BMCR 2002.02.09

Virgilianisti antichi e tradizione indiretta

, Virgilianisti antichi e tradizione indiretta. Studi / Accademia toscana di scienze e lettere La Colombaria, 195. Firenze: L.S. Olschki, 2001. xvii, 181 pages. ISBN 8822250109

Sebastiano Timpanaro died at the age of 77 on November 26, 2000, after a brief and sudden illness. According to Piergiorgio Parroni’s preface, his illness was diagnosed just after he had submitted the typescript of this book, and he died simultaneously with the arrival of the first proofs. The book was seen through publication by Parroni, with the aid of other friends, but T. did not have the opportunity to make the changes and improvements that he usually made in proof. This is the last book that T. wrote, but since his death a volume of his scritti militanti has appeared 1 and at least one more volume of his papers on classical subjects is expected.

When I received a copy of this book this summer, I asked the Editor of BMCR whether I could review it. I knew T. himself only slightly, but I have been reading him for over thirty years. His work is far less widely known in this country than that of other distinguished Italian Latinists and than it ought to be, and only two of his books, neither directly on classical subjects, have been translated into English. But for more than fifty years, he was not only one of the outstanding Latin philologists of our time, but an intellectual figure of astonishing range and commanding moral presence: a master of the history of classical scholarship, particularly textual criticism; a leading authority on Italian cultural history of the early nineteenth century, particularly Leopardi; a powerful critic of Freud; and one of the most eloquent theoreticians of the revolutionary Italian left. He leaves behind a large body of writings on all these subjects, all of which he accomplished without ever holding a university position. A student of Giorgio Pasquali, he was too retiring ever to teach, and earned his living working as a proofreader for the publisher La Nuova Italia in Florence. According to his wife, as reported by Perry Anderson, he left Italy only once in his life, to Yugoslavia. He very rarely spoke in public—indeed, his terror of public speaking was the reason for his abandonment of a teaching career—and only during the revolutionary days of the late 1960s did he speak in public: “In that atmosphere, my inhibitions vanished and to my surprise I had no difficulty in taking the floor at mass meetings.”2 But his writings, his passion for all his scholarly fields, his wide correspondence, and his gift of friendship gave him an influence and a following far greater than that of most professors. And hence I take the occasion of the posthumous publication of this work to write what is both a review of this book (henceforth VA) and an introduction to the work of an extraordinary man. I am not really competent to write on much of what T. wrote about (although, in large part from reading him, I know something about almost all the areas on which he wrote); I hope that what is said here will encourage others to read him themselves; a list of his books (many of which are collections of articles) is included at the end of this essay.

I.As will become clear, this essay is both scholarly and personal, and will involve writing about my own work more than is normal in this context. VA is in a sense not a free-standing work: it is a set of revisions and amplifications of an earlier work, Per la storia della filologia virgiliana antica (Rome, 1986; henceforth FVA), a study of the textual criticism of Virgil in antiquity from Hyginus to Servius; and that work, although on a topic which had long interested T., was provoked by my own book, Latin Textual Criticism in Antiquity (New York, 1981). To say that T. disagreed with me is an understatement. When I received a copy of FVA in 1987, it was stamped (ironically, one must suppose) “omaggio”; and although it was anything but that—and it is unnerving to find oneself registered in an index with ” passim“, with almost every reference highly critical—I found a certain solace in the fact that one of the scholars I most admire had found my work important enough to attack with great vigor at considerable length, and that my work served to rouse T. to write what was ultimately his single longest work on a classical subject. As the preface to FVA made clear, T. was provoked to sharpness by the tone of my own book, and indeed in places I wrote with that lofty certainty about much-debated topics which only a novice—which I was then—can achieve. Needless to say, thirty years after I started work on the subject, I know rather less than I did when I was twenty-five; I would write rather differently now. Many of T.’s criticisms (and those of other reviewers) were justified, but this is not the place to re-argue details, and T. is no longer alive to continue the debate. So I will simply say something about the major issues about which, I think, respectful disagreement is perhaps still useful.

