C.--The Authenticity of the Poems attributed to Theocritus.
In dealing with the question of authorship we have to follow three lines of evidence, (a) the testimony of MSS. existing or inferred; (b) the testimony of ancient writers, scholiasts, grammarians who cite passages of Theocritus, imitations by Greek and Latin poets where such can be definitely traced to Theocritus; (c) internal evidence of style, grammar, vocabulary, versification. An examination of this evidence leads to an unqualified rejection of the poems numbered in the traditional text xix, xx, xxi, xxiii, xxvii, and the εἰς Νεκρὸν ῎Αδωνιν. xxv and the Megara must be accepted or rejected together. I have therefore included the Megara in the collection. We must in the first place clear our minds from any prejudice arising from the new traditional order1, which dates only from the edition of Stephanus (1566 and 1579). This arrangement has no support in the MSS. or early editions, but poems of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus, are mingled together without clear assignment of author. Setting aside the editio princeps (Mediolana, 1481) which contains i-xviii only we have to take into account four printed versions2: (1) Aldine α (1495) i-xviii, Epit. Bionis, Europa, ῎Ερως Δραπέτης, xix, Epit. Adonid. 20, 21, Megara, 1-13, Epit. Adonid. 35-fin., xxii. 1-44, 92-185, xviii. 52-59, xxiii, Syrinx, Νεκ. ῎Αδων. (2) Aldine β (1495), a correction and supplement of above. (3) Juntine (1515) i, vii, iii-vi, viii-xiii, ii, xiv-xviii, xxii, xxiv, Europa, xxix. 1-25, xxvi, xxvii, xxviii, Megara, xxv, xxi, xxiii, xx, Epit. Adonidis, Νεκ. ῎Αδων., Epit. Bionis, ῎Ερως Δραπ. xix, Epigrams, Syrinx, etc. (4) Callierges (1516). The same contents, different order, xxvii standing last, before epigrams. These two are practically one authority, being both prepared from a copy supplied by M. Musurus derived from a lost Codex Patavinus. The MSS. vary enormously in contents and order of poems (see the descriptions of them in Ahrens' and Ziegler's editions, and in Hiller's Beiträge). Of the editions above mentioned the Aldines go back to two Vatican MSS.--Vat. 1311 (11) and Vat. 1379 (18). Of these 11 is derived from a now mutilated MS., Vat. 1824 (23); 18 and the Ambros. 75 (c)--in its central portion--are derived from the Paris MS. 2832 (Μ). From a comparison of 23 (or its representatives) and Μ, Hiller infers an archetype φ containing i, v, vi, iv, vii, iii, viii-xiii, ii, xiv, xv, xvi, xxv, Megara, xvii, Epit. Bionis, xxii, xviii, xx, xxi, Ερως, xix, Epit. Adonid. Νεκ. ῎Αδων., xxiii; Epit. Achillis (Beiträge, p. 57 sqq.). Beyond this, in turn, can be reconstructed an older archetype Φm.3 This was smaller, and included i-xvi, xvii, xviii, Epit. Bionis, xxii, xxv, Megara. What is added to this by Φ is added from a new source, and, to judge from the condition of the text, an exceedingly bad source. On this line then our MSS. are gradually reduced till we get to the respectable Φm. The suspected poems have no good tradition. They belong to the Φ group only, and do not go back to Φm. A. The second line to follow is that represented by Juntine and the Paris MS. D. This MS. is divided into three parts--D1 i-iii, viii-xiii, iv-vii, xiv, xvi, xxix, Epigrams; D2 xvii, xviii, xv; D1 xxiv, xxii. 69-fin., xxvi, xxviii, Megara, xxv. 85-fin., 1-84, Epit. Bionis, finally, after three and a half blank pages, xxvii, Securis. This adds to the Φ group, xxiv, xxvi, xxviii, xxvii (D3), xxix, Epigrams (D1); of suspected poems it contains, xxvii, Megara, xxv. Other MSS. to be taken into account are:-- (1) k (Ambros. 