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Title: The reception of Varro in Late Antiquity
Author: Marshall, Richard M. A.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis studies the reception and transmission of Varro in authors dating from the second century onwards, examining the consequences of Varro's fragmentary survival for our understanding of his works and of the authors in which Varronian material is found. Chapter 1 investigates the influence exercised by Varro's Suetonian biography on our understanding of Varro's oeuvre. Certain misleading testimonia to Varro are shown to depend on judgements recycled from Suetonius rather than attest genuine reactions to Varro's own works. Chapter 2 examines the transmission of Varro's Antiquitatum libri, using novel methodologies based on careful examination of quoting authors' referential formulae to uncover changes in the paratext of Varro' s treatise. Such changes presuppose an evolution in the way the text was conceptualised and read, and demonstrate that our modem editions' presentation of Varro' s fragments fundamentally misrepresents the original work. Chapter 3 takes a diachronic approach to the study of the reception of Varro' s Menippean Satires, chiefly in the archaists and grammarians, and provides a comparative study of Non ius Marcellus and Saint Augustine's knowledge of Varro. Besides Nonius, evidence of direct engagement with the Menippeans is found to be confined to the Severan period and does not antedate Gellius. One of the tangential findings of this study is that the majority of Varronian fragments transmitted by the grammarians are ultimately owed to Pliny's Dubius sermo, and that none of the material in the Vergilian commentary tradition or Corpus grammaticorum Latinorum can be shown to result from direct reading in Varro by the quoting author. Chapter 4 studies material cited from and attributed to Varro's Antiquitatum libri in Aulus Gellius, demonstrating that a range of sources, both Varronian and non-Varronian, contribute to his Varroniana, despite his access to some portions of the original work. His knowledge of Varro is shown to be more restricted than is generally supposed. The conclusion contextualises the above findings in terms of a larger projected study that will utilise the discoveries of this thesis in a wider investigation of the reception and transmission of Varro in Christian authors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available