You are on page 1of 2

THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 17

which he must supply to rebut his opponents.

469-70 as a reply to the objection raised in

Its extreme concision and incompleteness

the lines immediately preceding.

constitute the difficulty, and no desire to fill

KENNETH WELLESLEY

the gaps--or to anticipate with Bailey and

Bitchner the argument at 47I ff.--should

University of Edinburgh

distract us from an attempt to interpret

HORACE, ODES i. I. 28

EVEN to the ancients the phrase teretes

Catullus 61. 174-5 (brachiolum teres puellulae)

is like Horace's teretes suras.

plagas in Horace, Odes i. I. 28, seemed to

From this evidence W. H. Alexander was

need a comment. So the pseudo-Acronian

led to suggest the meaning 'bulging', that

scholia have: non plagas teretes, sed de teretifune

ait factas: ideo enim ita posuit, quia illis de-

is, in the boar's attempts to escape. One

bemus substantiam unde sumimus. However, the

would expect a participle rather than an

scholia Afb say: plagae sunt retia: dicuntur

adjective, and in any case Alexander himself

autem teretes plagae propter nodos rotundos. One

abandoned this proposal later (T.A.P.A. lxxv

of these explanations might be acceptable,

[1944], I5-I9 and lxxxv [I954], I45-7).

if there were any reason to believe that

What is needed in the hunting scene is

Horace here attempts to render an orna-

some epithet describing the scene observed

mental epithet, such as EU7AEKo70S (cf. Eur.

as a whole, not examined in detail, if it is to

Ba. 870 E7AEKTWrv KTSp apKowv). But there

be comparable with the other scenes of

is no such evidence.

typical human activity in this ode.

The second scholium at least testifies to the

In the Xenophontine Cynegeticus, we have

idea of roundness or curvature, which seems

an expert's description of the preparations

basic in this word: so Festus' definition is:

for a boar hunt, which includes the following

teres est in longitudine rotundatum, quales asseres

instructions on setting up the net: inLsdA-

natura ministrat. This definition is not easy

Aovra o70S PpdXovS Emr l darocxaAL&euLara ti7

to apply to our passage, although some

?I13 &Kpa 7KSP & apKUOP aU7 l. Kpbv

would take it of the poles supporting the net,

Tpo0jKOV7a KdATOV 7TOLELV (IO. 7). The Kdot oS

nor does the special sense given by Festus

is obviously an important part of the pre-

parations and is certainly teres. It is to this

apply to three passages in which Catullus

that Horace refers with his usual aptness

has the word (64. 65, 262, 363).

in the use of words. So we should translate

Horace himself has teretes suras (Od. ii. 4.

'the curve of the net'. For the curved line

21), teretis pueri (Epod. I I. 28), teres atque

rotundus (Sat. ii. 7. 86). The shape indicated

of considerable length formed by the net in

in the first two is clear, and in the third teres

position, see Smith's Dictionary of Greek and

describes the perfect curvature of the sphere.

Roman Antiquities, s.v. retis, and passages there

The idea of a gentle curve is appropriate to

cited.

the three Catullan passages, where the word

A. TRELOAR

is used of a breast-band (65), the cymbal

Wright College, University of New England

(262), and a funeral barrow (363); while

AN ASPECT OF BEDE'S LATER KNOWLEDGE

OF GREEK

ALTHOUGH the extent of Bede's knowledge of

Greek has never been carefully investigated,

the opinion that it was considerable,

especially toward the end of his life, is wide-

plus aut minus posita vidimus, breviter com-

memorare curavimus; quae, utrum negle-

gentia interpretis omissa vel aliter dicta an

incuria librariorum sint depravata sive re-

spread.' This opinion is founded in large

licta, nondum scire potuimus. Namque

measure on the Retractatio of his earlier

Graecum exemplar fuisse falsatum suspicari

Expositio Actuum Apostolorum: 'In quo etiam

quaedam quae in Graeco sive aliter seu

I e.g. E. F. Sutcliffe, 'The Venerable

Bede's Knowledge of Hebrew', Biblica xvi

(i935), 300-6, and esp. 300oo-I, where the

4598.1 C

non audeo; unde lectorem admoneo ut haec

ubicumque fecerimus gratia eruditionis

Retractatio is used to show 'that the Venerable

Bede was well acquainted with Greek'.

