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The Medea of Euripides. With an Introduction and Commentary by A. W 
Verrall, M. A. London. Macmillan & Co. 1881. 

To say that this book deserves a hearty welcome may seem too much to the 
captious critic — possibly too little to the generous critic. It has good qualities 
which render it conspicuous among the products of recent scholarship, especially 
of Anglo-American scholarship. The book shows conscientious and systematic 
industry, real knowledge of critical method, very uncommon ingenuity. The 
reader who examines a couple of pages taken at random will find his expecta- 
tions raised very high. But he will reluctantly find these expectations in some 
measure disappointed upon careful study of the whole. For although the tools 
are those of the scientific workman, they sometimes slip strangely as from lack 
of practice ; the very fertility of critical resource sometimes appears as over- 
wrought cleverness missing a plain point ; and there is sometimes a certain 
haziness of feeling about the way things may and may not be said in Greek. 
But the fulness of examination which I shall try to give the book may be 
taken as evidence that I do not fail to appreciate its merits. 

The Introduction (dated May, 1 881) begins with a list of editions chiefly used. 
The names of KirchhofT, Weil and Schone are conspicuous by their absence. 
Whether the Anakcta Etiripidea of Wilamowitz have been studied at first 
hand is not quite clear. It is matter of real regret that V. published too 
early to have seen Leo's remarks (Hermes, XV 306. See Amer. Jour, of Philol. 
I 4S7), to which I shall repeatedly refer. Next follows an attempt to provide 
a sort of royal road for those who cannot or will not learn by close study what 
manner of thing a Greek manuscript is. V. gives a bit of Comus, full of 
imaginary corruptions found in imaginary manuscripts, and then goes through 
the process of correcting it according to art. The idea is a clever one ; but it 
may be doubted whether such a device can do more than to raise a conceit of 
knowledge in the indolent. A good photographic facsimile of twenty well 
chosen lines from the Codex Laurentianus would have been worth far more to 
real students. 

The discussion of the two classes of MSS of Euripides which follows is 
more important. V. is right out of all question in supporting the high authority 
of the Laurentianus and Palatinus; but I cannot think he (or anybody else as 
yet) has fully solved the problem of the relation of these MSS to the Vati- 
canus. My own provisional view is that the MSS of the "second class" 
(Laur. and Pal.) are more genuine, though more corrupted by slips and errors; 
while the Vaticanus has been more corrected out of shape by grammarians. 
And so far as this statement goes, I understand it to state Verrall's view. But 
this view will not support the load of inferences which he puts upon it. There 
is nothing in it to diminish the probability, in any given case of divergence, 


that the Vaticanus may have the genuine reading, provided the divergence can 
be best explained on that theory. Let us look for a moment at one of the 
passages which V. discusses in this connection. In 668 he thinks eard/^ a 
gloss, Uavetc a corruption, and writes ifdveic. To begin with, iard?,^ is a per- 
fect reading on its own merits. Then V.'s argument, " hrd'Ar/c; is familiar and 
easy, inaveig poetical and archaic," and again, " whatever else may be said of 
hdv£i<; t no one will take it for an explanation or correction of £<t™a//c," is all 
wrong. The scholion to this very passage proves that hrdlrjv was not familiar 
to Byzantine readers ; and Imva was well known to every Byzantine school- 
boy as a part of the antique poetical vocabulary — an admirable word for a 
gloss. This a man really practised in such matters would know by a sort of 
instinct ; but no doubtful matter could be easier of investigation. For example, 
it is not hard to examine the other passages of Euripides in which the passive 
of arejJ.a occurs. The first upon which the writer stumbles is Androm. 251. 
That line, with its variants and glossemata, tells the whole story with curious 
neatness. Other flaws in the argument of this essay must be passed over. 
The remaining portions of the Introduction deal with the Story of Medea, the 
" Two Versions," the Medea of Neophron, the Scenery and Distribution of the 

