BMCR 1998.07.14

Response: Aristarchean Questions: Gregory Nagy on Richard Janko on Morris and Powell

Response to 1998.05.20

Response by

The New Companion to Homer, edited by Ian Morris and Barry Powell (Leiden: Brill 1997), is bad company, for the most part. Such is the opinion of Richard Janko, BMCR 98.5.20, in his review of a book that had been meant to replace A Companion to Homer, edited by Alan J.B. Wace and Frank H. Stubbings (London: Macmillan 1962). I too have my own negative opinions about various aspects of the New Companion, as is evident from my remarks in BMCR 97.4.18, but these aspects are not the same as those with which J. is occupied. Also, I disagree with much of what J. has to say about my chapter in New Companion, “Homeric Scholia” (pp. 101-122). My concern here, however, is not to air all my disagreements with J.’s views. Rather, I propose simply to challenge certain assertions that he makes about Aristarchus as an editor of Homer, specifically with reference to my chapter “Homeric Scholia,” hereafter = HS, which is linked to my book Poetry as Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1996), hereafter = PP.

J. criticizes me for claiming something that I know I did not claim in HS (or in PP): that Aristarchus and the two other major Alexandrian editors of Homer, Zenodotus and Aristophanes, never made emendations of the received text. What I did argue in HS (with more detailed argumentation in PP) is that the Alexandrians did not put their own emendations into the received text of Homer, confining them instead to their commentaries or hupomnemata. Further, I argued that their emendations were generally based on variant manuscript traditions, not on their own conjectures.

In this context, it is important to distinguish between emendation and conjecture : you can emend a text without making conjectures. J. confuses your readers by saying “emendation” where I mean “conjecture.” He writes: “To sustain the authenticity of all Alexandrian readings, … N. has to claim that they never emended the text (p. 114).” I invite your readers to have a look at my HS p. 114: I never use the word “emend” there, nor do I make the claim that J. attributes to me. Instead, I criticize the stance of Homeric scholars who consistently dismiss variant readings attributed to Aristarchus on the grounds that they are “conjectures.” Just to be double-sure, I ran a word-check on “emend” and “conjecture” in PP, and I found that there too as in HS I am consistently careful in maintaining the distinction between these two concepts.

Earlier in his review, J. captures the essence of my argument when he says: “N. argues that the extent of rhapsodic variation in the text of Homer is so great that we cannot accept either an Aristarchean quest for the original reading, or Wolf’s distrust that Aristarchus could recover authentic readings in general.” But then he goes on to overstate my case, in order to create a foil for his own arguments, by paraphrasing me with these words: “all his [Aristarchus’] variants are authentic.” To back up this overstatement, J. quotes me as saying (HS p. 111): “there is no reason to doubt that any Homeric variant attributed to Aristarchus can be considered an authentic reading.” The quotation is taken out of context. I invite your readers to observe my actual formulation (HS pp. 110-11): “To be sure, we may disagree fundamentally with the premise of Aristarchus, who searched for variants in Homeric textual transmission in order to find in each case the authentic variant. Instead, we may wish to argue for an evolutionary model, accounting for a plethora of different authentic variants at different stages (or even at any one stage) in the evolution of Homeric poetry as an oral tradition; variations in the textual tradition would reflect different stages in the transcribing of this oral tradition. Such a model is fundamentally at odds with the theories of Villoison, who puts his trust in Aristarchus, validating that Aristarchean scholar’s case-by-case search for the authentic reading in the text of Homer. Such an evolutionary model is also at odds with the theories of Wolf, who distrusts Aristarchus’ ability to recover authentic readings in general. Whereas Aristarchus — and Villoison — may have gone too far in positing the authentic reading in any given case throughout the Homeric text, there is no reason to doubt that any Homeric variant attributed to Aristarchus can be considered an authentic reading.” The emphatic an in the last part of my formulation was meant to contrast with the emphatic the in ” the authentic reading.” If J. insists on quoting only this part, then I would ask him to let me place my emphasis elsewhere: on the can in “can be considered.”

My position on Aristarchus’ editorial methods converges for the most part with that of Michael Haslam, whose chapter “Homeric Papyri and the Transmission of the Text,” precedes my “Homeric Scholia” in New Companion. The one major point of divergence between our positions is that Haslam subscribes to J.’s theory “that the Homeric texts were indeed written down from dictation during the eighth century” (to quote from J.’s review; see Haslam in New Companion pp. 80-1). By contrast, I argue for an evolutionary model (HS p. 111, PP ch.5). To sum up my position, I can simply highlight from what I have quoted above: this evolutionary model accounts for “a plethora of different authentic variants at different stages (or even at any one stage) in the evolution of Homeric poetry as an oral tradition; variations in the textual tradition would reflect different stages in the transcribing of this oral tradition.”

Here is the crux of my disagreement with J.’s dictation model. In terms of my evolutionary model, the variant readings adduced for the Homeric text by the Alexandrians, most prominently by Aristarchus, can be viewed as reflexes of an oral tradition. The variants themselves may in theory date from a wide range of chronological points extending from the second millennium BC all the way to the era of Aristarchus. In reality, though, we may expect most of the surviving variants to stem from the latest recoverable phases of the oral transmission, especially from the time-frame spanning the last 500 or 600 years before Aristarchus. Even within this time-frame of half a millennium or so, we may expect the degrees of variation to drop off drastically during the last few centuries, as the Homeric oral tradition becomes ever less flexible while various political controls over performance conventions become ever more rigid.

