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Haase's valuable commentatio de Taciti vita, ingenio, scriptis, Franz Weinkauff published his first dissertation, De Taciti Dialogo, Weinkauf. with an index comparativus, which was followed by an index Latinitatis in 1859. With the appearance of these weighty contributions, we enter upon a new phase of the controversy, characterised by a more or less general acquiescence in the genuineness of the Dialogus. Laying due stress upon the many remarkable points of agreement in the general mode of thought and feeling, the criticisms on men and measures between our treatise and the historical writings of Tacitus, some of which Lange and Eckstein had previously collected, Weinkauff for the first time instituted an exhaustive stylistic and rhetorical" comparison which showed that the stylistic resemblances, even down to minutiae, were more numerous and striking than even the most ardent advocates of Tacitean authorship could have expected. Nevertheless, there were not wanting critics, like Bernhardy, who still insisted that these coincidences were after all not sufficient to counterbalance the equally striking differences, and these Weinkauff, like all his predecessors, had failed to account for satisfactorily. That was reserved for Eduard Woelfflin who, in a series of articles in the E. Woelfflin. Philologus, beginning in 1868, proved conclusively by a large number of apt illustrations that this stylistic difference is the result of a genetic development which we are still able to trace through the works of the historian, 'dass in dem Stile des Tacitus,' to use his own words, 'nicht nur das Individuelle von dem der Zeit Angehörigen zu scheiden ist, sondern dass das erstere Element in den früheren Schriften noch weniger zur Geltung kommt, sich im weiteren Verlauf des Schreibens stärkt, und dass schliesslich Tacitus in den Annalen, wir wollen nicht sagen am besten schreibt, aber eben erst der wahre Tacitus ist.' 12
Five years before Woelfflin's epoch-making investigations, Steiner's famous 'Programm' appeared, in which the paramount Steiner. validity of the MS. testimony is for the first time properly emremarkable. The quotations under notice were simply called forth by two lost letters of Tacitus, to which Pliny's epistles I 6 and IX 10 are the extant replies. Cp. Haase, Praef. p. XV f. note 61 Steiner pp. 11-13 Jansen pp. 45-48. Schwabe's unqualified support of Lange's inference even in his last revision of Teuffel's Röm. Lit. § 331, 1, can, in my opinion, be explained only on the ground of Pietät' or negligence.
11 In this, he had a predecessor in Pabst (1841).
12 Philol. XXV p. 96.
phasised and convincingly demonstrated. But the most valuable part of his treatise is the proof that chronological considerations render a later date for the composition of the Dialogus than the reign of Titus, altogether untenable. "Tacitus hat den Dialog nicht UNTER oder NACH, sondern vor Domitian geschrieben, oder er hat ihn GAR NICHT geschrieben" (p. 20).
The antagonists of the genuineness of the Dialogue having, thanks to the labors of Weinkauff and Woelfflin, been completely dislodged from their chief stronghold, shifted their operations and now placed their main reliance upon chronological arguments which, it was contended, proved a later date than that of Titus and hence, according to the alternative formulated by Steiner himself, non-Tacitean authorship of the Dialogue. The foremost spokesman of this party is Georg Andresen.
Most of these chronological objections were skilfully refuted by Jansen (1878), in one of the ablest contributions to the controversy ever made. Psychological and rhetorical reasons are here also adduced to explain the stylistic change so conspicuous in the admittedly genuine works of Tacitus.
Finally the entire question was again taken up by Weinkauff in his Untersuchungen zum Dialogus des Tacitus' (1881), but this later work, though indispensable owing to the material accumulated, does not mark any advance. It is marred by a deplorable diffuseness and prolixity of treatment which obscures rather than illustrates the issues involved and by an excessive zeal which but too often tempts the author to find coincidences, where none exist.
2. THE QUESTIONS AT ISSUE.
The testimony We are now prepared to examine the points at issue in this controversy more in detail.
of the MSS.
Our MSS., a dozen in number, unanimously ascribe the Dialogus to Cornelius Tacitus, as do the oldest editions which were directly printed from MSS. e. g. the editio princeps (Spirensis) and edition of Puteolanus (1475). This consistent tradition naturally was a
18 With the exception of the codex Vaticanus 2964 which contains only a fragment (c. 26 f). Cf. Massmann, Tac. Germ. p. 17. On the insertion of Quinct. in Sambucus' MS., see note 4.
