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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).

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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.

8 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 ru 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

Haase's valuable commentatio de Taciti vita, ingenio, scriptis, Franz Weinkauff published his first dissertation, De Taciti Dialogo, Weinkauff. 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. Woelflin. 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.' 1 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.



The testimony of the MSS.

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.


We are now prepared to examine the points at issue in this controversy more in detail.

Our MSS., a dozen in number, unanimously ascribe the Dialogus to Cornelius Tacitus,18 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

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