Friday, July 28, 2017


Überlieferungsgeschichte and Quellenforschung

D. Iunii Iuvenalis Saturae. Editorum in usum edidit A.E. Housman (London: Grant Richards, 1905), p. xxviii (from Housman's introduction):
The truth is, and the reader has discovered it by this time if he did not know it beforehand, that I have no inkling of Überlieferungsgeschichte. And to the sister science of Quellenforschung I am equally a stranger: I cannot assure you, as some other writer will assure you before long, that the satires of Juvenal are all copied from the satires of Turnus. It is a sad fate to be devoid of faculties which cause so much elation to their owners; but I cheer myself by reflecting how large a number of human beings are more fortunate than I. It seems indeed as if a capacity for these two lines of fiction had been bestowed by heaven, as a sort of consolation-prize, upon those who have no capacity for anything else.
M. Annaei Lucani Belli Civilis Libri Decem. Editorum in usum edidit A.E. Housman (Oxford: Basil Backwell, 1950), p. xiii (from Housman's introduction):
I touch with reluctance, as Gibbon might say, and dispatch with impatience, an idle yet pretentious game in which Lucan's less serious critics find amusement, and which they call Ueberlieferungsgeschichte, because that is a longer and nobler name than fudge.

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