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D. Virgil as Performed or Declaimed

D. Virgil as Performed or Declaimed

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was summarily dismissed around 122. These positions gave him full access to

the imperial archives. He is the author of De vita Caesarum (On the Life of the

Caesars), twelve biographies of emperors from Caesar to Domitian (see below, II.F.1.d). Of his De viris illustribus (On Famous Men), lives of Roman

men of letters, we have preserved complete only De grammaticis et rhetoribus

(On Scholars and Orators). A number of poets’ lives, usually attached to

manuscripts of their work and found in varying states of abridgment, are most

likely drawn from it, as is the vita of Virgil that is transmitted to us under the

name of Aelius Donatus (see below, IV.D.2 and II.A.1).

Vita Neronis (Life of Nero) 54 (Text and translation: Suetonius, The Lives of

the Caesars, The Lives of Illustrious Men, ed. and trans. J. C. Rolfe, vol. 2, LCL 38

[1914]):

Sub exitu quidem vitae palam voverat, si sibi incolumis status permansisset, proditurum se partae victoriae ludis etiam hydraulam et choraulam et

utricularium ac novissimo die histrionem saltaturumque Vergili Turnum.



Toward the end of his life, in fact, [Nero] had publicly vowed that if he

retained his power, he would at the games in celebration of his victory give a

performance on the water organ, the flute, and the bagpipes, and that on the

last day he would appear as an actor and dance ‘‘Virgil’s Turnus.’’



3. Probus

Under the name of Marcus Valerius Probus (see below, II.A.7, IV.A.5) circulated a commentary on the Eclogues and Georgics that contains a section in

which the commentator interprets Virgil’s use of the words cano and carmen as

indicating the sort of delivery he foresaw for the given poem. (Text: ThiloHagen 3.2:328)

Qua pronuntiatione quaeque ecloga legi debeat, sic ordinabitur, quoniam in ipsis, quae cantanda putat, carminis facit mentionem; si non putat,

huius omnino nominis non meminit. Adeo secunda ecloga cantanda erat: ait

in principio: ‘‘O crudelis Alexi, nihil mea carmina curas?’’ [Eclogues 2.6] Sed

in tertia, usque quo cantanda non fuit, praetermisit; at ubi cantandum erat:

Ab Iove principium Musae: Iovis omnia plena,

Ille colit terras, illi mea carmina curae [Eclogues 3.60–61].



Et in reliquis eclogis hoc idem licet animadvertere. Nam Georgica quomodo pronuntiarentur, statim ostendit dicendo: ‘‘Hinc canere incipiam’’

[Georgics 1.5]. Item Aeneida quoniam plasmate legi volebat, ait: ‘‘Arma virumque cano’’ [Aeneid 1. 1].



With what sort of delivery each eclogue ought to be read will be determined

in this way, seeing that he makes mention of song in the very ones he thinks are

D. VIRGIL AS PERFORMED OR DECLAIMED



163



to be sung; if he does not think so, he does not recall this word at all. In fact the

second eclogue was to be sung: he says in the beginning, ‘‘O cruel Alexis, you

care nothing for my songs?’’ But in the third, up through where it was not to be

sung, he omitted the word; but when it was to be sung, [he said]:

From Jove begins my Muse: all things are full of Jove;

He looks after the earth; he takes care of my songs.



It is possible to notice this same fact in the rest of the Eclogues. For he reveals

at the outset how the Georgics are to be delivered, saying: ‘‘Hence I will begin

to sing.’’ Likewise, seeing that he wished the Aeneid to be read with modulation, he said: ‘‘Of arms and the man I sing.’’ (JZ)



4. Lucian

(born circa 120)

Lucian was a major figure of the ‘‘Second Sophistic,’’ as is called the period

circa 60–230, when declamation became the dominant form of rhetoric in the

Greek-speaking world. He includes in Saltatio (The Dance), as part of a description of a dancer’s repertoire, ‘‘the wandering of Aeneas and the love of

Dido.’’ (Text and translation: Lucian, [Opera omnia], vol. 5, ed. and trans.

