Selections from Schröder’s “Titel und Text” – 4

One of the most useful elements of Schröder’s “Titel und Text” is the appendix.  This attempts to work out what words were used by the Romans for “work-title”, “book-title”, “table of contents”, “item in a table of contents”, “chapter”, “title”, and “poem heading”.

I would imagine that Dr Schröder compiled these references by a database search, but if so, it was done well.  It might bear repeating now, since Schröder did her search before 1998.

As it seems increasingly clear that nobody has read Schröder, I will place my own hasty translation of the appendix here.  She gave the quotations only in the original.  I appended existing translations wherever I had them, or thought them important; sadly I ran out of time to do them all.  I also broke up the format, indenting quotations rather than  giving them inline, and placed the footnotes inline as well.

I hope that it will be useful.

Appendix : Notes on the Latin  words for ‘Work- / Book-title’, ‘table of contents’, ‘element in the table of  contents’, / ‘chapter’ ‘title’ / ‘poem heading’.

‘Work title / book title’324

324. See also Moussy, Claude: Les appellations latines des titres de livres, in: Fredouille (Ed.), p. 1-7.

The term “nomen” is used for “title of a work” in Comedy, although at first personal names were used predominantly for titles (see above p.35):

(Plautus, Casina 30) comoediai nomen dare vobis volo; […I wish to give you the name of this comedy;]

(Plautus, Poenulus / The little Carthaginian 50f.) nomen dare vobis volo / Comoediai, 55 nomen iam habetis; […I wish to give you the name of this comedy, the name you already have;]

(Plautus, Asinaria / About the Asses 7) ut sciretis nomen huius fabulae, 10 huic nomen graece Onagost fabulae. [that you may know the name of these fables …  ]

The title of the work is given with the verbs vocare or nominare:

(Plautus, Casina 31 f.) Κληρούμενοι vocatur haec comoedia / graece; [this comedy is called Cleroumenoi in Greek]

(Plautus, Merc. 9) graece haec vocatur Emporos Philemonis;

(Plautus, Poenulus 53); (Ter. Phorm. 25f.) Epidicazomenon quam vocant comoediam / Graeci, Latini Phormionem nominant.

These nomina are sometimes supplemented by apposition, e.g.

(Cicero, Brutus 78), […] cum Thyesten fabulam docuisset,

but they can also be used alone as a matter of course:

(Ter.Andr.9) Menander fecit Andriam et Perinthiam;

(Ter. Haut. 5) sum acturus Hauton timorumenon; (also: Ter.Eun.9);

(Cic. Cato 50) Quam gaudebat bello suo Punico Naevius! Quam Truculento Plautus, quam Pseudolo!

Dialogue names are also used:

(Cic. de orat.3,122) ille in Gorgia Socrates;

or along with the author’s name, e.g.:

(Cicero, De finibus, 2,4) in Phaedro a Platone; [in Plato’s Phaedrus]

(Cicero, De finibus, 2,15) in Timaeo Platonis; [in Plato’s Timaeus]

(Cicero, de orat. 1,47) cuius […] legi Gorgiam.

Nomen is used elsewhere as well, as in Ovid, for example:

(trist. 1,1,109f.) Cetera turba palam titulos ostendet apertos / et sua detecta nomina fronte geret (see below on this) (The rest of the band will display their titles openly, bearing their names on their exposed edges,…)

and later, e.g. Ausonius:

(Technopaegnion, praef., S. 156,15 P.) Libello Technopaegnii nomen dedi.

But mainly nomen is clearly displaced by titulus and inscriptio; for “nomen”, in connection with books, the meaning “name of a work / book title” cannot override the meaning “proper name”, for a title of contents like ‘de titulis’ cannot be a nomen.

Cicero used “scribere de…” to write about a subject, or “liber qui est de…” and so it is not clear whether in each case he refers to the exact title of the work or not:

(Cato 54) Dixi in eo libro, quem de rebus rusticis scripsi; […] Hesiodus […], cum de cultura agri scriberet;

(Tusc. 1,24) evolve diligenter eius eum librum, qui est de animo.

Mention of the title of a work is referenced using inscribitur [it is inscribed] or inscriptioInscribere [to inscribe] is used for name- and content-titles, e.g.

(div.2,1) eo libro, qui est inscriptus Hortensius; [in that book, which is inscribed ‘Hortensius’]

(Tusculan disputations, 1,57) in illo libro, qui inscribitur Menon; [in that book, which is inscribed ‘Menon’]

(de officiis 2,31) Sed de amicitia alio libro dictum est, qui inscribitur Laelius; [But it was written in another book on friendship, which is inscribed ‘Laelius’]

(Cato 59) in eo libro, qui est de tuenda re familiari, qui Oeconomicus inscribitur,

(Letters ad familiares 15,20,1) Oratorem meum (sic enim inscripsi) […]; [my ‘Orator’ (for so I have inscribed it)]

(de natura deorum 1,41) in eo libro, qui inscribitur de Minerva; [in that book, which is inscribed ‘about Minerva’]

(de orat.2,61) deceptus indicibus librorum, quod sunt fere inscripti de rebus notis et inlustribus, de virtute, de iustitia, de honestate, de voluptate.

Inscriptio, with this meaning, is only used rarely by Cicero:

(top. 1) Aristotelis topica […] qua inscriptione commotus […];

(Att. 16,11,4) Quod de inscriptione quaeris [… ] inscriptio plenior de officiis. [If you look for the inscription … the full inscription ‘On duties’]

In comedy vocatur and nominatur are clearly opposite to inscribitur, where the focus is on the written word.325

325 According to LSJ ἐπιγράφω is used for the title of a book in Ath. 11,496; ἐπίγραμμα for the title of a book in Alexis Frg. 135, v.4+10; ἐπιγραγή for the title of a book in Polyb. 3,9,3; Lucian Hist.conscr.30 etc.

The title of the work was written (along with the author’s name, addressee, book number, see above p.20) on a small bit of writing material, in the same way as pages were commonly labelled:

e.g. Cicero Verr. II 2,127 in quibus omnibus <scil. sortibus> esset inscriptum nomen Theomnasti. [(He ordered three lots to be put in), on all of which was written the name of Theomnastus.]

and also the addressee was given above a letter, e.g.:

Att. 6,3,8 Q. Cicero puer legit […] epistulam inscriptam patri suo; (Q. Cicero the younger read … a letter inscribed to his father)

Att. 8,5,2 Tu fasciculum qui est ‘M. Curio’ inscriptus velim eures ad eum perferendum 326.

326 See also Lucian, Parasite, 10 εἴ γε ταῖς ἐπιστολαῖς ἄνωθεν ὥσπερ ἔθος
ἐπιγράφομεν, Σίμωνι παρασίτῳ […]. [What if we should address you in due form at the top of our letters as “Simon the Parasite”?!]

Just as for an artwork or Christmas present, the name of the artist (Verr. II 4,93 signum Apollinis […], cuius in femore litteris minutis argenteis nomen Myronis erat inscriptum), the giver (e.g. Verr.II 2,150 inscriptum esse video quandam ex his statuis aratores dedisse), or the addressee (fam. 12,3,1 in statua […] inscripsit ‘parenti optime merito‘), was written on the item as an (informational or artistic) inscription, so would a literary work bear not only the name of the author (Tusc. 1,34 nostri philosophi nonne in iis libris ipsis quos scribunt de contemnenda gloria, sua nomina inscribunt) and the addressee (see above p.23), but also the title.

Inscriptio is common hereafter, and is not displaced by titulus; that the title by itself was as respectable as the old inscribere was already visible.

