In search of Plutarch's lost life of Epaminondas.
Since lost works are intrinsically mysterious, it is tempting to try to reconstruct Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas by examining its probable sources, compiling references to Epaminondas from some of the other Parallel Lives and from the Moralia (which may well have been compiled from statements elsewhere in Plutarch's works), and by analyzing other works that might be dependent upon Plutarch. Such an attempt is intriguing because the works of Plutarch, and especially his Parallel Lives, are important sources for our understanding of Greek and Roman classical antiquity (and have an intrinsic attraction as works of literature). (3)
Seeking to visualize Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas leads one on a journey ranging from late Classical Greece, to Renaissance Italy, and, finally, to Courier in Napoleonic Europe. Such an attempt can provide insight into the probable length and contents of the missing biography, as well as shed further light on the possibility that Courier may have seen the work in 1807. As this article seeks to reach an audience of both generalist historians as well as specialists in ancient history, the first section provides some background information, while the second and third sections develop the possible contents of the lost biography and the final section treats Courier's potential encounter with the work.
While Courier's description is the last reference to this missing biography by Plutarch, the earliest surviving testimony of the work appears in his Life of Agesilaus, where the biographer remarks that he discussed many portents and prodigies in his Life of Epaminondas. (4) The missing biography is also listed in the undated, though probably late antique, Catalogue of Latnprias, where it is linked with a Life of Scipio (listed collectively as No. 7). (5) The Life of Epaminondas is also mentioned by Photius (810-91), a Byzantine scholar and Patriarch of Constantinople, in his lengthy Bibliotheca (a list of 279 works he advised his brother Tarasius to read). (6) Photius describes the biography of Epaminondas as being the basis for part of Book XI of the Various Extracts written by the fourth-century philosopher Sopater. (7) Since Photius had read widely, he appears to be evaluating the contents of Sopater's summaries on the basis of having read the ultimate sources and so Photius seems to have also seen this biography of Plutarch in the ninth century. (8) Unfortunately, the Life of Epaminondas has not survived and is not explicitly mentioned by any ancient or late antique source aside from the Catalogue of Lamprias, Sopater, and, arguably, Photius. Plutarch's Life of Scipio is also lost; it is unclear if this would have been about Scipio Africanus or Scipio Aemilianus (and many scholars believe that the pair of Epaminondas and Scipio may have originally stood first in the order of the Parallel Lives). (9)
Epaminondas (410-362 BCE) was a logical subject for one of Plutarch's biographies. After Sparta's victory at the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE, various attempts were made at hegemony in the Greek world. While the Spartan general Lysander (d. 395 BCE)'s policy of establishing garrisons was challenged by jealous Spartan rivals, an array of other potential leaders interested in hegemony emerged. (10) More successful than any of these was the rise of Thebes in the wake of the King's Peace of 386 BCE. Harnessing tactical changes in the Theban hoplite phalanx made by Gorgidas and Pelopidas, especially the development of the striking force called the "Sacred Band," Epaminondas was able to expand the power of Thebes and famously defeated the Spartan army at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BCE. (11) He finally fell due to wounds suffered at the Battle of Mantinea in 362 BCE. (12) Many of these events were described by Xenophon (430-354 BCE) in his Hellenica, by Ephorus (c. 400-330 BCE) in his Universal History, by Diodorus Siculus (fl. first century BCE) in Book XV of his Library, and by Cornelius Nepos (c. 110-c. 25 BCE) in his short biography of Epaminondas contained within his Great Generals of the Foreign Nations. (13)
Since Epaminondas was a central figure in Greek politics in the fourth century BCE, and played an important role in using the Theban army to establish hegemony for some years, a full-length biography of him would be of great use to the historian. Indeed, Epaminondas's biography might have been of special interest to Plutarch since they both hailed from Boeotia (and Plutarch respected educated heroes, like Epaminondas). (14) In addition to the few references to Epaminondas in the Life of Agesilaus, Plutarch describes several actions of Epaminondas in his Life of Pelopidas (a contemporary Theban leader). Epaminondas is also mentioned several times in different places in Plutarch's Moralia, especially in the Sayings of Kings and Commanders (or Apophthegmata regum et imperatorum) which presents many of his statements (192C-194C) that stretch across six pages in the standard Loeb English translation. (15)
Scholars have long analyzed the sources of Plutarch's Parallel Lives. Since the Theban leader Pelopidas overlaps with Epaminondas, examination of Pelopidas's surviving biography can yield some insight into Plutarch's sources for the lost Life of Epaminondas. (16) Of course, in his Life of Pelopidas, like in many of his biographies, Plutarch sprinkles in moral exempla and sententiae from an array of ancient writers (such as Homer, Plato, and Aristotle). (17) Scholars have wrestled with the role of such exempla in Plutarch's Parallel Lives in the way of historical content for the subject under examination, and such allusions are certainly revealing of the cultural world in which Plutarch lived. (18) Moreover, recent work suggests Plutarch made notes of revealing anecdotes from his wide reading, then placed them in collections from which he may have worked in the composition of the Parallel Lives (and he likely included such sententiae and anecdotes in the lost Life of Epaminondas). (19) In his Pelopidas, Plutarch explicitly alludes to Ephorus and Callisthenes from whom he no doubt also drew information for his Life of Epaminondas. (20) He also seems to have used part of Theopompus's history. (21) Like in many of his other works, in the Pelopidas Plutarch often makes use of "indirect" allusions to sources through formulas like "as is said" ([MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) or "they say" ([MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). (22) Some unnamed sources lie behind these allusions and it is intellectually stimulating to wrestle with that problem. (23) At times Plutarch's descriptions of events in the Pelopidas, (24) such as the Battle of Leuctra which was surely in the lost Life of Epaminondas, is different from that of Xenophon, although it is clear that Plutarch had read Xenophon's Hellenica. (25) It could be that Plutarch preferred another written source that is lost to us (such as Callisthenes), or local traditions, or a mixture of the two. (26) Since Plutarch used sources fairly effectively in the composition of his biographies, it would seem likely that he made use of Xenophon, Ephorus, and Cornelius Nepos's biography of the Theban leader at some level, perhaps together with some local traditions, when he wrote his Life of Epaminondas c. 100 CE. (27)
Looking at Plutarch's style and approaches to biography in his surviving works can yield some idea of how the lost Life of Epaminondas might have looked. Although individual Lives vary, Plutarch followed a fairly uniform pattern in writing his Lives (and he stressed that he was writing biography and not history). (28) Usually he started with the ancestry of his subject, then his immediate parents, his birth and childhood, his education, anecdotes that foreshadowed his future greatness, his rise to power, the challenges of fortune, and then his death. (29) Along the way, Plutarch loved to use anecdotes and quote evocative statements that revealed the subject's character. (30) It is likely that he used the same approach in his Life of Epaminondas and blended anecdotes into the structure of the biography.
Examining the length of the surviving individual biographies in the Parallel Lives can also give some indication of what scale the lost Life of Epaminondas might have had. (31) Examining the page lengths in the English translation of the Parallel Lives in the Loeb Classical Library (and rounding) shows that the average length of a biography by Plutarch equals about 55 pages. However, some of these lives (such as that of Alexander the Great and several Romans) are quite a bit longer, probably due to both more sources and the greater impact these individuals had in Plutarch's eyes. Calculating from just the Greek biographies yields an average of about 51 pages, which is just slightly longer than the Life of Pelopidas, the closest biography in chronology, and, probably, sources, to the lost Life of Epaminondas. So, it would seem quite plausible that the lost Life of Epaminondas would have had an approximate length of about 50 pages in the Loeb Classical Library, if it were to have survived.
Scholars have also wrestled with the question of which Scipio Plutarch might have paired with Epaminondas. This problem is made more difficult by the citation in the Catalogue of Lamprias to both a Life of a Scipio being compared with Epaminondas in the Parallel Lives (as No. 7) and an independent life of another Scipio also existing as a separate work (as No. 28). Scipio Africanus (236-183 BCE) had defeated Hannibal (247-c.182 BCE), the great enemy of Rome, while still young at the Battle of Zama (201 BCE) in the Second Punic War. Scipio Aemilianus (185-129 BCE) destroyed the city of Carthage (146 BCE) in the Third Punic War and then went on to assist his younger brother in his Greek campaigns. Plutarch apparently called them both simply "Scipio" in various parts of his lives. Although one should not project too aggressively what should be in one lost biography and postulate how it would compare with another lost work, it seems more likely that Plutarch was here comparing Scipio Africanus with Epaminondas since both military leaders defeated their great enemies at a fairly young age (and Epaminondas did not destroy the city of Sparta as Scipio Aemilianus destroyed Carthage). (32) Epaminondas and Scipio Africanus both had significant political careers as well. Moreover, the Moralia (540D, 541A) preserves a passage that seemingly directly compares and contrasts Epaminondas and Scipio Africanus (and this well could be from Plutarch's lost comparison essay of the two leaders). (33) Additionally, a comparison between Epaminondas and Scipio Africanus also appears in the Roman History of Appian (c. 95-c. 165 CE), and chronology suggests that this later historian might have read the comparison essay of the two figures as he seems to have read other works by Plutarch. (34) As the average length for a comparison essay of two figures by Plutarch equals about six pages in the Loeb Classical Library, such a length would be a likely estimate for the comparison essay between Epaminondas and Scipio, if it were also to have survived.