A. M. Harmon, LCL 302 [1968], 256–57) (JZ)



5. Macrobius

See below, IV.C. Saturnalia 5.17.5. For the larger context, see below, III.E.4.

(Text: J. Willis, ed., 2nd ed., Bibliotheca Teubneriana [Leipzig, 1970])

. . . nec minus histrionum perpetuis et gestibus et cantibus celebretur.



. . . nor is [Dido] extolled the less continuously in both movements and songs

of performers. (JZ)



6. Performances of the Eclogues

a. Aelius Donatus

See below, IV.D.2. VSD 26.

Iunius Philargyrius’s (see below, IV.D.1) Explanatio in Bucolica Vergilii:

Prooemium employs the same wording, with the substitution of cantatores for

cantores and of recitarentur for pronuntiarentur. (Text: Thilo-Hagen 3.2:7–8)

Bucolica eo successu edidit, ut in scaena quoque per cantores crebro pronuntiarentur.



He published the Bucolics with such success that even on stage singers delivered them frequently. (DWO and JZ)

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I. VIRGIL THE POET



b. Servius, Comment on Eclogues 6.11

See below, IV.B. (Text: Thilo-Hagen 3.1:66)

Dicitur autem ingenti favore a Vergilio esse recitata, adeo ut, cum eam postea

Cytheris meretrix cantasset in theatro, quam in fine Lycoridem vocat, stupefactus Cicero, cuius esset, requireret.



[Eclogues 6] is also said to have been recited by Virgil with enormous success,

to such a degree that, when afterward the courtesan Cytheris, whom he lastly

calls Lycoris, had sung it in the theater, the astonished Cicero asked whose it

was. (MP)

c. Jerome

See above, I.C.30.

In a letter that bewails the self-indulgent attachment of the clergy to pagan

writers (Epistles 21.13 = p. 123, lines 19–21), Jerome refers in passing to the

singing of the Eclogues. (Text: I. Hilberg, ed., CSEL 54, 2nd ed. [Vienna,

1996], 123–24)

At nunc etiam sacerdotes Dei, omissis evangeliis et prophetis, videmus comoedias legere, amatoria bucolicorum versuum verba canere, tenere Vergilium, et id quod in pueris necessitatis est, crimen in se facere voluntatis.



But now we see God’s priests, having neglected the Gospels and the books of

the prophets, reading comedies, singing lovemaking words of verses in the

Eclogues, and holding fast to Virgil, and committing in themselves as a crime of

desire what is in boys a matter of necessity. (JZ)



7. Servius

See below, IV.B.

In spite of the references to Virgil’s own recitation of his poetry, the evidence about the style of his delivery is tantalizingly vague. A case in point is

Servius’s observation on Aeneid 4.323. (Text: Thilo-Hagen 1:521)

Dicitur autem ingenti adfectu hos versus pronuntiasse, cum privatim paucis

praesentibus recitaret Augusto; nam recitavit voce optima primum libros

tertium et quartum.



Virgil is reported moreover to have delivered these verses with great passion

when he recited them to Augustus, with few people present; for he recited in

the finest voice first the third and fourth books. (JZ)



8. Augustine

See above, I.C.31. Sermo 241.

In a sermon preached in 411, Augustine spoke ‘‘during Eastertide, on

D. VIRGIL AS PERFORMED OR DECLAIMED



165



the Resurrection of the Body, against the Pagans.’’ In a passage that exercised a great influence, Augustine introduces a quotation of Aeneid 6.719–21

by describing how one pagan author (he refrains coyly from naming Virgil) articulated his horror at the idea of bodily resurrection. (Text: PL 38,

1135–36)

Exhorruit quidam auctor ipsorum, cui demonstrabatur, vel qui inducebat

apud inferos demonstrantem patrem filio suo. Nostis enim hoc prope omnes;

atque utinam pauci nossetis. Sed pauci nostis in libris, multi in theatris, quia

Aeneas descendit ad inferos, et ostendit illi pater suus animas Romanorum

magnorum venturas in corpora.



