Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period

Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period

Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period

Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period

Synopsis

Ancient greek scholarship constitutes a precious resource for classicists, but one that is underutilized because graduate students and even mature scholars lack familiarity with its conventions. The peculiarities of scholarly Greek and the lack of translations or scholarly aids often discourages readers from exploiting the large body of commentaries, scholia, lexica, and grammatical treatises that have been preserved on papyrus and via the manuscript tradition. Now, for the first time, there is an introduction to such scholarship that will enable students and scholars unfamiliar with this material to use it in their work. Ancient Greek Scholarship includes detailed discussion of the individual ancient authors on whose works scholia, commentaries, or single-author lexica exist, together with explanations of the probable sources of that scholarship and the ways it is now used, as well as descriptions of extant grammatical works and general lexica. These discussions, and the annotated bibliography of more than 1200 works, also include evaluations of the different texts of each work and of a variety of electronic resources. This book not only introduces readers to ancient scholarship, but also teaches them how to read it. Here readers will find a detailed, step-by-step introduction to the language, a glossary of over 1500 grammatical terms, and a set of more than 200 passages for translation, each accompanied by commentary. The commentaries offer enough help to enable undergraduates with as little as two years of Greek to translate most passages with confidence; in addition, readers are given aids to handling the ancient numerical systems, understanding the references found in works of ancient scholarship, and using an apparatus criticus (including an extensive key to the abbreviations used in an apparatus). Half the passages are accompanied by a key, so that the book is equally suitable for those studying on their own and for classes with graded homework.

Excerpt

In recent years a growing interest in ancient scholarship has brought sources that used to be considered obscure into the mainstream of modern classical scholarship. This development is welcome, not only because the extant remains of ancient scholarship shed valuable light on ancient literature, but also because ancient scholarship is a fascinating subject in its own right, and its study can teach us a great deal about our own profession. But the increase in interest has brought with it some problems of access. It is more and more the case that Classicists, both graduate students and professors, need to consult ancient works of scholarship that they find difficult to use because of a lack of familiarity with the resources of the genre and with the peculiarities of scholarly Greek. This book is intended to remedy that problem and make ancient scholarship accessible to all Classicists.

Some types of ancient scholarship, of course, are already widely available: many treatises on rhetorical theory and literary criticism, such as Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Poetics and ps.-Longinus’ On the Sublime, are well supplied with good editions, translations, commentaries, and abundant modern discussions. the same applies to biographies of writers by mainstream authors such as Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius, and to the numerous commentaries on and interpretations of the Bible and other works of Judeo-Christian religious literature. This book therefore omits all these categories of material and concentrates on those that are currently most difficult to find and use: scholia, secular commentaries, lexica, grammatical treatises, and a few closely related works such as the Suda. Metrical treatises and notes have generally been omitted because metrical studies form a separate, specialized field with its own conventions and a large body of terminology that it would not have been practical to include here; the most useful metrical works are nevertheless discussed to give an introduction to that subject. For convenience the term “scholarship” will be used in this book as a cover term for the particular genres included in the book, in other words to refer to any type of work concentrating on the words, rather than the ideas, of ancient pagan authors: textual criticism, interpretation, literary criticism of specific passages, grammar, syntax, lexicography, etc. No implication that biblical, rhetorical, or other studies are inherently “unscholarly” is intended by this usage.

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