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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review of Lorenza Savignago, Eisthesis: Il sistema dei margini nei papiri dei poeti tragici

Lorenza Savignago, Eisthesis: Il sistema dei margini nei papiri dei poeti tragici. Minima philologica 3.   Alessandria:  Edizioni dell'Orso, 2008.  Pp. 356.  ISBN 9788862740951.  €25.00 (pb).

Reviewed by C. Michael Sampson, St. Olaf College (sampson@stolaf.edu)
Word count: 1638 words

Savignago's monograph represents the culmination of over a decade's work and is the first (to my knowledge) of its kind,1 comprising some fifty-eight case studies of tragic papyri whose columns have irregular left-hand margins--i.e. some of whose verses are indented to various degrees relative to one another. The Aristophanic scholia vetera describe such alternations of margin with the terms eisthesis (indentation) and its opposite ekthesis. These variations appear in tragic papyri in a variety of contexts, but usually for the purpose of marking metrical change, from sections of trimeters to tetrameters or to lyrics, etc. The volume is to be welcomed, not only because its case studies tidily collect the relevant data and scholarship, but also because the analysis of marginal variation opens up a variety of scholarly issues--reconstructing metrical features and fragmentary plays, as well as clarifying extant tragedies' textual history. Those with interests in the individual passages or fragments in question will find it a helpful resource; Savignago grasps well the technical problems pertaining to the papyri, and the bibliography is rich and multilingual.

etc. at BMCR