Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus)

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Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus)

The Bibliotheca (Ancient Greek: Βιβλιοθήκη, Bibliothēkē, 'Library'), also known as the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus, is a compendium of Greek myths and heroic legends, genealogical tables and histories arranged in three books, generally dated to the first or second century CE. [1] The author was traditionally thought to be Apollodorus of Athens, but that attribution is now regarded as false. As a result "Pseudo-" has been affixed to Apollodorus.

Contents

General overview

The Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus is a compressive collection of myths, genealogies and histories that presents a continuous history of Greek mythology from the Theogony to the death of Odysseus. [2] The narratives are organized by genealogy, chronology and geography in summaries of myth. [2] [3] The myths are sourced from a wide number of sources like early epic, early Hellenistic poets, and mythographical summaries of tales. [2] Homer and Hesiod are the most frequently named along with other poets. [4] Oral tradition and the plays written by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides also factored into the compilation of myth in the Bibliotheca. [2] [5] The Bibliotheca was written in the first or second century CE by an author who is referred to as Pseudo-Apollodorus to differentiate from Apollodorus of Athens, who did not write the Bibliotheca. [6] The text is largely intact except for the last section, ending in the middle of the narrative of Theseus. [2] In the later scholarship it is used as a reference material. [2]

List of myths [7] [8]

4. Early Argive mythology (the Inachids, Belid line)

5. Heracles, and the Heraclids

6. Cretan and Theban mythology (the Inachids, Agenorid line).

7. The Theban Wars

8. Arcadian mythology (the Pelasgids)

9. Laconian and Trojan mythology (the Atlantids)

10. The Asopids

11. Cecrops and his descendants; the story of Adonis Three early kings: Cranaos, Amphictyon, and Erichthonios.

Epitome

12. The Pelopids

13. The Trojan war

14. The returns

Authorship

A certain "Apollodorus" is indicated as author on some surviving manuscripts, [9] this Apollodorus has been mistakenly identified with Apollodorus of Athens (born c.180 BCE), a student of Aristarchus of Samothrace who also worked in Alexandria. It is known—from references in the minor scholia on Homer—that Apollodorus of Athens did leave a similar comprehensive repertory on mythology, in the form of a verse chronicle. [9] The mistaken attribution was made by scholars following Photius' mention of the name, though Photius did not name him as the Athenian and the name was in common use at the time. [10] For chronological reasons, Apollodorus of Athens could not have written the book, the author of the Bibliotheca is at times referred to as the "Pseudo-Apollodorus", to distinguish him from Apollodorus of Athens. [9] Modern works often simply call him "Apollodorus". [10] The form of the text that has survived is generally placed in late 1st or second century BCE. [10]

Manuscript tradition

The first mention of the work is by Photius, patriarch of Constantinople in 9th century CE, in his "account of books read". [11] The last section of the Bibliotheca which breaks off during the section on Theseus is missing in surviving manuscripts, Photius had the full work and mentions that the lost section had myths about the heroes of the Trojan War. [11] Byzantine author John Tzetes, who lived in Constantinople in the twelfth century, often cited the Bibliotheca in his writings. [12] It was almost lost in the 13th century, surviving in one now-incomplete manuscript, [13] which was copied for Cardinal Bessarion in the 15th century. [lower-roman 1] Any surviving manuscripts of the Bibliotheca are descended from a fourteenth century manuscript in the Bibilotheque National in Paris. [11]

Printed editions

The first printed edition of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus was published in Rome in 1555. [14] Benedetto Egio (Benedictus Aegius) of Spoleto, was the first to divide the text in three books. [lower-roman 2] Hieronymus Commelinus  [ fr ] published an improved text at Heidelberg, 1559. The first text based on comparative manuscripts was that of Christian Gottlob Heyne, Göttingen, 1782–83. Subsequent editions Jurgen Muller (1841) and Richard Wagner (1894) collated earlier manuscripts. [14] [15] [16] In 1921 Sir James George Frazer published an epitome of the book by conflating two manuscript summaries of the text, [17] which included the lost section.

Scholarship

The Bibliotheca has been referenced in scholarship throughout history. As a mythographical work It has influenced scholarship on Greek Mythology. [18] An epigram recorded by the important intellectual Patriarch Photius I of Constantinople expressed its purpose: [lower-roman 3]

It has the following not ungraceful epigram: 'Draw your knowledge of the past from me and read the ancient tales of learned lore. Look neither at the page of Homer, nor of elegy, nor tragic muse, nor epic strain. Seek not the vaunted verse of the cycle; but look in me and you will find in me all that the world contains'.