A certain pagan author took fright, when this [notion] was pointed out to

him, or when he brought onto the stage a father pointing it out to his son

among the nether shades. Indeed, almost all of you know this—and would

that few of you did! But few of you know from books, many from the theater,

that Aeneas descended to the nether shades and his father showed him the

souls of great Romans who would come into bodies. (MP and JZ)



9. Fulgentius

See below, IV.F.

In the Expositio Virgilianae continentiae (Explanation of the Content of

Virgil), Fulgentius (mid or late sixth century) summons up Virgil to explicate

to him the meaning of the Aeneid. Before beginning his explanation, Virgil

strikes the pose of an orator. (Discussion: A. Corbeill, Nature Embodied: Gesture in Ancient Rome [Princeton, 2004], 50–51, 60–61) (Text: R. Helm, ed.

[Leipzig, 1898], 86)

Itaque compositus in dicendi modum erectis in iotam duobus digitis tertium pollicem comprimens ita verbis exorsus est.



And so, striking an oratorical pose, with two fingers forming an iota and

pressing together against them a third, the thumb, he began to speak. (JZ)



10. Venantius Fortunatus

(Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus, circa 540–circa 600)

Born in Italy but resident in France from 565 until his death, Venantius was a

prolific Christian Latin poet whose hymns include Pange lingua and Vexilla

regis. In Carmina 7.8.25–26 he mentions a reading of Virgil, which presumably took place from volumes still housed then in the Bibliotheca Ulpia. (Text:

F. Leo, ed., MGH Auctores antiquissimi 4.1 [Berlin 1881], 162)

si sibi forte fuit bene notus Homerus Athenis

aut Maro Traiano lectus in urbe foro

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. . . if perchance to him was Homer well known at Athens or Virgil read at

Rome in the Forum of Trajan . . . (MP)



11. Virgil and Musical Notation

The earliest extant examples of measured music (and of secular song) printed

from movable type are lines from Horace, Lucan, Ovid, and Virgil that serve as

illustrations in the section on Harmonia (Harmony) in Grammatica brevis (A

Concise Grammar), a grammar book by Pescennio Francesco Negro (born

1452) published in Venice (Theodorus Herbipolensis, March 21, 1480). But

long before the invention of the printing press, Virgil’s poetry was being

written with musical notation—and presumably was being sung as well. More

than two dozen passages of Virgil’s poetry survive with musical notation from

the tenth through the twelfth centuries. These instances o√er a reminder of

how di√erent the experience of encountering Virgil could have been to the

audiences of medieval manuscripts. In addition, they suggest how complexly

musical notation, in the form of ‘‘neumes,’’ could relate to other types of

markers that were being developed to give directions about the delivery and

comprehension of poetry. During these same three centuries musical notation

came into play with other systems of signs that scribes used to help elucidate

the nature and meaning of di≈cult Virgilian passages, particularly speeches.

With regard to the reception of notated texts, our picture of how the text of

Virgil was experienced in medieval classrooms remains frustratingly limited

and hazy. The almost axiomatic assumption that the juxtaposition of oral

delivery and literature is a contradiction in terms is nothing new, but rather

dates to antiquity, which has left few and tantalizingly vague testimonia about

the specifics of actio and pronuntiatio (delivery). A case in point is Servius’s

observation on Aeneid 4.323 (see above, I.D.7). Virgil’s recitation was expressive, putting on display his voice and his facility in imparting emotions. The

action of recitation often has as its basis a written text. Nonetheless, whereas

reading may be termed a visual act, recitation seems generally to be an oral

one—and usually one performed from memory. Did Virgil’s recitation involve

a physical text? Was it a matter of reading aloud, as plain and simple as reading aloud ever is? Or did it incorporate features of cantillation or even of

song? After all, Macrobius suggested that at least the story of Dido (whether

or not that means Virgil’s poetry is another question) was sung by actors (see

below, III.E.4).

