BMCR 2006.11.09

Eraclito. Questioni omeriche sulle allegorie di Omero in merito agli dèi

, , Questioni omeriche : sulle allegorie di Omero in merito agli dèi. Il mito ; 1. Pisa: ETS, 2005. 236 pages, 4 pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm.. ISBN 8846712021. €16.00.

In the final part of his extensive biography of Heraclitus Ephesius, Diogenes Laertius (9.17) records —drawing probably on the Περὶ ὁμωνύμων ποιητῶν τε καὶ συγγραφέων by Demetrius of Magnesia (fr. 27 Mejer), who flourished about 50 B.C.— four more Heracliti: an unknown lyric poet, author of an Encomium of the Twelve Gods; the Halicarnassian elegiac poet (HE 1935-1942), to whom Callimachus dedicated “il più bell’epigramma greco” (AP 7.80 = Epigr. 2 Pf. = HE 1203-1208);1 the Lesbian historian of the Macedonians (FGrHist 167); and finally the citharoedic poet who turned into the σπουδογέλοιον. No mention either of the paradoxographer (of doubtful chronological placement) who wrote the Περὶ ἀπίστων, nor of the homonymous author of the Ὁμηρικὰ προβλήματα εἰς ἃ περὶ θεῶν Ὅμηρος ἠλληγόρησεν (Latin: Quaestiones Homericae).

This latter interesting work2 was written by a mysterious author, whose origins and chronology are unknown: a terminus post quem is the quotation of Alexander Ephesius, 1st cent. B.C., in 12.8; a terminus ante quem —unfortunately very far in time— are the quotations in Venetus B scholia, in Tzetzes and in Eustathius. He is neglected in the learned and biographical tradition3 and often mistaken for the paradoxographer (so in cod. D, Vat. gr. 305) or the eclectic peripatetic Heraclides Ponticus (so in the mss. deteriores, then from the 1505 editio princeps Aldina until the 1851 E. Mehler’s edition).

Filippomaria Pontani (P.), one of the youngest and the most attentive researchers of the Homeric tradition and exegesis, offers here the first Italian translation of this work and a commentary, which is often more analytic than F. Buffière’s (Collection Budé, Paris 1962).

The Introduzione (pp. 5-40) deals with the almost unsolvable questions about the figure of the author and about the chronology of the work (pp. 5-17), the structure of the treatise (pp. 17-19), the genre and the sources (pp. 20-26), the Heraclitean notion of allegory (‘substitutive’ and asystematic, though somewhat inclined to individuate [cf. 41.12] punctual and recurring Homeric allegoremes: pp. 26-32), and finally the figure of Homer as a mystic wise man (pp. 32-40), with acute observations on the consonance between Heraclitus’ and Philo’s allegorical doctrine.

The Nota al testo (pp. 41-53), after a brief but thorough survey of the manuscripts (pp. 41-44) and of the editions (pp. 44-46), gives a sort of critical apparatus (over 160 notes), in which P. often diverges from Buffière and frequently returns to the Teubner text edited by the Sodales of the Societas Philologa Bonnensis, coordinated by F. Oelmann (Lipsiae 1910).

After a list (pp. 55-57) of reference abbreviations,4 the Greek text follows, with parallel Italian translation (pp. 60-181), and then a detailed historical and literary commentary (pp. 182-236). Unfortunately, no indexes are provided.5

Four plates show, respectively, L’Apothéose d’Homère (1827) by J.A.D. Ingres, the Roman copy of the Farnesian Bull,6 the Shield of Achilles by John Flaxman (1821) and finally the Ares and Aphrodite fresco (1469-70 ca.) by the Maestro della Bilancia (Ercole de Roberti?) in the upper band of the Month of September (Months Room, Schifanoia Palace, Ferrara).

Particularly valuable elements in the Introduzione are the close examination (pp. 10-13) of Heraclitus’ rhetorical style (verging towards homiletic-apologetic rather than explanatory tonalities) and the whole treatment of the problematic chronology of the work (pp. 9-17). P.’s sound conclusion however —”propenderei cautamente per l’inizio del II sec. d.C.” (p. 13)— does not rest, inevitably, on sufficiently firm bases. A later date, for example, cannot be excluded if the lack of Neoplatonist allegorical explanations betrays a controversial background rather than a terminus ante quem7 and if a word like σωμάτιον as ‘literary work’ is not attested before the 3rd cent. A.D.8

The considerations about the hybrid genre of the work are entirely acceptable, as those about the faint boundaries — at least from the Hellenistic era— between problemata and zetemata (p. 21).9

