More on chapter titles

Here is a little more from Diana Albino’s article:

Più recentemente, occupandosi del problema della divisione in capitoli presso gli antichi, il Mutschmann (16) ha espresso la convinzione che tale metodo, ostacolato dapprima dalle esigenze artistiche degli scrittori, dovette diffondersi quando si sentì vivo il bisogno di mettere ordine nel caos del materiale letterario tramandato e di risparmiare tempo e fatica al lettore ed allo studioso, probabilmente nello stesso periodo in cui le medesime esigenze inducevano alla compilazione di opere enciclopediche e sistematiche delle varie discipline.

Non bisogna però credere che la divisione in capitoli fu adottata indistintamente per ogni genere letterario: tale procedimento, infatti, fu osservato solo per opere con un preciso fine pratico o per i cataloghi o per i libri miscellanei e non per opere riservate ad una cerchia ristretta di lettori qualificati o composte con intenti artistici. Per quanto riguarda i cataloghi, Ateneo ci tramanda una notizia importantissima, perché c’informa che il catalogo dei dotti compilato da Callimaco, intitolato pantodapa/, doveva essere composto di varie sezioni, distinte dai titoli, di cui uno è appunto quello riportato per indicare una determinata categoria di scrittori:

Which I translate as:

More recently, in dealing with the problem of the division into chapters by the ancients, Mutschmann (16) expressed his belief that this method, which was initially hampered by the artistic demands of the writers, had spread when the need was felt to put some order into the chaotic mass of literary material transmitted and to save time and effort for the reader and the scholar, probably in the same period in which the same needs led to the systematic compilation of encyclopaedic works on the various disciplines.

But we should not believe that the division into chapters was adopted uniformly for every literary genre: that procedure, in fact, was observed only for works with a specific practical aim or in catalogues, or in books and miscellaneous works not reserved for a restricted circle of qualified readers or made with artistic intent. As for catalogues, Athenaeus gives us a very important piece of information, for he informs us that the list of products compiled by Callimachus, entitled pantodapa/, was composed of several sections, distinguished by titles, one of which is precisely what was reported to indicate a certain category of writers:

Kalli/maxoj e)n tw~| pantodapw~n pi/naki gra/fwn ou#twj: dei=pna o#soi e!grayan: Xairefw~n …

(16) MUTSCHMANN: Inhaltsangabe und Kapitelüberschrift im Antiken Buch, in «Hermes» XLVI (1911), pp. 93-107.  Listed on Google books here but not online.

I was hoping to consult Mutschmann, but I can’t find his text online.

2 Responses to “More on chapter titles”


  1. Walter Dunphy

    Try archive.com for Mutschmann.
    This might get there:

    http://www.archive.org/details/hermeswies46wies

    The long way: search Hermes in archive,
    vol.46 (50+MB) is way down p.3 (for me!
    – their search order is erratic).
    The M. art. begins on screen 111.
    Best.
    walter.

  2. Roger Pearse

    Aha! Thank you so much for this. I searched but obviously not as effectively as you!



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