Friday, December 13, 2013

Images of the Geneva Iliad have been Posted!

Images of the Geneva Iliad, which has undergone extensive restoration and digitization in a partnership between the E-Codices project of Switzerland and the Homer Multitext, have now been published. Here is an excerpt from the E-Codices press release:

The “Geneva Iliad” was most likely produced in Constantinople in the 13th century. The manuscript was purchased in the 16th century, probably in Venice, by Henri Estienne, who used this manuscript as a basis for his 1566 edition of the Iliad, which remained the standard edition into the 18th century. This manuscript is unique for numerous scholia, which are not found in any other similar manuscript.
The digital publication of this manuscript was requested in 2010 by the “Homer Multitext”, a project of the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University, which uses digital techniques to facilitate research regarding the multiformity of the textual tradition in Homeric epics.
We are extremely excited to be able to start making use of these images within the Homer Mutlitext. The E-Codices Creative Commons non-commercial licensing on the images will allow to use these images for education and research. As with the other manuscripts we have brought together digitally within the project, we will now be able to compare the Geneva Iliad side by side along with other manuscripts, and will no doubt learn a great deal about how the manuscript was conceived and constructed, the information contained in the scholia, and the sources for its scholia.

This collaboration between the Mellon Foundation, the E-Codices Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, and the Homer Multiext has been four years in the making. We are so grateful to the Bibliothèque de Genève for overseeing the restoration, digitization, and scholarship on the manuscript that allowed for publication of these images to happen. Stay tuned as we learn more about this remarkable manuscript with its unusual lay out and unique set of scholia.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Homer Multitext on the road this weekend

This weekend the Homer Multitext will be part of two conferences. Christopher Blackwell will lead a workshop entitled “Scholarship Outside the Codex: Citation-based digital workflows for integrating objects, images and texts without making a mess” at the Sixth Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age: Thinking Outside the Codex. The symposium is being held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Mary Ebbott will be speaking about “Rethinking the Role of Editors in the Homer Multitext” as part of the New Testament Textual Criticism panel (offered as a joint session with Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies) at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, held in Baltimore this year.

The participation of the HMT at both events highlights our interest in cross-disciplinary conversations about the use of digital tools for scholarship on manuscripts. We have much to learn from our colleagues in other disciplines that also focus on manuscripts as primary sources, and we hope we have something to contribute in fruitful collaboration and sharing of ideas and methods.

The beauty of collaboration within our project also allows us to bring the HMT to two conferences on the same weekend!

How can digital tools help us understand and publish for others to study a complex document like the Venetus A manuscript? (Seen here is folio 15v of that manuscript.) Such questions will be considered at two conferences this weekend.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Multiforms of Iliad 10.306

A guest post by Laurel Boman (Gustavus Adolphus) and Leonie Henkes (Leiden).

During the summer seminar of the Homer Multitext Project, we did research on folio 132r of the Venetus A. We found many interesting things on this folio, including some doodles, many abbreviations, and a scholion to 10.306 that illuminates the multiformity of the text.

Hector, having asked for a volunteer to spy on the Greeks, promises that this volunteer will receive the horses of Achilles in return. At 10.306, these horses are described. The main text of the Venetus A reads:

View this in context.

305 δ
ώσω γὰρ δίφρόν τε δύω τ᾽ ἐριαύχενας ἵππους
οἵ κεν ἄριστεύωσι θοῇς ἐπὶ νηυσὶν Ἀχαιῶν
307 ὅς τίς κε τλαίη, οἷ τ᾽ αὐτῷ κῦδος ἄροιτο,

305 For I will give a chariot and two horses with strong necks,
306 whichever are best at the swift ships of the Achaeans.
307 to him, whoever should dare —and he would win radiant glory [kudos] for himself—  
(Translation of Dué and Ebbott)
At the top of the folio is a scholion on line 306:

View this in context.

Scholion ad 306: οὕτως αρίσταρχος οἵ κε ἄριστοι ἔωσι. δε ζηνόδοτος αὐτὸυς ὃι φορέουσιν  ἀμύμονα  πηλειωνα ἀριστοφάνης. καλοὺς οἳ φορέουσι

“Here Aristarchus has ‘οἵ κε ἄριστοι ἔωσι.’ Zenodotus gives ‘αὐτὸυς ὃι φορέουσιν  ἀμύμονα  πηλειωνα,’ and Aristophanes ‘καλοὺς οἳ φορέουσι.’”

At this point, we have four different readings of this line. First, we have the main text’s reading ἄριστεύωσι. Second, the reading of Aristarchos: οἵ κε ἄριστοι ἔωσι. Third, the reading of Zenodotos: αὐτὸυς ὃι φορέουσιν ἀμύμονα πηλειωνα. The fourth reading is the one of Aristophanes: καλοὺς οἳ φορέουσι.

Besides the main scholion on top of the folio, there is an internal scholion next to line 306.
View this in context.

ἐν αλλω οἱ κὲν ἀριστοι ἔωσιν

"In others, ‘οἱ κὲν ἀριστοι ἔωσιν’

In this scholion, the reading is κὲν instead of κε, which brings the number of forms of this line to five.

A scholion to line 323 offers more readings of this text. Line 323 is a near replica of Aristophanes’ and Zenodotus’ readings of line 306. At this point in the narrative, Dolon has volunteered to spy on the Greeks and now demands Hector to swear that he will give him Achilles’ horses.

View this in context.

323 δωσέμεν, οἳ φορέουσιν ἀμύμονα Πηλεΐωνα

323 [swear to me the horses that] you will give me, those which carry the faultless son of Peleus 
(trans. Dué and Ebbott)

This is the scholion to line 323:

View this in context.
γράφεται καὶ ποδώκεα καὶ ἀμύμονα

“It is written both ‘ποδώκεα’ and ‘ἀμύμονα.’”

Here, we have yet another reading of ὃι φορέουσιν ἀμύμονα πηλειωνα:
ὃι φορέουσιν ποδώκεα πηλειωνα.