Like Oelmann (o.c. XXXVI-XXXVIII) and Buffière (o.c. VIIf.), P. too devotes a subsection (p. 21) to the title, which nevertheless, “ex codicum memoria restitutus”,10 seems rather to be a combination title + subtitle or genre + title, as εἰς ἃ περὶ θεῶν Ὅμηρος ἠλληγόρησεν is meant to complete, with a new sentence, the canonical one Ὁμηρικὰ προβλήματα.11

The examination of Heraclitus’ eclecticism with respect to his sources (pp. 20-26) is thorough: the Stoics in primis (Cleanthes, Posidonius and Cornutus), but also the Alexandrian grammarians (Apollodorus of Athens) and Pergamese (Crates of Mallus and Herodicus of Babylon), and above all an allegorical summa, of Stoic inspiration, used as reference also by the author of Ps.-Plutarch’s De Homero, by Ps.-Probus’ commentary to the Virgil’s sixth eclogue and by Stobaeus.12 It seems likely as well that the fragments of Heraclitus Ephesius flowed into the Problemata through a Stoic source,13 considering the history both of the Heraclitean text (heavily reinterpreted by the Stoics themselves) and of the readings of Heraclitus, in non-Stoic allegorical exegesis already in the 4th cent. B.C.14

The Nota al testo is not devoid of original contributions. As for the list of the manuscripts, P. adds the Hierosolymitanus S. Sepulcri bibl. patr. 79 (15th cent.) — containing, among several rhetorical and oratorical works, the Problemata from 48.5, then interrupting at 79.8, like the cod. A (Vat. gr. 871) — and the ‘Iliadic’ Laurentianus plut. 32.22 (15th cent.), which offers marginal excerpts from the Problemata: “un codice finora del tutto trascurato dagli studiosi” (p. 44 n. 11).

Revisions, corrections and supplements to previous editions are also helpful.15 The cod. A is backdated to the beginning of the 14th cent., the cod. D to the second half of the 13th, and the cod. O (Bodl. New College 298) to the beginning of the 13th cent. The value of the cod. O, stated by Oelmann16 and denied by Buffière,17 is here convincingly reaffirmed (pp. 47f.), and coherently reflected in the preference given to its readings in many critical notes (pp. 48-53). On the contrary, the preference assigned by Buffière to A as the codex optimus18 is justly defined “inspiegabile” (p. 47), although “i numerosi casi in cui A presenta una lezione palesemente errata” (n. 15) constitute, all in all, lectiones singulares rather than linguistic or semantic monstra, and are therefore not very useful to the point.

Moreover, although P. sensibly avoids drawing a stemma codicum, he nonetheless expresses balanced considerations (pp. 47f.) on the problematic genealogical relations of the mss.19 In particular, beside the group A, B (Vat. gr. 951), G (Lond. Royal 16.c.17, with its apograph Ricc. 41) and the Aldina edition,20 to which M must be added (antigraph of AGa, and now mutilated: it contains only 79.9-11), P. points out a further recensio, characterized by the Homeric scholia (S) which contain excerpts from the Problemata, and perhaps by the codd. O and D.21

In general, P. accepts the Bonn recensio and constitutio textus,22 and borrows from Buffière the mere division into paragraphs.23 Hence the somewhat regrettable choice not to produce a genuine critical apparatus, and to replace it only by a list of “passi interessanti sul piano testuale”: “nella gran parte dei quali”, says P., “mi sono distaccato dal testo di Buffière, intervenendo il meno possibile meo Marte e non di rado tornando alle più meditate scelte degli editori bonnensi” (p. 48). This list is, therefore, programmatically mixed, since not all textual problems are obviously notified and not all that is notified diverges from the text of Buffière (and/or from the Teubner text).

At any rate, P.’s choices seem almost always judicious and suitable.24 Obviously, in some cases further discussion is possible,25 the more so because the reasons of P.’s preferences are rarely given in the commentary. A systematic analysis of Heraclitus’ text will have to be carried out elsewhere. Here, it will suffice to record, with some comments, P.’s own twelve conjectures:

1) 5.13f.: The supplement26 a)ll’ ou)=n au)tos *(/Omhros, a)mfibo/lois e)/sq’ o(/te kai zhtoume/nais e)/ti tai=s a)llhgori/ais eu(ri/sketai xrw/menos e)nargh= ton tro/pon h(mi=n th=s e(rmhnei/as parade/dwke tou=ton is sharp: inter alia, given the ms. reading ἀλλ’ οὐδ’, which forces one to punctuate after χρώμενος, one would expect at least a δὲ after ἐναργῆ. This, however, seems to be the only occasion in the Problemata where Heraclitus attributes to Homer allegories ‘uncertain and still today discussed’.