It is tempting to try to cut and paste all the references to Epaminondas from the Life of Agesilaus and the Life of Pelopidas together with the references to Epaminondas from the Moralia into a skeletal version of a "typical" Plutarchian biography with relative placement of the passages based on the chronology of Epaminondas's life (although the chronological placement for some of the references is blurry and difficult). The episodes in these other lives do treat topics like Epaminondas's impoverished family background, his early successes (including saving Pelopidas's life in an earlier battle near Mantinea probably in 385 BCE), (35) and then the height of his power in Greece. Several of the statements in the Moralia have the feel of anecdotes that one would encounter in a Life of Epaminondas, and there are several other places where anecdotes in the Moralia do appear in other biographies of Plutarch (although at times Plutarch expanded in the anecdotes presented in the Lives). (36) Thus, it seems likely that the statement that Epaminondas "used to say that the most beautiful death was death in war" would have appeared in the lost Life as foreshadowing Plutarch's description of his death from wounds in the Battle of Mantinea. (37) Likewise, the statement that Epaminondas "used to declare that the heavy-armed soldier ought to have his body trained not only by athletic exercises but by military drill as well. For this reason he always showed a repugnance towards fat men, and one such man he expelled from the army, saying that three or four shields would scarce serve to protect his belly, because of which he could not see a thing below it" has the ring of an anecdote Plutarch would place in a biography. (38) Moreover, the description, "He was so frugal in his manner of living that once, when he was invited to dinner by a neighbor, and found there an elaborate display of cake and pastry and other dishes and perfumes as well, he left at once, saying, 'I thought this was to be a meal and not a display of arrogance'" would fit well in a biography of Epaminondas. (39) Plutarch's statement that Epaminondas "used to say that of all the fair and goodly fortune that had fallen to his lot the thing that gave him the greatest gratification was that his victory over the Spartans at Leuctra came while his father and mother were still living" would also fit perfectly in a Plutarchian biography. (40) Finally, descriptions of Epaminondas's brilliance, like forcing the Spartans to count their dead individually "to bring out clearly the magnitude of their disaster," would help prove his abilities. (41)
An attempt at putting these pieces together would yield a partial biography of about half the size of what might have originally existed. One could even push this attempted reconstruction further and try to use Cornelius Nepos's Life of Epaminondas (equaling ten pages of Loeb English translation from his Great Generals of Foreign Nations) as a supply of material to flesh out the Life and we would end up with something like a simulated Plutarchian Life of Epaminondas, although still quite a bit shorter than its probable original length. (42) Since it was obviously missing from Jacques Amyot (1513-93)'s 1559 French translation of Plutarch's Lives, the French humanist and Protestant theologian Simon Goulart (1543-1628) wrote a "synthetic" Life of Epaminondas, which was attached, with some other replacement lives, to the 1583 edition of Amyot, and then still later was attached to the 1603 edition of the English translation of Amyot by Sir Thomas North (1535-1604). (43) A century ago, a scholar attempted to restore the Life of Epaminondas by bringing together quotations (with analyses) using not only an array of passages from Plutarch (some not having directly to do with Epaminondas), but also passages from Cornelius Nepos, Xenophon, Diodorus Siculus, Cicero, Polyaenus, and others to fit the passages together. (44) Other scholars have swung to the other side of the pendulum, and presented brief lists of what might have been in the lost Life of Epaminondas, (45)
There is an external source that might be of help in visualizing Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas more fully. In 1874, in an aside in a study of a Boeotian inscription, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff noticed that a description of the career of Epaminondas in the Boeotian section of the Description of Greece (9. 13-15) by Pausanias (c.110-c.180 CE) might be a fairly careful summary or extract of part of Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas, (46) He expanded on this observation in 1879 and suggested that part of the Life might also have influenced Pausanias's description of Arcadia. (47) The longer section in Pausanias (Boeotia, 9. 13-15) stretches eight pages in the Loeb translation while the shorter section (Arcadia, 11. 5-10), which treats the death of Epaminondas, measures only two pages. (48) Pausanias often presented brief overview histories in his travel guide to the Greek world and he reflected wide reading in these (as well as local stories). To see if these sections have any bearing on the contents of Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas, it is useful to look at them as compositions and then compare and contrast their contents with the passages about Epaminondas in Plutarch's biographies of Pelopidas and Agesialus as well as the passages in the Moralia.
In his overview of Epaminondas, Pausanias describes several episodes in the Theban leader's life as well as other details related to his campaigns. So, Pausanias included such topics as: the Theban leader's distinguished yet poor background, his study under Lysis (a Pythagorean philosopher), how he saved Pelopidas's life at a battle near Mantinea, his challenge to the Spartans to have their vassals take an oath city by city, how female goats accompanied the Spartan army on the march, the wrath of the daughters of Scedasus against Sparta, Epaminondas's insistence that the Spartans count their dead individually, the importance of an old message from the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi regarding the city of Ceressus, how Epaminondas persuaded the Arcadians to gather together, his illegal extension of his term of office, his death at the Battle of Mantinea (by Gryllus the son of Xenophon), the description of a painting in Athens of his death, and a description of his statue with its accompanying verses. (49) In his description of Arcadia regarding Epaminondas's death, Pausanias clarifies that the Mantineans and the Spartans both record that a man named Machaerion killed Epaminondas at the Battle of Mantinea, but recounts that the Athenians say Gryllus killed him and alludes to a painting of this act. (50) Pausanias adds the detail that when the wounded Epaminondas was carried to a hilltop nearby called "Look Out," he clenched his hand over his death wound until he knew the result of the battle (11.7), and that, after his death, Epaminondas was buried on the battlefield with the image of a dragon on his tomb. (51) Pausanias also relates the story that Epaminondas had been informed by an oracle from Delphi that he would die near "Ocean," not realizing this was also the name of a grove of trees where he ended up dying. (52)
There is some, albeit incomplete, overlap between the descriptions in Pausanias' work with descriptions in the Life of Pelopidas and the Moralia. Epaminondas's distinguished yet poor background also appears in the Life of Pelopidas. (53) The story of the assault on Scedasus's daughters in Pausanias is described in greater detail than in the Life of Pelopidas, but is clearly a linked story. (54) Epaminondas's extension of his term of office is described by Pausanias, in the Life of Pelopidas, and in the Moralia. (55) Plutarch also mentions the counting of the Spartan dead and the painting of the Battle of Mantinea at Athens in the Moralia. (56) The details of the Battle of Leuctra are completely glossed over by Pausanias compared to the details in the Life of Pelopidas (and no doubt Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas). While the lack of references to Epaminondas's oblique attack on the left wing is disappointing to the modern military historian, it might not have been of the same level of interest to Pausanias. However, Pausanias does preserve details like the female goats of the Spartans, Epaminondas's statement to the Spartans, the full details on the assault on the daughters of Scedasus and its impact, the Oracle of Delphi regarding Ceressus and the prophecy regarding "Ocean," the details of the death of Epaminondas, and the details regarding the painting, statue, and tomb of Epaminondas that are not present in the Life of Pelopidas or in the Moralia. So, these might have derived from another source. As Pausanias elsewhere in his work used Plutarch as a source, (57) it is possible, as Wilamowitz hypothesized, that the details that Pausanias includes in his summarized and selective version of a biography of Epaminondas that are not present in the Life of Pelopidas or the Moralia may have derived from Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas (58) Indeed, the fact that some of these details appear in the biography by Cornelius Nepos which Plutarch probably saw, such as Epaminondas's teacher being the Pythagorean Lysis, (59) staying in office beyond his term, and not dying until he heard the news of the Battle of Mantinea, would further confirm that this material may stem from Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas. (60) Plutarch's interest in oracles, demonstrated throughout the Parallel Lives and explained by his own position as a priest at Delphi, suggests that oracles would likely have been included in the lost Life of Epaminondas and their inclusion would confirm the statement in the Life of Agesilaus that many portents were mentioned in that work. (61) Thus, much of Pausanias's description of Epaminondas may well stem from Plutarch's Life, but it must be clarified that Pausanias is not so much presenting a careful summary (as Wilamowitz suggested) as a handful of selections that he may have remembered from reading the biography some time earlier.