Overall, when we consider the readings of the scholia to lines 306 and 323, there are 7 multiforms for line 10.306. In a traditional edition of this text, one version would be selected for the main text and the others, if included at all, resigned to the apparatus criticus. All 7 forms, however, are metrically sound and represent a line that a bard may well have used in performance. The Homer Multitext allows students to see all forms and thereby better understand the tradition from which this text arose.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Odysseus’s questionable behavior in Iliad 8

By Douglas Frame, Associate Editor of the Homer Multitext

Stephanie Lindeborg’s study of the Homeric scholia shows how disturbing Odysseus’s behavior in Iliad 8 was to ancient scholars, and how it continued to occupy medieval scribes as well (see her series of three posts: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Whether Odysseus hears Diomedes and disregards him, or simply does not hear him, his brief appearance in the episode in Iliad 8, far from bringing him any glory, seems intended to undermine his reputation, and for no apparent reason. To be sure, there is no blame if Odysseus did not hear Diomedes, and this is how his reputation is defended in the scholia. The defense, however, is anything but iron-clad, and I side with those who understand the crucial words oud’ esakousen as “he did not listen,” and not “he did not hear” (the preverb es, in and of itself, indicates where Odysseus directed his attention, namely, not to Diomedes, and not what he did not hear from that direction). But this point, too, is uncertain, given counterexamples of the meaning of the compound verb in later authors. The difficulty with Odysseus’s action was not resolved in ancient or medieval times, and arguments continue to be made on both sides today as well. A scholar whom Stephanie cites presents both sides of the argument and concludes that “any audience is perfectly at liberty to assume that Odysseus ignores the cry, but it is impossible to be certain that this was the poet’s intention” (Adrian Kelly 2007; see Stephanie’s bibliography and the second installment of her study).

The poet’s intention in a wider sense is the real question here. Why does the poet put Odysseus in a position where “any audience is perfectly at liberty” to think the worst of him? Surely the poet was not so tone-deaf to his own poem as not to realize that this is absolutely the case, whatever may be said to defend Odysseus in this episode and in general. We can in fact tell that the poet knew that this episode risked blackening Odysseus’s name by the measures taken later in the poem to set the record straight. This does not happen immediately. In fact Odysseus is left out of account later in Book 8 when the retreating Greeks turn and make a stand (8.245–266). The Venetus A scholia, as discussed by Stephanie, took this second “no show” by Odysseus as confirmation that it was his deliberate choice to play the coward earlier as well. I don’t disagree with the scholia (Stephanie suggests it may have been the scribe himself who made the argument) that there is a connection between the two incidents in Book 8, but the object of the second incident, which is a non-incident after all, was not to draw attention to Odysseus for shirking yet again, but simply to leave him out of account for the time being, allowing him, as it were, to cool off after his disturbing action on the battlefield. It is not until Book 11 that Odysseus’s reputation is redeemed (Book 10, where Diomedes slays sleeping Trojan allies, but Odysseus is ready to do it, does not count, and in Book 9 words rather than deeds are at issue). In Book 11, during another Greek retreat, Odysseus has a peculiar soliloquy as he alone is left to face the oncoming Trojans, and he asks himself, Hamlet-like, whether to flee or not to flee, and then answers, with no Hamlet-like hesitation, that cowards (kakoi) flee but a champion stands his ground. He then awaits the Trojans as they surround him like hunters surrounding a wild boar. After showing his mettle by dispatching several Trojans he is finally wounded and helped from the field by others who come to his aid (Odysseus’s soliloquy, Iliad 11.404–410; note that in the immediately preceding lines the last to leave Odysseus in the lurch is the wounded Diomedes—tit for tat after Iliad 8).   

Calculated to remove any stain from Odysseus’s earlier behavior (if you thought he was a kakos, think again), the episode in Iliad 11 only deepens the mystery of that earlier behavior. Something must be going on that does not meet the eye. The episode in Iliad 8 has three protagonists, and Odysseus’s role is by far the shortest. Nestor and Diomedes are the main actors, and the scene that they play out together is apparently based on a similar scene in which Nestor’s son Antilochus dies. Antilochus’s death lies outside the time frame of the Iliad, but it is mentioned in the Odyssey, when Nestor receives Telemachus in Pylos and tells him of the Trojan war and its aftermath. The actual story of Antilochus’s death is not told in Homer, but we know it from fragments of the epic cycle and, especially, a Pindaric ode. Nestor’s horse is again shot by Paris’s arrow, and this time Antilochus instead of Diomedes rescues him. But Antilochus pays for his father’s life with his own when Memnon (who now champions the Trojans in place of the dead Hector) slays him standing at his father’s defense. Diomedes, who is young like Antilochus, reenacts the episode in advance (this can happen in traditional poetry), but with a crucial change of outcome. Together Diomedes and Nestor rout the Trojans on Diomedes’ chariot, which Nestor drives, until Zeus hurls a thunderbolt in front of them that stops the horses short, and Diomedes, persuaded by Nestor, reluctantly retreats. This episode ends the terrific run Diomedes has had on the battlefield since Book 5, when Athena herself was his charioteer and he wounded even immortals. But Zeus’s plan is to have the Greeks defeated, so that at the end of Book 8 the Trojans are able to camp outside their city walls for the first time. Nestor, who restrains Diomedes in Book 8, is a direct contrast to Athena, who incites him in Book 5, and this plays on Nestor’s own traditions, when he was young and impetuous himself. These traditions are evoked in his stories about his youth in Iliad 11 and Iliad 23, but the aged Nestor in Iliad 8 has long since learned his lesson, and he imparts that lesson to his young companion.