Nomen is not used by Cicero for the title of something specific, but only in the naming of a genre: (leg. 2,62 cantus cui nomen neniae), and titulus has not yet acquired that meaning (see below).

Ovid formulated in Rem. 1: Legerat huius Amor titulum nomenque libelli. (Love, read the name and title of this book). Henderson states on titulum nomenque (translating it as “the heading and title; the written words that give the title”) that titulus in connection with books in Ovid is always synonymous with index (but see below) but here is used synonymously with inscriptio.327

327. With reference to Ovid, Metamorphoses 9,793, where, however, the word is not used for books but about a titulus (inscription) over munera for a temple.

Pinotti ad loc. sees a hendiadys, because both titulus and nomen are written in the index: 328 “nomen sará qui tutto ciò che è contenuto nell’ intestazione, compreso il titolo dell’opera” [nomen  will be everything contained in the heading, including the title of the work]

328. With reference to Ovid, Pont. 3,6,50 terrebar titulo nominis ipse mei (I was filled with dread by the superscription of my own name) and Res Gestae divi Augusti 20 basilicam […] sub titulo nominis filiorum meorum incohavi. (basilica … to be inscribed with the names of my sons)

Geisler understood this to mean (cited from Pinotti): ‘Love had read the title and (therein) his name (amoris).’ – Against these interpretations, the passage is easier to understand if one considers that both nomen and titulus are included in the meaning already given: the book receives a nomen and this nomen is positioned (among other places) on the titulus (= index, the slip of paper on the outside of the roll): ‘Love read the information on the titulus / index, which (next to the name of the author) contains the name of the book (nomen libelli).  Titulus still here does not have the meaning of “work- or book-title”.  The following passage should be understood similarly:

trist. 1,1, 109f.: Cetera turba palam titulos ostendet apertos / et sua detecta nomina fronte geret. (The rest of the band will display their titles openly, bearing their names on their exposed edges;)

In Ovid, titulus can also mean “book title”, by pars pro toto, (where the name of part of something is used to refer to the whole):

(ars. 3,343) deve tribus libris, titulo quos signat (i.e. the author) Amorum, elige; (or from the three books marked by the title of ‘Loves’)

(Pont. 1,1,17) rebus idem, titulo differt. (in theme the same, in title different)

titulus becomes quite common (without displacing inscriptio), e.g.

(Plin. nat., praef.24) Inscriptionis apud Graecos mira felicitas […] (There is a marvellous neatness in the titles given to books among the Greeks.); (26) me non paenitet nullum festiviorem excogitasse titulum; (For myself, I am not ashamed of not having invented any livelier title)

(Quint, inst. 2,14,4) cum M. Tullius etiam ipsis librorum quos hac de re primum scripserat titulis Graeco nomine utatur, (since Cicero gave a Greek title to the earlier works which he wrote on this subject,)

(Plin.epist.4,14,8) unum illud praedicendum videtur, cogitare me has meas nugas ita inscribere, hendecasyllabi, qui titulus sola metri lege constringitur (I will only therefore promise farther, that I design to call these trifles of mine Hendecasyllables, a title which will cover any sort of poem composed in that measure).

(Plin. epist. 5,6,42) primum ego officium scriptoris existimo, titulum suum legat atque identidem interroget se quid coeperit scribere;  (I hold it the first duty of an author to read his title, and frequently ask himself what he set out to write).

(Fronto, Laudes fumi et pulveris, p.215,6 v.d.H.) Plerique legentium forsan rem de titulo contemnant.

In Cicero titulus appears only with the meaning of ‘title of office’:

(Pis. 19) sustinere […] titulum consulatus;

(Tusc.5,30) quos si titulus hic (scil. sapientis) delectat insignis et pulcher.

The meaning titulus = index belongs to the group of meanings, ‘written pages’, tables, plates, (‘list’, ‘sign’, ‘table’, ‘table of honours’, ‘inscription’, ‘inscription of honour’, ‘grave inscription’), e.g.:

(Prop.3,4,16) titulis oppida capta legam; (I will read the names of captured cities,)

(Prop.4,5,51) quorum titulus per barbara colla pependit; (on whose barbarian necks the salesman’s bill has hung,)

(Horace.carm.4,14,3-5) virtutes in aevom / per titulos memoresque fastus / aeternet; (with titles and memorial plaques, O greatest of princes, wherever the sun shines)

(Liv. 28,46,16) aram condidit dedicavitque cum ingenti rerum ab se gestarum titulo; (he erected an altar and dedicated it together with a great record of his achievements)

(Mart. 10,71,2) brevem titulum marmoris huius; (on this stone’s brief legend) (also Mart. 1,93,4); titulo quod breviore legis; (you read in the shorter inscription)

(Plin.epist.6,10,3) cinerem sine titulo. (without an [grave-]inscription, or a name)

On the titulus / index there may be the author’s name, addressee, book title, or work title (see above p.20), e.g.:

(Ov.Pont.4,13,7) ipse quoque, ut titulum chartae de fronte revellas, / quod sit opus, videor dicere posse, tuum; (I, too, though you should tear the title from the head of your pages, could tell, I think, what work is yours)

(Plin.nat., praef.26) pendenti titulo inscripsisse ut ‘Apelles faciebat’. (with a provisional title such as “Worked on by Apelles”)

Ovid was not content merely to write the genre of the work on the titulus-slip, but gave his book a characteristic name:

(rem. 1) Legerat huius Amor titulum nomenque libelli; (Love, read the name and title of this book)

(trist. 1,1,109f.) Cetera turba palam titulos ostendet apertos / et sua detecta nomina fronte geret. (The rest of the band will display their titles openly, bearing their names on their exposed edges,…)

But in these passages nomen does not stand alone, but next to titulus; nomen by itself with the meaning of ‘a book-title which is not a proper name’ does not seem to establish itself, but titulus can stand alone, and can refer only to the title of the work:

(ars. 3,343) deve tribus libris, titulo quos signat (scil. the author) Amorum, elige; (or from the three books marked by the title of ‘Loves’) 329

329 See Ov. epist. her. 2,73 hoc tua … titulo signetur imago (following the grave inscription).

from which we infer that, as well as the meaning titulus = index, for a roll it may have held the meaning “honorific title”, “fame”.  This is also a familiar use in Ovid’s time, e.g.

(ars 1,692) tu titulos alia Palladis arte petis; (By another art of Pallas, do you seek fame [= titulos])

(met. 10,602) quid facilem titulum superando quaeris inertis; (Why do you seek an easily won renown by conquering sluggish youth?)

(met. 15,855) sic magnus cedit titulis Agamemnonis Atreus. (So does the great Atreus yield in honour to his son, Agamemnon)

Sometimes index assumes this meaning of “work title”:

(Ov. Pont. 1,1,15) invenies, quamvis non est miserabilis index […] (17) rebus idem, titulo differt; (You will find, though the title implies no sorrow, … in theme the same, in title different)

(Gell. 11,16,2) cum… Plutarchi… libri indicem legissemus, qui erat περὶ πολυπραγμοσύνης;

(Suet. Cal. 49,3) reperti sunt duo libelli diverso titulo, alteri gladius, alteri pugio index erat; (among his private papers were found two notebooks with different titles, one called “the sword”, and the other “the dagger”)

(Suet.Claud.38,3) liber editus […], cui index erat μωρῶν ἐπανάστασις, argumentum autem stultitiam neminem fingere. (a book was published, the title of which was ” The Elevation of Fools” and its thesis, that no one feigned folly.)

