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It is perhaps scarcely worth while to do more than barely mențion a wretched forgery which appeared at Bologna in 1811, under the title of M. T. Ciceronis de Natura Deorum Liber Quartus.
CALLIMACHI QUÆ SUPERSUNT. Recensuit et cum Notarum
delectu edidit CAROLUS JACOBUS BLOMFIELD, A.M. Collegii SS. Trinitatis apud Cantabrigienses nuper Socius. Londini. Impensis J. Mawman. Mdcccxv.
It may perhaps be unnecessary to ivform our readers, that this is the edition of Callimachus, to which we have more than once alluded, when speaking of publications in a state of forwardness. The work appears with a dedication to Earl Spencer, which we shall transcribe : in the sentiments expressed upon his Lordship’s patronage of learning, we apprehend that every Scholar will heartily concur.
“ Honoratissimo Viro, Georgio Joanni Comiti Spencer, Georgiani Ordinis Equiti Aurato, Regiæ Majestati a Sanctioribus Consiliis, genere dignitate virtute inlustri, optime etiam de Litteris, quas auspiciis maxume felicibus excoluit, munificentia sua promerito, Qui ingentem bonorum librorum copiam, tam in patriæ decus et ornamentum, quam doctioruin hominum in usus, summo cum judicio conquisivit, novam hanc CALLIMACHI editionem gratus ac venerabundus dicat consecratque CAROLUS JACOBUS BLOMFIELD.”
Mr. Blomfield in his preface informs us that the publication originated in his suggestion to the bookseller, that in consequence of the great bulk and great price of Ernesti's edition, it was desirable to reprint Callimachus with a selection of notes. This the bookseller undertook to do, upon condition that Mr. Blomfield would himself make the selection, and cut out from the commentaries the matter, which was not adapted to the use of students. This he has accordingly done, and has likewise interspersed throughout the commentaries selected from Ernesti, some notes by himself and by other late Scholars. He has besides revised the text, carefully collating the princeps edition of Lascaris, which Ernesti had never an opportunity of seeing, and an old Venice edition of the year 1555. unknown to all commentators, the only copy of which existing in this country, was lent to Mr. Blomfield by his Grace the Duke of Devonshire. Of this, which appears to be the edition of Robortellus, an account has been given in the second Number of the Museum Criticum, p. 227. For a collatiou of the earliest impression of the Elegy in Lavacra Palladis, which was printed at Florence, in 1489. in the Miscellanea of Angelus Bassus Politianus, he is indebted to the kindness of Lord Spencer. To the collection of Epigrams and Fragments some additions are made by Mr. Blomfield, which had escaped the research of Bentley and of Ruhnken. Of the notes contained in his edition, he says, “ Quod ad commentaria attinet, Bentleii omnia, ea qua par est reverentia, integra servavi; nonnulla etiam Hemsterhusii, quæ ad Callimachum 'minus pertinere videantur, tamen circumcidere crimen duxi, quia nihil unquam vir ille maximus ex eruditionis suæ thesauris depromsit, quod non vel doctissimi, οίοι νυν βροτοί εισι, cum fructu quodam perlegerint.” Mr. B. has altogether omitted the Scholia, as the production of some modern Grammarian, and of no weight in the explanation of Callimachus : to the work is affixed Ernesti’s Index, corrected and materially enlarged.
Such is the principal information contained in the editor's preface. We conceive, however, that our readers will not be displeased to have a somewhat fuller account of the publications of an author, whose fortune it has been to receive an extraordinary portion of attention from many of the most distinguished Scholars, that have benefited and ornamented the republic of letters.
The first which can be called a critical edition of Callimachus is that printed by Henry Stephens in the year 1577. With the text itself of the Hymns (which is the same as that inserted in his Collection of the Poetæ Græci Principes Her. Carm. nine years before) little pains were taken; in fact it had degenerated from that of the princeps edition of Lascaris. H. Stephens however gives the Scholia, two Latin translations in prose and verse, and a commentary on the Hymns by Nicodemus Frischlinus, together with Critical Annotations of his own: and he is the first editor who collected any of the epigrams of Callimachus, of which he gave thirty-one from the Anthologia. The notes of Frischlinus consist principally of explanations of Historical Mythological and Geographical allusions, frequently very useful to the young student, but which have been forced to give place to the more learned and accurate lucubrations of subsequent scholars. In Stephens's notes there is nothing very remarkable: they contain many obvious emendations, which have been since adopted in the text. His compositor having informed him that he had two blank pages to spare in the sheet preceding the Annotations, he inserted about a dozen fragments of Callimachus, which he had found in the Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius and elsewhere : such was the beginning of that collection of Fragments, which has since been carried to a really wonderful extent.
This was followed by the small Antwerp edition of 1584. by Vulcanius of Bruges. It contains Callimachus in the same volume with the remains of Moschus and Bion, a new translation in verse, his own annotations, and about eighty more fragments, the greater part of which are printed separately, as being extracted from out of the Etymologicon Magnum. The notes of Vulcanjus are not tedious, and frequently contain remarks bona frugis, though they have of course been eclipsed by the learning of those which have succeeded them.'
