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'vulgo' in the title, and he was strongly disposed to abandon Quintilian altogether, because of chronological difficulties.3

Doubt is contagious. In the present instance the great reputation which the 'sospitator Taciti' deservedly enjoyed, unfortunately blinded subsequent scholars to the palpable weakness of his arguments. Lipsius himself would unquestionably have abandoned them, if he had been able to account for the manifest stylistic difference between the Dialogus and the historical works of Tacitus, and it is this argument which has since his day remained the one great obstacle in the way of a unanimous verdict in favor of the writer to whom all our MSS. attribute the Dialogue. Under the circumstances, however, Tacitean authorship seemed out of the question. Quintilian, in spite of Lipsius' later, albeit somewhat half-hearted retraction, had the most supporters, doubtless because


3 As Lipsius' final utterance on this subject, in his edition of 1585, virtually embodies, though in some cases only in solution, most of the objections subsequently urged against the Tacitean authorship of the Dialogue, it will not be out of place, to cite the passage in full: 'Scriptor tamen ipse incertus. Nam Tacitum fuisse, qui credam? Stylus valde abnuit, idque non fallax in hoc genere argumentum: stylus in Tacito, constrictus ubique, teres, acutus et severus magis quam lepidus: hic omnia contra. (So also Andresen, Einl. p. 9: Der Stil des D. hat mit dem historischen Stil des Tacitus nichts gemein.) At mutari is in aetate aut argumento potest, inquiunt. Non nego: sed numquam ita ut abeat prorsus a sese. Quidquid Cicero scripsit senex, iuvenis philologum, philosophum, in iis tamen liniamenta quaedam apparent eiusdem viri et vultus ... aetatem etiam vide, si non pugnat. Hic scriptor sermonem hunc habitum inducit sexto Flaviani imperii anno: eique interfuisse se admodum iuvenem. Quomodo vero tunc admodum iuvenis Tacitus, si honores etiam cepit sub Vespasiano... Sed exemplaria omnia Tacito librum hunc asserunt. Quae illa? vix bina aut terna credo ea esse in omni Europa, quae tam facile et pronum est hic mentiri quam in aliis libris saepe. Sed etiam Pomponius Sabinus. Is igitur Sabinus mediae aetatis grammaticus in carmen de obitu Maecenatis Cornelius Tacitus appellat scripta Maecenatis calamistros. nec negare certe possumus quin is locus hodieque in hoc libello exstet. quid dicam ! serio et ingenue, nihil me credere huic ignobili Sabino, qui ex veteri verbo somniavit fortasse quod voluit (!!)... Incommodi quid erit sive Tacito tribuamus sive M. Fabio Quintiliano ut mihi olim visum est. nam et stylus ipse plane geminus et ille se de causis corruptae eloquentiae scripsisse plus uno loco fatetur: quem titulum valde appositum scio huic argumento. . . aetas tamen Quintiliani paullo grandior fuisse videtur quam ut hic sermo habitus sit illo iuvene. Itaque ambigo et cum multa dixerim, claudo tamen omnia et signo hoc responso, mihi non liquere.

4 We even find "Quinctil." added to the title of our treatise in the cod. Vindobonensis 351, but by a different hand and in different ink. The name

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critics felt themselves on safer ground, if they attributed the work to a well-known author rather than to some intangible unknown individual. Among the better known scholars who espoused this view, may be mentioned Gruter, Gronovius, Graevius, Dousa, Freinsheim, Fabricius, Pichena and above all C. A. Heumann, Heumann. in his edition of the Dialogue published exactly two hundred years after Rhenanus. Their arguments were chiefly based upon the stylistic similarity between the Dialogue and the Institutio Oratoria. The insuperable chronological difficulties in the way of this hypothesis, though hinted at by Lipsius and strongly emphasised by Dodwell, were either studiously ignored or curtly dismissed as irrelevant. It remained for Spalding, in a long note to Quint. VI Spalding. prooem. 3 (vol. II [1803] pp. 424 ff.), to deal the final deathblow to the view held so obstinately and so long, although R. Novák has quite recently again made a laborious attempt to resuscitate the Quintilian theory, 'non melius,' to use Aper's words, 'quam [alii] sed felicius quia illum fecisse pauciores sciunt.'