In terms of J.’s dictation model, by contrast, the variant readings adduced by the likes of Aristarchus cannot really be products of an oral tradition, on the grounds that Homeric poetry had already become, by the eighth century BC, a fixed text. At that point in time, we would still be well over 500 years away from Aristarchus. For over half a millennium before Aristarchus, according to J.’s explanation, Homeric poetry would have survived primarily as a text, not as a performance tradition. This is why J. is forced to dismiss as “conjectures” some of the most significant surviving variants adduced by Aristarchus. This is why J. must disagree with Haslam’s analysis of such variants.

J. takes it personally when Haslam says ( New Companion p. 72) about the variant readings adduced by Aristarchus: “the prevailing opinion is that Aristarchus invented then, that is, conjectured them.” Calling Haslam’s statement an “overstatement,” J. reacts by referring to J.: “It is certainly not my opinion, only that he [Aristarchus] did venture some conjectures in his commentary (about thirty-three in the c. 3,000 lines of Iliad 13-16).” J.’s reference makes it clear that he is relying here on his own commentary on Iliad 13-16 ( The Iliad: A Commentary, Volume IV, Books 13-16 [Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1992], hereafter = IC). Later on, when he is reacting to my position, J. directs me as well to the same commentary, specifically to IC p. 26, where he cites thirty-three “conjectures” supposedly made by Aristarchus. In disputing me, however, he refers to the “thirty-three cases” as “emendations,” whereas he had called these same cases “conjectures” in his earlier dispute with Haslam.

The basis for J.’s using this word “conjecture” is made clear at IC pp. 24-25: “I agree with van der Valk and Kirk [vol. I p. 43] that most readings where the Alexandrians lack support in the papyri and early codices are conjectures.” (See M. van der Valk, Researches on the Text and Scholia of the Iliad I/II [Leiden: Brill 1963/1964] and G. S. Kirk, ed., The Iliad: A Commentary, Volume I, Books 1-4 [Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1985].)

Prominent in J.’s sample list of Aristarchean “conjectures” is Il. 13.423. He lists this Iliadic passage first at IC 26n30 (13.28, 13.191, and 13.384 go into a secondary list), perhaps intending it as a premier case in point (cf. IC p. 37). In Il. 13.423, as J. argues at IC p. 99, “Aristarchus altered stenxonta (read by Zenodotus and the vulgate) to -onte, so that the bearers groan instead (Arn, Didymus/A); a papyrus and some codices adopt this solution.” Hypsenor cannot be groaning, stenxonta, if he has already been killed at 13.402-423.

But why reject the possibility that Aristarchus found textual evidence, inaccessible to us, that supported the reading stenxonta? Moreover, stenxontew is in fact attested in precisely the same metrical slot in the hexameter at Od. 14.354. In other words, an argument can be made that the formulaic system of Homeric poetry, as attested in the surviving Homeric text, can generate stenxonte at precisely the point where Aristarchus adduces such a variant.

To be sure, Aristarchus is not thinking in terms of an oral formulaic system. Instead, his editorial agenda are based on presuppositions of an original text that was supposedly written by Homer (scholia A to Il. 17.719). And yet, he adduces a form that could indeed have been generated by such an oral formulaic system. Here as elsewhere, the value of Aristarchus’ testimony is not in his theories per se but in his editorial methods, which could occasionally yield information that would otherwise be lost. As I have argued in PP p. 151, Aristarchus “respected the reality of textual variants” because, from the standpoint of his own working theory, any one of these variants “could have been the very one that Homer wrote.”

From an evolutionary point of view, as outlined in PP ch.5, it would suffice to say that Il. 13.402-423 is incompatible with any version of Il. 13.423 that features stenxonta instead of stenxontew or stenxonte. Instead, J. at IC pp. 99-100 (also pp. 37-38) invokes his theory that the Homeric Iliad was dictated in the eighth century BC, which would be the point of origin for the “blunder” of stenxonta. For nearly half a millennium, according to J.’s explanation, Il. 13.402-423 happily coexisted with the version of Il. 13.423 that featured stenxonta — until Aristarchus in the second century BC finally offered his “solution.” According to J. at IC pp. 99-100, “such blunders decisively support Lord’s view that the Iliad is an oral dictated text.” I venture to ask, however, whether Lord’s view is being used here and elsewhere to support J.’s view — rather than the other way around.

I see a general problem with J.’s references to Albert Lord in this regard. J.’s own view of an oral dictated text of Homer is much narrower than Lord’s. So too are various other views that I have criticized in BMCR 97.4.18. Here I confine myself to pointing out some of the differences between Lord’s and J.’s views. Lord’s dictation theory stems from his article “Homeric Originality: Oral Dictated Texts,” TAPA 94 (1953) 124-134, republished (along with a 1990 addendum) in his Epic Singers and Oral Tradition (Ithaca: Cornell UP 1991) 38-48. In this article, Lord does not speculate on a specific time (or place) for his heuristic model, which is essentially comparative in nature. Further, Lord’s model is not based on the theory of an eighth-century Homer. Nor is it tied to theories of a textual transmission that somehow persists for several centuries without the possibility of any further significant contact with oral transmission. Nor does it depend on theories about Aristarchean “conjectures.” For all these reasons and more, I resist J.’s identification of his model with that of Lord.

