A Sixth-Century Fragment of the Letters of Pliny the Younger
by Elias Avery Lowe and Edward Kennard Rand
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[Footnote 3: C.P. II (1907), pp. 134 f.]

In a later article Professor Merrill well adds that even the uncial script would have seemed difficult and alien to one accustomed to the current fifteenth-century style.[4] A contemporary and rival editor, Catanaeus, disputed Aldus's claims. In his second edition of the Letters (1518), he professed to have used a very ancient book that came down from Germany and declared that the Paris manuscript had no right to the antiquity which Aldus had imputed to it. But Catanaeus has been proved a liar.[5] He had no ancient manuscript from Germany, and abused Aldus mainly to conceal his cribbings from that scholar's edition; we may discount his opinion of the age of the Parisinus. Until Aldus, an eminent scholar and honest publisher,[6] is proved guilty, we should assume him innocent of mendacity or naive ignorance. He speaks in earnest; his words ring true. We must be prepared for the possibility that his ancient manuscript was really ancient.

[Footnote 4: C.P. X (1915), pp. 18 f.]

[Footnote 5: By Merrill, C.P. V (1910), pp. 455 ff.]

[Footnote 6: Sandys, A History of Classical Studies II (1908), pp. 99 ff.]

Since Aldus's time the Parisinus has disappeared. To quote Merrill again:[7]

"This wonderful manuscript, like so many others, appears to have vanished from earth. Early editors saw no especial reason for preserving what was to them but copy for their own better printed texts. Possibly some leaves of it may be lying hid in old bindings; possibly they went to cover preserve-jars, or tennis-racquets; possibly into some final dust-heap. At any rate the manuscript is gone; the copy by Iucundus is gone; the copy of the correspondence with Trajan that Avantius owed to Petrus Leander is gone; if others had any other copies of Book X, in whole or in part, they are gone too."

[Footnote 7: C.P. II, p. 135.]

[Sidenote: The Bodleian volume]

In 1708 Thomas Hearne, the antiquary, bought at auction a peculiar volume of Pliny's Letters. It consisted of Beroaldus's edition of the nine books (1498), the portions of Book X published by Avantius in 1502, and, on inserted leaves, the missing letters of Books VIII and X.[8] The printed portions, moreover, were provided with over five hundred variant readings and lemmata in a different hand from that which appeared on the inserted leaves; the hand that added the variants also wrote in the margin the sixteenth letter of Book IX, which is not in the edition of Beroaldus. Hearne recognized the importance of this supplementary matter, for he copied the variants into his own edition of the Letters (1703), intending, apparently, to use them in a larger edition which he is said to have published in 1709; he also lent the book to Jean Masson, who refers to it in his Plinii Vita. Upon Hearne's death, this valuable volume was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford, but lay unnoticed until Mr. E.G. Hardy, in 1888,[9] examined it and, after a comparison of the readings, pronounced it the very copy from which Aldus had printed his edition in 1508. External proof of this highly exciting surmise seemed to appear in a manuscript note on the last page of the edition of Avantius, written in the hand that had inserted the variants and supplements throughout the volume:[10]

"hae plinii iunioris epistolae ex uetustissimo exemplari parisiensi et restitutae et emendatae sunt opera et industria ioannis iucundi prestantissimi architecti hominis imprimis antiquarii."

[Footnote 8: See plate XVII, which shows the insertion in Book VIII.]

[Footnote 9: Journal of Philology XVII (1888), pp. 95 ff., and in the introduction to his edition of the Tenth Book (1889), pp. 75 ff.]

[Footnote 10: See Merrill C.P. II, p. 136.]

What more natural to conclude than that here is the very copy that Aldus prepared from the ancient manuscript and the collations and transcripts sent him by Fra Giocondo? One fact blocks this attractive conjecture: though there are many agreements between the readings of the emended Bodleian book and those of Aldus, there are also many disagreements. Mr. Hardy removed the obstacle by assuming that Aldus made changes in the proof; but the changes are numerous; they are not too numerous for a scholar who can mark up his galleys free of cost, but they are decidedly too numerous if the scholar is also his own printer.

Merrill, in a brilliant and searching article,[11] entirely demolishes Hardy's argument. Unlike most destructive critics, he replaces the exploded theory by still more interesting fact. For the rediscovery of the Bodleian book and a proper appreciation of its value, students of Pliny's text must always be grateful to Hardy; we now know, however, that the volume was never owned by Aldus. The scholar who put its parts together and added the variants with his own hand was the famous Hellenist Guillaume Bude (Budaeus). The parts on the supplementary leaves were done by some copyist who imitated the general effect of the type used in the book itself; Budaeus added his notes on these inserted leaves in the same way as elsewhere. It had been shown before by Keil[12] that Budaeus must have used the readings of the Parisinus; indeed, it is from his own statement in Annotationes in Pandectas that we learn of the discovery of the ancient manuscript by Giocondo:[13]

"Verum haec epistola et aliae non paucae in codicibus impressis non leguntur: nos integrum ferme Plinium habemus: primum apud parrhisios repertum opera Iucundi sacerdotis: hominis antiquarii Architectique famigerati."

[Footnote 11: C.P. II, pp. 129 ff.]

[Footnote 12: In his edition, pp. xxiii f.]

[Footnote 13: C.P. II, p. 152.]

The wording here is much like that in the note at the end of the Bodleian book. After establishing his case convincingly from the readings followed by Budaeus in his quotations from the Letters, Merrill eventually was able to compare the handwriting with the acknowledged script of Budaeus and to find that the two are identical.[14] The Bodleian book, then, is not Aldus's copy for the printer. It is Budaeus's own collation from the Parisinus. Whether he examined the manuscript directly or used a copy made by Giocondo is doubtful; the note at the end of the Bodleian volume seems to favor the latter possibility. Budaeus does not by any means give a complete collation, but what he does give constitutes, in Merrill's opinion, our best authority for any part of the lost Parisinus.[15]

[Footnote 14: C.P. V, p. 466.]

[Footnote 15: C.P. II, p. 156.]

[Sidenote: The Morgan fragment possibly a part of the lost Parisinus]

Perhaps we may now say the Bodleian volume has been hitherto our best authority. For a fragment of the ancient book, if my conjecture is right, is now, after various journeys, reposing in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City.

[Sidenote: The script]

First of all, we are impressed with the script. It is an uncial of about the year 500 A.D.—certainly venerandae vetustatis. If Aldus had this same uncial codex at his disposal, we can understand his delight and pardon his slight exaggeration, for it is only slight. The essential truth of his statement remains: he had found a book of a different class from that of the ordinary manuscript—indeed diversis a nostris characteribus. Instead of thinking him arrant knave or fool enough to bring down "antiquity" to the thirteenth century, we might charitably push back his definition of "nostri characteres" to include anything in minuscules; script "not our own" would be the majuscule hands in vogue before the Middle Ages. That is a position palaeographically defensible, seeing that the humanistic script is a lineal descendant of the Caroline variety. Furthermore, an uncial hand, though clear and regular as in our fragment, is harder to read than a glance at a page of it promises. This is due to the writing of words continuously. It takes practice, as Aldus says, to decipher such a script quickly and accurately. Moreover, the flesh sides of the leaves are faded.

[Sidenote: Provenience and contents]

We next note that the fragment came to the Pierpont Morgan Library from Aldus's country, where, as Dr. Lowe has amply shown, it was written; how it came into the possession of the Marquis Taccone would be interesting to know. But, like the Parisinus, the book to which our fragment belonged had not stayed in Italy always. It had made a trip to France—and was resting there in the fifteenth century, as is proved by the French note of that period on fol. 51r. We may say "the book" and not merely "the present six leaves," for the fragment begins with fol. 48, and the foliation is of the fifteenth century. The last page of our fragment is bright and clear, showing no signs of wear, as it would if no more had followed it;[16] I will postpone the question of what probably did follow. Moreover, if the probatio pennae on fol. 53r is Carolingian,[17] it would appear that the book had been in France at the beginning as well as at the end of the Middle Ages. Thus our manuscript may well have been one of those brought up from Italy by the emissaries of Charlemagne or their successors during the revival of learning in the eighth and ninth centuries. The outer history of our book, then, and the character of its script, comport with what we know of Aldus's Parisinus.

[Footnote 16: See Dr. Lowe's remarks, pp. 3-6 above.]

[Footnote 17: See above, p. 21, and below, p. 53.]

[Sidenote: The text closely related to that of Aldus]

But we must now subject our fragment to internal tests. If Aldus used the entire manuscript of which this is a part, his text must show a general conformity to that of the fragment. An examination of the appended collation will establish this fact beyond a doubt. The references are to Keil's critical edition of 1870, but the readings are verified from Merrill's apparatus. I will designate the fragment as {Pi}, using P for Aldus's Parisinus and a for his edition.