2) 6.5: The correction ὑπαληλιμμένην ( ὑπολελημένην AB : – λημμένην Ga : – λεγμένην O) is very ingenious. Heraclitus is attentively scrutinizing ( ἀκριβῶς διαθρήσας) the ‘truth’ of Homeric verses ( ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσιν ἀλήθειαν), except that the meanings of ὑπαλείφειν (the prefix does not express ‘secrecy’) give no support to P.’s translation (“la verità segretamente spalmata”, p. 69): it would be better perhaps to accept Buffière’s (o.c. 7) ὑπολελησμένην (“cachée”).27

3) 7.9: in ὁ ἥλιος, πόρρωθεν ὁ ἀφεστὼς τῆς ἡμετέρας γῆς, ὡρῶν … ἐφίσταται AG : ὁ. ἥ., ὁ π. ἀ. κτλ. a : ὁ ἥ., π. ἀ. B : ὁ ἥ., π. ὑφεστὼς O, the insertion of the relative pronoun ὃς before πόρρωθεν, to introduce a relative clause with the participle, proves problematic: the Aldina and (perhaps even better) the text of B convey acceptable syntax and sense.

4) 8.2: the possibility of an intrusive gloss (then corrupted) for the unusual ἡ θέρειος 28 validates the deletion of the following αὐτὸν (ABG : αὐτοῦ O, Bonnenses, Buffière : αὐγὴ a).

5) 37.5: noteworthy is also ᾤχετο, cautiously suggested only in the ‘apparatus’ (p. 50), instead of ἵεται (aS) or ᾤετο (AG, accepted by Buffière29).

6) 38.1: elegant in its simplicity is the correction πρόσκαιρον ( πρὸς καιρὸν mss.), with reference to an ἔρυμα actually ‘provisional’: the adjective (another Lieblingswort of Heraclitus?) also occurs in 79.10.

7) 38.6: in a context where the φυσικοί seem to distinguish three types of earthquakes, P.’s conjecture (cautiously suggested: “possis”, p. 50) τρία γάρ τοι σεισμῶν διαφέροντα τοῖς παθήμασι οἱ φυσικοὶ λέγουσι εἴδη εἶναι καί τινας ἰδίους χαρακτῆρας ὀνομάτων ἐπιγράφουσιν αὐτοῖς κτλ. outdoes both the transmitted text ( τὰ γάρ τοι … ἴσα, which is indefensible30), and Mehler’s drastic intervention ( τρία γὰρ εἴδη … [ἴσα] : tri/a ga/r toi seismw=n … [i)/sa] Bonnenses).

8) 47.3: Heraclitus’ preference for the “citazioni integrate nel fluire del discorso” (p. 12 n. 29) certainly supports the emendation ἀνακυλίων ( ἀνακυλεῖ AGa : ἀνακυκλοῖ DS : ἀνακυλίει Gale), which sets the participle in a close continuity with the ὠθεῖ of the quotation (Il. 14.200); the case of par. 2, where κυλίνδει in the quotation (Od. 5.296) is followed by κατεκύλισεν in the exegesis, is quite different, because the exegetic section is introduced by a γάρ.

9) 49.1: certainly sensible, although perhaps in an exceedingly normalizing way, is the conjectural reconstruction, where P. reads διακριβολογησάμενος δ’ ὑπὲρ τῶν ὁλοσχερῶν ἄστρων ( ἀστέρων mss.) καὶ τὰ κατὰ μέρους ( καὶ τοὺς κ. μ. D : καὶ κ. μ. AGaS) ἐπιφανέστατα δεδήλωκεν : one might wonder if ἐπιφανέστατα is an adverb here, and whether ἀστέρων καὶ τοὺς κατὰ μέρους is therefore in its right place.