In his review, J. extends the theory of an orally dictated text of Homer, “which was absolutely fundamental to Albert Lord,” to Milman Parry: “Indeed, Milman Parry never even considered any other explanation for the origin of the Homeric texts.” In support of this assertion, J. cites a single remark of Parry, as published by Adam Parry in The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971). The citation comes from MHV p. 451, where we find Parry writing these informal notes to himself: “I even figure to myself, just now, the moment when the author of the Odyssey sat and dictated his song, while another, with writing materials, wrote it down verse by verse, even in the way that our singers sit in the immobility of their thought, watching the motion of Nikola’s hand across the empty page, when it will tell them it is the instant for them to speak the next verse.”

If J. supposes that this thought of Parry amounts to the formulation of a theory — let alone a unique explanation for “the origin of the Homeric texts” — he should read on: Parry’s linked thoughts, extending through the rest of the paragraph, need to be considered in their entirety. His next sentence, for example, reads (MHV p. 451): “The reasons I have for such an opinion are many, some of them still very vague, some very exact.” I stand by what I said in BMCR 97.4.18: Milman Parry never formulated a “dictation theory.”

On the next page, MHV p. 452, a different but related dimension of Parry’s thinking emerges: “The whole problem of the transmission of the poems once composed is also one which must be considered in detail.” Parry goes on to ponder “the alterations made to the Southslavic texts” by “unscholarly collectors and editors.” At this point in his thinking, Parry is undecided about the relevance of these Southslavic typologies to the history of the Homeric textual tradition, though he seems to be leaning in the direction of discounting the variants: “A methodological study along such lines will probably show us much about the sources of the variants of the texts such as Ludwig [ sic ] and Allen give them in their editions, about the longer and shorter papyrus texts, and the action of the early editors.”

I note en passant that Adam Parry’s edition of his father’s work allows the name of Arthur Ludwich to be misspelled here. Moreover, Ludwich is missing altogether from the index of MHV. Nor does this index record the reference at MHV p. 452 to T.W. Allen’s work on the text of Homer. It is not that I blame Adam Parry. My point is far more simple. I see here a minor symptom of a major trend: Homeric studies in the era after Milman Parry — an era that extends into the present — have tended to neglect the work of Ludwich, despite the signals that Parry had left behind. In this and in many other respects, I believe, things would have turned out differently if Albert Lord had been invited to edit Milman Parry’s collected papers. My sense is that Lord’s editing in such contexts would have been different: he would have followed up on all of Parry’s inchoate signals, which lead in a variety of different directions — including the lines of thought represented by the likes of Ludwich.

The neglect of Ludwich’s work is in turn symptomatic of another major trend: recent Homeric studies have tended to slight Aristarchus’ contributions to the textual history of Homer, treating the variants that he adduces as mere conjectures. My book PP (ch.5) and Haslam’s chapter for the New Companion seek to reverse this trend.

Arthur Ludwich, along with August Lehrs, was a premier defender of Aristarchus’ editorial methodology against the attacks of Friedrich August Wolf, as Rudolf Pfeiffer observes in his History of Classical Scholarship I (Oxford: Clarendon 1968) 215-8, with bibliography. With reference to Wolf’s position, I have applied the term “Wolfian vulgate,” as used by M. J. Apthorp, The Manuscript Evidence for Interpolation in Homer (Heidelberg: Winter 1980) xviii, to what I describe as “post-Wolf Homer editions that tend to discount the judgments of Alexandrian critics” (HS p. 115; PP p. 135n121). J. objects to my use of the term, particularly with reference to the recent editions of Homer by Helmut van Thiel ( Homeri Ilias and Homeri Odyssea [Hildesheim: Olms 1996 and 1991]), stating that Wolf did not produce his own editions of Homer. But see now his retraction of that statement, published in BMCR 98.6.17. My point, in any case, is that the concept of a “Wolfian vulgate” is antithetical to the concept of a unified edition. Moreover, it is antithetical to the concept of an Aristarchean edition, as envisioned by Ludwich (HS pp. 114-5).

For Ludwich, the Alexandrian “edition” of Aristarchus represents a quantum leap beyond the pre-Alexandrian “vulgate”; for van der Valk, by contrast, the pre- and post-Alexandrian “vulgate” text is relatively superior to the Alexandrian “edition” of Aristarchus, which may not even be deserving of the term “edition.”

Milman Parry writes elsewhere about Ludwich’s editions of Homer (MHV p. 269n5): “for my purposes the traditional text is that of Ludwich” [ Homeri Odyssea I/II (Leipzig: Teubner 1889/1891) and Homeri Ilias I/II (Leipzig: Teubner 1902/1907)]. (As in the other instance that I have already noted, this reference to Ludwich is likewise omitted in the index of MHV.) He is careful to add (MHV p. 268n5): “‘traditional text’ is of course a relative term.” Parry’s understanding of this “traditional text” of Homer is germane to the methodology of Aristarchus (MHV p. 268): “We must go back to the principle of Aristarchus of getting ‘the solution from the text’, but we must enlarge it until it covers not only the meaning of a verse or passage but the poems entire, and lets us know why the poet, or poets, of the Iliad and Odyssey made them as they are, or as they were at first. Whatever feature of poetic art we may study, we must follow it throughout the traditional text, and try to see it clearly and fully; but our hope will not be to find places out of harmony with one another, but instead, after finding all the elements of the poems which bear upon that feature, to draw from them when we can, but from them only, a new idea of poetic artistry [emphasis mine].” This methodology is Parry’s incipient answer to the Homeric questions that he says the “scholars of our time” are unable to answer. He describes these scholars as neo-unitarians who have succeeded in refuting the analysts — but who fail to give satisfactory answers to his questions, which he formulates as follows (MHV p. 268): “… what reasons have they had for passing over the fact pointed out by Wolf that a limited use of writing for literary purposes, which is the most one can suppose for Homer’s age, must have made for a poetry very unlike ours? What source have they given for the tradition [Pausanias 7.26.13; Josephus, Against Apion 1.2.6] that Homer was recorded only at a later time? How have they explained the unique number of good variant readings in our text of Homer, and the need for the laborious editions of Aristarchus and of the other grammarians, and the extra lines, which grow in number as new papyri are found? Finally, have they shown why the poems should be of such a sort as to lend themselves to the many attempts to show the parts of which they were made, and have they told why these attempts were often made by men of the best taste and judgment?” Parry’s own answer, to repeat his wording, is that “we must look back to the principle of Aristarchus of getting ‘the solution from the text’.” My book, PP, follows up on this principle by considering the “traditional text” in the relative sense of the term as Parry applies it, not in the absolute sense of Aristarchus. Here I return to my earlier formulation, but now with three points of emphasis instead of two (HS p. 111): “Whereas Aristarchus … may have gone too far in positing the authentic reading in any given case throughout the Homeric text, there is no reason to doubt that any Homeric variant attributed to Aristarchus can be considered an authentic reading.”