But there is more. The episode in Iliad 8, as mentioned, looks ahead to Antilochus’s death. It does so not by direct reference, but by poetic allusion—by the parallelism between the two situations. In the same way the episode in Iliad 8 looks even further ahead to Diomedes’ fate, which is not to be slain in Troy like Antilochus, but to return home. Unlike the death of Antilochus, this story is told in Homer, and it is Nestor himself who tells it. It is again in the Odyssey, when Telemachus visits Nestor to find out what happened to his father, that we hear the story. After the fall of Troy the Greeks, in a drunken and disorderly assembly, were divided as to their course, whether to return home immediately, or to stay at Troy to appease Athena, who was clearly angry about what some of the Greeks had done in their moment of victory. The brothers Agamemnon and Menelaos were themselves divided, Agamemnon keeping half the army at Troy to appease Athena, Menelaos leading the other half of the army to Tenedos, where a second quarrel broke out. Nestor, who went with Menelaos, was in no doubt about the right course to take at this point, and fled at once for home. Diomedes, we learn, went with him, and together they reached Lesbos, where again they made the right decision, taking the fast route across the Aegean rather than the slow route by way of islands—the slow route would have been the safe route except for Athena’s anger. Diomedes, accompanying Nestor, was home in Argos in a matter of days after leaving Troy. Diomedes in fact owed his swift, safe return to his older companion, who correctly read the signs at every turn on their way home—or so we can infer from clear indirect evidence. Nestor’s name, which is closely related to the noun noos, “mind,” makes him a bred-in-the-bone interpreter of signs. His name in fact means “he who brings back,” and this meaning, which did not survive after Homer, was still very much alive in Homer. In Iliad 8, when Diomedes saves Nestor—“he who brings home”—on the battlefield, he in effect saves his own nostos—“return home”—at the end of the war.
Nestor performing a sacrifice back home in Pylos after the war. Red-figure calyx crater by the Meleager painter, 400–380 BCE, photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons.
Odysseus, too, is part of this story. In Odyssey 3 Telemachus comes to Pylos to hear what happened to his father, and Nestor tells him all, but some of it only indirectly. Nestor explicitly narrates the quarrel between Agamemnon and Menelaos that split the army in two. The second quarrel, on Tenedos, is left vague, except for its immediate effect: when Nestor fled for home, taking Diomedes with him, Odysseus—this is the crucial point in Nestor’s account—turned around and returned to Troy and Agamemnon. The second quarrel must have been between Nestor and Odysseus, though Nestor does not say so directly to Odysseus’s son. But he does so indirectly when, at the very start of his account to Telemachus, he says that he and Odysseus never disagreed with each other in counsel during the war. After the war, as we learn at the end of his account, this was no longer the case. The disagreement between Nestor and Odysseus on Tenedos could not have been sharper to judge by their opposite actions.

When Odysseus does not respond to Diomedes’ call to save Nestor on the battlefield in Iliad 8, he completes the triad of characters who will replay everything in reverse in their return from Troy: Diomedes saves Nestor on the battlefield, but Nestor saves Diomedes in their nostos; Odysseus does not save Nestor on the battlefield, but Nestor—this is the point of his account in Odyssey 3—fails to save Odysseus in their nostos. For the triple allusion to the return home of all three heroes to work, Odysseus must be seen as pointedly not saving Nestor in Iliad 8, even if this risks Odysseus’s reputation in the short run. A bigger poetic point justifies the risk to Odysseus’s reputation: unlike Diomedes, who will stick with Nestor and reach home immediately without any great tale to tell, Odysseus, by separating from Nestor, will take ten years to find his own way home, and have an outstanding tale to tell. If he too had followed Nestor from Tenedos there would be no Odyssey, and this, it seems to me, is the underlying poetic motive for Odysseus’s questionable behavior in Iliad 8. To put it somewhat differently—and somewhat bluntly—Odysseus, unlike Diomedes, simply does not need Nestor.

If the episode in Iliad 8 alludes specifically to Nestor’s account in Odyssey 3, as I have argued (Hippota Nestor, chs. 6 and 11), it would mean that the Iliad and the Odyssey must have been composed together in performance. There are good indirect reasons for thinking that this was the case, but Iliad 8, if my argument is correct, constructs a point-for-point correspondence with the Odyssey, and that, I think, is unique.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scholia on Odysseus in Iliad 8, Part Three

A guest post by Stephanie Lindeborg, Holy Cross Class of 2013

As I mentioned in my previous posts in this series, Odysseus emerges as a problematic character for the scholiasts of the Venetus A and the Y.1.1 manuscripts when he does not stop to help Diomedes and Nestor during the Achaean retreat in Iliad 8. Both manuscripts contain numerous scholia on line 8.97, in which Odysseus either did not hear or did not listen to Diomedes’ request to aid him in rescuing Nestor. The scholia on this subject and their arguments justifying or condemning Odysseus for his behavior have been discussed in my first two posts in this series. This post is dedicated to some further commentary on this scene that appears in both manuscripts about 170 lines later.

At that point in Book 8, after the Greeks have retreated and are making their stand at the ships, the poetry begins to describe the various Greek heroes who go forth into battle following Diomedes (Iliad 8.261–8.267). Ancient Homeric scholars, perhaps sensitive to the behavior of Odysseus after line 8.97, take issue with the fact that Odysseus is not included in this list of men. It is noteworthy that to an ancient Homeric scholar, the absence of a character provides a worthy point for commentary as much as the presence of a character. The Venetus A includes for line 8.266 the following comment:
Τεῦκρος δ είνατος
ὅτι πάντων ὑποστρεψάντων, μόνος ὁ Ὀδυσσεὺς παρέμεινε πρὸς ταῖς ναυσὶν ὥστε τὸ ἐπάνω εὐκρινὲς "ὡς ἔφαθ’ οὐδ ἐσάκουσεν" ὅτι ἐκουσίως παρεπέμψατο⁑

“Teucer was ninth
The sign is there because while everyone turned around, Odysseus alone remained next to the ships with the result that the above line is in good order "as he spoke he did not listen" (Iliad 8.97) because he voluntarily sent himself past” (See it on the manuscript here: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.msA.hmt:8.182).

This scholion quotes the problematic passage in line 8.97. Furthermore the source for this comment makes a judgment on how to interpret the verb ἐσάκουσεν there. The scholiast, by saying that Odysseus voluntarily continued to retreat, implies that Odysseus heard Diomedes and continued to retreat anyway. This source takes the point of view that Odysseus’s refusal to help is the reason he does not play a further role in the immediate circumstances—that is, he is still in retreat.

The Y.1.1 scholion takes a different approach from that of the Venetus A scholion. The Y.1.1 focuses on why some men are given more prominence in these lines (the Greek numeral that connects the line of poetry to the scholion is written over the name Teucer), and why this emphasis is no reason for readers to believe Odysseus is not a part of the action. The text of that scholion reads:
διῄρηκεν ὡς μέλλων περὶ αὐτοῦ λέγειν· ἔνδον δέ ἐστι Ὀδυσσεὺς τὸν λαὸν διεγείρων. ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ Θόαντος μέμνηται· καὶ οὐ πάντως ἐστὶ δειλός ⁑

“The poet makes a distinction because he is about to speak about him [Teucer]. But Odysseus is within rousing the soldiers. Thoas is also not mentioned and he [Thoas] is not entirely cowardly [either]” (See it here, number 22: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.e3.hmt:8.181)
[Erbse helpfully notes in his edition of this scholion to see Iliad 7.168, where the poetry lists the Greeks who might be capable of fighting Hector. That is a similar list to the one here in Iliad 8.261–8.267, with the notable exceptions of Odysseus and Thoas who appear there and not here. This list seems to explain the otherwise odd reference to Thoas in this scholion.]

