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 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,
vv. 1255-6 paenulus,
at vv. 1288-9 plauti,
and again at vv.
at v. 1385 penulus.
We can see that his
original had at the top of each left-hand page Plauti
the top of each right-hand page Poenulus (Pen-, Paen-),
that each page had some 33 lines of Plautus. The transposition
of vv. 285-352
and of vv. 547-608
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
, 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
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
, 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
--contractions which have caused
great difficulty to the scribes of B, C,
(e.g. Truc. 349
edd., confutaverunt B
with line above r;
Mil. 543 demum A
, dem C D1
)--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
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
), Trin. 706
; and either of the archetype or its
copy at Amph. 161
, Capt. 126
. Apparently Pseud. 1162
(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
, malae CD
Pseud. 334 satias A
edd., sacias B
s and f: Bacch. 156 fuam B D2
suam C D1
n and r (?): Mil. 641 amoenis
, 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
in Mil. 208
(original of CD
) for dare
) in Mil. 71
Another feature of early minuscule, the ligature ex, has been
over and over again mistaken by the copyists of the archetype
e.g. Aul. 766
, Capt. 924
. The ligature for -nt
may conceivably have stood in Merc. 716 delinquont
, 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:
(animi CD, edd., amicam B
(see below on probus
ca “capta,” “-cepta”
Truc. 583 acceptaque (acaque B, que CD）
(So in Truc. 50
(ita et CD
) seems to point
to a contraction of intercepta,
Mil. 1335 nauta, cave malum (naut ace malum CD, ad macellum B).
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,
Most. 238 his decem (isdec B, isdem C D2, is D1）
Mil. 711 dant (dus B1, dent CD).
: miswritten dro
in Men. 443 qui domino me (quid rome C, quid romae D, quod romae
B1, quod pro me B2）
: Mil. 1168 domum (damnum BCD).
Truc. 843 dum (dem B, idem CD).
Besides the common contraction of ergo, ego,
suprascript o (as in B
in Merc. 960
, Mil. 345
, etc.), another with the letters e and o, standing both
may be indicated by passages like Aul. 725
nego (neo B,
). A contraction of ergo
early minuscule is eg,
which may also have been the contraction
which led to the common confusion of ego
). The general resemblance of the two words is,
however, sufficient of itself to cause confusion.
(see p. 95):
Mil. 724 usui est (uule D, om. B1, uult B2 C).
& “et, -et-”
: Men. 449
dum hieto, Menaechmus (dunihi & omen aechmus B, du mihi & omenaechmus CD).
(see p. 95
Mil. 736 culpet (culpe BC, culpae D1）
, etsi (est si ē si BCD）
Mil. 542 tua genua (tuagea BCD）
Men. 452 habere (hac re B, hare CD).
: Asin. 717 olim,
a miswriting of homini.
Trin. 1062 damnum
for da magnum;
cf. Truc. 836 quesomnem
for quaeso magnam ne
(?); 57 mina
(?) (contraction-stroke mistaken for i
? cf. p. 97).
Truc. 308 ero majori (ero amari BCD).
: Merc. 923 Mater (om. C, Mane B,
Poen. 926 quod modo (quo domo B, quod
. In Stich. 666
, if quis homo donavit
be the true
reading, the quissomniavit
may come from quisomōnauit
of the original.
Amph. 301 modum majorem
for multo majorem
n Pseud. 521
(?); 642 non
Aul. 711 nam (ve)l non.
: Mil. 1018 planum (patrem BCD).
: Men. 1117
(pus B1, p' B2, post CD）
. The same
sign occurs, e.g.,
in Mil. 121
in Mil. 1418
It represents pos
in Mil. 836
: Mil. 823
(cf. p. 99
: Truc. 298 pracmium
Mil. 423 probrique (propinque BCD）
. In Mil. 396
probri (prout B1, prodi B2 CD）
the archetype may have had proui
: Stich. 436 probe (pro B, per CD）
Stich. 617 condi probum A ut vid., conspicor BCD
Mil. 918 pro
In Epid. 107 (bono A, bono vel probo BVEJ）
, if there was a
contraction, it was rather one of bonus.
So in Most. 243
the archetype had jovi bo argento,
Schoell reads probo,
is also possible (cf. Asin. 734
”): Leo, however,
adopts another emendation, bovi.
: Pseud. 256 profecto
: Pseud. 939 quae (quan B, quam CD).