10) 64.2: P. is not persuasive when suggesting the reading μυθώδη instead of μυθώδης, relating thus the adjective to φαντασίαν rather than to λόγος, to which it seems however —and more naturally— tied.31

11) 73.3: ‘When little by little those passions wane, sense —tied to interest— begins to peep out again’: ὑπαναδύεται (Bonnenses) seems resolutive, instead of AD’s impossible ὑπαναλύεται ( ἐπαναλύεται S) but also P.’s cautious suggestion ὑπαναφύεται (in the list at p. 52) should be considered.32

12) 76.17: intelligent and undemanding is, finally, the solution suggested for this difficult appositive clause, where what is worthy of Homer’s ‘divinity’ is (according to the mss.) οὐκ ἔλαττον ἢ κατὰ πόλεις διαταττομένη καὶ μεγάλων ἡρώων ἀριστείαν (A : ἀριστείαις D): P. integrates στρατιὰ after the participle and (tacitly) replaces ἀριστείαν by ἀριστεῖαι : indeed the following examples (77.1-3), respectively from the ‘Catalogue of Ships’ (Il. 2.484 e 487) and from ‘Agamemnon’s aristeia’ (Il. 11.218f.), concern the ‘army ordered κατὰ πόλεις‘ and the ‘deeds of the heroes’.

The bibliography is near-exhaustive (obviously the latest edition of Heraclitus by D.A. Russell and D. Konstan, Heraclitus. Homeric Problems, Atlanta 2005, was unavailable to P.). One could add, among the reviews of Buffière’s edition, at least those —rich in textual and critical notes— by Wehrli (o.c. 149-152), Erbse (o.c. 552-555) and Rank (o.c. 130-132). With reference to the relationship between the Problemata and Stoicism, it might be worth mentioning Cynthia Louise Thompson’ Stoic Allegory of Homer. A Critical Analysis of Heraclitus’ Allegories, Diss. New Haven 1973. On pederasty in Plato’s Dialogues (ch. 76-78), see Maria Helena T.C. Prieto, Euphrosyne 20, 1992, 277-281. On allegorical meanings of the gods (and also on Heraclitus’ chronology), see Marta Alesso, Synthesis 8, 2001, 51-65 (Apollon, Athena, Hera and Zeus) and Circe 6, 2001, 13-29 (Hermes: esp. about ch. 59, 72f.). On a possible connection between Verg. ecl. 2.60ff. and Heraclit. All. 19.7-9, 28.1 (with 28.4-7), 54.2, 75.9, see E.A. Schmidt, SO 53, 1978, 165-170. On 79.5, see A. Grilli, RSF 33, 1978, 116-118.

The translation of this text, which is not exactly easy to render, is accurate and fluent. Beyond general agreement, just some specimens of sporadic dissent:

p. 63 (2.2): rather than “nei due poemi, guardate come troneggia in cielo Zeus”, the clause οἷος μὲν ἐν οὐρανῷ διὰ τῶν ἐπῶν καθιέρωται Ζεύς should mean ‘what a sacral character is bestowed to Zeus, in the sky, by means of the verses’.33

p. 65 (3.3): the expression ὑπὸ νόμῳ, within the sequence σεμνὴν ὑπὸ νόμῳ τῶν ποιημάτων τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἰχνεύωμεν, should be referred to the following gen. (the postponement of the complement is typically ‘koinetic’34) rather than to adj. ὑπόνομος (“sacra verità sotterranea dei poemi”, translates P.35) and understood as ‘under the established and codified meaning of the poems’.

p. 67 (5.6): “direzione” seems a quite faded translation for Alcaeus’ στάσις, a word probably already endowed with a metaphorical value: ‘insurrection’.36

p. 97 (22.3): in a context where we are told about Thales’ primigenial water, ὑφίστημι should have the philosophical meaning of ‘hypostatize’, ‘treat as subsisting’, rather than the Heraclitean one of “rappresentare” (likewise at par. 7). Also, at par. 5, where the water is the element of the elements, αἰτιώτατον should mean “cause dernière” (Buffière, o.c. 26) and not just “(elemento) più importante”.

p. 103 (25.4): besides expressing “uno slancio più violento”, the clause εἰς πλείω φορὰν παρέλθοι indicates also an extension of one’s own sphere of action, as the examples that follow.

p. 109 (29.5): “ora striscia umile per terra”, for ποτὲ μὲν ἐπὶ γῆς ἐρριμμένη ταπεινή, betrays perhaps a paretymological suggestion37 more Heraclitean than Heraclitus himself; the meaning should be: ‘on the ground now, unkempt and humble’.

p. 113 (32.2): the expression ταραχῆς καὶ πολέμου μεστὸν ᾔδεσαν τὸν βίον should mean ‘they know life is full of perturbation and wars’, with a predicative adjective, rather than “conoscevano un mondo pieno di disordine e di guerra”.