One scholar has argued on the basis of Greek style that Pausanias may have copied the account of Epaminondas's death verbatim from Plutarch's lost life (except for an interpolation about the inscriptions on Epaminondas's monument). (62) Pausanias's description is repeated in the description of Epaminondas in the anonymous tenth-century encyclopedia known as the Suda (with the omission of the description of the inscriptions). (63) One explanation for this similarity then could be that the author of the Suda copied Plutarch directly. However, it is more likely that the Suda author worked from Pausanias than from a copy of Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas because it is clear that the Suda used Pausanias as a source elsewhere with slight omissions (as he seems to be doing here). (64)
It would have been unusual if Plutarch deviated from his standard approach of writing a biography and so he probably covered Epaminondas's ancestry, his parents, his birth and childhood, his education, anecdotes that foreshadowed his future greatness, his rise to power, the challenges of fortune, and then his death (in that order). (65) Within that pattern some content (including anecdotes) can be deduced with confidence from other lives, from the Moralia, and details from Pausanias. So, it can be accepted with some certainty that Plutarch probably mentioned Epaminondas's impoverished, but distinguished, family (including his father Polymnis and brother Caphisias), (66) his training in philosophy from the Pythagorean Lysis, (67) his devotion to physical exercise, (68) his frugal lifestyle, (69) and probably offered some anecdotes foreshadowing his life and career, such as Epaminondas's statement that the most beautiful death was death in war. (70) The anecdote about his releasing a man from prison due to the request of the mistress of the incarcerated, but not at Pelopidas's request, would fit his character. (71) Plutarch surely mentioned him saving Pelopidas's life at a battle near Mantinea and that Epaminondas never married. (72) Plutarch also likely included his co-operation with Pelopidas in overthrowing the tyrants of Thebes. (73) The anecdote regarding Epaminondas's rejection of the offer of wealth from Jason of Thessaly would also have fit well. (74) Epaminondas's battlefield abilities would certainly have been mentioned. (75) Plutarch also probably mentioned his actions in politics and diplomacy (such as suggesting the Spartan allies take the oath city by city). (76) Plutarch probably related the story of the violence against the daughters of Scedasus and the results that developed from that. (77) Plutarch surely described Epaminondas's actions at the Battle of Leuctra (and also likely described his decree that the Spartans count their dead individually). (78) It would be difficult not to see Plutarch including his anecdote about Epaminondas stating that his greatest achievement was defeating the Spartans at Leuctra while his parents were still alive. (79) Plutarch probably described the issues relating to Epaminondas staying in office beyond his term limit (potentially including his explanatory speech and the opposition of Menecleidas) and his work in persuading the Arcadians to band together. (80) He might have mentioned Philip of Macedonia's experiences as a hostage in Thebes. (81) Lastly, Plutarch must have discussed the circumstances of Epaminondas's death at the Battle of Mantinea (probably including such details as the circumstances of his wound, retiring to the hilltop, holding off on death until he knew the results of the battle, Caphisodorus dying with him, and the prophecy regarding his death). (82) Plutarch certainly alluded to many portents and signs in the biography. (83) No doubt he also sprinkled in quotations from earlier authors (like Homer and Aristotle) as sententiae and as a display of erudition. The work was probably followed with a short comparison essay, most likely with Scipio Africanus which probably alluded to their respective battlefield victories as well as political accusations against them. (84)
With this overview of the probable content and length of the lost Life of Epaminondas in mind, we can return to the work that Paul-Louis Courier may have seen in the library at the Badia Fiorentina (the Benedictine Abbey in Florence) on 20 December 1807. (85) Courier's discovery of the manuscript of Longus there was significant as it included some erotic details not present in the texts that Jacques Amyot had worked from in making his famous translation of the ancient novel Dapbnis and Chloe in 1559. (86) Napoleon had recently dissolved the short-lived Kingdom of Etruria with the Treaty of Fontainbleau in October of 1807 and ordered that Tuscany be integrated into French territory. (87) As a result, religious orders, including monasteries, would be suppressed (but this would be a slow process). (88) First, a French junta was appointed on 12 May 1808 and then the French general Abdallah Jacques Menou, who had converted to Islam during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign, appeared as the leader of the French Government in Florence on 11 July 1808. (89) Akerblad and Courier convinced the junta through the intercession of Joseph-Marie de Gerando that a commission be established to archive the various monastic holdings and have them brought together in the Laurentian Library. (90) Courier followed this up in September of 1808 by writing to Franqois Louis Rene Mouchard de Chaban, another member of the French junta, (91) urging him to ensure that all the books from the Badia library be transferred safely to the Laurentian Library, and suggesting that some might already be missing. (92) It is possible that Courier was here trying to ensure that the Longus manuscript not disappear, and perhaps the Plutarch manuscript also. Although not formally part of the commission, (93) Akerblad accompanied the members when they visited the Badia Fiorentina on 1 December 1808 and he noticed that fully 26 manuscripts which he and Courier had seen in December of 1807 were now missing and he stressed that this included "the beautiful Plutarch that we have seen and that you must remember." (94) Akerblad immediately suspected that the librarian of the Badia Fiorentina, "little Father Bigi," had either sold the manuscripts to one or more buyers or sent them to various parties for safekeeping. A scholar in the late nineteenth century traced some of these manuscripts to the collection of Baron Diomed von Schellersheim, a German antiquarian living in Italy in the early nineteenth century who collected many manuscripts and works of art (and who had erased the evidence that some of his manuscripts came from the Badia Fiorentina). (95) Although these works may have been sent to the German baron for safekeeping, (96) the fact that some of these books from the Badia stayed in his collection (or went elsewhere later) suggests that either Bigi trusted the wrong man or that he sold them to von Schellersheim (and the librarian may have found some other custodians or buyers for some of the other missing manuscripts also).
Napoleon changed the administration of Tuscany again in early 1809 when he made his younger sister Elisa the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. (97) Later that year, Courier would permanently leave the French Army after the Battle of Wagram near Vienna (5-6 July 1809) and return to Florence to work on the Longus manuscript (the importance of which he had kept a secret from everyone, including his friend Akerblad). (98) Courier did complain to both Francesco del Furia, the chief librarian of the Laurentian library, and, as we saw, to French officials (such as Chaban) regarding the missing manuscripts from the Badia Fiorentina (which he suspected had been sold to a known buyer), but had no success in recovering those missing books. (99) Courier's pleas to track down the missing manuscripts from the Badia library (including the Plutarch codex) may have fallen on deaf ears because of several reasons. First, there was natural resentment to the French absorption of Tuscany and the establishment of first the French junta and then the imposition of Napoleon's sister as Grand Duchess (arriving on 2 April 1809). Second, Napoleon's suppression of the monasteries (and looting of treasures to pay for debts) would have fostered further resentment. Third, Courier was responsible for a tragic accident involving the Longus manuscript. On 5 November 1809, Courier had tracked down the Longus manuscript which had been transferred from the Badia Fiorentina to the Laurentian library. (100) He confirmed that it did include some text missing from other manuscripts (and from Amyot's earlier translation) and then showed it to other scholars, including Francesco del Furia (the chief librarian) and the assistant librarian Gaspero Bencini. Courier wrote out a transcription of the new passages and worked on variant readings elsewhere throughout the manuscript for several days. However, when he handed del Furia the Longus manuscript after he was done, on 10 November, the librarian noticed a slip of paper in the codex and, when he opened it, discovered an enormous new ink stain that obliterated much of the most important passage. Courier immediately apologized and suggested that some ink on a note he had made on the slip of paper must have rubbed onto the manuscript. However, Courier stalled on giving del Furia a copy of his transcription of the now destroyed passage and published his new edition of the fragment of Longus in April of 1810 and then a complete new edition of the work in September of that year. Whatever the cause might have been for Courier's ink blot on the manuscript (and it is still quite visible), it kicked off a series of significant problems for him. These included harsh feelings from not only del Furia, but also local government officials, and even from the Grand Duchess Flisa (to whom Courier had declined to dedicate his new edition of Longus). (101)
One scholar has suggested that Courier never actually saw Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas in Florence: Instead Courier simply mistook the Life of Pelopidas for the lost Life of Epaminondas when he came upon Epaminondas's name appearing in the Greek text while he was casually thumbing through a Plutarch codex. (102) This is a facile explanation, but becomes difficult to prove one way or another. The first printed edition of Plutarch's Parallel Lives of 1517 (made by an unknown editor and printed by Filippo Giunti) was based on "relatively inferior" manuscripts in Florence which still survive. (103) It was, however, influenced as well by another manuscript of some of Plutarch's Lives drawn, too, from the Badia Fiorentina (later classified as Codex Laurentianus Conventi Soppressi 206, soon after Napoleon's suppression of the monasteries). (104) But there are some problems with the argument that one of these works is the manuscript that had impressed Courier. In his letter to Courier, Akerblad emphasized that the "le beau Plutarque que nous avons vu et dont vous devez vous rappeler" of the tenth century was missing. Although the manuscript surviving as Cod. Laur. Conv. Soppr. 206 does seem to date from the tenth century (and it is handsome), it only preserves some of the Lives (fourteen out of the surviving 46 paired Lives and four other non-paired Lives). (105) Since several editions of Plutarch's Lives had been printed by 1807, one would think that Akerblad and Courier knew that this manuscript had only some of the biographies. More important, this manuscript clearly was not lost as it stills survives in the Laurentinian Library, so it does not make sense that Akerblad believed that it had disappeared. Akerblad did relate that another later Plutarch codex from the thirteenth century remained, which the Swedish scholar felt had similar contents, but this manuscript was probably Cod. Laur. Conv. Soppr. 169 which has different contents from 206, which further implies that Akerblad was referring to another tenth-century manuscript that was indeed missing. While Akerblad does not mention the Life of Epaminondas in terms of this missing manuscript, it is quite possible that Courier had not related the inclusion of the Life of Epaminondas in the earlier Plutarch manuscript to Akerblad (or its significance), just as he had not shared the importance of the Longus manuscript.
