Porphyry's "Homeric Questions" on the "Iliad"
The Homeric Questions of the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry (3rd cent. CE) is an important work in the history of Homeric criticism. In contrast to the philosopher’s allegorical readings of Homer in De Antro and De Styge, in the Homeric Questions Porphyry solves problemata by applying the dictum that “the poet explains himself”. Based on a new collation of the manuscripts, this edition of Porphyry’s Homeric Questions on the Iliad is the first since 1880. The preface contains sections on Porphyry’s life and works, the manuscript tradition of the text, scholarship on the Homeric Questions, and the principles of this edition. The editor has eliminated much that had been wrongly attributed to Porphyry on stylistic grounds and has constructed text according to a strict distinction between extracts of the Homeric Questions, epitomes of the extracts, and Porphyrian scholia - all confusingly interspersed in the old text. A facing English translation at last makes this text accessible to the Greek-less reader. The commentary explains Porphyry’s arguments and the editor’s textual decisions. The editor sheds new light on Porphyry’s use of the dictum that “the poet explains himself”, by differentiating it from that of Alexandria textual critics.