According to this source, the reason men like Teucer and the Ajaxes are mentioned here is because they are about to be major players in the immediate action.

The scholiast also asserts that Odysseus is certainly among the men roused to action and is not a coward. Taken all together, the scholia from the Venetus A and the Escorial Y.1.1 do not give a single interpretation to whether or not Odysseus was a coward and heard but ignored Diomedes. What these scholia do highlight is that the role of the scribe was an active one in analyzing and interpreting the text to select scholia deemed useful to the reader of these texts. The scribe is not a mindless copy machine but a scholar in his own right, using the text and the ancient scholarship to render his own judgments on the text. Therefore we have manuscripts that give more weight to one opinion over another or outright disagree with each other.

These scholia speak to the individual scribal choices. Here we can see that on line 8.266, the Venetus A scribe includes a scholion that selects one interpretation for earlier lines and discusses that interpretation’s implications on the present lines. The Y.1.1 scribe includes the exact opposite opinion. Each scribe seems to have chosen sides, or at least shown a preference for one side, and not included the opposing opinion for line 8.266. That the scribes have their own preferences for certain material speaks to the development of this debate in ancient Homeric scholarship. For the Venetus A scholion we can consider the possibility that the scholion may have been composed by the scribe himself. According to the Erbse edition of the scholia, there are no parallels in other manuscripts for this material. There are, however, parallels for the Y.1.1 scholion in the Venetus B and the Townley manuscripts. It is evident that we are dealing with either scribes or sources that were active in their reading of scholarly materials with the text. The Venetus A scholion refers back to line 8.97 stating that the “he did not listen” interpretation is the correct one based on the evidence in line 8.266. We do not get a citation of Aristarchus here, so we cannot assume that the scholion is merely reinforcing the Aristarchean interpretation as discussed in my second post in this series. The Y.1.1 scholion is similarly reactionary, but as it does have parallels in at least two other manuscripts, contemporary with the Y.1.1 but clearly written in different hands, it is likely not an invention of this particular scribe. That is not to say it was not an interpretation first offered by a common source for these manuscripts, but it is a much more difficult path to trace. It does prove that the scholia are not comments in isolation. They are often considerate of material composed and compiled early within a book, and quite probably across books.

Look forward to a forthcoming response to this series of posts from Douglas Frame, author of Hippota Nestor (, who will provide a interpretation of Odysseus’ actions that the scholia do not consider.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Scholia on Odysseus in Iliad 8, Part Two

A guest post by Stephanie Lindeborg, Holy Cross Class of 2013
See Part 1 here
See Part 3 here

After his trace horse is slain by Paris, Nestor is stranded and under threat of the quickly approaching forces of Hector. Diomedes, on his way to rescue him, calls out to Odysseus to assist him. The Venetus A and the Y.1.1 manuscripts share the reading of our modern print editions in describing Odysseus’s reaction: οὐδ’ ἐς ἄκουσεν (Iliad 8.97). The phrase can be understood as “he did not listen” or “he did not hear.” (Kelly 2007:48–49, footnote 55 provides a brief summary of the scholarship on this issue up to that point. Frame 2010:§2.73 provides a new understanding of what is happening in this scene.) The former translation implies that Odysseus made an active choice not to heed Diomedes’ urgings after he had heard them. The latter implies that Odysseus never heard Diomedes in the first place and therefore could not have known he was refusing to aid Nestor. Both manuscripts contain scholia defending Odysseus. The Venetus A has three scholia, two of which are remarkably similar, differing only in the spelling of a few words and the structure of the beginning of the scholia. The first one reads:

ὡς ἔφατ’ οὐδ’ ἐσάκουσαι:
προς τὸ ἀμφιβολον πότερον οὐκ αντελάβετο καθόλου τῆς φωνῆς δια τὸν θόρυβον, ἠ ἀκούσας γὰρ ἐπαρεπέμψατο, ὅπερ δέχεται ὁ Ἀρίσταρχος

“So he spoke, but he did not hear/listen:
Regarding the ambiguity, whether he [Odysseus] did not generally perceive his [Diomedes’] voice on account of clamor, or having heard him he passed along, which is how Aristarchus takes it” (See the scholion on the manuscript photograph here: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.msA.hmt:8.81).

The second one reads:
οὐδ’ εσάκουσεν,
"οὐδὲ ἤκουσεν" ἐξηγεῖται δὲ πότερον οὐκ αντελάβετο καθόλου τῆς φωνῆς δια τὸν θόρυβον, ἢ ἀκούσας παρεπέμψατο, ὅπερ δέχεται ὁ Ἀρισταρχος

“He did not hear/listen,
"οὐδὲ ἤκουσεν" It is interpreted whether he [Odysseus] generally did perceive his [Diomedes’] voice on account of clamor, or having heard him he passed along, which is how Aristarchus takes it” (See it here: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.msA.hmt:8.82).

A third Venetus A scholia, begins in a similar way to the second one, but goes off in another direction to further explain the issue. It reads as follows:

οὐδ’ ες ἄκουσεν:
"οὐδὲ ἤκουσεν" ἐξηγεῖται δὲ πότερον ἄρα οὐδ’ όλως ἤκουσεν ὁ Ὀδυσσεὺς, ἢ οὐκ ἐπείσθη δειλίαν τοῦ ἥρωος κατηγοροῦσιν ἀγνοοῦντες τὸ "οὐδ’ ἐσάκουσεν", οὐ γὰρ τὸ παρακοῦσαι. ἀλλα τὸ μὴ αἴσθεσθαι τελείως δηλοῖ καὶ γὰρ οὐκ ῆν δειλὸς τῶν ἄλλων εσχατος φεύγων καὶ τῆ βραδυτῆτι τὸ φιλοκίνδυνον ἐπιδεικνύμενος ⁑

“He did not hear/listen
"οὐδὲ ἤκουσεν" It is interpreted whether Odysseus did not wholly hear, or whether he was not persuaded. They charge the hero with cowardice, ignoring the "οὐδ’ ἐσάκουσεν." For it is not “not listening.” But rather it is a lack of perfect perception, and because he is not a coward since he flees last of all the other men and because of his slowness he is a specimen of a man who loves danger” (See it here: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.msA.hmt:8.83).