Such questions, unanswerable as Servius may leave them, are not merely

academic. In seeking to understand how texts such as the Aeneid would have

been received in their own day, we must reflect upon how their authors may

well have shaped their style—their very language—to make their poems more

D. VIRGIL AS PERFORMED OR DECLAIMED



167



e√ective in recitation. And beyond the nature of the reception that such writings underwent in their own times, we must evaluate what would have happened to them in their later transmission. A great puzzle is what form Servius

or (maybe even more intriguingly) his medieval readers would have thought

that Virgil’s oral performance of this portion of the Aeneid had taken. Under

certain conditions the qualities of the texts that lent themselves well to recitation in antiquity may have provoked chanting and singing in later periods.

In one German manuscript of the tenth–eleventh century (Budapest, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár 7, fols. 97v–98r) Servius’s report of how Virgil

recited the Aeneid is placed prominently as the final line in a gloss atop a folio

side that, immediately beneath it, has an early form of musical notation for the

very stretch of the epic to which it pertains. If the medieval producers and

users of the manuscript believed that the Aeneid was meant, in at least some of

its parts and on at least some occasions, to be sung, then they may have

resorted to their own native cultures for analogues and inspirations in imagining what the nature of that singing should be. Doing so would have been

consonant with the mediation between classical Latin and older Germanic that

happens sporadically between the lines in the same passages, in which a few

words are glossed in a Germanic vernacular. Thus the Latin compellat (accosts)

in Aeneid 4.304 is explained in the interlinear space above it as ‘‘gruotta’’

(greets), infensi (hostile) in 321 as ‘‘orbulgan’’ (angered), and capta (vanquished) in 330 as ‘‘briuechan’’ (destroyed)

The same manuscripts that accompany Virgilian texts with neumes are also

central in the literary reception of the texts and often display heavy signs of

consultation and supplementation. For instance, a ninth-century manuscript

of Virgil now in Paris (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MS lat. 7925) that may

have originated in Limoges contains, in addition to neumes, annotations in

Tironian notes, a Latin shorthand that was revived during the ninth century.

After Priscian, Virgil was the ancient author whose writings were most frequently accompanied by glosses recorded in this form of stenography.

Another example involves a tenth-century north Italian codex now in the

Laurentian library in Florence (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Ashburnham 23) containing a text of Virgil that was first corrected (by adding

omitted syllables of Latin above the lines) and then neumed by one and the

same later hand. Like at least ten manuscripts with neumed texts of classical

poetry, this codex contains marking to indicate how the syntax of especially

challenging passages would be construed if the words were read in normal

prose. Such signs are commonly designated ‘‘construe marks’’ or ‘‘construction marks’’ in modern paleographic terminology. The indicators were intended to communicate how words (particularly in verse) were to be reor168



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dered into an order closer to that of normal Latin prose (ordo naturalis)—or

perhaps closer to the word order of the pupils’ native language.

A tabulation of the passages in Virgil with neumation that have been identified to date reveals that many of them—fifteen—were speeches. The salience

of speeches among the neumed passages suggests that musical notation accompanied direct address in particular. As seen below (IV.D.3.d), much of the

Interpretationes Vergilianae that Tiberius Claudius Donatus wrote in the late

fourth or early fifth century focuses upon the speeches. Against this backdrop,

it seems only natural that teachers, musicians, and others should have gravitated toward the poems and sections of poems that have always been especially

favored and studied, because of their emotional intensity and literary quality.

To exemplify the way in which neuming can undo the tangle of speeches

within speeches, consider Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 18059

(second quarter of the eleventh century, from Germany). Folio 183r presents

two columns of text. The left column begins with Aeneid 2.24 and concludes

with 2.74. The progression in this stretch of Virgil’s epic is intricately imbricated. Aeneas is narrating the fall of Troy. The midpoint of the fifty lines in this

column falls in the speech that Laocoön makes to his fellow Trojans in a failed

attempt to dissuade them from receiving the wooden horse into their city.