I shall now ask the reader to accompany me in an examination of most of 
the passages in which V. prints emendations of his own. In 30 he proposes, 
'under reserve," Tr/.ijv el ttots for 'i]v fir) tote. Here as elsewhere in the play 
recourse is had to capital letters to show how easily the corruption could have 
crept in. But in fact the correction is, as a matter of palaeography, very 
improbable, even with the help of capital letters. And most scholars familiar 
with the manuscripts of Euripides will probably agree with the reviewer that 
later forms of Byzantine writing are generally of higher importance in account- 
ing for corruptions. In the present case irZfjv el irore does not at all give the 
needed sense ; it leaves the connection of thought as absurd as ever. What 
we want is icai dfj/rrore; and there is strong reason, apart from the necessary 
sense, for supposing that Euripides wrote nal &r) rcore. The reading of the Lauren- 
tianus proves that the Sfj was extant in the archetype of L and P ; wdiile the 
uncertainty of the copyists about the breathing of rjv points to an archetype 
which had f/v without breathing. Now let the reader unfamiliar with manu- 
scripts turn to Btlcheler's edition of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the edition 
with the facsimile of the manuscript. There let him compare the Kal of v. 90 
with the last two letters of daleprjv, v. 79. In 39 V. objects to b/uSa rr)vSe on 
the ground that olSa is the wrong verb and rijvSe the wrong pronoun. This is 
obviously true. By the way, Wecklein's note on this passage is a beautiful 
specimen of the habit of supporting one construction by citing an example of 
some other : he cites Phoen. 716, eyuda usivovg rolt; Xdyotg bvrac dpauelq. But V. 
urges his objection with strange modesty : (" I would speak with the greatest 
diffidence of difficulties which others have not found"). Dindorf and Prinz 
have declared the verse spurious ; nor can the condemnation be removed by 
V.'s change of Ti)vSe to ryde. In 123-4 he accepts Barthold's conjecture, eiri 
fir) fieydlois, but omits the re of the next line. He says : " oxvpag r' MSS, but 
the corruption of the previous word accounts readily for the insertion of the 
copula." But surely the re is wholly inconsistent with, and in itself a proof of 


the corruption of u faj fieyahac, while in the corrected text there is not the 
faintest objection to it. This is pointed out by Leo. In 157 Kotvbv t66e- /irj 
Xapdaaov is a very simple and complete restoration. 

In 182 the change el Tad' avda can hardly be considered fortunate. The 
traditional reading is perfectly sound and has been well explained and suffi- 
ciently illustrated by Pfluglc and Klotz : the raSe is in antithesis to to eaa, 

234 Verrall prints in this form : hifielv • lafiuv yap ov, to& akyiov icaic6v. 
Surely lafieiv yap ov (=:rb yap fit) Xapclv) gives the negative a prominence 
not easily explained. Prinz is right in rejecting the line, and V. wrong in 
saying there is nothing to account for an interpolation. The verse belongs to 
a recognized class of interpolations, of which we have here to perfection the 
usual characteristics, a superfluous word intended to fill out the sense of the 
preceding verse, and then five feet of halting nonsense (generally with variants 
enough to show that some ancient grammarians conscientiously tried to cure 
congenital defects) by way of padding out the rhythm. 

