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REVIEWS115 There is, however, a large potential secondary market for many of these Arthurian volumes, students in graduate and undergraduate courses whom they could be assigned as texts, if they were available in affordable paperbacks. But again, my comments in this final paragraph are directed at Garland and not at Professor Grimbert, to whom we owe a great debt for assembling so much useful information for us in one volume. KEVIN J. HARTY I.a Salle University K.P. Harrington, ed., revised by Joseph pucci, Medieval Latin. Second Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. Pp. xxii, 679. isbn: 0-226-31712-9, $70 (cloth); 0-226-31713-7, $25.95 (paper). K.P. Harrington's Mediaeval Latin was published in 1925. It seems scarcely to have been out of print since then, having been taken up by the University of Chicago Press by 1972. The original edition comprised 698 pages of texts, very lightly annotated for oddities of grammar, vocabulary, and historical information, and a brief introduction offering four pages ofgnomic advice about the idiosyncrasies of medieval Latinity. The selection of texts was quaint, to say the least, and the help for modern students nil. This book made sense for a middle ages of bawdy and superstitious peasants and the benign ifsometimes befuddled clergy who patronized them. The total quantity of text in the new edition seems somewhat less, though the book is bulkier to handle. Additions include a fifty-page grammatical introduction by the late Alison Goddard Elliott and more explanatory headnote and bibliographical material than was in Harrington. The notes have been substantially increased, claiming to gloss all words not contained in Traupman's paperback dictionary of classical Latin. Elliott's introduction (Elliott was Pucci's predecessor at Brown and pietas the evident motive for inclusion here) is presented under title of ? Brief Introduction to Medieval Latin Grammar,' but immediately explains itself as based on a very small set of eight Vulgar Latin texts, only two of which are represented in this volume. Elliott's contribution is a dry listing of grammatical rules and exceptions running to fifty-one pages and defies the patience to read it straight through: references to its paragraphs occur from time to rime in the notes to the anthologized texts below. In selection, Pucci follows Fiarrington's original very closely. For many authors, the same excerpts appear. Some authors have been curtailed (Harrington had a weakness for yarn-spinners like Paul the Deacon), while new authors have been introduced, improving somewhat the balance and range of the collection: women writers in particular have been sought out. The fourth, ninth, and twelfth centuries have been expanded, and all the material from after the thirteenth century has been eliminated. The result is a more focused book, but one in which the Latin of the later middle ages and neo-I^tin disappear. I for one regret that later loss, but recognize Il6ARTHURIANA the incoherence of my wishes: within the limits of a single volume, greater depth and equal chronological coverage must compete against each other. I have never seen a medieval Latin course in the United States in which more than a fraction of the texts in this volume could be read, and the instructor will have plenty of opportunity to shape his or her own defacto anthology by selection and omission. Is this a serviceable text from which to select, then? With what goal? It is a commonplace that American medievalists are not the Latinists their forbears were, and the reasonable goal ofa text for students is remediation ofthat defect. Will this text promote facility and accuracy ofreading? Alas, accuracy is not the book's strong point. Adam of Saint Victor: Postquam hostem et inferna spoliavit, ad superna Christus redit gaudia. Angelorum ascendenti, Sicut olim descendenti, Parantur obsequia. 'The fealty ofthe angels is given to Christ as he ascends as once it was given to him as he descended': but Pucci has found something about 'ascendens' in Niermeyer's dictionary of medieval Latin (a work he relies on imprudently and mindlessly elsewhere) and has, barely attempting to make sense of this text, obtruded it in his notes with the bizarre claim that 'ascendenti...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1539
Print ISSN
1078-6279
Pages
pp. 115-117
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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