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PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS

BY
JOHN
HENDERSON
Phaedrus is a Latin author not
infrequendy
referred
to,
but
rarely
read
through.
The edition most used
by English speakers,
the Loeb
of B.E.
Perry,
includes him with
Babrius,
in the
green livery
of the
Greek series. This is not
just
a
victory
for the
alphabet
over chronol-
ogy,
but an indication that Phaedrus attracts readers as an
impor-
tant
repertory
for 'Fables in the
Aesopic tradition'.1)
Outside
Italy,
where a
respectable
volume of
scholarship
continues to be
gener-
ated,
Phaedrus cannot claim a
place
on the canon of Latin
Literature,
and few cultural-historical
projects
have found his verses
(iambic
smani) demanding attention.2)
How
many
who come his
way,
most
likely
on the trail of
Aesop, regard
the
textuality (language,
verse-
form, context,
authorial
disposition)
of the
Fabulae?*)
The
purpose
of this article is to sketch out the
original
extent and nature of the
corpus
Phaedrianum
(below,
section
4).
Phaedrus,
freedman of
Augustus,
whose
floruit
was under
Tiberius,
produced
five
books,
the earliest extant collection of
Aesopica.4)
These
presented
a series of
separate anthologies
over a number of
1)
B.E.
Perry (ed.),
Babrius and Phaedrus
(Cambridge,
MASS
1965):
in the indis-
pensable check-list,
with full and accurate
descriptions,
of R.W.
Lamb,
Annales
Phaedriani.
Rough
Notes towards a
Bibliography of
Phaedrus
(Lowestoft 1995,
hereafter
referred to as
'Lamb'),
this is
p. 57,
no. 600.
Perry's
now canonical
(if incomplete)
tabulation of fables is referred to below as Aes.
2)
But cf. W.M.
Bloomer, Latinity
and
Literary Society
at Rome
(Philadelphia 1997),
73-109.
Surveys
of
scholarship:
H.MacL.
Currie,
Phaedrus
thefabutist,
ANRW 11.32.1
(1978), 497-513;
G.B.
Conte,
Latin Literature: A
History (Baltimore 1994), 433-5,
?
marginal poet';
M. von
Albrecht,
A
History of
Roman Literature
(Leiden 1997), 2,
1002-7.
3) Weighty specialist scholarship
of course exists on these
topics (though scarcely
any major proposal
has convinced
anyone
but its
proposer): e.g.
M.
Nojgaard,
La
fable antique,
II: Les
grands fabutistes (Copenhagen 1967);
F.
Rodr?guez Adrados,
Historia
de la
f?bula greco-latina (Madrid 1979-87), 1-3, esp. 2, 125-71, 'Fedro';
N.
Holzberg
Die antike Fabel. Eine
Einf?hrung (Darmstadt 1993), esp.
43-56. But this work has not
recovered Phaedrus as an author with a
readership
and critical contestation.
4) Aug.
lib.: Mss PR
indpit,
etc. Tiberian: diuo
Augusto, 3.10.39,
Caesar
Tiberius,
2.5.7, Seiano,
3.ProlA\. Five books: Ms RVl
explicit; Avianus, Fables, Preface.
?
Koninklijke
Brill
NV, Leiden,
1999
Mnemosyne,
Vol.
LII,
Fase. 3
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 309
years,
into
(something approaching)
old
age.5)
Dedicatees are
acquired,
and
shuffled.6)
The writer's dramatization of his
undertaking
is devel-
oped through
the successive
prefaces
and
postscripts.7)
The nucleus
of the
corpus
is
preserved
in Ms ?
(with
the testimonia to its lost
twin
R).8)
AU
(except hyperactive)
editors since Brotier
present
as
5)
Stated at
3.Epil.\6,
olim senio
debilem;
indicated in
authorially appropriated
'morals': the old
woman, 3.1.7,
the old
hound,
5.10.10.
6)
No addressees for books 1 and
2; then, Eutychus: 3.Prol.2;
Paraculo: 4./W.10
and
Ep?.h;
Philetus
(?):
5.10.10.
7) Esp. 3.Epil.\-\7.
vs.
4./W.1-3; Epil.\-3,
b.Prol.2.
8)
P: Codex
Pithoeanus,
Pierpont Morgan
M. 906: ninth
century Carolingian
minus-
cule in
scriptum continua,
with titles added: C.E.
Finch,
The
Morgan Manuscript of
Phaedrus, AJPh
92
(1971), 301-7,
O.
Zwierlein,
Der Codex Pithoeanus des Phaedrus in
der
Pierpont Morgan library,
RhM 113
(1970),
91-3. On the editio
princeps,
P.
Pithou,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Ubri
(Quinqu? (Troyes 1596)
=
Lamb 3
f.,
no.
1;
on Pithou:
ibid.,
4.
R: Codex
(Sancii Remiga) Remensis,
destroyed by
fire at Rheims
Abbey
in 1774.
Collations: Rw:
J. Sirmond,
in: N.
Rigault,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quwque (Paris 1617, 1630)
=
Lamb
6,
no.
10;
R1*: M.
Gude,
in: P.
Burmann,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quinqu? (Amsterdam 1698)
=
Lamb
11
f.,
no.
73;
RRo: D.
Roche,
as discovered in the
Biblioth?que
de
l'Universit?,
Paris
by
E.
Ch?telain,
Un nouveau document sur le Codex Remensis de
Ph?dre,
RPh 11
(1887), 81-8;
RVl: Dom.
Vincent,
librarian of Rheims
Abbey,
as
marginalia
in the
school edition
published by
Widow
Brocas,
Phaedri
Augusti
liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quinqu? (Paris 1743)
=
Lamb
24,
no. 190: now known
through
the correc-
tions made
by J. Berger
de
Xivrey,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libros
Quinqu?...
edidit
(Paris 1830)
=
Lamb
44,
no. 423.
D: P. Danielis
Schedae,
Vatican Codex
Reg.
Lat.
1616,
a ninth/tenth
century parch-
ment
fragment
from St.
Beno?t-sur-Loire,
with
1.11.2-13, 12.1,
17.1-21.10 written
in
verses,
and titles
independent
of PR: cf. C.E.
Finch,
Notes on the
Fragment of
Phaedrus in
Reg.
Lat.
1616,
CPh 66
(1971),
190-1.
N: Codex
Neapolitans
IV F
58,
Codex Perottinus. c. 1465-70.
Disastrously waterlogged
and
progressively deteriorating, multiply
collated. This is the
autograph anthology
of
Perotti, Bishop
of
Siponto:
Nicolai Perotti
Epitome fabellarum Esopi
Auieni
[sic]
et
Phaedri ad
Pyrrhum
Perottum
fratris filium
adulescentem suauissimum: of the 157
poems
(one
written out
twice),
32 are fables known from books '2 to 5*
(i.e. 2.6-Epil;
3.1-8, 10-9; 4.21-3, 25-6; 5.1-5;
for his
proem,
Perotti
appropriated 3.Prol.30, 31-7,
4./W.15-9, 5.Prol.8-9);
32 are the otherwise lost Phaedriana we call the
Appendix
Perottina
(including
two
fragments;
but 8 of these
pieces
are
represented,
in diluted
form,
from the
prose paraphrasts);
36 are fables from Avianus' collection of
forty-
two;
57 are miscellaneous
poems.
The
ingredients
are
thoroughly jumbled, though
some
signs
of
corresponsion
with the order in PR survive
(in
the
sequences
3.4-
7, 5.2-4;
conspectus
in L.
Havet,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quinqu? [Paris 1895]
=
Lamb
52,
no.
530,
287
f.).
Perotti
deliberately
'stream-
lined' his
texts,
taken from a lost codex more
complete
than PR. As can be
proved
by comparison
between
poems
common to PR and
NV, App
is
incorrigibly
inac-
curate
(and metrically abused).
See
esp.
S.
Boldrini,
Fedro e Perotti. Ricerche di storia
della
tradizione
(Urbino 1990),
for both the
App,
and for Perotti.
310
JOHN
HENDERSON
virtually,
or
largely, complete
books 1
{ProL
+
31
fables),
3
(Prol.