The emphasis on the missing codex of Plutarch suggests that Akerblad and Courier had discussed it at some level when they first visited the archive (or perhaps Akerblad had noticed Courier's interest in it). Also, Courier laments that the loss of this particular volume was the loss of everything that had been "good and most beautiful in the library" (tout ce qui'il y avait de meilleur et de plus beau dans la bibliotheque), so it must have been important to him. Moreover, Courier, no matter what his motives and faults might have been, was a good Greek scholar. He had studied Greek under Jean-Baptiste Villoison in Paris. (106) He had earlier published on Athenaeus and written a work (Eloge d'Helene) inspired by Isocrates. His identification of the missing part of Longus's Daphnis and Chloe is important in the history of Classical Scholarship (as is his French translation of that early novel). (107) The fact that he knew that the Life of Epaminondas had not yet been edited and published suggests that he knew the state of scholarship on Plutarch's Parallel Lives fairly well. These, including the Life of Pelopidas, had been in circulation as printed works since 1517 and had even been first translated into French in 1559 by Jacques Amyot--whose work Courier knew quite well because of his interest in Longus. Courier seems to have understood the importance of what he had seen and he made special notice of the fact that the Life of Epaminondas had not yet been printed.
It would not be impossible that the library of the Benedictine Badia Fiorentina might have had another ninth- or tenth-century Plutarch codex that included the lost Life of Epaminondas. While not as famous as the Dominican library at San Marco, (108) the Badia fiorentina also had an important collection of Greek manuscripts. The Badia was originally founded by Willa (the Marcbesa of Tuscany) in 978 as a gift to the Benedictine order and her son, the Margrave Hugo, expanded it further. (109) Although the Badia had already developed into a center of book production in the Middle Ages, its collection was greatly expanded by Gomes Eanes (or, in Italian, Gomezio di Giovanni), who was Abbot from 1419 to 1439. This Portuguese Benedictine was greatly impressed by humanistic scholarship, such as the work of Poggio Bracciolini, (110) and renovated the abbey, commissioned a cycle of important frescoes depicting the life of St. Benedict, and sought out ancient manuscripts to add to the abbey's library. (111) To Poggio's dismay, Gomes was able to acquire for the Badia the large library of the humanist Antonio di Tommasso di Piero Corbinelli (c. 1377-1425). (112) Corbinelli, a student of the Byzantine diplomat and Greek teacher Manuel Chrysolaris, was also a friend of the humanist Guarno Guarini, who was impressed by Corbinelli's ability in Greek. (113) Corbinelli's personal library included at least 194 Latin and 79 Greek manuscripts. (114) The Badia continued to acquire many manuscripts over the course of the next century (and, of course, many Greek manuscripts made their way to Florence after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453). (115) By the early sixteenth century, the Badia Library had about 754 manuscripts (of which 116 were in Greek). (116) These holdings, and especially the Greek manuscripts, explain Courier's delight when he and Akerblad first perused the collection there in late December of 1807.
It is tempting to speculate that a codex of Plutarch's Parallel Lives including the missing Life of Epaminondas might have made its way to Florence either through an acquisition by Corbellini, or by someone else after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. (117) It is even tempting to conjecture that it could either have been the manuscript that Photius had seen, or a copy of it. None of the surviving manuscripts of Plutarch's Parallel Lives contain all the lives that the biographer had written, and many have varied contents. (118) So, a Plutarch codex with an additional biography would not have been dramatically out of place or noticeable to an unfamiliar viewer (it is unclear if this codex might also have included the lost Life of Scipio). As the French takeover of Florence and the suppression of the monasteries were occurring immediately before and after Courier's alleged encounter with the lost Life, there was no doubt increased concern on the part of the Badia library staff about French designs. This may well have impacted the reception of Courier's visit to the library, and the disposal of the early Plutarch manuscript and several other Greek works. Whatever chances the movement of those manuscripts from the Badia to private hands being only temporary were probably damaged further by the French annexation of Tuscany, Courier's ink blot, and the infighting and intrigue regarding the manuscript of Longus.
The problem of Courier's alleged encounter with Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas is complex, with many variables. It could be that Courier might have been mistaken, and was actually seeing some references to Epaminondas in the Life of Pelopidas in Cod. Laur. 206. However, that manuscript did not go missing and Akerblad makes a point of relating that the beautiful Plutarch codex was gone (and Akerblad's knowledge of Greek was also strong). Of course, Courier could have been lying. His reputation is not spotless, but it is hard to see what his motivation would have been (unless it was to tarnish the reputation of Father Bigi as del Furia was already in the Laurentian library). However, this theory, too, has problems, as Akerblad stressed that Courier had been very impressed by a Plutarch manuscript that was later missing and the reputation of the Swedish scholar (who is most famous for the progress he made in the translation of the Demotic section of the Rosetta Stone) is much better and it is difficult to think of any motive he might have had for lying.
It is possible, then, if Courier was not mistaken or lying, that Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas, together with some other tantalizing Greek manuscripts, could have been shelved silently in some obscure location (either by someone like Baron von Schellersheim or through being hidden somewhere by the library staff). It would, of course, be unlikely for them to have survived to the present and then come to light over two hundred years after Courier, but stranger things have happened in the history of Classical scholarship.
Robert M. Frakes is Professor of History and Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at California State University in Bakersfield. His recent published work includes Compiling the Collatio Legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum in Late Antiquity, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011, and The Rhetoric of Power in Late Antiquity: Religion and Politics in Byzantium, Europe, and the Early Islamic World, co-edited with Elizabeth DePalma Digeser and Justin Stephens, London: I. B. Tauris, 2010. He would like to thank the anonymous referees, H.A. Drake, and Frank Frost for their comments on earlier versions of this article as well as Anne Leader, James Maccaferri, Christopher McCarrick, Mark Munn, Lorenzo Perilli, and Fredrik Thomasson for their responses to various technical questions.
(1.) Related in a letter dated 20 September 1810 to the Parisian publisher Antoine-Augustin Renouard in Paul-Louis Courier, Correspondance generate, vol. 2: 1808-14, edited by Genevieve Viollet-Le-Duc, Paris: Klincksieck, 1978, 255-66: 265-6: "J'y penetrai enfin, comme je vous l'ai dit, avec M. Akerblad, quand le gouvernement frangais prit possession de la Toscane, et en une heme nous y vimes de quoi ravir en extase tous les hellenistes du monde, pour me servir de vos termes, quatre-vingts manuscrits des neuvieme et dixieme siecles. Nous y remarquames surtout ce Plutarque dont je vous ai si souvent parle. Ce que nous en pumes lire parut appartenir a la vie d'Epaminondas, qui manque dans les imprimes. Quelques mois apres, ce livre disparut, et avec lui tout ce qui'il y avait de meilleur et de plus beau dans la bibliotheque, excepte le Longus, trop connu par la notice recente de M. Furia, pour qo'on eut ose le vendre." Note that the earlier edition of Paul-Louis Couriers' Oeuvres Completes, edited by Maurice Allem, Paris: Gallimard, 1951, 248-62: 262, has an incorrect date of 30 September 1807 for this letter (and hence an earlier date for the visit to the library). Although Napoleon's Italian campaign of 1796-7 is more famous, French troops were also active in the Italian peninsula during the Wars of the Third and Fourth Coalition. For the historical context, see Frederick C. Schneid, Napoleon's Italian Campaigns, 1805-1815, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002, and Michael Broers, The Napoleonic Empire in Italy, 1796-1814: Cultural Imperialism in a European ContextBasingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.
