Tuesday, February 05, 2013


The Meaning of Real Scholarship

Eduard Fraenkel, introduction to Friedrich Leo, Ausgewählte kleine Schriften, translated by M.L. West in Textual Criticism and Editorial Technique applicable to Greek and Latin Texts (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1973), p. 7:
I had by then read the greater part of Aristophanes, and I began to rave about it to Leo, and to wax eloquent on the magic of this poetry, the beauty of the choral odes, and so on and so forth. Leo let me have my say, perhaps ten minutes in all, without showing any sign of disapproval or impatience. When I was finished, he asked, "In which edition do you read Aristophanes?" I thought: has he not been listening? What has his question got to do with what I have been telling him? After a moment's ruffled hesitation I answered: "The Teubner". Leo: "Oh, you read Aristophanes without a critical apparatus." He said it quite calmly, without any sharpness, without a whiff of sarcasm, just sincerely taken aback that it was possible for a tolerably intelligent young man to do such a thing. I looked at the lawn nearby and had a single, overwhelming sensation: νῦν μοι χάνοι εὐρεῖα χθών. Later it seemed to me that in that moment I had understood the meaning of real scholarship.
Robert Renehan, Greek Textual Criticism: A Reader (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1969), p. 135:
If I may add an autobiographical note, it seems to me that I have learned most from my practice of reading Greek (and Latin) texts with continual reference to the apparatus criticus. Whenever a variant or conjecture is recorded, I am in the habit of posing to myself the following queries: "Has the editor chosen the reading most likely to be correct? If so, why? If not, why not?"

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