To test this formulation, I return to J.’s sample list of thirty-three Aristarchean “conjectures” (IC p. 26), minus the lead-off example that I have already questioned, Il. 13.423. In each case, I will argue either (1) that the given form adduced by Aristarchus can be considered an authentic reading or (2) that the given form was only mentioned but not actually proposed by Aristarchus:

1.423-4 (IC p. 26n30): ἐπί vs. μετά at 423 and ἐπί vs. κατά at 424. J’.s observations here are most useful for arguing against the assumption of Aristarchean conjecture. It is clear from the verbatim quotations of Aristarchus at Didymus/A that he simply glossed μετά and κατά by way of ἐπί, while the paraphrase of Didymus/T misrepresents Aristarchus as if he had argued for ἐπί as a genuine variant. I agree with J.’s inference that the scholia often give “a false impression of his work” and, a fortiori, of the work of his predecessors. The same inference could have been invoked, I contend, in several other cases in J.’s present list. I invoke it also in general against some other claims that J. adduces in his review of my HS. Aristarchus and his predecessors deserve the benefit of a doubt whenever they are paraphrased by indirect sources on the subject of variant readings.

9.222 (IC p. 26): ἂψ ἐπάσαντο or αἶψ’ ἐπάσαντο vs. ἐξ ἔρον ἕντο. Here we see a case for arguing the second of the two alternatives, namely, that the given form was only mentioned but not actually proposed by Aristarchus. The scholia make it explicit that Aristarchus chose not to propose such a different reading, ἂψ ἐπάσαντο (Didymus/A): ἄμεινον εἶχεν ἄν, φησὶν ὁ Ἀρίσταρχος, < εἰ > ἐγέγραπτο “ἂψ ἐπάσαντο”… ἀλλ’ ὅμως ὑπὸ περιττῆς εὐλαβείας οὐδὲν μετέθηκεν, ἐν πολλαῖς οὕτως εὑρὼν φερομένην τὴν γραφήν’It would have been better, says Aristarchus, if it had been written ” ἂψ ἐπάσαντο”; nevertheless, because of his extreme caution, he changed nothing, having found the reading thus in many of the texts.’ The wording assumes that some of the texts did indeed feature ἂψ ἐπάσαντο instead of ἐξ ἔρον ἕντο. I infer that Aristarchus “changed nothing” ( οὐδὲν μετέθηκεν) even though he could have made a change on the basis of manuscript attestations of a variant reading. Moreover, he is quoted as considering the variant reading as a contrary-to-fact proposition. Accordingly, it seems unjustified to describe such readings as his own editorial conjectures.

9.394 (IC pp. 26-7): γε μάσσεται vs. γαμέσσεται. I am not sure whether J. was counting this case as one of his thirty-three examples, or whether he counted as two examples the case of 1.423-4. In any event, it is not justifiable to assume that Aristarchus adduced μάσσεται mainly to avoid a violation of “Hermann’s Bridge,” as J. claims. (Hermann’s formulation dates back to 1805.) Also, the morphology of μάσσεται could have been generated by the formulaic system. Compare e.g. ἐπιμάσσεται at 4.190.

14.125 (IC p. 165): εἰ vs. ὡς, which is read “rightly” by the δημώδεις texts (Didymus/A), the papyri, and the codices. But how can J. be sure that the latter reading is “right”? Granted, ὡς is common after ἀκούω, but ἐτεόν, as here, is attested elsewhere with εἰ 21 times, by his own count. Thus there are valid reasons to justify either reading in terms of the formulaic system that generates Homeric diction. J.’s position is that he has to choose one or the other variant, and he has to discredit the variant(s) that he does not choose, because his dictation theory depends on one single text stemming from the eighth century. I question this position of J. in my PP, pp. 117-8 and 132-152, summarizing my counter-position as follows (p. 133): “the empirical methods of comparative philology and the study of oral tradition can be used only to defend a variant reading as traditional, not to establish it as the superior reading — let alone the correct reading.”

15.197 (IC p. 248): βέλτερον vs. κέρδιον. Both are attested in mss, but J. claims that κέρδιον is “confirmed” on the grounds that he sees an “echo” at 226 (another κέρδιον, but in a different verse-position) and that this word is “formular in this phrase, unlike the scholars’ emendations.” Although I find no instances of βέλτερον εἴη elsewhere in the Homeric corpus, there are attestations of βέλτερόν ἐστι at 18.302, 21.485, and Od. 17.18 (all before the trochaic caesura, in a position that accommodates cognate phrases in verse-final position; all with infinitive constructions similar to the one at 15.197).