303-5 is a very troublesome passage, and V. does " not pretend to certainty 
about it." He prints: <jo<j>ij yap oiaa, roif fikv dp.' im^ovog, | roig f/ovxaioig, raZf 
<U daripov rpdirov | -roZf 8" ai Kpocavrqc elpl kovk ayav oo<j>%. This involves con- 
siderable changes, and cannot, in spite of all explanation, give an acceptable 
sense. The real trouble is that the verses are not Euripidean. Many critics 
have recognized the fact of interpolation here (Pierson, Brunck, Musgrave 
Porson, Elmsley, Dindorf, Nauck, KirchhofF, Hirzel, Prinz, Wecklein, Allen, 
and I know not how many more) ; but no one seems to me to have exercised a 
proper tact in defining its limits. V.'s objections to assuming an interpolation 
are of no weight as such, but they are decisive against any definition of the 
spurious matter hitherto proposed. The reviewer believes 302-305 (eya <Se — 
tjotyfj) to be spurious.. The interpolator, in his overweening sapience, thought 
he might do dull-witted Jason a kindness by pointing out an application for 
the general principle of 300-301. But in fact the personal application has 
been already given in 292-3. On this view the reader will see the meaning of 
6" ow, 306, and will not be tempted to follow V. in writing ai for ovv . It may 
be remarked here that the manuscript evidence, on which some critics have 
relied in rejecting 304, really proves nothing whatever. 

The treatment of 359-61 is very unsatisfactory. V. gives y-pogeviav in 359 
and omits (as others have done) kt-evpfoeic of 361. But even if npo^eviav were 
the reading of the MSS, we should, on cutting out i^tvprjau^, be warranted in 
writing Jrpdf geviav. And the case is really far stronger than this : ttpo^tviav 
has no authority whatever beyond that of bare conjecture ; the diplomatic facts 
make it certain that not only the Vaticanus, but also the common archetype of 
the Laurentianus and of the Palatinus, as well as some progenitor of the Pari- 
sinus 2713, had npbg seviav and nothing else. The reviewer is satisfied that 
Leo is right in trying to cure the trouble by emendation of e^evpijaeif. His 
change to et-svpfoovo' leaves nothing to be desired. 

In 392 V. writes apijxaiov instead of apt/x avo C- But there is no need of 
emendation, only of explanation, of a little consideration how o/ifeo»f comes 
to acquire its derived meaning of irresistible. Primarily a thing is api/x am ( 
when it carries no devices with it, when it leaves the person concerned without 
devices, whether for resistance to itself or for any other suggested purpose. 


That is the sense required here : the afii/xavoc cvpfyopa of which Medea is 
thinking is an exile without promise of any nbpyoc aafakiic. To find examples 
of aprjxavoc in its primary sense as applied to things is less difficult than V. 
supposes : such examples are numerous in Euripides. I will cite only Hec. 
1123, for which Verrall's statement of the meaning of the adjective {that against 
which devices are weak or powerless, hard, irresistible, not to be prevented} is singu- 
larly inadequate. 

434-7 V. writes as follows : jrerpac, iirl 6e !-'eva vaieic x@ 0Vl ' T <*C avavdpoc 
m'uac oheaaca Tienrpav, ralatva. To this I will only say that the traditional 
text, in which I can see no fault, seems to me far simpler, clearer, better both 
in sense and in grammar. The chorus tell the story of Medea's misfortunes in 
historical sequence and with something of the effect of rhetorical climax. In 
delusion of heart she left her father's house and braved the terrors of a frightful 
journey ; she is now a dweller in a land of strangers, where [she has lost the 
hope and comfort of her marriage ; she is on the verge of exile even from her 
adopted land. 

The reading of 494 is worth a moment's notice. The overwhelming weight 
of authority is for Biapi' avBpCmoic. V. writes tieop' kv avdp&mou;, because " it is 
difficult to account for " the variant Beapi' kv unless kv be a part of the original 
reading. But nothing is easier than to account for this variant, if one bears in 
mind the character of the old grammar-rules. The schoolboy who had to 
account for the case of avdpuiroic was expected to say : feinec rj kv. Grammatical 
notes of this sort from the margins of the manuscripts are familiar to readers 
of scholia. 

738-9 V. writes : ipi2.bc y'evoC av Kairucr/pvicevpaTa \ owe avnooio. This is too 
ingenious. Beside this Leo's bsvav irldoio in 739 seems a remedy as sound as it 
is simple. 