The next editor of Callimachus who claims our notice, is the celebrated daughter of Tanaquillus Faber, now generally known by the name of Madame Dacier. Shortly after her father's death, she went to Paris, and made known her talents and learning by publishing Callimachus in 1674. She added a number of Epigrams supplied by Peter Daniel Huet, and fifty-three additional fragments which she had picked up herself, principally from different Scholia, and then gave her own notes. This book appeared some years before her marriage; but Dacier seems at that time to have been an assiduous visitor of Mademoiselle le Févre, and to have assisted the young lady in her studies'. We
1. The following note on the twenty-fourth fragment we extract for the benefit of those, who may be endeavouring to insinuate themselves into the good graces of learned ladies: “Mendosissimum est hoc fragmentum. Et cum in eo tota essem, ut inde aliquid elicerem, hope that none of our readers will suppose us capable of expressing any thing but applause on the writings of this fair commen
Indeed the reception they have met with is upon the whole creditable to the gallantry of critics. When the accumulation of notes rendered a clearance absolutely necessary, Ernesti did not suffer a syllable of her remarks to be omitted. And in the notes of the present editor, we are happy to observe that the name of Anna Fabri appears not unfrequently.
Still greater honours awaited the remains of the bard of Cyrene. A variorum edition had been prepared and in part executed, by Theodore, the son of John George Grævius the Professor of Utrecht : he died before its completion, leaving the publication to his father. It appeared in the year 1697, containing, besides the notes of all the commentators who have been mentioned and some of Theodore Grævius himself, extracts from the lectures of Meursius, the notes of P. Voetius J. Gronovius and others; but what constituted the real value of this edition was the accession of contributions from two scholars in high repute, but of most dissimilar qualitications, the renowned Baron Ezechiel Spanheim, and our own more renowned Bentley. Grævius describes the astonishment which he felt at the present of the Baron's Commentary; and in this astonishment most readers sympathize. The force and usages of separate words, and the mythological allusions in the Hymns of Callimachus are investigated and illustrated with erudition that appears unwearied and boundless. The reader of detached notes in this overgrown commentary will always derive information, and generally amusement: but we much doubt whether many persons have had the patience to wade through so much extraneous learning, while in the perusal of the poet. Bentley's notes, on the contrary, are not voluminous, but highly to the purpose ; lavpa mèv, alla mára deyéws. In his collection of Fragments of Callimachus, we recognize one of the wonders of the learned world: they had already
supervenit doctissimus Andreas Dacerius, quem supra nominavi, isque dum sedulo legit, antequam e Musæolo nostro egrederetur, stans, ut ita dicam, pede in uno, sic illud ingeniosissime restituit ; Tois mèv άρισκύδης εύνις ανήκε Διός "Αργος έχειν, ίδιον, περ εόν λάχος, αλλα γενέθλη Ζηνος όπως σκοτίη τρηχυς άθλος έοι.”
received many additions from Spanheim: Bentley discovered upwards of four hundred passages in ancient writers, Scholiasts and Lexicographers, where the lost works of Callimachus were quoted and referred to. To each of these he subjoins his own notes and emendations. It is impossible to inspect this collection without admiring the stupendous learning and matchless ingenuity which it exhibits. The praises lavished upon Dr. Bentley by many of his most learned contemporaries, though sufficiently profuse, have been confirmed by the suffrages of posterity. Whether so much learning and acuteness might not have been more usefully employed than in collecting and emending fragments, is a question with which we do not mean at present to interfere ; but must observe, that even his enemies, who were numerous and acrimonious, were forced to admit the extraordinary ability displayed in this atchievement. It is well known that he was accused with great bitterness of having appropriated without acknowledgement some notes of Thomas Stanley, the editor of Æschylus; which charge was warmly refuted. Later scholars have remarked how improbable it was, that Bentley should be guilty of pillaging from others what he possessed in a better state himself. This, though a good argument, is not conclusive. It is more satisfactory to learn from Mr. Blomfield's preface, that he has inspected in the British Museum Stanley's MSS. from which the plagiarism is alleged to have taken place, and that he finds the charge altogether false.
An edition of the Hymns and a few epigrams, with notes for the use of schools, was printed in 1741. and reprinted in 1751. by Thomas Bentley, the nephew of the Doctor, in the same volume with parts of Theognis, and the Móryos Ilpot PETTIKOS of Galen. Of this publication Mr. Blomfield, as far as we have observed, takes not the slightest notice: which is surprising, if he were aware of the character given to it by the prince of Bibliographers, Dr. Harwood, who declares it to be “ not inferior to any edition of Callimachus." Were it not for the fear of differing from so great authority, we should certainly pronounce the notes to be flimsy, drivelling, and useless. Our motive for naming the book at all, is this : No name appearing in the titlepage, (though it is quoted as Thomas Bentley's by Ernesti and others) the booksellers, well knowing the advantage of a name in marking a price, entitle this work in their Catalogues Callimachus