Put simply, the problem that concerned both of us was this: there survive, in Servius and other ancient commentaries, in Aulus Gellius, and in a few other sources, a considerable number of readings in the text of Virgil (and a few more in other authors), many of them ascribed to specific ancient scholars, particularly Valerius Probus, very few of which are preserved in the extant ancient manuscripts of Virgil; those that are preserved there may well be derived from Servius—but that is another issue. Very few of these are of crucial importance for the interpretation of the Aeneid as a whole; but they are important for one’s sense of Virgil’s style and of his relationship to the Roman poetic and cultural tradition. Thus, when Probus supports reading floros rather than flauos at Aen. 12.605, and cites parallels from Ennius and other archaic writers, one has to ask why he believed that a rare and archaic word was appropriate, and one also has to ask which word Virgil in fact wrote. When Julius Hyginus (the Palatine librarian not long after Virgil’s death) reads uelati limo rather than uelati lino at Aen. 12.120, the question at issue is Virgil’s fidelity to the details of Roman religious custom.

Questions like this are in fact multiple questions, and they can be approached from different perspectives. Timpanaro’s interest—and it is, quite clearly, the more important one for understanding Virgil—is whether these readings are right : do they belong in the text of the Aeneid as we read it? In answering that, he deploys his extraordinary skills as a philologist, exploring Virgilian diction with exemplary detail and lucidity, patiently raising and resolving—or showing that one can not resolve—the difficulties that arise. To read his analyses of particular textual questions in either FVA or VA is to learn why philology matters, even to a literary critic or a cultural historian.

On the other hand, answering questions about the correct text of Virgil is of limited value in trying to understand what the ancient critics did, how they did it, and why. Floros or limo would, in theory at least, be just as worthy of consideration if they were emendations proposed last year as they are with a pedigree going back to within a century of Virgil’s death, and to argue about their merits says nothing about the reasons that ancient critics supported or proposed them. We know, and T. rightly emphasized against me, that the manuscript tradition of no author, even Virgil, is a priori trustworthy: the manuscripts disagree among one another, they all share at least a few errors, and they are prone to simplification and normalization over time. Easy words tend to oust difficult ones (the critical principle of difficilior lectio), through false recollection of other passages, ignorance, or simple error. It is a generally accepted and valid rule of editing Virgil that the poet varies, and scribes regularize. And yet the question remains: why are these choice readings hardly ever preserved in the ancient manuscripts? Scribal error can be made responsible for only so much.

My own interest was in the critics and their relationship to the manuscript tradition as much as in the truth or falsehood of what they said. But I found myself making the assumption (which in fact I questioned in my own conclusion) that the absence of these readings from the manuscripts indicated a) that they were conjectures and b) that they were wrong; and T. was quite right to reject this as an unjustified petitio principii. But there are two important areas in which his own arguments fail. That manuscripts tend to simplify the text is not an adequate explanation for the absence of almost all the readings associated with particular critics, and I would still hold that what it shows is the almost complete separation of the scholarly tradition of writing about Virgil from the work of copying the text of Virgil. The process by which scholarly argument affects the manuscript tradition is random, and depends on the interests of readers rather than the formal activity of critics. That is clearly true, for instance, in the case of Homer: Aristarchus’ text of Homer affected the number of lines in the text far more than it affected the readings of particular words within the lines, a sign that the process was neither consistent nor controlled. For Latin texts that is evident, as I have argued elsewhere, in the few surviving manuscripts with marginalia in which one can see the work of readers in progress.3

The other, more important area where T.’s argument is weak is that he tends to employ the principle of charity in evaluating the readings of Probus and the others: he makes the strongest possible case for them, using all the tools of modern philology, rather than examining what we know of the arguments that they made themselves. That offers wonderful lessons in the modern art of textual criticism, and I am far more inclined now than thirty years ago to agree with T. that some of the readings of Probus and the rest belong in our texts of Virgil; but it says nothing at all about what the ancient critics were doing, and why they did it. If Hyginus and Probus drew their readings from manuscripts, there is no guarantee that the manuscripts they used were better than ours (we know, for instance, that some of the half-lines were wrongly filled in by Seneca’s time); if they were making their own emendations—as in general I still believe—then we need to understand the logic behind their arguments. And none of T.’s arguments convinces me that the criteria that they used are directly applicable to our own construction of the text. When Probus says, for instance, of Aen. 1.20-21 “if these two verses are removed, the sense is no less complete”, he is of course grammatically correct; but (despite T.’s criticisms) I still believe that it shows singularly bad judgment about Virgil’s goals and methods in the Aeneid. When Hyginus says that Virgil wrote uelati limo rather than lino at Aen. 12.120 because the Roman fetiales and pater patratus did not wear linen garments, he may be right, but it is an argument based on Virgil’s truth to Roman religious custom that is, from a modern critical viewpoint, at best questionable. And when one reads Hyginus’ surviving comments on Virgil that do not involve textual variants, it is clear that he is more interested in pointing out historical or antiquarian errors than in trying to understand what Virgil wrote.

