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NEGLECTED EVIDENCE FOR ARISTOTLE, HISTORIA ANIMALIVM 7(8) IN THE WORKS OF ANCIENT HOMERIC SCHOLARS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2021

Robert Mayhew*
Affiliation:
Seton Hall University

Abstract

This brief article aims to supplement Stefan Schnieders's presentation of the evidence for Historia animalium 7(8)—that is, Book 7 according to the manuscript tradition, Book 8 according to Theodore Gaza's rearrangement—having been considered the seventh book of this work in antiquity. This is accomplished through the discussion of two texts not considered by Schnieders, both of them passages commenting on Iliad Book 21: P.Oxy. 221 (col. X 11–14) and Porphyry, Homeric Questions Book 1 (§8, page 43.8–14 Sodano).

Type
Shorter Notes
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association

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References

1 Books 8–9 according to the numbering imposed by Theodore Gaza (in his fifteenth-century Latin translation), which has become standard; Books 7–8, according to ancient accounts as well as the manuscript tradition. The latter order was restored in Balme, D., Aristotle: History of Animals: Books VII–X (Cambridge, MA., 1991)Google Scholar and Balme, D., Aristotle: Historia animalium, Vol. 1: Books I–X: Text, Prepared for Publication by A. Gotthelf (Cambridge, 2002)Google Scholar. I follow Balme's notation and refer throughout to Historia animalium Book 7(8), i.e. Book 7 according to the paradosis, Book 8 according to Theodore Gaza's rearrangement. (These alterations were a consequence of Gaza having concluded that the tradition's Book 9 in fact belonged after Book 6.)

2 Schnieders, S., Aristoteles. Historia animalium: Buch VIII und IX (Berlin, 2020), 99102Google Scholar, which includes references to earlier discussions of the relevant texts.

3 Schnieders (n. 2), 102–3, Balme (n. 1 [2002]), 1–6, Kullmann, W., Aristoteles als Naturwissenschaftler (Berlin, 2014), 291–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 I have discussed both of these texts before in The Classical Quarterly, though not in connection with the order of the books of the Historia animalium. See below, notes 6 and 17.

5 First published in Grenfell, B. and Hunt, A., The Oxyrhynchus Papyrus Part II (London, 1899), 5285Google Scholar. See also Erbse, H., Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem (scholia vetera), vol. 5 (Berlin, 1977), 78Google Scholar and Montanari, F., ‘24. Aristoteles 30T’, in Adorno, F. et al. (edd.), Corpus dei papiri filosofici Greci e Latini. Parte I: Autori noti 1* (Firenze, 1989), 319–26Google Scholar.

6 Mayhew, R., ‘Aristotle on Homer on eels and fish in Iliad 21’, CQ 70 (2020), 639–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 For instance, according to Aristonicus, Aristarchus athetized both passages, ‘because Homer distinguished the eels from the fish’ (ὅτι διέστειλε τὰς ἐγχέλεις ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων, schol. AT Il. 21.353a Ariston. [Erbse]).

8 I consulted a digital photograph of P.Oxy. 221, but rely on Grenfell and Hunt (n. 5) and on Montanari (n. 5) for its transcription. Here and elsewhere, translation from the Greek is my own.

9 Grenfell and Hunt (n. 5), 80: ‘ἀμαρτύρως = “without quoting him in full”’. Montanari (n. 5), 321, however, takes this to refer to Aristotle's claim about eels: Aristotele afferma senza prove …

10 Aristotle's name is mentioned thirteen lines earlier in the papyrus.

11 Grenfell and Hunt (n. 5), 80; van der Valk, M., Researches on the Text and Scholia of the Iliad, Part One (Leiden, 1963), 439Google Scholar; Keaney, J.J., ‘Two notes on the tradition of Aristotle's writings’, AJPh 84 (1963), 5263Google Scholar, at 54 n. 5; Montanari (n. 5), 321. Keaney writes (without further discussion, and unrelated to the order of the books): ‘In P. Oxy., II, 221, col. 10, lines 11–12, Aristotle εν τω ζ is cited: the reference is to H. A., VIII, 2, 592a23.’

