Tuesday, February 01, 2022


Stigma Misread

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, Vol. I (London: Rest Fenner, 1817), pp. 248-249 (footnote in Chapter 12):
Coleridge here quoted lines 180-182 and 187-200 from Synesius' 3rd (not 4th) hymn. Here are lines 187-188 transcribed (with στ for stigma ϛ):
Μύστας δὲ νόος
Τά τε καὶ τὰ λέγει
Adam Roberts in his edition of the Biographia Literaria (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014), p. 176, with n. 542, printed and translated these lines as follows (brackets in original):
Μύςας δέ Νόος
Τά τε καὶ τά λέγει

Music of the mind, [Synesius actually wrote 'Μύστας', 'mysteries']
speak of this thing and that
Roberts didn't realize that Coleridge did have Μύστας, just not in the Porsonian character set. He also didn't recognize the light Doric coloring of the word (= μύστης, "one initiated in [the mysteries]"), mistook the uncontracted nominative form of νοῦς, and found an imperative in λέγει. The lines should be translated "Initiated mind speaks now of this, now of that."

Hat tip: Kenneth Haynes.


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?