Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Dissertation Topics

Paul Shorey (1857-1934), "Philology and Classical Philology," Classical Journal 1.6 (May, 1906) 169-196 (at 175-176):
The titles of essays cited in Athenaeus, Plutarch, and Diogenes Laertius could be paralleled only in the list of the books which Pantagruel found in the library of St. Victor, or in the complaint by Democritus junior—"more books every day, pamphlets, currantoes, stories, whole catalogues of volumes of all sorts." On this mass of material the brazen-entrailed polymaths and pronoun-splitting grammarians battened and fed, creating the scholarship and criticism of Alexandria, Pergamon, and Rome. The names of their lucubrations read like a catalogue of German doctoral dissertations. You will not easily distinguish ancient from modern titles in the following authentic list: "A Letter to a Friend on the Lengthening of Syllables in the (Lost) Epic Poets;" "Concerning an Obscure Quality of Hash Mentioned in the New Comedy;" "On the Wicker Wagon Used by Agesilaus in Xenophon's Biography of Him;" "On Aristophanes' Fit of Hiccoughs in the Platonic Symposium;" "The Literature of Cookies;" "On Zeus Shoofly at Olympia;" "Concerning Rhodian Mice;" "On a Peculiar Shell-Fish Mentioned by Alcaeus;" "A Logarithmic Table of the Quantities of the Last Five Syllables of Every Sentence in Plato's Dialogues."

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