A final illustration reveals another aspect of the problem. Servius, commenting on the oracle of Faunus at Aen. 7.98, on the words “externi uenient generi” (his lemma), notes “better ueniunt, so as to signify that they are already coming” ( melius ‘ueniunt’, ut iam eos uenire significet). T. ( FVA 173, cf. VA 124) takes issue with my having called Servius’ reading “extremely pedantic and dogmatic”; but it was in fact not the reading, but Servius’ argument that I was so describing—and it is. In VA T.defends the present tense not on Servius’ grounds, but by seeing it, following Jocelyn, as a “prophetic present”. Perhaps so; but that is very different from saying that the verb should be present for the sake of chronological accuracy. T. also argues that ueniunt must originally be a manuscript variant rather than a conjecture, invoking the principle of his teacher Pasquali, that “a stimulus for conjecture was lacking”; but that too is placing a modern argument in the mind of an ancient critic: Servius did object to uenient because of the chronological inaccuracy. For him, that was “a stimulus for conjecture”, whether this particular reading is a conjecture or not.

T.’s generosity about the motives and methods of ancient critics may indicate no more than that he was a nicer person than I am: one tends to read oneself back into one’s subject, and the critics that I reconstructed were unscrupulous and arrogant. As Michael Reeve put it in his review of my book, my Probus was Probus quia minime probus.4 I would prefer, of course, not to think that about myself, but to see it as a difference in scholarly aims and beliefs, derived in part from the traditions within which we wrote. My own belief, even more now than then, is that textual critics, like literary critics, are always influenced by their beliefs not only about language and style, but about the process of transmission and, more important, by their understanding of the historical and cultural place of the text itself. I argued then, and still believe, that the very early perception of Virgil as a ‘Roman Homer’ led to the misapplication in the first century CE of Alexandrian Homeric criticism to the Aeneid —hence, the early critical emphasis on religion, antiquarian custom, and historical truth—while the turn to archaism in Probus and in the second century led to a change in methods and a change in perceptions of Virgil (and of Cicero). As a result, I do not think that some of the textual issues raised by Probus and others can ever be settled definitively: our own text of Virgil results from our interpretation, and vice versa, and circular argument is inevitable. More particularly, it is very clear that the understanding of what textual criticism is and does is historically conditioned; that is shown, above all, by Traube’s brilliant work on the history of palaeography and on the Textgeschichte der Regula Benedicti, but also by the work of T.’s teacher Pasquali in Storia della tradizione e critica del testo and, not least, by T. himself in his wonderful study of the origins of modern critical method, La genesi del metodo del Lachmann. I read that work first when I was a senior in college, and it was the book that, in many respects, I hoped to emulate in my own.

T.’s approach was different, and far more philological than my own (which was largely shaped by the historical approach that I learned from a year in Arnaldo Momigliano’s Warburg Library seminar “On Philology and Philologists” and by reading Traube for Julian Brown’s seminar on Latin Palaeography). His interest, in writing on classical subjects, was to explain words and texts. Many of his most acute articles are discussions of short passages, even single words; his longest classical article, to the best of my knowledge, is on the use of synonyms in asyndeton in archaic and republican Latin (originally published in RFIC 116 (1988) 257-259, 385-428; reprinted in Nuovi contributi 1-74)—comparable, in many respects, to Paul Maas’s famous article on the poetic plural in Latin. Although he had a keen sense of the history of the Latin language (with particular interest in archaic Latin and in Fronto) his goal was, always and centrally, the explanation and improvement of Latin texts for present use. He traced the history of discussions of particular passages from antiquity to the renaissance to modern scholarship with extraordinary learning, as in some of the discussions in FVA and VA and, for instance, in his discussion of an obscure line in Martial, ” Atlas cum compare gibbo (Marziale VI 77)” ( Rinascimento 2 [1951] 311-318; reprinted in Contributi 333-343), with its discussion of the interpretations of Calderini, Merula, and Poliziano; but in so doing his interest in exploring the methods of earlier scholars was generally limited to the value of what they said in elucidating the text. In La genesi del metodo del Lachmann there is a wealth of detail on the technicalities of the method—the history of stemmatics, the logic of Lachmann’s reconstruction of the archetype of Lucretius—but he has relatively little to say about the intellectual and religious motives underlying modern textual theory (some of which, indeed, is to be found in Pasquali’s chapter on Lachmann), far less than there is, for instance, in Traube’s account of Mabillon and the origins of palaeography. Motives and character, so far as I can see, play little role in T.’s histories of scholarship, including FVA and VA; he writes (to use the language of the history of science) internal history, not external history. Hence, in looking at Probus and the others, he concentrates on what is still worthwhile in their criticism, rather than examining their motives and their methods. I was trying, however unsuccessfully, to write history; T. was looking for truth. And in many cases, perhaps, he found it.