‘Table of contents’

The phenomenon of a ‘table of contents’ is first discussed without the use of any particular term for it:330

330. For details of the passages quoted, see part II.

(Scribonius Largus, praef. 15) ad quae vitia compositiones exquisitae et aptae sint, subiecimus et numeris notavimus, quo facilius quod quaeretur inveniatur, (First, then, I have added [a list] below of what problems the recipes are calibrated and fitted to, and have numbered it, so that it is easier to find what one seeks.)

(Plin.nat., praef. 33): quid singulis contineretur libris, huic epistulae subiunxi […] (I have appended to this letter what is contained in the individual books), ut quisque desiderabit aliquid, id tantum quaerat et sciat quo loco inveniat (but need only look for the particular point that each of them wants, and will know where to find it).

Different terms – referring, strictly speaking, to the elements of the table rather than the table as a whole – are then experimented with, but none prevails over the rest.

(Colum. 11,3,65) omnium librorum meorum argumenta subieci, ut cum res exegisset, facile reperiripossit, quid in quoque quaerendum; 331(I have added outlines of all my volumes, and when necessary, it will be easy to find what is to be sought in each one)

(Gell. praef. 25) capita rerum, quae cuique commentario insunt, exposuimus hic universa, ut iam statim declaretur, quid quo in libro quaeri invenirique possit. (Summaries of the material to be found in each book of my commentaries I have here placed all together, in order that it may at once be clear what is to be sought and found in every book)

331. See also Suetonius, Augustus 85,2 liber […] cuius et argumentum et titulus est Sicilia. (of which the subject and the title is ‘Sicily’)

Jerome uses tituli, indices, and argumenta side-by-side, when describing his difficulty in organizing material which he wants to make clear:

(comm.in Ezech., Book 4, praef.): Vellem… explanationes in Hiezechiel per singulos libros propriis texere prophetiis, et quod vaticinatione coniunctum est nequaquam expositione dividere, ut facilior esset cursus dictantis pariter et legentis; longumque et immensum interpretationis iter certis spatiis separare, ut quasi titulis et indicibus, et, ut proprius loquar, argumentis ostenderem, quid libri singuli continerent. Sed quid faciam, cum aliae prophetiae breves sint, aliae longae, ut saepe necessitate cogamur et plures in unum librum coartare et unam in multos dividere? (I would like … to construct explanations for each set of prophecies in Ezekiel for individual books, both so that the prophecy is in no way divided from the exposition, and so that it is easier to run through, both for dictating and reading; to separate the long and immense road into fixed sections [spatiis], so that I may show, as if with titles and indexes, and, to be accurate, with argumenta, what individual books contain.  But what shall I do when some prophecies are long, and others short, so that often, by necessity I shall be obliged to pack many into one book, and to divide one into many?)

[RP: The preface to book 5 is also interesting: Ne librorum numerus confundatur, et per longa temporum spatia diuisorum inter se uoluminum ordo uitietur, praefatiunculas singulis libris praeposui, ut ex fronte tituli statim lector agnoscat quotus sibi liber legendus et quae nobis prophetia explananda sit. (Lest the number of the books is confounded and, over a long space of time or division, the order of the books is spoiled, I have prefixed small prefaces to individual books, so that the reader will at once know from the start of the titles the number of the book to be read, and which prophecy is to be explained by us.)]

Augustine writes on this:

(retract.2,52,1) adhibitis ad singula numeris, quibus inspectis quid cui loco responderim facile possit adverti; (by consulting the numbers which I have marked for individual topics, may read in the proceedings themselves at the right place whatever he may wish)

in another case, when handling different “quaestiones”, he sticks with the term “quaestiones” for the table of contents:

(retract. 1,26,1 f.) De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus […], sicut interrogabar a fratribus […] adhibitis numeris […] (2) harum quaestionum prima est […];

likewise

(retract.2,12,1) adnumeratis eisdem quaestionibus, ita ut quisque legere quod voluerit numeros secutus satis inveniat.

Palladius goes for tituli:

(vet. med.2,1): Ne quid deesset huic operi, armentorum medicinas omnium pecorumque collegi et sub uno libro titulis unamquamque causam designantibus explicare curavi, ipsis verbis Columellae et auctorum suorum, ut, cum necessitas vocaverit, facile remedia causae cogentis occurrant. (So there should be no omissions in this work, I have collected together the medical treatments for all kinds of livestock and farm animals and taken care to lay them out in a single book, with headings designating each and every medical situation, using the very words of Columella and his sources, so that when need arises the remedies for the pressing situation may easily be found.)

The elements of the table of contents are predominantly begun with “de”, so that in form and function they are very similar to the majority of book titles, and so the word ‘tituli’ is
easily transferred and becomes common for “table of contents”.

Capitula becomes used synonymously with tituli (for caput see above, p.104).332

332. On caput and capitula see also Petitmengin, Pierre, Capitula païens et chrétiens, in: Fredouille (ed.), p.491-509, esp. 493-495.

For capitula, τὰ κεφάλαια and caput are also used in the sense of ‘key points, key questions, the main subject’, e.g.

(Plat. leg. 811 a) ἐκ πάνψων κεφάλαια ἐκλέξαντες; (they collect select summaries [of the poets])

Polybius gives in the first two books a summary of previous history ἐπὶ βραχὺ καὶ κεφαλαιωδῶς (after a brief summary) (1,13,1; notes on the brevity of the presentation are common);

(Diodorus Sic. 1,37,1) […] περὶ ὧν ἐν κεφαλαίοις ἐροῦμεν, ἷνα μήτε μακρὰς ποιώμεθα τὰς παρεκβάσεις […];

(Cic.Att. 16,11,4) ut ad me τὰ κεφάλαια mitteret; (to send me an analysis of it)

(Plin.epist. 6,22,2) carptim et κατὰ κεφάλαιον. (but in a summary way, and keeping closely to the articles of the charge)

(Cic.Mil. 53) videamus nunc id, quod caput est;

(Cic. Phil. 2,77) caput autem litterarum sibi cum illa mima posthac nihil futurum;

(Cic. Brut. 164) quibusdam capitibus expositis nec explicatis […] non est oratio, sed quasi capita rerum et orationis commentarium;

(Sidon.epist. 9,9,8) quaesitum volumen invenio produco lectito excerpo maxima ex magnis capita defrustrans. (discovered the volume I sought, dragged it forth in triumph, and began reading away and dismembering it by making lengthy excerpts from the important chapters.) —

(Plin.nat.2,55) breviter atque capitulatim (Now I will briefly and summarily touch on facts).

Capitulum has the meaning ‘important statement (which must be explained)’, e.g.

(Hier.epist.49,17,1f.) inquit apostolus “[…]” Quod capitulum nos sic interpretati sumus […];

(Hier.epist.49,6,1) interpretamur capitulum apostoli “[…]”;

and is connected to the meaning ‘questions to be discussed’, e.g.

(Julianus Pomerius 1, praef.3) Sed iam ipsa capitula, quae utcumque solvenda proposuistis, attexam. Itaque iubetis ut paucis edisseram quae sit vitae contemplativae proprietas et quid inter ipsam et activam vitam intersit […]. Haec sunt nimirum decem, quae a me voluistis enodari capitula […].  (ACW 4 p.14-15)

Finally the meanings of tituli and capitula are exchanged in the table of contents, e.g.:

(Eugipp.Sev.epist.ad Pasch. 11) Indicia vero mirabilis vitae eius huic epistolae coniuncto praelatis capitulis commemoratorio recensita fient ut rogavi libri vestri magisterio clariora; (The testimonies concerning his marvellous life accompany this letter, arranged as a memoir, with a table of chapters prefixed. Grant my request, and let them gain greater fame through your editorial care.)

