Vergiliana: Critical Studies on the Texts of Publius Vergilius Maro, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


Critical Studies on the Texts of Publius Vergilius Maro, 1st Edition

By Egil Kraggerud


380 pages

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In Vergiliana Egil Kraggerud collects together over 100 new, revised, and previously published discussions of textual issues in Vergil’s Eclogues, Georgics, and the Aeneid. Through these and in his Introduction, the author argues for a less conservative approach to these texts than has been fashionable among 20th century editors and commentators. This profoundly learned, engaging and valuable contribution is a critical resource for anyone working on the works of Vergil at both under- and postgraduate level, written by one of the most respected scholars in the field.


"In this book Professor Kraggerud distils a lifetime’s learning and reflection on the textual criticism of Virgil. He discusses some hundred textual problems. Against those textual critics who insist on the received text he proposes conjectures, and argues for forty-four emendations on literary as well as palaeographical grounds. Scholars interested in the text of Virgil will want to own a copy and consider Professor Kraggerud’s suggestions."

- Fiachra Mac Góráin, University College London, UK

"This is a bold book, full of wisdom and critical sharpness, and deserves to be read carefully not only by editors and commentators, but by all serious students of Vergil."

- S. J. Heyworth, University of Oxford, UK, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2017

"It makes a valuable contribution to the reconstruction of several dozen passages in Vergil, as a result of which it will be obligatory reading for all future editors and commentators, and it can safely be recommended to anyone interested in these parts of the text."

- Daniel Kiss, Universitat de Barcelona & Eotvos Lorand Tudomanyegyetem, Exemplaria Classica, 2017

"The greatest merit of Kraggerud's work is to remind us that what we read in Virgil's editions is in no way a definitive text, but despite its relative stability there are still many points that are open to discussion and partly unresolved, but also possible hidden corruptions that may have escaped generations of readers and still require healing. For these reasons, as well as for the wealth and accuracy of the data made available, the present work will certainly have to be carefully considered by every future publisher of Virgil."

- Emanuele Berti, Rivista di Filologia e di Istruzione Classica 145, 2017

"Despite the uncertainty that will continue to characterize many of Virgil's textual problems, the importance of the critical commitment remains: even in cases where it provokes dissent, Kraggerud gives proof of an exemplary textual hermeneutic, which will certainly stimulate the coming years. critical exercise on Virgilian text."

- Fabio Stok, University of Rome Tor Veragata, Italy, Gnomon vol. 90, 2018

Table of Contents



Ecl. 1. 69 post aliquot aristas

A disputed phrase in its context

Ecl. 2. 32 A god’s title

Pan the great innovator and model

Ecl. 3. 62 A conjunction at stake

Theocr. 5. 82 in the balance

Ecl. 4. 8 One child initiating a new age

A letter added can make a big difference

Ecl. 4. 28-9 Lines sharing words between them

Emphasis achieved by artistry

Ecl. 4. 62-3 The nature of a baby’s smile

A Dutch scholar vindicated

Ecl. 5. 3 "Why don’t we sit down?" in Latin

What Vergil chose to write

Ecl. 5. 8 Indicative or subjunctive?

In favour of P

Ecl. 5. 38 The gender of narcissus

Our debt to an ancient grammarian

Ecl. 5. 66 Altars for Daphnis

Sorting out syntactical order

Ecl. 6. 1-12. On the genesis of Vergil’s earliest poetry

Call. Aet. 1. 21-4 and Theocr. 16 as inspiration

Ecl. 6. 16 Silenus’ hangover

The troublesome adverbial ‘cluster’ procul tantum

Ecl. 6. 24 The commonest of verbs ousted by a hapax?

Peerlkamp’s brilliant point

Ecl. 6. 34 A dilemma in P

Elided omnia in Vergil?

Ecl. 6. 74-81 A praeteritio to fill the day

The illustrative effect of complicated syntax

Ecl. 7. 5 Equal and well-prepared singers

A misleading first impression of their qualities

Ecl. 7. 29-32 Corydon’s promise to Diana

Variation on the usual contract between man and god

Ecl. 7. 33-6 Thyrsis honouring Priapus

And, unfortunately, revealing his true self

Ecl. 7. 37-44 Love of Galatea

The rivals’ respective ‘roles’

Ecl. 7. 53-60 An inevitable transposition

What is either singer’s ‘part’?

