The Germania of Tacitus

The Germania of Tacitus

The Germania of Tacitus

The Germania of Tacitus

Excerpt

My interest in the textual criticism of the Germania dates from almost twenty years ago (grande mortalis aeui spatium), and was coincident with my work upon the text of the de Grammaticis et Rhetoribus of Suetonius. Inasmuch as my examination and classification of the manuscripts of this Suetonius fragment yielded results which were of value for improving its text, I naturally began to wonder whether the manuscripts of the Germania, deriving as they do from the same archetype as the de Grammaticis, had yielded all their secrets. My doubts on the matter seemed all the more well-founded, when I learned that the standard texts of the Germania were based upon only five or six out of a total of nearly thirty manuscripts.

The actual preparation of the present edition has extended over a period of more than twelve years, with several interruptions, some of considerable length. Whether or not the results justify the large amount of time and labor expended must be for others to decide. Although I can lay no claim to having remade the text of the Germania, which has never been among the most corrupt, I do believe that my collation of all the extant manuscripts, my classification of these manuscripts with reference to the Hersfeld codex, their common archetype, my, investigation of the manuscript evidence in the light of the information afforded by the extant fragment of the Hersfeld codex, and in particular my searching examination of the grossly neglected codex Vindobonensis 711, have all resulted in placing the text of the Germania on a much firmer manuscript foundation than has heretofore existed. I have convinced myself that in some places I have restored the text pristino nitori, that in other places I have with justification recalled to the text readings which had been banished because of a misconception of the manuscript relationship. In still . . .

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