Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.06.32

Nesselrath on Lamberton on Wälchli.   Response to 2004.06.30



Response by Heinz-Guenther Nesselrath, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen (HeinzGuenther.Nesselrath@phil.uni-goettingen.de)

Let me briefly comment on one sentence of Lamberton's thoughtful review of Wälchli, just to clarify things a bit. At one point, Lamberton remarks: "It is striking that the ... edition, translation, and discussion of the dialogue that Nesselrath and his collaborators produced remains silent on the issue of Plutarch as a model for Lucian ... One might infer that, for Nesselrath, the case remains open and undecided, but his student Wälchli nevertheless concludes -- if with considerable hesitation and qualification -- that significant parallels of structure and content speak for Lucian's literary dependence on Plutarch here ..." My silence in this matter has nothing to do with any reserve on my part regarding Wälchli's thesis; Wälchli has indeed proved his case as well as one can possibly prove it (and as Lamberton acknowledges). My silence has most of all to do with the chronological relationship between the two works: When the edition, translation, and discussion of Lucian's Philopseudeis (SAPERE 6) was being prepared (in 2000/2001), Wälchli himself was in the middle of writing his dissertation, and I did not want to preempt any of the very meticulous work he was going to present. As for Lucian's not referring to Plutarch explicitly (and thus making it rather difficult to prove his use of Plutarch's writings beyond any reasonable doubt), this may simply be another case where an author consciously avoids citing a nearly contemporary predecessor while at the same time readily and explicitly referring to (or even parodying) older models.

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