(Cassiod. inst. 1,1,10) in principiis librorum […] titulos eis credidimus imprimendos; (I thought that the chapter-headings … should be set down at the beginning of each book)

(Cassiod. inst. 1,5,7) Quibus libris iuvante Domino capitula insignire curavimus, ne in tam necessaria lectione, ut saepe dictum est, confusa tyronis novitas linqueretur. (With the Lord’s aid I have taken care to mark the chapter-headings on these books so that in such indispensable reading, as I have often said, the inexperienced beginner may not be left in confusion.)

(Cassiod. hist. 1, praef. 5) ne quemquam res indistincta turbaret, per universum textum huius operis titulos cognoscat appositos, ut suis locis exigere possit quod sub numero conpetenti praedictum esse cognoscit;

(Greg. Tur. Franc. 1, praef.): ab ipso mundi principio libri primi poniretur initium, cuius capitula deursum subieci; (the first book shall begin with the beginning of the world, and I have given its chapters below.)

(Prisc.gramm.II, praef. 4) titulos etiam universi operis per singulos supposui libros, quo facilius quicquid ex his quaeratur, discretis possit locis inveniri.

Also we find breviculus, brevis in use as names for the table of contents, referring to the appearance of the combined contents:

Augustin (epist.Divj. 1A,3,4): quantum autem collegerit viginti duorum librorum conscriptio missus breviculus indicabit; (but how large the collection of 22 books is, the breviculus enclosed will indicate).

Palladius (vet.med.2,2) Pigmentorum quoque omnium brevem redegi, ut apud se paterfamilias omnia ante necessitatem recondat, ne quid desit in tempore. (I have also made a short summary of all the drugs, so that the master can store them all in his house before they are needed, to avoid anything being unavailable when required)

The reason that this did not displace tituli / capitula may be that tituli / capitula could at the same time mean ‘chapter’ (see below).

‘Element in table of contents’ / ‘chapter’

Titulus can also mean ‘Chapter’:

(Pallad. 11,12,9) hoc mense poma condienda sunt atque servanda eo more quo in singulorum titulis continetur, (This month, or as they come ripe, fruits should be preserved and dried by the method covered in the section on each)

(Cassiod. inst. 2, praef 1) nunc tempus est ut aliis Septem titulis saecularium lectionum praesentis libri textum percurrere debeamus. (Now it is time for us to go through the text of the present book that has been arranged according to another seven headings of secular letters;)

The process starts with the use of tituli to mean table of contents,333 as is shown particularly by the following passage:

333. This does not mean, however, that the entries in the table of contents (tituli) also must have appeared as chapter headings (see above, p.99).

(Cassiod. inst. 1,2,10) in libro civitatis Dei septimo decimo, titulo IIII, (St. Augustine in ‘The City of God’, Book 17, titu1us 4)

‘under the numbered element in the table of contents / = in chapter with the number’

likewise:

(Cassiod. inst. 2,3,22) Scire autem debemus Ioseppum Hebreorum doctissimum in primo libro Antiquitatum, titulo nono, dicere […]. (Josephus, the most learned of the Hebrews, in the first book of his ‘Antiquities’, chapter nine, says)

Capitulum is also used with the same meaning:

(Anon. de mach. bell., praef. 2) [=De rebus bellicis] unde pro ingenii facultate unum capitulum de largitionum utilitate in hoc libello composui.

Here the meaning ‘section’, ‘chapter’ is added, from caput (see above p.104), e.g.

(Gellius 11,10,1) Quod in capite superiore […] diximus […].

Tituli and capitula are synonymous:

(Cassiod. inst. 1,1,7) Sanctus quoque Prosper sedula cura legendus est, qui tres libros totius auctoritatis divinae in centum quinquaginta tribus titulis comprehendit (We ought also to read St Prosper eagerly for he has dealt with the entire divine authority in three books in 153 chapters,) (i.e. ‘153 entries in the table of contents and the same number of chapters’)

likewise:

(Cassiod. inst. 1,23,1) <sc.Eugippius> ex operibus sancti Augustini valde altissimas quaestiones ac sententias diversasque res deflorans in uno corpore necessaria nimis dispensatione collegit et in trecentis triginta octo capitulis collocavit. (he excerpted from the works of St Augustine profound problems and opinions on a variety of topics that he collected, compiled, and organized into a collection of 338 chapters)

The words tituli and capitula must be examined in each individual case, not only because they are present in modern languages and therefore seem obvious, but because at the same time and at different times they have different meanings in antiquity, in late
antiquity, and in the middle ages, so that misunderstandings can arise very easily.  For example Alcuin wrote in an introductory poem on the bible,

(MG Poet.Aev.Carol.I, Nr.69, 183-186): Quisque legat huius sacrato in corpore libri / lector in ecclesia verba superna Dei / Distinguens sensus, titulos, cola, commata voce / Dicat, ut accentus ore sonare sciat.

We find the following translation of the last verse:334

“…distinguishing the meanings, titles, cola and commata with his voice.”

334.  Ganz, p.56.

In the bibles there are two Capitula-lists, but no titles in the body of the text, where the reader must particularly look for them.  Rather he must look out for the ‘sections’.  – In the following example the glossator has not properly understood tituli.  On Bede’s text:

(De natura rerum liber, praef.v. 1 f.): Naturas rerum varias, labentis et aevi / Perstrinxi titulis, tempora lata, citis,…

we find the gloss:335

Titulis, id est, praefatiunculis ita inchoantibus: De quadrifario Dei opere, etc.

335. There we also find the following gloss: Titulus autem dicitur a Titane, id est sole, quia sicut sol sua praesentia mundum illuminat, ita et titulus sequentem paginam illustrat; nam si titulum frontis eraseris, muta pagina remanebit, ut ait quidam: Titulum frontis erade, ut muta sit pagina […].

Although we do indeed find such summaries of content, in the text quoted we must understand ‘section’, ‘chapter’; see also the following passage from Alcuin:

(MG Poet. Med. I, S.207, Vita Sancti Willibrordi, pr. 4) percurrens titulis inclyta gesta citis;

this also (as far as can be seen in the edition) precedes a numbered table of contents, and in the poem the chapters are numbered.

‘Heading’ / ‘Poem heading’

The first indication of a heading (the name of an addressee) appears in Vergil in the text of the Bucolica:

(buc.6,11f.) nec Phoebo gratior ulla est / quam sibi quae Vari praescripsit pagina nomen.

In the Xenia or Apophoreta, Martial names the labels for each object written over each epigram as lemmata or, synonymously, tituli:

(Mart. 14,2,3f.) Lemmata si quaeris cur sint adscripta, docebo: / Ut, si malueris, lemmata sola legas.

Lemma also has the meaning of “theme for a poem”:

(Mart. 11,42,1 f.) Vivida cum poscas epigrammata, mortua ponis / Lemmata;

(Mart. 10,59,1 f.) Consumpta est uno si lemmate pagina, transis, / Et breviora tibi, non meliora placent,

(Plin.epist. 4,27,3) lemma sibi sumpsit, quod ego interdum versibus ludo.  Atque adeo iudicii mei te iudicem faciam, si mihi ex hoc ipso lemmate secundus versus occurrerit. (For he has taken for a theme, that I sometimes amuse myself with writing verses. If I can remember the second line of this epigram…)

But the meaning “poem heading” for lemma has no further success.336

336.  It is occasionally used this way in late antique authors:

(Auson. Parentalia, praef.S.28,3 P.): aliquotiens fortasse lectorem solum lemma sollicitat tituli [see apparatus], ut festivitate persuasus et ineptiam ferre contentus sit. hoc opusculum nec materia amoenum est nec appellatione iucundum;

(Sidon.epist. 8,9,3) interim tu videris, quam tibi sit epigrammatis flagitati lemma placiturum.

