Butterfield's "The Early Textual History of Lucretius"

  • Happy Twentieth to everyone here!. Lately I have been working on putting together some audio material on Lucretius, and this morning I was following a link to a blog entitled "The Wrong Monkey" which I know absolutely nothing about - except that I have now scanned three blog posts written about Lucretius and Greenblatt's book "The Swerve" about the transmission of the text. I think if you start with the link I will post below and follow back to check his previous two posts, you will find some valuable material about references to Lucretius during the period when it is commonly presumed today that his work had been "lost." The key work cited appears to be a book by David Butterfield: "The Early Textual History of Lucretius" which appears to be well worth checking out.


  • I still as of this date have not had time to read through this work, but as I do I will try to post some notes, such as this interesting footnote dismissing the claims that Cicero "emended" the text, and that Lucretius died of suicide due to insanity from a love potion:

  • This sounds like a name that should live in Epicurean history: M. Valerius Probus

    There exist two pieces of evidence regarding the editing or commenting of Lucretius ’ work (in the modern sense of these terms). First, a grammatical tract that survives only in an eighth-century manuscript (the so-called Anecdotum Parisinum), which perhaps ultimately drew upon a lost work of Suetonius, seemingly attributes an edition of DRN, annotated with critical symbols, to M. Valerius Probus (late first century ad ). Second, Jerome testified that, in the late fourth century, at least one commentary upon the poem was available to him (and this could be linked with Probus ’ work).

  • The first part of page one of the best surviving copy of Lucretius, Butterfield page 197