15 October 2014

More Glyptotek

A very interesting and important new comment on the thread of Glyptotek (1). As well as the point it is quoted to make, it also exemplifies the fact that the 'Church Fathers' were part of the period we loosely call Antiquity, and can be found to illustrate it. Some years ago, somebody spotted that there were allusions to lost poems of Sappho in one of the Cappadocian Fathers.

During the entire period until 1453, I bet literate people could have found mss of the Hecale, the Menandrian Corpus and the Lesbian poets, in libraries in Constantinople and throughout the East. (What a tragedy the Fall of the Great City to Islamic barbarians was ... and I don't suppose certain earlier Frankish episodes helped much, either. Nor, indeed, that little Roman accident in Alexandria.)

Sadly, Classicists tend to steer clear of the Fathers (indeed, the Ninth Edition of LSJ omitted the 'Byzantine' material which had survived until LS Editio Octava, which is why still I keep my Eighth Edition on my own shelves). "Ecclesiastical writers" tend to be a closed book ... and world ... to them. Part of the unfortunate narrowing and compartmentalising  of scholarship.

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