(3.) The scholarly bibliography on Plutarch is naturally lengthy, including, among many others, R. Hirzel, Plutarch, Leipzig: Dieterich, 1912; K. Ziegler, Plutarchos von Chaironeia, second ed., Stuttgart: Alfred Druckenmuller, 1964 [the first edition of this book in 1949 was the basis for Ziegler's expansive "Plutarchos (2)," RE XXI, Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1951, cols. 636-962]; D.A. Russell, Plutarch, London: Duckworth, 1972; F.J. Frost, Plutarch's Themistocles, Prince ton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1980; F. J. Frost, "Plutarch and Klio," in S. Burstein and L. Okin, eds, Panhellenica: Essays in Ancient History and Historiography in Honor of Truesdell S. Brown, Lawrence, KS: Coronado Press, 1980, 155-70; Robert Lamberton, Plutarch, New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2001; many articles by Christopher Pelling (including "Plutarch's Adaptation of his Source-material," "Truth and Fiction in Plutarch's Lives," "The Moralism of Plutarch's Lives," and "Aspects of Plutarch's Characterisation") now included in his Plutarch and History, Swan sea: Classical Press of Wales, 2002; and many works by P. Stadter, such as the studies included in his recent Plutarch and his Roman Readers, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015.
(4.) Plutarch, Life of Agesilaus, 28.4.
(5.) On the "Catalogue of Lamprias," see M. Treu, Der Sogenannte Lampriaskatalog der Plutarchschriften, Waldenburg in Schlesien: Programm Waldenburg in Schlesien Gymnasium, 1873, 54, who suggests that it dates from the third or fourth century. See also the fundamental work of K. Ziegler, "Plutarchstudien," RhM 63, 1908, 239-53: 239-244; K. Ziegler, "Plutarchstudien," RhM 76, 1927, 20-53: 20-21; and K. Ziegler "Plutarchos," cols. 696-702. On Ziegler's fascinating life and moral courage under the Nazi regime, see L. Wickert, "Konrat Ziegler," Gnomon 46, 1974, 636-40; and B. Kratz-Ritter, "Konrat Ziegler, ein 'Gerechter unter den Volkern' aus Gottingen," Gottinger Jahrbuch 50, 2002,187-96.
(6.) Photius, Bibliotheca, 161.
(7.) See Suda, 848, which is unclear if this Sopater comes from Apamea (and so might be the same Sopater who had trouble under Constantine), or from Alexandria. For an argument that the Sopater of Constantine's court was the author of the work seen by Photius, see F. Wilhelm, "Der Regentenspiegel des Sopatros," RhM 72, 1917-1918, 374-402. For more on this Sopater, see Eunapius VS. 463-4 and H. A. Drake, Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000, 247.
(8.) See P. Lemerle, Byzantine Humanism: the First Phase. Notes and Remarks on Education and Culture in Byzantium from its Origins to the 10th Century, trans. H. Lindsay and A. Moffatt, Canberra: Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 1986. See also D.S. White, Patriarch Photios of Constantinople: His Life, Scholarly Contributions, and Correspondence Together with a Translation of Fifty-Two of his Letters, Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1982.
(9.) See Ziegler, Plutarchos von Chaeroneia, 262-5 (and "Plutarchos," col. 897 and 900) for the suggestion that the pairing of Epaminondas and Scipio may have been at the beginning of the Parallel Lives. See also D.A. Russell, "On Reading Plutarch's Lives," Greece & Rome 13, 1966, 139-54:142-3.
(10.) In general, see, among others, J. B. Bury and Russell Meiggs, A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great, fourth edition, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1975, 323-365; Raphael Sealey, A History of the Greek City States ca. 700-338 B.C., Berkeley, CA: U. of California P., 1976, 404-422.
(11.) The modern bibliography is lengthy: See, among others, Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 419-4137; G. Shrimpton, "The Theban Supremacy in Fourth-Century Literature," Phoenix 25, 1971, 310-318; J. Buckler, The Theban Hegemony: 371-362 BC, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1980, 46-69; Victor Hanson, The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny, New York: Anchor, 2001; and David Leitao, "The Legend of the Sacred Band," in Martha Craven Nussbaum and Juha Sihvola, The Sleep of Reason: Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome, Chicago, IL: U. of Chicago P., 2002, 143-169.
(12.) For standard overviews of Epaminondas, see M. Fortina, Epaminonda, Turin: Societa Editrice International, 1958, and H. Swoboda, "Epameinondas," RE 5.2, Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1905, cols. 2674-707. See also H. Swoboda, "Zur Geschichte des Epameinondas," MM 55, 1900, 460-75.
(13.) On Xenophon and Ephorus as historians, see recently Frances Pownall, Lessons from the Past: The Moral Use of History in Fourth Century Prose, Ann Arbor, MI: U. of Michigan P., 2004, 65-142. For a thorough examination of sources used by Diodorus Siculus discussing the rise of Thebes, see P. J. Stylianou, A Historical Commentary on Diodorus Siculus, Book XV, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998, 25-132.
(14.) Russell, "On Reading Plutarch's Lives," 142-3.
(15.) For the Sayings of Kings and Commanders, see Plutarch's Moralia in Fifteen Volumes, vol. 3, trans. Frank Cole Babbitt, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP (Loeb Classical Library), 1931. Other references to Epaminondas in the Moralia appear in the Education of Children (idem, vol. 1); How the Young Man Should Study Poetry (idem, vol. 1); On the Sign of Socrates (idem, vol. 7), which preserves further information about the overthrow of the Theban tyrants and Epaminondas's father Polymnis and brother Caphisias; as well as in Table Talk (idem, vol. 8); the Dialogue on Love (idem, vol. 9); Love Stories (idem, vol. 10); To An Uneducated Reader (vol. 10); Old Men in Public Affairs (idem, vol. 10X); and Precepts of Statecraft (vol. 10).
(16.) See, for example, M. Haug, Die Quellen Plutarchs in den Lebensbeschreibungen der Griechen neu untersucht, Tubingen: Verlag der Osianderschen Buchhandlung, 1854, 5860; G. Queck, De Fontibus Plutarchi in "Vita Pelopidae," Dramburg: Kaempfii et Rostii, 1876, 28-30; E. Schwartz, "Kallisthenes Hellenika," Hermes 35, 1900, 106-30; H.D. Westlake, "The Sources of Plutarch's Pelopidas," CQ 33, 1939, 11-22; and Aristoula Georgiadou, Plutarch's Pelopidas: A Historical and Philological Commentary, Stuttgart: Teubner, 1997, 15-28. In general, on Plutarch's sources for his biographies, see Ziegler, "Plutarchos," col. 911-14.
(17.) For example, Cato the Elder at Pelop. 1.1; Aristotle at Pelop. 3. 1; Aristotle at Pelopidas 18.4; Plato at Pelopidas, 18.5; and Homer at Pelopidas, 18.2.
(18.) For an overview of Plutarch's use of such authors in the Moralia, see W. C. Helmbold and E. N. O'Neil, Plutarch's Quotations, Baltimore, ML): American Philological Association, 1959. See also Russell, "On Reading Plutarch's Lives," 141-3.
(19.) See P. Stadter, "Before Pen Touched Paper: Plutarch's Preparations for the Parallel Lives," in P. Stadter, Plutarch and his Roman Readers, 119-29; P. Stadter, "Plutarch's Compositional Technique: The Anecdote Collections and the Parallel Lives," GRBS 54, 2014, 665-86; L. Van der Stockt, "Compositional Methods in the Lives," in M. Beck, ed., A Companion to Plutarch, Oxford: Blackwell, 2014, 321-32; and M. Beck, "Plato, Plutarch, and the Use and Manipulation of Anecdotes in the Lives of Lycurgus and Agesilaus. History of the Laconic Apophthegm," in A. Perez Jimenez et al., eds, Plutarco, Platon y Aristoteles: actas del V Congreso Internacional de la I.P.S., Madrid: Ediciones Clasicas, 1999, 173-87.