Lipsius' non liquere, however, opened wide the door for other conjectures regarding the real author, for the orthodox view had still but few supporters, the idea that the stylistic problem was capable of a solution being as yet entertained by no one. In 1778, I. I. H. Nast published a German translation of the Dialogue, in Nast. which, for the first time, the younger Pliny enters the list of competitors for the authorship of the treatise. The arguments of Nast were based on the same grounds which had prompted so many previous scholars to declare in favor of Quintilian, alleged remarkable parallelisms in thought and diction, the biographical data of Pliny being violently twisted into conformity with the evidence, historical and literary, furnished by the Dialogus. Nast's hypothesis was subsequently championed by Wittich, Kramarczik and especially elaborated by Fr. Hess. To say that this view has been Hess. finally disposed of by Eckstein, Gutmann and Vogel is perhaps hazardous, for Pliny may still find some belated supporter as did Quintilian! It may, however, be remarked, that if we are forced to assign any argumentative validity whatever to the numerous stylistic parallelisms adduced in favor of Pliny and of Quintilian, only one of two inferences will be possible: Either Pliny and

may have been inserted, on the authority of Lipsius, by Johannes Sambucus (1531-1584), to whom this MS. is known to have belonged.

Quintilian wrote the Dialogus or neither of them did! The gamut of possibilities had, however, not yet been run, and accordingly we find that there were not wanting some 'scholars' who pushed the claims of Suetonius and even of Messalla and Maternus. That no one should have espoused the cause of Aper or Secundus may, under the circumstances, well excite our astonishment.


But the claims of Quintilian and Pliny to the authorship of our treatise, having been exposed as worthless, the sceptics, forced to concede their ignorance of the real author, were now content to attribute the work to some anonymous cultured contemporary. Thus the question, after traversing many by-paths, had returned to the point, where Lipsius' 'non liquere' had placed it, and so even Eckstein. Eckstein (1835), to whom we owe a masterly discussion of the entire controversy, after successfully refuting most of the arguments against Tacitean authorship, closes by saying 'summam superesse difficultatem in dicendi genere a Taciti usu plane abhorrente positam, quare totam rem, dum meliora proferuntur, in medio relinquendam esse censuimus.' The most persistent and obstinate Gutmann. advocate of the 'anonymous' theory was H. Gutmann (1830). He again emphasised the stylistic objections, but went beyond his predecessors by contending that the style showed evident signs of a decadence in taste and that the matter, barring perhaps the chapter on the education of children, was unworthy of Tacitus. "Der Herrliche verliert nichts bei diesem Spiel, er gewinnt vielmehr " (p. 148). Gutmann, following a hint thrown out by Lipsius, also objected to the phrase 'iuvenis admodum' as incompatible with the ascertainable data of the life of Tacitus.

The supporters of the Tacitean authorship, always few in numbers, had hitherto been forced to assume a defensive and apologetic attitude. The genuineness of the Dialogus was more or less an article of faith with them rather than a subject capable of demonstration one way or another. However successfully the claims of Quintilian and Pliny had been repulsed, there still remained the palpable difference in style which the opponents never wearied in pointing out as the one great argument, decisive against Tacitean authorship. The problem thus presented could not be ignored with impunity nor explained on the ground that the author was still 5 See Eckstein pp. 43-46.

6e. g. F. A. Wolf, Eichstädt, Nipperdey, Andresen, Ribbeck (Gesch. d. röm. Dichtung III p. 89).

very young and that the language of the treatise was not his own but that of the interlocutors. A more scientific and rational solution of the difficulties was imperatively called for, and this was precisely what the critics up to the time of Woelfflin, barring a few vague guesses, were incapable of furnishing.