These three scholia overlap in their content, leading to a couple different possibilities. The scribe could have been copying from multiple sources with similar material and these overlapping scholia may be a reflection of the vast material available to the scribe and to previous generations of scribes and scholars. However, since the first and second scholia end the same way and the second and third scholia start the same way, it is also possible that the second scholion is a mistaken combination of the other two copied by accident at some point in the transmission of the text. The second scholion certainly does not seem to contribute anything new to the discussion, and the scribe could have saved space for other scholia by not including it. It is most likely a mistake of the Venetus A scribe, though we should note that it is not a mistake corrected by any of the editorial passes we know the scribe must have made. (Allen 1899:169–170 and 172–180 offers a comprehensive explanation of the types of correcting present in the Venetus A and a theory on how this was done.) These scholia together offer both alternatives of interpretation. The first two cite a tradition that Odysseus’s behavior can be explained because of the noise of battle. That possibility is complicated by consideration of Diomedes’ traditional epithet βοὴν ἀγαθός, “good at the war cry.” Surely someone good at the war cry would have no problem raising his voice over the thunder of battle so that Odysseus could hear him. Perhaps something along this line of reasoning made sense to scholars like Aristarchus, whom both the first and second scholia cite as favoring the latter opinion that Odysseus heard Diomedes and kept on retreating. That is not to say that Aristarchus goes as far as to accuse him of cowardice. We must bear in mind that these scholia do not use these terms. They merely state that Aristarchus takes the interpretation that Odysseus heard Diomedes but continued to retreat.

The third scholion notably disagrees with Aristarchus’s interpretation, surprisingly so, since he was one of the most prominent ancient Homeric scholars. This scholion presents both interpretations but ultimately concludes that Odysseus did not hear Diomedes. It further states that Odysseus seems like a coward because readers are misinterpreting the line and because Odysseus happens to be last, making him the only person singled out in the retreat—a concept that will be more explicitly stated in the Y.1.1 scholion I will examine below. In fact, according to this scholion’s argument, we should interpret Odysseus being the last person besides Diomedes to leave the battlefield and therefore the bravest of the Greeks who retreat. Within just these three scholia we can see a range in the development of opinions on the controversial issue. Because this scholion is both third in order and seems to respond to discussion in the first two, I would argue that the third scholion reflects a later development in the Homeric scholarship and possibly one that was working with and responding to the work of Aristarchus.

The Y.1.1 also comments on line 8.97, but focuses primarily on justifying Odysseus’s actions rather than discussing the various interpretations. The Y.1.1, concisely but perhaps more explicitly, lays out the two interpretations of the text. The views are clearly stated either that Odysseus did not hear Diomedes because of the noise of battle or that Odysseus was not persuaded to action after he heard Diomedes. The Y.1.1 wastes little more time on these interpretations but moves primarily to defend the actions of Odysseus as if it does not really even matter that there are possibilities for different interpretations. Instead, the scholion in this manuscript highlights how unreasonable it would be to accuse him of cowardice, utilizing arguments similar to those we also see at the very end of the third Venetus A scholion. The opposing viewpoint is not fully represented in this manuscript and Aristarchus goes unmentioned on the topic. The text of the scholion on line 8.97 in the Y.1.1 reads:

οὐκ ἤσθετο ὑπὸ τοῦ θορύβου· ἢ οὐκ ἐπείσθη διὰ τὸν καιρόν· φεύγει γὰρ σὺν Αἴαντι καὶ θεομαχεῖν οὐ θέλει· πῶς γὰρ δειλὸς. ὁ μετὰ πάντας φεύγων· οὐ γὰρ ἂν Διομήδης τοῦτον μόνον ἐκάλει·⁑

“He did not hear because of the noise or he was not persuaded because of the crisis. For he flees with the Ajaxes and he does not want to wage war against the gods. For how is that cowardly? He is fleeing with everyone else. Because Diomedes would not have called out to him alone” (See it on the manuscript photograph here: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.e3:8.62).

This scholion is perhaps the most vehement defense of Odysseus. Here we can see signs of scribal choice in content. The scribe of the Y.1.1 or one of his sources determined that the appropriate interpretation of line 8.97 was that regardless of whether Odysseus heard Diomedes, Odysseus is part of the larger retreat and just happens to be the one man named in the retreat. It is noteworthy that the Aristarchus’s viewpoint is left out entirely as he goes unmentioned. We can determine that at least some Aristarchean material was available to the scribe of the Y.1.1 because he is cited elsewhere in the Y.1.1. Not only is the name left out here, but his preference is also abandoned. Although we cannot be entirely sure that the scribe of the Y.1.1 did not have access to the Aristarchean material we saw in the Venetus A scholia on this line, the absence of the Aristarchean interpretation here offers evidence for how particular scribes valued or had access to the materials of Aristarchus, who is generally considered to have one of the most authoritative editions of the Iliad and commentary.

We can also begin to consider how much influence scribes and their sources had on interpreting controversial issues in the text. The Venetus A scribe shows a broader range in analyzing this particular passage of the Iliad. The scribe cites Aristarchus where his opinion is known and also shows an alternative viewpoint. The scribe of the Y.1.1 offers both interpretations of the issue, but does not cite a particular source for either opinion and dismisses the alternative interpretation in defending Odysseus’s actions. In the Y.1.1, the scribe has already decided that the most important argument for these lines is to prove that Odysseus’s actions do not make him a coward. The issue is complex and my third (and last) post on this subject will take a look almost two-hundred lines forward in the text to examine how the two manuscripts continue to debate the circumstances here in Book 8.

Look forward to a forthcoming response to this series of posts from Douglas Frame, author of Hippota Nestor (, who will provide a interpretation of Odysseus’ actions that the scholia do not consider.
Allen, T.W. “On the Composition of Some Greek Manuscripts.” The Journal of Philology. Wright, Bywater, and Jackson, eds. Vol. XXVI. MacMillan and Co. Ltd., London: 1899.

Frame, Douglas. Hippota Nestor. Center for Hellenic Studies, Hellenic Studies Series: 2010.

