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Markland's Notes on Juvenal

  • Willis James (a1)


The MS L 28 of St John's College, Cambridge, contains a number of critical annotations on Juvenal from the pen of Jeremiah Markland. The existence of these notes has been known at least since the publication of Mayor's edition, in which many of them were published, although the prolixity and disorder characteristic of that edition make it hard to find them. At one time I thought that Ruperti had seen the manuscript, because he was aware of the conjecture aliena sumere vultum a facie (3.105-6), but with the help of Dusaulx I found that it was published in Markland's notes on Lysias (p.330 Reiske). Markland is commonly reckoned the greatest critic of the eighteenth century apart from Bentley, and one would have supposed that editors of Juvenal would have thought that the very dust of his writings was gold. In fact, however, these annotations have never been published in their entirety, and it seems time that they should be. Some of the textual proposals have been made independently by other scholars; some, to the best of my knowledge, have never been made by anyone else and now see the light for the first time. Some, as one would expect, are brilliant and incisive; others are strikingly bad. One must remember that these are the thoughts which passed through his mind as he was reading Juvenal in a very second-rate edition, and no doubt he jotted them down for future consideration. No one will think the less of a critic because his marginalia and anecdota contain material which later reflection would have rejected.



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