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About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Organization Staff PhD Research Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins

Luisa Lesage Gárriga

Critical Edition and Commentary of Plutarch’s Treatise De facie quae in orbe lunae apparet

Supervisor: dr. L. Roig Lanzillotta

Plutarch’s treatise De facie quae in orbe lunae apparet has a long and rich textual transmission through the ages: ever since our oldest testimonies (two manuscripts from the 14th and 15th centuries) to the latest editions of the 20th century, many scholars have studied, translated, corrected and commented upon its text.

As far as the editions are concerned, the De facie already appears in Aldus Manutius’ (1449-1515) edition of Plutarch’s Moralia from 1509 and in other Renaissance editions, such as the one from 1599, with the Greek text established by (Henricus) Stephanus (1528-1598) and the Latin translation from (Wilhelm) Xylander (1532-1576). Among the modern editions we owe the most relevant ones to H. Cherniss (Loeb Classical Library) and M. Pohlenz (Teubner): if these excellent editions in general improve the text and Greek syntax, sometimes they go too far in altering the text.

Besides editions and translations, scholars have also focused on the conceptual analysis of Plutarch’s treatise. Up to present, however, no single scholar has attempted an integral approach to its various and complementary perspectives. In general, scholars tend to focus on a specific aspect, be it the scientific thought, be it the religious and philosophical aspects of the text.

My project therefore intends to provide a new critical edition of the Greek text of Plutarch’s De facie and to furnish it with a complete commentary of the treatise. I hope to achieve three main objectives :

1.     To offer a new critical edition based on the collation of the two manuscripts and that corrects erroneous previous readings, discusses different proposals, conjectures and interpretations which, sometimes, unnecessarily modify the transmitted text.

2.     To elaborate a study of the contents that determines both the position of this treatise in the ensemble of Plutarch’s work and in the cultural context of his time (1st-2nd centuries CE).

3.     To provide three different commentaries devoted to different aspects of the treatise, namely scientific, religious-philosophical, and stylistic-literary. While the two former issues have been dealt with by previous scholarship, not so the latter aspect. I hope therefore to provide both an integral approach to Plutarch’s science and religious-philosophical background and a new perspective on the style and structure behind Plutarch’s work.

Last modified:14 March 2023 3.39 p.m.