16.5 (IC p. 315): θάμβησε vs. ἔκτιρε. Although θάμβησε in this verse is not attested in the mss known to us, it is attested elsewhere, as at 24.483, where Achilles is looking with wonder at Priam just after the old man has kissed his hands at 478 — and just before Priam begins to speak at verse 486, appealing to Achilles to pity him. The exegetical reasoning of Aristarchus, as reported in Didymus/T, is called by J. a “misjudgment,” which “removes the central theme of pity from this central scene of the Iliad.” I see no such removal and no such misjudgment as I read the contexts evoked by θάμβησε. The purported “misjudgment,” according to J., “confirms that Aristarchus could emend on improper grounds.” But we do not know his grounds, since we do not know of his manuscript evidence. Here and elsewhere, J. has not been able to prove that Aristarchus would ever consider an emendation on the basis of content alone.

16.50 (IC p. 322): εἴ vs. ἥν. “Aristarchus altered ἥν to εἴ (in no ms).” I agree with J. that ἥν as in ἥν τινα οἶδα can be justified on the basis of parallels as at Od. 1.415 and 2.201; still, εἴ as in εἴ τινα οἶδα can also be justified on the basis of parallels as at Od. 8.145-6: πείρησαι ἀέθλων | εἴ τινά που δεδάηκας· ἔοικε δέ σ’ ἴδμεν ἀέθλους. Again, there are valid reasons to justify either reading at 16.50 in terms of the formulaic system that generates Homeric diction.

16.638 (IC p. 392): Σαρπηδόνι δίῳ vs. Σαρπηδόνα δῖον. J. assumes that Aristarchus emended from accusative to dative, without ms evidence. Again, an argument from silence. Also, compare συμφράδμονες plus dative at 2.372; also συμφράζομαι plus dative at 1.537, 540; 9.374; Od. 4.462.

J.’s secondary list begins here:

13.28 (IC pp. 46, 122): ἠγνοίησαν vs. ἠγνοίησεν. There are other instances where a neuter plural subject takes a plural rather than singular verb, e.g. at 12.159, and I see no reason to assume that Aristarchus “normalized” from singular to plural on the basis of such examples. So I disagree with J.: “it is wrong to normalize an oral dictated text” (ibid.). I have already indicated my opposition to J.’s invoking “an oral dictated text” as a premise for his rejecting one given variant in favor of another. On the principle of lectio difficilior in the analysis of variants stemming from an oral tradition, see PP p. 129n99. In the same note, I also adduce data collected by Ludwich to argue that Aristarchus’ editorial priorities did not rank internal logic ahead of ms evidence.

13.191 (IC p. 71): χρόος vs. χροός. I agree with J. that Aristarchus interpreted χρόος as a diectasis of χρώς. It does not follow, however, that the form χρόος is an editorial conjecture in the sense of an alternative reading proposed by the editor to replace a supposedly false form as transmitted in the received text. For Aristarchus, accents were not part of the textual tradition of Homer (PP 128-132). At best, we may consider χρόος an exegetical reconstruction, however flawed, that Aristarchus must have considered in his commentary.

13.384 (IC p. 96): ἦλθ’ ἐπαμύντωρ (also 15.540) vs. ἦλθεν ἀμύντωρ. Despite the parallel attestation in Od. 16.263, J. thinks that Aristarchus’ reading “should be rejected,” in view of ἦεν ἀμύντωρ at 15.610. But compare the verse-final placement of the verb ἐπαμύνω as at 6.361 and 12.369. I suggest that neither reading should be “rejected.” Both forms could have been generated from the formulaic system of Homeric diction.

13.449 (IC p. 104): ἴδῃ vs. ἴδῃς. Aristarchus’ adducing of the variant ἴδῃ alongside ἴδῃς here and elsewhere does not necessarily mean that he is “standardizing.” J. claims: “The Alexandrians wrongly standardize one way or the other.” Rather, it may simply be a matter of consistently reporting such variants. Compare my remarks on “normalization” at 13.28. Again, both forms could have been generated from the formulaic system of Homeric diction.

13.584 (IC p. 118): ὁμαρτήδην vs. ὁμαρτήτην. J. claims that “this is a conjecture to avoid having two main verbs.” But compare the interaction of adverbial – δην with other verbs, as in the case of such forms as κλήδην, ἐξονομακλήδην, ἐκ δ’ ὀνομακληδην at 9.11, 22.415 and Od. 12.250, Od. 4.278.

13.599 (IC p. 120): ἐϋστρεφεῖ vs. ἐϋστρόφῳ. Given that the two forms are both morphologically predictable in Homeric diction, as J. points out, I prefer to treat them as two interchangeable variants in the formulaic system. I disagree with J.’s description of the variant adduced by Aristarchus: “He is conjecturing to impose homogeneity.” See also my remarks on 13.28 and 13.449.

13.810 (IC p. 145): αὔτως vs. οὕτως, attested in a papyrus and in “the good codices.” For a questioning of such criteria involving “better” vs. “worse” mss readings, see PP p. 148-9.

