Update: September 2014

During the past summer, these projects were completed:

  • Collation of MBOVC was carried out for the scholia of the triad plays for those sections also attested in H. This has been done in anticipation of new information about the scholia in H from the Palamedes Project.
  • A preliminary study was made of the labeling of certain scholia in Y (Naples II.F.9) as Planudean. There are very few of these beyond those already listed by Turyn. An interim report is available, posted here.
  • An interim edition of an exegetic miscellany on Hecuba found in S and a few other sources is now available, posted here. This appears to reflect scholarly and teaching activities of 12th-century scholars, probably including Ioannes Tzetzes.
  • An updated listing of manuscripts is now online, with more manuscripts listed and additional information.

Progress report: April 2014

Because of many other projects and commitments, it has been impossible during the past four years to put online a larger sample of scholia with additional features. Visible progress should become much more rapid from 2015 onward. Nevertheless, the work has continued in the background.

  • The number of manuscripts collated for Orestes 1-500 is now about 35.
  • Some preliminary collations have been done in parts of Hecuba and Phoenissae: the collations in Hecuba reveal that in Gudianus graecus 15 the accepted distinction between hand Gr (Moschopulean scholia) and Gu (Thoman scholia), which so far is confirmed for Orestes and Phoenissae, does not always apply in the early part of Hecuba.
  • A re-edition of the Phoenissae scholia in P.Würzburg 1 has been published in collaboration with Holger Essler and Kathleen McNamee: see Würzburger Jahrbücher für die Altertumswissenschaft, n.F. 37 (2013) 31-97 [open-access PDF]
  • New or better images have been acquired for many manuscripts, and more manuscripts can now be consulted online. Links will be provided in the revised version of the Manuscripts page of this site.
  • Autopsy checking of some difficult passages has been performed in Rome, Florence, Oxford, Cambridge, and Madrid, and further trips for autopsy inspection are planned. One product of work at the Vatican Library in 2012 is a working paper on the hands in Vat. gr. 909 (V), which is posted here.
  • As far as readings relevant to fragments of other authors are concerned, further collation has produced one interesting item. The manuscript Rw (Vienna phil. gr. 119) for scholion Orestes 25.05 in this sample has in Aeschylus fr. 375 the reading ἀμήχανον τέχνημα καὶ δυσέκβλητον, where τέχνημα coincides with the generally accepted conjecture of Nauck, while other manuscripts have τεύχημα or εὐτύχημα (δυσέκβλητον is a new reading as well, but unlikely to be correct).


Beta version 1, released April 2010: in memory of Kjeld Matthiessen (27 July 1930–26 February 2010)

This site is the home of a new open-access digital edition of the scholia on the plays of the ancient Athenian tragedian Euripides (born ca. 485-480, died winter 407/406 BCE). It presents the ongoing results of a project of Donald Mastronarde, Professor of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley. This first version of the site, released in April 2010, should be considered a ‘beta version’. It is dedicated to the memory of Kjeld Matthiessen, a great scholar of the medieval manuscripts and transmission of Euripides who had himself hoped one day to work on editing the scholia.

‘Scholia’ is a catchall term applied to various annotations accumulated in antiquity and the medieval Byzantine period to explain or comment on various aspects of Greek texts. The Greek word scholion is derived from scholē (meaning ‘leisure’, but also ‘study’) with the addition of a diminutive suffix ‑ion and presumably started out meaning ‘a small product of learned study’. This word is first extant in a private letter of Cicero (ad Atticum 16.7.3) and is found in Greek writers of the Roman imperial age such as Arrian, Galen, and Lucian. The terms scholiographos and scholiographein (‘writer of scholia’ and ‘to write scholia’) appear in the Church Fathers and within corpora of scholia themselves. The term scholiastēs (‘scholiast’) is attested in the 12th century (Eustathius and Tzetzes) and in some corpora of scholia.

Major works of ancient Greek literature were the object of scholarly study among the Greeks themselves from the fifth century BCE onward. From the third to the first century BCE, important scholars edited the texts of the dramas of Euripides and the two other famous fifth-century tragedians (Aeschylus and Sophocles) and wrote commentaries and treatises that touched upon the mythological subject matter, performance, language, and interpretation of the plays. The variegated body of miscellaneous annotation we call scholia to Euripides is an amalgam of excerpts from the Hellenistic tradition of philological study and commentary, brief explanatory notes and paraphrases of a more basic nature produced by intermediate school-teachers, and analyses of rhetorical structures and arguments derived from the practice of more advanced teachers.

A few marginal annotations are found in some ancient books of the papyrus-roll type, the normal format for literary texts from classical times through the 2nd-3rd centuries CE. The codex-form became increasingly common for literary texts during the 2nd-4th centuries, and during the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries CE) scholia came to be written in the margins around the primary text in some books. The compilation of large sets of annotations from different sources occurred in major centers of learning either in the 5th-6th centuries or at the time of the earliest minuscule manuscripts in the 9th century.

For more information about the project, use the links at the top of the page. To contact the author, use the link in the first paragraph or the footer.

About the display filter:

There are currently three levels of detail offered: full view shows each scholion followed by all public elements that have been provided in the edition (not all elements appear for every scholion); expert view shows the same but also adds two optional elements intended for the author and collaborators; the view with trans. and app. shows only the scholion and a translation (if available) and the apparatus criticus (if there are variants).

The content can be filtered to include everything (prefatory material or arguments and scholia of all kinds); only the old scholia (scholia vetera); all scholia except those tagged as glosses; only the scholia attributed to the named Palaeologan scholars Moschopulos, Thomas, and Triclinius (eventually Planudes too, but there are no Planudean scholia in the current sample); Triclinius’ scholia only. Finally, there is a view of scholia only that has been enabled for use with Alpheios tools (see http://alpheios.net).