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monastery of Benedictines, in the year 612. A Catalogue of the library of this religious house, written in the tenth century, was published by Muratori, in bis Antiquitates Italica. In the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Cardinal Frederigo Borromeo, nephew of the saint, founded the Ambrosian Library at Milan; and enriched it with the Bobian collection, purchased at a great price. These MSS. are now distinguished by the title of Bobienses.
It is well known, that we have to ascribe the loss of many valuable works to a practice, which prevailed in the middle ages amongst the monkish scribes, who used to pare off the surface of parchment manuscripts, or to obliterate the ink by some chemical process, for the purpose of fitting them to receive the works of some Christian author. Copies of books thus prepared and written on a second time, are called Codices Palimpsesti'. It appears from the account given by Wetstein of the Codex Claromontanus of the New Testament, that it had originally contained the works of some tragedian, perhaps Sophocles. A very ancient Galen was detected under the text of the New Testament by Knittel, in the library at Wolfenbuttel: for the erasure of the original writing was not always so complete, but that parts of it might be deciphered by holding it up to the light.
The editor of these fragments, examining a MS. of Sedulius, a Christian poet, in the Bobian collection, discovered some traces of a more ancieut writing, and upon a closer investigation was enabled to recover parts of three orations of Cicero, which had not seen the light. The writing is large and clear, and each page is in three columns. Some of the Scholia on the oration Pro Scauro are written in minute capitals. The book was originally in quarto, but the monkish copyist had doubled it into an octavo form. Of the quarto leaves, six have part of the oration pro
1. Cic. ad Trebat. IV. 18. “ Nam quod in palimpsesto, laudo equidem parsimoniam, sed miror, quid in illa chartula fuerit, quod delere malueris-non enim puto te meas epistolas delere, ut reponas tuas.” Catullus XX. 5. nec sic, ut fit in palimpsesto Relata : chartæ regiæ, novi libri. In both which passages some read palinxesto. Gloss
. Vett. Mariyonopov. Deleticia. Another has Deleticia. Haλίμψηκτρον. To say the truth, I do not see by what analogy παλίμnotos is formed. It should rather be παλίμψηκτος. .
Scauro with the Scholia ; three and a half, part of that pro Tullio ; and one, a fragment of the speech pro Flacco. One has a part of the oration pro Cælio, which is contained in the editions of Cicero. The writing of the text of Sedulius is very ancient, (of course prior to the tenth century, for this MS. is in the Catalogue above mentioned,) but that of the Cicero is much older. It is the opinion of some Italian antiquaries, the editor tells us, that it is as old as the second or third century. The Scholia are supposed with considerable probability to belong to the ancient and learned commentator on Cicero, Asconius Pedianus.'
The Fragments specified in the title of the second publication, were in like manner rooted out from a Coder Palimpsestus, containing the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon ; and apparently somewhat more modern than the MS. of Sedulius; at least the characters of the Cicero are ruder. Of the oration in Clodium et Curionem, so many fragments are extracted, that by the help of the Scholia, (for the MS. is rather a copy of the Scholia, than the Oration itself,) we can form a notion of the drift of the whole. The particles of the Oration de are alieno Milonis are curious, because it was not before known that any such oration had ever existed. Qui unus repertus, says the editor, with the genuine enthusiasm of a virtuoso, sufficeret ad ætatis nostra singularem felicitatem jure ac merito predicandam. The ancient commentary, of which the editor speaks in terms of rapturous commendation, mentions a work of Cicero, entitled, Edictum Lucii Racilit TRIBUNI PLEBIS. And another, De ReBUS SUIS IN CONSULATU gestis AD POMPEIUM. It mentions also a curious fact, that when Cicero spoke his elegant oration for his friend Archias, his brother Quintus was Prætor. It has preserved also a passage from the speech of C. Gracchus de Legibus promulgatis. The author of this Commentary the editor determines to be Asconius Pedianus, and supports his opinion by ten arguments, some of which are conclusive.
It appears that the copyist did not understand Greek; for Asconius having quoted a passage from the first book of Xenophon's Cyropædia, blank spaces are left in the MS. for the Greek quotations. This was the case, as might be expected, with most of the Latin scribes. Whoever has consulted the MSS. of Priscian, bas had occasion to deplore this defect. A curious instance of it is noticed by Porson in his Notes on the Orestes 667. The Commentary elucidates, besides the unedited Orations, those pro Archia, pro Sylla, pro Plancio, and in Vatinium.
We shall select a few of the fragments, in order to enable our Readers to judge of the value of this discovery, and shall briefly notice some peculiarities of orthography.
Orat, in P. Clodium et Curionem, p. 20. Tu qui indutus muliebri veste fueris.—Cum calautica capiti accommodareturSed, credo, postquam speculum tibi adlatum est, longe te a pulchris abesse sensisti.
Orat. de Ære Alieno Milonis, p. 34. Eiciundus est ex urbe civis auctor Salutis — Includendus intra parietes —Qui Populi R. imperium non terrarum regionibus, sed cæli partibus terminavit.
P. 36. Non pudet? sed quid pudeat hominein non modo sine pudore, verum etiam sine ore.
We may observe, by the way, that Asconius uses in this page the word rumigerantium, which is marked in the dictionaries as an obsolete expression.
De nostrorum omnium non audeo totum dicere. Videte quid ea vitii lex habitura fuerit, cujus periculosa etiam reprehensio est.