12 In the case of Aristotle's multi-book works, ζ can refer to Book 6 or to Book 7, depending on whether the pre-Hellenistic or the Hellenistic numbering system is used. See Primavesi, O., ‘Ein Blick in den Stollen von Skepsis: vier Kapitel zur frühen Überlieferung des Corpus Aristotelicum’, Philologus 151 (2007), 51–77, especially 63–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar. But Historia animalium Book 6 does not make sense in this context—unless there was confusion stemming from the quotation from Historia animalium Book 6 much earlier in this passage.

13 It likely refers to river fish, as ἰχθῦς, like οἱ ποτάμιοι, is masculine, whereas ἔγχελυς is feminine. On both possibilities, see Schnieders (n. 2), 400–1.

14 Berger, F., Die Textgeschichte der Historia animalium des Aristoteles (Wiesbaden, 2005), 3942Google Scholar briefly discusses this text in her account of ancient references to the Historia animalium and considers its possible textual variants; but she does not refer to it in connection with the order of the books in the Historia animalium. Further, she quotes from P.Oxy. 221 as follows: ‘… τῶν ἰχθύων, ὅτι οὔτε ἐξ ὀχείας γίνονται, καθά φησιν Ἀριστοτέλης, … ἐν δὲ τῷ ζʹ (Hist. an. 592a23–4) φησὶν αὐτὸν λέγειν Δίδυμος ἀμαρτύρως ὅτι καὶ ἀλληλοφάγον ἐστὶν καὶ ὅτι ζῇ ζʹ καὶ ηʹ ἔτ̣η. […]’ But this misleadingly implies that all of this material has Didymus as its source (see also Van der Valk [n. 11], 439.) Although I cannot rule out that possibility, I rather doubt it: first, because thirteen lines in the papyrus separate Aristotle's name from Didymus’; second, because of the contrast between the long near-verbatim quotation of Hist. an. 6.16.570a3–17 and the brief paraphrase of Hist. an. 7(8).2.592a23–5.

15 See Keaney (n. 11), 54–5 and Schnieder (n. 2), 99–102.

16 Of Porphyry’s Homeric Questions, the first book is the only part extant in the manuscript tradition (in one manuscript: Vat. gr. 305). See Sodano, A.R., Porphyrii Quaestionum Homericum liber I (Naples, 1970)Google Scholar. For the rest, what survives are fragments found in the Homeric scholia. Where the material preserved in Vat. gr. 305 overlaps with what is in the scholia, Sodano prints both in parallel columns. On Porphyry's Homeric questions, see Pontani, F., ‘Les “Questions homériques” de Porphyre’, in Dorandi, T. (ed.), Porphyre. L'Antre des Nymphes dans l'Odyssée. Introduction, édition du text grec, traduction et notes (Paris, 2019), 4158Google Scholar.

17 See Mayhew, R., ‘Aristotle's biology and his lost Homeric Puzzles’, CQ 65 (2015), 109–33, at 132–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

18 This passage appears both in Vat. gr. 305 (fol. 176r) and in schol. *B Il. 21.126–7 (fol. 282r) (above, n. 16). The only difference between them (in the material quoted) is that the former has ζʹ, the latter ἑβδόμῳ. (See also Erbse [n. 5], 150, who prints this text [with ζʹ] in the apparatus criticus.) In Mayhew (n. 17), 133, I rendered ζʹ ‘Book 6 [or 7]’ (cf. R. Schlunk, Porphyry: The Homeric Questions [Frankfurt, 1993], 35: ‘Book VI’). I also mistakenly attributed ἑβδόμῳ (for ζʹ) to Rose, V., Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus (Leipzig, 1863), 367Google Scholar. I am glad to have here the opportunity to correct what I wrote there.

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NEGLECTED EVIDENCE FOR ARISTOTLE, HISTORIA ANIMALIVM 7(8) IN THE WORKS OF ANCIENT HOMERIC SCHOLARS
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