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Some Manuscripts of Plato's Apologia Socratis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

W. S. M. Nicoll
University of Edinburgh


The Platonic MS. Vat. gr. 225 (Δ) (saec. XII–catalogue: non ante saec. XIII–Post: saec. XV–Schanz) contains tetr. I, VI. 3, 4, II–IV, while its companion volume in the same hand Vat. gr. 226 (Θ) contains V–VI. 2, VIII. 3, VII, Spp., VIII. 1, 2. Posts states that for tetr. I and VI. 3 A is close to Vind. suppl. gr. 7 (W) (A.D. 950–1050–Maas: saec. XI–Diels, Post, catalogue: saec. XII?–Alline, Robin, Diès) and thereafter derives from the Clarkianus (B) (A.D. 895). I am here concerned only with the testimony of Δ in. 2 (ApoL).

This manuscript has been largely ignored by commentators and editors. Schanz does not quote it, nor does Bekker (at any rate for ApoL.). Alline is scornful about it. Neither Burnet nor Croiset quotes it—and indeed Burnet claims that it is merely an interpolated apograph of W. Stallbaum seems to be the only editor who quotes it for Apol. This appears to be an unwarranted neglect since A has, in fact, a good claim to be considered as a primary witness in this dialogue.

Research Article
Copyright © The Classical Association 1966

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page 70 note 1 Post, L. A., The Vatican Plato and its Relations, Connecticut, 1934, p. 56.Google Scholar

page 70 note 2 Schanz, M., Philologus xxxv (1876), p. 649.Google Scholar

page 70 note 3 Op. cit., p. 56.

page 70 note 4 See Gorgias, ed. Dodds, E. R., Oxford, 1959. p. 39.Google Scholar

page 70 note 5 Berl. Sitzb. 1906, p. 749.Google Scholar

page 70 note 6 Op. cit., p. 90.

page 70 note 7 Alline, H., Histoire du texte de Platon, Paris, 1915. p. 237.Google Scholar

page 70 note 8 Intro. Budé, , Pnaedo, p. lxxix.Google Scholar

page 70 note 8 Intro. Budé, , Parin., p. 48.Google Scholar

page 70 note 10 Op. cit., p. 308, note 2.

page 70 note 11 Burnet, J., O.C.T. vol. 1, praef.Google Scholar

page 70 note 12 A.J.P. xvi(1895), 300 ff.Google Scholar See also A J. P. xii (1891), 193 ff.Google Scholar and C.R. iii (1889), 340 ff.Google ScholarSchanz, (Studien 49)Google Scholar had noticed that for tetr. I it might be of some use, but had none the less put it in his ‘bad’ class. Jordan and Wohlrab thought that for tetr. I it was independent of B, though Jordan believed that even in tetr. I it was valueless.

page 71 note 1 I have collated W P Δ myself from good photographs and have checked doubtful points in the originals. For the readings of Arm. I am dependent on Conybeare. The MS. of Arm. is in the Armenian monastery of San Lazzaro, Venice, and the monks are unable to provide photographs or micro films. In this discussion I limit myself to cases where Conybeare seems certain as to the reading of Arm.

page 71 note 2 Conybeare thought that the Q reading here also appeared in Stob. It seems, however, that it arrived in the text of Stob. from the Aldine Plato. It probably first appeared in Q.

page 71 note 3 In addition the following may be noted where Arm. and Δ have similar though not identical texts—possibly indicating words written supra versum in Q,: 22 a 7 B T W P: Arm.: Δ, 26 e 3 B W P: fee. t): Δ.

page 71 note 4 These are: (T Arm.) 21 b 1 T Arm.: B2 W P Δ, 22 e 1 T Arm.: W Δ: B P, 25 e I B W P Δ: T Arm., 30 b 7 T Arm.: om. B W P Δ, 30 c 2 T A Arm.: om. B W P, 31 b 7 B W P Δ: T Arm., 32 b 4 T Arm.: B W P et fee. Δ ex T et fort. Arm.: B W P Δ, 37 a 4 T Arm.: om. B W P Δ .om. P,38 d 7 T b Arm.: om. B W P Δ and (T Δ) 19 a 2 B W P: T Δ 33 b 7 T Δ: om.BWP, 34b 5 T Δ b: BWPet fort. Arm., 34 d 9 B P t Arm.: W. (Note that the trivial point at 30 c 2 is the only known agreement of T Q against B W P.) Some of these agreements are clearly of no importance (e.g. 19 a 2, 30 b 7, 37 a 4) and several others could well be coincidental. On the possibility of transmitted variants at 34 d 9 see p. 74 (22 e 1 perhaps falls into this category also). The nature of some of the readings quoted as T Arm. agreements makes one wonder how much reliance can be placed on Conybeare's restoration of Arm.'s Greek exemplar in such cases. In general when B and T differ A and W P agree far more often with B than with T in both right and wrong readings.

page 72 note 1 Arm.'s almost certainly correct at 32 b 4 (with T) is a very likely example.

page 72 note 2 There is no real evidence for the date of W other than the character of the hand. My own opinion is that the MS. should possibly ae dated c. 1050. A dating of saec. XII for W seems to me rather too late.

page 72 note 3 See Leroy, M., ‘Grégoire Magistros et les traductions arméniennes d'auteurs grecs’, Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire orientales, iii, Bruxelles, 1935, pp. 283ff.Google Scholar The earliest translators were active in saec. V, and :he nourishing period of the Hellenistic ichool was saec. VI–VII. Grigor Magistros died 1058.

page 72 note 4 Leroy, ibid.—(Saec. XI) ‘est d'ailleurs l'extrême limite à laquelle on puisse placerleur composition, car les vicissitudes de la politique et de la litérature arméniennes ne permettent guère de croire qu'apres le XIe siècle de tels travaux aient pu etre entrepris’.

page 72 note 5 It is difficult to say whether Q, and Arm.'s exemplar are the same MS. See p. 73 for a discussion of the possibility that they are not.

page 72 note 6 See Leroy, ibid., for the arguments in favour of attributing the translation to Grigor Magistros. We know he translated Phaedo and Tim. as well as ‘many other philosophical works’ (letter xxi to Sargis). The possibility that the translation belongs to an earlier period cannot, however, be dismissed.

page 74 note 1 He thought, however, that it was a minuscule, not an uncial MS. (A. J. P. xii (1891), 210).Google Scholar

page 74 note 2 This may, of course, be true only for Apol. Δ ought to be examined for other dialogues, e.g. Euthyphro, where an Armenian translation exists. Arm. itself certainly needs further examination by an Armenian specialist.

page 75 note 1 Post, , op. cit., pp. vi and 56.Google Scholar

page 75 note 2 This MS. is Stallbaum's Vind. 4.

page 75 note 3 With the exception of fols. 33r–34v which are by a different hand and give the text from 35 d 1 to 37 e 6.

page 76 note 1 e.g. 21 c 2 Vind. recte: Bon., 24 c 7 Vind. recte: Bon.

page 76 note 2 Par.2—the main corrector of this MS.—who gives some interesting readings in other dialogues is only occasionally active in Apol. and offers little of interest. He gives a few b and Δ readings but it is not possible to identify his source with any certainty. At 36 a 9 he adds after —a reading which does not seem to appear in any earlier sources.

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