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Appendix A: The Archetype of the Palatine MSS. of Plautus

Page size can be determined from MS B: 33 lines per page

If the account given on p. 7 of the mutual relationship of the Palatine or minuscule MSS. is correct, we may expect to find in the last twelve plays in the Codex Vetus (B) the best evidence about the form and writing of the immediate archetype of all the minuscule MSS. For this part of B seems to have been copied directly from that archetype, while all other MSS. and the first eight plays in B are copied from copies of the archetype, not from the archetype itself.

The size of the page in this archetype is indicated by a curious piece of conscientious copying on the part of the German monk, who was charged with the writing of a part of the Poenulus in B. In his anxiety not to omit a single word of his task he has copied in the margin the very headings of the pages at the place where they stood in his original. In the margin at vv. 1222-3 he writes plauti, at vv. 1255-6 paenulus, at vv. 1288-9 plauti, and again at vv. 1354-5 plauti, at v. 1385 penulus. We can see that his original had at the top of each left-hand page Plauti and at the top of each right-hand page Poenulus (Pen-, Paen-), and that each page had some 33 lines of Plautus. The transposition in B of vv. 285-352 and of vv. 547-608 of this play, which follow respectively v. 217 and v. 479, is, as has been pointed out on p. 35, due to the transposition of the second and third sheets of a quaternion of the archetype. The second leaf of the quaternion contained vv. 218-284, the third vv. 285-352, the fourth and fifth vv. 353-479, the sixth vv. 480-546, the seventh vv. 547-608. A similar size of page may be indicated for one of the first eight plays, the Asinaria, by the transposition of v. 51 to after v. 83, if the true account of the transposition be that the first line of the page, having been accidentally omitted, was afterwards added in the bottom margin.1

Several copyists

That the archetype was the work of more than one copyist2 may be proved, if proof be necessary, by the fact that the scribe of B leaves a blank space of four lines after Merc. 961, this line in the archetype being presumably the last line of the task of one of the copyists, who failed to cover completely the whole quaternion. The writing of two verses in the same line throughout a previous passage of the play (vv. 236-249) points to a scribe, either of the archetype itself or of its original, having been pressed for space at the end of his task. The numerous contractions of final syllables in the Miles and Truculentus--contractions which have caused great difficulty to the scribes of B, C, and D (e.g. Truc. 349 confutaverim edd., confutaverunt B, confutaver CD with line above r; Mil. 543 demum A, dem C D1, idem B1)--are probably the result of copyists having had to force an inconveniently large number of lines into the vellum allotted to them.

Where pages began

We may infer from the presence of marginal additions or corrections (see above, p. 35) that various pages of the archetype (or its original) began at Most. 412, Mil. 1273 (or 1274), Men. 475, 1029,3 Bacch. 65 (the second page of this play in the archetype, if the play began at the head of a page, for the opening lines had been lost), Most. 550, Poen. 623 (? 1382), Trin. 706; and either of the archetype or its copy at Amph. 161, Capt. 126. Apparently Pseud. 1162-1204 (42 verses, for vv. 1189-90 make only one verse) occupied one leaf of the proto-archetype (see p. 44).

Archetype written in early Caroline minuscules

If we look at the letters commonly confused in what were probably the three direct copies of the archetype: (1) B (last twelve plays); (2) the original of CD (last twelve plays); (3) the original of BD (first eight plays), we find some reason to believe that this archetype was written in early Caroline minuscule. Such a type of writing is indicated by confusions like:

u and a: Poen. 876 mutae edd., mulae B, malae CD.

Pseud. 334 satias A edd., sacias B, satius CD.

s and f: Bacch. 156 fuam B D2 edd., suam C D1.

n and r (?): Mil. 641 amoenis edd., amenis B, amoris CD.

i and l: Mil. 1189 illam AB, nihil iam CD.