Kelly, Adrian. A Referential Commentary and Lexicon to Iliad VIII. Oxford UP, Oxford: 2007.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Collaboration and new tools are keys to success for Holy Cross research teams

Summer researchers and members of the Holy Cross MID Club in the St. Isidore of Seville Lab at Holy Cross
(back row, left to right: Stephanie Lindeborg, Rebecca Finnigan, Brian Clark, Nikolas Churik
front row: Neil Curran, Debbie Sokolowski, Andrew Boudon, Christine Bannan)
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit to the College of the Holy Cross where I met members of the Manuscripts, Inscriptions, and Documents Club as well as their faculty mentors Mary Ebbott and Neel Smith. The club has four teams of dedicated undergraduate researchers pursuing three different projects within the summer research program at Holy Cross. Two teams are working as part of the Homer Multitext project to digitize portions of the Venetus A manuscript. A third team is working on a 16th century manuscript of Archimedes. Another club member is working to digitize the Athenian tribute lists. I will be sharing more about the work of these teams over the coming days. And more importantly, the teams will author posts later this summer sharing their original and substantive research. But before posting results, I'd like to share some details about how these teams go about their work and why they are so successful.  Two significant factors emerged during my visit: innovative tools and collaboration.

I want to highlight the idea of collaboration because this has become a fundamental concept for the Homer Multitext project as a whole. Collaboration in an academic setting often involves sharing results or reaching consensus in meetings, but in this case it goes much deeper; the work process of each 2-3 person team is entirely collaborative. Here's what I mean: a team of three students might work through a the text of a folio line-by-line as what Neel Smith calls a "three-headed monster": one person checking a print edition, a second checking the digital image of the folio, a third taking notes. At Holy Cross, they have multiple teams all working side-by-side in one lab, so teams support each other when questions arise. When there are issues that the students can't resolve, faculty members are available right down the hall for consultation.

In addition to this collaborative approach, the teams are benefiting from the use of new tools that speed up the work flow while ensuring the quality of data. These tool also facilitate the creation of new resources and allow researchers to ask new kinds of questions about these manuscripts and the traditions they preserve.

For instance, the first team I met on my visit included Neil Curran (class of 2014) and Stephanie Lindeborg (class of 2013), who are both veterans on the HMT. This is Stephanie's third summer of research and Neil's second. [For more on Stephanie's research, see "Scholia On Odysseus in Iliad 8, Part One.]" Right now they are working together to verify transcriptions done by earlier teams on books 1-8 of the Venetus A. Part of the verification process involves a new tool: Mandatory On-going Maintenance or MOM, which Professor Neel Smith had just updated that morning. Among other things, MOM allows the team to generate an index of Greek words used on a folio along with the lines where the word occurs.

This list can then be automatically parsed and checked against all the entries in the LSJ to find words without a match. There are typically between 5 and 30 unmatched terms, or "failures," for each folio. These failures are then tracked and checked carefully, since some of them potentially represent "new" terms that can be added to the ancient Greek lexicon.

Partial list of possible "new" terms in Book 4 of the Venetus A.

This discovery of new words alone would be exciting, but these tools will also allow the creation of new and valuable resources, such as a "core vocabulary" for reading scholia in individual manuscripts—a challenging task even for many professors working from a print edition such as that of Erbse. In this case, however, undergraduates are reading a 10th century Byzantine script marked by the frequent use of abbreviations, technical language, and letter formations that are totally unfamiliar to most students, who are accustomed to reading from a print edition such as an Oxford Classical Text. And the HMT team has already estimated that about 20% of the scholia in the Venetus A have never been published, so there is often no authority to double check. These researchers become experts on many fronts.

As these students augment the ancient Greek lexicon and redefine undergraduate research, they are also building skills they never thought they would have. When I asked the team about this, Stephanie told me about the technical skills she has gained. It happens that her father is an engineer. Since working on the Homer Multitext, she has found that she is becoming fluent in the kind of technical language her father uses on a daily basis. And Neil noted the confidence that comes from being part of the HMT: "We are prepared to learn to do anything!"

This brings me to another point about collaboration on the project. The close, work-process collaboration I saw in action is not accidental. It has been intentionally and carefully fostered by the HMT team including Neel Smith, Mary Ebbott, Casey Dué, and Christopher Blackwell. Such collaboration is part of the genuine deep learning that is taking place, and it is hard to replicate in a traditional classroom. In fact, experience has shown that these teams are typically more successful when grades and course credit are left far behind. Perhaps this is because in a typical reading class, it's very easy to hide what we don't know. But when you are working through a text as "three-headed monster" there's no place to hide. You contribute all you can, then you simply admit what you don't know, you ask for help, and your team works it out together. Even the professors are in a position that requires complete intellectual honesty and at times modesty, since many of these scholia have never been translated before. The result is that good questions are valued as much as good answers.

And here's perhaps the most important outcome of this collaborative approach: teams develop their ideas in the context of meaningful intellectual relationships that extend beyond graduation day. Here again, the faculty have lead the way. Ebbott and Dué have been collaborating since their time as graduate students at Harvard, co-teaching courses, writing books, and now co-editing the Homer Multitext. Likewise, the project's information architects, Smith and Blackwell, have collaborated on the technical infrastructure of the project for over a decade now, and regularly collaborate on numerous other projects as well.

Over the next few years, the HMT team hopes to strengthen communication across its multiple teams at various universities. They are also thinking about ways to collaborate with participants after graduation, whether they are moving on to graduate programs in Classics or to careers in law, secondary education, or other fields.

Stay tuned for more from the Holy Cross teams and HMT graduates in the coming days.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Scholia On Odysseus in Iliad 8, Part One

A guest post by Stephanie Lindeborg, Holy Cross Class of 2013

In Iliad 8, Odysseus emerges as a problematic character for critics from antiquity. As the Greeks retreat under pressure of Trojan forces, Diomedes presses forward to rescue Nestor from a chariot wreck. Diomedes calls out to those who are retreating urging them to stay and fight. Diomedes specifically calls on Odysseus, who either does not hear Diomedes or hears him and chooses to continue fleeing. The language seems to make both options possible. It becomes especially problematic for our interpretation of Odysseus’s character if he ignores Diomedes’ plea. We do not expect heroes to abandon their comrades to save themselves. It is obvious through the numerous scholia about Odysseus in Book 8 of the Venetus A and Y.1.1 manuscripts that the ancient Homeric scholars found this issue of interpretation problematic and so they attempt to explain his actions. As I edited the scholia, I began to take a closer look at these scholia about Odysseus. I will discuss these scholia over a series of blog posts since they are numerous and worthy of extended deliberation.