{Transcriber's Note: In the following paragraph, letters originally printed in roman (non-italic) type are capitalized for clarity.}

We may begin by excluding two probable misprints in Aldus, 64, 1 contuRbernium and 65, 17 subEuertas. Then there are various spellings in which Aldus adheres to the fashion of his day, as seXcenties, miLLies, miLLia, teNtarunt, cauSSas, auToritas, quaNquam, sYderum, hYeme, cOEna, oCium, hospiCii, negoCiis, solaTium, adUlescet, eXoluit, THuscos; there are other spellings which modern editors might not disdain, i.e., aerarII and iLLustri, and some that they have accepted, namely aPPonitur, eXistat, iMpleturus, iMplorantes, oBtulissem, balInei, Caret (not Karet), Caritas (not Karitas).[18]

[Footnote 18: The spellings Karet and Karitas, whether Pliny's or not, are a sign of antiquity. In the first century A.D., as we see from Velius Longus (p. 53, 12 K) and Quintilian (I, 7, 10), certain old-timers clung to the use of k for c when the vowel a followed. By the fourth century, theorists of the opposite tendency proposed the abandonment of k and q as superfluous letters, since their functions were performed by c. Donatus (p. 368, 7 K) and Diomedes, too, according to Keil (p. 423, 11), still believed in the rule of ka for ca, but these rigid critics had passed away in the time of Servius, who, in his commentary on Donatus (p. 422, 35 K), remarks k vero et q aliter nos utimur, aliter usi sunt maiores nostri. Namque illi, quotienscumque a sequebatur, k praeponebant in omni parte orationis, ut Kaput et similia; nos vero non usurpamus k litteram nisi in Kalendarum nomine scribendo. See also Cledonius (p. 28, 5K); W. Brambach, Latein. Orthog. 1868, pp. 210 ff.; W.M. Lindsay, The Latin Language, 1894, pp. 6 f. There would thus be no temptation for a scribe at the end of the fifth century or the beginning of the sixth to adopt ka for ca as a habit. The writer of our fragment was copying faithfully from his original a spelling that he apparently would not have used himself. There are various other cases of ca in our text (e.g., calceos, III, i, 4; canere, 11), but there we find the usual spelling. On traces of ka in the Bellovacensis, see below, p. 57. I should not be surprised if Pliny himself employed the spelling ka, which was gradually modified in the successive copies of his work; it may be, however, that our manuscript represents a text which had passed through the hand of some archaeologizing scholar of a later age, like Donatus. At any rate, this feature of our fragment is an indication of genuineness and of antiquity.]

A study of our collation will also show some forty cases of correction in {Pi} by either the scribe himself or a second and possibly a third ancient hand. Here Aldus, if he read the pages of our fragment and read them with care, might have seen warrant for following either the original text or the emended form, as he preferred. The most important cases are: 61, 14 sera] {Pi}a SERUA {Pi}{2} 61, 21 considit] {Pi} CONSIDET {Pi}{2}a The original reading of {Pi} is clearly CONSIDIT. The second I has been altered to a capital E, which of course is not the proper form for uncial. 62, 5 residit] {Pi} residet a Here {Pi} is not corrected, but Aldus may have thought that the preceding case of CONSIDET (m. 2) supported what he supposed the better form residet. 63, 11 posset] a POSSIT (in posset m. 1?) {Pi} Again the corrected E is capital, not uncial, but Aldus would have had no hesitation in adopting the reading of the second hand. 64, 2 modica vel etiam] a MODICA EST ETIAM (corr. m. 2) {Pi} 64, 28 excurrissem accepto, ut praefectus aerari, commeatu] a Here {Pi} omitted accepto ut praefectus aerari,—evidently a line of the manuscript that he was copying, for there are no similar endings to account otherwise for the omission. 66, 2 dissentientis] a ex DISSITIENTIS m. 1 (?) {Pi}.

There are also a few careless errors of the first hand, uncorrected, in {Pi}, which Aldus himself might easily have corrected or have found the right reading already in the early editions. 62, 23 conteror quorum] a CONTEROR QUI HORUM {Pi} B F 63, 28 si] a SIBI {Pi} 64, 24 conprobasse] COMPROUASSE {Pi}.

In view of these certain errors of the first hand of {Pi}, most of them corrected but a few not, Aldus may have felt justified in abiding by one of the early editions in the following three cases, where {Pi} might well have seemed to him wrong; in one of them (64,3) modern editors agree with him: 62, 20 aurium oculorum vigor] {Pi} aurium oculorumque uigor a 64, 3 proferenda] a CONFERANDA {Pi} 65, 11 et alii] {Pi} etiam alii a.

There is only one case of possible emendation to note: 64, 29 questuri] {Pi} quaesturi MVa Aldus's reading, as I learn from Professor Merrill, is in the anonymous edition ascribed to Roscius (Venice, 1492?), but not in any of the editions cited by Keil. This may be a conscious emendation, but it is just as possibly an error of hearing made by either Aldus or his compositor in repeating the word to himself as he wrote or set up the passage. Once in the text, quaesturi gives no offense, and is not corrected by Aldus in his edition of 1518. An apparently more certain effort at emendation is reported by Keil on 62, 13, where Aldus is said to differ from all the manuscripts and the editions in reading agere for facere. So he does in his second edition; but here he has facere with everybody else. The changes in the second edition are few and are largely confined to the correction of obvious misprints. There is no point in substituting agere for facere. I should attribute this innovation to a careless compositor, who tried to memorize too large a bit of text, rather than to an emending editor. At all events, it has no bearing on our immediate concern.

The striking similarity, therefore, between Aldus's text and that of our fragment confirms our surmise that the latter may be a part of that ancient manuscript which he professes to have used in his edition. Whatever his procedure may have been, he has produced a text that differs from {Pi} only in certain spellings, in the correction, with the help of existing editions, of three obvious errors of {Pi} and of three of its readings that to Aldus might well have seemed erroneous, in two misprints, and in one reading which is possibly an emendation but which may just as well be another misprint. Thus the internal evidence of the text offers no contradiction of what the script and the history of the manuscript have suggested. I can not claim to have established an irrefutable conclusion, but the signs all point in one direction. I see enough evidence to warrant a working hypothesis, which we may use circumspectly as a clue, submit to further tests, and abandon in case these tests yield evidence with which it can not be reconciled.

[Sidenote: Editorial methods of Aldus]

Further, if we are justified in our assumption that Aldus used the manuscript of which {Pi} is a part, the fragment is instructive as to his editorial methods. If he proceeded elsewhere as carefully as here, he certainly did not perform his task with the high-handedness of the traditional humanistic editor; rather, he treated his ancient witness with respect, and abandoned it only when confronted with what seemed its obvious mistakes. I will revert to this matter at a later stage of the argument.


But, it will be asked, how do we know that Aldus used {Pi} rather than some other manuscript that had a very similar text and that happened to have gone through the same travels? To answer this question we must examine the relation of {Pi} to the other extant manuscripts in the light of what is known of the transmission of Pliny's Letters in the Middle Ages. A convenient summary is given by Merrill on the basis of his abundant researches.[19]

[Footnote 19: C.P. X (1915), pp. 8 ff. A classified list of the manuscripts of the Letters is given by Miss Dora Johnson in C.P. VII (1912), pp. 66 ff.]

[Sidenote: Classes of the manuscripts]

Manuscripts of the Letters may be divided into three classes, distinguished by the number of books that each contains.

Class I, the ten-book family, consists of B (Bellovacensis or Riccardianus), now Ashburnhamensis, R 98 in the Laurentian Library in Florence, its former home, whence it had been diverted on an interesting pilgrimage by the noted book-thief Libri. This manuscript is attributed to the tenth century by Merrill, and by Chatelain in his description of the book. But Chatelain labels his facsimile page "Saec. IX."[20] The latter seems the more probable date. The free use of a flat-topped a, along with the general appearance of the script, reminds me of the style in vogue at Fleury and its environs about the middle of the ninth century. A good specimen is accessible in a codex of St. Hilary on the Psalms (Vaticanus Reginensis 95), written at Micy between 846 and 859, of which a page is reproduced by Ehrle and Liebaert.[21] F (Florentinus), the other important representative of this class, is also in the Laurentian Library (S. Marco 284). The date assigned to it seems also too late. It is apparently as early as the tenth century, and also has some of the characteristics of the script of Fleury; it is French work, at any rate. Keil's suggestion[22] that it may be the book mentioned as liber epistolarum Gaii Plinii in a tenth-century catalogue of the manuscripts at Lorsch may be perfectly correct; though not written at Lorsch, it might have been presented to the monastery by that time.[23] These two manuscripts agree in containing, by the first hand, only Books I-V, vi (F having all and B only a part of the sixth letter). However, as the initial title in B is PLINI . SECUNDI . EPISTULARUM . LIBRI . DECEM, we may infer that some ancestor, if not the immediate ancestor, of B and F had all ten books.

[Footnote 20: Pal. des Class. Lat. pl. CXLIII. See our plates XIII and XIV. At least as early as the thirteenth century, the manuscript was at Beauvais. The ancient press-mark S. Petri Beluacensis, in writing perhaps of the twelfth century, may still be discerned on the recto of the first folio. See Merrill, C.P. X, p. 16. If the book was written at Beauvais, as Chatelain thinks (Journal des Savants, 1900, p. 48), then something like what I call the mid-century style of Fleury was also cultivated, possibly a bit later, in the north. The Beauvais Horace, Leidensis lat. 28 saec. IX (Chatelain, pl. LXXVIII), shows a certain similarity in the script to that of B. If both were done at Beauvais, the Horace would seem to be the later book. It belongs, we may observe, to a group of manuscripts of which a Floriacensis (Paris lat. 7971) is a conspicuous member. To settle the case of B, we need a study of all the books of Beauvais. For this, a valuable preliminary survey is given by Omont in Mem. de l'Acad. des Ins. et Belles Lettres XL (1914), pp. 1 ff.]