(20.) See clear analysis by Westlake, "The Sources of Plutarch's Pelopidas," 11-22.
(21.) See Plutarch, Agesilaus, 31. 3. See further the comments of Georgiadou, Plutarch's Pelopidas, 24-25.
(22.) In the Life of Pelopidas, see, for example, 13. 3; 15. 2; 18. 1 (for several occurrences); 18. 2; 18. 5; 25. 7; and 33. 2.
(23.) See, among others Georgiadou, Plutarch's Pelopidas, 15-28, and Westlake, "Sources."
(24.) For instance, Plutarch, Pelopidas, 7. 2 vs. Xenophon, Hellenica, 5. 4. 1-12.
(25.) Plutarch, Pelopidas, 23 vs. Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.4. 9-12.
(26.) See comments of Georgiadou, Plutarch's Pelopidas, 16-25. See also H. D. Westlake, "Xenophon and Epaminondas," GRBS 16, 1975, 23-40, on factors that may have influenced Xenophon's depiction, and lack of depiction, of Epaminondas. For Boeotian historians, see G. Zecchini, "Rassegna di storiographia beotica," in J. Bintliff, ed., Recent Developments in the History and Archaeology of Central Greece: Proceedings of the 6th International Boeotian Conference, Oxford: Archaeopress, 1997, 189-200, and the fragments recently collected in I. Worthington, Brill's New Jacoby, second ed., Leiden: Brill, 2016-2026, online at: http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/brill-s-new-jacoby-2.
(27.) In general on Plutarch's use of sources, see R.H. Barrow, Plutarch and his Times, Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 1967, 150-61. On Plutarch's use of Cornelius Nepos, see J. Geiger, "Plutarch's Parallel Lives: The Choice of Heroes," Hermes 109, 1981, 85-104. On Plutarch's knowledge of Latin, see his Demosthenes, 2. 2-3, but on this issue, see also P. Stadter, "Plutarch's Latin Reading," in his Plutarch and his Roman Readers, 130-48, and the bibliography cited there.
(28.) On the pattern of Plutarch's biographies, see Ziegler, "Plutarchos," col. 905-10, and P. Stadter, "The Proems of Plutarch's Lives," ICS 13, 1988, 275-95. On Plutarch's intent, see Life of Alexander, 1. 2.
(29.) See structural outline set out by Russell, "On Reading Plutarch's Lives," 149-50, as well as his example of framing Winston Churchill's life into this outline. See more recently, T. E. Duff, "The Structure of the Plutarchan Book," Classical Antiquity 30, 2011, 213-78, who divides the schema into four sections.
(30.) Plutarch, Life of Alexander, 1. 2.
(31.) For a similar approach, see R.M. Frakes, "Some Thoughts on the Length of the Lost Books of Ammianus," in R.M. Frakes and D.L. Toye, eds, The Dance of Hippocleides: A Festschrift for Frank J. Frost, Wauconda, IL: Ares Publishers, 2000, 48-53.
(32.) Although Plutarch, Life of Agesalaus, 31, does state that after Epaminondas's victory Spartan women saw the smoke of an enemy's campfire for the first time. For arguments that Plutarch was comparing Epaminondas with Scipio Aemilianus, see Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Commentariolum Grammaticum, vol. 1, Greifswald: Typis Frid. Guil. Kunike, 1879, 11, and K. Herbert, "The Identity of Plutarch's Lost Scipio," A]? 78, 1957, 83-88. For an argument for Scipio Africanus, see Ziegler, "Plutarchos," col. 896.
(33.) See F.H. Sandbach's comment in Plutarch's Moralia, vol. 15: Fragments, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP (Loeb Classical Library), 1969, 74.
(34.) Hirzel, Plutarch, 77, suggests that Appian based this section of history (Syrian War, 41) on Plutarch's comparison of Epaminondas and Scipio Africanus. For Appian's use of Plutarch, see recently Andrew Drummond, "61. Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus," in T. J. Cornell, ed., Fragments of the Roman Historians, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013, 470-471.
(35.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 3.1-3, 4.4. For more on this campaign, see Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.2. This event helps us date Epaminondas's birth to sometime in the waning years of the Peloponnesian War.
(36.) For instance, in the Sayings of Kings and Commanders (Moralia 194D) relating to Pelopidas, when chided by his friends for neglecting to amass wealth, Pelopidas responds '"Yes, on my word, money is necessary--for Nicodemus here!' as he pointed to a lame and crippled man" (Babbitt, Loeb trans.). That same anecdote appears in Plutarch's Life of Pelopidas, 3. On Plutarch's use of such anecdotes, see recently Stadter, "Plutarch's Compositional Technique," 665-86.
(37.) Moralia 192C (Babbitt, Loeb trans.).
(38.) Moralia 192C-D (Babbitt, Loeb trans.).
(39.) Moralia 192D (Babbitt, Loeb trans.).
(40.) Moralia 193A (Babbitt, Loeb trans.); see this statement echoed at Moralia 786D.
(41.) Moralia, 193B (Babbitt, Loeb trans.).
(42.) Cornelius Nepos, trans. John C. Rolfe, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP (Loeb Classical Library), 192.
(43.) Note that The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. Sir Thomas North ["out of the French into English") of 1595 (London: Thomas Wight?) did not include this Life of Epaminondas, but the 1603 (London: Thomas Wight) edition did. For more on Goulart, see L.C. Jones, Simon Goulart, 1543-1628: Etude biographique et bibliographique, Paris: E. Champion, 1917.
(44.) See L. Peper, De Plutarchi "Epaminonda," Weida: Thomas & Hubert, 1912. This impressive product of German empirical scholarship of its day was a doctoral dissertation, written in Latin, at the University of Jena supervised by Rudolph Hirzel. Peper reconstructed the chronological framework and aggressively hunted for both sources for information for Plutarch as well as potential influence of the lost life in other works which he used "ad Plutarchi opus restitutendum" ("toward the restoration of the work of Plutarch", ibid., 9).
(45.) See the minimalist attempt of Sandbach in Plutarch's Moralia, vol. 15: Fragments, 75-7.
(46.) U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, "Abrechnung eines Boiotischen Hipparchen," Hermes 8, 1874, 431-441: 439n. 2: "Ich weiss nicht, ob darauf schon aufmerksam gemacht ist, dass die drei Capitel 13-15 [of Pausanias] ein ziemlich sorgfdltiger Auszug aus Plutarchs Leben des Epameinondas sind."
(47.) Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Commentariolum Grammaticum, vol. 1, 11-12: "Itaque exhortationibus parcimus: e re tamen erit diligentius persequi quod in Hermae vol. VIII p. 439 recte quidem sed paullo obscurius dictum est, Epaminondae Plutarchei, quam vitam in primis dolebamus esse interceptam, baud tenue compendium extare apud Pausaniam. Qui res Epaminondae satis adcurate (quamquam ineptias numquam non admiscet et Hadriani cultum hie quoque prae se fert) narravit in Boeoticis 13-15 et in Arcadicis 11, 4-9 (de paragrapho decima dubitari potest). Quae ex uno loco coniunctim deprompserit discerpta diversis locis proponere callido eruditionis simulatori in deliciis est. Ubi vero haec coniunxeris vitam habes Epaminondae absolutam. Quam non ex pluribus historicis consutam esse sed ab uno Epaminondae biographo transcriptam omnino probabile est in Pausania, qui Herodotum quidem et Thucydidem penitus inbiberat ..." Later Wilamowitz went further in his Textgeschichte der griechischen Lyriker, Berlin: Weidmann, 1900, 102n1, and added potential influence from Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas at Messenia, 4. 16. 7 and Messenia, 4. 32. 4-6, but C.J. Tuplin, "Pausanias and Plutarch's Epaminondas," CQ 34, 1984, 346-58: 347, is persuasive that these two occasions are more likely derived from Pausanias's own research. Peper, De Plutarchi "Epaminonda," 15-25, accepted Wilamowitz's suggestions and looked for additional echoes of Plutarch's lost life elsewhere in Pausanias.
(48.) Pausanias: Description of Greece in Five Volumes, trans. W.H.S. Jones, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP (Loeb Classical Library), 1918-1935.
(49.) Pausanias, Boeotia, 9. 13-15 [in the Jones translation, see previous note].
(50.) Pausanias, Arcadia, 11. 5-6 [in the Jones translation, see note 48].
(51.) Pausanias, Arcadia, 11. 7-8.
(52.) Ibid., 11. 10.
(53.) See Plutarch, Pelopidas, 3.1.3.
(54.) Ibid., 20. 3-21.4.
(55.) Plutarch, Pelopidas, 25, and idem, Moralia, 194A-B.