To begin, I will start with a pair of comparable scholia that captured my attention first in the Venetus A for its unusual set up and then in the Y.1.1 for its distinctly different choices in organization and content. This pair of scholia each take the epithet, πολυμήχανος (“resourceful”), in line 8.93 as their starting point and then begin to detail Odysseus’s various skills and occupations. The Y.1.1 explains the issue in the typical, paragraph form of scholia. It uses mostly complete sentences, introducing the roles and explaining why Odysseus is referred to as such, alluding to sections of the Iliad or Odyssey and in one instance quoting the Odyssey. I have transcribed the text of this scholion as follows:

πρὸς ἐπιστροφὴν τὸ ἐπίθετον τέθειται· δεῖ γὰρ τὸν στρατιώτην τοιοῦτον εἶναι· γεωργὸς μὲν γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ καλῶς ἐν πόᾳ καὶ τὴν ἅρπην· καὶ τὰ ἄλλα τῆς γεωργίας ὅπλα κινεῖν γινώσκεται· κυβερνήτης. ἀπὸ τοῦ "πόδα νηὸς" [Odyssey 10.32]. ἰθύνειν καλῶς· τέκτων, ἀπὸ τῆς εὐθεσίας τῶν λίθων. καὶ τῆς εὐπριστίας τῶν ξύλων· ναυπηγὸς, ἀπὸ τῆς νηός· κυνηγὸς. ἀπὸ τῆς κυναγωγῆς καὶ τῆς ὀρεσινομίας· μάντις ἀπὸ τῶν ἐκβάσεων· μάγειρος ἀπὸ τοῦ ὡς δεῖ ὀπτᾶν καὶ δαιτρεύειν· ἰατρὸς. ἀπὸ τοῦ νόσους γινώσκειν καὶ τάμνειν ἰούς· μουσικὸς καὶ ἀοιδὸς. ἐξ ᾠδῶν κάλλους καὶ μύθων· πύκτης καὶ παλαιστὴς ἐξ εὐστροφίας καὶ χειρῶν συμπλοκῆς· τοξότης ἀπὸ διασκέψεως ἀρίστης· ἀκοντιστὴς. ἀπὸ τοῦ εὖ πάλλειν τὸ δόρυ ῥήτωρ ἀπὸ πιθανότητος· στρατηγὸς. ἀπὸ φρονήσεως καὶ ἀνδρίας· στρατιώτης. ἀπὸ πολυμηχανίας καὶ πολυπειρίας⁑

“The epithet is used because of the retreat. For it is necessary for him to be such a soldier. For he is a farmer [as is seen] from the passage in which he knows well how to move the sickle in the grass and all the implements for farming. He is a ship-steerer because he keeps the sail straight (Odyssey 10.32). A carpenter, from the good condition of the stones. And from the skillful sawing of wood. A shipbuilder from the ship. A hunter from leading the hunting packs and from the knowledge of the mountains. A seer from the landing places. A cook from, as is necessary, roasting and cutting up. A doctor, from the passages in which he diagnoses sickness and cuts out arrows. A musician and a singer from beauty of his songs and speeches. A boxer and a wrestler from versatility and his wrestling grip. An archer, from the best ability to survey. A javelin-thrower, from the passage where he throws the spear well. An orator, from his persuasiveness. A general from his foresight and manly courage. A soldier from craftiness and great experience” (urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.e3:8.58).
Scholion on Iliad 8.93 in the Escorial Y.1.1 [link to full folio image]
A total of sixteen different categories are mentioned here: farmer, ship-steerer, carpenter, ship-builder, hunter, seer, cook, doctor, musician, boxer, wrestler, archer, javelin-thrower, orator, general, and solider. In some cases, it is rather difficult to know what episodes in the epic tradition each epithet might refer to, but it becomes clearer when we look at the corresponding scholion in the Venetus A.

The Venetus A does something we had not seen in the manuscript in the previous books that have been edited over the last few years, and may indeed not be repeat in any of the subsequent books (We have not seen it so far in creating editions of the scholia of Books 1–7 of the Venetus A). This scholion takes each role or occupation and organizes them into a numbered list.

Scholion on Iliad 8.93 in the Venetus A Manuscript [link to full folio image]
 This format presented a new issue for us in how we marked up this content in our digital edition of the text. Neither the Dindorf nor the Erbse edition of the text represent this scholion as a list. Neither editor formatted his edition in such a way and neither editor included the Greek numerals that are present in the manuscript’s format of this scholion. We felt that not only was the format rare, but it was also integral to the interpretation of the text. Therefore we introduced a new type of markup to our list of acceptable TEI elements: “list.” The list is then broken down into several instances of the element “item,” corresponding to each entry in the list. This combination of markup allowed us to set up the edition in a way that best reflected the fact that we do, in fact, see a list in the manuscript.

Set off at some distance, but clearly corresponding to each epithet, the scribe includes either quotes from or references to episodes from the Iliad or the Odyssey to support each occupation. Quoting is much more frequent in the Venetus A version of the scholion, appearing with eleven of fifteen roles, whereas in the Y.1.1 there is only one quoted section. We have transcribed the text of the Venetus A scholion as follows:
πρὸς επιστροφὴν τὸ ἐπίθετον⁑
Α εστι δὲ γεωργος          "ἐν ποίη δρεπανον μέν"         (Odyssey 18.368)·
Β κυβερνήτης             "ἀεὶ γὰρ πόδα νηός"         (Odyssey 10.32)

Γ τέκτων             ἀπο τῆς κλίνης
Δ ναυπηγός             ἀπὸ τῆς σχεδίας
Ε κυνηγός             ἀπὸ τοῦ Παρνασσοῦ 

Ϛ μάντις             "φημι τίς μοι φάσθω"        (Odyssey 20.100)
Ζ μαγειρος            "δαιτρεῦσαι τὲ καὶ ὀπτησαι"    (Odyssey 15.323)
Η ἰατρος             "ὄφρα οί εἴ ϊοὺς χρίεσθαι"     (Odyssey 1.262-263)
Θ μουσικος            "μῦθον ὥς τ' αοιδός"         (Odyssey 11.368)

