Propertius again -- quot editores . . .

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Hylander
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Propertius again -- quot editores . . .

Post by Hylander »

The text of Propertius, particularly Book 2, I think, is one of the worst in all Latin literature. The saying is quot editores tot Propertii -- there are as many Propertiuses as there are editors. Given the deplorable state of the text, an enormous corpus of conjectures has accumulated from the Renaissance to the present, and Propertius has been a gold mine for scholars who delight in thinking up bold conjectures such as Housman and Shackleton-Bailey,

The new OCT by Heyworth seems to me really over the top in this regard. He seems to have no scruples about pulling his own reconstructions of the text out of think air when he doesn't like what he sees. In fact, it's almost a deterrent to reading Propertius -- I found I had to have several other editions at hand as a check on Heyworth, including Fedeli, the old OCT (Butler or Barber or both?) and Goold, who is bold, too, but not quite as much as Heyworth.

Has anyone tried to use Heyworth, or does anyone have any thoughts on this? How is it possible to read Propertius?
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Constantinus Philo
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Re: Propertius again -- quot editores . . .

Post by Constantinus Philo »

which edition is the most reliable in your opinion?
Semper Fidelis

Hylander
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Re: Propertius again -- quot editores . . .

Post by Hylander »

"Reliable" isn't very meaningful in the context of editions of Propertius. Even the more "conservative" editions are full of conjectures, transpositions, and lacunae.
Bill Walderman

mwh
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Re: Propertius again -- quot editores . . .

Post by mwh »

It was George Goold himself who said that there is no good text of Propertius.
pulling his own reconstructions of the text out of think air
Isn’t think air where all worthwhile conjectures are pulled from? :D

Tarrant has a judicious chapter in the Brill Companion.

I don’t have Heyworth’s OCT to hand, but I thought he was properly generous in recording the textual proposals of others in his app.crit., which seemed to me very well constructed. I thought his treatment of the text was at any rate defensible, well-founded even. (But what do I know? I'm no Latinist.) His companion commentary, Cynthia, is again very impressive I thought, though I’ve only consulted it for a few poems (mostly in bk.4, along with Gregory Hutchinson, excellent). The big question, as with all authors but especially acute in Prop’s case, is how much is the poet and how much is transmissional corruption. However did a text get so terribly mangled?

Still, I think it is possible to read him, despite all the uncertainties.

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Re: Propertius again -- quot editores . . .

Post by Ghermanius »

I have both the Barber OCT (very slim) and the Heyworth, which is almost twice as thick.

Along with the Heyworth OCT one needs the commentary of his editorial choices, a big book, entitled 'Cynthia'.

I think one needs to accept that in Propertius you're often reading a vastly corrupted text.

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