That a dedicated Marxist, who ought to be committed to the belief that intellectual activity is part of the superstructure of the economic and class structure of society, apparently had such a belief in truth as an objective value is perhaps surprising; but it is in fact an essential part of T.’s materialism. In his important essay, “Considerations on Materialism,” T. makes the following comment about science and superstructure: “Interest in mathematics or physics or philology [italics mine] only arises, it is true, in a definite social environment; the adoption of particular techniques of research is only conceivable in a particular society; further more ideology itself…is a perilous but irreplaceable instrument of research, at least as long as a perfectly classless society has not been achieved. But the objective truths which the sciences have already attained in pre-socialist societies…are not reducible to slave-owning or feudal or bourgeois ideology. Otherwise, we should really fall into a debased historicism, into a relativist conception of knowledge and, at the end of the day, into a denial of external reality or of its knowability.”5 I have no competence to discuss the problem of “scientific truth”;6 suffice it to say that T. believed strongly in scientific research, that its results might be true even if they were gained in the service of bourgeois ideology, and that the material world—which, for a strict materialist like T., included ancient texts and the phenomena of language and style—could never be ignored or transcended. And philology was a science just as much as physics or mathematics, to be practiced according to rigorous rules in the service of acquiring genuine knowledge about its materials. Hence too, although T. was neither a mechanist nor a utilitarian, he emphasized the mechanical—that is to say the physical—elements of textual criticism, and he emphasized the enduring usefulness of the results gained by scientific philology. That is true, as noted above, of his study of Lachmann’s method, with its extraordinarily rigorous discussion of stemmatics; it is equally true of his article on Angelo Mai, in which he pays as much attention to the use of reagents to read palimpsests as to the quality of Mai’s philology and ends up by giving a far more sympathetic portrait than one might expect of a man whom T. would have loathed—a reactionary Jesuit and incompetent philologist—in the service of identifying the permanent value of Mai’s work.7 So too, in writing a memoir of Gianni Gervasoni, the editor of Mai’s correspondence, he treats with great gentleness a very minor scholar, praising his devotion to accurate editing rather than criticizing his biassed devotion to Mai.8 What is learned or discovered endures, independent of the reasons for the learning and discovery. But paradoxically for a Marxist, his ‘scientific’ bias gives inadequate weight to the social and cultural underpinnings of critical method. Unlike his teacher Pasquali, T. seems to believe in a kind of philologia perennis; my own sense is that the nature of critical activity in antiquity, or indeed in the eighteenth century, is very different from what we now believe to be appropriate.

II. Although T. was trained as a classicist and wrote on philology all his life (starting with a series of six articles on Ennius, beginning in 1946), that was not the core of his scholarship or his character. From a very early stage, and throughout his life, he had two dominant concerns. One was the relationship of humans to the natural world, in which he took his inspiration from Giacomo Leopardi, particularly (a text he refers to frequently) the late poem “La Ginestra”. The other was the problem of social justice, in which he took his inspiration from Marx. In 1965, he described his philosophy as “una specie di marxismo-leopardismo”: he accepted the Marxist analysis of society and the concomitant objectives of political-social struggle, but in connection with the relationship of humans with the natural world he relied on the pessimistic Enlightenment materialism of Leopardi.9 His Marxism was central to his political activities, but his devotion to Leopardi spanned all the areas of his work, from classics to the nineteenth century to political action. His first book, La filologia di Giacomo Leopardi, is the fruit of deep research; primarily from the Zibaldone (Leopardi’s massive notebooks) and the correspondence, he reclaimed for Leopardi his rightful status as the best philologist (and one of the only competent Hellenists) in Restoration Italy. He gathered Leopardi’s emendations, explained his judgments, and analyzed the merits of his work. Around and after that study came a host of articles on the intellectual life of the early nineteenth century, above all in the papers collected in Classicismo e illuminismo nel Ottocento italiano, in which he traced, starting from the work of Leopardi’s older friend and admirer, the Enlightened ex-priest Pietro Giordani, two strains of classicism in the 1820s and 1830s, one reactionary and one (Leopardi’s) with roots in the Enlightenment; in the process, he destroyed the simple antithesis between classicism and romanticism that governed many earlier studies of Leopardi and his age.

