The Ancient Scholia to Homer's Iliad

Exegesis and Interpretation

The Ancient Scholia to Homer's Iliad
Bill Beck, Adrian Kelly, Tom Phillips
Publication Date
June 2021
Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies

The ancient scholia to the Iliad—excerpts of ancient scholarship and commentary on the Iliad that have been preserved as marginal and interlinear notes in major medieval manuscripts—constitute a uniquely rich and challenging source for anyone interested in Greco-Roman antiquity. A mass of material that includes textual criticism, lexical debate, and literary interpretation, the scholia range in quality from the tralaticious to the dazzlingly insightful, and they reflect multiple critical and exegetical approaches employed over many centuries. These responses to one of antiquity’s most important texts provide vital information about ancient literary exegesis, textual criticism, and education, and contain valuable evidence for the state of the Homeric texts in antiquity. But despite a recent surge of interest in Greek literary scholarship and scholiography, 1 the Iliad scholia remain relatively underexploited by all but a limited group of specialists. Philological analyses have traditionally characterized handling of this material, and these methods remain invaluable for unpacking the challenging language and sometimes unusual premises and presuppositions of these texts. Nonetheless, this volume seeks to combine that heritage with readings that position the scholia in the longue durée of both ancient and modern intellectual history, in an attempt to open up multiple trajectories for future scholarship.