p. 113 (33.2): ‘What’s the need to meander inconveniently for the sake of such a detailed description, according to the traditional rules of our craft?’, wonders Heraclitus, using the participle of φιλοτεχνεῖν, recurring also at 44.1 (‘by a short digression, we will clearly demonstrate it, according to the traditional rules of our craft’): in both cases P.’s translation is not entirely comprehensive (“in descrizioni fini a se stesse”, 33.2; “con ordine”, 44.1).

p. 157 (65.4): as in 43.8, Heraclitus plays on the polysemy of the noun κόσμος and creates another polyptoton with a semantic slide: τὸν κόσμον ἀπέδωκε τῷ κόσμῳ (“rendesse il cosmo al cosmo”, P.) means in fact ‘he gave to cosmos its beautiful disposition’.

p. 171 (73.7): “dall’aurea verga”, for χρυσόρραπις, is a flawless translation, but it is inconsistent with Heraclitus’ argument, interpreting the epithet as derivative from ῥάπτειν : a mere transliteration, under the circumstance, would probably be more advisable.

p. 179 (77.1): the close connection with the ‘naked nouns’ ( γυμνοῖς τοῖς ὀνόμασι) makes it very likely that Heraclitus by ἐπὶ τέγους did mean that Plato shows the lust ‘as in a brothel’,38 in spite of P.’s “come su un tetto”, annotated (p. 235 n. 226) “sembra trattarsi piuttosto dell’esposizione di qualcosa ‘in cima’ al tetto”. Why ‘on a roof’? And, are there any examples of a similar expression to indicate the maximum of visibility? (For a feeble parallel, cf. Mt. 10.27, Lc. 12.3.)

The commentary (already referred to), though selective and historical-literary rather than textual-critical, is always precise and exhaustive on all chief matters of the work, from the court language that characterizes the incipit (p. 182) to Homer’s heavenly statute (p. 183), from the theory on the soul between Homer and Plato (pp. 192-194) to the relationship between epos and philosophy on the subject of the ‘elementary principles doctrine’ (pp. 195-201, 209-211), from Heracles (pp. 204f.) and Odysseus (pp. 228f.) as Stoic heroes to the different interpretations of Διὸς ἀπάτη (pp. 208-210), from allegories on Achilles’ armour —particularly on its shield as ‘image of the cosmos’ (pp. 212-219)— to the physical explanation of conflicts (pp. 219-221) and love affairs (pp. 226f.) between the gods. Very interesting are also the considerations on the ‘rationalistic’ or ‘Palaephatean’ influence on Heraclitus’ critical method (pp. 203f., 205f., 226f., 228f.). Systematic, precise and invaluable is the comparison —not devoid of accurate considerations on sources and models— between Heraclitus’ words and questions and controversies of ancient Homeric exegesis: here P., totus in illis, proves once more a very competent investigator. Here as well, it will suffice to list few more observations:

p. 186 n. 15 (5.16): if the expression δῑ ἐναντίων ἀλλήλοις πραγμάτων is to be intended in a less specific way (“au moyen d’évocations toutes différentes”, so Buffière, o.c. 6), there is no obstacle to identifying the ‘opposites’ —notwithstanding P.’s qualms— as agriculture and the battle, mentioned just before.

p. 190 n. 39 (12.9): as for Alex. Eph. SH 21.10, it should be specified that Theon read διαστάσει ( διαστὰς Heraclitus) … ἐπ’ ἄλλῃ ( ἐπ’ ἄλλου Heraclitus).

p. 196 n. 69 (22.11): Euripides’ ‘Anaxagorean’ fr. 839 K. —which in Heraclitus “pare quasi fuori posto, ed è da considerare estraneo alla fonte che il nostro autore ha in comune con lo Ps.-Plutarco e con Stobeo”— is nevertheless quoted, with reference to Anaxagoras himself,39 by Aetius as well (5.19.3), whom Diels judged as the source of the pseudo-Plutarchean Epitome and Stobaeus’ Eclogae; it might be significant, considering the relation between Heraclitus and Philo,40 that this quotation from Euripides recurs in Aet. Mund. 30 (see also 5 e 144), probably ex Arist. fr. 916 (p. 812.40ff.) G.

p. 205 n. 107 (35.3): on the ‘green fear’, see A. Lorenzoni, Eikasmos 5, 1994, 139-163.

p. 212 n. 131 (43.3): for the periphrasis ποιητῶν … παῖδες, cf. Luc. Im. 9, Ael. NA 14.16 (a similar expression: οὓς ἐρίπνας οἵ τε νομευτικοὶ φιλοῦσιν ὀνομάζειν καὶ ποιητῶν παῖδες), Clem. Al. Protr. 2.25.4, Paed. 2.2.34, Syn. Epist. 57.222, Hierac. ap. Stob. 3.5.44; such phrases become Heraclitus’ flowery style: cf. 75.5 Ἀττικῶν παῖδες.