Photius is one of the first surviving reviews of the use of the Bibliotheca in the field. [19] Throughout the 12th and 13th centuries BCE, the Bibliotheca was referred to in scholarship about Ancient Greece most often found in letters from scholars of the time. [19] Much of the modern scholarship on the work has focused on the interpretation of its manuscripts by various translators and compilers of the Bibliotheca in later editions. [19] [20] A critical view of past interpretations, compilations, and organization has also been a source of contention. The sources of information that may have informed the creation of the Bibliotheca are also studied in the modern scholarship. [20] The question of authorship is another area of study that has shaped the interpretation of the work throughout history. [21]

See also

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References

Notes

  1. Bessarion's copy, deposited in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, found its way into the Greek manuscripts of Archbishop Laud and came with them to the Bodleian Library in 1636. (Diller 1935:308, 310).
  2. He based his division on attributions in the scholia minora on Homer to Apollodorus, in three books. (Diller (1935 , pp. 298, 3089)).
  3. Victim of its own suggestions, the epigraph, ironically, does not survive in the manuscripts. For the classic examples of epitomes and encyclopedias substituting in Christian hands for the literature of Classical Antiquity itself, see Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae and Martianus Capella.

Citations

  1. Hard (2004 , p. 3 ); Perseus Encyclopedia, "Apollodorus (4)"; Simpson (1976 , p. 1 ).
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Aldrich, Keith (January 1, 1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kan : Coronado Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   0872910725.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  3. Fletcher, K. F. B. 2008. "Systematic Genealogies in Apollodorus’ Bibliotheca and the Exclusion of Rome from Greek Myth." Classical Antiquity 27:59–91. JSTOR 10.1525/ca.2008.27.1.59.
  4. Kenens, Ulrike. 2011. "The Sources of Ps.-Apollodorus' Library: A Case Study." Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 97:129–46. JSTOR 23048902.
  5. Huys, Marc. 1997. "Euripides and the Tales from Euripides: Sources of Apollodoros' Bibliotheca?" Rheinisches Museum 140 308–27.
  6. Diller, Aubrey. 1983. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Pp. 199–216 in Studies in Greek Manuscript Tradition, edited by A. Diller. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert.
  7. "Apollodorus, Library, book 1, chapter 1, section 1". www.perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2024-06-10.
  8. Aldrich, Keith (January 1, 1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kan : Coronado Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   0872910725.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  9. 1 2 3 Diller, Aubrey. 1983. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Pp. 199–216 in Studies in Greek Manuscript Tradition, edited by A. Diller. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert.
  10. 1 2 3 Aldrich, Keith (January 1, 1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kan : Coronado Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   0872910725.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  11. 1 2 3 Aldrich, Keith (January 1, 1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kan : Coronado Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   0872910725.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  12. Diller, Aubrey. 1983. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Pp. 199–216 in Studies in Greek Manuscript Tradition, edited by A. Diller. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert.
  13. Bibliothèque nationale, Paris.
  14. 1 2 Diller, Aubrey. 1983. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Pp. 199–216 in Studies in Greek Manuscript Tradition, edited by A. Diller. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert.
  15. Wagner, Richard (1894). Mythographi Graeci: Apollodorus .Bibliotheca; Pediasimi Libellus De Duodecim Herculis Labores[Greek mythology: Bibliotheca of Apollodorus, a small book of the twelve labors of Hercules] (in Ancient Greek and German). Nabu Press (published 2010). ISBN   978-1142820275.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  16. Aldrich, Keith (January 1, 1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kan : Coronado Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   0872910725.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  17. Frazer, James G. 1913. Apollodorus. Loeb Classical Library.
  18. Diller (1935 , pp. 296 , 300 ).
  19. 1 2 3 Diller, Aubrey. 1983. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Pp. 199–216 in Studies in Greek Manuscript Tradition, edited by A. Diller. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert.
  20. 1 2 Kenens, Ulrike. 2011. "The Sources of Ps.-Apollodorus' Library: A Case Study." Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 97:129–46. JSTOR 23048902.
  21. Aldrich, Keith (January 1, 1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kan : Coronado Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   0872910725.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)

Works cited