Wednesday, May 24, 2023


Nobody Did

C.O. Brink, English Classical Scholarship: Historical Reflections on Bentley, Porson, and Housman (1986; rpt. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. Ltd, 2010), p. 25 (on Richard Bentley):
There was no teacher to tell him what he should do, for the simple reason that few had understood that the fragmentary nature of the surviving classical literatures demanded an intimate knowledge of late and often absurdly debased writings for the reconstruction of classical works that had been lost, and for correcting and explaining those that had survived.
Id., pp. 26-27:
Again one needs to ask who had told him about codices and their scripts, who taught him palaeography, who gave him the sort of information undergraduates are now given in their classical courses. The answer must be that nobody did. He found out for himself, and soon was able to make discoveries and put them to the astonishing use that marks his early books.

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