Ϊ πύκτης            "πῦν μὲν ενίκησα Κλυτομήδεα"     (Iliad 23.634)
ΙΑ παλαιστής             "Ἀγκαῖον δὲ πάλη Πλευρώνιον"    (Iliad  23.635)
ΙΒ δισκευτής            παρα Φαίαξιν
ΙΓ τοξότης             "εῦ μὲν τόξον οῖδα"         (Odyssey 8.215)
ΙΔ ἀκοντιστής             "δουρὶ δὲ ἀκοντίζων"         (Odyssey 8.229)
ΙΕ ῥήτωρ καὶ αστρολογος     "Πληϊάδας θ' ορόωντι"         (Odyssey 5.272)·

“The epithet is for the retreat.
1. He is a farmer         "in the grass, a curved scythe"     (Odyssey 18.368)
2. A steersman             "for [I] always [steered] the sails of the ship" (Odyssey 10.32)
3. A carpenter             from the bed     (cf. Odyssey 23.189)
4. A ship builder,         from the raft (cf. Odyssey 5.243-5.261)
5. A hunter,             from [the hunt] at Parnassos (cf. Odyssey 19.428-19.454)
6. A seer,             "I say let someone speak to me"     (Odyssey 20.100)
[Allen’s OCT edition of the Odyssey reads φήμην τίς μοι φάσθω on this line instead of φημι τίς μοι φάσθω, which would make it “let someone utter an omen to me”]
7. A cook         "cutting up and roasting"        (Odyssey 15.323)
8. A doctor             "so that he might have to rub on his arrows" (Odyssey 1.262-263)
9. A musician            "a speech like a singer"         (Odyssey 11.368)
10. A boxer             "in boxing I overcame Klytomedes"    (Iliad 23.634)
11. A wrestler             "in wrestling [I beat] Ancaeus of Pleuron" (Iliad 23.635)
12. A discus thrower         against the Phaiacians (cf. Odyssey 8.186-8.198)
13. An archer             "I know the bow well"         (Odyssey 8.215)
14. A javelin-thrower         "throwing a spear"         (Odyssey 8.229)
15. An orator and an astronomer "looking upon the Pleiades" (Odyssey 5.272)” (urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.msA:8.78).

One of the first notable differences between these two scholia besides format, is the choice of how to explain each epithet. The Venetus A scholion relies almost entirely on quotations whereas the Y.1.1 scholion summarizes for all but one epithet. Since both scholia start the same way, πρὸς επιστροφὴν τὸ ἐπίθετον, we are almost certainly dealing with divergent traditions in how this concept was explained to the audience. Both scholia start off explaining a particular epithet of Odysseus, and then proceed to reference many other skills and roles Odysseus is known for. However, these lists are not identical and their manner of proof is significantly different. The Venetus A predominantly quotes passages, while the Y.1.1 alludes to episodes with short words or phrases. Since both manuscripts have similar material the respective scribes were likely working with sources that ultimately go back to a similar body of material. With these two scholia as our points of comparison, it is obvious that choices have been made about how to present the list and how to cite examples of each role. What is not obvious is whether the scribe of each manuscript is himself making choices in format and content, or whether each scribe received the material from his source already in the form he used. Whether it is quotation or summarization, the way the scholia explain each epithet speaks volumes about the audience of these scholia. The intended audience of these scholia presumably knew the Iliad and the Odyssey so well that they understood where the quotations came from and what episodes the scholiast alluded to in his summaries without citations.

Another difference is observed in the roles referred to in each scholion. The Y.1.1 scholion has sixteen different roles. The Venetus A also includes sixteen, but places both orator and astronomer with number 15, notably citing a quotation for astronomy but not oratory. However, matching up the roles across the manuscripts becomes even more puzzling. Although both scholia have sixteen roles, they do not correspond perfectly. Discus-thrower and astronomer appear in the Venetus A but not in the Y.1.1. The Y.1.1 contains general and solider, but the Venetus A does not. Here we likely see not just different choices in how to represent material, but also either differences in source material or different choices in what to include. Differences in sources presume that the Venetus A and Y.1.1 scribes each had material the other did not. Differences in choices presume that they had the same or similar sources and chose to include and exclude information.

Upon closer inspection of occupations 10 and 11, boxer and wrestler, in the Venetus A, I discovered that the quoted sections have nothing to do with Odysseus. Rather they refer to episodes in Nestor’s life, taken from a speech of his in Iliad 23. Klytomedes and Pleuron, named in these two quoted sections, are firmly established as opponents of Nestor, referred to explicitly in the Iliad as such. The Y.1.1 scholion avoids this discrepancy by offering as proof only Odysseus’s versatility and superior grip as a wrestler with no quoted citations. The fundamental question is: why are proofs being offered that actually refer to Nestor instead of Odysseus, who is the clear subject of this scholion? One tempting explanation is that material on Nestor may have accidentally been placed here, due to his relevance in the surrounding lines. This scholion appears very early in the scene in which Diomedes rescues the stranded Nestor from the swiftly approaching Trojan forces. When such a mistake could have occurred in the process of composing the scholia (i.e. the scribe of the Venetus A or one of his sources) is unclear. According to the Erbse and Maas editions of this scholion, the Townley manuscript contains the same two lines cited for these roles as the Venetus A, which, if this is true, would indicate that the two manuscripts likely shared a source that contained this mysterious attribution of Nestor’s boxing and wrestling to Odysseus. The roles themselves, boxer and wrestler, would seem to be otherwise valid as they appear also in the Y.1.1 version of the scholion, though it is hard to be sure when the scholia are not exactly parallel. It would be worthwhile to take a closer look at the Townley manuscript since the A and T scholia are more closely parallel according to Dindorf and Maass. There is no indication in their print edition whether or not the Townley also presents this material in list form. Their edition furthermore reads φήμην instead of φημι for the quoted evidence for “seer.” It is unknown whether the editors have made a correction or if the Townley offers a different reading from the Venetus A.

Turning to the larger issue at hand, why the interpretation of Odysseus’s actions in Book 8 is so problematic, we must consider why the manuscripts, seemingly unprovoked, include lengthy descriptions of Odysseus’s skills at the very moment he is retreating. Are the scribes and ancient Homeric scholars attempting to make Odysseus seem more favorable by reminding the readers of his more admirable qualities? This issue will be discussed more at length in the next blog post, when I treat the scholia that deal directly with the question of whether or not Odysseus heard Diomedes’ call for help.