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Un estudio sobre Justo Lipsio y su traducción de Tácito


  • Justus Lipsius and the Text of TacitusAuthor(s): C. O. BrinkReviewed work(s):Source: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 41, Parts 1 and 2 (1951), pp. 32-51Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman StudiesStable URL: .Accessed: 25/03/2012 18:08

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    Editors, and other students, of the text of Tacitus have of late been taken up with the problems of the two codices unici and perhaps have tended to neglect the contributions made by their predecessors. If this be true, Dr. J. Ruysschaert has rendered a service to scholarship in publishing a book on Juste Lipse et les Annals de Tacite: utne me'thode de critique textuelle aut XVIe siecle.1 It is safe to say that up to the nineteenth century a commentary on the text of Tacitus in the main consisted of comments by, and on, Lipsius. Much of this lore was gathered together in I. Bekker's Variornum edition of I83I and, augmented by G. H. Walther's more unorthodox notes and a critique of them, in Ruperti's four volumes of I832-39. At that time, however, a breach in the tradition occurred and the Corpus Lipsianum (if this name may be applied to the lore in the Var-ior-um editions) became less known than it deserves.2

    To many readers of Tacitus the work of Lipsius is probably known only from those emendations of his that survive in our texts and critical notes. But if the reader is also a student of the text he needs more than that, and Ruysschaert provides him with more. He offers a full, if not alvays complete or correct, list of Lipsius's emendations from his numerous editions of the Annals. Armed with this list and one of the Var-ior-um editions, say Ruperti, the student will find not only more but also wider and more varied comments than the modern notes to which Lipsius's name is appended would lead him to expect. Ruysschaert has laboured hard to relate Lipsius's text to other early humanists' work upon the same text. He has investigated the provenance of many emendations, whether Lipsius labelled them as imported or not, and has paid particular attention to what he calls the concealed emendation-that is, a conjecture not distinguished by the editor from the transmitted text. Ruysschaert offers some i,o6o items. Though the contents of the list are a great deal more arbitrary than may appear at first sight,3 there is here a goodly quarry from which anv textual critic may draw ad libitum.

    The present writer proposes to discuss tvo points arising from Ruysschaert's book. In the first section of this paper attention is given to what precisely is meant by that

    me'thode de critique textuelle ' of which, according to Ruysschaert, Lipsius is possessed. The second section is concerned with a scrutiny of textual difficulties in the first book of the Annals, and vith Lipsius's solutions of them. There are no cut-and-dried ansvers to these questions, and Ruysschaert's analysis of his own material fails mainly because, instead of arguing controversial points, he takes his clues from a modern ' definitive edition. He is, in fact, more interested in Lipsius than in Tacitus, but it is to Tacitus that

    Ruvsschaert's book was published by the 'Bibliotheque de I'Universite, Louvain, I949. Prof. A. MvIomigliano reviewed it in YRS xxxix (I949), I90, the present writer in CR LXIV (I950), I20. In the following pages reference is made to the chapters and lines of C. D. Fisher's Oxford text, for the Ainnals and the Histories, and, for the Opera Minora, to the chapters and sections of Furneaux's Oxford text. The sections intioduced in the recent editions of the Ainnals do not always square. It would be convenient if Fisher's meritorious editions could be brought up to date, and, at the same time, be divided into sections.

    2 Information on this score in Wilamowitz's and Sandvs's histories of classical scholarship is not very enlightening and occasionally incorrect. According to Wilamowitz (Geschlichte der Philologie 26), Lipsius was the first editor of Tacitus to use the Medicean manuscripts-which he was not. Sandys is more correct about the JlIedicei, but in the one specimen of Lipsius's textual criticism that he offers, in his Historv of Classical Scholarship II, 303, he confuses conjecture and transmitted text: for both points, see below, pp. 33 ff. and 5i. Lipsius's interest in the criticism of the text of Tacitus continued while his other interests changed. His Tacitus went through

    eight or more editions, and manv changes, from I 574 to the posthumous folio of I607. (The actual number is not easily available as the two fullest lists do not quite agree: see Ruysschaert xi f., and H. Goelzer in his large edition of the Histories I920, I, p. xviii, n. 3, to which Prof. G. B. A. Fletcher draws my attention.) Yet, according to Sandvs, l.c., only two editions appeared in his lifetime.