[Footnote 21: Specimina Cod. Lat. Vatic. 1912, pl. 30. See also H.M. Bannister, Paleografia Musicale Vaticana 1913, p. 30, No. 109.]

[Footnote 22: See the preface to his edition, p. xi.]

[Footnote 23: For the script of F, see plates XV and XVI. Bern. 136, s. XIII (Merrill, C.P. X, p. 18) is a copy of F.]

In Class II the leading manuscript is another Laurentian codex (Mediceus XLVII 36), which contains Books I-IX, xxvi, 8. It was written in the ninth century, at Corvey, whence it was brought to Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is part of a volume that also once contained our only manuscript of the first part of the Annals of Tacitus.[24] The other chief manuscript of this class is V (Vaticanus Latinus 3864), which has Books I-IV. The script has been variously estimated. I am inclined to the opinion that the book was written somewhere near Tours, perhaps Fleury, in the earlier part of the ninth century.[25] If Ullman is right in seeing a reference to Pliny's Letters in a notice in a mediaeval catalogue of Corbie,[26] it may be that the codex is a Corbeiensis. But it is also possible that a volume of the Letters at Corbie was twice copied, once at Corvey (M) and once in the neighborhood of Tours (V). At any rate, with the help of V, we may reach farther back than Corvey and Germany for the origin of this class. There are likewise two fragmentary texts, both of brief extent, Monacensis 14641 (olim Emmeramensis) saec. IX, and Leidensis Vossianus 98 saec. IX, the latter partly in Tironian notes. Merrill regards these as bearing "testimony to the existence of the nine-book text in the same geographical region," namely Germany.[27] There they are to-day, in Germany and Holland, but where they were written is another affair. The Munich fragment is part of a composite volume of which it occupies only a page or two. The script is continental, and may well be that of Regensburg, but it shows marked traces of insular influence, English rather than Irish in character. The work immediately preceding the fragment is in an insular hand, of the kind practised at various continental monasteries, such as Fulda; there are certain notes in the usual continental hand. Evidently the manuscript deserves consideration in the history of the struggle between the insular and the continental hands in Germany.[28] The script of the Leyden fragment, on the other hand, so far as I can judge from a photograph, looks very much like the mid-century Fleury variety with which I have associated the Bellovacensis; there can hardly be doubt, at any rate, that De Vries is correct in assigning it to France, where Voss obtained so many of his manuscripts.[29] Except, therefore, for M and the Munich fragment, there is no evidence furnished by the chief manuscripts which connects the tradition of the Letters with Germany. The insular clue afforded by the latter book deserves further attention, but I can not follow it here. The question of the Parisinus aside, B and F of Class I and V of Class II are sure signs that the propagation of the text started from one or more centres—Fleury and Corbie seem the most probable—in France.

[Footnote 24: Cod. Med. LXVIII, 1. See Rostagno in the preface to his edition of this manuscript in the Leyden series, and for the Pliny, Chatelain, Pal. des Class. Lat., pl. CXLV. Keil (edition, p. vi), followed by Kukula (edition, p. iv), incorrectly assigns the manuscript to the tenth century. The latest treatment is by Paul Lehmann in his "Corveyer Studien," in Abhandl. der Bayer. Akad. der Wiss. Philos.-philol. u. hist. Klasse, XXX, 5 (1919), p. 38. He assigns it to the middle or the last half of the ninth century.]

[Footnote 25: Chatelain calls the page of Pliny that he reproduces (pl. CXLIV) tenth century, but attributes the Sallust portion of the manuscript, although this seems of a piece with the style of the Pliny, to the ninth; see pl. LIV. Hauler, who has given the most complete account of the manuscript, thinks it "saec. IX/X" (Wiener Studien XVII (1895), p. 124). He shows, as others had done before him, the close association of the book with Bernensis 357, and of that codex with Fleury.]

[Footnote 26: See Merrill C.P. X, p. 23. The catalogue (G. Becker, Catalogi bibliothecarum antiqui, p. 282) was prepared about 1200, and is of Corbie, not as Merrill has it, Corvey. Chatelain (on plate LIV) regards the book as "provenant du monastere de Corbie." At my request, Mr. H.J. Leon, Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University, recently examined the manuscript, and neither he nor Monsignore Mercati, the Prefect of the Vatican Library, could discover any note or library-mark to indicate that the book is a Corbeiensis. In a recent article, Philol. Quart. I (1922), pp. 17 ff.), Professor Ullman is inclined, after a careful analysis of the evidence, to assign the manuscript to Corbie, but allows for the possibility that it was written in Tours or the neighborhood and thence sent to Corbie.]

[Footnote 27: C.P. X, p. 23.]

[Footnote 28: See Paul Lehmann, "Aufgaben und Anregungen der lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters," in Sitzungsberichte der Bayer. Akad. der Wiss. Philos.-philol. u. hist. Klasse, 1918, 8, pp. 14 ff. I am indebted to Professor Lehmann for the facts on the basis of which I have made the statement above. To quote his exact words, the contents of the manuscript are as follows: "Fol. 1-31v Briefe des Hierononymus u. Gregorius Magnus + fol. 46v-47v, Briefe des Plinius an Tacitus u. Albinus, in kontinentaler, wohl Regensburger Minuskel etwa der Mitte des 9ten Jahrhunderts, unter starken insularen (angelsaechsischen) Einfluss in Buchstabenformen, Abkuerzungen, etc. Fol. 32r saec. IX ex vel X in. fol. 32v-46r in der Hauptsache direkt insular mit historischen Notizen in festlaendischer Style. Fol. 48v-128 Ambrosius saec. X in."]

[Footnote 29: Commentatiuncula de C. Plinii Caecilii Secundi epistularum fragmento Vossiano notis tironianis descripto (in Exercitationes Palaeog. in Bibl. Univ. Lugduno-Bat., 1890). De Vries ascribes the fragment to the ninth century and is sure that the writing is French (p. 12). His reproduction, though not photographic, gives an essentially correct idea of the script. The text of the fragment is inferior to that of MV, with which manuscripts it is undoubtedly associated. In one error it agrees with V against M. Chatelain (Introduction a la Lecture des Notes Tironiennes, 1900), though citing De Vries's publication in his bibliography (p. xv), does not discuss the character of the notes in this fragment. I must leave it for experts in tachygraphy to decide whether the style of the Tironian notes is that of the school of Orleans.]

The third class comprises manuscripts containing eight books, the eighth being omitted and the ninth called the eighth. Representatives of this class are all codices of the fifteenth century, though the class has a more ancient basis than that, namely a lost manuscript of Verona. This is best attested by D, a Dresden codex, while almost all other manuscripts of this class descend from a free recension made by Guarino and conflated with F; o, u, and x are the representatives of this recension (G) that are reported by Merrill. The relation of this third class to the second is exceedingly close; indeed, it may be merely a branch of it.[30]

[Footnote 30: See Merrill's discussion of the different possibilities, C.P. X, p. 14.]

[Sidenote: The early editions]

As is often the case, the leading manuscript authorities are only inadequately represented in the early editions. The Editio Princeps (p) of 1471 was based on a manuscript of the Guarino recension. A Roman editor in 1474 added part of Book VIII, putting it at the end and calling it Book IX; he acquired this new material, along with various readings in the other books, from some manuscript of Class II that may have come down from the north. Three editors, called {sigma} by Keil—Pomponius Laetus 1490, Beroaldus 1498, and Catanaeus 1506—took r as a basis; but Laetus had another and a better representative of the same type of text as that from which r had drawn, and he likewise made use of V. With the help of these new sources the {sigma} editors polished away a large number of the gross blunders of p and r, and added a sometimes unnecessary brilliance of emendation. Avantius's edition of part of Book X in 1502 was appropriated by Beroaldus in the same year and by Catanaeus in 1506; these latter editors had no new sources at their disposal. No wonder that the Parisinus seemed a godsend to Aldus. The only known ancient manuscripts whose readings had been utilized in the editions preceding his own were F and V, both incomplete representatives of Classes I and II. The manuscripts discovered by the Roman editor and Laetus were of great help at the time, but we have no certain evidence of their age. B and M were not accessible.[31] Now, besides the transcript of Giocondo and his other six volumes, whatever these may have been, Aldus had the ancient codex itself with all ten books complete. Everybody admits that the Parisinus, as shown by the readings of Aldus, is clearly associated with the manuscripts of Class I. Its contents corroborate the evidence of the title in B, which indicates descent from some codex containing ten books.

[Footnote 31: C.P. X, p. 20.]