His Leopardian materialism led him in other directions, above all to the criticism not only of idealist elements in post-Marxian Marxism but also of a whole train of philosophical beliefs that involved excessive idealism. In a long essay, he attacked structuralism for its idealist metaphysics (in On Materialism); and in a brilliant and at times very funny book, he dissected Freud’s Psychopathology of Everyday Life using the techniques and examples of textual criticism to show that Freudian slips have a material origin that does not require the Freudian metaphysics of the mind. His three major books of the 1960s—on materialism, on Freud, and on early nineteenth-century Italian culture—are closely linked, and develop a stark and complex philosophy that both emerged from and bolstered his readings of Leopardi and of Marx. From Leopardi and the enlightenment he drew a sense of the hostility or at best indifference to human beings of the natural world— natura nouerca —a world which was not only not anthropocentric, but was itself doomed to extinction. His Marx was stripped of the dialectic and of all Hegelian tendencies to idealism: it is the Marx of Capital, of Eighteenth Brumaire, and above all of the Manifesto, a social revolutionary angered at the exploitative qualities of capitalism, whose goal was to provide an equitable and democratic distribution of the material goods of the world. His reading of Leopardi and of the Enlightenment led him beyond Marx’s social philosophy to consider the relationship between the Marxist vision of society and the natural world. Darwin’s discoveries showed that nature as well as humanity had a history—a non-dialectical history—and demonstrated the need to place the goals of human development within a cosmic framework, not merely a social one. For that, he turned to Engels and to Lenin, and found in them a basis for his strictly materialist Marxism and his attacks on Althusser, structuralism, and the Frankfurt school.

Although he generally insisted on the distinction between his Marxism and his Leopardism—that they applied to different aspects of the world—it is clear that his reading of each influenced his reading of the other. His concentration on Leopardi’s view of the need for all humans to join together in democratic struggle against the natural world (cf. Ginestra 126-35) suppressed the more romantic and naturalistic elements of his poetry, while his elimination of the dialectic made Marx into more of a pessimist than he was. His critiques of idealist Marxisms did not find wide acceptance in Europe; they went against the prevalent tendencies of the time. Nor was he comfortable in the political parties of the left in Italy: a vigorous anti-Stalinist, he had only contempt for the Italian Communist Party and, eventually, for the accommodations that various factions of the left made with capitalist society. His marxismo-leopardismo was, as Luigi Cortesi describes it, paradoxical. Marxism—any revolutionary politics—is almost inevitably optimistic: it holds out the promise of a better world. Yet T. combined a political optimism with a cosmic pessimism, a sense of the ultimate frailty of individual life and of the mortality of the world itself. I would—as T. himself assuredly would not—describe his stance as a kind of heroic pessimism: the struggle for a better society against all odds, and against the biological destiny which enfolds us all, combined with the firm rejection of all metaphysical consolations. The dialectic, he held, was a kind of religion; and he would have none of that.

In the last fifteen years or so, T.’s insistence on the need to combine natural philosophy and social philosophy found a remarkable new relevance, in the rise of ecology, and his insistence on the necessity of combining social revolution with ecological reform produced some of his most urgent and polemical essays.10 T.’s awareness of the fragility of the natural world went back to his childhood: he describes his sudden anguish when a schoolboy on realizing that the world would come eventually to a natural end. Hiroshima intensified that sense with the recognition that human beings might end the world far more suddenly than nature ever could. Although he was initially dubious about the Greens, preferring to concentrate on the danger of nuclear destruction, he came to realize that the ‘slow catastrophe’ of environmental damage—traceable, in his view, to the destructive character of capitalism—was ultimately just as terrifying as the rapid catastrophe of nuclear ‘accidents’. But ultimately, his goal was to carve out a decent life for humans in the face of both natural, social, and environmental ills: “I have never thought, in fact, that…considerations not only of the end of humankind, but of the sources for unhappiness caused by the biological fragility of humans, by diseases, by the decay of old age, by death (particularly the deaths of others), could constitute an excuse to overshadow the necessity of struggle against social injustice, inequality, the iniquitous distinction between a minority…that decides and a majority that is decided” ( Il Verde e il Rosso 187).