835 _ 45 ar e treated at length — and very interestingly treated — in an excursus. 
No passage could be better selected than this to exhibit the editor's great 
ingenuity. He writes : tov koXKlvoov t' aicb Kqfioov 'poac, rav Kvwpcv kKij^ovciv 
hfvatsopevav x&P av Karanlevaai psrpioit avkfiuv tj5vkv6oic bapoic, alel o" knifiaXAo. 
pkvav xairaiaiv evi>Sij poSiav ■kIokov avBiuv ra arxpia napeipovc iripiruv eparac, 
izavroiac aperdc t;wepyovc. This is very clever ; the translation and explanation 
given with it are very attractive ; but any cautious critic must hesitate to find 
it all conclusive. I will offer only one remark : the adjective perploic becomes 
suspiciously prosaic when made to do duty for the avkpav bapoic, nor is it pos- 
sible here to meet the objection by saying that the adjective belongs in 
poetic effect with avepuv, as it really does in the properly-constituted text. 
But the best criticism on V. here consists in quoting Leo, whose critical method 
in treating both the manuscripts and the poetical conception is far stricter. L. 
writes : tov koXKivoov t' sttI M.r/</naov />oalc rav Kbirpiv kXtj^ovgiv kfe^o/ikvav x&pav 
K&ra -nvevaai fierplac avkpuv rfdmvdovc avpac, alel o" imfiaXXoplvav xalrauyiv evadr/ 
poSeav tvUkov avdeov Tq, Sofia napt&povc nepnuv "Mporac, icavtolac aperac S;wep- 
yovc. " Die am Kephisos sitzende Kypris, sich kranzend und Eroten entsendend, 
ist die Hauptfigur des Gemaldes ; in ihrer Begleitung Sophia, mit Eroten zur 
Seite. Harmonia mit den Musen und die Sta lapnporaTov aWepoc wandelnden 
Athener gruppiren sich von selbst im Geiste des Horers dazu. Die landschaft- 
lichen Zttge (der heilige Boden, die Reinheit der Luft, der Fluss, die lauen 


Winde, der Blumenreichthum) geben den Hintergrund. Man entschlagt sich 
schwer des Gedankens, dass das Gemalde topographische Grundlage habe ; auch 
Sophokles im Liede auf den Kolonos nennt Musen und Aphrodite im Kephi- 
sosgebiete (O. C. 685 ff.), worauf schon Elmsley aufmerksam machte." This 
does seem to the reviewer thoroughly convincing, with a single exception : the 
relation of the "Epwrec to the other figures is confused. It is very easy to assume 
a mistake in the termination of irapedpovg. I should write irapeSpov : the "Eporeg 
go forth with a joint commission from Aphrodite and Sophia. 

The treatment of 846-7 is an unfavorable specimen of V.'s skill. He writes : 
lep£> Trora/iu y filu y ttoTiiq nop-nipo; as x&pa. Here V. fancies there must be 
some mystery behind the corrupt reading of the Vaticanus — y tpi?.uv y Trdltg. 
But the corruption is of the most simple and usual sort — a transposition of 
words (helped by the repetition of y) in the archetype of this and other MSS. 
The reading of Laur. and Pal. is not a " rough remedy to the metre," but the 
true reading, with a clear and obvious sense. But even if the soundness of 
this far-fetched method were conceded, we could not accept V.'s result. He 
regards (fw'Au as a " secondary predicate " with norapip " like the participle in 
ov poi /3ov?MpEV(j) tovto Troiyoeig," To this it is a sufficient objection to say that 
the position of y is impossible. It is true enough that y takes unusual posi- 
tions sometimes, but it always heads a clause or precedes a word antithetical 
to some other word. In dealing with the word ir6piripoi\ V. tries to show that 
it may be exactly covered by the English hospitable — a view not adequately 
supported by his citations. It cannot be denied, however, that the expression 
<pilav ivopiripoc calls for some explanation not yet given by the commentators. 
I conceive that the ^tAwi^caB only refer to the Corinthian state. The chorus 
allude (and only allude) to the certainty of a pursuit which the Athenians will 
be bound to speed and assist. And I find that Musgrave had at least a similar 
notion of the needs of the passage. He says : " legendum putem tto'iviuoi;, ultrix, 
vindex amicorum!' His new coinage was not necessary, but his idea was 'sound. 
It may be objected that the allusion suggested is too obscure ; but the position 
of ce is such as to create an antithesis between <re and (j>i/MV. The following 
per' aA/iUv is surely very suspicious, but if is hard to take V.'s suggestion of 
peraMa seriously. The palaeographic perfection of Elmsley's peff ayvuv is 
tempting, but misleading. An infinitive in place of these words would improve 
the passage ; but nothing in the ductus litterarum guides me to such an infini- 
tive. The paraphrases of the scholia point not indistinctly to a dexea8ai. 
This would be a perfect reading, and, supposing it genuine, it would be quite 
possible to account for the corruption ; still I am afraid no such reading can 
ever be proved genuine. A simple and fairly satisfactory remedy would be to 
write avvovaav, but I have little faith in it. 