222, our best MS.), i, vii, iii-vi, viii-xiii, ii, xiv, xv, xvii, xvi, xxix, Epigrams. (2) The corrections of D (Db in Ahrens). (3) Ambros. 75 (c), first and fourth parts (Ziegler, p. vii). (4) Vat. 1311--third part--11c, for xxiv. 1-87. (5) Vat. 1311--first part--11a for xxviii, xxix. 1-8. From D and the Juntine can be reconstructed, (1) Codex Patavinus of Musurus, (2) archetype of Patavinus and D (Π, see Hiller, p. 4). Db is better than D, akin to k, and must have been used by Musurus here and there (e. g. xxiv. 66). The origin of these corrections may be called Π2. Now we get Db evidence in xxiv. 109, 45; xviii. 36, 20; xxv. 92, 114; Megara, 49; not in xxii, xxvi, xxvii; therefore the double tradition of Π Π2 attests xxiv, xviii, xxv, Megara. For xxiv we have also 11c, a MS. showing marked peculiarities, and not derived from Φ or Π or Π2. Ambros. 75 (c)--first part--contains, Epigrams, xxiv, xxvi, xxvii, agreeing with D in almost every respect and forming no new authority: e.g. xxiv. 66 χρέος Db om. D c. xxiv. 26 εἵλετο Db: εἴχετο D c. xxvi. 34 κάτθετο D c: θήκατο Junt. xxvii. 8. om. D c, etc. xxiv. 91 δράκοντε c Db: δράκοντεςας, D by copyists error and false correction. The difference of arrangement in c and D is easy of explanation. The MSS. evidence for the idylls included in D is therefore-- For xviii, xxv, Megara--Π Π2 Φ Φm. For xxii--Φm Π. For xxiv--Π Π2 11c. For xxvi, xxvii, Π (represented by D c Junt.). For Epit. Bionis, Φm Φ Π. The last is obviously untheocritean; its exclusion from Π2 is a testimony to the superiority of that collection. xxvi has only the support of Π, but has external authority, and is placed among pieces undoubtedly genuine in D. xxvii is placed apart from the rest in D, is not in Π2, and that it came into Π from a new and bad source is shown by the striking deterioration in D's text. The differences of Juntine are due to conjecture only as in Id. xxi. xxii has explicit external authority. xxvii may therefore be rejected, and we get as undoubtedly genuine, xviii, xxii, xxiv, xxvi, possibly Megara and xxv. Idylls i-xvii are contained in nearly all the good MSS., and, so far as such evidence goes, cannot be impugned. There remain xxviii, xxix, xxviii, and the Epigrams. Only one MS.--c--contains the three Aeolic poems. D has xxviii, xxix. Juntine has xxviii, xxix. 1-25. 11a has xxviii, xxix. 1-6. k has xxix, with Argument and Scholia. In character D resembles k; c differs from both and resembles 11a (Db does not appear). The genealogy of the MSS. must be somewhat as follows: [D places xxix in first part as in k. xxviii in Dc; the connexion of D with Π is very doubtful here. δ probably Π2. αἰολ. γ suffered two mutilations losing (1) xxix. 26-end and 30; (2) xxix. 7-24. c was copied before mutilation; 11 (with Ahrens' MSS. G. 6. c) after second mutilation, Patavinus after first. Ahrens--Philol. xxxiii. p. 589--holds that xxx came into c from a new source, arguing from absence of argument and corruption of text. But c has all three poems in one hand; and continuously written; and the corruptions in xxx are nearly all at the end of lines--an indication that it was copied from a torn MS.] The name of Theocritus is not attached to these poems in the MSS., but c and vi have arguments to xxviii; k to xxix. These arguments come from one archetype, and that of xxviii assumes Theocritean authorship. The Epigrams probably came from same source as xxviii-xxx. They have the authority of k, D, and Juntine (hence Π), and independently that of the Anthology. Hence, in conclusion, our good MSS. accept as genuine