[Sidenote: {Pi} a member of Class I]

Now nothing is plainer than that {Pi} is a member of Class I, as it agrees with BF in the following errors, or what are regarded by Keil as errors. I consider the text of the Letters and not their superscriptions. 60, 15 duplicia] MVD duplicata {Pi}BFGa; 61, 12 confusa adhuc] MV adhuc confusa {Pi}BFGa; 62, 6 doctissime] MV doctissima {Pi}BFDa et doctissima G; 62, 16 nec adficitur] MVD et adficitur {Pi}BFGa; 62, 23 quorum] MVDGa qui horum {Pi}BF; 63, 22 teque et] MVDG teque {Pi}BFa; 64, 3 proferenda] Doxa conferenda BFu CONFERANDA {Pi} (MV lack an extensive passage here); 65, 11 alii quidam minores sed tamen numeri] DG alii quidam minores sed tam innumeri MV alii quidem minoris sed tamen numeri {Pi}BFa; 65, 12 voluntariis accusationibus] M (uoluntaris) D voluntariis om. V accusationibus uoluntariis {Pi}BFGa; 65, 15 superiore] MVD priore {Pi}BFGa; 65, 24 iam] MVDG om. {Pi}BFa.

Tastes differ, and not all these eleven readings of Class I may be errors. Kukula, in the most recent Teubner edition (1912), accepts three of them (60, 15; 62, 6; 65, 15), and Merrill, in his forthcoming edition, five (60, 15; 61, 12; 62, 6; 65, 12; 65, 15). Personally I could be reconciled to them all with the exception of the very two which Aldus could not admit—62, 23 and 64, 3; in both places he had the early editions to fall back on. However, I should concur with Merrill and Kukula in preferring the reading of the other classes in 62, 16 and 65, 24. In 65, 11 I would emend to alii quidam minoris sed tamen numeri; if this is the right reading, {Pi}BF agree in the easy error of quidem for quidam, and MVD in another easy error, minores for minoris—the parent manuscript of MV further changed tamen numeri to tam innumeri. Whatever the final judgment, here are five cases in which all recent editors would attribute error to Class I; in the remaining six cases the manuscripts of Class I either agree in error or avoid the error of Class II—surely, then, {Pi} is not of the latter class. There are six other significant errors of MV in the whole passage, no one of which appears in {Pi}: 61, 15 si non] sint MV; 62, 6 mira illis] mirabilis MV; 62, 11 lotus] illic MV; cibum] cibos MV; 62, 25 fuit—64, 12 potes] om. MV; 66, 12 amatus] est amatus MV. Once the first hand in {Pi} agrees with V in an error easily committed independently: 61, 12 ordinata] ORDINATA, DI ss. m. 2 {Pi} ornata V.

{Pi}, then, and MV have descended from the archetype by different routes. With Class III, the Verona branch of Class II, {Pi} clearly has no close association.

But the evidence for allying {Pi} with B and F, the manuscripts of Class I, is by no means exhausted. In 61, 14, BFux have the erroneous emendation, which Budaeus includes among his variants, of serua for sera. A glance at {Pi} shows its apparent origin. The first hand has SERA correctly; the second hand writes U above the line.[32] If the second hand is solely responsible for the attempt at improvement here, and is not reproducing a variant in the parent manuscript of {Pi}, then BF must descend directly from {Pi}. The following instances point in the same direction: 61, 21 considit] considet BF. {Pi} has CONSIDIT by the first hand, the second hand changing the second I to a capital E.[33] In 65, 5, however, RESIDIT is not thus changed in {Pi}, and perhaps for this very reason is retained by the careful scribe of B; F, which has a slight tendency to emend, has, with G, residet. 63, 9 praestat amat me] praestatam ad me B. Here the letters of the scriptura continua in {Pi} are faded and blurred; the error of B would therefore be peculiarly easy if this manuscript derived directly from {Pi}. If one ask whether the page were as faded in the ninth century as now, Dr. Lowe has already answered this question; the flesh side of the parchment might well have lost a portion of its ink considerably before the Carolingian period.[34] In any case, the error of praestatam ad me seems natural enough to one who reads the line for the first time in {Pi}. B did not, as we shall see, copy directly from {Pi}; a copy intervened, in which the error was made and then, I should infer, corrected above the line, whence F drew the right reading, B taking the original but incorrect text.

[Footnote 32: I have not always followed Dr. Lowe in distinguishing first and second hands in the various alterations discussed here (pp. 48-50).]

[Footnote 33: See above, p. 42.]

[Footnote 34: See above, pp. 11 f.]

There are cases in plenty elsewhere in the Letters to show that B is not many removes from the scriptura continua of some majuscule hand. In the section included in {Pi}, apart from the general tightness of the writing, which led to the later insertion of strokes between many of the words,[35] we note these special indications of a parent manuscript in majuscules. In 61, 10 me autem], B started to write mea and then corrected it. 64, 19 praeceptori a quo] praeceptoria quo B, (m. 1) F. If B or its parent manuscript copied {Pi} directly, the mistake would be especially easy, for PRAECEPTORIA ends the line in {Pi}. 64, 25 integra re]. After integra, a letter is erased in B; the copyist, it would seem, first mistook integra re for one word.

[Footnote 35: See plates XIII-XIV.]

Other instances showing a close connection between B and {Pi} are as follows: 62, 23 unice] {Pi} has by the first hand INUICE, the second hand writing U above I, and a vertical stroke above U. In BF, uince, the reading of the first hand, is changed by the second to unice; this second hand, Professor Merrill informs me, seems to be that of a writer in the same scriptorium as the first. The error in BF might, of course, be due to copying an original in minuscules, but it might also be due to the curious state of affairs in {Pi}. 65, 24 fungerer]. In {Pi} the final R is written, somewhat indistinctly, above the line. B has fungerer corrected by the second hand from fungeret (?), which may be due to a misunderstanding of {Pi}. 66, 2 avunculi] AUONCULI {Pi} (O in ras.) B. This form might perhaps be read; F has emended it out, and no other manuscript has it. 65, 7 desino, inquam, patres conscripti, putare] Here the relation of BF to {Pi} seems particularly close. {Pi}, like MVDoxa, has the abbreviation P.C. On a clearly written page, the error of reputare (BF) for P.C. PUTARE is not a specially likely one to make. But in the blur at the bottom of fol. 52v, a page on the flesh side of the parchment, the combination might readily be mistaken for REPUTARE.

Another curious bit of testimony appears at the beginning of the third book. The scribe of B[36] wrote the words NESCIO—APUD in rustic capitals, occupying therewith the first line and about a third of the second. This is not effective calligraphy. It would appear that he is reproducing, as is his habit, exactly what he found in his original. That original might have had one full line, or two lines, of majuscules, perhaps, following pretty closely the lines in {Pi}, which has the same amount of text, plus the first three letters of SPURINNAM, in the first two lines. If B had {Pi} before him, there is nothing to explain his most unusual procedure. His original, therefore, is not {Pi} but an intervening copy, which he is transcribing with an utter indifference to aesthetic effect and with a laudable, if painful, desire for accuracy. This trait, obvious in B's work throughout, is perhaps nowhere more strikingly exhibited than here.

[Footnote 36: See plate XIV.]

[Sidenote: {Pi} the direct ancestor of BF with probably a copy intervening]

If {Pi} is the direct ancestor of BF, these manuscripts should contain no good readings not found in {Pi}, unless their writers could arrive at such readings by easy emendation or unless there is contamination with some other source. From what we know of the text of BF in general, the latter supposition may at once be ruled out. There are but three cases to consider, two of which may be readily disposed of: 64, 3 proferenda] conferenda BF CONFERANDA {Pi}; 64, 4 conprobasse] (comp.) BF COMPROUASSE {Pi}. These are simple slips, which a scribe might almost unconsciously correct as he wrote. The remaining error (63, 28 SIBI to si) is not difficult to emend when one considers the entire sentence: quibus omnibus ita demum similis adolescet, si imbutus honestis artibus fuerit, quas, etc. It is less probable, however, that B with {Pi} before him should correct it as he wrote than, as we have already surmised, that a minuscule copy intervened between {Pi} and B, in which the letters bi were deleted by some careful reviser. Two other passages tend to confirm this assumption of an intermediate copy. In 65, 6 (tum optime libertati venia obsequio praeparatur), B has optimae, a false alteration induced perhaps by the following libertati. In {Pi}, OPTIME stands at the end of the line. The scribe of B, had he not found libertati immediately adjacent, would not so readily be tempted to emend; still, we should not make too much of this instance, as B has a rather pronounced tendency to write ae for e. A more certain case is 66, 7 fungar indicis] fungarindicis ex fungari dicis B; here the error is easier to derive from an original in minuscules in which in was abbreviated with a stroke above the i. There is abundant evidence elsewhere in the Letters that the immediate ancestor of BF was written in minuscules; I need not elaborate this point. Our present consideration is that apart from the three instances of simple emendation just discussed, there is no good reading of B or F in the portion of text contained in {Pi} that may not be found, by either the first or the second hand, in {Pi}.[37]

[Footnote 37: There are one or two divergencies in spelling hardly worth mention. The most important are 63, 10 caret B KARET {Pi}; caritas B KARITAS {Pi}. Yet see below, p. 57, where it is shown that the ancient spelling is found in B elsewhere than in the portion of text included in {Pi}.]

