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Reviews313 Vida de Segundo; Versión castellana de la Vita Secundi de Vicente de Beauvais. Ed. Hugo O. Bizzarri. Exeter Hispanic Texts Volume 56. Exeter: University ofExeter Press, 2000. 122 pp. ISBN 085989 675 7 The Vida de Segundo is a short sapiential work with a long literary history. The first known versions of the education and dicta of Secundus, the "silent philosopher", are Greek texts that date from the second or third century CE. Numerous versions of the legend circulated throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although both Hermann Knust and B.E. Perry prepared transcriptions ofthe Castilian Vida de Segundo as appendices to their broader studies , Hugo O. Bizzarri's new edition of the Castilian translation of Vincent of Beauvais's Latin version of the life and axioms of the legendary Greek philosopher Secundus is the first to focus solely on the Castilian Vida, highlighting it as an important text in the widely read and frequently adapted sapiential tradition. Bizzarri provides a thorough philological critical apparatus and a study of the Vidai relationships to previous Latin versions of the life and sententiae, as well as its place within the Castilian sapiential corpus. The edition and study are expressly presented as a sequel to his edition of a related sapiential work, the Diálogo de Epictetoy el emperadorAdriano, published in 1995, and are the most recent product of Bizzarri's ongoing analysis of individual strands of the densely woven intertextual world ofmedieval Iberian sapiential literature. The Vida is an arresting tale seasoned with neo-Pythagorean cynicism, misogyny and hagiographie motifs, all followed by pithy sententiae. As a young boy, Secundus is sent by his parents to be educated in Athens, where he learns, among many other unspecified subjects, that there is no such thing as a chaste woman. As a grown man with a long beard he returns to his childhood home after the death of his father. Since his mother does not recognize him, he decides to test the theory offemale sexuality he learned in school. His mother, not surprisingly, fails the test. She dies when Secundus reveals himself and the experiment. Secundus, concluding that his mother died by his words, vows eternal silence, returns to Athens, and becomes renowned for his wisdom. At this point, the work's focus shifts from the titillating and disastrous test that explains the philosopher's silence to the transmission of the wisdom he attained in Athens. The Emperor Hadrian hears of Secundus and demands to be taught by him. Secundus, with the tenacity of a Christian martyr, refuses to break his vow of silence even on pain of death. Hadrian spares the philosopher , who then answers a series of twenty questions by writing his concise sententiae on a tablet. La corónica 30.1 (Fall, 2001): 313-16 314ReviewsLa corónica 30.1, 2001 Bizzarri's textual methodology is primarily neo-Lachmannian. In addition to the history of textual transmission and manuscript variants he provides , he includes discussions of the possible reception and use of the Vida in late-medieval Iberia in order to elucidate the "factores que fomentaron la acogida en suelo español de la Vita Secundi" (v) and divides the introduction to the edition into two complementary sections, "La tradición literaria" and "La tradición textual". In the first section, Bizzarri traces the many translations and adaptations of the life and sayings of Secundus, starting with the extant Greek manuscript witnesses. He then briefly describes Syrian, Armenian , Ethiopian and Arabic translations and provides a summary ofnineteenthand twentieth-century scholarly opinions on them. The possibility of Middle Eastern rather than Greek origins for the tale and the series of questions and answers in it are reviewed, but ultimately rejected, following the opinions of other scholars (xix). This editor leaves it to his readers to investigate the grounds for this assertion. Bizzarri outlines the medieval Latin versions that are the direct ancestors of the Castilian translations. The Greek life of Secundus was translated into Latin in the twelfth century by Willelmus Medicus and Vincent of Beauvais, who included it in his Speculum historíale. Walter Burley's translation, completed in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, and included...


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