p. 216 n. 148 (47.4-6): the paradox of an entity both ended and never-ending had already been tackled —for his concept of ‘Being’— by Parm. VS 28 B 8.

p. 222 n. 170 (60.2): on the notion of ‘insatiable Good (or Beauty)’ cf. Io. Chr. In epist. Philipp. PG 62.190.

p. 223 n. 71 (61.5): on the contrary Solon, in his famous elegy on the septennia (fr. 27,15-18 W.), thought that old age —besides the cliché of white-haired wisdom, favoured here by Heraclitus— implied also (and especially) a diminishing and weakening of mental faculties.

p. 224 n. 175 (63.4): P. comments on ἀνόπαια (proparoxytone), but in text (p. 154) reads ἀνοπαῖα (perispome).

p. 234 n. 224 (77.6): “Nel testo di Platone [Phdr. 237a] la frase ξύμ μοι λάβεσθε è senz’altro un poetismo o una vera e propria citazione o allusione a un brano di poesia”: a similar expression in E. Andr. 425, but ξύν μοι λαβοῦ occurs in Clem. Al. Protr. 6.68.2 in an address to Plato, and this may suggest that Plato himself coined (perhaps ‘à la manière de’) such a poeticism.41

The book’s layout is decorous, even though breathings (and accents) before capital letters appear fastidiously tied to the final letter of the preceding word,42 while the transliterations follow one standard within the translation (where υ = u) and another in the commentary (where υ = y). Misprints are not common, and even fewer are those not immediately emendable at first sight.43

All in all, there is no need to resort to complex allegories: it will not be immoderate to state that of this indomitable laudator Homeri —ready to do anything to extol the perfection and even the θειότης of a poet whom his earlier (and more famous) Ephesian namesake held in sovereign contempt (VS 22 B 42)— the ὁμηρικώτατος P. is today the best editor and the best annotator.


1. The (sound) definition is by L. Lehnus, in Da Aion a Eikasmos. Atti della giornata di studio sulla figura e l’opera di E. Degani. Bologna, 19 aprile 2001, Bologna 2002, 99.

2. It is fully or partially transmitted in 9 mss., cited in the scholia Homerica, and perhaps in ancient times included in a exegetic corpus together with the Porphyrian Quaestiones Homericae (according to H. Schrader, Porphyrii Quaestionum Homericarum ad Iliadem pertinentium reliquiae, vol. 2, Lipsiae 1882, 393-408).

3. Absent in the OCD and in Der Neue Pauly, he is found in TLG Canon (nr 1414), and is the subject of a documented article by K. Reinhardt in RE 8/1, 1912, 508-510.

4. Not a bibliography, as P. quotes extensively many other works in the commentary.

5. Therefore, one still has to resort to the Bonn edition.

6. The original probably dated from the 2nd cent. B.C.

7. P. himself acknowledges that “la datazione e silentio è dunque nel nostro caso alquanto rischiosa” (p. 10). At any rate, discussions in ch. 4 and 76 seem to imply a cultural context where Homer and Plato competed for priority as educational and literary model.

8. See LSJ 1749.

9. However, in several cases the technical term εὑρίσκω has a phraseological rather than a ‘zetematic’ meaning.

10. Oelmann, o.c. XXXVIII: the cod. M (Ambr. B 99) reads Ἡρακλείτου Ὁμηρικῶν προβλημάτων εἰς ἃ κτλ..

11. On the cover, as well as at pp. 59 and 61, “Sulle allegorie …”, with capital initial, would perhaps have been better.

12. A plausible hypothesis by H. Diels, Doxographi Graeci, Berolini 1879, 88-99.

13. P. (pp. 23 and 198 n. 77) takes instead a direct use for granted.

14. The Derveni Papyrus, in a different perspective, is a striking example.

15. The list of the editions is now endowed, with respect to Oelmann’s and Buffière’s works, with those of C. G. Heyne (in the appendix of his second Iliad edition, Oxonii 1821) and P. Matranga, Anecdota Graeca, I, Romae 1850.

16. “Haud parva est utilitate” (o.c. XXI).

17. “Une étude attentive de toutes les variantes de O nous a convainçu de sa médiocre valeur” (o.c. XLVII).