The information in the relevant article ‘Lemma’ in the “Historischen Wörterbuch zur Philosophie” [Historical dictionary of philosophy] (Ritter/Gründer) gives the impression of frequent use in the sense of ‘heading’ and ‘title’.

Martial’s variant, titulus, appears (as also in Ovid, rem. 1, see above p.321) in conjunction with nomen:

(Mart. 13,3,7) Addita per titulos sua nomina rebus habebis.

Titulus is generally used for heading, e.g.:

(Gaius inst.4,46) ceterae quoque formulae, quae sub titulo De in ius vocando propositae sunt […];

(Suet.Tib. 70,2) composuit et Carmen lyricum, cuius est titulus conquestio de morte L. Caesaris;

(Hier. tract. in psalm. I, p. 19,1, zu Psalm 7): Singulis rebus inponuntur nomina, ut ex nominibus et res cognoscantur: sie et psalmi titulis praenotati sunt, ut ex titulis intellegantur et psalmi;

(Prosper, epigr., praef.3-6) Quosdam ceu prato libuit decerpere flores / distinetisque ipsos texere versiculis, / ut proprias canerent epigrammata singula causas / et pars quaeque suo congrueret titulo;

(Luxur. 287 R.) 13: <scil. versus> discretos titulis quibus tenentur.

Rubrica in antiquity and late antiquity is not a word in competition with titulus.  Only in
connection with laws is there mention of the red colour of headings:

(Quint, inst. 12,3,11) alii se ad album ac rubricas transtulerunt et formularii vel […] legulei quidam esse maluerunt, (Some of these transfer their attention to the praetor’s edicts or the civil law, and have preferred to become specialists in formulae, or legalists, as Cicero calls them)

(Pers. 5,89f.) cur mihi non liceat, iussit quodeumque voluntas, excepto siquid Masuri rubrica vetabit?

See Kissel ad loc.;

(Juv. 14,192f.) causas age, perlege rubras / maiorum leges (mit Schol.ad perlege rubras: rubricas iuris);

(Prud. c. Symm. 2,461 f.) dicant cur condita sit lex I bis sex in tabulis aut cur rubrica minetur […].

On bronze legal tablets (Lex Malacitana and Lex Salpensana) the abbreviation R(ubrica) is used to indicate which portions should be coloured as a heading.  This abbreviation can be found in papyri with legal content (e.g. P.Oxy. 1814, 6th c., Cod.Just.), in the Florence Gaius fragment following the text of a heading (see Nelson, p.27), and rarely in manuscripts containing collections of poetry, especially in the mss. of Tibullus, all descended from a single lost exemplar; I have also seen it in Paris.lat. 8212 (Horace, 12th c.).

In the Church Fathers superscriptio is also found for the headings of the Psalms (e.g. Hilarius psalm.instr.3; in psalm.passim); superscriptionum tituli (Hilarius, in psalm. 55,1).

Selections from Schröder’s “Titel und Text” – 3

Here is a rough English translation of the conclusions for part 2 of Bianca-Jeanette Schröder’s book, Titel und Text.  It was made in haste for my own purposes, so is probably not 100% reliable.  Nevertheless, the material is so important, and is apparently so little known, that it seems well worth placing this here.

Part 2 – Conclusion (p.153)

The briefly examined examples, from Hyginus to Cassiodorus, make it clear that questions about the organisation of a text is not a problem that can be separated from the “real” text.  It is important to know how ancient readers intended to “use” a text, and how other, later needs have interfered in the form of organisation taken.  It is  important to examine this issue carefully, assessing the authors and editors of  individual works.

It may be noted how new ways to make information accessible came into existence and were disseminated.  The (probably) numbered table of contents, as an influential innovation, was made known through Pliny’s Natural History in the 1st century AD, was promptly adopted (by Columella in the later-added book 11) and was increasingly used in other genres (Gellius, Augustine, historical writing); tables of contents for other works were created subsequently.

The adoption of the table of contents had influence on the preface; an important role of the proemion, to provide information on the content to follow, is shifted on to the more precise summaries.  In this way the author can bypass a stylistically unappealing task, and, in addition, getting an overview is much easier and makes lookup and retrieval possible (in connection with numbering).  In a similar way the relatively monotonous formulae for closing a subject and transitioning to the next give way over time to the sub-title. The use of diaeresis, which, in imitation of oral teaching, is used in systematic text books to structure information, is not abandoned but receives a serious competitor in the use of chapter headings.

Mutschmann (p.99-100) accepted the following development, particularly in view of the Didymus papyrus: the first step is the column heading: the second is the collection of column headings into a table of contents (συγκεφαλαίωσις); from the column heading the chapter heading develops. But it has been shown that these phenomena are more complex. In the papyri we see already early headings for lists, and disengaged lemmata in lexica.  There are centred headings, and numbered and marked chapter beginnings in Latin bronze  tablets of laws.  Pliny and Columella do, inter alia, have tables of contents but they certainly did not devise chapter headings.  A two-way exchange may be expected, namely that works with tables of contents (e.g. Columella) acquired chapter headings, while for works with leading lemmas (e.g. Hyginus) tables of contents were then created.

The tendency towards dividing things up extends beyond prose.  Probably because of the influence of articulated textbook prose, didactic poems were provided with helps for orientation:[184] in the manuscripts of Lucretius, Manilius and also Ovid’s Metamorphoses, lists of Capitula may be found and also corresponding chapter headings, as in prose textbooks.[185] Reeve (conclusion, p.507 f.) points out that Ovid’s Fasti is, since R. Merkel’s 2nd edition of 1851, divided into days identified by headings, and content-related sections, and he gives examples of how the interpretation is affected by this classification. That these subtitles are not by the poet is shown by the structure of the text.  The same formulae for transitions and new subjects appear as in textbook prose (see above, p.107); signal words indicate the beginning of a new concept, e.g. in Lucretius: quaeres, inquis, nec me fallit, praecurrere cogor, sed nunc ut repetam, nunc et scrutemur, nunc age quoniam docui, nunc age quod superest cognosce, denique, tum porro quoniam etc.; likewise Manilius introduces new sections thus: nunc vero, iam vero, restat ut, his adice, accipe, percipe nunc, ergo age, nec te praetereat, nunc age, ergo age, forsitan et quaeras etc.  – The headings in Lucretius have been dated by Fischer to the 2nd century AD, after analysing the content of them (so also Diels, p.xii: “neque indoctus fuit ille editor qui primis haud dubie saeculis capitula praefixit”).[“nor unlearned was that editor who first at an unknown date added capitula to the front”]

184. Haye has commented on the types of divisions in medieval didactic poems (p.348-358 ‘Optische Präsentation’); it may be added that this does not merely apply to manuscripts of the 12th century (so Haye, p.352), but also for example in mss. of Ovid and Lucretius of the 9th century.

185.  Vergil’s Georgica are equipped with metrical argumenta (like the books of the Aeneid and the comedies), but, as far as I can see, they were not divided into chapters like other didactic poems. – In the relevant manuscripts for Ovid’s Fasti (A = Vat.Reg. 1709, 10th c.; U = Vat.Lat.3262, 11th c.) there are no calendrical entries as headings, such as are often silently added in editions (an example of their insertion for clarity is Robert Schilling, Ovide, Les fastes, Tome I, Paris 1992, p.LIX), and are found in the younger manuscripts. In Vat.Lat.3265 (12th c.) there are references to the content in the margin (e.g. fol. 9v, de cursu solis, de lirae occasu, de pectore leonis); but I have seen calendrical information in Vat.Ottob. 1464 (13th c.) (e.g. fol. 3v.: VII kl F, III kl F).