It is necessary to bear this state of affairs well in mind, if we wish to understand the sensation which A. G. Lange's alleged dis- Lange. covery of nothing less than a contemporary allusion to the Dialogus in a letter of none other than the younger Pliny, Tacitus' intimate friend, created. The letter in question (IX 10) is addressed to Tacitus and reads as follows: Cupio praeceptis tuis parere, sed aprorum tanta penuria est, ut Minervae et Dianae, quas ais pariter colendas, convenire non possit. Itaque Minervae tantum serviendum est, delicate tamen ut in secessu et aestate. In via plane nonnulla leviora statimque delenda ea garrulitate, qua sermones in vehiculo seruntur, extendi. His quaedam addidi in villa, cum aliud non liberet. Itaque poemata quiescunt, quae tu inter NEMORA ET LUCOS commodissime perfici putas. Oratiunculam unam et alteram retractavi, quamquam id genus operis inamabile, inamoenum magisque laboribus ruris quam voluptatibus simile. Vale. The words 'tu inter nemora et lucos commodissime perfici putas,' Lange insisted, contain an unmistakable reference to c. 9 29 ff., where Aper says: adice quod poetis, si modo dignum aliquid elaborare et efficere velint, relinquenda conversatio amicorum . . . atque ut ipsi dicunt, in nemora et lucos, id est in solitudinem secedendum est and so again in c. 12 1 f. nemora vero et luci et secretum ipsum quod Aper increpabat etc. This argument, taken in connection with the testimony of the MSS. and a number of internal reasons which Lange partly reiterated, partly adduced for the first time, appeared so convincing that the long-standing controversy was generally regarded as having been permanently decided in favor of the great historian. For whatever weight an unprejudiced critic might be

7 So Woltmann and Lange among others.

The first announcement of this find was made by Spalding in a note to his paper on Seneca's Consolatio ad Polybium, published as early as 1803. But the hope there expressed that the fortunate scholar would give publicity to his discovery was not realised till 1814, when Lange's short treatise appeared in Beck's Acta Sem. et Soc. Philol. Lips. I 77-88. But, presumably owing to the very limited circulation of this publication, the author's article attracted no attention whatever, until Dronke reprinted it in his edition of the Dialogus in 1828 pp. XVI ff.


supposed to attach to the troublesome and apparently irrefutable objections derived from the style of the treatise, they now happily all paled into utter insignificance by the side of the unimpeachable testimony of a contemporary of Tacitus! Quod volunt, credunt. Among the many scholars who confidently and often in very strong terms expressed themselves in favor of the genuineness of the treatise, may be mentioned Boeckh, Niebuhr, Hofman-Peerlkamp, Dronke, Seebode, Ruperti, Bach, Ritter, Orelli, Doederlein, Schopen, Nipperdey, Massmann, Walch, Teuffel.

The consternation in the ranks of the opposition, caused by so unexpected an assault upon what appeared to be a fairly impregnable position, is well reflected in the absurd attempts made two years later by Gutmann (1830) and subsequently by Fr. Hess, who, though guided by different motives, both endeavored to neutralise Lange's argument by contending that the letter in question was not by Pliny, but by Tacitus, it having by some strange accident found its way into Pliny's correspondence! It might seem incredible, were it not for the reasons given above, that Lange's inference should have blinded the eyes of scholars to its utterly fallacious character for a quarter of a century, for it was not till 1855 that Haase disposed of it by convincing arguments. 10 Two years after

9 Teuffel, Introd. to his transl. p. 20 f., well voices the sentiment of contemporary scholars : Die Zweifel an dem Taciteischen Ursprung unserer Schrift . . . sind vollends zu nahezu mutwilligen geworden, seitdem A. G. Lange darauf hingewiesen hat, dass wir für die Urheberschaft des Tacitus ein Zeugniss haben, wie für wenig andere aus dem Alterthum etc.

10 The grounds upon which Pliny's alleged testimony must be peremptorily rejected may be briefly summarised: (1) The context of the letter can leave no doubt that quae Tu inter nemora et lucos commodissime perfici PUTAS' and the words immediately preceding quas TU AIS pariter colendas etc.' refer to one and the same source, but the latter statement has nothing whatever to correspond to it in the Dialogus. (2) The parallelism in question is a literary commonplace as old as Hesiod's Theogony, and the identical collocation nemora et lucos' is found not only in other Tacitean passages but also elsewhere. See my note to c. 931. (3) Tu putas cannot possibly contain a reference to the Dialogus, unless we absurdly suppose that Pliny totally overlooked the fact that Tacitus expressly disclaims the thought in question as his own, it being introduced as an opinion common to poets (ut ipsi dicunt). (4) It is incredible in any case that Pliny would have quoted a sentiment from a treatise of Tacitus written fifteen years or more previous, for the adherents of Lange, with the exception of Nipperdey, all agree in assigning an early date to our treatise. (5) The very vagueness of the reference in a correspondence intended for publication and by a writer so habitually woλúλoyos as Pliny were also very

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