Suprascript a, a feature of early minuscule, may be the origin of mistakes like adabit (original of CD) for dabit (AB) in Mil. 208; adre (original of CD) for dare (AB) in Mil. 71. Another feature of early minuscule, the ligature ex, has been over and over again mistaken by the copyists of the archetype for et, e.g. Aul. 766, Capt. 924. The ligature for -nt may conceivably have stood in Merc. 716 delinquont (delinquon B, delinqunt C, delinquunt D).

Contractions in the archetype

Here is a list of some noteworthy contractions used in this early minuscule archetype, including a few more or less doubtful cases:

animus ami animi; Mil. 1068 (animi CD, edd., amicam B); cf. Truc. 525 (anunt BCD for animum).

bonus (see below on probus).

capio ca capta,” “-cepta: Truc. 583 acceptaque (acaque B, que CD. (So in Truc. 50 the itcca of B (ita et CD) seems to point to a contraction of intercepta, p. 99.)

cave ce cave: Mil. 1335 nauta, cave malum (naut ace malum CD, ad macellum B).

cum c cum, con-”: Trin. 1148 quin conlaudo (quin claudo B with stroke over c, qui nunc laudo CD); Pseud. 401 cum cepit AB, c cepit D, with stroke over first c, concepit C.

decem dec decem: Most. 238 his decem (isdec B, isdem C D2, is D1.

do dt dant: Mil. 711 dant (dus B1, dent CD).

? dominus dno domino: miswritten dro in Men. 443 qui domino me (quid rome C, quid romae D, quod romae B1, quod pro me B2.

? domus: Mil. 1168 domum (damnum BCD).

dum d dum: Truc. 843 dum (dem B, idem CD).

ergo, ego. Besides the common contraction of ergo, ego, viz. g with suprascript o (as in B in Merc. 960, Mil. 345, 1021, etc.), another with the letters e and o, standing both for ego and ergo, may be indicated by passages like Aul. 725 (eo for ergo?), Men. 821 nego (neo B, neq. CD). A contraction of ergo in early minuscule is eg, which may also have been the contraction which led to the common confusion of ego and ergo (e.g. Bacch. 499). The general resemblance of the two words is, however, sufficient of itself to cause confusion.

est e est (see p. 95): Mil. 724 usui est (uule D, om. B1, uult B2 C).

et & et, -et-”: Men. 449 dum hieto, Menaechmus (dunihi & omen aechmus B, du mihi & omenaechmus CD).

et e et (see p. 95): Mil. 736 culpet (culpe BC, culpae D1;

Pseud. 87, etsi (est si ē si BCD

genu gea genua: Mil. 542 tua genua (tuagea BCD.

habeo hare habere: Men. 452 habere (hac re B, hare CD).

homo: Asin. 717 olim, a miswriting of homini.

magnus mnum magnum: Trin. 1062 damnum for da magnum; cf. Truc. 836 quesomnem for quaeso magnam ne (?); 57 mina for magna (?) (contraction-stroke mistaken for i ? cf. p. 97).

major mari majori: Truc. 308 ero majori (ero amari BCD).

mater: Merc. 923 Mater (om. C, Mane B, mater D).

modus mo modo: Poen. 926 quod modo (quo domo B, quod homo CD. In Stich. 666, if quis homo donavit be the true reading, the quissomniavit of BCD may come from quisomōnauit of the original.

multus mo multo: Amph. 301 modum majorem for multo majorem (?).

non n: nam n Pseud. 521 nam for non (?); 642 non for nam; Aul. 711 nam (ve)l non.

? planus: Mil. 1018 planum (patrem BCD).

post p' post: Men. 1117 (pus B1, p' B2, post CD. The same sign occurs, e.g., in B in Mil. 121, in D in Mil. 1418, 1426. It represents pos of poscam in D in Mil. 836.

per (see below).

?pro: Mil. 823, D for Pro (cf. p. 99).

probrum: Truc. 298 pracmium for probrum; Mil. 423 probrique (propinque BCD. In Mil. 396 probri (prout B1, prodi B2 CD the archetype may have had proui for probi (so A).

probus: Stich. 436 probe (pro B, per CD; Stich. 617 condi probum A ut vid., conspicor BCD; Mil. 918 pro for probe. In Epid. 107 (bono A, bono vel probo BVEJ, if there was a contraction, it was rather one of bonus. So in Most. 243, where the archetype had jovi bo argento, Schoell reads probo, but bono is also possible (cf. Asin. 734minae bonae”): Leo, however, adopts another emendation, bovi.