Housman gives a list of chapter titles in the appendix to his edition of Manilius (vol. 5, p.55-99); Goold devotes a chapter of the praefatio to his edition of Manilius to the chapter titles (p.xii ff), but does not discuss when they developed. – In the manuscripts of Ovid’s Metamorphoses there are chapter titles (e.g. Chaos in species; terra in varias personas; mundus in saecula quattuor, aureum, argenteum, aereum et ferreum; item annus in tempora quattuor; edited by Magnus), and sometimes prose summaries, which like the chapter titles are inserted before the passage in question. These summaries (by “Lactantius”) must date, on grounds of vocabulary, to late antiquity.

The increasing tendency for labelling and dividing is not limited to didactic poetry, but extends to the whole of the book trade.  The divisions in tragedy and comedy have already been thoroughly researched, so here I will limit myself to only a few notes.  Already, in the oldest mss. (Terence: ‘Bembinus’, 4-5th c.; Plautus: Palimpsest Ambros., 5th c.), the change of scenes is indicated in various ways (names, rolls, notes, Greek sigla),[186] and Donatus refers to comedies with divisions: (Ter. Ad. praef. 3,1f.) primus actus haec continet […]. secundus actus […]; (Ter.Ad.254) in hac scaena gratiarum actio est […]; (Ad.praef. 1,7) […] saepe tamen mutatisper scaenam modis cantata, quod signifi­cat titulus scaenae habens subiectas personis litteras […]. […] secundum persona­rum nomina scriptis in eo loco, ubi incipit scaena.  That the division into acts and scenes, and also the insertion of the names of the speakers, was not provided by the authors, has been shown systematically by Andrieu. — The following information was obtained on the age of these things in the mss.: Bader dates the scene-headings, in Plautus, to the late first / early second century A.D. (p. 150-154) and Tarrant (in: Reynolds, p.306) considers that it is unlikely that the creation of an edition equipped with these things can be later than the 2nd century AD. — Likewise the archetype for Terence (before the Cod. Bembinus) was similarly equipped (Reeve in: Reynolds, p.413). — Zwierlein showed that the archetype for Seneca’s comedies, which should be dated to the 3-4th century, contained a basic set of scene-headings and people-sigla (Prolegomena, p. 52) and that this information was added to or  modified by editors or copyists during the process of transmission (ib., p.249).

186. On the origin and development of the various types of information, see the relevant chapter in Andrieu.

Here again, as with prose textbooks, we observe several phases of philological activity.

In the course of transmission, the “organisation” of texts by means of numbering and tables of contents has not been without drawbacks.  The chapter number, which in early examples (bronze tablets, see above p.116 f., early mss., see above p.119) is under or before the text break of the new chapter, changes position over the course of time, for various reasons:187 the situation of the chapter number in the codex, where usually a page contains one or two columns, is very different from that in the roll, where one column follows another.  If the page has only a single area of text, and the chapter number is in the left margin, there is a risk that on the recto the number will partially or completely disappear in the rebate (in the binding); on the verso, the number may disappear if the pages of the book are trimmed. — If the work is written in two columns, there must be enough space in the middle, between the two columns, for the numerals belonging to the second column.  If instead the numbers, while the numbers for the first column are on the left of it, the numbers for the second column are written on the right hand side, uncertainty is introduced for the reader, just by changing the position in that way, and it has the same risks as before; one part of the numbers may disappear into the fold, while the other is threatened by cutting off the margin.  Another factor with great influence on the chapter number is the rise and expansion of the initial letter.  The more elaborate the design of the letter, the less important will be the – consistently simple – numeral before it (see plate 1), if there is room for it at all. It may be observed that the numeral appears more and more frequently in the Spatium at the end of the last line of the preceding chapter, to the right over the relevant section within the textblock.  There is it safe from the trimmer’s knife and the binding, and leaves room at the start of the chapter for the development of the initial – however, having given up their special place in the margin, the only way to emphasise them is with colour; if the numeral is the same colour as the text, it no longer catches the eye. This general trend may be observed in mss. containing the same text but from different centuries,e.g.188 In Cod.Troyes Bibl.mun. 504 (7th c.; the oldest ms. of the Liber pastoralis of Gregory the Great; fol.48v.)

187. This description of a general tendency does not mean that in some cases the earlier form was not retained.

188. See Glenisson for illustrations of the folios in which this phenomenon may be seen (plates 8, 9, 11, 12 on pp. 47, 49, 52, 53).

the chapter numbers (alternately red and green) stand in the left margin and are accentuated by an ornate frame.  The first line of each chapter, except for the first letter, is written in red. The first letter of the chapter is somewhat enlarged, but does not extend into the margin.  The number XXIII extends into the text block and pushes the first letter more to the right.  In a younger manuscript of this text (12th c., Cod. Troyes Bibl. mun.955, fol.57) the first letter of each chapter is done in different colours, two lines tall, and is positioned half in the margin, half in the text block.  The chapter numbers (in red) stand in the free space at the end of the last line of the preceding chapter: the number is displaced into the text block by the enlarged first letter of the chapter.  – Similarly we may compare the Hincmar bible (9th c. Reims, Bibl. mun. 1, fol.8) with the bible of Saint-Benigne de Dijon (12th c., Cod. Dijon, Bibl. mun. 2, fol.7v.).  Both versions have, at the beginning of the book of Genesis, a decorated first column as far as the words “et facta est lux”, and the second column consists entirely of text.  In the Hincmar bible the chapter numbers stand in the margin before the second column, before the slightly enlarged and decorated chapter initials.  In the bible  of Saint-Benigne there is very little room between the right edge of the decorated first column and the text block of the second column, so that the chapter initials cannot protrube more than slightly into the margin, and the chapters do not always begin a new paragraph. The red chapter numbers stand wherever there is room; at the end of the last line of the preceding chapter, or, when there is no line break, in the right margin.

It need hardly be said that with the change of position came an increased risk of damage to the numbering or omission.  But we must emphasise this:  if the numbering is not complete or consecutive, or that in the text does not correspond to the table of contents, this is no indication that it does not derive from the author; the degree of incompleteness or incorrectness corresponds to the increasing distance from the author (see especially p.146 on Isidore).

Likewise numbered tables of contents are not transmitted without error. The dangers that lists and numbers are exposed to, during the process of coping, are obvious.  However defects are not observed only in the numeration, or lack of numeration, because of the lack of rubrication, and the loss of elements from the tables of contents, but there are also spontaneous and individual errors. There are other sources of errors and changes, which are due to more or less conscious decisions by the copyist.

Particularly influential is the desire to save space, and to create a more unified and compact block of text, whether for pragmatic reasons such as saving materials, or aesthetic ones.  In the table of contents, as in the beginning of chapters and the chapter numbers, the text is squeezed together more tightly.  There is a tendency, as with the beginning of chapters, to only separate the first letter, and often the text is written left-justified, and not always with the first letter of each argument highlighted.

But even if only the number is in the margin, and the text of the table of contents is written as a block without protrusions into the margin, still a lot of space can be lost if one considers that numerals like I or C or even CLXXXIII can be in the margin.  Sometimes there is a block where the text is written directly after the number and under the number.  Another possibility is that the numbers go in the space at the end of the preceding argument (i.e. on the right, above the argument in question), so that there is no longer a vertical list of numbers.  Finally the table of contents can be written as text, abandoning the list format completely and writing it as continuous text, but simply alternating numbers and text.  So long as the numbers are written in red, one need only examine the start of the table to see whether the number belongs to the previous argument, or the next one; but if the numbers are written in the same colour as the text, it becomes a tedious task.

