A detailed study of Beinecke MS 673, a late eleventh- or early twelfth-century Italian manuscript containing a substantial portion of Lucan's Bellum civile, serves as the basis for a wider investigation into the history of the textual and scholiastic traditions to Lucan, and the question of the relationship in the manuscripts between the transmission of the text of the poem and the scholia. Some views that emerge are: (1) that, despite the abundance of the medieval manuscript evidence for Lucan, in antiquity the textual tradition did not have a very wide basis; and (2) that ancient readings may be reflected in various medieval traditions, not just in the earliest manuscripts. In regard to the commentary we find a rich and continuous tradition, dating from antiquity, that was perpetuated, altered, and became at last thoroughly medieval. The study includes a reassessment of the two best-known Carolingian commentaries, the Commenta Bernensia and the Adnotationes super Lucanum. Examination of other medieval scholia points the way toward a reevaluation of the twelfth-century commentator Arnulf of Orléans. Finally, the relationships between the medieval textual and scholiastic traditions are intricate. The complexity of these relationships provides eloquent testimony to the activity and intense interest with which Lucan was read.
Shirley Werner is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey/USA.