i-xvii, xxii, xxiv, xxvi, xxviii-xxx, Epigrams, xxv, Megara; the last two always placed together. None of our MSS. are older than the twelfth century, the majority belong to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; they represent therefore only Byzantine tradition. A study of the MSS. shows further that in Byzantine times the poems of Theocritus had to be collected from scattered sources, all our fuller MSS. are compilations. Ahrens (in Philol. xxxiii) has attempted to show what collections of Theocritus' poems were made at various times, and argues for the existence of three of importance: (1) i-ix, made by Artemidorus a scholar of Augustan times. He argues from the fact that many MSS. have only i-ix: that Scholia to i-ix are found in some MSS. drawn from a different source to the rest. That the collection existed is clear; but the MSS. containing it are only bad MSS. Artemidorus certainly made a collection, but it certainly included more than i-ix as his epigram shows:--(A. Pal. ix. 205) “ βουκολικαὶ Μοῖσαι, σποράδες ποκά, νῦν δ᾽ ἅμα πᾶσαι
ἐντὶ μιᾶς μάνδρας, ἐντὶ μιᾶς ἀγέλας.
” (2) i, v, vi, iv, vii, iii, viii-xiii (as in MSS. Q p w). This was undoubtedly an early collection. (3) i, vii, iii-vi, viii-xiii, ii, xiv, xv, xvii, xvi, xxiv, xxii, xviii, xxvi, xxviii-xxx, xxvii, Epigram, xxv, Megara. This Ahrens attributes to Eratosthenes. This collection is too wide. As appears from the foregoing examination of the Π and D line of MSS., D is a composite MS., and of its tributaries that which represents the best tradition (Π2) did not include xxii, xxvi, or xxvii. The assignment of the collection to Eratosthenes is merely hypothesis. The acope of this edition makes a full examination of these points impossible. I can give only a summary of the results, as they appear trustworthy, and must reserve a more minute discussion for another place:-- The Scholia afford a base of discussion. We have pre-Byzantine Scholia and Arguments only to i-xviii, xxviii-xxx. Scholiasts are cited by name in Idylls i, ii, iii, iv, v vii. Arg. xii is from Eratosthenes. Munatios is mentioned in Arg. iii, vii, xvii; Schol. ii. 100, vii. 106, 138. (1) This Eratosthenes lived in the time of Justinian (see Ahrens, Poet. Bucol. ii, p. 33); he is the author of an epigram, A. Pal. vi. 78, showing marked imitation of Theocritus, and may unhesitatingly be regarded as an editor of our poet, and author of part of the Scholia. It is remarkable that Arg. xii and no other is attributed to him; moreover this argument differs from all the rest in form. It is a probable conclusion that Eratosthenes added Id. xii to a collection already existing, with Scholia. This cannot have been Ahrens' third collection, since, of the poems therein, many have no Scholia at all; and it is hardly conceivable that they should have been entirely lost. Note further: Eratosthenes is never mentioned as a commentator. Is this because he is the author of our Scholia in their final form? Eratosthenes' Theocritus contained therefore: i, vii, iii-vi, viii-xiii, ii, xiv, xv, xvii, xvi, xviii, xxviii-xxx (the order of i-xvii appearing in k). (2) We shall have Munatius' edition, appearing shortly before Eratosthenes', and of the same contents, save that xii is not included. Munatius introduced with his commentary several notices concerning Theocritus' parentage (Arg. Id. iii, vii, xvii). It was to his edition in all probability that the epigram was affixed-- “ ἄλλος ὁ Χῖος: ἐγὼ δὲ Θεόκριτος ὃς τάδ᾽ ἔγραψα
εἷς ἀπὸ τῶν πολλῶν εἰμὶ Συρακοσίων,
υἱὸς Πραξαγόραο, περικλειτῆς τε Φιλίνης:
μοῦσαν δ᾽ ὀθνείην οὔτιν᾽ ἐφειλκυσάμην.