856-9 are thus presented: 7c6$ev Bpaaoq y <j>pevb; y x^P 1 a ^6ev rkxvav napSia re 
lyipei Suvav irpoaayovaa r61pav. Here, I think, the rkxvav must be accepted as 
a genuine restoration ; but no explanation can make the pairing of x st P' 1 wi ln 
KapS'ta seem tolerable. Kayser's correction (av for re in 858) is as certain as a 
correction can be, and gives to the irpoaaynvoa rdX/iav its indispensable " remoter 

In 887 V. writes /cat i-vvvpevateiv kcu TrapetjT&vai %i.x a - One would like to 
accept ^vvvptvaiuv with the reasoning offered in support of it, but it is impos- 


sible. First let us hear V. " The MSS readings are alternative corrections of 
$vyya[i i ^ w h ere ^v/ifievaitiv is a corruption, ^vyya/aelv a gloss." ..." It is 

utterly improbable that the subtle and significant gvyyafieiv is the unprompted 
invention of a copyist." But the hard fact is, that gvyya/ielv is the reading of 
the Laurentianus, ^vfiirepaivsiv of all the other manuscripts ; and the agree- 
ment of the Palatinus with the Vaticanus practically proves the conclusion that 
ttvyya/jclv never had a place in any text older than the Laurentianus — that it is 
a corruption due solely to the copyist who wrote that manuscript. It is most 
likely that the archetype had the ^vyyafitlv in the form of a gloss ; but the 
Palatinus proves conclusively that the regular reading of this same archetype 
was gvfirrepaiveiv. But let us assume for the moment that ^vyya/uelv once existed 
as a gloss in the archetypes of all existing MSS. What word did it explain? 
It would be a very bad explanation, at least in its ancient sense, for ^wvfitv- 
ai i iv. Perhaps not very much better, but surely quite as good, for ^vji-aepai- 
vuv. Finally, ^vvv/ievaie iv gives a rhythm which is hardly admissible for 
the Medea. 

In 890 V. writes XPV ' £o/iotovodai t finding in this the common origin of all 
the readings of the MSS. I cannot agree with him. It is plain that the arche- 
typal manuscripts of both classes gave XPV'". The reading of the Vaticanus, 
£XPV V a ' e^o/ioiovaBaij must have originated as a suprascript explanation in plain 
prose for the XPV V o* Apowvotiai of the text. The much-vexed 910 appears in 
this form : yd/mvc; ■Kaptfi-KoKHivTi av7.aiovg irdcei, with the translation: For it is 
natural for the sex to show ill humor against a spouse when he traffics in contra- 
band love. But I think Prinz's statement, nondum emendattis, must still stand. 

914-15 V. writes 6e, Trainee, ovk arbpovTiaroc naTr/p, | 7roA/l^ S' id' ijgei avv 
Bedlq oa>T!jpia. This must be greeted as a very beautiful restoration — methodical, 
precise, complete, convincing. 

