“Inferior…Dull…” Two Modern Authors on Tzetzes

From N.G. Wilson Scribes and Scholars on John Tzetzes

“He is inferior to Eustathius in knowledge and intelligence and is quite unjustifiably conceited about his own attainments: it is not easy to respect a man who in the middle of a note on Aristophanes…states that he would not lengthen his explanation but for the fact that there is a good deal of space left on the present page of his book.”

Wilson on Tzetzes

Tzetzes, Introduction to the Scholia to Lykophron’s Alexandra

“I, Lykophron’s thick book, abounding in songs,
Was once obscure, possessing unseeable visions.
But now by means of Hermeian craft Isaac Tzetzes
Has set me free, once he loosed my well-woven restraints.”

ἡ βίβλος τελέθουσα Λυκόφρονος ἀσματοκόμπουσα
ἦν ἀλαὸς προπάροιθεν ἀδερκέα δέργματ’ ἔχουσα·
νῦν δέ με δορκαλέην ῾Ερμείῃ θήκατο τέχνῃ
Τζέτζης ᾿Ισαάκιος ἐύστροφα πείσματα λύσας.

John Edwin Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship vol. 1

“His inordinate self-esteem is only exceeded by his extraordinary carelessness…he is, for the most part, dull as a writer and untrustworthy as an authority.”

Sandys on Tzetzes

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