+
19
+
Epil.\
and 4
{ProL
+
26
+
EpiL);
but 2
{ProL
+
8
+
?/>*7.)
and
5
{ProL
+
9
+
5.10 for
quasi-?/>?/.)
as
ruinously depleted.9)
This
arrangement is, however,
a short solution to a Gordian
knot,
which
deserves to be
recognized
as such
(section
1
below). Moreover,
two
sources
supply
further materials lost from the direct tradition: the
so-called
Appendix
Perottina,
and the several Mediaeval
prose para-
phrases
of Phaedrus. Both must contribute to our overall
picture
(sections 2-3).
1. Evidence for book-divisions consists in the
lay-out
of Mss
P(R),
whose rubrics to identical contents
disagree:
UB'FABULARUM FEDRI AUGUSn UBERTI UB FABUVRU
{FEDRI
?????? UBERTI ?BER
FABULARUM, RRo)
X.ProL, 1.1-31,
PHAEDRI AUCUBERn UB.SECUMDUS.WCIPIT ?BER TER-
77?/5 FELICITER
{PHAEDRI
AUG.I1B.SECUNDUS
WCIPIT, RGu;
PHAEDRI ?????? UBERTI ?BER
SECUNDUS, RVi)
2.ProL, 2.1-9; 3.ProL, 3.1-19,
PHAEDRIAUG.UBERTI.UBER III EXPL.WCIPIT ?BER Uli
{PHAEDRI
AUaUBERTI UB III
EXPUCIT,
INCIPIT ?BER
IIII, RVi)
4.1-26;
3.EpiL;
4./Vo/.; 5.1-5;
\.EpiL\
b.ProL, 5.6-10,
{PHAEDRI
AUG.UBERTI ?BER
QULNTUS
EXPUCIT FEUCI-
TER, RVi).
Editors discount the rubrics in ? as incoherent and
confused,
and
(not
without
risk) accept
those
reported
for R. The
assumption
is
then made that no serious
jumbling
of
poems
has
occurred,
even
in stretches which show
up
sure cases of incorrect series.
The traditional
pis
aller builds on the
following
data: that 3.ProL
addresses
Eutychus
and introduces 'the third book'
(w. 2, 29);
'3.EpiL'
carries neither addressee nor
self-positioning,
but
precedes
44./??/.' in the
paradosis;
4.ProL addresses Particulo and ushers in
'the fourth book'
(w. 10, 14); 'A.EpiL'
addresses Particulo
(v. 5);
V: Codex Vat. Lat.
(Urbin.)
368: a
sloppy
but
well-preserved
late fifteenth
century
copy
of
N,
possibly
at one remove: Boldrini
(op. cit.),
32-55.
9)
G.
Brotier,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quinqu? (Paris 1783)
=
Lamb
31,
no. 273.
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 311
'5./V?/.' announces a further shift of attitude to
'Aesop' (w. 1-3).
But the run from 4.15
(or thereabouts)
to 4.26 is
specially prob-
lematic. Its allocation to book 4
depends
on the
assumption
that
the editorial chunk
*3.EpiL
+
4.ProL' was
displaced
without disturb-
ing
the
sequence
of fables. In
support
of
this,
4.23 and
4.26,
the
two anecdotes about the
poet Simonides, surely
demand to stand
as a
pair
within the same book-collection. But
nothing prevents
the
supposition,
for
example,
that the whole run from '4.15
(or so)
to
4.26'
+
*3.EpiL
+
4./V0/.' was
displaced
en bloc from book 3
(for
instance,
by
a
shuffling
of
folia).
To
pinpoint
the ruination in PR of 4.13-15 as the most
likely
area of
disjunction
would be
easy,
but on
reflection,
this
pertur-
bation is more
likely
to be the
product
of a
damaged
section in
their ancestor: PR
present
a
single
nonsensical conflation of the
'moral' for 4.13
+
the start of the
story
of 4.14 +
the conclusion
of the
aetiological piece 4.15.10) Nevertheless,
Perotti's
(scrambled)
re-copying
of the
poems
that make
up
the
precise sequences
'2.6-
3.19' and '4.21-5.5'
(with
Unes from
'2.ProL\
'4./Yo/.' and '5./Yo/.'
stitched into his own
proem)11)
is
highly suggestive:
could these im-
plied
'blocks' of material
preserve
contours from Phaedrus'
original
book-divisions? The run '5.1-5' is a similar
problem.
It
belongs
to
book 5
jf
the editorial block
^,Epil.
+
b.ProU was
displaced
in the
tradition of PR without
disturbing
the order of fables. In
support
of
this,
the
matching
of 5.5 with
5.7,
as the two 'theatre'
pieces
in
Phaedrus,
constitutes a
strong argument
that
they belong
in the
same book.
But, again,
Perotti's use of the
sequence
from '4.21-5.5'
is
disconcerting.
Such are the
parameters
that limit our
knowledge
of Phaedrus'
original
books 3-5. We have noted that book 2 is a bare
fragment;
and should observe that book 1 has no
closing
editorial; indeed,
since its last verse has
certainly
been lost from
PR,12)
the book has
no firm claim to
completeness?and
with that
goes
control on the
10)
The obscenitas of 4.15
may
have been censored
(v. 2),
but 4.16
survives,
though
the
subject
is
gay sexuality,
and 4.13-4
scarcely
stand out as intolerable.
11)
Within these
sequences,
Perotti omits
only 4.24, presumably
as too famil-
iar from Horace and as a
clich?,
and
3.9,
which he had turned into infelicitous
elegiacs
of his own
(Havet [op. cit.], 282).
12)
The Mediaeval
prose paraphrases (see
n. 14
below) preserve
the remains of
a final verse: Ad.22
=
Rom.2.2
=
Wiss.3.S.
312
JOHN
HENDERSON
likely
dimensions of a Phaedrian
gathering (even supposing
that the
first book would be a reliable
guide
to
its?progressively
more
up-
beat??successors).
2. The
Appendix
Perottina
{App) provides frustratingly
re-worked
texts for
thirty
more
fables,
plus
an editorial
fragment {App.2\
and
a
stray
moral
{App.6).
The conventional
ordering,
and so number-
ing,
of these
poems
in editions of Phaedrus bears no
relationship
to
any
authorial
arrangement,
for Perotti
demonstrably
scrambled the
thirty
fables
already
known from PR. As noticed
above,
these lat-
ter
excerpts
from Phaedrus shuffle the
sequences
2.6-3.19 and 4.2?-
d.5
virtually complete: App
therefore
probably represents
almost all
of the fables which
originated
from within these stretches
(and
those
contiguous?)
in his lost
Ms,
which was
apparently
an
incomplete,
but
relatively unravaged,
Phaedrus, There is reason to
suppose
that
the bulk of
App belonged
to book
5,
rather than
2;
and on this
precarious (and largely circular) supposition hinges
whether we can
give
flesh to the skeleton of editorial directives in
deciding
what
kind of
development
Phaedrus
presented through
his
corpus (see
below,
section
4).
3. The Mediaeval
prose paraphrasts deriving
from collections
originating
in Late
Antiquity {PhP)
are a
valuable,
but
intractable,
extra reservoir: in rebuttal of
Georg
Thiele's Romulus
(woefully per-
verse
constructions,
from Phaedrus' best
exegete),13)
I shall examine
the
genesis
of PhP in a detailed Excursus
(below),
to confirm and
explore
the traditional view that PhP
preserve
the substance of
twenty-eight
further lost
poems
of
Phaedrus.14)
13)
G.
Thiele,
Der lateinische
Aesop
des Romulus und die
Prosafassungen
des Phaedrus
(Heidelberg 1910; reprint
Hildesheim
1985)
=
Lamb
54,
no. 554.
14)
?? Ademari Cabannensis Codex
(Leidensis)
Voss. Lat. oct.
15, fol.
cxva-cciiib. c. 1000-
10, penned
in St. Martial
Monastery
at
Limoges, probably by
the monk and future
historian Adh?mar
("one
of the success stories of the eleventh
century":
R.
Landes,
Relics,
Apocalypse
and the Deceits
of History.
Ademar
of Ch?bannes,
981-1034
[Cambridge,
MASS
1995], 52). Sixty-seven fables, charmingly illustrated,
no book divisions or
editorial comment. F.
Bertini,
// monaco Ademaro e L? sua Raccolta di Favole
fedriane
(Genoa 1975) presents
a new account of the
genesis
of
Ad;
cf. P.