” The last line meaning 'I have introduced no alien Muse,' i. e. no song from another hand; and distinguishing Munatius' edition of Theocritus only from (3) an earlier edition of the bucolic poets. This early Corpus bucolicorum may be taken to have included Theocr. i, iii-xi, Bion, Moschus, perhaps Philetas, and others. (4) There are left over from these three editions, Idylls xxii, xxiv, xxvi (the Berenice), xxv, Megara. These would together form a convenient biblion, and could be classed roughly as ἔπη ἡρωικά. They must have existed without Scholia, if they existed together, and that they did exist together is rendered probable by their conjunction in D3. It is uncertain whether the Epigrams ever existed in separate form after the compilation of the Anthology of Meleager. On this line of argument therefore we are led to accept and reject just the same poems as by the argument from our existing or demonstrable MSS. B. External evidence: citation and imitation. Citations are made by grammarians from xviii. 49; viii. 66; xxiv. 138; xxii. 72, 137; xxvi. 1; xxviii. 1; xxv (Hiller, Beiträge, p. 65). These can be seen in full in Ahrens' edition at foot of text. Arguments from imitation have little weight owing to the impossibility of proving that the imitation must be from Theocritus. There is certain evidence that Theocritus wrote poems which have not been preserved. A fragment of the Berenice has come down to us; and Eustathius and Servius quote or allude to others (see Meineke, p. 397). Suidas has a curious note: Θεόκριτος ἔγραψε τὰ καλούμενα βουκοΛικὰ ἔπη Δωρίδι διαλέκτῳ: τινὲς δὲ ἀναφέρουσιν εἰς αὐτὸν καὶ ταῦτα: Προιτίδας: ἐλπίδας: ὕμνους: ἡρωίνας: ἐπικήδεια μέλη (so Bekker, ἐπικήδεια, μέλη, Birt): ἐλεγείας: ἰάμβους ἐπιγράμματα. We do not know the origin of the above statement, nor who the τινές were; nor whether Suidas means isolated poems or βιβλία bearing the above titles. Attempts have been made to identify the names with the poems in our Theocritus4: βουκολικὰ ἔπη, i-xi, xxvii, etc.; ἐλπίδες, xxi; ὕμνοι, xvii, xvi, xxii; ἡρωῖναι, xxvi, xviii; ἐπικήδεια, Epit. Adonidis, Epit. Bionis; μέλη, xxviii, xxix, xxx; ἐλεγεῖαι, viii; ἴαμβοι and ἐπιγράμματα, Epigrams. Even if this is the right method the identification of ἐλεγεῖαι and ἴαμβοι is unlikely. By the first is more likely meant some of the epigrams, if not poems, altogether lost: for ἴαμβοι we might read μιμίαμβοι a confused description of xv and the mimes. The Προιτίδες are left out of account. J. A. Hartung thinks that Vergil may betray knowledge of the poem in
The story is certainly current in Alexandrian literature (Call. Dian. 233 sqq.), and was dealt with by Bacchylides (xi), a poem which Callimachus obviously knows. It is possible enough that Theocritus wrote such a poem (on the model of xxvi), but no proof for or against can be adduced. Not much importance attaches to the statement that one Marianus (400 a. d.) paraphrased Theocritus in 3150 iambic verses. He probably included the other pastoral poets. C. Internal evidence. In Id. xx we notice as untheocritean:-- (1) The large proportion of uncontracted forms--φιλέειν (4), λαλέεις (7), νοσέοντι (9) etc. (2) The forms--ἐμεῖο, συνεχές, ἄφαρ, στομάτων, ἁδέα, κρέσσων, ἐμμί, ἠδέ, πολλόν. (3) The words--βοηνόμον, ἄγροικος, δονέω, δώνακι, πλαγιαύλῳ, ἀνά (of time), ἀνέρι βούτᾳ separated. Contrast i. 86; vi. 7; vii. 32. The poem is full of reminiscences of Theocritus--xxvii=xi. 38; xxi sqq.