Book Series Studi e testi tardoantichi, vol. 21

sicut commentatores loquuntur

Authorship and Commentaries on Poetry / Autorproblematik und antike Dichterexegese

Ute Tischer, Thomas Kuhn-Treichel, Stefano Poletti (eds)

  • Pages: 480 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:7 b/w, 6 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, German, Italian
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60534-0
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60535-7
  • E-book
  • Available

This volume examines commentaries and scholia on poetry in terms of authorship and ‘authoriality’, and explores the tension between their heteronomous and collective nature and their need for authority


Ute Tischer works at the University of Leipzig, among other things on authorship and authority in Latin commentaries on poetry.

Thomas Kuhn-Treichel, University of Heidelberg, has published on both Greek and Latin poetry, including a monograph on Pindar’s poetic ‘I’.

Stefano Poletti is Assistant Professor at the University of Freiburg i.B. He is particularly interested in Virgilian exegesis, Petronius, Roman epic, and ancient historiography.


Ancient commentaries on poetry – due to their heteronomous nature, their miscellaneous character, and the fact that most of them are transmitted in abridged and anonymous form – are usually not considered ‘authorial’ texts in the same way as poems or literary prose are. Nevertheless, as didactic texts, they rely on authority to convey their interpretation, and they also often seem to have been perceived as products of authorial activity, as paratexts, references and pseudepigraphic attributions demonstrate.

The aim of this volume is to explore this tension and to examine commentaries and scholia on poetry in terms of authorship and ‘authoriality’. The contributions use several Latin and Greek corpora as case studies to shed light on how these texts were read, how they display authorial activity themselves, and how they fulfil their function as didactic works. They provide reflections on the relationship of author, authorship, and authority in ‘authorless’ traditions, explore how authorial figures and authorial viewpoints emerge in an implicit manner in spite of the stratified nature of commentaries, investigate the authorial roles adopted by commentators, compilers and scribes, and elucidate how commentators came to be perceived as authors in other exegetic traditions.


Introduction: Authorship and Commentaries on Poetry (Ute Tischer, Thomas Kuhn-Treichel & Stefano Poletti)

1. Author, Authorship, and Authority as a (Critical) Problem
Memoriae suae causa: Some Considerations on the Relationship between Author and Commentary in (Late) Antiquity (Luigi Pirovano)
The Commentator as Curator: Parathesis, Authority, and Anonymity in the Greek Tradition (Joshua Smith)
The Author(s) and the Authorship of the ‘Philargyrian’ Exegetical Corpus (Fabio Stok)
Hucusque Iunilius. Autorfiguren und auktoriale Strategien in drei Textzeugen des Servius und des Corpus Bernense (Ute Tischer)

2. Authorial Viewpoints in Stratified Texts
Per un lessico dei commenti tardoantichi a Virgilio. Il caso di Servio (Massimo Gioseffi)
In Addition: The Rhetoric of Copia in Servius (Auctus) (Dániel Kozák)
Eine Frage der Perspektive. Servius und Servius auctus über Vergils subjektiven Stil (Stefano Poletti)
Respexit, transtulit, imitatus est: An Authorial Perspective on Dynamics of Allusion and Imitation? (Camilla Poloni)

3. Authorial Roles and Authority
Aristarch aber…: Evokation von Autorschaft durch namentliche Verweise in den Pindarscholien und darüber hinaus (Thomas Kuhn-Treichel)
Alii dicunt... Servius and Virgil’s Anonymised Readers (Frances Foster)
Der Dichter und sein Richter – Die Autorität des Dichtungskritikers in den kommentierenden Scholien zur κρίσις ποιημάτων des Dionysios Thrax (Markus Hafner)

4. Commentators as Authors within Exegetical Traditions
Méthodes grammaticales et auctorialités exégétiques dans le commentaire de Servius (Daniel Vallat)
Il magister Servius nella tradizione scoliastica tardoantica (Concetta Longobardi)
Asper’s Commentary in Servius and the Scholia Veronensia: Between Authority and Anonymity (Janyce Desiderio)

Index locorum

About the Authors