Gatti,
Le
favole
del monaco Ademaro e la
tradizione
manoscritto del
corpus fedriano,
Sandalion 2
(1979),
247-56.
Wiss: Codex
Wissemburgensis
nunc
Guelferbytanus (Wolfenb?ttel)
Gudianus Lat.
148,
fol.
60b-82a: tenth
century
?ber
Tsopi,
in Lombard
script,
from the
Monastery
of
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 313
PhP are in
origin
selections from a
single anthology.
A short block
of fables derived from a source used
by 'pseudo-Dositheus' {Dos)15)
has been
appended
ad cakem in the 'Romulus' tradition
{Rom),
and
up
to another
eight
fables in the collection transcribed
by
Ademar
{Ad)
and
Romy
each of them
peculiar
to the collections in which
they
are
found,
have
managed
to insinuate themselves from
unknown,
post-classical, source(s).
But in a substantial core of
instances,
PhP
are so free from
re-writing
as to have
instigated
the once-traditional
occupation
of
re-constituting
senarii to make 'Nouae Fabulai from des-
iccated Phaedrus. The
twenty-eight
manufactured
by Zander,
Phaedrus
Solutus,16)
were a serious contribution which all but vindicates the
exercise.
Ss. Peter and Paul of
Weissembourg. Prologue: Epistula Magutro Rufo Aesopus,
58
fables
(with
two
split
into
two, separated, versions),
the remains of another
pro-
logue (?,
in two versions numbered as 5.6 and
5.8),
and a mutilation of
Phaedr.2^??
as its
closing piece.
Set out in five books
(no
connection with Phaedr.1-5 as
pre-
served in
PR): ProL; 1.1-14; 2.1-11; 3.1-11; 4.1-16; 5.1-10; Epil;
tides for fables
given
before each book
(with separate
tides for the versions of Phaedr.4.13 and
14,
run
together?censored??in PR). Heavily
corrected in the eleventh
century,
painfully
illiterate.
Rom: Romuli
Fdbulae,
the collective name for a numerous
group
of related Mediae-
val Latin
Aesopica,
named for the
pseudonymous
editor
responsible
for the
pro-
logue (in
later
collections,
Romulus is identified as Romae
Imperator).
The Mss of Rom
'Vulgaris',
the earliest from the tenth
century, give
texts
of,
or selections
from,
a
core canon of: ProL: 'To
Tyberinus';
81
fables;
a derivative of
Phaedr.2.Z^
as
an
epilogue;
a
new, non-Phaedrian, Epil.
Full and near-full versions are
generally
organized
in four books:
1.1-19; 2.1-21; 3.1-20;
4.1-21.
Later, derivative,
Romuluses
show omissions and deviation from the standard
ordering
that
may
be
significant
for our
understanding
of the
genesis
of Rom
Vulgaris.
Rom Vindobonensis is an
espe-
cially important collection,
with
ProL;
79
fables;
derivative of
Phaedr.2.?/>t7.
as clos-
ing piece;
a
new,
'learned'
EpiL
Its fables differ from the canon most
notably by
the inclusion of two successive fables
(nos. 64-5)
also
present
at the end of Wiss
(= 5.9-10),
but absent from Rom
Vulgaris
and from Ad. There are also some
(significant?)
differences in
ordering.
See Excursus below.
Texts of PhP: R.
Hervieux,
Les
fabulistes
latins
depuis
U si?cle
d'Auguste jusqu'?
la
fin
du
Moyen ?ge,
1-5
(Paris 1884-9;
reprinted
Hildesheim
1970; ed.2, 1893-4, 1-2)
=
Lamb
51,
no.
511; 52,
no. 522. Hervieux'
sigla
for the various collections will
be followed below.
15)
I.e. Hermeneurnata
pseudodosiiheana,
C.
G?tz, Corpus
Glossariorum Latinorum
(Leipzig
1892), 3, 39-47,
95-102
(Greek
versions
only
in A.
Hausrath, Corpus
Fabularum
Aesopkarum [Leipzig 1959], 1.2, 120-9).
16)
C.
Zander,
Phaedrus
Solutus,
vel Phaedri Nouae Fabulae XXX
(Lund 1921)
=
Lamb
54,
no. 566. Zander also 'restores' Phaedr.4.13-4. Earlier verse
composi-
tions are less
convincing:
Gude in: Brotier
(op. cit.),
Burmann
(op. cit.),
C.T.
Dressler,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quinqu? (Budissa 1838),
L.
M?ller,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Quinqu? (Leipzig 1867,
in
314
JOHN
HENDERSON
Excluding
their
adapted re-cycling
of the editorial
2.EpiL3
PhP
include 98 different
fables:17)
54
preserved
in the
paradosis (PRDNV),
8 from the
ps.-Dosithean
tradition
(Dos),
8 from unknown Mediaeval
source(s),
28
Aesopica
lost from PRDNV.
All of the last
group
are traditional
Aesopic
beast-fables,
and we
should
suppose
that the
paraphrasts
filtered out other
types
of
Phaedrian
piece,
whether
editorials,
fables with
humans, anecdotes,
vel
nm., although
the 'human' stories
App.\5
and 29 were
included,
as it seems for their
misogyny,
in a thematic
sequence
after
App,
11
at Rom.3.8-lQ
(cf.
the collection at
Weissembourg,
Wiss.3A
1-4.1).
Of the stories
preserved
in PRDNV which fit the
category
of
'beast-fable', just twenty-three
are
missing
from
PhP,iS)
and
many
of these omissions are
easily explicable
on one form of
plausible
reckoning
or
another.19)
If allowance is made for
just
9
rejections,
PhP offer versions of 54 out of 69 beast-fables known from PRDNV.
If,
as a
rough-and-ready guide,
this
proportion
is
applied
to those
28 beast-fables that are lost from
PRDNV,
but
preserved
in
PhP,
we
may conjecture
that around 36 beast-fables were once contained
in the
autograph
Phaedrus which have since vanished from his direct
paradosis.
At least one such
might
be
assigned
to book
1, namely
AdAA
=
?om.3.14
=
WissAAO
(Aes 302;
'restored' as Zander no.
16):
it would make the disclaimer at l.Prol.5
f.,
placating
readers
averse from
talking
trees,
a less
empty
flourish,
since no other known
the Teubner
series)
=
Lamb
49,
no.
483,
cf. De Phaedri et Aviani Fabellis Ubellus
(Leipzig 1875),
14
f., and, finally, J.P. Postgate,
Phaedri
Augusti
Liberti Fabularum
Aesopiarum
Libri
Qumque (Oxford
1919,
the
O.C.T.)
=
Lamb
54,
no. 565. That an
Oxford Classical Text could
print
an editor's
verse-composition
attests
Postgate's
standing
at its zenith.
17) Conspectus
in Havet
(op. cit.),
271-4.
18)
1.11
(but
a
related,
non-Phaedrian fable at
?om.4.10), 15, 30, 2.1, 4, 7,
3.13, 16,
4.4
(but
a
related,
non-Phaedrian fable at
RomA.% 6, 9, 17, 19, 21, 5.4,
App.H,
18, 21-2, 24-5,
30-2.
19)
Nine
examples:
2.4 is
lengthy
and hard to
compress;
3.13 stands and falls
by
its
enigmatic application;
4.19 is
lengthy, Olympian,
lacks a
moral,
and is excre-
mental;
4.21 is a
story eclipsed by
its
developed
diatribe
(w. 16-26);
5.4 involves
pagan
sacrifice
(w.
1
f.),
and an outsize reflective
epimythium (w. 7-12); App.22,
25,
30 are closer to
'bestiary'
lore than
Aesopic morality tale; App.3\
concerns
metempsychosis
and classical lore of
abiogenesis.
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 315
Phaedrianum features a vocal
tree.20)
The best
guess
is that the bulk
of this material stems from book 2
(see below,
section
4).
4. A bold estimate would be that the
corpus
Phaedrianum once com-
prised something
like the
following:
5 sets of editorial
prologues
and
epilogues (if
book 1 had an
epilogue);
95
poems
in
PRD;
32
poems
in
App;
c36 beast-fables
suggested by
PhP.
=
A total of c 168
poems.
Several considerations affect a
putative
distribution of these numbers
through
the individual books. On the one
hand,
the 'tralatician'
conception
of book 1 advertised in 1 .ProL would make for
perhaps
a
large
number of brief
'Aesopica polished
in verse'
(w.
