Rutilius Namatianus, De Reditu Suo

LCL 434: 762-763

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Introduction to

of the Duke of Sermoneta at Rome in 1891. V and R, both written in the sixteenth century, are indirectly and independently derived from an archetype found at Bobbio in 1494 or 1493. This archetype may be conjectured to have been written in Lombardic characters in the eighth or ninth century; but it has been lost since its removal from Bobbio in 1706. In 1495 Inghiramius, surnamed Phaedrus of Volaterra, afterwards librarian at the Vatican, made a copy of it at Bobbio and took it to Rome before 1506. About that time the poet Sannazaro had brought with him from France to Italy the newly-discovered Halieutica of Ovid and Cynegetica of Grattius and of Nemesianus; and in his enthusiasm for new works he either acquired or transcribed Phaedrus’ copy of the manuscript. According to Baehrens and to Vessereau, V is Sannazaro’s copy, though, according to Hosius, the descent of V is traceable back through Sannazaro and then through Phaedrus to the codex Bobiensis. The Vienna MS. is on paper, of the sixteenth century, bound up at the end of a volume immediately after Ovid’s Halieutica, also on paper and preceded by seven older manuscripts on vellum of smaller dimensions than the paper MSS. Among these vellum MSS. certain lines of Eucheria and another copy of the Halieutica, with Sidonius Apollinaris and Grattius, have been identified with the actual poems which Sannazaro brought from France.

The editio princeps published by Battista Pio at Bologna in 1520 has a value for determining the text, as it represents Phaedrus’ copy according to Hosius, and thus offers a testimony earlier than Sannazaro’s copy and its derivative V.


Introduction to

R is dated by Vessereau a quarter of a century after V, i.e. in 1530, as he holds V to be Sannazaro’s copy. Hosius, who collated R in Rh. Mus. (1896), vol. li, inferred that it was written within 30 or 40 years of the discovery of Rutilius’ poem in 1493. a The corruptions shared by V and R prove their common descent, but R cannot have come from Phaedrus’ copy (represented in the editio princeps B), because R sometimes preserves the true reading in contrast with V and B. On the other hand, a consensus of V and R virtually establishes a reading in the lost codex Bobiensis of the eighth century.

Bibliographical addendum (1982)

  • Rutilius, De reditu (with Italian translation and commentary), ed. E. Castrina, Florence 1967.
  • Rutilius, De reditu, ed. E. Doblhofer, Heidelberg: I (introduction, text, German translation, index verborum) 1972; II (commentary) 1977.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.rutilius_namatianus-de_reditu_suo.1934