(56.) Plutarch, Moralia, 193B and 346 D-E.
(57.) Christian Habicht, Pausanias' Guide to Ancient Greece, Berkeley, CA: U. of California P., 1998, 97-8, following Malcolm Errington, Philopoemen, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1969, 238-40, who demonstrated Pausanias used Plutarch.
(58.) Westlake, "The Sources of Plutarch's Pelopidas," 11-12, felt Wilamowitz was probably correct in his conjecture that this derived from Plutarch's lost Life of Epaminondas as does Habicht, Pausanias' Guide to Ancient Greece, 98n10, and G. Shrimpton, "Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas," Pacific Coast Philology 6, 1971, 55-59. For a counter argument, see C.J. Tuplin, "Pausanias and Plutarch's Epaminondas," CQ 34, 1984, 346-358. While Tuplin (see ibid., 351-3 and 357) must certainly be right in criticizing Wilamowitz's hypothesis of Pausanias conveying a careful summary ("ziemlich sorgfdltiger Auszug aus Plutarchs Leben des Epameinondas"). Pausanias was more likely picking a few choice details from the account of Epaminondas's life (which he may have read some time ago and was working from memory).
(59.) This anecdote is also recorded in Aristoxenus, F38, which might have been Plutarch's source.
(60.) See Cornelius Nepos, Lives of the Eminent Commanders, trans. J.S. Watson, London: Bell, 1886, 15. 2. 2; 15. 7. 4-5; and 15. 9.3. On Pausanias not using Cornelius Nepos here, see Shrimpton, "Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas," 56.
(61.) Plutarch, Life of Agesilaus, 28.4.
(62.) Shrimpton, "Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas," 57-8; Pausanias, Arcadia, 11. 7-10. This argument goes even further than Wilamowitz's description of Pausanias providing a "fairly careful summary."
(63.) S.V. "Epameinondas."
(64.) As opposed to Shrimpton, "Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas," 57-8. On the Suda's use of Pausanias, see Errington, Philopoemen, 237-8. See further the comments on the likelihood of the Suda being based on Pausanias here in Tuplin, "Pausanias and Plutarch's Epaminondas," 347-8.
(65.) On methodological concerns and caution on reconstructing lost works from fragments (or reliquae), see P.A. Brunt, "On Historical Fragments and Epitomes," CQ 30, 1980, 477-94; and W.E. Thompson, "Fragments of the Preserved Historians--Especially Polybius," in M. H. Jameson, ed., The Greek Historians: Literature and History. Papers Presented to A.E. Raubitschek, Saratoga, NY: Anma Libri, 1985, 119-13. Brunt allows that a large number of excerpts of a given work do help in understanding the scope of the work (Brunt, "On Historical Fragments and Epitomes," 48 and 485). The survival of so many of Plutarch's Parallel Lives does provide a template of a kind to follow.
(66.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 3.1-3; Plutarch, Moralia, 583C; Pausanias, Description of Greece, Boeotia 9.13.1.
(67.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 4. 1; Plutarch, Moralia, 8B; Moralia 576D; Moralia 579D-E.
(68.) Plutarch, Moralia, 192C-D.
(69.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 3.1-3; Plutarch, Moralia, 192D, 193B, 633E, 781D.
(70.) Plutarch, Moralia, 192C.
(71.) Plutarch, Moralia, 192F, 808F.
(72.) For saving his life, see Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 4.4-5; and for never married, ibid., 3.3.
(73.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 7. 3, 12.2-4; Plutarch, Moralia, 575B-598F (On the Sign of Socrates).
(74.) Plutarch, Moralia, 193B, 583F.
(75.) Plutarch, Moralia, 192C, 680B, 787A-B.
(76.) Pausanias, Description of Greece, Boeotia, 9.13.2.
(77.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 20.3-21.4; Plutarch, Moralia, 774C-D; Pausanias, Description of Greece, Boeotia, 9.13.5-6.
(78.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 23. 1-4; Plutarch, Moralia, 193B, 618C-D, 774C-D; Pausanias, Description of Greece, Boeotia, 9.13. 8-12.
(79.) Plutarch, Moralia, 193A, 786D.
(80.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 25. 1-7; Plutarch, Moralia, 194A-C, 805C, and 817F, on problems in staying in office. Appian, Syrian Wars, 41 for speech. Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 24. 5; Plutarch, Moralia, 194B; Pausanias, Description of Greece, Boeotia, 9. 14. 4-5, on work with Arcadians.
(81.) Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas, 26.4-4.
(82.) Plutarch, Moralia, 194C, 761D; Pausanias, Description of Greece, Boeotia, 9. 15. 5-6; and ibid., Arcadia, 11. 5-10.
(83.) Plutarch, Life of Agesilaus, 28. 4; Plutarch, Moralia, 192F, 193A; Pausanias, Description of Greece, Arcadia, 11.10.
(84.) See Plutarch, Moralia, 540D, 541 A; Appian, Syrian Wars, 41. See also Georgiadou, Plutarch's Pelopidas, 8.
(85.) For date, see Paul-Louis Courier, Correspondance generate, vol. 1: 1787-1807, ed. Genevieve Viollet-Le-Duc, Paris: Klincksieck, 1976, 23.
(86.) J. Amyot, ed., Longus: Amours pastorales de Daphnis et Chloe, Paris: Vincent Sertenaz, 1559.
(87.) On the Treaty of Fontainebleau (of 27 October 1807) that outlined compensation for the royal house of the Kingdom of Etruria with part of Portugal after the French annexation, see C.W. Crawley, ed., The New Cambridge Modern History, vol. 9, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1965, 613; and P. Dwyer, Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power, New Haven: Yale UP, 2013, 262-3.
(88.) On the French suppression of the monasteries in Italy, see D. Gregory, Napoleon's Italy, London: Associated University Presses, 2001, 90.
(89.) P. Marmottan, "Le General Menou in Toscane," Carnet de la sabretache: revue d'histoire militaire retrospective, vol. 1, Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1903, 79.
(90.) F. Thomasson, The Life of J.D. Akerblad: Egyptian Decipherment and Orientalism in Revolutionary Times, Leiden: Brill, 2013, 300-2.
(91.) For more on Chaban's career, see G. Hubert, Francois Louis Rene Mouchard, Comte de Chaban, 1757-1814, Paris: Editions Genevieve Pastre, 1995.
(92.) The letter is dated 30 September 1808 (in Livorno) to Chaban. See further Courier, Correspondance generate, vol. 2, ed. Viollet-le-Duc, 47-8: "Je vous conjure done de vouloir bien ordonner que tous les manuscrits de l'Abbaye soient transportes a la Bibliotheque de Saint-Aourent, et qu'on cherche ceux qui manquent d' apres le catalogue existant. J'ai reconnu dernierement que deja quelques-uns des plus importants ont disparu. Mais il sera facile d'en trouver des traces et d'empecher que ces monuments ne passent a l'etranger qui en est avide, ou meme ne perissent dans les mains de ceux qui les recelent, comme il est arrive souvent. C'est le zele de l'antiquite qui m'engage, Monsieur, a vous presenter cette humble requete." Genevieve Viollet-Le-Duc, in her note to this letter, points out that the only surviving copy of this letter is that attached to Courier's 1810 letter to Renouard (see ibid., nl).
(93.) Thomasson, Life of J.D. Akerblad, 301-2.
(94.) Letter of Akerblad, dated 2 December 1808 (and numbered 246), in P.L. Courier, Correspondance generate, vol. 2, ed. Viollet-le-Duc, 68-9: ".. Hier nous avons fait la fameuse descente domiciliate chez les benedictins pour nous emparer de leurs manuscrits; mais ils nous ont prevenus ces gaillards; 26 des plus precieux manuscrits ont disparu, et entre autres le beau Plutarque que nous avons vu et dont vous devez vous rappeler. L'abbe du couvent est innocent de ce vol, j'en suis sur, et le bibliothecaire, ce petit pere Bigi, au regard faux, est a ne pas en douter, le voleur. II depend de nous de le faire pendre: nousn 'avons qu'attester (sic) d'avoir vu entre ses mains un seul des manuscrits qui matiquent; mais je vous avoue que je suis bon chretien, et je ne veux pas la mort du pecheur. D'ailleurs il me semble cruel de perdre un pauvre diable pour avoir vole une vingtaine de bouquins qui, eussent-ils meme ete transportes a la bibliotheque de St-Laurent, y seraient sans doute demeures vierges et intacts, comme ils l'ont ete depuis deux siecles dans celle des reverends peres ... Adieu, cher commandant, je vous aime et vous estime infiniment, veuillez en etre persuade. Akerblad. Les erotique grecs son aussi restes. Il y a encore un beau Plutarque du 13e siecle qui nous est reste, il contient toutes les vies qui etaient dans l'autre du 10e, item un beau Xenophon."
