The Ancient Critic at Work

Terms and Concepts of Literary Criticism in Greek Scholia


The large but underrated corpus of Greek scholia, the marginal and interlinear notes found in manuscripts, is a very important source for ancient literary criticism. The evidence of the scholia significantly adds to and enhances the picture that can be gained from studying the relevant treatises (such as Aristotle's Poetics): scholia also contain concepts that are not found in the treatises, and they are indicative of how the concepts are actually put to use in the progressive interpretation of texts. This book also demonstrates that it is vital to study both ancient terminology and the cases where a particular phenomenon is simply paraphrased. Nineteen thematic chapters provide a repertoire of the various terms and concepts of ancient literary criticism. The relevant witnesses are extensively quoted in Greek and English translation. A glossary of Greek terms (with translation) and several indices enable the book also to be used for reference.
  • Cambridge University Press; March 2009
  • ISBN: 9780511512599
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: The Ancient Critic at Work
  • Author: René Nünlist
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"Using the notes (scholia) of ancient (and mostly anonymous) scholars on the works of a number of Greek authors, Nünlist (Brown Univ.) examines what might be termed 'ancient literary criticism in action.'...The result is fascinating and useful. Fascinating, because the author presents the material through the eyes of the ancient scholars, this allowing the reader to see how they read and what they thought most in need of defense, explanation, praise, and censure. Useful because Nünlist translates all the Greek he cites and equips the work with an extensive glossary of Greek literary-critical terms and exemplary indexes. The book will thus appeal to both scholars working on the topic and anyone interested in ancient literary criticism."