We may now examine a most important bit of testimony to the close connection existing between BF and {Pi}. B alone of all manuscripts hitherto known is provided with indices of the Letters, one for each book, which give the names of the correspondents and the opening words of each letter. Now {Pi}, by good luck, preserves the end of Book II, the beginning of Book III, and between them the index for Book III. Dr. F.E. Robbins, in a careful article on B and F, and one on the tables of contents in B,[38] concluded that P did not contain the indices which are preserved in B, and that these were compiled in some ancestor of B, perhaps in the eighth century. Here they are, in the Morgan fragment, which takes us back two centuries farther into the past. A comparison of the index in {Pi} shows indubitably a close kinship with B. A glance at plates XIII and XIV indicates, first of all, that the copy B, here as in the text of the Letters, is not many removes from scriptura continua. Moreover, the lists are drawn up on the same principle; the nomen and cognomen but not the praenomen of the correspondent being given, and exactly the same amount of text quoted at the beginning of each letter. The incipit of III, xvi (AD NEPOTEM—ADNOTASSE UIDEOR FATADICTAQ.) is an addition in {Pi}, and the lemma is longer than usual, as though the original title had been omitted in the manuscript which {Pi} was copying and the corrector of {Pi} had substituted a title of his own making.[39] It reappears in B, with the easy emendation of facta from fata. The only other case in the indices of a right reading in B that is not in {Pi} is in the title of III, viii: AD SUETON TRANQUE {Pi} Adsu&on tranqui. B. In both these instances the scribe of B needed no external help in correcting the simple error. Far more significant is the coincidence of B and {Pi} in very curious mistakes, as the address of III, iii (AD CAERELLIAE HISPULLAE for AD CORELLIAM HISPULLAM) and the lemma of III, viii (FACIS ADPROCETERA for FACIS PRO CETERA). {Pi}BF agree in omitting SUAE (III, iii) and SUO (III, iv), but in retaining the pronominal adjectives in the other addresses preserved in {Pi}. The same unusual suspensions occur in {Pi} and B, as AD SUETON TRANQUE (tranqui B); AD UESTRIC SPURINN.; AD SILIUM PROCUL.[40] In the first of these cases, the parent of {Pi} evidently had TRANQ., which {Pi} falsely enlarges to TRANQUE; this form and not TRANQ. is the basis of B's correction—a semi-successful correction—TRANQUI. This, then, is another sign that B depends directly on {Pi}. Further, B omits one symbol of abbreviation which {Pi} has (POSSUM IAM PERSCRI{-B}), the lemma of the ninth letter), and in the lemma of the tenth neither manuscript preserves the symbol (COMPOSUISSE ME QUAED). In the first of these cases, it will be observed, B has a very long i in perscrib.[41] This long i is not a feature of the script of B, nor is there any provocation for it in the way in which the word is written in {Pi}. This detail, therefore, may be added to the indications that a copy in minuscules intervened between B and {Pi}; the curious i, faithfully reproduced, as usual, by B, may have occurred in such a copy.

[Footnote 38: C.P. V, pp. 467 ff. and 476 ff., and for the supposed lack of indices in P, p. 485.]

[Footnote 39: I venture to disagree with Dr. Lowe's view (above, p. 25) that the addition is by the first hand.]

[Footnote 40: See above, p. 11.]

[Footnote 41: See plate XIV.]

These details prove an intimate relation between {Pi} and BF, and fit the supposition that B and F are direct descendants of {Pi}. This may be strengthened by another consideration. If {Pi} and B independently copy the same source, they inevitably make independent errors, however careful their work. {Pi} should contain, then, a certain number of errors not in B. As we have found only three such cases in 12 pages, or 324 lines, and as in all these three the right reading in B could readily have been due to emendation on the part of the scribe of B or of a copy between {Pi} and B, we have acquired negative evidence of an impressive kind. It is distinctly harder to believe that the two texts derive independently from a common source. Show us the significant errors of {Pi} not in B, and we will accept the existence of that common source; otherwise the appropriate supposition is that B descends directly from its elder relative {Pi}. It is not necessary to prove by an examination of readings that {Pi} is not copied from B; the dates of the two scripts settle that matter at the start. Supposing, however, for the moment, that {Pi} and B were of the same age, we could readily prove that the former is not copied from the latter. For B contains a significant collection of errors which are not present in {Pi}. Six slight mistakes were made by the first hand and corrected by it, three more were corrected by the second hand, and twelve were left uncorrected. Some of these are trivial slips that a scribe copying B might emend on his own initiative, or perhaps by a lucky mistake. Such are 64, 26 iudicium] indicium B; 64, 29 Caecili] caecilii B; 65, 13 neglegere] neglere B. But intelligent pondering must precede the emendation of praeceptoria quo into praeceptori a quo (64, 19), of beaticis into Baeticis (65, 15), and of optimae into optime (65, 26), while it would take a Madvig to remedy the corruptions in 63, 9 (praestatam ad me) and 65,7 (reputare into patres conscripti putare). These are the sort of errors which if found in {Pi} would furnish incontrovertible proof that a manuscript not containing them was independent of {Pi}; but there is no such evidence of independence in the case of B. Our case is strengthened by the consideration that various of the errors in B may well be traced to idiosyncrasies of {Pi}, not merely to its scriptura continua, a source of misunderstanding that any majuscule would present, but to the fading of the writing on the flesh side of the pages in {Pi}, and to the possibility that some of the corrections of the second hand may be the private inventions of that hand.[42] We are hampered, of course, by the comparatively small amount of matter in {Pi}, nor are we absolutely certain that this is characteristic of the entire manuscript of which it was once a part. But my reasoning is correct, I believe, for the material at our disposal.

[Footnote 42: See above, pp. 48 f.]

[Sidenote: The probable stemma]

Our tentative stemma thus far, then, is No. 1 below, not No. 2 and not No. 3.

No. 1 No. 2 No. 3

{Pi} {Pi} X / / {Pi}{1} {Pi}{1} / / X{1} {Pi} / / B B / F B F F

Robbins put P in the position of {Pi} in this last stemma, but on the assumption that it did not contain the indices. That is not true of {Pi}.

[Sidenote: Further consideration of the external history of P, {Pi}, and B]

Still further evidence is supplied by the external history of our manuscripts. B was at Beauvais at the end of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century, as we have seen.[43] Whatever the uncertainties as to its origin, any palaeographer would agree that it could hardly have been written before the middle of the ninth century or after the middle of the tenth. It was undoubtedly produced in France, as was F, its sister manuscript. The presumption is that {Pi}{1}, the copy intervening between {Pi} and B, was also French, and that {Pi} was in France when the copy was made from it. Merrill, for what reason I fail to see, suggested that the original of BF might be "Lombardic," written in North Italy.[44] An extraneous origin of this sort must be proved from the character of the errors, such as spellings and the false resolution of abbreviations, made by BF. If no such signs can be adduced, it is natural to suppose that {Pi}{1} was of the same nationality and general tendencies as its copies B and F. This consideration helps out the possible evidence furnished by the scribbling in a hand of the Carolingian variety on fol. 53v;[45] we may now be more confident that it is French rather than Italian. But whatever the history of our book in the early Middle Ages, in the fifteenth century it was surely near Meaux, which is not far from Paris—about as far to the east as Beauvais is to the north. Now, granted for a moment that the last of our stemmata is correct, X, from which {Pi} and B descend, being earlier than {Pi}, must have been a manuscript in majuscules, written in Italy, since that is unquestionably the provenience of {Pi}. There were, then, by this supposition, two ancient majuscule manuscripts of the Letters, most closely related in text—veritable twins, indeed—that travelled from Italy to France. One (X{1}) had arrived in the early Middle Ages and is the parent of B and F; the other ({Pi}) was probably there in the early Middle Ages, and surely was there in the fifteenth century. We can not deny this possibility, but, on the principle melius est per unum fieri quam per plura, we must not adopt it unless driven to it. The history of the transmission of Classical texts in the Carolingian period is against such a supposition.[46] Not many books of the age and quality of {Pi} were floating about in France in the ninth century. There is nothing in the evidence presented by {Pi} and B that drives us to assume the presence of two such codices. There is nothing in this evidence that does not fit the simpler supposition that BF descend directly from {Pi}. The burden of proof would appear to rest on those who assert the contrary. {Pi}, therefore, if the ancestor of B, contained at least as much as we find today in B. Some ancestor of B had all ten books. Aldus, whose text is closely related to BF, got all ten books from a very ancient manuscript that came down from Paris. Our simpler stemma indicates the presence of one rather than more than one such manuscript in the vicinity of Paris in the ninth or the tenth century and again in the fifteenth. This line of argument, which presents not a mathematically absolute demonstration but at least a highly probable concatenation of facts and deductions, warrants the assumption, to be used at any rate as a working hypothesis, that {Pi} is a fragment of the lost Parisinus which contained all the books of Pliny's Letters.

[Footnote 43: See above, p. 44, n. 2.]

[Footnote 44: "Zur fruehen Ueberlieferungsgeschichte des Briefwechsels zwischen Plinius und Trajan," in Wiener Studien XXXI (1909), p. 258.]

[Footnote 45: See above, pp. 21, 41.]

[Footnote 46: See above, p. 22.]

