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Sunday, February 28, 2010

REVIEW: Casey Dué (ed.), Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus A Manuscript of the Iliad.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.02.80

Casey Dué (ed.), Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus A Manuscript of the Iliad. Hellenic Studies; 35.   Washington, DC:  Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, 2009.  Pp. xvi, 168.  ISBN 9780674032026.  $69.95.   

Reviewed by Maria Broggiato, Università di Roma La Sapienza (maria.broggiato@uniroma1.it)
This volume is a collection of studies dealing with one of the most famous Greek manuscripts of the Middle Ages, the Venetus A, a prized possession of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice (Marcianus Graecus Z. 454 [= 822]). This Byzantine luxury codex dates back to the tenth century AD and contains the oldest complete text of the Iliad, with a unique set of marginal notes that preserve, among other things, the work on the poem of the most prominent Alexandrian scholars of the Hellenistic age. The manuscript occupies an important place in the history of modern Homeric studies; in the fifteenth century it was part of the personal library of cardinal Basileios Bessarion, who donated his books to the city of Venice. Bessarion's gift was to constitute the core of the Marciana Library, where our manuscript lay effectively forgotten until the end of the eighteenth century, when a French scholar, Jean Baptiste Gaspard d'Ansse de Villoison, rediscovered it and published its contents (1788). Villoison's edition created new interest in Homer and in the history of the text of the epics, and led to the publication in 1795 of F. A. Wolf's Prolegomena ad Homerum, a work that marks the beginning of modern Homeric scholarship.

Etc at BMCR .