Scholia Reviews ns 5 (1996) 25.

Chariton Callirhoe edited and translated by G.P. Goold. Cambridge Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1995. Pp. viii + 425. ISBN 0-674- 99530-9. UK£11.95.

John Birchall
University of London

The new Loeb of Chariton by Professor George Goold provides the best available text of Chariton and a useful translation and introduction. The 1938 edition by Blake is difficult to read because the diacritical marks which he used to report the partially illegible codex unicus distract the eye. Molinie/'s Bude/ is visually less tiring, but the editing is careless and the apparatus is not even minimally adequate. Molinie/ claims to have examined the entire manuscript, but the reader who takes his text as a reliable guide to what is in the manuscript will be badly led astray. The promised edition by Zimmerman[[1]] never appeared, and Reardon's anticipated Teubner seems unlikely to appear for some time. Moreover, the difficulty in obtaining copies of Blake's edition, and the occasional reluctance of students in English speaking countries to use a copy where the introduction and translation are in French has been a potential bar to the use of Chariton on undergraduate courses. At a time when interest in the ancient novel is growing rapidly a Loeb of Chariton is particularly welcome.

The translation is literal enough not to confuse the kind of reader who uses it as an aid to understanding the Greek; the format of the series often appeals to students and amateur classicists who use it in this way, so this clarity is a great merit, although it is not shared by some of the older Loebs. At the same time the translation is smooth and readable. Any attempt to make it more stylish would probably have compromised its usefulness, and the reader who wants a more elegant translation can turn to the one by Reardon.[[2]] There is a good index to the translation and introduction, and allusions are generously referenced in footnotes.

The introduction, which includes a map, a book by book summary of the plot, and several pages of descriptive bibliography is reasonably compendious. Again with a readership composed partly of undergraduates and general readers in mind this is desirable. Since such readers will tend to treat the introduction as authoritative it should be careful and accurate. On this score it is reasonably good but not above criticism, especially in the way it treats the question of dating. It should be made explicit that a papyrus broadly datable to the second century AD was the key to overturning Rohde's sixth century dating, and is still our only real terminus ante quem. It should also be stated that although Papanikolaou places the work in the first century BC on linguistic grounds,[[3]] the vocabulary study by Ruiz- Montero points to a later date;[[4]] and that it is by no means certain that Chariton was earlier than Xenophon of Ephesos, or that the office of irenarch mentioned in Xenophon was instituted by Trajan. Goold notes the reference at Persius 1.134 to a Calliroe, but does not claim that it is evidence for the date. It would have been useful if he had pointed out in his bibliography the articles by Jones and by Baslez arguing for a Hadrianic date.[[5]] The section of the introduction on The Historical Element in Chariton is good; sections on Ancient Light Fiction, The Theme of the Novel and Chariton and his Successors are informative, although a more circumspect tone would perhaps be appropriate in a field still so obscure. There is little attempt in the introduction to make critical judgements; what there is already looks dated, and a judgement which did not look dated would probably become so quickly, so Goold's policy is the right one for this context. The introductory section on The Text gives the reader a good idea of the problems which an editor of Chariton faces.

The text itself is relatively conservative, although the Florentine codex unicus is so often illegible or clearly corrupt that a conservative approach to Chariton still implies considerable editorial intervention, and at many points there is no real prospect of consensus about what is the best reading. I select three points to illustrate some ways in which Goold's text remains problematic (although not necessarily wrong).

To start with, it is a stated policy of this edition not to attempt to standardize where Chariton's usage appears to be improbably inconsistent. A possibly justified exception is in the expression for 'on the next day': it appears from the codex that Chariton's usual expression is the genitive th=s u(sterai/aj, but in five places the reading is the dative th|= u(sterai/a| (the dative is the normal classical form; the genitive is rather common in literary texts of the second century AD, and is sometimes found later, but is never found before the second century except perhaps in Chariton). Goold emends the dative to the genitive at 1.13.7, 1.14.5 and 2.5.1, ascribing the emendation to Jackson; presumably it is in the marginalia in Jackson's copy of Hirschig referred to in the preface (p. viii). The emendation is certainly attractive, and there is no obvious reason why Goold did not adopt it also at 4.3.12 and 6.1.1. Incidentally, at 2.5.1 the apparatus is wrong: it has th=j u(st. (Pi2F); Blake reports only th|= u(sterai/a|; the words are not in P. Oxy 2948 at all.