The speech commences without any more warning than the exclamation Ó

(Aeneid 2.42), which bears here what appears to be an accent mark (as it often

does)—comparable in this usage to the upside-down exclamation mark that

in the punctuation of Spanish precedes an exclamation. The reader is given a

verbal cue to the impending speech by the interlinear gloss above Et procul

(Aeneid 2.42 and from afar): ‘‘Dixit’’ (He said). (In Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MS lat. 9344 [first half of the eleventh century, from Echternach in

present-day Luxembourg], fol. 55r, similar attention is paid to signaling the

start of the speech by the gloss ‘‘Scilicet inquit’’ [Obviously, he says].) Much

more explicit guidance is forthcoming in the neumes, which commence at O

miseri (O wretched) and run through the whole of the speech, to end in a

melismatic flourish over the words Sic fatus (Aeneid 2.50 So saying), which

indicate the transition out of direct address. The same holds true in 69–72,

where the whole of Sinon’s speech is neumed (including—as is commonly the

case—the word inquit, which in antiquity would have been by itself, even if

postpositively, a su≈cient ‘‘flag’’ that the passage was direct address).

The manuscript of this passage is speckled with glosses to elucidate meaning in general, especially by untangling syntax. Thus a marginal gloss to line 44

explains ‘‘Ordo: dona Danaum, non dolis Danaum.’’ An interlinear gloss to 42

supplies a verb and connects an otherwise unattached phrase to the addressees

of the speech: the half line in question is que tanta insania cives (What wild

D. VIRGIL AS PERFORMED OR DECLAIMED



169



frenzy is this, citizens?), and the gloss is ‘‘est in vobis’’ (it is in you). The

telegraphic Sic notus Ulixes? (Aeneid 2.44 Is it thus you know Ulysses?) begs for

information about what the word sic assumes, and a gloss reveals ‘‘est nobis

dolosus’’ (He is deceitful to us). When the vocabulary would have posed

challenges, paraphrase or expansion in Latin was not always the most economical option. Consequently the glossator simply supplied the corresponding

words in Old High German (Bavarian dialect). For example, he explicated

machina (engine of war) in 46 as ‘‘girusti’’ (equipment) and desuper (from

above) in 47 as ‘‘vonopani’’ (from above). The latter word must have often

occasioned trouble, since it was also glossed in Paris, Bibliothèque nationale,

MS lat. 9344, with the phrase ‘‘in urbem’’ (against or upon the city).

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 18059, folio 221r, displays neumation that operates similarly. Beginning shortly after Virgil’s description of

Ilian women who are making great wailing (Aeneid 11.37), it runs throughout

Aeneid 11.42–58, blanketing the whole of Aeneas’s lament for Pallas—even,

once again, the word inquit, since it and other indications of speech such as ait

are usually neumed when they occur within speeches that are neumed. For

example, see Prague, Národní knihovna (National Library), MS VIII.H.9

(1627) (first half of the twelfth century, from Germany), folios 4r–4v, in

which ait in Lucan 1.300 is neumed; or St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 863 (first

half of the tenth century, from St. Gall), p. 212, in which the same verb is

neumed in Lucan, De bello civili 8.746. Such words had acted in the guise of

quotation marks in the classical period, since Latin speakers then were habituated to encountering—after the sentence in question had started—words that

conveyed major information about the nature of the communication. But in

the changed linguistic situation of the Latin Middle Ages, verbs of this type

were not always su≈cient by themselves, especially when they were not positioned before the speech actually began. Accordingly, a glossator undertook

additional measures to highlight the exordium of the speech in Aeneid 11. In

the left margin of the Munich MS is a gloss, spotlighted by a mark that is

potentially confusing for being neumelike. As in the earlier case, the gloss—repeating Servius verbatim—is a small beacon to alert the reader that the adjacent passage is a speech. The gloss on ‘‘tene’’ inquit explains that inquit is

repetitive, since Virgil has stated in the preceding line that Aeneas is speaking

(fatur): ‘‘Iteratio est, nam supra ait ‘lacrimis sic [recte, ita] fatur obortis’ ’’

(Aeneid 11.41 It is repetition, for above he said ‘‘speaks thus, amid welling

tears’’). This insight was far more necessary when the Latin text lacked the

single and double quotation marks that figured in the punctuation of both the

preceding sentences.