Our stemma, then, becomes,

P (the whole manuscript), of which {Pi} is a part. P{1} / / B F

[Sidenote: Evidence from the portions of BF outside the text of {Pi}]

We may corroborate this reasoning by evidence drawn from the portions of BF outside the text of {Pi}. We note, above all, a number of omissions in BF that indicate the length of line in some manuscript from which they descend. This length of line is precisely what we find in {Pi}. Our fragment has lines containing from 23 to 33 letters, very rarely 23, 24, or 33, and most frequently from 27 to 30, the average being 28.4. These figures tally closely with those given by Professor A.C. Clark[47] for the Vindobonensis of Livy, a codex not far removed in date from {Pi}. Supposing that {Pi} is a typical section of P—and after Professor Clark's studies[48] we may more confidently assume that it is—P had the same length of line. The important cases of omission are as follows:

[Footnote 47: The Descent of Manuscripts, 1918, p. 16. Professor Clark counts on two pages chosen at random, 23-31 letters in the line. My count for {Pi} includes the nine and a third pages on which full lines occur. If I had taken only foll. 52r, 52v, 53r and 53v, I should have found no lines of 32 or 33 letters. On the other hand, the first page to which I turned in the Vindobonensis of Livy (133v) has a line of 32 letters, and so has 135v, while 136v has one of 33. The lines of {Pi} are a shade longer than those of the Vindobonensis, but only a shade.]

[Footnote 48: Ibidem, pp. vi, 9-18. There is some danger of pushing Professor Clark's method too far, particularly when it is applied to New Testament problems. For a well-considered criticism of the book, see Merrill's review in the Classical Journal XIV (1919), pp. 395 ff.]

32, 19 atque etiam invisus virtutibus fuerat evasit, reliquit incolumen optimum atque] etiam—atque om. BF. P would have the abbreviation for bus in virtutibus and for que in atque. There would thus be in all 61 letters and dots, or two lines, arranged about as follows:


The scribe could easily catch at the second ATQ. after writing the first. It will be at once objected that the repeated ATQ. might have occasioned the mistake, whatever the length of the line. Thus in 82, 2 (aegrotabat Caecina Paetus, maritus eius, aegrotabat] Caecina— aegrotabat om. BF), the omitted portion comprises 34 letters—a bit too long, perhaps, for a line of P. The following instances, however, can not be thus disposed of.

94, 10 alia quamquam dignitate propemodum paria] quamquam—paria (32 letters) om. BF. Cetera and paria, to be sure, offer a mild case of homoioteleuta, but not powerful enough to occasion an omission unless the words happened to stand at the ends of lines, as they might well have done in P. As the line occurs near the beginning of a letter, we may verify our conjecture by plotting the opening lines. The address, as in {Pi}, would occupy a line. Then, allowing for contractions in rebus (18) and quoque (19) and reading cum (Class I) for quod (18), cetera (Class I) for alia (20), we can arrange the 236 letters in 8 lines, with an average of 29.5 letters in a line.

123, 10 sentiebant. interrogati a Nepote praetore quem docuissent, responderunt quem prius: interrogati an tunc gratis adfuisset, responderunt sex milibus] interrogati a Nepote—docuissent responderunt om. BF. Here are two good chances for omissions due to similar endings, as interrogati and responderunt are both repeated, but neither chance is taken by BF. Instead, a far less striking case (sentiebant—responderunt) leads to the omission. The arrangement in P might be


Here the dangerous words INTERROGATI and RESPONDERUNT are in safe places. SENTIEBANT and RESPONDERUNT, ordinarily a safe enough pair, become dangerous by their position at the end of lines; indeed, in the scriptura continua the danger of confusing homoioteleuta, unless these stand at the end of lines, is distinctly less than in a script in which the words are divided. Here again, as in 94, 10, we may reckon the lengths of the opening lines of the letter. After the line occupied with the addresses, we have 296 letters, or ten lines with an average of 29.6 letters apiece.

We may add two omissions of F in passages now missing altogether in B. 69, 28 quod minorem ex liberis duobus amisit sed maiorem] minorem—sed om. F. Here again an omission is imminent from the similar endings minorem—maiorem; that made by F (29 letters and one dot) seems to be that of a line of P where the arrangement would be:


There may have been a copy (P{2}) intervening between P{1} and F, but doubtless neither that nor P{1} itself had lines so short as those in P; the error of F, therefore, may be most naturally ascribed to P{1}, who omitted a line of P.

130, 16 percolui. in summa (cur enim non aperiam tibi vel iudicium meum vel errorem?) primum ego] in summa—primum (59 letters) om. F. As there are no homoioteleuta here at all, we surely are concerned with the omission of a line or lines. Perhaps 59 letters would make up a line in P{1} or P{2}. Perhaps two lines of P were dropped.

Similarly we may note two omissions in B, though not in F, which may be due originally to the error of P{1} in copying P.

68, 5 electorumque commentarios centum sexaginta mihi reliquit, opisthographos] -torumque—opisthographos om. B. Allowing the abbreviation of QUE, we have 59 letters and one dot here. The omitted words are written by the first hand of B at the foot of the page. Of course the omission may correspond to a line of P{1} dropped by B in copying, but it is equally possible that P{1} committed the error and corrected it by the marginal supplement, F noting the correction in time to include the omitted words in his text, B copying them in the margin as he found them in P{1}.

87, 12 tacitus suffragiis impudentia inrepat. nam quoto cuique eadem honestatis] suffragiis—honestatis om. m. 1, add. in mg. m. 2 B (54 letters, with QUE abbreviated). This may be like the preceding, except that the correction was done not by the original scribe of B, but by a scribe in the same monastery. The presence of homoioteleuta, we must admit, adds an element of uncertainty.

So, of the passages here brought forward, 94, 20; 123, 10 and 69, 28 are best explained by supposing that B and F descend from a manuscript that like {Pi} had from 24 to 32 letters in a line, while 32, 19 and 130, 16 fit this supposition as well as they do any other.

One orthographic peculiarity is perhaps worth noting: we saw that B did not agree with {Pi} in the spellings karet and karitas.[49] We do, however, find karitate elsewhere in B (109, 8), and the curious reading Kl [.'.] facere, mg. calfacere, for calfacere (56, 12). This is an additional bit of evidence for supposing that a copy (P{1}) intervened between P and B; P had the spelling Karitas consistently, P{1} altered it to the usual form, and B reproduced the corrections in P{1}, failing to take them all, unless, as may well be, P{1} had failed to correct all the cases.

[Footnote 49: See above, pp. 42, n. 1, and 50, n. 1.]

Thus the evidence contained in the portion of BF outside the text of {Pi} corroborates our working hypothesis deduced from the fragment itself. We have found nothing yet to overthrow our surmise that a bit of the ancient Parisinus is veritably in the city of New York.


[Sidenote: Aldus's methods; his basic text]

We may now return to Aldus and imagine, if we can, his method of critical procedure. Finding his agreement with {Pi} so close, even in what editors before and after him have regarded as errors, I am disposed to think that he studied his Parisinus with care and followed its authority respectfully. Finding that his seemingly extravagant statements about the antiquity of his book are essentially true, I am disposed to put more confidence in Aldus than editors have granted him thus far. I should suppose that, working in the most convenient way, he turned over to his compositor, not a fresh copy of P, but the pages of some edition corrected from P—which Aldus surely tells us that he used—and from whatever other sources he consulted. It may be beyond our powers to discover the precise edition that he thus employed. It does not at first thought seem likely that he would select the Princeps, which does not include the eighth book at all, and contains errors that later were weeded out. In the portion of text included in {Pi}, P has thirty-two readings which Aldus avoids. In most of these cases p commits an error, sometimes a ridiculous error, like offam for officia (62, 25); the manuscript on which p was based apparently made free use of abbreviations. Keil's damning estimate of r[50] is amply borne out in this section of the text; Aldus differs from r in sixty-five cases, most of these being errors in r. He agrees with {sigma} in all but twenty-six readings.[51] Aldus would have had fewest changes to make, then, if his basic text was {sigma}. This is apparently the view of Keil,[52] who would agree at any rate that Aldus made special use of the {sigma} editions and who also declares that p is the fundamentum of r as r is of the edition of Pomponius Laetus.[53]

[Footnote 50: See the introduction to his edition, p. xviii.]

[Footnote 51: See below, pp. 60 ff.]

[Footnote 52: Op. cit., p. xxv: illis potissimum Aldum usum esse vidi.]

[Footnote 53: Op. cit., pp. xviii, xx.]

It would certainly be natural for Aldus to start with his immediate predecessors, as they had started with theirs. The matter ought to be cleared up, if possible, for in order to determine what Aldus found in P we must know whether he took some text as a point of departure and, if so, what that text was. But the task should be undertaken by some one to whom the early editions are accessible. Keil's report of them, intentionally incomplete,[54] is sufficient, he declares,[55] "ad fidem Aldinae editionis constituendam," but, as I have found by comparing our photographs of the edition of Beroaldus in the present section, Keil has not collated minutely or accurately enough to encourage us to undertake, on the basis of his apparatus, an elaborate study of Aldus's relation to the editions preceding his own.

[Footnote 54: Op. cit., p. 2: Ex {sigma} pauca adscripta sunt.]

[Footnote 55: Op. cit., p. xxxii.]

