Gellius, Attic Nights, Volume I

LCL 195: xxii-xxiii

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Codices O and Q have corrections by a second hand (O2, Q2). These sometimes eliminate obvious errors, but at other times introduce new conjectures. O also has corrections by a third hand (O3).

Besides these complete manuscripts there are two Florilegia contained in cod. Parisinus 4952 (T) and Vaticanus 3307 (Y), both of the twelfth century. In spite of their age these only occasionally give readings of any value.

Other codices used by Hertz are regarded by Hosius as of no importance.

A number of inferior codices (ϛ), for the most part later than the fourteenth century, contain the whole of Gellius, including the last part of the last book (otherwise found only in N), as well as the chapter-headings of Book viii. For this reason, and because they occasionally correct errors, they are not wholly to be disregarded.

The value of testimonia in text criticism is generally recognized. Of these Hertz has made a thoroughgoing collection. In some testimonia Gellius is named (Vopiscus, Lactantius, Servius, Augustinus, Priscian), but in very many instances he is used without mention of his name (as in Apuleius, Nonius, Ammianus, the Glossographers). Testimonia later than the ninth century (Einhard, John of Salisbury, etc.) are of no value in restoring the text.

Bibliographical Note

The editio princeps of Gellius was published in Rome in 1469 in one volume. This was followed in 1472 by a second Roman edition in two volumes and a Venetian edition in one volume; the Venetian


edition appeared in a twelfth reprint in 1500. Other important early editions are the Aldine in 1515, that of J. F. & J. Gronov, Leyden, 4 vols., 1706, and a new edition of the latter by J. L. Conradi, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1762. The standard critical edition is that of Martin Hertz, Leipzig, 1883. An editio minor of Hertz appeared in 1886, and the edition of C. Hosius in 1903, both in the series of Teubner texts.

There is an English translation by W. Beloe, London, 3 vols., 1795. It contains numerous errors and omits many words and phrases. A much better version is that into German by Weiss (see note 3, p. xiii). There is a good French translation in the edition of Apuleius, Gellius and Petronius by Nisard. Weiss (p. xvi) mentions four other French translations: one published at Paris in three volumes in 1789; one by Victor Verger with the Latin text, Paris, 3 vols., 1820; one by Jacquinet et Favre; and a fourth by Charpentier et Blanchet (the last two without dates); also a translation into Russian of 1820. Nothing approaching an adequate commentary on the Noctes Aiticae exists in any language.

A list of the important works dealing with Gellius is given in the edition of Hosius, pp. lxi ff. Besides works already cited the following additions may be made to his list:

  • W. Heraeus, review of Hosius, Berl. phil. Woch. 1904, pp. 1163 ff .
  • F. Hache, Quaestiones Archaicae. I. De A. Gellio veteris sermonis imitatore, Breslau, 1907.
  • A. J. Kronenberg, ad Gellium, Class. Quart., iv. (1910), pp. 23 f.