Musaeus, Hero and Leander

LCL 421: 296-297

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Musaeus

Unfortunately, precisely in the field which is of most concern in such an edition as this, even after the latest efforts of these three learned interpreters, we are still far from a generally accepted consensus of opinion. Their suggestions for the solution of a relatively large number of specific problems of textual criticism and of interpretation of meaning lead to conclusions which are somewhat frequently widely divergent. This shows only how insufficient, in the final analysis, our material is for textual criticism in the case of unique or peculiar expressions in this short poem, and there is no immediate possibility of this situation being improved. Therefore I have not felt myself prompted to make substantial changes in the constitution of my text as against the suggested solutions which I have discussed and argued for in my Bemerkungen. On the other hand I have in the apparatus criticus gone beyond the material adduced to support my own conclusions and considerably increased the references to different solutions and to the parallels on which these are based, so as not to mislead the reader by the deceptive semblance of a certainty beyond dispute.

For his help in the translation into English of the additional notes, in the preparation of the final text of the introduction and in proof-reading I wish to thank Mr. Jean Parry, assistant in the department of classics in Bern.

Thomas Gelzer

Bern, April 1972

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Musaeus

Introduction I. The Poet and his Work

The Poet

We have no biographical information about the epic poet Musaeusa beyond the fact that in the superscriptions of some manuscriptsb he is called γραμματικός. In the fifth and sixth centuries a.d. this title was borne by several authors whose works, in verse and in prose, we still possess. They are scholars and teachers learned in the rhetoric, poetics and philosophy of their time, and expert in the scholarly interpretation of the classical prose-and verse-authors, in particular of Homer, the orators and the philosophers.

Clues for dating Musaeus can be gathered from the comparison of his poem with other surviving writings.c The most striking clue is the use that he

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.musaeus-hero_leander.1973