Reading Horace’s lyric
: a tenth-century annotated manuscript in the British Library (Harley 2724)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The thesis presents a detailed analysis of scholia found in the late tenth- or early eleventh-century Bavarian Horace manuscript, British Library Harley 2724. I append a full transcript of scholia found in the lyric part of this manuscript. The Harley annotations are distinguished by extensive verbatim use of texts and commentaries, particularly Orosius, Eutropius, Paul the Deacon, Dares, Dictys, Solinus, Cicero’s De Senectute, Isidore’s Etymologiae, Macrobius’ In Somnium, Servius, Remigius’ commentary on Martianus Capella, scholia on Statius’ Thebaid, Bede’s commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, and other sources. One the basis of the examined evidence, I suggest that the annotations form a unified body. The annotator(s) favours extensive narrative; the choice of material is not restrained by relevance to Horatian lemmata; there is a tendency to collect and compile material from multiple sources; the approach is encyclopedic, not rhetorical or stylistic. Harley 2724 is annotated in multiple hands, but these cannot be connected with the use of specific sources. It is clear from manuscript and textual evidence that the original compilation predates Harley 2724, yet seems close to Harley in place and date. In addition to the distinctive annotations described above, Harley 2724 also includes some Horace scholia, such as we find in other Horace manuscripts. Results of a comparative study of Harley 2724 and Horace manuscripts of the Vatican and the Bavarian State Libraries are presented in Chapter 1 and the Transcription. Only a small proportion of medieval Horace scholia have been scrupulously studied or edited in their entirety. The most extensive study of the medieval reading of Horace, undertaken by Friis-Jensen, focuses on popularly copied ’school-room’ commentaries, which apparently emerged in the twelfth century.
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorCarlotta Dionisotti (Supervisor) & Roland Mayer (Supervisor)

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