? profecto: Pseud. 256 profecto for proh or oro?

quae: Pseud. 939 quae (quan B, quam CD).

quam qua: Mil. 400 quam (quia B1, quasi B2 CD). (Stroke for m mistaken for i by B1. Cf. p. 97. The word simile follows. Hence quasi of the other MSS.)

quaque: qu ´q (with cross-stroke through final q): Pseud. 279 quaque (quamquam BC, quāq D, with cross-stroke through final q).

que: q. que: Pseud. 613 atque amant (atqamant B, atque amant CD (cf. Pseud. 328 queam for quam).

qui: Truc. 59, 73 nequi (neq; B, neq' CD).

quia: qa with suprascript i, quia: Truc. 370 quia (quā BCD (cf. Pseud. 779 quia B, qa D, qua C).

quoniam: the common contraction qm is found in BCD in Bacch. 290, Mil. 839, and appears in one or more MSS. in Mil. 286 (qm B, quō CD); Bacch. 292 (qm CD, qum B); Men. 1151 (qm BC, quō D1, quoniam D2).

? quum: qum: in Mil. 1211, 1419 B has qm with stroke above, which should represent quoniam, CD have cum. The cause of the confusion may, however, have been the archaic form quom.

si: s si: Men. 340 siqua (sedqua B1, si qua B2, sed quia CD).

sic: s sic: Merc. 92 isset for his sic.

? tibi: ti tibi: Mil. 419 tibi (id B, tibi CD.

trans: Mil. 468trans(tam B, trans CD.

vel vl vel: Mil. 1187imponi velit(inponunt B, impono CD; Truc. 246 vi ut for velut.

usus uui usui: Mil. 724usui est(uule D, om. B1, uult B2 C. The uule of D is in the Renaissance copy F emended to volupe).

Shorthand signs for whole syllables

Of shorthand signs for syllables may be noticed:

er: p with cross-stroke below, “per”: Truc. 656 piratus for periratus.

or: p', por: Poen. 456a picere (B: aspicere CD) for poricere.

ra: t with line above, tra: Most. 675 terno for Tranio.

-unt: r with tail intersected by stroke, -runt: Pers. 437 (BCD).

Contractions by suspension

And of contractions by “suspension”:

They are, as has been seen, especially frequent in the Miles and Truculentus (p. 102 above).

Other physical features of the archetype

Other features of the writing of the archetype may have been these:--

Marginal glosses were possibly indicated in the archetype (or the proto-archetype?) by a line above the glossed word, a line which has been mistaken for the sign of a contraction in Pseud. 659, where diobolia re- is written for doliarem.

The presence of Greek characters is shown clearly, e.g., in Pseud. 712 ποιῶ (ποlω B, noLω CD); but ναὶ γάρ of Bacch. 1162 must have been written necar, as it is in BCD, for B has a marginal conjecture ne carpe. In Pseud. 484 καὶ τοῦτο was written first in Latin, then in Greek form (see above, p. 61).

The “daseia” (p. 36), often found in our existing MSS. of Plautus, was probably a feature of the archetype too. How often the omission of an initial h in our MSS. is due to the Late Latin spelling or to a neglect of this “daseia” in the original, is impossible to determine.

The two opening words of the Menaechmi were in uncials in the archetype, as they are in B, for they have a line to themselves in C; and the same practice may have extended to other beginnings of plays or scenes.

On the use of capitals at the beginning of lines cf. p. 99 (on the corruption D for Pro in Mil. 824), pp. 85, 86.

The “apex” over a long monosyllable has led to a corruption in Amph. 632 (ret for re), and I think in Poen. 737, where the archetype seems to have had furti (furtis est B1, furtis es B2, furtis es C1, furtis e C2 D2, furtis ē D1). In Poen. 159 dato of the archetype has become mendato.