[Sidenote: The variants of Budaeus in the Bodleian volume]

We may now test Aldus by the evidence of the Bodleian volume with its variants in the hand of Budaeus. For the section included in _{Pi}_, their number is disappointingly small. The only additions by Budaeus (=_i_) to the text of Beroaldus are: 61, 14 sera] _MVDoa_, (_m. 1_) _{Pi}_ serua _BFuxi_, (_m. 2_) _{Pi}_; 62, 4 ambulat] _i cum plerisque_ ambulabat _r Ber._ (ab _del._) _M_; 62, 25 quoque] _i cum ceteris_ {p_}ouq (ue) _Ber._; 64, 23 Quamvis] q Vmuis _Ber._ _corr. i._

This is all. Budaeus, who, according to Merrill, had the Parisinus at his disposal, has corrected two obvious misprints, made an inevitable change in the tense of a verb—with or without the help of the ancient book—and introduced from that book one unfortunate reading which we find in the second hand of {Pi}.

There is one feature of Budaeus's marginal jottings that at once arouses the curiosity of the textual critic, namely, the frequent appearance of the obelus and the obelus cum puncto. These signs as used by Probus[56] would denote respectively a surely spurious and a possibly spurious line or portion of text. But such was not the usage of Budaeus; he employed the obelus merely to call attention to something that interested him. Thus at the end of the first letter of Book III we find a doubly pointed obelus opposite an interesting passage, the text of which shows no variants or editorial questionings. Budaeus appears to have expressed his grades of interest rather elaborately—at least I can discover no other purpose for the different signs employed. The simple obelus apparently denotes interest, the pointed obelus great interest, the doubly pointed obelus intense interest, and the pointing finger of a carefully drawn hand burning interest. He also adds catchwords. Thus on the first letter he calls attention successively[57] to Ambulatio, Gestatio, Hora balnei, pilae ludus, Coena, and Comoedi. The purpose of the doubly pointed obelus is plainly indicated here, as it accompanies two of these catchwords. Just so in the margin opposite 65, 17, a pointing finger is accompanied by the remark, "Beneficia beneficiis aliis cumulanda," while 227, 5 is decorated with the moral ejaculation, "o hominem in diuitiis miserum." Incidentally, it is obvious that the Morgan fragment was once perused by some thoughtful reader, who marked with lines or brackets passages of special interest to him. For example, the account of how Spurinna spent his day[58] is so marked. This passage likewise called forth various marginal notes from Budaeus,[59] and other coincidences exist between the markings in {Pi} and the marginalia in the Bodleian volume. But there is not enough evidence of this sort to warrant the suggestion that Budaeus himself added the marks in {Pi}.

[Footnote 56: See Ribbeck's Virgil, Prolegomena, p. 152.]

[Footnote 57: See plate XVIII.]

[Footnote 58: Epist. III, i (plate IV).]

[Footnote 59: See plate XVIII.]

[Sidenote: Aldus and Budaeus compared]

It is of some importance to consider what Budaeus might have done to the text of Beroaldus had he treated it to a systematic collation with the Parisinus. Our fragment allows us to test Budaeus; for even if it be not the Parisinus itself, its readings with the help of B, F, and Aldus show what was in that ancient book. I have enumerated above[60] eleven readings of {Pi}BF which are called errors by Keil, but of which nine were accepted by Aldus and five by the latest editor, Professor Merrill. In two of these (62, 33 and 64, 3), Budaeus, like Aldus, wisely does not harbor an obvious error of P. In two more (62, 16 and 65, 12), Beroaldus already has the reading of P. Of the remaining seven, however, all of which Aldus adopted, there is no trace in Budaeus. There are also nineteen cases of obvious error in the {sigma} editions, which Aldus corrected but Budaeus did not touch. I give the complete apparatus[61] for these twenty-six places, as they will illustrate the radical difference between Aldus and Budaeus in their use of the Parisinus.

[Footnote 60: See above, p. 47.]

[Footnote 61: The readings of manuscripts are taken from Merrill, those of the editions from Keil; in the latter case, I use parentheses if the reading is only implied, not stated.]

60, 15 duplicia] MVDr{sigma} duplicata {Pi}BFGpa

61, 12 confusa adhuc] MV{sigma} adhuc confusa {Pi}BFGpra

18 milia passuum tria nec] {Pi}BFMV(p?)a milia passum tria et nec D mille pastria nec r mille pas. nec {sigma}

62, 6 doctissime] MV{sigma} et doctissime r doctissima {Pi}BFDa et doctissima p

26 igitur eundem mihi cursum, eundem] {Pi}BFD(p?)a igitur et eundem mihi cursum et eundem r{sigma}

fuit (25)—potes (64, 12) om. MV

63, 2 MAXIMO] {Pi}BFDG(pr?)a Valerio Max. {sigma} Gauio Maximo Catanaeus

4 Arrianus Maturus] {Pi}BFDra arianus maturus Gp Arrianus Maturius {sigma}

5 est] {Pi}BFDG(p?)a om. r Ber.

9 ardentibus dicere] {Pi}BFDG(r?)a dicere ardentius p{sigma}

12 excolendusque] {Pi}BFD(p?)a extollendusque Gr{sigma}

15 conferas in eum] {Pi}BFD(p?)a in eum conferas Gr{sigma}

17 excipit] {Pi}BFD(p?)a accipit r{sigma}

quam si] {Pi}BFDG(p?)a quasi si r quasi Laet., Ber.


22 teque et] DG(p?)[sigma] teque {Pi}BFra

23 et in] {Pi}BFDG(p?)a et r{sigma}

diligam, cupiam necesse est atque etiam] {Pi}BFDG(p?)a diligam et cupiam necesse est etiam r diligam atque etiam cupiam nececesse (sic) est etiam Ber.

64, 2 erroribus modica vel etiam nulla] BFDG(p?)a (ex ERRORIB.MODICAESTETIAMNULLA m. 2){Pi} erroribus uel modica uel nulla r erroribus modica uel nulla Ber. uel erroribus modica uel etiam nulla vulgo

5 fortunaeque] {Pi}BFDG(p?)a form(a)eque r Ber.

65, 11 alii quidem minores sed tamen numeri] (ali D) DGp alii quidem minoris sed tamen numeri {Pi}BFa alii quidam (quidem Catanaeus) minores sed tam (tamen r{sigma}) innumeri MVr{sigma}

15 superiore] MVD{sigma} priore {Pi}BFGra prior p

24 iam] MVDG(pr?){sigma} om. {Pi}BFa

66, 7 sint omnes] {Pi}BFMVDG(pr?)a sint {sigma}

9 haec quoque] {Pi}BFDVGra hoc quoque M hic quoque p haec {sigma}

11 Pomponi] {Pi}BMVo Pomponii FDpra Q. Pomponii {sigma}

12 amatus] {Pi}FDG(pr?)a est amatus MV{sigma} amatus est corr. m. 1 B

Here is sufficient material for a test. Aldus, it will be observed, whether or not he started with some special edition, refuses to follow the latest and best texts of his day (i.e., {sigma}) in these twenty-six readings. In one sure case (60, 15) and eleven possible[62] cases (61, 18; 62, 26; 63, 5, 12, 15, 17 bis, 23 bis; 64, 2, 5), his reading agrees with the Princeps. In four sure cases (63, 4, 22; 65, 15; 66, 9) and one possible one (63, 9), he agrees with the Roman edition; in two sure (61, 12; 66, 11) and three possible (63, 2; 66, 7, 12) cases, with both p and r. Once he breaks away from all editions reported by Keil and agrees with D (62, 6). At the same time, all these readings are attested by {Pi}FB and hence were presumably in the Parisinus. In two cases (65, 11, 24), we know of no source other than P that could have furnished him his reading. Further, in the superscription of the third letter of Book III (63, 20), he might have taken a hint from Catanaeus, who was the first to depart from the reading CORNELIAE, universally accepted before him, but again it is only P that could give him the correct spelling CORELLIAE.[63]

[Footnote 62: I say "possible" because the reading is implied, not stated, in Keil's edition. The reading of Beroaldus on 63, 23 I get from our photograph, not from Keil, who does not give it.]

[Footnote 63: I have purposely omitted to treat Aldus's use of the superscriptions in P, as that matter is best reserved for a consideration of the superscriptions in general.]

If all the above readings, then, were in the Parisinus, how did Aldus arrive at them? Did he fish round, now in the Princeps, now in the Roman edition, despite the repellent errors that those texts contained,[64] and extract with felicitous accuracy excellent readings that coincided with those of the Parisinus, or did he draw them straight from that source itself? The crucial cases are 65, 11 and 24. As he must have gone to the Parisinus for these readings, he presumably found the others there, too. Moreover, he did not get his new variants by a merely sporadic consultation of the ancient book when he was dissatisfied with the accepted text of his day, for in the two crucial cases and many of the others, too, that text makes sense; some of the readings, indeed, are accepted by modern editors as correct.[65] Aldus was collating. He carefully noted minutiae, such as the omission of et and iam, and accepted what he found, unless the ancient text seemed to him indisputably wrong. He gave it the benefit of the doubt even when it may be wrong. This is the method of a scrupulous editor who cherishes a proper veneration for his oldest and best authority.

