Hack-work, Hermitry, and Homer

Diogenes Laertius, IX.113:

“Timon had a sharp intellect, and was ever ready to turn up his nose. Being fond of writing, he was able to compose stories for the poets and lay out some dramas. He shared materials for tragedies with Alexander and Homer. When disturbed by slave-maidens or dogs, he wrote nothing, and was ever eager for silent solitude. They say that Aratus once asked him how to get hold of an authentic text of Homer, and he replied, ‘You need to find one of the early ancient manuscripts, and not one which has already been corrected.’”

Forget about this – it’s too modern!

῏Ην δὲ καὶ ὀξὺς νοῆσαι καὶ διαμυκτηρίσαι· φιλογράμματός τε καὶ τοῖς ποιηταῖς μύθους γράψαι ἱκανὸς καὶ δράματα συνδιατιθέναι. μετεδίδου δὲ τῶν τραγῳδιῶν ᾿Αλεξάνδρῳ καὶ ῾Ομήρῳ. θορυβούμενός θ’ ὑπὸ τῶν θεραπαινῶν καὶ κυνῶν ἐποίει μηδέν, σπουδάζων περὶ τὸ ἠρεμάζειν. φασὶ δὲ καὶ ῎Αρατον πυθέσθαι αὐτοῦ πῶς τὴν ῾Ομήρου ποίησιν ἀσφαλῆ κτήσαιτο, τὸν δὲ εἰπεῖν, “εἰ τοῖς ἀρχαίοις ἀντιγράφοις ἐντυγχάνοι καὶ μὴ τοῖς ἤδη διωρθωμένοις.”

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