18. Oelmann as well (o.c. XXIX) acknowledged its excellence.

19. But they are not “gli accordi in lezione corretta” that outline them (despite the warnings in n. 16).

20. Based on a ‘brother’ of G (signed a), and in its turn the model for the Scor. Σ.I.20.

21. But here too, the agreement on correct readings, or “chiaramente superiori” (p. 48 and nn. 20f.), does not prove much.

22. Mitigating however its “interventismo forse eccessivo” (p. 47).

23. This explains the anodyne expression at pp. 46f.: “il testo che si presenta qui si fonda su quello di Buffière […] e su quello della Societas Philologa Bonnensis”.

24. For example, at 7.14, 12.3f., 16.4, 22.12, 25.4, 32.1, 40.5, 43.9, 45.7, 65.2, 67.2, 70.3 and 10, 72.8, 79.5 and 9.

25. For example, at 1.6, 9.12, 20.5, 21.1, 25.3, 26.4 and 11, 32.2f., 33.1 and 8, 34.5, 39.8, 41.3, 42.5, 44.4, 46.6, 48.8, 52.4, 65.5, 68.7, 69.1 and 11, 70.7 and 11, 72.11, 73.6, 78.4.

26. Already suggested by C. G. Heyne, in his Preface to N. Schow’s edition, 1782, XVI.

27. In spite of F. Wehrli’s doubts (Gnomon 36, 1964, 152).

28. Probably, also the O’s ὥρα derives either from the margins or from an exegetic scribal addendum, although H. Erbse (Gymnasium 72, 1965, 553) preserves it.

29. But see Wehrli, o.c. 151.

30. In spite of Buffière, o.c. 111: see Wehrli, o.c. 152.

31. Cf. e.g. Isoc. 2.38, 4.28, 12.1, Pl. R. 522a, Arist. Mete. 350b 8, Str. 7.7.12, Plu. Non posse 1105b, Lib. 6.38, [Plu.] Hom. 2.48, etc.

32. Cf. e.g. Ctes. FGrHist 688 F 45d.beta, Ael. NA 4.21, 10.13, 14.4, VH 12.14, 14.7 e 41.

33. Did P. wish to exploit a verbal similarity to καθιζάνω ?

34. See P. himself (p. 11 n. 25).

35. P. 65; see also the commentary (p. 183).

36. See G. Burzacchini, in E. Degani-G. B., Lirici greci, Bologna 2005 (2nd ed.), 219.

37. Perceiving the echo of ἕρπειν in ἐρριμμένη ?

38. Thus Rank, o.c. 312 and D. Russell, in G. R. Boys-Stones (ed.), Metaphor, Allegory, and the Classical Tradition, Oxford 2003, 232.

39. Though for ll. 12-14, not quoted by Heraclitus.

40. Underlined by P. too (pp. 35-40).

41. Some further (minimal) remarks:

1.pp. 10f.: P.’s decision not to distinguish between hapax legomena and first evidences in his analysis of Heraclitus’ Wortschatz (n. 23) is understandable, though sometimes penalizing (as this work is hard to date): at any rate, ὑποδιακονέομαι is also in Poll. 4.92, Arg. Theoc. 2a; προσεξυβρίζομαι relies on a model in προσενυβρίζομαι at Plb. 4.4.2; the active form of ἀρρενόω occurs again in Syn. Epist. 146, ἀναχαλινόω in the lexicographers (Hsch. α 4677, 4683 L., Sud. α 2063 A.). Among the “parole o nessi che trovano riscontro solo in autori dell’età imperiale” (p. 10) the following should be removed: ἀρτιμαθής (cf. E. Hec. 687), μονονουκ (cf. Demad. fr. 127 De F.), ὑπόπλεως (cf. Hdt. 7.47), ἀρτιθαλής (cf. Mel. AP 5.198.4), νεοθλιβής (cf. Aristo AP 7.457.3 = HE 788; see also Nic. Al. 299) and ὑποσχίζω (cf. Hp. Oss. 12, v.l. in Arist. HA 512a 30), while πρωτοπαγής meaning ‘primigenial’ is clearly a semantic extension of an old Homeric epithet (cf. e.g. Il. 5.194).