1
f).
On
the other
hand,
Phaedrus'
steadily promulgated
crescendo of ini-
tiative
might encourage
a sheer increase in volume for the later
books,
though
a
widening range
of material would mean the inclu-
sion of what are on
average progressively longer,
more
elaborate,
efforts. An estimate of around 40 short
fabulae
for book
1,
and then
a
drop
towards 30 rather
longer pieces by
book 5
might
not be far
wide of the mark.
If this sketch were
accepted,
then a
pristine
Phaedrus would look
something
like
this:21)
20)
But this is a fabulists'
prologue topos:
Babr.Prol. 1.4
f.,
Avian.Prol.21
f.,
Max.
Tyr.O.2.36.1 (a promythium).
In
Phdr.4.8,
a file
speaks;
in
Babr.6, proverbially
dumb fish do. The
programmatic
status of the
topos
marks the shift
away
from
earlier Greek
conceptualization
of the
Aesopic fable,
which
freely
embraced human
characters
(cf. J.G.M.
van
Dijk, ?????, ?????,
?????. Fables in
Archaic, Classical,
and
Hellenistic Greek Literature. With a
Study of
the
Theory
and
Terminology of
the Genre
[Leiden
1997], 3-37, esp. 34).
The
question
remains:
just
how
heterogeneous
a Hellenistic
Aesop
collection did Phaedrus
inherit,
and
pass
on?
Just
when did the 'beast-fable'
come to
typify
and dominate collections of
Aesopica?
Do PhP mark this critical
moment? Or did Phaedrus' selection of such a
preponderance
of 'beast-fables' for
his first book initiate the shift? This is the issue at stake
throughout
section 4.
(It
must not be
forgotten
that Phaedrus' is the earliest collection we know
directly.
Highly speculative,
and
unconvincing,
reconstructions of lost Hellenistic ancestors
for our Greek
collection,
the
Augustana, dog
studies of Phaedrus'
authorship: e.g.
Rodr?guez Adrados,
Historia de la
f?bula greco-latina, 2, 125-71.)
21)
In the notes that
accompany
this
sketch,
the
categories
are
analytic,
and of
course do not
pretend
to be Phaedrus': we
should, indeed,
resist
any presumption
316
JOHN
HENDERSON
Book
l:22)
I.ProL
+
1.1-31
+
a handful of traditional brief
Aesopic
beast-fables,
including
Aes 302
(?)
and several other beast-fables from
PhP, probably
lost in the lacuna
at the close of the
book,
as noticed above
+ lost
Epilogue?
Book
2:23)
2.ProL
+
2.1-8
+
a score or more of traditional
Aesopic
fables,
most
preserved
in PhP
+
a
very
few
pieces
'inserted'
by
Phaedrus
himself,
to
accompany
2.5
(an
anecdote about Tiberius and a
flunkey),
as
flagged
at 2.ProL 9
f.;
perhaps
an anecdote or two about
Aesop?
+
2.EpiL
Book
3:24)
3.ProL: announced as such at v. 29
+
3.1-19
+
a dozen
poems
lost, probably
after 3.19
{perhaps
those of the
sequence
from 4.15
(or so)
to
4.26?)
+
3.EpiL,
which
clearly anticipates
4.fVo/.l f.
(referring
back to the
pronouncement
at
3.Epil.\ f.)
Book
4:25)
4.ProL: announced as such at v. 14
+
4.1-13/14
(or so)
+
more than a dozen
poems
after
4.14, probably including 4.15-26;
perhaps including
5.1-5
+
\.Epil:.
established
by
the address
(v. 5),
to the Particulo of 4./Yo/.10.
that he worked
from, with,
or
towards, any
clearcut
categories.
The interventions
of
PhP, however, clearly map
out a decisive re-invention of
Aesopic
fable,
with an
important bearing
on
any attempt
to recover an idea of Phaedrus' own
practice.
Rodriguez Adrados,
Historia de la
fabula greco-latina, 2,
167-71
presents
an
analysis
of the
broadening
from books 1
through
5 in terms of his own rather different
set of
categories.
22)
Beast-fables
+
human fable
(18), mythic
fable
(cf. 2, 6);
beast-lore
(25),
human anecdote on theme found in
Aesopica (14).
. .
23)
Beast-fables
+
human
(2), Aesop
chria
(3);
Roman anecdote
(5)...
24)
Beast-fables + human
(1, 4, 11), mythic (17,
cf.
18); Aesop
chriae
(3, 14, 19),
human anecdote
(8), Aesop
anecdote
(5),
Socrates chria
(9);
Roman anecdote
(10)...
25)
Beast-fables + human
(18), mythic (10, 12, 15, 16, 24;
cf.
17, 19), Aesop
anecdote
(5);
historical anecdotes
(23, 26),
Phaedrian satire
(7,
cf.
22),
Phaedrian
'fable'
(11).
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 317
Book
5:26)
?.Prol.
(This
could not have been 1
.EpiL
because of its renunciation
of
Aesop [v.
1
f],
and looks
prefatorial.)
+
around 25
poems
lost:
probably including 5.1-5,
and most of the
Phaedriana in
App
+
5.6-10:
poem
'10' makes a
very
odd
'i^Togitf-substitute',
with a
dedicatee
just barely
mentioned in an
enigmatic 'moral',
v.
10,
the
last
verse,
and even this the
product
of a
'conjecture':
Philete,
Rigault
(op.
cit.:
1617): filite
PR
(fili te, RY\fili de-, R?n).
An assessment of Phaedrus' role in
producing
his collection is
risky,
but
possible.27)
A
pattern
familiar
enough
in Latin Literature
peeps
through
the
crippled corpus, signposted by
editorial bulletins. Strict
imitation of a Greek
exemplar (l.Prol.l f.) develops
into freer emu-
lation,
and
generic
limits,
once
established,
are extended and
crossed,
until the
original
matrix is left behind
(?.ProlA f.).
Phaedrus
begins
to extend his account of the
Aesopic genre,
while
taking
the
liberty
of
introducing
an
ingredient
of his
own,
for
variety's
sake
(2.??/.1-10);
he
proclaims
Latin aemulatio of the Greek
pioneer (2.Epil.5-9).
Next
he
expounds
the
origins
of the fable
genre,
and boasts of
widening
the trail blazed
by Aesop
into a
freeway (3./?o/.33-9).
First he
quits
while he is
ahead, leaving
stocks for
any
successor
(3.EpiLl-5); only
to recant at
once,
with the
thought
that no successor could second-
guess
what Phaedrus left out of the
picture,
and dub his Fables
'Aesopian,
not
Aesop's', claiming
he has
multiplied
the
corpus
and
infused the old
genre
with new material
(4./Vo/.l-13).
Such a
progression
will have been a still more marked feature of
the
complete oeuvre,
with the beast-fables in PhP
rounding
out the
early books,
the
exploratory
efforts
including
those that survive in
App
concentrated in the later
books,
where the
autobiography
of
Phaedrus and his
writerly
views on his
project
and its
reception
alter the character of his
work,
which came to host anecdotes Greek
and
Roman,
along
with various non-narrative
homilies,
even short
26)
Beast-fables
+
human
(2, 6),
human anecdote
(5);
historical anecdote
(1),
ecphrasis (8),
Roman anecdote
(7)...
The
range
in
App:
Beast-fables
+
human
(29,
cf.
23), mythic (5),
beast-lore
(22,
30), Aesop
chriae
(9, 13), Aesop
anecdotes
(17, 20),
Socrates chria
(27), ecphrasis
(7), protreptic (3,
cf.
8), fairy-tale (4),
conte merveilleux
(16);
Roman novella
(15),
Roman anecdote
(10).
27)
Cf.
Rodriguez Adrados,
Historia de la
f?bula greco-latina, 2,
163-5.
318
JOHN
HENDERSON
pieces
of satirical
badinage.