Again at 942 V.'s proceeding is highly satisfactory. Bettering a hint given 
by Prinz, he changes ■jrarpdq into Trapoc without other change, omitting, of 
course, 943. 

In 983-4 V. gives ■kcttIov and are<pavov — a departure, I think.'though a trifling 
one, from strict method. 

The treatment of 1076-7 — ovkst' el/il •Kpoafikiixuv oia t' W iftag — is sober and 
sound, where previous editors have been content with seeing each some insuffi- 
cient bit of the obvious and simple truth. 

In 10S7-8 V. prints Travpov 6s, t'c u?/, yevoi;, a change which will probably 
find few friends. V. should not have cited Soph. Ai. 668 in support of his rl pii). 
The words stand there, but hardly in the sense of rl yap ov. A very simple cor- 
rection occurs to me, though I cannot find that any critic has suggested it : 
navpov 6' en St/ y'tvoc. To this there is an obvious, but I believe not a serious 
objection. The idea suggested seems on the whole natural and appropriate, 
and the corruptions of the MSS are of a character to compel consideration of 
this reading. 

In 1 1 74 we find again a masterly correction — b/ifiaruv r avo>. About this 
reading the reviewer has been at the pains to consult an experienced physician, 
who explains that upward rolling of the eyeballs is not at all a characteristic 
" symptom of fainting " (so V.), though a very marked symptom of convulsion. 


But it is ungrateful to pick small flaws in the explanation of so fine an emen- 

I183-4V. writes: )J & il- avabyov ml fivcavTOt; bfifiaToc | deivbv gtev di, aa' fj TaXaiv' 
avo/i/iarov. This is not bad, in spite of possible objections. One cannot feel 
quite sure about ava/ifiarov, but it is at least sensible and possible. And there 
can be no question that V. is right in calling a.Ttuk'kvTO a corruption and r/yeipero 
a gloss (or a conjecture). 

1194, zkaKTZTo for iTM^mtTo does not commend itself. 

1221, ■KoBeivij 6rj nXvovai ov/itpopa, " a tale, is it not, that one may yearn to hear? 
a reproachful allusion to Medea's eagerness for the recital." Upon this I with- 
hold my comments. 

1234 presents another case of over-subtlety — el( "AiSov jreAaf, a reading 
almost as difficult as it is ill-supported. 

1242-3, rl fiiTiXofiev \ | tI Selvo. Tavaymia ; pi) irpaaauv Kaicdv, which may be 
accepted with very little reserve. 

1268-70, bfmyevij fuac/iar', In 7" alh avTOty&vraimv 6lSade66ev ttItvovt' etti dbfwi; 
axn. The best criticism upon this is to place beside it Leo's restoration: 
bjioytvfi /uaa/tar' • iitzrai ft 1 a/i' avro<j>6vTaic i-wyda 8e66ev ttItvovt' etci 66ftoiq &xi- 

1346 V. writes Tixw fuaupSve and translates the line, Go artist in villainy 
and murderess by trade. He cites the analogy of Xoyxcmoi6s, etc., to show that 
the termination -irotdg is characteristic of the names of trades, as a justification 
of dwxpoTtoibs, " which but for this analogy would be miserably inadequate." 
He goes entirely too far in denying the possibility of such an expression as 
TEKvav fuaifdve. The note upon the passage is very engagingly written ; and 
there is little doubt that V.'s view will find favor in many quarters. For my 
part, I have no doubt the MSS give us the line in its original form, and still 
less doubt that Euripides never wrote nor heard of a word of it. The line is a 
ridiculous " gag " invented by an actor whose words were larger than he could 
manage. By the way, the scholion to this passage is worth notice. Dindorf 
prints it : bri donel rbv arixov tovtov elrrav JSvpmlSys iK^t^\f)dQai • Sib nal Kexiaarai. 
That is meaningless : read knfiefSTJjodai av. In 1369 mxi) for nam — a doubtful 
improvement. In 1380, etc fii] tic avrov wofe/i'iav KaflvfipUsi). But the line calls 
for no emendation : a sound reading in one class of manuscripts and a slight 
slip in the other is no evidence of corruption. 