=vi. 34; xxvi=xi. 19; xxx=xi. 76 (see Meineke, p. 328). [κρήγυον='true,' see ad loc.] (4) In metre the poem is far more dactylic than the genuine pieces, the proportion of dactyls to spondees in the first five feet being 5.08:1 as against 3.5:1 in Theocr. Id. iii. In Theocr. iv it is 2.33:1 (cf. Kunst, De versu Theocr., p. 10; Legrand, Étude, p. 329). Still more decisive is the general tone of the poem. The contrast of town and country manners is not a Theocritean motive. There is no setting, or localization. To whom is it addressed? The piece is obviously of later authorship, but who wrote it has mercifully been forgotten (see further, Hiller, Beiträge, p. 70). xxiii was apparently known to Ovid (see note on v. 16), but this proves nothing for authorship. The motive becomes a commonplace in the writers of so-called romance (Charito, E. 10; Ovid, Met. xiv. 701). The evidence of style and metre is the same as for xx. The tone is maudlin and namby-pamby. In language note untheocritean: ἀπηνέος, ἀτειρής, τὸν βροτόν （11）, ἐθέλω with accus., σβέσσω (Theocr. uses the σς only in aorist), οὐδὲ ἕν, πῶς (for ὅπως), ὑποπτεύῃσι. xix resembles Bion iv (Meineke) in conception, and may be with probability ascribed to that poet (so Valck., Hermann, and others). xxvii is condemned by style, and by the coarseness of its tone. The language also obviously belongs to a late writer ἰδὲ πῶς, δίδου ὄφρα φιλάσω for δίδου φιλᾶσαι, μίτρα^ν. Untheocritean are σεῖο, ναὶ μάν, Παφία. xxi is a far more important poem, and has been thought fully worthy of Theocritus. 'There is nothing in Wordsworth,' writes Mr. Lang, 'more real, more full of the incommunicable sense of nature, rounding and softening the toilsome days of the aged and the poor, than the Theocritean poem of the Fisherman's Dream.' But a piece worthy of Theocritus is not necessarily a Theocritean piece, and the 'nature' of xxi is not the nature of Theocritus. The evidence of language is strong: αἰφνίδιον, μελεδώνη, ἐγγύθι, ἀθλήματα (new sense), θλιβομέναν ('narrow'), τρυφερόν (new sense), προσέναχε, φίλος πόνος, ἤρεθον, μινύθειν, σιδάροις (pl.), τραφερῶν, ἠρέ̣̣α, ὤμοσα δ᾽ οὐ, ταρβῶ, ἐπι_μύσσῃσι, φυκιόεις, Ποσειδάωνι, ἰχθύα, ἰχθο^ν--all these are untheocritean. The rhythm of v. 15 is unparalleled. The long list of implements in v. 10 sqq. is foreign to our poet's style. Still less than Theocritus is Bion the author: the spondaic character of the verse alone proves this; and there is no evidence that Bion or Moschus ever wrote realistic poems. A much stronger case could be made out for assigning the poem to Leonidas of Tarentum, or at any rate to a close imitator of that writer:-- ἰχθύος (6) sing., cf. A. Pal. vii. 504 κίχλης καὶ σκάρου ἰχθυβολεύς. φυκιόεντα δέλητα, cf. A. Pal. vii. 504 πετρήεσσαν (living under rocks); vii. 273 αἰπήεσσα καταιγίς (from the heights). θλιβομέναν (pres. part.), cf. A. Pal. vii. 665 πεπταμένους αἰγιαλούς. ὕπνον ἀπωσάμενοι, cf. A. Pal. vii. 726 ἀπώσατο πολλάκις ὕπνον. Leonidas' epigrams, A. Pal. vi. 4; vii. 295; vii. 504, are 'fisher epigrams.' The first is a dedication from the fisher Diophantus. xxi is addressed to Diophantus. The second is on the death of Theris who ἔθαν᾽ ἐν καλύβῃ σχοινίτιδι λύχνος ὁποῖα, cf. xxi. 7. The list of implements