Of the absence of proper separation of words and of the attachment of prepositions and other small words to neighbouring words, examples have been given on pp. 3, 16.

Archaic forms in the archetype

It is more important to determine another feature of the archetype, namely its retention of archaic words and forms. We may safely infer on a priori grounds that a great number of archaisms existed in the archetype which have been modernised in all the copies, without leaving a trace of the older form, and that in the archetype itself a number of archaisms had disappeared which existed in its own original.4 It is as a rule at the beginning of his task that a copyist most faithfully reproduces what is before him; and when we find in the Bacchides in B such archaic forms as “istoc43, “vostrast50, “opticuisti62, “ecferri95, “quoi126, “vacivom154, “fuam156, “quoiquam225, “med357 (cf. 61), “disrumpit441, “credaas476, “ipsus478, “equm488, “surrupiam507, “semul576, “quoi617, “immersti677, “possiem762, “hasce787, “pacisce871, “ecfertur1058, we may conclude that we get in this opening play of the direct copy of the archetype a glimpse at the forms actually found in that archetype in other plays as well as the Bacchides. For every one instance of an archaism preserved by a lucky chance in the copies, e.g. Men. 942ted esse” (te deesse B1) (cf. Asin. 299), we may be sure that there was a score of instances in the original. Sometimes the modernising process would be facilitated by the fact that the word in the archetype had a gloss written above it or in the margin, as in Capt. 380 rebitas ([ve]l redeas B).

But usually the archaic form would be changed by the copyist himself without any guidance from his original. Corruptions like perditum sit (BD; perditum fit C) for perditum se it, Truc. 559, show us that the copyists were in the habit of writing i for an ei of the original, and that in addition to the cases where a trace of the older spelling has been preserved (e.g. Mil. 1085 abeis B, abis CD), there must have been a large number of cases where all trace has disappeared. The change of the future to the present of dico in Pseud. 1323 (deices B, dicis CD) suggests the same of the archaic spelling e for i (cf. Mil. 1141, 1161 facite for facete; Mil. 1206 sinite for sine te). The consideration of lines like

shows us how wrong it is to infer from the agreement of our MSS. that the archetype had, e.g., illo for illoc in Poen. 1061, illic for illi in Pseud. 758, istic for isti in Pers. 405, etc. etc. On the contrary, when we compare the number of archaic forms preserved in B with the scantier number preserved in CD, we are forced to conclude that the number of archaisms in the archetype must have considerably exceeded the number preserved or indicated by the copies.

In how many instances b and v, d and t were interchanged by the copyists we can only guess from relics of the archetype's spelling like curavit for curabit Amph. 487, ludificavit for ludificabit Amph. 1041, quidve for qui tuae Truc. 355, where the scribes' misapprehension has saved them from change.

That xs of the archetype was tacitly changed to x we see from Truc. 530 exuri for ex Suria. For coenam faciam (Merc. 578) the archetype had oenum factam; and this oe was corrected by the copyists to u (unum factam C, unum factum B, unam factam D), a correction doubtless made in many other lines where all means of detecting the older spelling are lost (cf. Truc. 103 oenus B, unus CD; and with o for oe Truc. 310 rem cogi for rem coegit, moniendis for moeniendis).

Corrections in the archetype

Of Corrections and Variae Lectiones in the archetype we have traces like the following:

Poen. 897 (the words Quanti? Duodeviginti minis seem to have been written in this, the correct, form over the same words in an incorrect form in the archetype).

dupli: Poen. 184 duplici (duplici B, duplici CD).

mea istaec: Pseud. 362 mea ista (mg. ec) (meaec ista B, meah ec ista D1, mea ec ista D2).

iam: Pseud. 1125 tamiam (tam B, tam etiam CD).

versicapillus: Pers. 230 versipelliscapillus (capillus versipellis BCD.

me mel meum: Truc. 528 [ve]l mel me in meum (me imme inmeum B, me inme inmeum CD.

impoti: Trin. 131 aimpoti (ampoti [ve]l impoti B, iampoti CD). (An “O. Lat. ampos” is quite unlikely.)

