Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2006.01.46

Zetzel on Schlegelmilch on Zetzel, Marginal Scholarship and Textual Deviance.   Response to 2006.01.24



Response by James E. G. Zetzel (zetzel@columbia.edu)

My purpose in responding to S.'s review of my monograph is not to disagree with his largely generous assessment. As someone familiar with the frustrations of this material, he fairly responds to the paradoxes in both my presentation and in the transmission of ancient commentaries on Persius themselves -- and he too seems torn between the desire to provide an explanation and the recognition that no complete explanation is possible. He also rightly points toward the most promising next step in working on this material, to link the chronological and geographical evidence about the manuscripts with the internal textual evidence which I assembled. That is something about which S. himself is clearly better informed than I.

One correction, however, is necessary. In the opening paragraph of his review, S. says that I "rightly felt that Otto Jahn's 1843 edition finally had to be superseded" and implies that the critical edition of the Commentum Cornuti prepared by Wendell Clausen and myself was undertaken at my initiative. Nothing could be further from the case. As I spell out in detail in the preface of my monograph, it was Clausen who first undertook the edition, and it was his diplomatic transcript of the Leidensis and collations of the Munich manuscripts that were the basis of the edition. I was very much the junior partner in this project, and concentrated (as the monograph makes clear) on the history of the text. While we jointly examined every word of the volume, the apparatus criticus itself was written by Clausen, who is a far better editor than I can hope to be. While we share responsibility for any errors and misjudgments, he deserves far more credit than I for the merits of the edition. That is only one of the reasons why I dedicated the mongraph under review to him.

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