[Footnote 64: See above, p. 58.]

[Footnote 65: See above, pp. 47 f.]

Budaeus, on the other hand, is not an editor. He is a vastly interested reader of Pliny, frequently commenting on the subject-matter or calling attention to it by marginal signs. As for the text, he generally finds Beroaldus good enough. He corrects misprints, makes a conjecture now and then, or adopts one of Catanaeus, and, besides supplementing the missing portions with transcripts made for him from the Parisinus, inserts numerous variants, some of which indubitably come from that manuscript.[66] In the present section, occupying 251 lines in {Pi}, there is only one reading of the Parisinus—a false reading, it happens—that seems to Budaeus worth recording. Compared with what Aldus gleaned from {Pi}, Budaeus's extracts are insignificant. It is remarkable, for instance, that on a passage (65, 11) which, as the appended obelus shows, he must have read with attention, he has not added the very different reading of the Parisinus. Either, then, Budaeus did not consult the Parisinus with care, or he did not think the great majority of its readings preferable to the text of Beroaldus, or, as I think may well have been the case, he had neither the manuscript itself nor an entire copy of it accessible at the time when he added his variants in his combined edition of Beroaldus and Avantius.[67]

[Footnote 66: See Merrill, "Zur fruehen Ueberlieferungsgeschichte des Briefwechsels zwischen Plinius und Trajan," in Wiener Studien XXXI (1909), p. 257; C.P. II, p. 154; XIV, p. 30 f. Two examples (216, 23 and 227, 18) will be noted in plate XVII a.]

[Footnote 67: Certain errors of the scribe who wrote the additional pages in the Bodleian book warrant the surmise that he was copying not the Parisinus itself, but some copy of it. Thus in 227, 14 (see plate XVII b) we find him writing Tamen for tum, Budaeus correcting this error in the margin. A scribe is of course capable of anything, but with an uncial tum to start from, tamen is not a natural mistake to commit; it would rather appear that the scribe falsely resolved a minuscule abbreviation.]

But I do not mean to present here a final estimate of Budaeus; for that, I hope, we may look to Professor Merrill. Nor do I particularly blame Budaeus for not constructing a new text from the wealth of material disclosed in the Parisinus. His interests lay elsewhere; suos quoique mos. What I mean to say, and to say with some conviction, is that for the portion of text included in our fragment, the evidence of that fragment, coupled with that of B and F, shows that as a witness to the ancient manuscript Aldus is overwhelmingly superior to either Budaeus or any of the ancient editors.

Our examination of the Morgan fragment, therefore, leads to what I deem a highly probable conclusion. We could perhaps hope for absolute proof in a matter of this kind only if another page of the same manuscript should appear, bearing a note in the hand of Aldus Manutius to the effect that he had used the codex for his edition of 1508. Failing that, we can at least point out that all the data accessible comport with the hypothesis that the Morgan fragment was a part of this very codex. We have set our hypothesis running a lengthy gauntlet of facts, and none has tripped it yet. We have also seen that {Pi} is most intimately connected with manuscripts BF of Class I, and indeed seems to be a part of the very manuscript whence they are descended. Finally, a careful comparison of Aldus's text with {Pi} shows him, for this much of the Letters at least, to be a scrupulous and conscientious editor. His method is to follow {Pi} throughout, save when, confronted by its obvious blunders, he has recourse to the editions of his day.

[Sidenote: The latest criticism of Aldus]

Since the publication of Otto's article in 1886,[68] in which the author defended the F branch against that of MV, to which, as the elder representative of the tradition, Keil had not unnaturally deferred, critical procedure has gradually shifted its centre. The reappearance of B greatly helped, as it corroborates the testimony of F. B and F head the list of the manuscripts used by Kukula in his edition of 1912,[69] and B and F with Aldus's Parisinus make up Class I, not Class II, in Merrill's grouping of the manuscripts. Obviously, the value of Class I mounts higher still now that we have evidence in the Morgan fragment of its existence in the early sixth century. This fact helps us to decide the question of glosses in our text. We are more than ever disposed to attribute not to BF but to what has now become the younger branch of the tradition, Class II, the tendency to interpolate explanatory glosses. The changed attitude towards the BF branch has naturally resulted in a gradual transformation of the text. We have seen in the portion included in {Pi} that of the eleven readings which Keil regarded as errors of the F branch, three are accepted by Kukula and five by Merrill.[70]

[Footnote 68: "Die Ueberlieferung der Briefe des juengeren Plinius," in Hermes XXI (1886), pp. 287 ff.]

[Footnote 69: See p. iv.]

[Footnote 70: See above, pp. 47 f.]

Since Class I has thus appreciated in value, we should expect that Aldus's stock would also take an upward turn. In Aldus's lifetime, curiously, he was criticized for excessive conservatism. His rival Catanaeus finds his chief quality supina ignorantia and adds:[71]

"Verum enim uero non satis est recuperare venerandae vetustatis exemplaria, nisi etiam simul adsit acre emendatoris iudicium: quoniam et veteres librarii in voluminibus describendis saepissime falsi sunt, et Plinius ipse scripta sua se viuo deprauari in quadam epistola demonstrauerit."

[Footnote 71: See the prefatory letter in his edition of 1518.]

Nowadays, however, editors hesitate to accept an unsupported reading of Aldus as that of the Parisinus, since they believe that he abounds in those very conjectures of which Catanaeus felt the lack. The attitude of the expert best qualified to judge is still one of suspicion towards Aldus. In his most recent article,[72] Professor Merrill declares that Keil's remarks[73] on the procedure of Aldus in the part of Book X already edited by Avantius, Beroaldus, and Catanaeus might safely have been extended to cover the work of Aldus on the entire body of the Letters. He proceeds to subject Aldus to a new test, the material for which we owe to Merrill's own researches. He compares with Aldus's text the manuscript parts of the Bodleian volume, which are apparently transcripts from the Parisinus (= I);[74] in them Budaeus with his own hand (= i) has corrected on the authority of the Parisinus itself, according to Merrill, the errors of his transcriber. In a few instances, Merrill allows, Budaeus has substituted conjectures of his own. This material, obviously, offers a valuable criterion of Aldus's methods as an editor. There is a further criterion in the shape of Codex M, not utilized till after Aldus's edition. As this manuscript represents Class II, concurrences between M and Ii against a make it tolerably certain that Aldus himself and no higher authority is responsible for such readings. On this basis, Merrill cites twenty-five readings in the added part of Book VIII (viii, 3 quas obvias—xviii, II amplissimos hortos) and nineteen readings in the added part of Book X (letters iv-xli), which represent examples "wherein Aldus abandons indubitably satisfactory readings of his only and much belauded manuscript in favor of conjectures of his own."[75] Letter IX xvi, a very short affair, added by Budaeus in the margin, contains no indictment against Aldus.

[Footnote 72: C.P. XIV (1919), pp. 29 ff.]

[Footnote 73: Op. cit., p. xxxvii: nam ea quae aliter in Aldina editione atque in illis (i.e., Avantius, Beroaldus, and Catanaeus) exhibentur ita comparata sunt omnia, ut coniectura potius inventa quam e codice profecta esse existimanda sint et plura quidem in pravis et temerariis interpolationibus versantur.]

[Footnote 74: But see above, p. 62, n. 2.]

[Footnote 75: Pp. 31 ff.]

[Sidenote: Aldus's methods in the newly discovered parts of Books VIII, IX, and X]

The result of this exposure, Professor Merrill declares, should convince "any unprejudiced student" of the question that "Aldus stands clearly convicted of being an extremely unsafe textual critic of Pliny's Letters."[76] "This conclusion does not depend, as that of Keil necessarily did, on any native or acquired acuteness of critical perception. The wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein."[77] I speak as a wayfarer, but nevertheless I must own that Professor Merrill's path of argument causes me to stumble. I readily admit that Aldus, in editing a portion of text that no man had put into print before him, fell back on conjecture when his authority seemed not to make sense. But Merrill's lists need revision. He has included with Aldus's "willful deviations" from the true text of P certain readings that almost surely were misprints (218, 12; 220, 3), some that may well be (as 217, 28; 221, 12), one case in which Aldus has retained an error of P while I emends (221, 11), and several cases in which Aldus and I or i emend in different ways an error of P (222, 14; 226, 5; 272, 4—not 5). In one case he misquotes Aldus, when the latter really has the reading that both Merrill and Keil indicate as correct (276, 21); in another he fails to remark that Aldus's erroneous reading is supported by M (219,17). However, even after discounting these and possibly other instances, a significant array of conjectures remains. Still, it is not fair to call the Parisinus Aldus's only manuscript. We know that he had other material in the six volumes of manuscripts and collated editions sent him by Giocondo, as well as the latter's copy of P. There could hardly have been in this number a source superior to the Parisinus, but Giocondo may have added here and there his own or others' conjectures, which Aldus adopted unwisely, but at least not solely on his own authority; the most apparent case of interpolation (224, 8) Keil thought might have been a conjecture of Giocondo's. Further, if the general character of P is represented in {Pi}, Book X, as well as the beginning of Book III, may have had variants by the second hand, sometimes taken by Aldus and neglected, wisely, by Budaeus's transcriber.

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