As has already been indicated, a tendency can be observed that clarity diminishes over time, and is never improved.  In three manuscripts of Aulus Gellius, arbitrarily chosen from different centuries (Vat. Reg. 597, 9th c.; Vat.Reg. 1646, 12th c.; Vat.Reg.3452, 13th c.), it seems to be no coincidence that it is easiest to find a specific chapter in the oldest of them.  In Vat.Reg.597 the chapter number is always in the same place, before the (undecorated) chapter initial; in the table of contents, the number always stands before the argument.  – In Vat. Reg. 1646 the chapter number stands at the end of the last line of the preceding chapter, and catch the eye because written in red.  But more striking are the chapter initials (alternately in blue and red), which are two lines of text high.  In the table of contents, the numbers move about.  On the verso they stand on the left before the argument, on the recto to the right of it, because not enough space has been left before the text.  – The Vat. Reg. 3452 is in two quite different parts.  In the first part the chapter numbers (in Greek letters) always stand before the chapter initial, and likewise in the tables of contents.  In the second part (from p.57), the tables of contents are not written as a list but as continuous text, with red numbers between each of the individual arguments.  A new line is not used at the start of each new chapter, but the end of one chapter is immediately followed by the (red) chapter number for the next chapter, and then immediately the text of the next chapter.  While the numbers are written in red, they can be found, but very soon they too are written in the normal ink colour, and so can only be found by reading through the text.

As with the numbering of chapters, no improvement is seen in the numbering of tables of contents in the Middle Ages.  Scribonius Largus, most likely also Pliny and Gellius, and certainly many late antique authors organised their text using numbers and so it may be assumed that the numbering of the chapters and tables of contents was initially congruent and usable.189  But they have been much distorted in the course of transmission, because only actually using the table of contents to find specific chapters, i.e. only from a copyist aware of the needs of the reader, will produce a set of usable numbers.

Now that we have the results of the first two parts, it is possible for us to examine poetry headings.  Both the linguistic form of the book titles, and the relationship between title and text, as well as the (partly retrospective) ‘organisation’ of the text into longer and shorter sections of text, observed in many genres, using tables of contents and headings, and their influence upon the text, should be observed when assessing the headings of poems.

189. Some examples of numbering that became unusable with the passage of time: Columella, see under p. 134; Isidore, see under p. 146; see also the discrepancy between index and chapter headings in Firmicus Maternus, Mathesis, ed. W. Kroll, F.Skutsch, Leipzig 1897 (repr. Stuttgart 1968).

From my diary

I’ve been working away at Bianca-Jeanette Schröder’s Titel und Text for what seems like forever.  It’s an excellent book on chapter titles, tables of contents, and the like; but if your German is as limited as mine, it can take a while to get anywhere.

I’ve actually been translating lengthy sections of the book, in order to read it.  Over the weekend I realised that, if I continued, I would finish the remaining 40 pages sometime in September.  And I would hope to be back among the wage-earners before then!

So I decided to deal with that last 40 pages differently.  I took each page in turn, copied it into Google Translate, and hit enter.  Then I selected the translation, ragged as it was, and pasted it into a Word document.  Then I hit Ctrl-Enter, to throw a new page, and repeated.  At the end of this I had a Word document of 40 pages.  I already had the 40 pages of German in a photocopy, two pages per sheet.

This morning I sat down in front of the two piles, German and Google-English, and picked up a ballpoint pen.  At the foot of each page of ‘English’, I wrote a few bullet-points of what the page said.  Then I went on to the next.

Several hours later, I have gone through the whole 40 pages, and now have notes on the lot.  I feel a considerable sense of relief, I can tell you.  At least there is a prospect of getting my life back!

There is a long appendix in the book which I did translate, containing lots of quotes from ancient authors in the original.  I need to post this online, but with the quotes translated.  I have been gathering translations, so it may soon be possible to do in a reasonable time.

What I also now need to do is to condense all that I learned from Schröder, and make sure that I know what is being said.  I can already seen points at which I don’t agree with her thesis; points where she asserts something which might be so, but equally might not.  It is a fine book; but it is not the last word on the subject.

I’ve also spent time with Aelian the Tactician, a very obscure military writer whose work is important for the topic of chapter titles and tables of contents.  Alphonse Dain wrote a monograph on the transmission of his work, and I read long sections of it this morning.  (Lucky for me that French is a language that I am comfortable with!)

In the mean time I have commissioned a translation of the second Christmas homily of Chrysostom — probably pseudonymous, but historically interesting –, and the translation of Eusebius’ Commentary on Luke continues to progress.  It’s all go here.

One day I shall come up for air!

Selections from Schröder’s “Titel und Text” – 2

Continuing from the table of contents of Schröder’s “Titel und Text” here, this is a rough translation of the conclusion to the first part, on the titles of ancient books.

   *     *     *     *     *     *

Part 1 – Conclusion (p.90)

It should not surprise us, if the most ancient book titles seem unimaginative to modern eyes, because they are simply the term for the theme or the genre. It is particularly surprising to modern eyes that the titles of books of poetry are no exception: they are not explicitly given by the authors, but the earliest uses in the secondary tradition are the titles Bucolica, Carmina, Epistulae, Sermones, Epoden.  In some cases we can only say what the work was not called: neither ‘Register’ nor ‘Cynthia’ nor ‘Monobyblos’ can be  detected as the title of a book.  Metaphorical  titles appear only in collections, in those cases where a theme cannot be  concretely identified.

The literal interpretation of a title must not be avoided, but it may indicate the presence of its predecessor, a connection [1] or a difference, for example (Ambrose, De officiis 1:23-25): Dum igitur hunc psalmum considero, successit animo de Officiis scribere; de quibus etiamsi quidam philosophiae studentes scripserint ut Panaetius et filius eius apud Graecos, Tullius apud Latinos […]. videamus utrum res ipsa conveniat scribere de officiis et utrum hoc nomen philosophorum tantummodo scholae aptum sit an etiam in scripturis reperiatur divinis […] (While, therefore, meditating on this psalm, it has come to my mind to write ‘on duties‘; although some philosophers have written on this subject—Panaetius,  for instance, and his son among the Greek, Cicero among the Latin, writers […] let us see whether the subject itself stands on the same ground, and whether this word is suitable only to the schools of the philosophers, or is also to be found in the sacred Scriptures.”); Cicero had already used this as the best translation of the Greek title, see p.31 above.

The number of titles known from the Retractiones of Augustine gives us a good idea of the state of book titles in late Antiquity (see the Capitula at the start of the work, the list of titles).  Only a few titles require explanation, e.g. Soliloquia  (Retract. 1,4,1) De animae quantitate (Retract. 1,8,1), see above p. 13; where the theme is named, e.g. De beata vita, De moribus ecclesiae catholicae et de moribus Manicheorum. Occasionally the addressee is simply named (Ad Simplicianum), otherwise the name is always accompanied by information about him or the content, e.g. Ad Cres­conium grammaticum partis Donati, De spiritu et littera ad Marcellinum, De pec­catorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo parvulorum ad Marcellinum; reference is made to opponents with contra: Contra epistulam Donati heretici, Contra Adimantum Manichei discipulum, De Genesi adversus Manicheos. Genre titles serve as titles also: Quaestionum, Soliloquiorum, Confessionum; Ex­positio quarundam propositionum ex epistula apostoli ad Romanos. The different forms may also be combined: Ad Hieronymum presbyterum libri II unus de origine animae et alius de sententia Iacobi, Contra Pelagium et Caelestium de gratia Christi et de peccato originali ad Albinam Pinianum et Melaniam, De unico baptismo contra Petilianum ad Constantinum. Sometimes the title refers to the state of the work: De Genesi Epistulae ad Romanos inchoata expositio; De Genesi ad litteram liber unus imperfectus — Equally prosaic are the titles of the works of Gregory of Tours (hist. Franc.) and Bede (hist. eccl. 5, 24), likewise the title given in many places by Cassiodorus in the Institutio.

