there are many improvements, the press has not served M.'s legacy as well as it might have and left a number of unnecessary flaws in the work.

Corrections and additions are limited to the text and apparatus. An update to the introduction and the bibliography would have been appropriate, but there is none (except a brief note explaining that corrections have been incorporated from M.'s papers found after his death). While understandably Boriaud's edition was not incorporated into the apparatus, it should still, however flawed, have been discussed in an updated introduction or least added to the bibliography. Changes from the first edition consist mostly of additions to the apparatus and small corrections to the text and apparatus throughout. Even this minimal work has not been done with great care. A handful of obvious errors remain uncorrected. In several cases, a correction has resulted in the introduction of a new error elsewhere when the type was reset. Most ironically, a reference to a typesetting error by a previous editor has itself been corrupted by the new typesetting (see entry for page 113 below). Appended below is a list, I believe complete, of the changes from the 1993 to the new edition. Some errors that remain in the new edition are also listed, but I have not made systematic search for remaining errors (and I owe gratitude to John McChesney-Young for additions to this list). Users of this volume would be well-advised to double-check material they consult in this text, especially in the apparatus, since the number of errors easily caught suggests that others would turn up with a more comprehensive study. Still, I hope the following list will prove helpful.

page xxi: to the listing of sigla, after F, add "N = Vat. Pal. lat. 24 saec. V" (N is used in the apparatus of the first edition but omitted from the list of sigla)

page 14: in apparatus line 3 "deese" now reads "deesse"

page 18: in apparatus, before entry for VI,2, add "12 opperuit Stav opposuit P"

page 19: in VII line 3, "uidam" now reads "uiduam"

page 22: in X line 7, "conuersus" now reads "commutatus"

page 24: in apparatus line 8, after "filius" add "Magnesios"

page 25: in XIV line 42, "huis" should read "huius"

page 28: in apparatus line 7, after "male F," add "101 aluom Rose album F"

page 37: in XXII lines 4-5, "simult-atem" is now hyphenated "simul-tatem"

page 37: in XXII line 11, "temptare" now reads "tentare"

page 38: in XXIII line 8, "est" now reads "esset"

page 39: in apparatus lines 4-5, "Aetae Medea" now reads "Medea Aetae"

page 44: in XXX line 16, "Eurythei" should read "Eurysthei"

page 44: in apparatus line 5, before "16" add "Erymanthium Mu erimanthum Φ"

page 45: in XXXI line 11, before "cetum" add "atque ita deos distraxit." This addition has resulted in several new errors. First, the entry in the apparatus for Laomedontem should read line 12, not 11. Next, the entry in the apparatus for Therimachum should read line 16, not 15, and be moved to the next page.

page 46: in XXXI line 16 (first line of page): in resetting the lines following the addition above, more new errors have resulted on this page. "uoluit" has been corrupted to "ouluit" and the marker for paragraph 7 should now be opposite the second line on the page, not the first. In the apparatus, the entry for "sive" should now read line 23, not 22.

page 50: XXXVIII line 6, "periebat" now reads "peribat"

page 50: XXXVIII line 7, "esset" now reads "erat"

page 53: XLII line 7, "ei" now reads "illi"

page 60: LVII line 1, "exsul" now reads "exul"

page 70: LXIX line 24, before "ipse" add "etiam." Unfortunately, the "sed" in front of it has been newly corrupted to "set."

page 74: at the end of the apparatus, "Bursian" should be italicized

page 78: apparatus line 4, after "5" add "Elephenor Mu Elephemor F"

page 79: LXXXIII line 3, "bracchium" now reads "brachium"

page 79: LXXXIII line 5, "umero" now reads "humero"

page 80: LXXXIV lines 18-19, "opprobrio" now reads "opprobrium"

page 84: apparatus line 14, before "Areius" add "Atreus F"

page 85: XCII line 2, "omnis" now reads "omnes"

page 90: apparatus line 1 "deuerbisMenestheusoeaedesperandum" now reads "de uerbis Menestheusoeae desperandum"

page 90: apparatus line 3: "quid lateat sub uerbo" is now italicized

page 90: apparatus line 4 "Polysenes" now reads "Polysenses"

page 93: CI line 7, "ut" now reads "ubi"

page 102: CXVI line 17, "Vlixem" now reads "Vlissem"

page 110: CXXV line 53, "rediret" now reads "redisset" M. notes in the apparatus Rose's reading "[se] sepulturae," which follows, in Rose, "rediret," but Micyllus originally printed "redisset," so it has been rightly restored. The reading "rediret" seems to be an inadvertent error in Rose's text and perhaps this led to the erroneous appearance of "rediret" in M.'s first edition. The new apparatus should note the divergence in Rose's text.

page 111: apparatus line 2, after "F" add "76 carnes Mi carne F"

page 111: apparatus line 6, "erepit" now reads "erpit"

page 113: CXXVI line 19, "Vlixis" reads "Vlissis"

page 113: apparatus line 1, after "F" add 17 telam Mi tela F"

page 113: apparatus line 4, "typothetae" now corrupted to "typotheate"

page 115: apparatus line 5, "CCXXIX" should read "CXXIX"

page 123: CXL line 5, "com" should read "cum"

page 128: after "14" add "Celeus Mi Peleus F"

page 133: at start of apparatus, add "11 harum Comm horum F"

page 141: apparatus line 4, before "13" add "11 Amymones Stav Amimonis F"

page 151: CLXXXI line 17, "Syrum" now reads "Syrus"

page 155: CLXXXV line 21, "quibis" should read "quibus"

page 156: apparatus line 1, before "19" add "15 valde Mi valide F"

page 161: at start of apparatus, add "23 hoc Mi hunc F"

page 172: CCXXI line 11, "Cepcropiusque" now reads "Cecropiusque" but is now, incorrectly, indented a letter space.

page 191: at start of apparatus add "4 Assarici F"

page 194: apparatus line 4, before "65" add "62 Chimaera Sr Chimaerae F"

page 195: CCLXXIII line 74, "gladium" now reads "galeam"

page 197: CCLXXIV line 32, "ostendit" now reads "ostendebat"

page 199: CCLXXVI line 10, "arcuit" now reads "arcui" (with a bit of the final "i" chipped off for good measure).

Read Latest
Index for 2003
Change Greek Display
Archives
Books Available for Review
BMCR Home

HTML generated at 13:28:40, Friday, 03 April 2009