tu tristis: Men. 810 tutrix, mg. tristis (tutrix B, tristis B mg., tutrix C, tutrixtis D with dot under x).

telinum, v.l. bdellium. Curc. 101.

edi: Aul. 537 ediaudivi (di audivi B1 V1, edi id [est] audivi B2, audivi J V2.

haud: Bacch. 344 authand (aut B, haud B mg., haud CD.

suo: Bacch. 503 meo, mg. suo (suo meo BCD.

citentur: Men. 454 citeturne (citenetur CD, cinetetur B1).

in: Mil. 652 meoin (meoin B, min CD.

audin: Mil. 1313 audistisin (audistis in B, audistin CD).

1 Notice that v. 40 came in the archetype between v. 55 and v. 56, so that this page would have 33 lines of the play.

2 To determine where one copyist of an archetype ended and where another began, is seldom possible. Where it is possible, it is certainly worth doing; so great a difference of quality often exists between the work of one copyist and the work of another. The B-copyists of Most., Men. 1-381, of Men. 381-fin., Mil., Merc. 1-1013 are as bad as the copyists of the following plays are good. Their mistakes have fortunately been effaced by a corrector up to the middle of the Miles. But for the uncorrected portion, including the last half of the Miles and nearly the whole of the Mercator, the testimony of B is of very small repute--a fact not always realised by editors of Plautus. The deplorable state of the Truculentus-text in the archetype may be partly due to similar causes, either to the intervention of a new copyist, or the absence of a corrector, or both.

3 Between Men. 475 and 1029 come 554 verses and 11 scene-headings, making about 17 pages of 33 lines to each.

4 The change of isti to istic in Most. 721a seems to have been made in the original of the minuscule archetype; for the words jam istic ero were not rightly divided in that archetype.

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hide References (105 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (103):
    • Plautus, Curculio, 1.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.4
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, 1.3
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, 2.1
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, 3.1
    • Plautus, Persa, 2.2
    • Plautus, Persa, 3.3
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 1.1
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 1.2
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 2.1
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 3.1
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 3.3
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 4.2
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 5.2
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 5.4
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 5.5
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 5.6
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 5.7
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 1.1
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 1.3
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 1.4
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 1.5
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 2.2
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 2.4
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 3.1
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 4.1
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 4.5
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 4.7
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 5.2
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 484
    • Plautus, Stichus, 3.1
    • Plautus, Stichus, 4.2
    • Plautus, Stichus, 5.2
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 1.2
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 3.2
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 4.2
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 4.3
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 5.2
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 1.1
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 1.2
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 2.1
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 4.3
    • Plautus, Asinaria, 1.1
    • Plautus, Asinaria, 2.2
    • Plautus, Asinaria, 3.3
    • Plautus, Aulularia, 3.5
    • Plautus, Aulularia, 4.10
    • Plautus, Aulularia, 4.8
    • Plautus, Aulularia, 4.9
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 1.1
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 1.2
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 2.2
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 2.3
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 3.3
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 3.4
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.1
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.3
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.4
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.5
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.6
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.8
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.9
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 5.2
    • Plautus, Captivi, 1.2
    • Plautus, Captivi, 2.3
    • Plautus, Captivi, 5.1
    • Plautus, Epidicus, 1.2
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 2.2
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 2.3
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 3.1
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 3.2
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 5.2
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 5.5
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 5.9
    • Plautus, Mercator, 1.1
    • Plautus, Mercator, 1.2
    • Plautus, Mercator, 2.1
    • Plautus, Mercator, 3.3
    • Plautus, Mercator, 4.3
    • Plautus, Mercator, 5.2
    • Plautus, Mercator, 5.3
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 1.1
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.1
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.3
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.5
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.6
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 3.1
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 3.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 3.3
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.4
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.5
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.6
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.8
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 5.1
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 1.1
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 1.2
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 2.1
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 2.3
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 2.4
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 2.6
    • Plautus, Truculentus, 2.7
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, 3.2
    • Plautus, Menaechmi, 3.2
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