14.72 (IC p. 158): ὅτε vs. ὅτι : “this needless conjecture has weak ms support.” J. argues that ὅτε”tidies up the syntax without altering the sense.” Why assume, though, that it is the editor who tidies up? The formulaic system can generate either ὅτε or ὅτι in this context, and one of these alternatives happens to be more tidy than the other from Aristarchus’ point of view. The adducing of the form by Aristarchus could simply be added to the ms evidence, however weak in this case, that points towards the existence of two variants in this context. J. cannot prove that ὅτε is not an authentic variant. Giving Aristarchus the benefit of a doubt, I prefer to argue that Aristarchus had access to two variants ὅτε vs. ὅτι, not that he conjectured ὅτε in order to oust a supposedly exclusive ὅτι that he found in the mss. Aristarchus would then proceed to choose one variant over the other, on the basis of the internal evidence. J.’s preference for the other variant, by contrast, is based on external considerations prompted by his theory of an eighth-century archetype that was dictated by Homer. In terms of such a posited archetype, ὅτι seems the plausible choice for J., since it seems to him the lectio difficilior; but you need to make a choice between the variants precisely because you are positing such an archetype. From an evolutionary point of view, by contrast, you do not need to choose one or the other variant as the true form. Rather, the choice is relative — depending on the given time and place in the history of the paradosis. In the case of Aristarchus, to repeat, his own need to make a choice in such cases is based on his theory of an archetype written by Homer.

14.173 (IC p. 176): κατά vs. ποτί : “but Aristarchus’ alteration is unjustified, since we are dealing with a misused formula.” Rather, I argue that it is unjustified to claim an “alteration.” Further, it is unjustified to claim that the expression ποτὶ χαλκοβατὲς δῶ is “misused” in this context, vs. the other contexts at 1.426 and 438, 21.505, Od. 8.321 and 13.4 (in the last case, the δῶ is that of Alkinoos, not of Zeus). The reading ποτὶ χαλκοβατὲς δῶ may be less “tidy” (to invoke Janko’s criteria as applied to the previous case) than the reading adduced by Aristarchus, κατὰ χαλκοβατὲς δῶ, but it is still justifiable in terms of the formulaic system that generates Homeric diction. More important, expressions involving ποτὶ δῶμα (e.g. verse-final at Od. 3.488 and 15.186) and ποτὶ δώματ’ ( Od. 6.297) are parallel to those involving κατὰ δῶμα (e.g. verse-final at Il. 22.442 and 478) and κατὰ δώματ’ (24.512, Od. 21.372) in the formulaic system — both in terms of positioning within the hexameter and in terms of traditional themes at work in the given contexts. Finally, the thematic contexts of κατὰ δῶμα / δώματα at e.g. 14.257 and Od. 4.44 (cf. 72) are evidently cognate with the thematic context of 14.173 (about the wonders of the palace of Zeus

14.235 (IC p. 188): τοι χάριν εἰδέω vs. τοι ἰδέω χάριν (scanned – u u – u u) in papyri and some codices; also vs. εἰδέω χάριν in the δημώδεις texts (Didymus/A) and in our “vulgate.” J. says that Aristarchus’ reading “removes the hiatus [between τοι and ἰδέω ] and synizesis [the εω in ἰδέω ],” citing Od. 16.236. Actually, the prevalent manuscript reading there is ὄφρ’ εἰδέω ὅσσοι τε…, which scans as – – – – – u. The synizesis there [the εω in εἰδέω ] suggests to me that Aristarchus’ reading also features synizesis: that is, τοι χάριν εἰδέω could scan as – u u – -, not – u u – u u (with non-synizesis of εω but with correption of ω before the following vowel). The placement of χάριν εἰδέω before the bucolic diaeresis may be compared with the analogous placement of χάριν ἴδε (scanned as u – u u) at 11.243. Note too the placement of εἰδώς before the bucolic diaeresis at Od. 4.818 and 5.250.

14.485 (IC p. 220): Ἄρεω ἀλκτῆρα vs. ἀρῆς ἀλκτῆρα. The latter “vulgate” reading, with synizesis of εω, is parallel to ἄρεως ἀλκτῆρες at 18.213, again with synizesis; but ἄρης ἀλκτῆρα at 18.100. J. notes: “Aristarchus read Ἄρεω in all three places, but this too [like Zenodotus’ reading ἄρης ] is conjectural.” How can J. be sure? He explains thus about Ἄρεω : “this Ionic form, absent from the mss, first occurs in Archilochus [fr. 18].” But how can he be sure that such an Ionic form is excluded from Homeric diction? J. continues: “The truth is surely as follows.” He proceeds to argue that ἄρη (short a, as distinct from the long a of ἀρή’curse’) became “confused” with Ἄρης. “The poet let the barely intelligible formula [ ἄρης ἀλκτῆρα ] stand at 18.100, but here [14.485] and at 18.213 he substituted Ἄρεος, a normal epic genitive of Ares, found in a few mss; because of the substitution, it has to be scanned (uniquely) with synizesis.” Finally, ” Ἄρεως will then be a superficial Atticism, also found as a variant at 19.47.” From an evolutionary point of view, by contrast, the formulation could be simplified: ἄρης ἀλκτῆρ – can coexist with a Ionicized variant Ἄρεω ἀλκτῆρ – as well as an Atticized variant Ἄρεως ἀλκτῆρ -.

