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Aeschylus’ ‘Semele or Water-Bearers’: Manuscripts and Plot

By Enrico Emanuele Prodi

The fragments explicitly attributed to Aeschylus’ Σεμέλη ἢ Ὑδροφόροι are four in total (221-224 Radt), all from scholiastic or lexicographical sources. Their aid in reconstructing the plot is minimal. More helpful is a scholion to Apollonius of Rhodes (1.636a Wendel) according to which Aeschylus showed on stage a pregnant and possessed Semele and a group of females (surely the chorus) also became possessed when they touched her; this notice probably refers to the Semele (Schütz).

Spurning Glosses: Etymological Interpretation of Poetry as a Social Phenomenon at Plutarch’s Symposia

By David F. Driscoll

           During the Second Sophistic etymological interpretations of obsolete words and archaic poetry served as a means for determining customs in the distant past. Since the past carried important ramifications for prestige and status in contemporary society, these etymological interpretations thus carried considerable weight (Whitmarsh 2001, Oikonomopoulou 2007). It has been insufficiently appreciated, however, that in certain performance settings individuals not only objected to specific examples of this practice but to the use of the practice altogether.

An Entwicklungsgeschichte of a Text? Werner Jaeger and Aristotle’s Metaphysics

By Mirjam Kotwick

Werner Jaeger’s work on Aristotle, and particularly the Metaphysics is characterized by the basic idea that inconsistencies in Aristotle’s writings are reflections of different stages in the philosopher’s intellectual development. Although Jaeger’s interpretation was rather influential on 20th-century Aristotelian scholarship, his method is out of fashion today and his conclusions have often been questioned (e.g. Cherniss 1935, Lachtermann 1990).

Using an Epitome to Decode Byzantine Reception of Planoudes’ Translation of Macrobius’ "Commentarii"

By Karen Carducci

     Greek translations of Latin literature remained uncommon throughout antiquity and the Byzantine world; the elegant Atticizing translations by the scholar monk Maximos Planoudes (c.1255–c.1305) were rare accomplishments indeed (Salanitro 1988). Planoudes’ translations of Ovid (Her., Met., and portions of Am.) and Boethius (De cons.) are deservedly popular (for editions: v. Fisher 2002, n. 55).

The Text of the Aegritudo Perdicae

By Louis Zweig

The Aegritudo Perdicae is a late Latin epyllion of 290 verses. Scholars tentatively agree that it was composed during the fifth century in North Africa. The poem remained unknown to modern scholars until 1876, when Dümmler announced its existence in a footnote to his ‘Gedichte an Prudentius’. Dümmler mentioned it only as one of the works contained in the early sixteenth-century manuscript Harleianus 3685 (H). Baehrens took notice and became the poem’s first editor in the following year.