Ecl. 7. 64 Justice for Venus

Equality restored by an ancient grammarian

Ecl. 10. 44 A line revisited and clinched

Almost beyond belief: a double corruption


G. 1. 35 Present or perfect I?

P and ps. Probus found trustworthy

G. 1. 36 Hope in Tartarus

An example of disregarded potentialis

G. 1. 83 What does prefixed in- mean?

On homonyms with contrary meaning

G. 1. 500 Two false birds with one stone

Minimal change can work wonders

G. 3. 159 An unnoticed example of ecquis

A simplification apt to simplify future discussion  

G. 3. 303-4 The reign of the cold Water Bearer

A serious issue for goats

G. 3. 519 Present or perfect II?

Weighing for and against


Jlle ego qui The false beginning

Yet requiring the best syntactical understanding

A. 1. 1-7 Punctuation and structure

The beneficiary effect of a full stop in the flow of lines

A. 1. 48-9 Indignant Juno

A neglected modal parallelism

A. 1. 380 Jove’s descendant

How Aeneas can escape criticism - and save half a line

A. 1. 458 The protagonists of the Trojan War

On Seneca’s version

A. 1. 462 A persistent stumbling-block?

A personal approach to a conclusive answer

A. 1. 603-5 A sense of justice and righteousness

To whom do these virtues properly belong?

A. 1. 646 A loving father’s cura

An analysis of the use of carus

A. 2. 121 Emphasis on a terrifying Apollo

Madvig’s support of an anonymous conjecture

A. 2. 139 On an unmotivated et

Restoration via scriptura continua

A. 2. 433-4 A genitive seeking its governing noun

From another vantage point: ‘retributive actions’ in context

A. 2. 485 In defence of V (and Geymonat)

A good, but lonely singular needs strengthening

A. 2. 567-88 The Helen Episode – a never-ending debate?

if accepting 1) that it is by Vergil and/or 2) meant to fill a lacuna

A. 2. 598 Accusative or nominative?

A real pro et contra case

A. 2. 738 The heart-breaking loss of Creusa

A proper emendation is a natural response

A. 2. 749 An interpolated line?

The hysteron proteron diagnosed

A. 3. 417 On Helenus’ prophecy I

A challenging instance of abl. medio

A. 3. 684-6 On Helenus’ prophecy II

Nisbet’s conjecture and the final clause

A. 4. 126 A terminable intrusion

Negatively affecting the context if accepted

A. 4. 176 The birth of Fama

How Bährens did away with Fama’s timidity

A. 4. 223-4 Jupiter describing Aeneas at Carthage

Restoration of the god’s words by lenient surgery

A. 4. 375 On the language of strong emotion

within acceptable linguistic bounds

A. 4. 469-73 Dido ~ 1) Pentheus and 2) Orestes

1) Allen introduced the Maenads, 2) ego the scene of the matricide

A. 5. 300 A runner’s name and origin

Parisinus Lat. 7306 accepted

A. 5. 851 Treacherous weather

Much hinges on what et combines

A. 6. 153 Animals to soothe the nether deities

Pecudes as the chief expiatory rite

A. 6. 293 ’Hollow forms’

Bentley’s reading adopted

A. 6. 438 In need of final consensus

An opportunity to side with Timpanaro and Conte

A. 6. 460 Vergil ‘imitating’ Catullus

A jocular phrase becomes a tragic confession

A. 6. 466 Aeneas’ last words to Dido

An attempt to solve an enigma of grammatical analysis

A. 6. 561 ‘Air’ or ‘ear’?

The function of either in context

A. 6. 585-6 Punctuation and punishment

The place of a full stop is no trifle

A. 6. 588 Where did Salmoneus challenge Zeus?

On the function of the adj. medius

A. 6. 601-2 Should we miss Tantalus?

In other words: Is the text sound, corrupt or lacunose?