Occasionally V. fails to notice an older correction which seems certain — 
Ka/iTrvoav (Prinz), 334 is an example. 

We may speak more briefly of V.'s treatment'of interpolations. He brackets 
or prints at the foot of the page (in most cases following earlier critics) the 
following lines : 12, 40, 41, 42, 43, 246, 262, 466, 468, 470, 732, 778, 782, 913, 
933. 943> 1006, 1062, 1063, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1284, 1285, 1288, 1289, 1359. 

In regard to the spuriousness of most of these verses V. may be sure of the 
nearly unanimous assent of scholars who know Euripides. But it is difficult 
to see why he should be blind to the character of several other verses whose 
base origin has been shown by arguments as conclusive as have ever been 
adduced against any one of those he condemns. 1068 is as good an example as 
any. In this case be thinks it "difficult to account for" an interpolation. 
Whoever wrote that verse obviously intended to heighten the effect of the 
passage. But he did obviously alter and debase the effect. The motive might 


have been active with Euripides himself or with an enterprising actor. But 
Euripides was a man of genius, who had elaborately created the scene, unlikely 
to-be mistaken or uncertain about the real effect he sought. The line belongs 
to the well-recognized class of creations due to the theatrical companies. In 
regard to a number of other verses V. expresses doubts, often less definitely 
than might be wished. In regard to the repeated lines I cannot always accept 
his judgment. For example, he rejects 1062-3 and retains 1240-1. It is surely 
a slip when he says the children are present while 1060 ff. are spoken. In 
view of 1019-20 this cannot be. Occasionally the critical knife makes some- 
thing less than a clean cut. This is notably the case with 12. The line is 
spurious, as has been repeatedly pointed out ; but very little is gained by reject- 
ing it alone. It cannot be too often repeated that in a piece known to be inter- 
polated, if evidences of interpolation at any given place be detected, the 
presumptions in regard to the length of the insertion are very slight. There is 
no logic behind the rule, which many critics seem to regard, that an interpola- 
tion of one line must be thought twice as probable as one of two lines, and so 
on in the same ratio. The theatrical companies in their day foisted upon 
Euripides one whole play with a spare prologue. 

Of the explanatory notes much good might be said. They are careful, in the 
main sympathetic, sometimes suggestive, and will be read with interest by 
scholars. But it can hardly be said that they add very much to our knowledge. 
Perhaps it would not be fair to expect this ; but the commentator, when he 
comes, who really explains the construction of oh pi/, 1 151, will have an achieve- 
ment to boast of. An example of over-refinement is the note on 32, where it 
is objected that Medea, on quitting her home, " arrived not at Corinth but at 
Iolkos." And there is an occasional vagueness, not to say inaccuracy in some 
of the statements and translations. So 35, what virtue there is in cleaving to the 
fatherland — the voice of ajToleiireedat is left unpleasantly in doubt. In 240, bra 
uaMora xPV^ ETa ^ Zwsvvfry, wherewith she may best manage a husband, seems to 
the reviewer a translation of an emended text. But V. says " the conjecture 
6ir«f for 5-u is scarcely necessary, orp being instrumental. Examples of so rare 
an instrumental would be welcome. It seems a Meineke did not know where 
to find one. In general V. seems a little too easily satisfied with expressions 
for which a name can be found in Kiihner's Grammar, a little too easily dis- 
turbed when this name is lacking. An example of the latter sort is 1143, 
treated in an addendum. It is quite true, but not very strange, that arkyag has 
nothing, at least within the usage of tragic dialogue, to govern it. Some regard 
must be paid to the special style of the speaker. The ayyeXoi, ■mudayoyoi, etc., 
regularly speak in a resonant and slightly confused way. Nothing more natural 
than for such a character to put the accusative wpbq to voovjmvov and then 
to vary slightly from his original intention in choosing a verb of motion. 1256, 
8eov rf' alfiari irirvEiv 0(5/3oc m' avepuv — the blood of gods is in peril of being shed 
by man. To say nothing of ai/iart, nor of the absurdity involved in this render- 
ing, was Euripides really so ignorant of his " Moods and Tenses " ? The 
misunderstanding is not new (nor the correction of it) ; but <p6/3og ■kItvuv and 
4>6f)o£ fif/ niiTTri are not interchangeable. 