in xxi is thoroughly Leonidean (A. Pal. vi. 4, 205, 204, 296, 35). Leonidas is essentially a poet of humble life and workers (cf. A. Pal. vi. 288; vii. 726). He is remarkable for his bold use of new words, or old words in new senses. True, we know Leonidas only as an epigrammatist, and one of no great note; but A. Pal. vii. 736, 295, 472; vi. 300, show a certain pathos and poetic power; and though xxi shows a humour not found in Leonidas, yet the elaboration and conception of the poem are of the simplest and not beyond the power of the Tarentine. There is evidence, finally, that even before Meleager's time the poems of Leonidas and Theocritus had been confused (cf. note prefatory to Epigrams). The only objections to recognizing Leonidas as author are (1) the form of such lines as 16, 56, 60--not paralleled from Leonidas (cf. Geffcken, Leonidas von Tarent, p. 142); (2) the representation of humble life is a common motive both in New Comedy and afterwards (Plaut. Rudens; Herondas; Geffcken, op. cit., p. 137); (3) that we do not know of Leonidas as an author of anything but epigrams. Reitzenstein's judgement is worth quoting (Epigram und Skolion, p. 152): 'Anders ist der Stil der ῾Αλιεῖς, sie können nicht dem Leonidas gehören, trotz der weiten Aufzählung der Fischergeräte, einzelner kühner Wörter, ja einer direkten Entlehnung aus Leonidas. Dann sind die ῾Αλιεῖς aber von einem Nachahmer des Tarentiners, welcher seinerseits die pomphafte Sprache desselben herabgestimmt und gemildert hat.' But it is not impossible that Leonidas himself modified his style under the direct influence of Theocritus in Cos. The question of xxv and Megara is much more difficult. That they are by the same author is now generally accepted; who this author was is still sub judice5. (1) The two poems are conjoined in the MSS. (Π Π2 Φ Φm); community of authorship being obviously assumed. (2) Internal evidence: the two poems have a large number of words in common which do not occur elsewhere in the Corpus bucolicorum, e. g. ἀθέσφατος, ἄμοτος (as adj.), γόνος, δεδεγμένος, ἐκπάγλους, βίη ῾Ηρακληείη, κλάζειν, κ.τ.λ.; cf. αἰνολέοντα, xxv; αἰνοτόκεια, Meg. (Legrand, Étude, p. 264). The metrical structure of the two is much the same, allowance being made for the difference of the character of the persons (Hiller, Beitr., p 63). The vocabulary of both is partly Homeric, partly that of the new epic, though xxv contains the more unhomeric words. The evidence of metre is instructive. There are four general 'laws' of the hexameter observed in Alexandrian writers6:-- (1) A trochee or dactyl in the second foot must not be formed by a word commencing in first foot. (2) The masculine caesura in third foot must not be preceded by an iambic word. (3) Masculine caesura and diaeresis in both third and fifth foot of same line is forbidden. (4) Diaeresis in fifth arsis is only allowed when the verse contains weak caesura and third foot is followed by a long word. Theocritus neglects these laws entirely in his pastorals and mimes, e. g. first law, vii. 14, 38, 65, etc.; second law, ii. 76, 126, 130, etc.; third law, x. 11, 39, etc.; fourth law, xi. 7, 71, etc. In the epic idylls (among which reckon xiii, xvii, xxii, xxiv, xxv, Megara) the number of places where the laws are neglected are (if my counting is correct):
|Third law||1||1 (?)||5||0||2||0|