Wednesday, February 22, 2017


A Lovable Buffoon

M.L. West (1937-2015), "Prolegomena" to Hesiod, Works & Days (1978; rpt. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), p. 69 (footnote omitted):
The next commentary after Proclus' was written by that lovable buffoon, John Tzetzes, about 1135-40. Actually it is the text of his lectures, delivered to an audience to whom he had supplied a text equipped with interlinear glosses. As lectures they must have been entertaining. For example, discussion of physical theory apropos of lines 414-22 leads him to observe that some people are naturally fragrant; so it is reported of Alexander the Great; 'and I myself have been often assured of it, although I do not use scents or anoint myself, or take baths either, except two or three times a year'.

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