Because Terence was still used so widely, the flood of new editions continued and even increased in the seventeenth century. If the first thirty years of printed Terences were rather a desert in text-critical terms, the end of our period, from 1600 to 1650, was truly a golden age for the Roman playwright. Even provincial booksellers of the mid-seventeenth century could boast a variety of editions, and the buyer could choose among editors of great fame and distinction. Indeed, the market looks very modern. A teacher or student in Strasbourg in 1668 could take his pick from eight different seventeenth-century editions in several formats by five modern scholarly editors. A prosperous buyer might have opted for an omnibus edition, two volumes printed in 1619 at Neustadt an der Haardt that combined a critical text by Johann Philipp Pareus (1576-1648) with commentaries and emendations by six other scholars. A comparable shopper at Frankfurt in 1660 would have seven different modern editions to choose from. A secondary market allowed less prosperous students or those with a taste for sixteenth century printing to choose from older editions also still to be had. (93)


In Italian shops the choice was also wide, though restricted somewhat by the fact that the editions by Erasmus and some Protestant editors were not sold openly and by the general preference of Italians for Italian editions. Kaspar Schoppe at Padua in the sixteen thirties unequivocally recommended Fabrini's Terence, to the exclusion of all other editions. Still, at the upper end of the market, Francesco Cardinal Barberini (1597-1679) owned seven editions and three critical works on Terence. (94)
The great English text critics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries would take up Terence again and create what is now the accepted text, but they did so with the benefit of a century and a half of earlier work embodied in the many, many editions of the high Renaissance. And these latter-day editors did not have to worry the morals of this optimum auctorem latinitatis, since that question had been effectively settled for most Europeans in the long sixteenth century. They did not all agree, but they had agreed to disagree. The critical work could go forward. (95)

Open Bibliography (330 KB pdf)
(93)  Paulli 1668 and Beyer 1660 offer new editions; compare the much older stock of the Widow Dümmler at Nuremberg in 1652, six editions all of the sixteenth century. On the availability of these many texts, Bury 1996, 126-127.
(94)  Schoppe 1671, 84-85; Barberini 1681.
(95)  The epithet is that of Crinito 1505.

Posted by admin on September 16, 2008
Tags: Chapter One

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Dan Sheerin on paragraph 2:

effectively settled] Why was Terence eventually displaced by Caesar in the school curriculum??

May 8, 2009 7:20 pm
Paul F. Gehl :

You point to an interesting question, Dan, one that scholars are still writing about. “Effectively settled” was an overstatement on my part, since in fact the morality of the plays and the ethics of using them continued to be debated until recent times. There is a new article in the March 2008 issue of The International Journal of the Classical Tradition by Peter McG. Brown, that discusses censored versions right up to the 1970s. (See: “The Eunuch Castrated,” cit. 16-28.) Caesar, of course, has not of the same moral problems, but little of the lively language either.

August 5, 2009 10:16 am
Paul F. Gehl on paragraph 2:

On the matter of availability, just today a the Newberry I ran across a 1604 catalogue of the Florence bookshop of the Giunta brothers that lists no fewer than 15 different editions of Terence in formats ranging from 16mo to folio and from printers in Venice, Paris, Lyon, and Antwerp!

August 5, 2009 9:54 am
Paul Gehl on paragraph 2:

Another interesting document for the wide distribution of Terence is an inventory of a 1595 book ‘caravan’ published recently by Anastasio Rojo Vegas. Among the books sent from Valladolid (a major book entrepot) to Santiago (in much more provincial Galicia), there are six entries for Terence, including at least one used copy, two copies of a Spanish translation, and eight new copies of Latin editions in quarto and sextodecimo. See: Rojo Vegas, “From Europe to Finisterre: A Caravan of Books to Galicia (1595),” in Print Culture and Peripheries in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Benito Rial Costas (Leiden: Brill, 2013), pp. 381-401, at 391.

January 3, 2013 3:32 am

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