Another approach, less labor-intensive than neumation but purveying

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much less information about delivery and also requiring activity outside the

text frame, would have been to mark the commencement of a speech within a

speech with a marginal drawing of a small hand with one finger pointing

toward the passage and the others balled in a fist. In medieval manuscripts this

kind of a hand, designated manicula from the Latin word for a small hand (or

manicule from the French derivative of the Latin), often drew attention to

important passages. Such marking may be the function of the manicula that

points to the first word in Hector’s speech to Aeneas in Aeneid 2.289 in

the German manuscript Budapest, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár 7 (tenth–

eleventh century), folio 73v; the preceding folio side (73r) contains neumation for the lines that lead up to this speech (Aeneid 2.274–86). A manicula is

found in the same manuscript on folio 99r, at the end of Aeneid 4.422, two lines

before another neumed passage (Aeneid 4.424–34).

Not unexpectedly, the frenzy of Dido in the fourth book of the Aeneid, as it

reveals itself in harangues to Aeneas and Anna as well as in a monologue,

garnered more attention from neumators than any other episode in any classical Latin poem. (For plates, see Combarieu, as well as Riou, ‘‘Chronologie et

provenance’’ [cited below], plate VI 2, which reproduces Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS 239 [middle third of the ninth century, from eastern France],

fol. 42v = Aeneid 4.651–58.) No fewer than four substantial stretches of

Dido’s words were neumed. Three manuscripts contain neumation for Dido’s

final speech, which begins at Aeneid 4.651. Only one provides notation all the

way through her last words in 4.662. In the other two the neumation ceases at

the end of 4.658. It is possible that the shorter versions came about as a result

of a mnemonic failure, one that is almost feasible to reconstruct: line 659

begins with the word dixit (she spoke), line 663 with dixerat (she had spoken). But the mise en page of one shorter version suggests that, whatever

reason led to the notation of only part of the speech, the scribe knew where it

would conclude: Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS 239, folio 42v, has an oversized

initial D in the word Dixit in line 659, as if to denote a major textual division.

At the other end of the passage, the neumation starts out pyrotechnically: the

first syllable of dulces, the initial word in 651, has above it a veritable Catherine

wheel of neumes, in the manner of a melisma. Even before the notation begins, anyone approaching the passage would be alerted that it is a speech,

because an Ó (an O with an acute accent) is written in the left margin to bring

home that the phrase dulces exuviae is a vocative (O relics once dear).

Part of the attraction that the speeches of Dido exerted would have been the

spectrum of emotions they covered: pathos, which has been rightly identified as a basic constituent of the Aeneid, is nowhere more salient than in the

fourth book. At the same time, as rhetorical objects the speeches are supremely

D. VIRGIL AS PERFORMED OR DECLAIMED



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complex—and the complexity extends even to their metrical workings. Dido’s

speeches are riddled with distinctive prosodic features, such as elisions in

unusual positions in the line, atypical line endings, and anomalous caesuras.

The prosody and the psychology are inextricable.

The two preoccupations, of grasping both the emotions and the rhetoric,

come to the fore in the glosses and comments that can be found in the environs

of some neumed passages. A case in point is Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 21562 (end of the twelfth century, from Germany), folio 122r, which

transmits Aeneid 4.424–35 with neumes. With the paragraphing and quotation marks in today’s editions and translations, the shifting from Virgil’s address to Dido and editorializing to the reader (408–12), through the resumption of the narration (413–15), and into Dido’s pleading speech to Anna

(416–36) can be followed without any headscratching. In the medieval manuscripts other sorts of cues were needed—and provided—to forestall baΔement. Thus the rhetorical question by the narrator, which might otherwise

perplex unwary readers, is set o√ by a large colored initial at line 408. At the

line’s end appears the caption ‘‘Poeta alloquitur Didonem’’ (The poet addresses Dido) just to obviate any chance of confusion. Virgil’s concluding

editorial comment improbe Amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis! (O tyrant

love, to what do you not drive the hearts of men?) in 412 elicits the caption

‘‘Exclamatio a poeta contra amorem’’ (Outburst by the poet against love). In

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 305 (early twelfth century, from

Germany), folio 106r, the same verse bears the same caption with, in addition,

a manicula so that no one consulting the manuscript would fail to take note of

the dangers immanent in love.