The
range
of material was?and is?
without close
parallel
in ancient
Uterature;
more
particularly,
the
extension book
by
book of the writer's
conception
of his
project
gave
the sizeable
corpus
a coherent
story-line,
which broke
away
from mere selection and
transcription
to
support
a
quasi-narrative
of self-dramatization
by
the
writer,
who bids to rank
himself,
more
than a
compiler,
an 'author'. Indeed the Fabulae as an oeuvre
appear
to
ape
their betters
by positioning
their chief manifesto as a
prolo-
gus
in
medio,28)
in the
uniquely
extended editorial 3.ProL which dilates
on the
reception,
and
self-consecration,
of the writer. The first words
of the
book,
Phaedri libellos
(the only self-naming
included
anywhere
in the
text),
seal the
work;
with the collection's first addressee to
match
(Eutyche,
v.
2).
A lecture to the reader to find time for Phaedrus
and to rethink life-choice in order to enter the threshold of the
Muses leads into an ironic Dichterweihe with an
emphatic /Ego.
. .
(v. 17) prefacing
the
brag
that because 'his mother bore Phaedrus
on the Pierian
ridge',
he was 'almost born in
[the Muses']
school'
(w. 17, 20). Parading
a
knowing quote
from
Virgil (Aen.
2. 77: the
only
attributed citation in the
Fables),29)
where
wily
Phaedrus
shrugs
'? la
Sinon,
"que
ser?"'
(v. 27),
the
proem
launches into an aetiol-
ogy
for the
Aesopic genre
as an occasion to
expatiate
on his own
investment in his
work,
launched
by
a second
/Ego... (v. 38).
Here
we are thrown the
only scrap
of
'History'
in the
Fables,
dark mut-
tering
about
'Sejanus, calamity, courtroom, pain, suspicion
. .
.',
as
prompt
for a denial of ad hominem
criticism; ring-structure
calls the
elaborate
composition home, puffing
Phaedrus the
proud
Thracian
again,
with a third flourish of
/Ego... (v. 54),
and for finale a
nicely
blunt
captano
beneuolentiae that declares itself to the reader to be
just
that?no
more,
no less
(w.
62
f.).
This
pivotal 'mini-essay'
stands
out as the
highwater-mark
of editorial
self-promotion, though
the
books to come seem to have delivered the
expansion
in
range
and
proportion
of non-traditional material which would most
easily
28)
G.B.
Conte,
Proems in the
middle,
in: F. Dunn and T. Cole
(ed.), Beginnings
in Clasncal Uterature
(Cambridge,
MASS
1992,
=
YCS
29), 147-59;
cf. D.
Fowler,
Second
thoughts
on
closure,
in: D.H.
Roberts,
F.M.
Dunn,
and D. Fowler
(ed.),
Classical
Closure.
Reading
the End in Greek and Latin literature
(Princeton, NJ 1997),
20 f.
29) Only paralleled by
the unattributed Ennian sententia on reticence
quoted
as
such at
3.EpilM.
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 319
provoke
the
grand
airs of
3.ProL30)
The
centre-piece
marked the
writer's bid to
profile
his five books as a
unity,
and
stamp
his
per-
sonality indelibly
onto the
opus.
But Phaedrus was doomed to remain
always
the
Nachduhter,
cre-
ative
translator-cum-versifier,
of his first incarnation
(\.ProL\ f.).
Set-
ting
aside the
engagingly self-satirizing editorials,
let us next
attempt
a broad outline of the
Aesopic legacy,
from whatever lost Greek
source(s), utilizing
a set of often
overlapping
criteria.
Certainly
inherited are stories where versions survive in extant
Greek
Aesopica;
so
too,
surely,
fables where
tellings
or allusions sur-
vive in Greek Uterature. Not all would
agree,
but
probably
all the
beast-fables are
paraphrased,
most
likely
from a
single
Hellenistic
Greek
Aesop,
and indeed
arguably
this should be extended to cover
all the tales of traditional
type,
whether
human,
mythical
or alle-
gorical,
attested in Greek literature or
no.31)
In
many
cases these
stories
recognizably
articulate Greek
proverbs
and the
like,
while
others are
thematically
akin to extant
Aesopica;
not
beyond
Phaedrus'
scope
or initiative to insert
among
the
fables,
but
impossible
to
deny
his
source,
whose
range
is constructed for us
solely by
Phaedrus'
editorial
missives,
and
very closely
in tune with the 'diatribic' colour-
ing
of the whole
collection.32)
More debatable is the
proposition
that
Phaedrus'
Aesop
differed from extant collections in
including
two
further
types
of
story:
Phaedrus' anecdotes
featuring Aesop
are
plausibly 'fokeloric', particularly
on the
subject
of
Sklavenmoral;
or
evidendy
dramatize
chriae, maxims,
current in Hellenistic discourse.
Two more
chriae-potms
feature
Socrates,
on the
pop-philosophy topic
of
Friendship
and on the ethics of
Slavery:
these too are most
likely
30)
The
sixty
lines of
3.10, however,
make it the
longest fable
we have in the
?uvre.
31) E.g. Perry (op. cit.), 'Introduction', lxxxiv-xc,
who
supposed (at
lxxxv
f.)
"that
many
of his
fables, perhaps
a third
part
of
them,
did not come from
any
collection of fables ascribed to
Aesop,
but were either invented
outright by
him-
self,
... or . ..
adapted
from
widely
varied sources .
.."; Rodr?guez Adrados,
Historia
de la
f?bula greco-latina, 2,
155-60
presents
a similar
conspectus.
32)
See
esp.
G.
Thiele,
Phaedrus-Studien
I, II, III,
Hermes 41
(1906), 562-92,
43
(1908), 337-92,
46
(1911), 376-92;
A.
Hausrath, ?wr
Arbeitsweise des
Phaedrus,
Hermes
71
(1936), 76-103;
F.
Rodr?guez Adrados,
Pol?tica c?nica en las
fabulas es?picas,
in:
S. Boldrini
(ed.) Filologia
e
forme
letterarie. Studi
offerti
a F. della Corte
(Urbino 1987),
1,
413-26.
320
JOHN
HENDERSON
translated.
Perhaps, too,
some other
pieces
derived from the Greek
Aesop(s), though clearly
not traditional
fables,
for
example
Phaedrus'
fairy-tale (AppA,
a
'Wunschm?rchen')
and his conte merveilleux
(App.16,
a
'Wundererz?hlung').
But, especially
in books
4-5,
Phaedrus did introduce an
array
of
Greek-derived themes from
beyond
the
likely range
of earlier
Aesopica:33)
three historical anecdotes
presumably
stem from a Greek
Varia Historia of some sort: a
pair
on the
poet
Simonides,
and
'Menander
greets King
Demetrius'
(5.1). Perhaps
not before book
5,
the decision was taken to introduce Greek rhetorical and
gno-
mological
material: the
ecphrasis
of Kairos
(5.8)
and the
allegorical
account of Hades
(AppJ),
an acidic
protreptic
on the limitations of
mortality (App.3),
and a sarcastic lament for the
Delphic
com-
mandments
(App.8).
Satirical assaults on
literary critics,
and even
Phaedrus'
editorials,
owe much to canonical Hellenistic
poetics,
but
they clearly
count as his own contributions. As
early
as book 2 the
fabulist had taken his boldest
decision,
to include the odd Roman
anecdote
picked up
from oral
circulation,
or even dreamed
up by
himself
(2.5;
then
3.10, 5.7, AppAO; probably
add
AppA5; perhaps
AppA6).3A)
One fable demands to be set down as the creation of
Phaedrus
himself,
an
overdone, ill-fitted,
and
probably bogus
aeti-
ology (4.11,
cf. w. 14
f.).
The moral? Fakelore is not so
easily
palmed
off
From this sketch it
emerges
that Phaedrus is in the
Quixotic posi-
tion of
exerting
an
extraordinarily powerful
influence on
European
tradition,
first as the
(unacknowledged) primary
conduit
through
which the beast-fable entered Mediaeval culture in Western
Europe,35)
second as a base for the revived fable culture of belles lettres into the
33)
For a similar account of the
broadening scope
of Phaedrus'
material,
cf.
Rodr?guez Adrados,
Historia de la
f?bula greco-latina, 2,
163-5.
34)
Cf.
J. Henderson,
The
homing
instinct:
Phaedrus, Appendix 16,
PCPhS 23
(1977),
17-31,
and
Telling
Tales on Caesar: Roman Stories
from
Phaedrus
[forthcoming].