18 THE CLASSICAL REVIEW

legat... .' A typical comment 'gratia

eruditionis' is on Acts iv. 32: 'Latine com-

munia, Graece dicuntur Kowad, a quo nomine

constat perfectos dei famulos KOLVOLLdTa

Graece, id est, communiter viventes, et

KoLVodaLa habitacula eorum esse vocata. Blov

certainly interested in Latin and Greek ety-

mology (cf. the commentary on KOLVO/LCU7aS

above). Moreover, aKa7TTW appears not in-

frequently in the N.T.-e.g. Luke vi. 48,

xiii. 8, xvi. 3-but Bede's bilingual text

regularly translated it with 'fundo'. Thus his

namque lingua eorum vitam constat appel-

lapse shows, in this instance at least, that he

lari, non eamrn vitam quae morti contraria est,

did not have a critical knowledge of Greek,

sed illam dum quaerimus qua quis conver-

and that his use of the language was passive.*

satione vitam ducat, in militia an in agricul-

tura an in arte qualibet honesta vel turpi,

monachus sit an laicus an clericus. Ceterum

This incident in Bede's intellectual history

has an epilogue. Some time in the decade

after the Retractatio an otherwise unknown

vita qua a mortuis discernimur Swoj nun-

monk named Felix borrowed a number of

cupatur a Graecis; qui ergo ita vivunt ut

phrases from Bede, especially from the prose

sint eis omnia communia in domino, recte

composito ex duobus uno nomine KOLVO-

L9rcras vocantur.'2 No source has been found

for this passage, but at least one other such

revision suggests that Bede's knowledge of

Greek in his late fifties was still largely

vicarious. He wrote of Acts xxvii. 16:

'Scripsimus in libro primo Isidorum sequen-

tes scapham esse naviculam levem ex vimine

contextam crudoque corio tectam; verum

deinceps aliorum scripta percurrentes in-

venimus "scaphas vocari naviculas etiam

una de arbore cavatas qua~s poVoaa5a Graeci

appellant".'3 This new citation reveals an

extension of Bede's Latin reading, but

Life of St. Cuthbert, for his Life of St. Guth-

lac. A few lines before one such borrowing,

the saint sets off for his hermitage, 'arrepta

piscatoria scafula'. The word was still, it

seems, a hard one: four manuscripts of the

surviving twelve have 'scapula', the nearest

familiar Latin word, although it makes non-

sense of the phrase, and two others have

glosses. One of these renders 'scafula' as

'cistiba vel navicula', and the other (British

Museum, Cotton MS. Nero E. i, saec. xi)

has '(nav)iculas dicimus, (vi)mine factas et

corio'.s Here the glossator was following

Bede's Expositio or Isidore, not Bede's Re-

tractatio or Vegetius.

not of his Greek philology; for even with the

clue 'cavatas' he failed to connect 'scaphas'

University of Reading W. F. BOLTON

with atKa#EOV or aKi7Taw, although he was

SEd. M. L. W. Laistner, Bedae Venerabilis

Expositio Actuum Apostolorum et Retractatio

(Cambridge, Mass., I939) (hereafter Bede),

ex singulis trabibus excauatas... secum

portet exercitus.' (Ed. C. Lang, Leipzig,

I885.)

4 The form of 'ptovofu:'a' is doubtful.

p. 93. Bede used a bilingual manuscript

for these revisions, almost certainly Bodleian

MS. Laud Greek 35; cf. Bede, pp. xxxix-xl

and the references there.

2 Bede, p. 13; cf. his similar remarks on

Acts vii. 56, xx. 9, xxi. 39. In many, if not

all, the manuscripts the Latin alphabet is

used for Greek words.

3 Bede, p. I45. C. W. Jones, C.R. xlvi

(1932), 248-9, says that Vegetius ii. 25 is the

source, but G. MacDonald, C.R. xlvii (1933),

124, suggests that Bede used a glossary, not

De re militari itself. There are in fact two

relevant passages in Vegetius, ii. 25 and iii. 7 :

'Scafas quoque de singulis trabibus ex-

cauatas . . . secum legio portat, quatenus

contextis eisdem, sicut dicunt, monoxylis,

Bede is freely paraphrasing, and the fem.

acc. plur. may be meant for an adjective; or,

if it is a noun and thus a mistake for a neut.

acc. plur., the error may be scribal and not

a reflection of Bede's intention. Vatican

MS. 4493 of Vegetius (saec. xii; Lang,

pp. xxxi-xxxii) has 'monoxillas' in 3. 7, and

Bede's source may have been a manuscript

of this type. (British Museum, Harley MS.

1915 [saec. xiii], fol. 192r, has 'monoxillas'

with the marginal correction 'quasi diceret

monixilla' [sic].) But the similarity of De re

militari ii. 25 and iii. 7 suggests that Vegetius

was copying, not from himself, but from an-

other source now lost, and it may be that

Bede saw this source and not Vegetius at all.

s Ed. Bertram Colgrave, Felix's Life of

superiectis etiam tabulatis, flumina... trans-

eantur'; 'Sed commodius repertum est, ut

monoxylos, hoc est paulo latiores scafulas

St. Guthlac (Cambridge, 1956), p. 88 and

note 20.

Related Interests