For the musical notation of such passages to have died out by 1200 may

seem unexpected and even paradoxical, since the so-called twelfth-century

Renaissance was favorable for both education and the copying of the classics.

A few plausible explanations come to mind, although it is important to avoid

any facile conclusions about a process that involved (to degrees we have not

yet understood fully) complex changes in both music and notation. One is

that the learning of basic Latin and the learning of chant were drifting apart.

Another possible reason is that tastes were changing in music, away from

monophony toward polyphony—and consequently away from forms that

could be notated with neumes between lines or in the margins. For the new

music, new notation and more spacious formats for text were essential. Both

the old music and the old way of notating it became lost arts. Or, to look at the

situation from a slightly di√erent perspective, notation in the twelfth century

became almost universally diastematic, and music that had been purveyed

mainly by cantors, librarians, and teachers failed to make the passage into a

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notational system that provided more exact information about pitch and less

about interpretative nuances to its users. The neumed classics persisted for

a while in the German-speaking centers where nondiastematic notation remained in use.

A third explanation is that as music grew in importance, composers grew

less willing to confine themselves to the awkwardnesses of a verse system that

had varying numbers of syllables and a meter out of step with the rhythmic

meters in vogue in their own day. This unwillingness would help to account

for the appearance of vernacular songs and rhythmic Latin texts based on the

same episodes in the Aeneid that had been neumed not long before.

(Discussion: J. Combarieu, Fragments de l’Enéide en musique, d’après un

manuscrit inédit. Fac-similés phototypiques précédés d’une introduction [Paris,

1898]; H. Rumphorst, ‘‘Zur musikalischen Gestaltung der Verse Aeneis 4,

424–436 im Cod. Guelf. 66 Gud. Lat. f. 20vb1,’’ in Vergil. Handschriften und

Drucke der Herzog August Bibliothek, ed. B. Schneider [Wolfenbüttel, 1982],

28–34; J. Ziolkowski, ‘‘Nota Bene: Why the Classics were Neumed in the

Middle Ages,’’ Journal of Medieval Latin 10 [2000], 74–114; idem, ‘‘Between

Text and Music: The Reception of Virgilian Speeches in Early Medieval Manuscripts,’’ Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici 52 [2004], 107–26;

idem, Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Songs in the Early Middle Ages,

Publications of The Journal of Medieval Latin 7 [Turnhout, 2007], passim.) (JZ)

List of Virgil Manuscripts with Musical Notation

Four inclusions that may be dubious, because the association of the melody

with the poetry in the manuscript is in question, are marked with asterisks (*).

Y.-F. Riou, ‘‘Chronologie et provenance des manuscrits latins neumés,’’ Revue

d’histoire des textes 21 (1991), 113, designates these passages in Virgil as having

marginal (not interlinear) notation, which he is not certain pertains to the

text. A di√erent question is raised by two passages in Aeneas’s long narration

about the fall of Troy and the wanderings of his men in books 2 and 3 of the

Aeneid; whereas three other passages from within the narration are accounts of

speeches by others, these two are directly in Aeneas’s voice. Whether passages

from such a long narrative speech should be equated with other shorter

speeches is open to debate, but the former have been included in the count

here.

The bracketed letter and number following the library classmark indicates

the identifier assigned to the manuscript in B. Munk Olsen, L’étude des auteurs

classiques latins au onzième et douzième siècles, 3 vols. (Paris, 1982–89). The

bracketed information about date and localization pertains to the neumes.

When preceded by ‘‘R,’’ it is drawn from Riou. He indicates within parentheses

D. VIRGIL AS PERFORMED OR DECLAIMED



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