In minor details the book has received commendable care. Perhaps it would 
be well if editors could decide whether Euripides wrote f irv or civ ; but I 


believe all editors are alike indifferent to the matter. Some forms, like (7ufu 
and oi fih (87), now seem a trifle old-fashioned. The publishers for their part 
could hardly have done more than they have. 

J. H. Wheeler. 

An Etymology of Latin and Greek. By Charles S. Halsey, A. M. Boston : 
Ginn, Heath & Co. 1882. 

The title-page of this little work should have read somewhat as follows : An 
Essay by Dr. Maurice Bloomfield, divided into two parts, between which parts 
are inserted most of the Etymologies given in Curtius' Griechische Etymologie 
(before it was revised for the 5th edition), preceded by the greater part of Dr. 
Maurice Bloomfield's review of Meyer's Griechische Grammatik ; besides these, 
twenty pages of matter extracted from various text-books ; plus a chapter of one 
page, a list of roots, and three long indices, the last by Charles S. Halsey, A. M. 
This we believe to be fairer than the present title. We do not mean to say that 
the author has surreptitiously borrowed from other authors ; but no one who 
had not seen this Journal for September, 1880, could guess how much lies hidden 
under the remark, " I have given the statement of those chapters condensed 
mainly from his (Dr. Bloomfield's) paper on the Greek Ablaut " ; and again, 
" The Preliminary Statement is condensed from his article," etc. What does 
Mr. Halsey mean by 'mainly,' what by ' condensed ' ? There is not an idea in 
these chapters that is not expressed in the very words used by Dr. Bloomfield 
in the Journal a year ago. ' Mainly ' means here ' wholly ' ; ' condensed ' means 
copied and bisected, with here and there an omission. 

We have now to examine the plan of the work. The author intends this 
book to supply a " felt want," for in the chance etymologies of school lexica 
" no connected systematic or thorough knowledge of etymology is acquired " 
(Preface, p. iii). This is very true. Let us now see how the author undertakes 
to give the young student the first ideas of " systematic " etymology. We must 
bear in mind that the work is intended for beginners, for such indeed as have 
" no knowledge of the Greek language " (p. xv). In the first twenty pages 
the author runs over the main facts of relationship between the I. E. languages. 
We notice on p. 2 that Armenian is unhesitatingly classed as Eranian, that 
Sanskrit is regarded as derived from Vedic. Of Pali and dialects which may 
go back to Vedic, not as derivatives but as parallel growths, no mention is 
made. Every root is monosyllabic (p. 6). The principle which underlies the 
greater part of phonetic change is the tendency to ease of utterance (p. 16). 
These points are merely stated, not discussed, doubtless because in a work 
" for school use " it is undesirable to present conflicting views (p. xiv). Why 
then do we have the "principles of the new school" set forth in the language 
of a scholar, and with such technical form that no schoolboy in America could 
follow the ideas given for two pages together ? Why are twenty pages of 
general remarks followed by a learned essay on the Greek ablaut which can be of 
no possible interest to " such as have no knowledge of Greek," to such as those 
for whom the book is intended ? This tacking together of disparate material 
shows itself in many details. So what Dr. Bloomfield calls guna is changed by