BMCR 2007.04.02

Response: Hinard on Harvey on François Hinard and Yasmina Benferhat, Cicéron. Discours (Tome 1.2): Pour Sextus Roscius

Response to 2007.03.35

Response by

I once promised myself that I would never respond to a review of my work, but I can not keep this promise with respect to Harvey’s review because it contains some misunderstandings that I cannot let stand.

No, I do not claim that this oration was an attack against Sulla: that was Carcopino’s thesis, which I in fact try to systematically refute here. I leave it to the (attentive) reader to decide whether or not this refutation is a convincing one.

No, one cannot present this affair by simply summarizing the broad outlines of the advocate’s oration, as Harvey does. To proceed in this manner renders impossible any historical approach to this case.

No, in these conditions, the review is not informative, but instead intended to be demonstrative of the scenario imagined by the advocate Cicero to save the head of his client and of the procedural means on which he could base his defense.

No, the words fides, ius, monstrum, crudelitas are not keywords taken from the book by my dear late friend Joseph Hellegouarc’h, but are analyzed in order to show that, if this oration is most certainly a political speech, it is not because Cicero implicates therein one of Sulla’s freedmen but because he expounds the bases on which he will found the political career that he has announced he will launch.

No, the critical apparatus I have provided with the text is not a development of my predecessors’, and, if it is not as full (I do not understand what this word means when applied to a critical apparatus) as that of Kasten, it is because I tried to be perfectly faithful to the principles of the Collection, that is to say, to provide a positive apparatus and to distinguish textual problems from mere questions of the written form. And I hope that it is, in fact, ‘sufficient to indicate the textual tradition of this oration .’

No, I have not increased the number modern conjectures, but even eliminated a good many because the variants proposed by modern editors were to be found in manuscripts that had not been collated previously, or because I showed that the lacunae in the Parisinus 14749 were the result of secondary corrections and not spaces left free to the imagination of philologists. And as far as the three examples cited by Harvey of ‘conservative’ choices are concerned, I would have been appreciative if he had given the reasons why I conserved the text of the manuscript, reasons which I explained and which are related to my rejection of an overly normative conception of Latin grammar.

Yes, I would like for reviewers to really examine this edition (without forgetting the 47 pages of notes), even if their judgments are highly critical (in which case I will not reply publicly): that would prove that we have not carried out this work in vain.