Pro Scauro. P. 11. Venio nunc ad testes; in quibus docebo non modo nullam fidem et auctoritatem, sed ne speciem quidem esse aut imaginem. Testium etenim fidem primum ipsa tollit consensio, quæ late facta est compromisso Sardorum et conjuratione rogitata. Deinde illa cupiditas quæ suscepta est spe et promissione præmiorum. Postremo ipsa natio, cujus tanta vanitas est, ut libertatem a servitute nulla re alia, nisi mentiendi licentia distinguendam putet. Neque ego Sardorum querellis (sic) moveri nos numquam oportere (aio). Non sum aut tam
1. III. Catilin. 10. Fines vestri imperii non terræ, sed cæli regionibus terminaret. Herodot. VII. 8. Ei TOUTOUS te kai tous novτοισι πλησιoχώρους καταστρεψόμεθα -γην την Περσίδα αποδέξομεν τω Alòs aidépı opoupéovoav. 2. A bad joke.
Persius V. 103. exclamet Melicerta perisse Frontem de rebus.
3. Observe etenim the second word in the sentence; which is not common in prose writers.
inhumanus aut tanı alienus a Sardis, præsertim cum Frater meus nuper ab his decesserit, cum rei frumentariæ Gn. Pompei (sic) missu præfuisset. Qui et ipse illis pro sua fide et humanitate consuluit, et eis vicissim percarus et jucundus fuit. Pateat vero hoc perfugium dolori : pateat justis querellis : conjuratio vi intercludatur, obsidietur insidiis. Neque hoc in Sardis magis, quam in Gallis, in Afris, in Hispanis. Damnatus est L. Albucius et C. Megaboccus (sic) ex Sardinia, nonnullis etiam laudantibus Sardis. Ita fidem majorem varietas ipsa faciebat. Testibus enim æquis, tabulis incorruptis tenebantur. Nunc est una vox, una mens non expressa dolore sed simulata, neque hujus injuriis sed promissis aliorum et præmiis excitata. At creditum est aliquando Sardis; et fortasse credetur aliquando : si integri venerint, si incorrupti, si sua sponte, si non alicujus impulsu, si soluti, si liberi. Quæ si erunt, tamen sibi credi gaudeant et mirentur. Cum vero omnia absint, tamen se non respicient, non gentis suæ famam perhorrescent?
The following particularities occur in the orthography :
Adulescentia. aliqui for aliquis. aliut. aput. illut. auris for aures, &c. Epistula. erolare. idem isdem Pompei Clodi for idem iisdem Pompeii Clodii. inlatus, quamtus, numquam, optinere, temptare, scribsi, voltus, pervolgare, quom, quotiens, totiens, kaput, karitas, intellegere, Filippicis, kapitalis, equitibus, cæcidit. contionibus.
Causa, not caussa; nuntio and nuncio both occur. erprobare is twice written for erprobrare, pp. 19. 37.
We shall conclude our extracts with the following remark of Asconius on the words Epigramma in eum fecisset tantummodo alternis versibus. Pro Arch. p. 61.
“Alternos igitur versus dicit elegiacos, metris scilicet dissentientibus varios. Primus autem videtur elegiacum carmen scribsisse Aliinos. (Kallinos, Majus.) Adicit Aristoteles præterea hoc genus poetas Antimachum Colofonium, Archilochum Parium, Mimnermum Colofonium, quorum numero additur etiam Solon Atheviensium legum scribtor nobilissimus.”
This fragment may be added to the authorities quoted by Ruhnken in bis remarks on Callinous (in Callimach. Eleg.)
The character is ancient, and uniform in the first MS. but in
the second some letters are introduced which mark a later age ; for instance à for (i. e. A), E for E, h for H, M for M, 9 for Q.
We understand that the same industrious and able Scholar, to whom we are indebted for the publication of these interesting documents, is about to publish a transcript of a mutilated MS. of Homer in the Ambrosian Library, which he supposes to be the most ancient in existence. We will transcribe his account of it from the second volume of the Acta Seminarii Lipsiensis,
“ Liber membraneus foliis minoribus LI. constans, quorum pars antica coloratam picturam exhibet, Iliacum aliquod facinus repræsentanten, postica vero bombycinis chartis obtegebatur, quæ aliquot rhapsodiarum argumenta, plerumque tamen scholia Homerica Græca continent.-Nos mémbraneum codicem a bombycino separavimus, Homericos versus descripsimus fere octingentos, cum insigni variantium lectionum copia ; scholia cum editis contulimus, quæque inedita sunt diligenter notavimus. Picturas et genere et ætate commendabiles eximius quidam ejus artis Professor peculiari scripto illustrabit. Editionis, quam strenue lirgemus,
hæc erit ratio : “ Brevibus prolegomenis historiam codicis dissertationemque de ejus carmine, variantibus lectionibus, splendida calligraphia, glossis, ætate, atque aliis hujusmodi, tum etiam de Homericis multis Ambrosianæ Bibl. codicibus complectemur. Sequentur LII. carminum Fragmenta (nam quintum et vicesimum folium duo habet) æneis excusa tabulis, picturæque totidem peritissima manu solis lineis deformatæ. Attexam criticas ad unamquamque particulam carminis animadversiones. Quarto loco ineditorum in Iliadem scholiorum mantissam addam tum ex bombycinis quas superius nominavi plagulis, tum longe plurium ex aliis Ambrosianæ bibl. manuscriptis. Quinto loco perutilem lectionum a vulgato Homerico textu discrepantium ex Ambrosianis item codicibus segetem dabimus.
His omnibus pictoris excellentissimi Lucubratio de picturarum, quas exhibemus, ratione, præstantia, atque ætate, cumulum imponet.”
If it be true that this MS. was written 1400 years back, a face simile of it will indeed be a most desirable present to the literary world. VOL. II. NO. 5.