35)
Via Romulus and derivatives such as Steinh?wel and Caxton: H. Steinh?wel
Aesop (Ulm 1476-7)
was the
source,
via a French
translation, (e.g.)
of
Caxton's,
and of
Pedersen's, Aesop:
80 fables from
Rom,
in four books each of 20
fables,
with
Fabulae
Extravagantes
and a
miscellany
of other
material, including
some
'Poggiana',
appended
ad calcem
(cf. J. Jacobs,
The Fables
of Aesop,
as
first printed by
William Caxton
in 1484
[London 1889];
B.
Holbek, Aesops
Levned
og Fabler;
Christiaen Pedersens over-
scettelse
qf
Steinh?wels
Aesop [Copenhagen 1961], 1-2).
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 321
eighteenth century,36)
and third as the
ubiquitous elementary
text
used in ?lite education
through
to the
early
twentieth
century.37)
Yet Phaedrus' role in all this remains the modest one of Latin trans-
lator of
Aesopic (beast-)fables.
Any
creative
aspects
of his full
opus
sank from
view;
between them
and oblivion stand the survival of a
single modestly-literate
Ms and
the
whimsy
of the avuncular
fifteenth-century archbishop
Perotti.
Though hardly
a serious talent
(for
all his
squawking
and
pluming),
Phaedrus was no
hack,
but his material rather than his verse or wit
has
always
been his work's main value. The Fabulae were
pillaged
and mutilated for their
contents,
and his efforts to
protect
them as
a
unique, finished, composition
won scant
respect.38)
In
short,
as
was
always likely
in a
genre
where
compilation,
not definitive or
classic
formulation,
is
irrevocably
the core function of
any particu-
lar
redaction,
he
got
treated much the same
way
he at
any
rate
claims to have treated
Aesop,39)
Excursus. The
genesis
of the Phaedrian
paraphrases (PhP)
The Mediaeval
paraphrases clearly
stem from an
archetype
more
complete,
and
occasionally
more
faithful,
than the ancestors of
PR,
36) J.
de La
Fontaine,
Fables
choisies,
mises en vers
(Paris 1692-45), 1-5,
Sir R.
L'Estrange,
The Fables
ofAesop
and Other Eminent
Mythologists (London 1692), J. Gay,
Fables
(London 1727), etc.;
cf. T.
Noel,
Theories
of
the Fable in the
Eighteenth Century
(New
York
1975),
A.
Patterson,
Fables
of
Power:
Aesopian Writing
and Political
History
(Durham,
NC
1991), J.E. Lewis,
The
English
Fable.
Aesop
and
Literary Culture,
1651-
1740
(Cambridge 1996).
37)
Phaedrus was the entr?e to Locke's
System of
Classical Instruction: G.S.
Haight,
The
George
Eliot Letters: 1836-1851
(New Haven,
CONN
1954), 1,
38. Cf.
J.L.
Clifford,
The
young
Samuel
Johnson (London 1955),
53: "the
only
book the class mem-
orised to the
end";
T.W.
Herbert, John Wesley
as Editor and Author
(Princeton, NJ
1940), 113,
"In most schools litde
judgement
is shown in the order of the books
that are
read;
some
very
difficult authors are read in the lower
classes,
'Phaedrus
Fables' in
particular".
Phaedrus'
'pure Latinity'
was
regularly advertised,
cf.
(e.g.)
R.W.
Chapman,
The Utters
of
S.
Johnson (Oxford 1952), 1, 7,
and Lamb
op.
cit.
38)
The same is true of
Babrius,
whose editorial and authorial contribution was
expunged
from his
paraphrases;
and of Demetrius of
Phalerum, if
it was his
Acsopia
which became the nucleus of the Greek
Aesopica
of the
Augustana,
and later com-
pilations (Diog.
Laert. 5.
80,
cf.
Perry [op. cit.], 'Introduction',
xiii
f.,
F.
Rodriguez
Adrados,
Historia de la
f?bula greco-latina, esp. 1, 421-528,
and
idem,
Les collections de
fables
?
l'?poque hell?nistique
et
romaine,
Entretiens Fondation Hardt 30
[1983],
La
Fable, 143-85).
39)
I must record here
my
debt to the
expertise
and
rigour
o?
Mnemosyne's anony-
mous reader.
322
JOHN
HENDERSON
D,
or
NV.40)
At some
point
in around the sixth
century,
or soon
after,
a lost
(virtually?) complete
Phaedrus was
gutted
for beast-fables.
It
may
have been written
already
in
scriptum continua,
like the source
of
PR,
though repeated
notices of Phaedrus5 editorial claims to rank
as a
poet writing
verses had to be removed before even a metrical
innocent could miss that these had been
poems (l.ProlA f.,
for a
start).
The
proceeds
of this
culling
were
reorganized
to form the
prose
anthology
which became the common base of PhP, In the
process,
Phaedrian
parentage
was
deliberately
and
systematically
obliterated.
The fables were no
longer (if they
ever had
quite
contrived to
be)
his. The new order bore
scarcely any
resemblance to its
source,
again
of set
purpose. (The exception
is
Ad.3, 1,
9-10
=
RomA.2,
5-7
=
Wu?.
1.1,
6-8: from
Phaedr.1.1, 4-6.)
A
tabulation,
based on the order
primarily
of
Wiss,
will best
show,
at the level of
compositional
structure,
that
Ad, Wiss,
and Rom
(Vulgaris
and
Vindobonensis)
are in
origin
further selections from this
single
common
anthology
of
Aesopica.
The tabulation is
organized
so as to
highlight
the areas of
correspondence
and
discrepancy
between Wiss and
Rom,
but other
patterns
also
leap
to the
eye:41)
Number Tide Ad Rom Wiss
[Romulus
to
Tyberinus] [ProL]
[Aesopus
to
Rufus] [ProL]
[Fragmentary Prologue] [5.6
=
[Fragmentary Prologue] 5.8]
1 3.12 / 1.1 5.7
2 1.20 2
3 1.1 3 1.2 1.1
4 Mouse and
Frog (Z 1)
4 1.3 1.3
5 1.17 5 1.4 1.2
40)
The two most
important
recent contributions to the
problem
of PhP are
Nojgaard (op. cit.), 2, 404-31,
and
Rodriguez Adrados,
Historia de la
f?bula greco-
latina, 2, 473-509,
esp.
504-9,
'Nuevas Luces en el Conocimento de Fedro'.
41) Key:
'Number'
=
an ad hoc
numeration;
'Title'
=
fable
identified,
where
appropriate, by
the numeration
(after PR,
and from
App)
in editions of
Phaedrus,
or
by
the numeration of Zander's Nouae Fabulae
(= Z)- Ad, Wiss,
Rom
-
numera-
tion as in each collection. Underlined numbers mark fables that
appear
last in a
book division.
Italicized
numbers mark fables whose
position
in the
conspectus
calls
for attention.
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 323
(table cont.)
Number Tide Ad Rom Wiss
6 Cocks and Hawk
(Z 2)
6
7 Hares and
Frogs (Z 22)
2.9 1.4
8 Kid and Wolf
(Z 23)
61 2.10 1.5
9 1.4 7 1.5 1.6
10
Snail,
Mirror and
Ape (Z 3)
8
11 1.5 9 1.6 1.7
12 1.6 10 1.7 1.8
13 1.8 64 1.8 1.9
14 1.19 1.9 1.10
15 1.29 12 1.11 1.11
16
Pauper
and Snake
(Z 21)
65 2.11 1.12
17 1.16 2.12 1.13
18 5.3 66 2.13 U4
19 Town and
Country
Mice
(Z 4)
13 1.12 2.1
20 1.28 14 2.8 2.2
21 1.26 63 2.14 2.3
22 1.3 26 2.16 2.4
23 2.6 1.13 2.5
24 3.6 2.17 2.6
25 4.25 27 2.18
26 1.10 28 2.19
27 1.13 15 1.14 2.7
28 1.21 16 1.15 2.8
29 1.22 29 2.20 2.9
[Partridge
and
Fox] [30]
30 1.25 31
31 1.27 32
32 1.24 33
221
33 Ass and Ox
(Z 8)
34
34 Ass not
Lap-Dog (Z 5)
17 1.16 2.10
35 Lion and Mouse
(Z 6)
18 1.17 2.11
[Crane,
Crow and
Farmer]
19
36 Sick Kite
(Z 27)
1.18
37 Swallow and Birds
(Z 28)
20 U9
38 Lion and
Shepherd (Z 9)
35 3.1 3.1
39 Gnat and Bull
(Z 10)
36
40 Lion and Horse
(Z 24)
3.2 3.2
41 Ass and Racehorse
(Z 11)
37 3.3 3.3
42 Bat
(Z 12)
38 3.4
43
Nightingale, Hawk,
Fowler
(Z 13)
39 3.5 3.4
44
Wolf, Fox,
Herdsman
(Z 14)
40 3.6 3.5
324
JOHN
HENDERSON
(table cont.)
