The Berlin Didymus / Hierocles papyrus

In his paper on ancient chapter titles, Mutschmann next discusses something which I had never heard of before.  Here is what he says:

R. Laqueur (Berliner Klassikertexte XLIII 1908, p. 220 ff) has already taken the Berlin Didymus papyrus (Diels and Schubart, Berliner Klassikertexte I, reprinted in the Teubner library) as the starting point for his statements about the literary status of the Anonymous Argentinensis. I agree with him on the whole. However, I must differ in one respect from him. The Didymus-text, just like the text transmitted on the back of the same roll, Ἠτηικη Στοιχείωοις of Hierokles (see Arnim Berliner Klassikertexte IV), has headings on the columns, which indicate, not the content of the columns, but rather the sense of the relevant portion of the work. It would be a mistake to see them as column titles: they are rather regular chapter headings.  These titles were in existence before the scribe of the Didymus papyrus made his copy: this is shown by a mistake, where he has put over the 8th column the title already associated with the 7th column.  Sometimes there are two headings, but also often no heading over a column; a diple or a cross sign (x) in the text clearly marks the beginning of the corresponding section. The reason why these titles were transmitted with the text is clear: the idea was to escape the whims of the copyist, even when copying the contents of a constantly shifting column. For the Hierokles text, it is also of particular importance that the transcript is from the time of the author himself (von Arnim, p. VII).  But whether the author troubled himself about this material remains to be seen. It was part of the technical equipment of the book, and it had to be provided, by those who oversaw its reproduction, perhaps the corrector. So it may be related, that the title of Didymus papyrus possibly is by a second hand (Diels-Schubart p. XI), but that it was handed down for the above reason is indisputable.

The diple is an ancient mark indicating where text should be inserted.  It looks the same as the modern one.  The publication is H. Diels and W. Schubart, Didymos Kommentar zu Demosthenes (Berlin, 1904), while the other is H. von Arnim, Hierokles, Ethische Elementarlehre (Papyrus 9780), Berliner Klassikertexte. IV, 1906, p. 48-64.  The papyrus roll has the shelfmark P Berol. inv. 9780.   

An English translation of Didymus is reviewed at Bryn Mawr here.  Better still, Craig A. Gibson, Interpreting a classic: Demosthenes and his ancient commentators, University of California Press, 2002 is online in Google books preview here.  This begins as follows:

P. Berol.inv.9780 (Pack2 339) is a substantial papyrus roll from Hermoupolis dated to the early second century C.E.  The recto contains Didymus’ commentaries on Demosthenes’ Third Philippic (Dem. 9), Fourth Philippic (Dem. 10), Reply to Philip’s Letter (Dem. 11), and On Organization (Dem. 13).  Toward the end of the second century, an introduction to Stoic ethics by Hierocles (early second century C. E.) was copied on the verso and in the opposite direction.  Most of the commentary on Dem. 9 is lost; the extant text begins with the end of the commentary on that speech.  The commentaries on Dem. 10, 11 and 13 are preserved almost in their entirety, the most notable exceptions being cols. 1.31-45, 2.3-3.62, 4.16-59 and 5.32-51, which are very poorly preserved.  The surviving commentary extends for fifteen columns.  The scribe labelled some of the columns with a brief table of contents1, probably indicating his intention to consult the text frequently.  These column headers read as follows:

Col. 1 (header not restored)
Col. 2 Who are the ones… Concerning the suspicion (that) … the Thebans … alliance … That … is ill disposed … (ends of each of 4 lines not restored)
Col. 3 (header not restored)
Col. 4 (Who it was who was dragged off to the king and informed him of Philip’s preparations against him.  What those who have written about Hermias of Atarneus say about him.
Col. 5 (no header given)
Col. 6 A reconstruing of hyperbatic phrasing.
Col. 7 What the king’s recent philanthropy2 towards the Athenians was.
Col. 8 What the date was when, humbled, they (the Athenians) were receiving only 130 talents of revenue.  Concerning the Athenians’ receiving 400 talents of revenue.
Col. 9  That there are two men named Aristomedes, one from Pherae, the other an Athenian nicknamed “Brazen”.
Col.10. Dates and cities of the speech.  That the speech is by Anaximenes.
Col. 11.  What ὀρρωδεῖν (means).  Concerning Nicaea.  Concerning σκορακίζειν and the proverbial expression “to the crows”.
Col. 12.  But if (it is) not (νεομένους or ναιωμένους, then it is) νεμομένους.3 Concerning Philip’s wounds.
Col. 13  That the speech is not one of the Philippics, but is otherwise by Demosthenes.
Col. 14  Concerning Orgas.  Why he called the Megarians “accursed.”
Col. 15 (no header given)

At the end of the roll is a title identifying it as the third book of Didymus’s commentaries on the Philippics, part of a series of commentaries on twenty-eight speeches of Demosthenes.4

1.  Col. 12a is the one exception: it is a critical comment about a word occuring in the text at col. 12.3, rather than a description of the column’s contents.  D-S1, x-xi, mention the possibility that the column headers were written by a different hand from that of the main text.

Gibson has not taken into account Mutschmann’s article — the marginal status of scholarship on chapter titles should pain us all — but this is excellent stuff, and he goes on to give a translation.  But I don’t know how we reconcile Mutschmann’s comments about the titles on columns 7 and 8 with this.  I wish we could see a facsimile.

But it seems that we have some solid evidence of chapter titles, given here in a second century papyrus of some length as running titles, and marked in the text indicating where they should appear.

But who are these authors?  Well, Didymus himself is Didymus ChalcenterusHierocles Stoicus seems even more obscure, although his surviving work was edited by Illara Ramelli and translated into English by David Konstan — well done! — in 2009 as Hierocles the Stoic: Elements of Ethics, Fragments, and Excerpts, and is on Google books in preview here.


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