(95.) G. Vitelli, "Spicilegio fiorentino,"Museo ltaliano di antichita classica 1, 1885, 1-32: 2-3; and G. Vitelli, "Schellersheim e I codici greci di Badia," Studi Italiani de filologia classica 1, 1894, 441-442. For more on Schellersheim, see D. Hartwig, "Vier und Siebenzig Briefe von Wilhelm von Humboldt," Preussiche Jahrbiicher 20, 1867, 43-66.
(96.) R. Blum, La biblioteca della Badia Fiorentina e i codici di Antonio Corbinelli, Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1951, 10.
(97.) Florence Vidal, Elisa Bonaparte: soeur de Napoleon Ier, Paris: Pygmalion, 2005.
(98.) The Longus manuscript is Cod. Laur. 627: See account in W.D. Lowe, The Story of Daphnis and Chloe: A Greek Pastoral by Longus, Cambridge: Bell, 1908, ix. See further, J.R. Morgan, "Longus' 'Daphnis and Chloe': A Bibliographical Survey, 1950-1995," ANRW 34.3, eds Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase, Berlin: De Gruyter, 1997, 2208-75; ibid., 2224-7, especially on the manuscripts (and Courier).
(99.) See, again, Courier's letter of 20 September 1810, to Renouard in Courier, Correspondance generate, vol. 2, ed. Viollet-le-Duc, 266: "Quelques mois apres, ce livre disparut, et avec lui tout ce qui'il y avail de meilleur et de plus beau dans la bibliotheque, excepte le Longus, trop connu par la notice recente de M. Furia pour qu'on eut ose le vendre. Sur les plaints que nous fimes, M. Akerblad et moi, le junte donna des orders pour recouvrer ces manuscrits. On savait ou ils etaient, qui les avait vendus, qui les avait achetes; rien n'etait plus facile que de les retrouver: c'etait matiere a exercer le zele des conservateurs, et nous pressames fort ces messieurs d'agir pour cela; mais ils ne voulaient, nous dirent-ils, faire de la peine a personne. La chose en demeura la."
(100.) See manuscript catalog of the Laurentian Library, in Francesco del Furia's clear hand, a vailible at: http://cataloghistorici.bdi.sbn.it/file_viewer.phpUDCAT=11&IDGRP=110001 &LEVEL=0&PADRE=&PROV=#, accessed 10 April 2017; and del Furia clearly indicated that this manuscript was earlier held by the Badia, where he relates that it carried the number 2728.
(101.) See especially, H. Omont, Paul-Louis Courier et La Tache d'Encre du manuscrit de Longus de Florence, Paris: Le Puy, 1885, which presents some of the documents involved in Courier's legal problems. See also the description in Longus, literally and completely translated from the Greek, Athens: Athenian Society, 1896, 163-71. For an overview of Courier's troubles as well as the comments by Michael D. Reeve, ed., Longus: Dapbnie et Cbloe, second ed., Leipzig: Teubner, 1986, IX-X (and especially Xn. 1). In general, on Courier's fascinating life, see Armand Carrel, Essai sur le vie et les ecrits de P.L. Courier, Paris: Sautelet, 1829; Robert Gaschet, Les aventures d'un ecrivain, Paris: Payot, 1928; and Michel Crouzet, Paul-Louis Courier, Une ecriture du defi, Paris: Editions Kime, 2007. Courier's mysterious murder in 1828 was even the subject of the 1949 film La Ferme des sept peches, directed by Jean Devaivre.
(102.) "Courier ... wollte sogar mit seinem Freund Akerblad in der Handschrift die uns verlorene Biographie Epaminondas bemerkt haben: wabrscheinlicb wurde er beim oberflachlichen Durchblattern durch einige Stellen der Vita des Pelopidas irre geleitet" (R. Schoell, "Plutarchhandschriften in Florenz," Hermes 5, 1871, 114-28: 114. Schoell wrote this study based upon his research trip to Florence in 1869).
(103.) That is, Cod. Laur. LXIX, 1; LXIX, 6; and LXIX, 32.
(104.) See Bernadotte Perrin's comments, Plutarch's Lives, vol. 1, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP (Loeb Classical Library), 1914, xiv; for a clear overview of the manuscripts and a full list of manuscripts, see K. Ziegler, Die Uberlieferungsgeschichte der vergleichenden Lebensbeschreibungen Plutarchs, Leipzig: Teubner, 1907, 1-2, 179-180, and 205; and K. Ziegler, ed., Plutarchi Vitae Parallelae, II. 1, Leipzig: Teubner, 1964, v-vii. Most recently, Yitzhak Dana, "The First Printing of the Lives in 1517: A Possible Link with the Distant Past," in The Statesmen in Plutarch's Works, eds Lukas De Blois et al., vol. 1, Leiden: Brill, 2004, 275-85: 279-280. Lastly, see again del Furia's hand-written catalog (regarding Cod. Laur. 206), available at: http://cataloghistorici.bdi.sbn.it/file_viewer.phpUDCAT=11&IDGRP =110001&LEVEL=0&PADRE=&PROV=#, accessed 10 April 2017.
(105.) See on the contents, Dana, "The First Printing of the Lives in 1517," 279-82.
(106.) Robert Gaschet, La jeunesse de Paul-Louis Courier: etude anecdotique et critique sur sa vie et ses oeuvres de 1772 a 1812, d'apres des documents inedits, Paris: Hachette, 1911, 116. On Villoison, see Charles Joret, D'Ansse de Villoison et l'hellenisme en France pendant le dernier tiers du XVIIIe siecle, Paris: H. Champion, 1910.
(107.) For the influence of Courier's translation of Longus (as well as his other works) on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe through the record of a conversation of 9 March 1831, see Conversations of Goethe with Johann Peter Eckermann, trans. John Oxenford, ed. J.K. Moorhead, London: Dent and Sons, 1930, 395-6.
(108.) L.D. Reynolds and N.G. Wilson, Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature, second ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974, 108-46; see especially on interest in Greek literature, ibid., 132-7. See also W. Bonser, "The Libraries of Florence," The Library Association Record 54, 1952, 324-9, and L.S. Thompson, "Renaissance Libraries," Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, third ed., vol. 6, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2010, 4520-4532.
(109.) E. Sestan, M. Adriani, and A. Guidotti, La Badia fiorentina, Florence: Cassa di Risparmio, 1982, 5-7.
(110.) For a scholarly biography of this important humanist, see Ernst Walser, Poggius Plorentinus: Leben und Werke, Leipzig: Teubner, 1914.
(111.) See Anne Leader, The Badia of Florence: Art and Observance in a Renaissance Monastery, Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 2012. See also M.M. Elbi and I. Elbi, "The Private Archive (Carteggio) of Abbot Dom Fr. Gomes Eanes (Badia di Firenze)--An Analytical Catalogue, with Commentary, of Codex Ashburnham 1792 (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence): Part One," Portuguese Studies Review 21.1, 2013, 19-151; idem, Part Two, Portuguese Studies Review 21.2, 2013, 137-202. See also A. Domingues de Sousa Costa, "D. Gomes, Reformado de Abadia de Florenca, e as tentativas de reforma dos mosteiros Portugueses no seculo XV," Studia Monastica 5, 1963, 59-164. On scholarly confusion over Gomes's name (including his elevation to "Gomes Ferreira da Silva"), see Elbi and Elbi, "Private Archive, Part One," 22-3.
(112.) See L. Martines, "Addenda to the Life of Antonio Corbinelli," Rinascimento 8, 1957, 3-19; and L. Martines, The Social World of the Florentine Humanists, 1390-1460, Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1963, 318-320.
(113.) Blum, La biblioteca, 39-47.
(114.) Blum, La biblioteca, 18, 48, and 96; Leader, The Badia of Florence, 89-90; and L.S. Thompson, "Renaissance Libraries," 4521-3.
(115.) Reynolds and Wilson, Scribes and Scholars, 130-7.
(116.) Blum, La biblioteca, 32-3. See also Curt Buehler, rev of Blum, La biblioteca della Badia Fiorentina in Speculum 26, 1951, 707-9.
(117.) See on the likelihood that Chrysolarus gave Corbellini the nucleus of his Greek manuscript collection, Blum, La biblioteca, 48-9,
(118.) See Bernadotte Perrin's comments, Plutarch's Lives, vol. 1, xii-iv.
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|Author:||Frakes, Robert M.|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2017|
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