Number Tide Ad Rom Wiss
45 1.7 2.15 3.6
46 1.2 21 2.1 3.7
47 1.31 22 2.2 3.8
48 1.23 23 2.3 3.9
[Baldy
and
Gardener] [24]
[Owl, Cat, Mouse] [25]
49 1.12 41 3.7 3.10
50
App.U
3.8
3JJ.
51
App
Ab 3.9
52
App.29
3.10 4.1
53 4.20 11 1.10 4.2
54 Flea and Camel
(Z 20)
60 4.18 4.3
55
App.\9
54 2.4 4.4
56 4.1 47 3.18 4.5+
4.13
57 2.8 48 3.19 4.6+
4.16
58 3.7 45 3.15 4.7
59 4.8 42 3.12 4.8
60
Sheep
and Wolves
(Z 15)
43 3.13 4.9
61 Oaks and Axe
(Z 16)
44 3.14 4.10
62
Belly
and Limbs
(Z 7)
3.16 4.11
63
App.l
46 3.17 4.12
64 4.24 2.5 4.14
65 3.15 2.6
66
App.U
3.11
4J5
67 5.10 62 2.7 5.1
68 4.14
(Z 25)
49
3,20
5.2
69 4.3 4.1 5.3
70 4.2 4.2
71
App.28
50 4.3
72 3.18 4.4 5.4
73 3.2 4.5 5.5
74 Vixen-Maiden
(Z 26)
5.9
75 5.9 5.10
76 Wethers and Butcher
(Z 29)
4.6
[Bleary
Fowler and
Birds] [4.7]
77 4.13
(Z 17)
51 4.8
[Stag, Horse, Man] [4.9]
[Ass
and
Lion] [4.10]
[Dos
5: Raven for Cat's
Birthday] [4.11]
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 325
(table cont.)
Number Tide Ad Rom Wiss
[Dos
6: Lion's cave and
Fox]
59
[4.12]
[Dos
8: Crow and
Pitcher] [4.13]
[Dos
10:
Boy
and
Scorpion] [4.14]
[Dos
13: Sick Ass and
Wolf] [4.15]
[Dos
14:
Horse, Bull, Goats] [4.16]
[Dos
15: Man and
Lion]
52
[4.17]
[Dos
17: Ant and
Cicada]
56
[4.19]
78 Sword and Traveller
(Z 30)
4.20
79
Stork, Goose,
Hawk
(Z 18)
53
80
App.26
55 4.21
81 1.9 57
82 Ass and Horse's
promises (Z 19)
58
[Eagle-Bride
of
Kite] [67]
[EpiL
from
Phdr.2.^7.]
4.22 5.11
[Aesopus
to
Rufus] 4,23
=
EpiL;
cf.
Wiss.ProL
Now these collections are the
end-products
of a
(finally,
no
doubt,
impenetrable)
succession of
re-deployments
and mutations.
Inspection
of the texts themselves would show that there is no decisive
pattern
of
alignment
of Ad with Rom
against
Wiss,
or of Wiss with Rom
against
Ad. Ad is
usually literate,
and often
very
true to Phaedrus'
text;
Wiss is
helplessly ignorant
and
incompetent.
Rom tends to be
given
to
independent re-casting
and
improvisation.
Rom
appears
to
belong
to a 'later stratum' than
Wus,
since Rom.ProL
is manufactured out of the material found in
Wiss.ProL,
'To
Rufus'
(the
remains become the
opening
of
Rom.EpiL, plus
a section found
in the second ProL in Wiss
(= 5.6; ultimately
derived from Phdr.3.
/Vo/.12-13, 33, 50).
More
significandy,
Wiss contains no non-Phaedrian
stories,
and in
particular,
none of the block of fables that we find
in the
bilingual
hermeneumata, Dos.42)
If we
disregard
the 'late arrivals'
42)
The
importation
of this material was
evidendy performed by
a
vigilant
edi-
tor,
for he follows the order as in
Dos,
but omits fables he has
already copied
in
the series of
paraphrases
of Phaedrus: Dos. 1
=
no. 49
(Phdr. 1.12);
Dos.2
=
no.
35;
Dos.9
=
no. 27
(Phdr.1.13);
Dos.M
=
no. 9
(Phdr.1.4);
Dos.\2
=
no.
5;
DosA8
=
no. 19. Thus Dos.\6
(Gnat
and
Bull)
is
omitted,
and?somehow?the Phaedrian
equivalent,
no. 54
(Flea
and
Camel)
is inserted into the 'Dosithean' block. This
326
JOHN
HENDERSON
Rom A.7 and
4.9-10,
we are left with an
archetypal
'Romulus' of 80
stories
(inclusive
of
RomA.22,
=
Phdr.2.?/>#.,
and
4.23,
=
Aesopus
ad
Rufum),
distributed
through
the books as 1:
1-19;
2:
1-21;
3:
1-20;
4: 1-20. If we then
supposed
that the sole case of
agreement
between
Ad and Wiss
against
Rom,
namely my
no.
20,
shows the most recent
re-arrangement
in
Rom,
we could restore this to book
1,
and so
realise a
symmetrical
collection of four books each with
twenty
fables
(the
same
plan
as in Steinh?wel's
Aesop,
an
independent
rational-
ization several centuries
later).
This
analysis
is confirmed
by inspec-
tion of other Rom collections
published by
Hervieux. For RomVmd
303 and
90^ /fo^ Rom^",
and Rom0xon all have
my
no. 20 in its
'rightful' place,
viz. between RomA.12 and 1.13.
Since RomVmd?
(nb.
RomVwdm and Rom? both terminate their
texts before
they
can
get
this far in the
sequence)
has as its nos.
64 and 65
(they
have no
book-divisions)
the two fables which are
otherwise known to PhP
only through
Wiss.5.9 and 10
(my
nos.
74-5),
it is
likely
that another recent
displacement
in Rom
Vulgaris
is the exclusion of these
pieces
from its canon: this would
simply
be the result of
counting
the
'epilogues'
RomA.22 and 23 within the
numbering
of fables.
Other
suspiciously 'recent'-looking
moves in the formation of Rom
are more
problematic:
most
notably,
no. 1
(= Phdr.3.12,
promoted
to first
place by
Christian
allegorizing,
and
prefixed
to
many
a
collection as 'The Fable
of Fable',43)
is in RomVmd
m
(but
not in
Rom^303,
where it is
second,
after no.
3) placed
between RomA .16
and 17
(= my
nos.
34-5);
RomVtnd?
(not Rom*?1)
has ?om.1.18
(my
no.
36)
as its no.
62,
before Rom.3A0
(=
no.
52),
which
precedes
the two fables it lacks from Rom.
Vulgaris (above),
i.e. between RomAA
and 5
(=
nos.
72-3),
and so almost at the end of the
genuinely
suggests
that the Culex of Ad in its version of no. 54 is
original,
and the Pulex of
Wiss and Rom an
error,
or substitution. Our
editor,
the one
responsible
for the
first
grafting
of Greek-derived
Aesopica
onto the Phaedrian
corpus (for
Dos
is,
ulti-
mately,
a
composite paraphrase
which in
part,
at
any rate,
derives from the same
tradition as Babrius: O.
Crusius,
Babrii Fabulae
Aesopiae [Leipzig 1897],
205
f,
cf.
Rodr?guez
Adrados
[op. cit.], 2, 213-25),
continued the
policy
of PhP in ex-
cluding
all but
beast-fables, by dropping
Dos A
(= Aes.391),
Dos.7
(= Aes.3\7); only
Dos.2
(= Phdr.4.6,
but derived from
Babr.31),
is omitted from Rom without obvi-
ous reason.
43)
K.
Speckenbach,
Die Fabel von der Fabel.