J.C. Scaliger defines the ancient sense (Poetices Libri Septem,Geneva, 1561, book 3, cap. 123, p. 171c): Inscriptio est uno, aut non multo pluribus verbis comprehensio eius partis operis, cuius partis gratia ceterae partes omnes veniunt ad totius constitutionem […]. (i.e. an inscriptio is one or not many more words which summarise the stuff that makes up the work.)

Before we consider the background to poetry book titles in part 3, we must investigate in part 2 the further possibility that short sections of text in tables of contents etc, were designated as chapter titles.

  1. [1][126] On the use (Übernahme) of titles in historical writing (annales, historiae) in order to emphasise the continuity of the content, see Zehnacker, Hubert: Les oeuvres antiques peuvent-elles se passer de titre? L’exemple de l’historiographie romaine, in: Fredouille (ed.), p. 209-221.

Selections from Schröder’s “Titel und Text” – 1

B.J. Schröder’s Titel und Text is a profoundly important book for the subject of book titles, chapter divisions, chapter titles, tables of contents and the like.  Yet it seems to be largely unknown in the anglophone world.  I can find no reviews in JSTOR, nor a review at Bryn Mawr.

For a few days now I have been producing rough translations of portions of it, for my own use.  It seems to me that these may be of use to others, as a way into the book.  For who speaks German these days?

I do realise that the subject is perhaps rather technical.  I apologise to those of my readers, for whom the subject lies outside their sympathies.  But I hope that, for some people at least, an English rendering of bits of the book will be useful.

Let’s start with a translation of the title and subtitle, and the book’s own table of contents.  These will give a very good idea of the contents of the book.

I am entirely aware that my efforts at translation are not very good.  However producing them should help me get better!

     *     *     *     *     *     *

Bianca-Jeanette Schröder, Title and Text: On the development of Latin poetry headings. With studies on Latin book titles, tables of contents, and other types of divisions (Gliederungsmitteln). Walter de Gruyter : Berlin : New York, 1999 (Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte ; Bd. 54) From: Hamburg, Univ., Diss., 1998. ISBN 3-11-016453-1.

Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

Part I: Book titles

1.  Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
         On the emergence of book titles and on the problems of recognition of book titles 10, citation of incipits 16, Information on the index 20

2.  On the relationship between title and content…………………………………………. 30

Ancient comments on the titles of works……………………………………………………… 30
Name versus data………………………………………………………………………………………… 34
Titles of Epics, Tragedies and Comedies 35, Titles of the works of Plato
41, Proper name as title and subtitle in Cicero, Varro, and Apuleius 43

Metaphorical titles……………………………………………………………………………………….. 49
Pliny the Elder 50, Gellius 57

3. Remarks on the titles of selected books of poetry………………………………………… 60

Greek lyrics………………………………………………………………………………………………… 62
Catullus………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 64
Vergil…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 68
           Bucolica 68, Catalepton 70
Horace………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 71
Carmina 71, Epoden 73, Epistulae and Sermones 76
Propertius…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 78
Ovid……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 83
            Amores 83, Ars (Ovid and Horace) 84, Tristia, Epistulae ex Ponto, Epistulae Heroidum 87
Conclusion………………………………………………………………………..90

Part II:
The organisation of texts (especially textbooks)
by table of contents, numbering and chapter headings

1.  Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………. 93
2. The different types of divisions………………………………………………………………….. 99
Necessary differences: between table of contents and chapter headings, between chapter headings and chapter divisions (Kapitelgliederung) ……………………………. 99
Tables of contents……………………………………………………………………………………… 106
Numbering of chapters and tables of contents…………………………………………….. 115
Excursus: The numbering of poems in a collection ……………………………….. 121
Chapter headings………………………………………………………………………………… 123

3. Investigations of individual cases……………………………………………………………..128

Cato and Varro, De re rustica…………………………………………………………………….. 128
Columella, De re rustica…………………………………………………………………………….. 131
The collected index and indices before individual books 131. The relationship between Argumenta and chapters and numbering 134, Chapter headings and their position in the text 138

Hyginus, De astronomia……………………………………………………………………………. 142
Vegetius, Epitoma rei militaris…………………………………………………………………… 144
Palladius, De veterinaria medicina……………………………………………………………… 145
Isidore, Origines………………………………………………………………………………………..  146
Cassiodorus, De anima……………………………………………………………………………….. 150
Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 153

Part III: Poem titles

1.  Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………… 161
Papyri 161, Manuscripts 170, Citation customs 172

2.  Investigation of authentic headings………………………………………………………..176
1.-3.AD…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 176
Martial (Books 13 und 14) 176, Statius, Silvae 180, Commodian, Instructions 189
4.-6.AD……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 193
Prosper of Aquitaine, Epigrammata 193, Paulinus of Nola, epist.32 (with excursus on Prudentius, Dittochaeon) 195, Psalms 196, Claudian, Carmina minora 198, Ausonius 199, Epigrammata Bobiensia 202, Ennodius 206, Venantius Fortunatus, Carmina 209, Luxurius 212

A brief look at the Middle Ages…………………………………………………………………… 219
Theodulf of Orleans 220, Hildebert of Lavardin 221, Godefrid of Winchester 222, Henry of Huntingdon 223

Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 224

3. Investigation into titles added later…………………………………………………………226

Vergil, Bucolica…………………………………………………………………………………………226
Excursus: Theocritus 236
Horace, Carmina……………………………………………………………………………………….239
Addressee 241, Description of content 245, technical terms (para<e>netice,
prosphonetice, pragmatice
etc.) 249, Description of metre (tetracolos, dicolos etc.) 255, Observations on the manuscripts 256, Conclusions 261

Horace, Epoden, Sermones, Epistulae……………………………………………………….262
Remarks on Juvenal and Persius……………………………………………………………….268
Ovid………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 270
              Epistulae Heroidum 270, Epistulae ex Ponto 111, Amores 280, Tristia 282

Martial, books 1-12……………………………………………………………………………………283
Headings in ms. E (books 1-12) 284, Headings in ms. L (books 5-12) 288

Anthologia Latina…………………………………………………………………………………….. 293
Excursus: Anthologia Graeca 296
Poem titles in younger manuscripts…………………………………………………………… 298
Propertius 298, Catullus 301, Tibullus 303

Conclusion

Consolidated summary………………………………………………………………………….. 305
Chronological overview 305, Components of poem headings 306 (Proper name or
addressee and subject 307, genre and Absicht / Sprechakt 309), Form and language 309, Function 311, Transmission 314, Summary 316

Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………………. 319
Notes on the Latin words for: ‘Work-/book-title’ 319, ‘Table of contents’ 323, ‘An element in a table of contents / chapter’ 325, ‘Heading / Poem heading’ 327

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………… 329
Index………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 345
Illustrations………………………………………………………………………………………………. 351

I ought to add that no page 351 appears in either of the two copies that I have seen, and there are no illustrations included in the volume.