New Edition Of Plutarch’s Lives -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 005:20 (Nov 1848)
Article: New Edition Of Plutarch’s Lives
Author: Anonymous

New Edition Of Plutarch’s Lives

This is the first edition of Plutarch’s Lives, founded on new examinations of manuscripts, since the year 1572, (when H. Stephens’ edition in 13 vols. 8vo. was published at Geneva,) if we except Bryan’s (London, 1723–29), completed after his death by Moses Solanus or de Soul. Reiske (Leipzig, 12 vols. 8vo. 1774–1782) and Hut-ten (Tübingen, 14 vols. 8vo. 1795–1805), in their editions of the entire works of Plutarch had no new manuscript aid; and the same may be said of Coray’s (Paris, 6 vols. 8vo. 1809–1815) and Sehaefer’s (Leipzig, 6 vols. 12mo. 1825–1830) valuable editions of the Lives.

Meanwhile several German scholars were beginning to call attention to Plutarch’s Lives by careful editions of one or more of them with or without manuscript assistance. Among these we name Bahr of Heidelberg who published in 1822 the Life of Alcibiades, and in 1826 the Lives of Philopoemen, Flaminius and Pyrrhus; Held of Sulzbach (Aemilius Paulus and Timoleon, 1832), Vögelin of Zürich (Brutus, 1833), Schoemann of Greifswald (Agis and Cleomenes, 1839), Kraner (Phocion, 1840), Westermann of Leipzig (Solon, 1841), and Sintenis himself, who is, we believe, a gymnasial professor at Zerbst, in Anhalt-Dessau; and who by his Themistocles (1832) and Pericles (1835) gave decisive proof of his judgment and ability.

Sintenis came to his task of preparing a critical edition of all the Lives, aided by important collations of Paris manuscripts which Bahr and Held had set on foot as well as by readings of a Munich manuscript received from Goeller, and of Palatine manuscripts examined by himself. Before his work had reached its close in 1846, he obtained from several quarters, especially from Paris, valuable additional readings which are given in the addenda to the fourth volume. Hence it will be obvious that no one has been able to determine the text of Plutarch as well as Sintenis; and we apprehend that the judgment of scholars will accord him high praise for the execution of his task.

Those critics who have given their attention to the text of Plutarch have found it difficult to decide respecting the merits of the edition of H. Stephanus. This great scholar, after the fashion of his time, was careless in giving the authorities for his emendations; so that without new examinations of manuscripts it could not be said whether he followed his own taste and knowledge of Greek, when he departed from earlier editions, or whether he had readings from un-collated manuscripts. Wyttenbach’s judgment, although he attributes to Stephanus great license in altering the text without authority, is not severe. He frees him from the charge of bad faith and fraud which many modern scholars have laid upon h...

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