1.p. 15: it is possible —though not sure— that Tzetzes’ clause (in Il. p. 4.3-9 Herm.) τὴν ὅλην Ἰλιάδα καὶ τὴν Ὀδύσσειαν presupposes his awareness of the incomplete status of the work (the interpretation of Od. 11-19 is lacking indeed), as P. Cesaretti believed (Allegoristi di Omero a Bisanzio, Milano 1991) and P. seems prone to accept (p. 15 n. 43); ὅλην might in fact concern the two poems (see Schwyzer, GG 2.604f.), and Tzetzes might be stressing the gap between Heraclitus’ presumptive completeness ( Ἡράκλειτος … φυσικῶς … καὶ ῥητορικῶς κατὰ τὸ δοκοῦν ἐκείνῳ τὴν ὅλην Ἰλιάδα καὶ τὴν Ὀδύσσειαν ἠλληγόρησεν) and the substantial insufficiency, both in quality and in quantity, of his allegorical exegesis ( εἰ δέ τις ἐθελήσειεν ἀκριβῶς ἐπεξεργάσασθαι τὴν ἀλήθειαν οὐδὲ πολλοστημέριον ἠλληγορηκότα τοῦτον εὑρήσειεν ἀλλ’ ἢ παντελῶς ὀλίγα τινὰ καὶ ταῦτα ἀτέλεστα). One also may wonder whether the hints of allegorical interpretation in ch. 70 are a summary of more detailed explanations then slipped in the ascertained lacuna between ch. 74 and 75 (surely preceding the ‘plus-proche-commun ancêtre’ of earlier manuscripts), or rather an intentional résumé meant to shorten the exegesis of the Odyssey (on Heraclitus’ avowed preteritions, as well as on his unkept promises, like that at 6.2, see P., pp. 20f.), since the character of the second poem was perhaps less open to attack, on a moral level, than that of the first one (see esp. ch. 60). At any rate, there are no comments upon Od. 21-24.

1.p. 28: among the passages “citati esplicitamente come allegorie” E. fr. 839.8-11 K. should not have been included: this is quoted at 22.11 for its similarities with Anaxagoras —in his turn influenced by Homeric allegories— but not as an allegorical text. Besides, for the coinage of the technical word ‘allegory’ —rightly placed in the 1st cent. B.C.— it cannot be ruled out that Cleanthes (SVF 1.118 [526]) and Berosus (FHG 2.1a.77) had already made use of it.

1.p. 33: it is curious to notice the affinity —also lexical— between the aims of the Homeric allegoresis according to the pseudo-Plutarchean De Homero (92.3 ὅπως οἱ μὲν φιλομαθοῦντες … ῥᾷον ζητῶσί τε καὶ εὑρίσκωσι τὴν ἀλήθειαν, οἱ δὲ ἀμαθεῖς μὴ καταφρονῶσι τούτων ὧν οὐ δύνανται συνιέναι) and the goals of the obscurity of Heraclitus Ephesius’ σύγγραμμα according to Diogenes Laertius (9.6 ὅπως οἱ δυνάμενοι [μόνοι] προσίοιεν αὐτῷ καὶ μὴ ἐκ τοῦ δημώδους εὐκαταφρόνητον ᾖ).

1.pp. 35-40: the insistence on the “esclusività della dottrina allegorica” —which unites Heraclitus and Philo: in contrast, for P., to “l’apertura pedagogica” of the Problemata and therefore “poco appropriata al contesto”— could well be, rather than a “‘posa’ memore di certo argomentare di Filone”, a hyperrhetorical protreptic and psychagogic device, in order to tempt the reader to approach a difficult and ‘exclusive’ challenge.

1.p. 45: it would have been appropriate to specify that the second edition of T. Gale’s Opuscula mythologica (Amstelaedami 1688; in the first one, Cantabrigiae 1671, Heraclitus’ Problemata were not included) was actually edited by M. Meibom.

1.p. 47 n. 18: there are no instances of Ga’s agreement in correct reading against AB, since at 7.9 P. accepts (rightly) O’s ἐπιτηδείων against Ga’s ἐπιγείων.

42. This inconvenience is however confined to the introduction and the commentary.

43. On p. 11 l. 2 read “78, 7”; 12 n. 32 ll. 4f. “38, 3 e 5 δοκεῖ e 41, 12 δοκεῖ / δοκοῦσα“; 23 ll. 3f. “24, 6″; 26 ll. 5f. from the bottom ” φιλοσοφεῖν ἀλληγορικῶς“; 30 l. 4 “41, 10”; 34 l. 7 “70, 13”; 48 n. 21 ll. 2f. “70, 6, 8, 9, 10; 72, 11; 75, 10, 12.”; 49 l. 11 f.t.b. “16, 4”; 51 l. 16 “43, 3”; 55 l. 3 f.t.b. “De Homero, ι Stuttgart”; 56 l. 18 “edd.”; 132 l. 24 ” ὗλαι“; 205 l. 6 f.t.b. “198)”.