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From Oppian, Colluthus and Tryphiodorus, with an English translation by A. W. Mair, D. Litt., London: William Heinemann LTD, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; 1928, pps. 535-574.





FOR the life of Colluthus we have the following authorities:

1. Suidas s.v. Κόλουθος “of Lycopolis in the Thebais [in Egypt: Ptolemy iv. 5. 62, Strabo 812], epic poet, who lived [or ‘flourished,’ �����������] in the times of the emperor Anastasius [i.e. Anastasius I., emperor 491-518], wrote Calydoniaca in six books, and Encomia in epic verse, and Persica.” So Eudocia (Villoisin, Anecd. Gr. i. p. 271).

2. A Life of Colluthus in cod. Ambrosianus Q 5 sup.:

“Coluthus of Lycopolis in the Thebais, epic poet, lived, according to Suidas, in the time of Anastasius, surnamed Brachinûs, who succeeded Zeno as emperor in Constantinople, and after whom reigned Justinus the Thracian, after whom again the emperor was divus (ὁ ���ῖ���) Justinianus, who delivered Italy from the servitude of the Goths through Belisarius — Justinian being the nephew of Justinus — a little over a thousand years ago. He wrote Calydonaica in epic verse in six books and Encomia and Persica. To him is ascribed also the present poem, the Rape of Helen, a poem familiar and well known in Apulia, where also the poetry of the Homeric Quintus [the Post-Homerica�ῶ� ����� Ὅ������� ���������� of Q. Smyrnaeus or Calaber] was first discovered in the temple 536 of St. Nicolas of Cassuli [Casoli] outside Hydrumtum [Otranto] and which its recoverer, the sainted Bessarion, archbishop of Nicaea, cardinal-bishop of Tusculum [Frascati], communicated to all concerned. And this also which was hidden, shall now be public property.”


Notes. — (1) Zeno was emperor of the East at Constantinople from A. D. 474 to 491. He was succeeded by Anastasius I. who reigned 518-527. He is called “the Thracian” because he was a native of Thrace. He again was succeeded by his nephew Justinian who reigned 527-565. For Belisarius see Gibbon, chap. xli.

(2) Bessarion (1395? - 1472), a native of Trapezus (Trebizond), was a pupil of Plethon in the Peloponnese, became Cardinal and Patriarch of Constantinople, died in 1472 at Ravenna. In 1446 the Pope committed to him the oversight of the Greek monasteries of the Basilian Order to which, before leaving the East, Bessarion belonged.1 The Italian monasteries of this Order were in the South of Italy. This circumstance led in 1450 to the discovery by Bessarion in the monastery of St. Nicola di Casoli (close to Otranto in Calabria), destroyed by the Turks in 1480, of various MSS. including Quintus Smyrnaeus (hence called Calaber) and Colluthus. He bequeathed his MSS. to Venice, where they now form part of the library of St. Mark, founded by Bessarion in 1468.

(3). The Hypothesis preserved in Parisinus 2764 adds nothing to (2).

1 Cf. Ecthesis Chronica ed. Lambros, London 1902, p. 6 ἦ������ ἄ������ ὲ� ������������������������ . . . ὁ ���������� ������������� . . . ὁ �������������� ��������ὸ� ��ὶ ἄ�������� ἐ� �ῶ� ἀ����������� ��ὐ� ὀ����������. Ibid. p. 7 �� ��ὰ� ������������� ἢ� �����ὺ� ἐ�ὶ �ῷ ���������� ��ὶ ἄ����� ��������������· ���������� ��ὰ� ��ὶ �����������������, ἔ���� ����ὴ� ��ὶ ������ ��ὐ �ὴ� �����ῦ���· ἠ��������� ��ὰ� �ὴ� ������ �ῶ� ἀ��������� ἢ ���ῦ �����ῦ.



The best MS of Colluthus is —

M = codex Mutinensis, now Parisinus suppl. graec. 388. Hall, Companion to Classical Texts, p. 278, says it “was never at Modena but was brought by the French in the Napoleonic wars at the beginning of the 19th century from somewhere in North Italy.”

It is dated Xth or XIth century.

This MS. was first used by I. Bekker in his edition of Colluthus, impensis G. Reimeri, Berlin 1816.

The only critical edition before that of Bekker was that of John Daniel van Lennep, Leovardiae 1747, which was founded on collations (given him by D’Orville, Ruhnken, Valckenaer) of six MSS.

V = Vossianus, a collation of which is in the library at Leyden; probably to be identified with Palatinus 319.

P = Parisinus 2764.

Q = Parisinus 2600.

A =Ambrosianus Q 5 sup.

L = Laurentianus xxxi. 27.

R = Hauniensis 60 (once belonging to Elias Putsch, then to J. A. Fabricius, then to H. S. Reimar).

All these are probably derived from Bessarion’s MS.

Other late MSS are:

Neapolitanus ii. F. 17.

Paris, suppl. 109.

Marcianus viii. 1.




Editio Princeps: — Aldine, Venice, no date (probably about 1521), along with Quintus Calber and Tryphiodorus.