Goold accepts some emendations not accepted by, or later than, Blake, while rejecting others made by or accepted by Blake. On balance the overall result is a significantly better text. Most of those places where it would have been better to print the text of the manuscript can be divided into two groups. In the first are the places where the best of the readings from Naber have been accepted: Naber's articles on Chariton[[6]] are a litany of conjectures on the texts of Greek novels which are almost without exception either obviously wrong or are at best unnecessary. The second small group of unnecessary emendations are taken over from Blake. An example is found at 1.1.9 where the father of Chaireas advises him that he has no hope of marrying Callirhoe, and says, ou)/koun ou)de\ peira=sai/ se dei=, mh\ fanerw=j u(brisqw=men. Peira=sai means 'to make an attempt on a woman' (cf. Xen. Eph. 2.5.6; Ach. Tat., and Cobet[[7]] wanted to emend it to the more general peira=sqai to preserve Chariton's moral tone, writing, nisi corriges accentum scurriliter dictum erit. Goold follows Blake in printing peira=sqai, but since there is no stated object the meaning is ambiguous; presumably it would have to mean 'to attempt to persuade Callirhoe's father to agree to the marriage', but Goold's translation is as ambiguous as the Greek. On the other hand the meaning with the manuscript reading is perfectly clear, if scurrilous, and it would be safer to print it.

Another attractive if problematic reading is keleu/santoj at 1.1.5. Hunter's point[[8]] that keleu/w is the wrong verb for E)/rwj carries considerable weight. If one suspends judgement on that objection, then the assessment of the reading may depend on the way one views Chariton's theology: E)/rwtoj has in its favour that it would explain tou= qeou= in 1.1.6, which, if it referred to a general, unnamed 'the god', would be very odd after the phrase e)k tu/chj earlier in the sentence. The reading is attributed in the apparatus to Gerschmann. My most serious quibble about Goold's editorial practice is that there are several names in the apparatus which cannot be traced through the bibliography. In fact Gerschmann here refers to Karl-Heinz Gerschmann.[[9]]

The presentation of the volume is attractive, and there are few typographical errors. This addition to the Loeb library is likely to be well used, and should contribute to the growing popularity of the Greek novel both within universities and among the reading public. Therefore it is gratifying to be able to report that this edition has been well done.


[[1]] See M.D. Reeve, `Hiatus in the Greek Novelists' CQ 21 (1971) 525 n. 4; B.P. Reardon, 'Une nouvelle e/dition de Chariton', REG 95 (1982) 157.

[[2]] In Collected Ancient Greek Novels (Berkeley 1989) which he edited.

[[3]] A.D. Papanikolaou, Chariton-Studien: Untersuchungen zur Sprache und Chronologie der griechischen Romane (Goettingen, 1973).

[[4]] C. Ruiz-Montero, `Aspects of the Vocabulary of Chariton of Aphrodisias' CQ 61 (1991) 484-489.

[[5]] C.P. Jones, 'La personnalite/ de Chariton' in M-F. Baslez P. Hoffmann and M. Trédé (edd.), Le Monde du Roman grecque (Paris 1992) 161-167; and M-F. Baslez, 'De l'histoire au roman: la Perse de Chariton' ibid. 199- 212.

[[6]] S.A. Naber, 'Adnotationes criticae ad Charitonem', Mnemosyne ns 6 (1878) 190-214; 'Ad Charitonem' Mnemosyne ns 29 (1901) 92- 99, 141-44.

[[7]] C.G. Cobet, 'Annotationes criticae ad Charitonem', Mnemosyne 8 (1859) 229-303 at p. 250.

[[8]] R.J. Hunter, Review of Goold, BMCR 96.2.9.

[[9]] Karl-Heinz Gerschmann, Chariton- Interpretationen (Diss. Münster, published by the author at Frankfurt am Main 1974 [1975 on the cover]) 3.