Zenodotus, the Uncritical Critic

R.C. Jebb, Homer

“In the dawn of the new scholarship, he [Zenodotus] appears as a gifted man with a critical aim, but without an adequate critical method. He insisted on the study of Homer’s style ; but he failed to place that study on a sound basis. One cause of this was that he often omitted to distinguish between the ordinary usages of words and those peculiar to Homer. In regard to dialect, again, he did not sufficiently discriminate the older from the later Ionic. And, relying too much on his own feeling for Homer’s spirit, he indulged in some arbitrary emendations. Still, he broke new ground; his work had a great repute ; and, to some extent, its influence was lasting.”

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