Addendum: I agree with J. (IC p. 37) that “the superficial Attic traits in the epic diction do prove that Athens played a major role in the transmission, and this must be related to the Pisistratids’ patronage of Homeric poetry.” But I disagree with J.’s linked idea (ibid.) that the Pisistratids “probably procured the first complete set of rolls to cross the Aegean.” From an evolutionary point of view, the Attic phase of Homeric transmission was still a performative phase, not a textual phase (as required by J.’s theory of an eighth-century dictation). In such an Attic phase, it is important to note, we may expect the evolution of hyperionisms in terms of the performative tradition. That is, hyperionisms could be generated by performances in an Attic-speaking context. From J.’s point of view, by contrast, hyperionisms must be considered only in terms of the textual tradition. A case in point is the set of hyperionic forms adduced by Zenodotus for the Homeric text, as listed by J. at IC p. 24. J. dismisses all these forms as spurious editorial conjectures. In a forthcoming work, I will counterargue that such hyperionic forms are authentic performative variants stemming from an Attic phase of the performance tradition of Homer. See also PP pp. 134-136 on Zenodotean vs. Aristarchean editorial preferences concerning Il. 1.5.

15.82 (IC p. 237): μενοινήῃσί (in a few mss) vs. μενοινήσειε (in most mss, also in a papyrus). “An opt. is odd after an aor. subj., but so is a pres. subj., especially one formed like this …; we are surely dealing with a conjecture.” J. cites Chantraine GH I 77 in support of his description of μενοινήῃσί as “odd.” But Chantraine in fact defends the authenticity of the form, in terms of the productivity of the ending – ῃσι in the Dichtersprache. For a case in point, consider δώῃσιν at 1.324, 12.275. We may note such other “odd” forms as ἐπινείῃσιν at Od. 4.357, which scans like μενοινήῃσί, u – – – u; both forms are located right after the trochaic caesura. Note too μενοινάᾳ at Il. 19.164: it scans u – – – and it too is located right after the trochaic caesura.

15.114 (IC p. 241): δ’ ἔπος ηὔδα vs. δὲ προσηύδα in most mss. Similarly at 15.398 and Od. 13.199. According to J., the Alexandrians “surely abandoned our vulgate δὲ προσηύδα (with its papyrus support) on the ground that it lacks an addressee in the acc., but this can be supplied from the context (cf. e.g. 5.871).” I can understand how the Alexandrians could have used this kind of reasoning, but it does not follow that they should have conjectured δ’ ἔπος ηὔδα. I maintain that they would have “abandoned” δὲ προσηύδα only if they had δ’ ἔπος ηὔδα available as a textual variant. I am not persuaded by J.’s argument that verse-final ἔπος ηὔδα, as attested at 12.163, could have been a source for conjecturing δ’ ἔπος ηὔδα as an alternative to δὲ προσηύδα. Rather, I view this attestation of ἔπος ηὔδα as a formulaic cognate of δ’ ἔπος ηὔδα. J. adds that ἔπος ηὔδα”occurs 12x elsewhere, but its digamma is never ‘neglected’.” But the “neglect” of digamma in δ’ ἔπος ηὔδα does not make this sequence any less formulaic than ἔπος ηὔδα. We may compare the notorious “neglect” of digamma whenever a female speaker speaks “winged words”: feminine φωνήσασ’ ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα vs. masculine φωνήσας ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα.

15.252 (IC p. 253): ἵξεσθαι vs. ὄψεσθαι. J. himself compares an interesting variation, attested in the mss, between verse final ἵκηαι vs. ἴδηαι at Od. 17.448. I contend that both pairs of variants, ἵξεσθαι vs. ὄψεσθαι and ἵκηαι vs. ἴδηαι, reflect a functional variation within the formulaic system of Homeric diction. J. thinks that ὄψεσθαι”accords better with the stress on sight” in the present context. Well and good. But such an editorial preference for one variant over the other does not discredit the other variant’s authenticity. From an evolutionary point of view, I contend that both variants are authentic. See also my comments at 13.810 on “better” vs. “worse” mss readings,

15.714 (IC p. 305): πέσον vs. πέσεν. Again, a case of neuter plural subject with a plural vs. singular verb. J. refers back to his discussion of ἠγνοιήσαν vs. ἠγνοιήσεν at 13.28, and I in turn refer back to my comments on that case.

16.35 (IC p. 320): ὅτε vs. ὅτι : “a needless change lacking ms support.” See my comments on 14.72.

16.53 (IC p. 322): ὁππότε τις vs. ὁππότε δή. In support of his claim that “Aristarchus altered δή to τις,” J. says that there are twelve attestations of ” ὁππότε κεν’ δή.” I find, however, only three other cases of plain ὁππότε δή : Od. 20.386, 23.345, 24.344. In each case, the verb is not in the subjunctive (two indicatives, one optative). In the present case, we see the subjunctive: ὁππότε τις [or δή ] τὸν ὁμοῖον ἀνὴρ ἐθέλῃσιν ἀμέρσαι. I find two cases of verse-initial ὁππότε τις, and both feature the subjunctive: 19.201 and 21.112. The first of these two cases is strikingly parallel in syntax to the present case: ὁππότε τις μεταπαυσωλὴ πολέμοιο γένηται. The parallelism is in terms of “deep structure,” not “surface structure,” and it would be implausible, I think, to claim that Aristarchus was inspired by a verse like 19.201 in preferring ὁππότε τις to ὁππότε δή at 16.53. I infer instead that Aristarchus had ms evidence for the reading ὁππότε τις alongside the “vulgate” reading ὁππότε δή. From an evolutionary point of view, however, there is no need to justify Aristarchus’ preference, as opposed to J.’s preference. There is only the need to justify the authenticity of Aristarchus’ reading, alongside the authenticity of the “vulgate” reading (as justified by J.).

