Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cambridge Rhetorical Lexicon

Cambridge Rhetorical Lexicon
Quae legentem fefellissent, transferentem fugere non possunt. (Plinius Epistulae 7.9.2)
The work that goes by the name Lexicon Rhetoricum Cantabrigense (in the following abbreviated as LRhC) consists of a series of marginal notes in the Cambridge manuscript of Harpocration (Bibl. Publ. Dd 4.63). The first scholar to realize that it was an independent work by someone other than Harpocration himself was Meier, who provided the third edition of the LRhC in 1844. Before that, the work had been published by Dobree in Cambridge, once together with Harpocration’s lexicon (1822, repr. Leipzig 1823) and once separately (1832). After another edition by Nauck in 1867, the Dutch scholar E.O. Houtsma published the LRhC for the fifth and, so far, last time as his doctoral thesis in 1870; the text is accompanied by a critical apparatus and valuable notes on almost every entry with remarks on the restitution of the text and the similarities to other lexica as well as references to the passages of classical authors quoted by the anonymous writer. All these editions are difficult to come by; Houtsma’s edition, however, is contained in the volume Lexica Graeca Minora, edited by K. Latte and H. Erbse (Georg Olms Verlag, 1965, repr. 1992), p. 61-139, and thus more easily available to the interested reader.
While a few entries gloss words used by poets and other classical authors outside the realm of rhetoric, the bulk of the LRhC is devoted to the explanation of words and expressions found in the classical orators. In this respect, it often provides the reader with information not present in any other lexicon, which makes it, despite its comparative shortness, an important source in its own right for our knowledge of Attic legal language. In some cases we are even told about word meanings for which we have no direct evidence (see, for instance, the entry Rhetorike), and many of the quotations of classical authors stem from works that are no longer extant. As for those from extant works, I am generally indebted to Houtsma and his predecessors for locating them; however, they did not yet know the pseudo-Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia, on which the author of the LRhC draws a great deal. Wherever a citation can be attributed to a work that we can read today, I have added a reference in brackets. If there is no such reference, it is to be understood that the work quoted from is now lost.
The translation is based, as a whole, on Houtsma’s text; exceptions are indicated in the notes. The Greek is generally transcribed without accents or macrons; in a few cases, however, I have deemed it necessary to write the accent, that is, when the author himself points out that there are different accentuations (see e.g. Agroikos, Sphettoi), and in some others I have used a macron for the sake of clarity (for instance, to distinguish the dative singular masculine and neuter –ōi from the nominative plural masculine –oi, see e.g. Epigraphomenōi). In the notes I have tried, to the best of my ability, to solve difficulties of interpretation and cast light especially on points of Attic legal idiom.
I would like to thank Prof. D. Mirhady for his numerous and useful suggestions and A. Grudzinskas for reading over a previous version of the translation. It goes without saying, though, that I am fully responsible for whatever is written both in this introduction and on the pages that follow.

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