A. 6. 615 A hidden hendiadyoin

It will emerge if one letter is taken away

A. 6. 658-9 Eridanus below and above ground

Horsfall is only one letter from goal

A. 6. 746 Present or perfectIII?

PR, Serv. and Tib. Don. preferred

A. 6. 761 The hopeless lucis loca

Heinsius’ suggestion seeks followers

A. 6. 791 Punctuation to be changed

Why Hic vir hic is recommended with no comma

A. 6. 817-23 Ultor Brutus

Capital Utcumque as part of an interpretation

A. 6. 846 Predicting a Fabius as Maximus Cunctator

The way Vergil imitates Ennius

A. 6. 852 Global rule over the populi

Half a line grasping its essence

A. 6. 893-6 The troublesome exit from Hades

What if lines 897-8 are put before 893-6 (excluding 896)?

A. 7. 129 ‘Disasters’ or ‘exile’?

In support of R.D. Williams  

A. 7. 377 A queen’s maenadic arena

An interpretation based on Jasper’s extension of that arena

A. 7. 543 A hellish creature flies to heaven

In support of Schaper’s (Deuticke’s) and Conte’s dative

A. 7. 598-9 An old king’s tragedy

Is the transmitted text compatible with truth and logic?

A. 7. 741 The annoying soluti

The simple solution should as always be heeded

A. 7. 773 A locus solubilis?

Critics favouring P have many good points

A. 9. 51 The right place of a comma

Word-order reflects the viva vox of the commander

A. 9. 79 Cybele’s eternal fame

Where a ‘but’ is ill-placed

A. 9. 85-6 A questionable deletion

The forest of Mount Ida differentiated

A. 9. 91 Cybele’s concern for the Trojan fleet

A postponed neu emphasizing

A. 9. 130 Jupiter at war with the Trojans

To understand Turnus’ sneer M is preferred

A. 9. 140-2 Misogyny sub iudice

To acquit the form perosos a comma (141) has to go

A. 9. 215 Nisus’ request for burial

Peerlkamp was on the right track

A. 9. 243 In defence of a fut. simpl.

It is indeed an issue according to ms. evidence

A. 9. 363 A spurious line?

A definite stand may be close on duty

A. 9. 390-2 Where to put a question mark

A final decision is yet to be reached

A. 9. 402-3 Nisus praying to Luna

With the author’s late recognition of Ribbeck’s brilliance

A. 9. 461-4 Turnus arming his ranks

The author’s confidence in Wagner and M

A. 9. 471 The neglected variant makes its claims

P was accepted by La Cerda

A. 9. 481 The gender of a predicative pronoun

R is still without enough support

A. 9. 539 Le mot propre

Schrader’s proposal unearthed

A. 9. 599 ‘War’ or ‘death’?

Burmannus helps to make the appropriate decision

A. 9. 709 A solitary neuter

One’s reaction to an anomaly has its reasons

A. 9. 733 The shield of Turnus

A description that confuses with its variants

A. 9. 764 The back of fleeing fighters

An irregularity is sacrificed

A. 9. 789 A true dilemma

Ablative, genitive or dative?

A. 10. 366 More than a personal palinode

Not only Madvig’s aquis, but also my own eos must go

A. 10. 705 Paris’ name twice over?

Ellis against triumphant Bentley

A. 11. 50 The troublesome et yet again

The solution is presented under A. 2. 139

A. 11. 256 An abnormal pronoun

Vergil’s usage wins the day

A. 12. 161 A pompous mustering of forces

Whereby a comma has to change its place

A. 12. 218 Brackets or no brackets?

A long-winded path towards emendation

A. 12. 286 Latinus’ report of failure

The hidden reference of referens

A. 12. 470 Present or perfect IV?

V should take the pride of place in the app. crit.

A. 12. 648 Why not the easy way?

Wagner’s case against Housman’s

A. 12. 790 Exhausted heroes

On how to combine and interpret five words

About the Author

Egil Kraggerud is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy, History of Art, and Ideas at the University of Oslo, Norway. He has published extensively on Vergil, and has translated works by Vergil, Aeschylus, and Euripides, among others.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General