: Mil. 400 quam
(quia B1, quasi B2 CD).
(Stroke for m
mistaken for i by B1
. Cf. p. 97. The word simile
of the other MSS.)
: qu ´q (with cross-stroke through final q):
Pseud. 279 quaque (quamquam BC, quāq D,
through final q).
: q. “que”
: Pseud. 613
atque amant (atqamant B, atque amant CD）
(cf. Pseud. 328 queam
: Truc. 59
nequi (neq; B, neq' CD).
: qa with suprascript i, “quia”
Truc. 370 quia (quā BCD）
Pseud. 779 quia B, qa D, qua C).
: the common contraction qm is found in BCD
, Mil. 839
, and appears in one or more MSS. in Mil. 286
, quō CD
); Bacch. 292
, quoniam D2
: qum: in Mil. 1211
with stroke above, which
should represent quoniam
The cause of the
confusion may, however, have been the archaic form quom.
: s “si”
: Men. 340
siqua (sedqua B1, si qua B2, sed quia CD).
: s “sic”
: Merc. 92
for his sic.
: ti “tibi”
Mil. 419 tibi (id B, tibi CD）
: Mil. 468
(tam B, trans CD）
” (inponunt B, impono CD）
Truc. 246 vi ut
” (uule D, om. B1,
uult B2 C）
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
or: p', por: Poen. 456a picere
: aspicere CD
) for poricere.
ra: t with line above, tra: Most. 675
-unt: r with tail intersected by stroke, -runt: Pers. 437
Contractions by suspension
And of contractions by “suspension”:
- r with line above:
- s with line above, “se”: Mil. 385 devortisse
(devortis B1, devorti sunt B2, divorti sunt CD).
- p with line above, “-pit”: Trin. 993 accepi te macto
(accep emacto BCD, with line above p).
- ? ī
- m with line above, “-mum”: Mil. 543 demum
(dem C D1, idem B1).
- d with line above, “-do”: Mil. 617 cedo
(cedent B1, ted B2, te CD).
- ā “-ant”: Mil. 715 munerant (munera BCD）;
Mil. 836 potitant
(potaitam CD, potatam B; cf. however p. 86).
- c with line above, “-cit”: Truc. 555 facit
(fac B, with line above c, facit D,
facta C) (cf. Truc. 854 sap “sapit”
B, with line above p).
They are, as has been seen, especially frequent in the Miles
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.,
Pseud. 712 ποιῶ
); but ναὶ γάρ
must have been written necar,
as it is in BCD
, for B
has a marginal conjecture ne carpe.
In Pseud. 484 καὶ
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
), and I think in Poen. 737
where the archetype seems to have had furti sé
(furtis est B1
furtis es B2
, furtis es C1
furtis e C2 D2
, furtis ē D1
). In Poen. 159
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
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
such archaic forms as “istoc
, 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. 942
” (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
]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
; perditum fit C
) for perditum
, 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
), 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
, dicis CD
suggests the same of the archaic spelling e for i (cf. Mil. 1141
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
in Poen. 1061
in Pseud. 758
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
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
for ludificabit Amph. 1041
for qui tuae
, 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
) 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
; and with o for oe Truc. 310
for rem coegit, moniendis
Corrections in the archetype
Of Corrections and Variae Lectiones in the archetype we have traces like the following:
(the words Quanti? Duodeviginti minis
have been written in this, the correct, form over the same words in an incorrect form in the archetype).
: Poen. 184 duplici
(duplici B, duplici CD).
: Pseud. 362 mea ista (mg. ec)
(meaec ista B, meah ec ista D1, mea ec ista D2).
: Pseud. 1125 tamiam (tam B,
tam etiam CD).
: 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）
: Trin. 131 aimpoti
(ampoti [ve]l impoti B, iampoti CD).
(An “O. Lat. ampos
” is quite unlikely.)
: Men. 810 tutrix, mg. tristis (tutrix B,
tristis B mg., tutrix C, tutrixtis D
with dot under x).
. Curc. 101.
: Aul. 537 ediaudivi
(di audivi B1 V1, edi id [est] audivi B2, audivi J V2）
: Bacch. 344 authand (aut B,
haud B mg., haud CD）
: Bacch. 503 meo, mg. suo (suo meo BCD）
: Men. 454 citeturne
(citenetur CD, cinetetur B1
: Mil. 652 meoin
(meoin B, min CD）
: Mil. 1313 audistisin
(audistis in B, audistin CD