Sebastiano Timpanaro was a polemical writer, a fierce adversary, a passionate believer in discovering the truth, a defender of the writers and the causes in which he believed. As Cortesi says ( Il Verde e il Rosso xliii), “his life as a philosopher was devoted to the problem of evil”—whether it resulted from physical existence, historical circumstance, or social structure. That he earned his living outside the comfortable world of the university perhaps made him more aware of social injustice; he was, in any case, a strong defender of democracy against the authoritarian tendencies of both left and right. He was also a man of great courtesy and dignity, modest to a fault in the claims that he made for his own extraordinary work, and a writer of lucid and elegant prose. That a man who cared so deeply about the sadness, cruelty, and injustice of the world also cared deeply about the value and meaning of the books he studied, and defended his view of the meaning of Leopardi or Virgil with as much vigor as he defended his views of society and nature is, to me, a mark of his greatness as a scholar and a humanist. He was a remarkable man, a true comrade in the Republic of Letters.

Books by Sebastiano Timpanaro (probably incomplete)

La Filologia di Giacomo Leopardi (Florence, 1955; ed. 3 Rome-Bari 1997). La Genesi del metodo del Lachmann (Florence, 1963; ed. 2 Padova, 1985; German translation [ Die Entstehung der Lachmannschen Methode ] Hamburg, 1971). Classicismo e illuminismo nell’Ottocento italiano (Pisa, 1965; ed. 2 Pisa, 1969). Sul Materialismo (Pisa, 1970; ed. 3 Milan 1997; English translation [ On Materialism ] London 1975, ed. 2 1979). Il lapsus freudiano: Psicanalisi e critica testuale (Florence, 1974; English translation [ The Freudian Slip: Psychoanalysis and Textual Criticism ] London, 1976). Contributi di filologia e di storia della lingua latina (Rome, 1978). Aspetti e figure della cultura ottocentesca (Pisa, 1980). Antileopardiani e neomoderati nella sinistra italiana (Pisa, 1982). Il socialismo di Edmondo de Amicis: lettura del ‘Primo Maggio’ (Verona, 1984). Per la storia della filologia virgiliana antica (Rome, 1986). La ‘fobia romana’ e altri scritti su Freud e Meringer (Pisa, 1992). Nuovi contributi di filologia e di storia della lingua latina (Bologna, 1994). Nuovi studi sul nostro Ottocento (Pisa, 1995). Virgilianisti antichi e tradizione indiretta (Florence, 2001). Il Verde e il Rosso: scritti militanti, 1966-2000, ed. L. Cortesi (Rome, 2001).

editions: Giacomo Leopardi, Scritti Filologici (with G. Pacella; Florence, 1969). Baron d’Holbach, Buon Senso (Milan, 1985). Giorgio Pasquali, Scritti filologici (with F. Bornmann and G. Pascucci, Florence, 1986). Cicero, Della divinazione (ed. 2, Milan 1991). Maria Timpanaro Cardini, Tra antichita classica e impegno civile (Pisa, 2001).


1. Il Verde e il Rosso, ed. Luigi Cortesi. Rome, 2001. I am very grateful to Professor Cortesi for sending me a copy of this volume. I note here that the second part of this review is deeply indebted to Cortesi’s excellent introduction (of which there is a very brief version in Giano 36 [2000], at as well as to the only substantial memoir I have seen in English, Perry Anderson’s fine “On Sebastiano Timpanaro” London Review of Books (10 May 2001) 8-12. Other memorials on the internet are to be found at (Giovanni Commare) and (with pictures and bibliography, to which mine is much indebted).

2. Quoted by Anderson, p.10.

3. See “The Subscriptions in the Manuscripts of Livy and Fronto and the Meaning of Emendatio,” CP 75 (1980) 38-59.

4. CP 80 (1985) 89.

5. On Materialism 47.

6. But see now the important analysis of Philip Kitcher, Science, Truth, and Democracy (Oxford, 2001).

7. “Angelo Mai,” Atene e Roma Ser. 5, 1 (1956) 3-34, reprinted in Aspetti e figure della cultura ottocentesca. Appendix A to this article remains the best introduction to the early study of palimpsests.

8. “Ricordo di Gianni Gervasoni,” Atene e Roma Ser. 5, 3 (1958) 26-29.

9. Classicismo e Illuminismo vii-viii; discussed further in Il Verde e il Rosso 169-74.

10. The relevant essays are collected in Il Verde e il Rosso; the most important (which I use here) are the autobiographical title essay, which appeared in the first issue of Giano in 1989, and “Il ‘Leopardi verde'” which appeared in Belfagor in 1987.