    3 The list, in fact, contains either too much or too little. If Ruysschaert had restricted his collections to Lipsius's own emendations the list would have shrunk considerably, and a clearer pictuLre of the humanist's ars emtienidanidi would have emerged. If, on the other hand, it was his purpose to show the progress made by Lipsius as against earlier editions or, indirectly, as against the Medicei, he should have recorded the emendations due to Puteolanus, Beroaldus, and Rhenanus which appeared by the hundred in Lipsius's text as ' concealed emenda- tions '. The same applies to the items taken over from Pichena for Lipsius's posthumous edition of I 607. As it is, Ruvsschaert's figure of I,o64

    corrections lipsiennes is likely to cause confusion. There are after all in the Ainnals not anything like that number of ' corrections lipsiennes


    wve must go if ve care to assess the valu-e of Lipsius's criticism. Since the principles of editing Tacitus have recently been called in question, there seems to be an additional reason for studying the criticism of the sospitator, Taciti.

    I. LIPSIUS'S EDITORIAL PRACTICE Dr. Ruysschaert applies nineteenth-century terms to sixteenth-century editorial

    practice. He makes much of e,nendatio, collatio, eliminatio codicunm, and the rest. All this is supposed to add up to ' une methode de critique textuelle ', the ' methode lipsienne ' for which he claims ' valeur et originalite '. The work of Lipsius presents a very different aspect to the present vriter.

    Oving to Ruysschaert's labours it is not nov difficult to define the use to which Lipsius put his manuscripts, to state precisely the manuscripts he used and those which he did not use. The negative point is an important one. As is well known, the major historical vorks of Tacitus are preserved in tvo codices unici-Annals I-VI in a iVlediceus of the ninth century, the rest of the Annals and the Histories in a 1lIediceus of the eleventh century. There are no apographa of the first 1lIediceus, but Annals XI-XVI and the Histor-ies are also preserved in numerous codices of the fifteenth century, all, directly or indirectly,4 copied from the second 1lIediceus. The 1lIediceus no. I had been collated in i5I5 by Beroaldus Jr. for his editio pr-inceps of Annals i-vi, and by Victorius for his private use in I542. It may or may not have been seen by Ferrettus,5 but its readings vere not again used to any large extent until Pichena published his NTotae in i6oo (2nd ed. I604), and his edition in I607. The Mediceus no. ii had not been used before Pichena for any printed edition.

    Various accounts have been given of Lipsius's use of the Mledicei.6 The facts are, however, easily stated. There are some fev references to the M\Iedicean manuscripts in his editions published before Pichena. They are all secondhand and due either (indirectly) to Beroaldus or (directly) to Ferrettus. When Pichena published his NTotae, Lipsius's own text and commentary had gone through several editions and vas rightly considered a major vork of scholarship. Lipsius himself considered that his work vas done. The new publication caused him, however, to revise his text and notes. It may be gathered both from his letters and from the preface to his editio ultimna that what Lipsius looked for vas not improvement, but confirination, of his text. A nev edition appeared, post- humously,7 in I607-the same year which also sav Pichena's own edition. There wTere numerous changes, some marking his independence, and not alvays well considered, others based on Pichena though not frequently enough, and often unacknowledged.,8 It will be seen from this account that whatever Lipsius's merits as an editor the use he made of the twNTO codices is unsatisfactory. Twice he failed to utilize what he (after Pichena) considered manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries-as a young man, during his stay in Italy,9 and after Pichena's publications.10 For the restoration of a sound

    4 This has been recognized since Orelli, Baiter, and Andresen. F. Grat, JlIklaniges d'Archleol. et d'Hist. de lEcole Fran_. de Romtie XLII (1925), con- sidered one of the V7aticani (I958) an independent witness. I do not feel convinced bh his arguments nor bh the review