Coluthi Lycopolitae Thebani de Raptu Helenae ac Judicio Paridis Poema nunc primum ab Helio Eobano Hesso [1488-1540] latio carmine redditum. Erphurdiae (Erfurt), 1533.

Coluthi Theb. Rapt. Hel., Iodoco Velaraeo interprete [Latin prose], Antuerpiae ap. Jo. Steelsium, 1539. Brodaei [Io.] Annotationes in Col. Theb. de Rapt. Hel.

Col. Rapt. Hel. Per Renatum Perdrierium ad verbum translatus, c. brevibus Bernardi Bertrandi annotationibus. Ex. Off. I. Oporini, Basel, 1555. H. Stephanus (in Poet. Graec. principes her. carm.), Paris 1566. Col. Rapt. Hel. graece, per Sixtum Henricpetri, Basel, 1569 (along with Q. Calaber and Tryphiod. “Saepius autem mendas, quae Aldinae inerant, fideliter exhibet non tantum, sed ubique fere prioribus novas accumulat” van Lennep). Michael Neander in Opus Aureum Part ii., Basel 1559 (preff. to Coluthus and Tryph. are dated March 5th 1559).

Founded on Neander was the edition with short notes of Stephanus Ubelus, Franequerae (Franeker), ap. Aegid. Radaeum, 1600. Col. Rapt. Hel. in the Corpus Poet. Graec. of Jacobus Lectius, Collon. Allobr. (Cologne), 1606, founded on Stephanus. Col. Rapt. Hel., Aemil. Portus, Geneva, 1609, with short extracts from Neander’s notes. Claud. Dausqueii 539 Annot. in Col., Frankfort, 1614. V. E. Loescheri Lect. Coluth. Liber singularis, Wittenberg, 1724. Col. Hel. Rapt. graece, ap Janss. Waesbergios, Amsterdam, 1735. Col. Rapt. Hel. recens. ad fidem codd. MSS. ac variantes lectiones et notas adjecit Io. Dan. a Lennep, Leovardiae (Leeuwarden), 1747.

Col. Rapt. Hel. gr. et lat. Accedit metrica interpretatio italica Ant. Mar. Salvini, nunc primum edita. Recens. var. codd., MSS. lect. et select. annotat. adjec. Ang. Mar. Bandinius, Florence 1765. Apart from the translation in Italian this is simply van Lennep. Bandinius not merely reprints Lennep’s text, but, without acknowledgement, reproduces his Latin version, his notes, and even his preface (translated into Italian). Cf. Buhle’s remarks on Bandini’s Aratus.

Another ed. entirely founded on Lennep is Col Lycop. Theb. de Rapt. Hel. libellus: ex graec. in latina carmina conversus, versionibus, variantibus, et animadversionibus illustratus opera et studio Philippi Scio a Sto Michaele. Madrid 1770, which however, contains, besides a trans. in Latin verse, a rendering in Spanish verse by Antonio Garcia (see below — Translations).

Col. Rapt. Hel., curante Theoph. Christ. Harles, Nuremberg, 1776, likewise entirely founded on Lennep.

In 1816 appeared Col Rapt. Hel. ex recensione Immanuel. Bekkeri, Berlin 1816. In addition to the MSS. of Lennep, Bekker had a collation of the Mutinensis (containing seven hitherto unpublished lines) and cod. Gothanus.

In 1823 appeared the elaborate edition of A. Stanislas Julien, Paris 1823. This handsome volume contains a revised text, translation in French prose, a new Latin prose trans., a commentary, index verborum, etc., translations in English verse, Italian verse, Spanish verse, and German prose (see below Translations) and facsimiles of two MSS., Parisinus 2764 and Parisinus 2600.


New ed. of Lennep by G. H. Schaefer, Leipzig 1825.

Lehrs, Didot, Paris 1839. Crit. ed. E. Abel, Berlin 1880.

W. Weinberger, Leipzig, 1896 (with Tryphiod.), crit. notes and ind. verb.


French: — Charles Dumolard, Paris 1747. Simon de Troyes, London, 1790. Cournand, Paris, 1807 (verse). The author describes his work as an imitation, not a translation.

German: — K. A. Kütner, Mietau and Leipzig, 1772, reprinted in Julien; Alzinger, Weimar, 1785 (verse) — superior, according to Julien, to that of Kütner.

Spanish: — Phil. Scio a Sto Michaele, Madrid, 1770 (verse).

Italian: — Corradino dall’ Aglio, Venice, 1741; Ang. Teodoro Villa, Milan, 1753; Ant. Maria Salvini in Bandini’s edition, Florence, 1765, reprinted in Julien. C. Lanza, Naples, 1881. P. Ambrogio Curti, Milan, 1882. E. R. Tur, Leghorn, 1886. A. G. Danesi Corleone, 1893.

English: — The Rape of Helen by Edward Sherburne, London, 1651 (rhymed verse), reprinted in Julien.


A. Ludwich, Rh. Mus. xlii. (1887). M. Schneider Philologus xlix. (1890). W. Weinberger, Wiener Studien xviii. (1896).

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