%ur ?berlieferungsgeschichte
und
Wtrkungsgeschichte
der Fabel von Hahn und
Perle,
FMS 12
(1978),
178-229.
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 327
Phaedrian stretch of
Rom.44) Interestingly,
RomVmdm
manages
to reach
its own
'magic
total' of 80 fables
(including
the derivative of
Phdr.2.^?/.,
but not the
Aesopus
ad
Rufiim,
or Rom's distinctive new
EpiL).
This does seem to have been
contrived, by
the omission of
three of the 'Dosithean' fables
(Dos 13, 15, 17),
and a
'stop press'
inclusion of Dos 5 as its no.
79,
this
compilation's only departure
from the order of Rom
Vulgaris.
Ad has shorn all book divisions and editorials. It is best seen as
a
bipartite
collection: 1
through
50
(or 51;
=
my
nos.
71, 77) rep-
resent the common-source
'anthology'
behind
PhP,
in
very
close
agreement
with the order of Rom.
(AdA^,
=
my
no.
20,
is the sole
sequential discrepancy,
noted
above.)
But the choice of fables is
quite independent, including
7 stories otherwise
missing
in
PhP,
and
4
independent
'late' fables. From Ad.52
onwards,
a mixed
bag
selects
from the 'Dosithean' material and the block used in the final sec-
tion of
Rom,
before
embarking
on what looks to be a second
trawl.45)
As the
finale,
Ad.67 is a
late, non-Phaedrian,
intruder.
Now,
if we
re-present
this
sequence
in the later stretch of Ad in terms of their
equivalents
in
Rom,
we will find
they
are:
2.4, 7, 14; 1.8; 2.11,
13.
Which is to
say
that six out of seven stem from the area of max-
imum
discrepancy
between Rom and Wiss.
The heart of the
problem is,
in
fact,
to
grasp
the
relationship
between Wiss and Rom. It is
probable
that some of the differences
were motivated
by
the aim of
symmetrical disposition
in four books
that we observed in Rom. But there are
signs
that the differences
are
chiefly attributable, unlikely
as it
sounds,
to the use
by
Wiss of
two
separate copies
of the common-source
anthology.
On this
hypoth-
esis,
the blatant muddles in Wiss become
intelligible:
the confused
double
attempt
at
my
no.
56,
and the
disjoined
version of no.
57;
the abbreviated 'second
Prol.', 5.6, introducing
5.7
(= my
no.
1),
44)
Rom1^901 no doubt omits Awn.
1.18,
one
way
or
another,
as
belonging
to
the stretch its
compiler
never reached.
(This
is a collection of 50
fables,
Rom8"1 of
60 fables
only and,
I
reckon, exactly.)
Rtrm.1.18'$
tide, together
with the Rom.Prol.
is, oddly, preserved
in a
scrap
in Ad's
codex,
at
fol.
4b
(unrelated
to the
fables):
Hervieux
(op. cit.), I1,
232.
45) Ad.52, 56,
59
=
Dos.\5, 17, 6;
Ad.6Q the Phaedrian version of
Dos.16,
as in
Rom
(noted above);
Ad.55 is Rom's last
fable (= my
no.
80.); Ad.53, 57,
58
(=
nos.
79, 81, 82)
are the
proceeds
of a
putative
second
combing,
for these fables are
otherwise absent from
PhP',
so too A/.54
(=
no.
55),
61
(=
no.
8),
62
(=
no.
67),
63
(=
no.
21),
64
(=
no.
13),
65
(=
no.
16),
66
(=
no.
18).
328
JOHN
HENDERSON
then
repeated
in extended form as
5.8;
perhaps,
too,
the knowl-
edge
of Phaedr.4.13 and 14 as
separate
fables,
as shown in the title-
headings,
but not borne out
by
the text
(see above); and, doubtless,
the inclusion of nos. 74-5 21s the last fables in the collection?the
only pieces
in Wiss that are absent from Rom.
Vulgaris (but preserved
in
RomVmdm,
as remarked
already).
It
appears
that the
idiosyncratic
book divisions of Wiss are a 'late'
concoction: for
example,
the division after its 3.11
appears
to dis-
locate a thematic
sequence, my
nos. 50-2
('Misogyny'),
the contents
of which I have
supposed
to owe their
preservation
in PhP to
pre-
cisely
this feature
(nos.
51-2 feature
humans,
not
beasts).
The dis-
location
apparent
for nos.
56-63,
and the
'interweaving'
in
Wiss,
'books
1-3',
of nos.
7-8, 16-8, 21, 22, 24-6, 29, 33, 38-45, 49-52,
with what looks to be the 'basic'
sequence
of the common ances-
tor of
PhP,
is
probably
another
product
of the
synthesis
of two
exemplars (no.
45 is the
only discrepancy
which would not fit this
hypothesis).
It is not clear how these
correspondences
could be
explained
on the
hypothesis
that Rom
represents
the
deviating
re-
arrangements.46)
But Wiss does seem to
preserve
in its
jumble
of
prologues
some
evidence of one
aspect
of the
original
common source.
Namely,
that
it commenced with Phdr.1.1
(my
no.
3).47)
Thus we could reckon
that one
exemplar presented
the
compiler
of Wiss with a
'Prologue
+
Phdr.1.1',
the other with a
'Prologue
+
Phdr.3.12'. It is
tempt-
ing
to think that Wus.?.S is the
prologue
of the earlier
'stratum',
which was
finally replaced by
the editor of
Wiss?s ancestor)
with
Wus.
ProL,
Aesopus
ad
Rufiim.48)
46) Again,
?om.2.4-6
(= my
nos.
55, 64-5)
form a thematic
sequence ('Birth')
which is
disrupted
in Wiss. The
placing
of Phdr.1.2 as ?om.2.1
(= my
no.
46),
before Phdr.1.31
(= my
no.
47),
also
rings true,
on the theme of the 'Election of
kings'. (Both
Wiss and Rom
agree
that
my
no. 38 should start their Book 3: *The
Lion and the
Shepherd'.)
47)
Ad.2
(=
no.
2)
is
clearly
'out of
place',
between the 'new' first
poem (no.
1
=
Phdr.3.12)
and Phdr.1.1
(hardly
the result of casual
interchange,
as with nos. 4
and 5 in
Wiss, against
Ad
=
Rom):
did someone at some
stage
decide that
'Hungry
dogs',
which
perish
before
getting
to the hide sunk in the river
by drinking up
the
water,
would make a
telling
introduction to their
Aesop?
48)
Yet somehow Rom is able to
depose
some of the 'new'
Prologue
to be its
new
Prologue,
once melded with material from the
earlier, Phaedrus-derived, pro-
logue.
This
problem
defies solution.
PHAEDRUS' FABLES: THE ORIGINAL CORPUS 329
The moral? Attention to PhP is
guaranteed
to
bring
out
just
how
crucial the selection
by
Phaedrus of
'proper' Aesopic
beast-fables at
the head of his oeuvre has
proved
for the
compilers
of
umpteen
subsequent Aesops
in Western
Europe,
while at the same time under-
lining just
how much of a boost was
given
to the fables selected
by
Rom to lead out the Mediaeval
Aesop.
In the
present
context,
how-
ever,
the chief reward for
investigating
this thicket of confabulation
is the assurance
that,
to some considerable
degree,
we can follow
the main lines of the transformation of the
original
Phaedrus into
the
prose collections,
and feel confident that the 28 fables from PhP
reconstituted
by
Zander do derive from Phaedrus.
Inspection
of
them will convince readers that their restitution to verse is essen-
tially
warranted,
even if the
precise phrasing
cannot be
averred;
indeed,
these texts are
generally
in better
shape
than the
poems
recycled by
Perotti in
App.
While these 'New Fables' elude
system-
atic
re-assignment
to their
original sequences
in
Phaedrus,
the dis-
tribution of fables in PhP that survive in PR is
extremely suggestive:
of 47
such,
no less than 26 are found
among
the 31 in our Phaedrus
book
1;
as
against
2
(3, including *2.????.')
of the 8
(or 9, ditto)
in
book
2,
6 of
19,
9 of
26,
3 of 10 in our books 3-5. The likelihood
is that the bulk of the Phaedrian material
only
extant in PhP derives
from book
2,
with
perhaps
several more from the final stretch of
book 1.
Cambridge,
King's College