14 About the same time Julius Pomponius Laetus Sabinus Sanseverinus (1425-1498), the intimate friend of Pius II, the teacher of some well-known
serious obstacle to those who denied the genuineness of the Dialogus, and accordingly we are not surprised to find that Lipsius was bent upon impugning the validity of the evidence itself, his contention being that the name might have been added to the treatise, handed down to us adéσπотоv, by accident or design. When it became known that a far greater number of MSS. of the Dialogus existed than Lipsius had supposed, it was claimed that his inference still held good, inasmuch as these MSS. were not so many independent witnesses but were all ultimately derived from a single copy, not older than the middle of the XIII. century. 15 Taking this very questionable fact in connection with the observation (!) that the Dialogus invariably occupies the last place in a codex miscellaneus containing also the Suetonius fragment and Tacitus' Germania, Hess and Haase confidently argued that the presumably anonymous treatise owed the name of Tacitus to the Germania immediately preceding it.16 Unfortunately, the order of the three treatises in our MSS. irrefutably disproves this very premise and with it the inference based upon it, for the Germania precedes the scholars such as Sabellicus and Peutinger and editor of Terence, Sallust, Varro, Livy, Pliny the Younger, and Quintilian, quoted a passage from the Dialogus of Tacitus (c. 26 3). This seemed such strong testimony in favor of the historian that Lipsius, as we have seen, wishing to get rid of this awkward evidence at all hazards, stultified himself by accusing Sabinus, whom he styles ignobilis grammaticus, of forging the citation! Gutmann reiterated the same absurd charge and Fr. Hess p. 16 actually censured the learned Italian for attributing the phrase 'calamistros Maecenatis' to Tacitus, whereas it is in reality used by Messalla ! The citation of course proves nothing except the well-known fact that no suspicion was entertained regarding the Tacitean authorship of the Dialogus before the time of Rhenanus. Sabinus may easily have obtained his information from some of the printed editions published during his life-time or even from some MS. He is known to have copied the Agricola with his own hand. Cp. Eckstein pp. 63-65 Massmann p. 156.
15 Massmann pp. 182 ff.
16 Hess p. 14 Haase p. XV: accedit quod dialogus in nullo alio librorum genere servatus esse videtur, nisi in quo is Germaniae Taciti subiunctus esset, ut facile potuerit, id quod saepissime factum est, auctoris nomen recte in antecedente libro positum ad alium librum transferri qui in eodem volumine illum exciperet.
17 A-Germ. Suet. Dial.
B-Dial. Germ. Suet.
C-Ann. Hist. Dial. Germ. Suet.
A-Suet. Ps. Pliny de vir. ill. Agr.
- Suet. Dial. Miscellanea.
V 711-Germ. Dial. Suet.
V 351- Ann. Hist. Germ. Dial.
M-Suet. Dial. Germ.
The dramatic date of the Dialogus.
Dial. in only two codices and of these one contains only Tacitean
Such being the case, we must insist with Steiner and Jansen,
The opponents of the genuineness of the Dialogue justify their rejection of the explicit testimony of the MSS., so far as they do not find it more convenient to ignore its existence altogether, by contending that stylistic reasons on the one hand and chronological
18 The Germania was not altogether unknown in the early Middle Ages, but the title is never given and Cassiodorius Senator, the last to cite Tacitus' name for a passage taken from it (c. 45), does so only at second hand. hoc quodam ('quondam' suggested by Brotier is an impossible reading) Cornelio scribente legitur.' Cp. Massmann p. 137 Ritter, Prooem. p. XXXV Haase, Praef. p. LVII.
difficulties on the other exclude the possibility of Tacitean authorship. It will be expedient to take up the latter objection first, but to answer it successfully, it will be necessary above all to ascertain, if possible, the dramatic date of the Dialogue and the date of publication. 19
P. Cornelius Tacitus was probably born not earlier than 54 and not later than 56 A. D.' 21
Now in c. 17 10 ff., Aper, the champion of the modern style of eloquence, in order to prove the purely relative meaning of the term antiqui' and the consequent injustice of its persistent application to the orators of the Roman Republic, draws the attention of his hearers to the fact that the interval that has elapsed between the death of Cicero and the present day does not exceed the limit of a man's life-time. To substantiate this assertion he gives an annalistic enumeration of the reigns of the Roman emperors from Augustus down to Vespasian. (Statue sex et quinquaginta annos quibus mox divus Augustus rem publicam rexit. . . ac sextam iam felicis huius principatus stationem 22 quo Vespasianus rem publicam
19 Some critics, like Lange and Urlichs for instance, in order to avoid certain objections to which they attached undue weight, suggested that possibly a long interval had elapsed between the composition and the publication of the treatise. But this hypothesis is worthless and uncalled for; worthless, because it involves the gratuitous assumption that Tacitus was prevented from publishing the treatise in the reign of Titus, and if so, that he issued this work of his youth in the reign of Trajan, when wholly occupied with historical composition. It is uncalled for, because the difficulties which gave it birth, do not exist, as we shall see.
2) The praenomen Publius, given by the cod. Mediceus, has been recently confirmed by a Carian inscription (Bull. de Corresp. Hell. 1890 p. 621) 'Aσiavol "Iwves 'Avou[mátw] IIo. Kopv[nλiw] Takiry. Apoll. Sidon. Ep. IV 14. 22 calls him twice Gaius, but the C., found also in a few MSS., was probably originally due to a dittography of the initial letter of the nomen gentile.
21 In the famous and much disputed passage at the beginning of the Histories (I1): dignitatem nostram a Vespasiano (69–79) incohatam, a Tito (79–81) auctam, a Domitiano (81-96) longius provectam non abnuerim, dignitatem . . . auctam is the technical designation for the quaestorship (Borghesi, Urlichs), and if Tacitus was appointed to this office by Titus suo anno,' he was twenty-five years old and therefore born 54, 55 or 56. In the present discussion, it will be expedient to assume the earliest date with Nipperdey, for by making this concession the chronological objections will be emphasised as strongly as possible, and their subsequent refutation accordingly the more convincing.
22 On statio which has also created unnecessary difficulty, see note ad loc. The peculiar meaning which the word has here, is perhaps a Gallicism.