16.106 (IC p. 330): καὶ φάλαρ’ vs. κὰπ φάλαρ’ (all mss, papyri included). J. claims that the καὶ”is plainly a conjecture,” because it turns the phrase βάλλετο δ’ αἰεί at the end of the preceding line into a “parenthesis.” We may restate J.’s claim this way: καί is an optional connector with the syntax of βάλλετο δ’ αἰεί, while κάπ is an obligatory connector. But there are formulaic parallels to the “parenthetical” syntax of βάλλετο δ’ αἰεί (if followed by καί): within the same “Adonic clausula” of the hexameter, scanned – u u – -, I find such constructions as τείρετο δ’ αἰνῶς at 5.352. Compare also ἵετο δ’ αἰεὶ at 13.424, which is not followed by “necessary enjambment” in this context, as opposed to the context of 5.434, where we do find “necessary enjambment.” Similarly with βάλλετο δ’ αἰεί : absence vs. presence of “necessary enjambment” when followed by καί vs. κάπ. As for καί vs. κάπ, compare the reverse situation in Od. 4.72, where the mss have καὶ δώματα ἠχήεντα vs. κατὰ δώματα ἠχήεντα at scholia T to Il. 24.323. Cf. verse-initial καὶ κεφαλῆς at Od. 18.355, where one of the mss (Allen’s “R12”) reads κἀκε…, leading to the modern emendation κὰκ κεφαλῆς.

16.227 (IC p. 347): ὅτι μή vs. ὅτε μή. J. says of ὅτι μή : “a common idiom in Herodotus and later, has no Homeric parallel.” But ὅτι μή at this verse is attested in some mss, so that it cannot simply be assumed to be non-Homeric. The four cases of ὅτε μή at 13.319, 14.248, Od. 16.197, 23.185 do not disprove the potential presence of ὅτι μή in the present case. Those four cases of ὅτε μή (aside from the present case) introduce a verb in the optative, whereas we find no verb introduced by ὅτι μή / ὅτε μή in the present case. For J. to say that the expected verb “is easily supplied” does not explain why the verb is missing only here but not elsewhere. The attested Ionic constructions introduced by ὅτι μή, which are regularly without a verb (cf. e.g. Herodotus 1.18.3, 1.143.2, etc.), could supply an answer.

16.252 (IC p. 351): σάον vs. σόον. “Aristarchus [Didymus/A] wavered [ διχῶς ] between saon and σόον,” while “the mss rightly read σόον.” But compare saophrona at 21.462 and saophrwn saophrosunhs saophrosunhisi at Od. 4.158 / 23.13 / 23.30. J. explains that epic forms in σο – “arose by diectasis when the vernacular had contracted * σά F ος to σῶς, just as φόως replaced * φάϜος after it became φῶς.” But see Chantraine GH I 81: we find φόως when the second syllable is long by position (8.289, 11.2, etc.) but regularly φάος when the next word begins with a vowel (unless a caesura intervenes, e.g. at 15.741). Moreover, there are residual ms attestations of φάος before consonant, at Od. 18.317 and 19.34.

16.504 (IC p. 381): ἔχοντο vs. ἕποντο. J. rejects the form adduced by Aristarchus, saying: “it lacks ms support.” But there are other kinds of support: for example, compare the syntax of the verse-final expression ποτὶ δὲ φρένες αὐτῷ ἔχοντο, if we admit ἔχοντο here as an authentic variant, with that of the verse-final πρὸ δὲ δούρατ’ ἔχοντο at 17.355. I contend that the two constructions are cognate. J. adds that “Aristarchus [Didymus/T] and nearly all mss read unmetrical ποτὶ in 504; προτὶ is a facile normalization of the rough-hewn text.” But why should brevis in longo need to be “normalized” at a penthemimeral caesura? See Parry MHV 213-6.

16.522 (IC p. 383): οὗ παιδὸς ἀμύνει vs. ᾧ παιδὶ ἀμύνει. J. argues: “this effort to emend away a hiatus is in no good ms.” But why assume that hiatus was Aristarchus’ main concern? I suggest that he was interested in the lectio difficilior of the genitive vs. the dative with ἀμύνω. J. himself cites 12.402-3, Ζεὺς κῆρας ἄμυνε | παιδὸς ἑοῦ (vs. dative constructions at 16.265 and 512).

16.668 (IC p. 396): Σαρπηδονι vs. Σαρπηδονα. “Aristarchus [Didymus/A] read Σαρπηδονι, but verbs of cleansing can take a double acc. (10.572, 18.345).” In this case, Aristarchus may be opting for the lectio facilior. Also, J. compares Aristarchus’ “change” at 638. But see my comments on that verse.

16.775 (IC p. 408): ὃ δ’ ἐν στροφάλιγγι κονίης vs. ὃ δὲ στροφάλιγγι κονίης. J.: “a facile emendation.” But note the prepositional construction at 21.503: μετὰ στροφάλιγγι κονίης. The “deep structure” of the syntax in this case helps explain the ἐν in the other case. Further, the “surface structure” of μετὰ στροφάλιγγι κονίης seems to me too opaque to motivate ἐν στροφάλιγγι κονίης by some sort of analogy.

We have reached the end of J.’s list of his best-case arguments for doubting the testimony of Aristarchus. Having offered a counter-argument in each case, I conclude that Aristarchus deserves the benefit of a doubt. I close by signaling my intention to pursue in further publications the rehabilitation of (1) the concept of an Aristarchean edition of Homer and (2) the authenticity of variant readings adduced by Aristarchus and other Alexandrian editors of the Homeric textual transmission.