Antiquariat Jürgen Dinter

Fogelmark, The Kallierges Pindar



Staffan Fogelmark

     The Kallierges Pindar

A Study in Renaissance Greek Scholarship and Printing


   2 volumes. XVII, 787 pp. incl. 160 plates. 21 x 28 cm. Cloth in slipcase.

 ISBN 978 3 924794 60 6. EUR 180,-

      Cologne, Jürgen Dinter, 2015




In 1515 the Roman printer Zacharias Kallierges issued an edition of the odes of Pindar, the famous ancient Greek poet, of such high quality that it became the vulgate text for three centuries and is still of great value today as it contains reading variants that cannot be found in any of the more than 200 Pindar manuscripts that are known up to the present. Scholars and editors alike have been debating and disagreeing about the manuscript background of the editio Romana for two hundred years.

What none of them has been aware of is that in contrast to what they assumed, they have not always been discussing the same book: in all these years no one has observed that as many as ten sheets (80 pages) have been reset and come in two variants. And it gets much worse: copies of the book may not come in two variants only but in any of more than 40 variants, because the printer sandwiched the sheets more or less at random when gathering them for copies of the book.

The author discusses these and a number of related and highly interesting questions with far-reaching consequences for the Pindar text. However, the discussion is also widened to deal with the book as a physical object, bringing up relevant questions of early printing and analytical bibliography.

The study is based on a sample of 227 copies. For nearly one hundred of them basic data are given, such as watermarks, also including the twins (more than 25,000 watermark data have been recorded); also, the permutation of each one of the 227 copies is given. The Kallierges Pindar appears to have been set in type by five compositors and to have been printed on three presses: a full account is given of the task and order of each press.

During his research into the 1515 Pindar and its long-kept secrets, the author had the exceptional fortune of uncovering the greatest secret of them all, revealed here: a unique copy has a hitherto unknown three-page-long dedication in stately Greek prose by Kallierges to an outstanding Renaissance scholar and humanist, namely his close friend and colleague at the Medicean Greek College, Marcus Musurus.

This sensational document, until now utterly unknown and of great interest to students of Renaissance Greek humanism and learning as well as early Greek printing, is now published for the first time after its initial appearance in 1515 and translated and discussed at length. In the wake of this extraordinary discovery, one of the most illustrious Greek scholars of the Italian Renaissance is exposed as a plagiarist.

The Kallierges Pindar addresses a multiple readership: analytical bibliographers, classical scholars, students of Renaissance culture and early printing, to mention just a few groups of readers who will find a challenge in the many observations and questions laid before them. (Knowledge of Greek is not a prerequisite for profiting from reading the book as virtually all the Greek that appears in the main text is translated.)


”Fogemark’s magnificent volumes address two different publics: Pindar specialists, who will find here a careful investigation of a crucial moment in Pindar’s textual history, the 1515 editio Romana; and book historians, who will discover a remarkable case study in Renaissance book production … The present study carries such a number of new features and remarks that Kallierges’ edition is again put in full light: it will therefore provide much information to both Pindar scholars and Renaissance Greek scholars. … F.’s second major discovery concerns the preliminary texts and brings in some more typical Renaissance mystery.

Instead of immediately providing the reader with answers and explanations of all problems and quibbles, F. prefers to have the reader ‘make the journey in [his] company’ (p. XV); this approach makes the reading very engaging and gives it somewhat of the suspense of an elegantly written scientific novel.” (L. Sanchi, in: The Classical Review, 67.1, 12-14, Cambridge 2016)


„This is a fascinating book, beautifully illustrated, with 160 plates of pages of the different settings, copious indexes, and appendixes documenting the author’s meticulous scholarship, as well as his love for his subject, and it is impossible, in the limited space of this review, to do justice to the wealth of information and the numerous original points of detail it offers. Scholars working on Pindar and on the Greek Renaissance will be grateful to Fogelmark for this enormous effort of many decades.“ (G. D’Alessio, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2017.07.2


„Comme il sied à un travail consacré à l’histoire de l’édition et de l’imprimerie, la réalisation matérielle reflète la qualité intellectuelle de la tâche menée à bien. Ce fruit du labeur de toute une vie requiert assurément des vertus peu communes : patience, minutie, endurance, empathie pour une figure de la tradition philologique, pour un livre et une époque aussi. En complément de cette présentation générale, les spécialistes de telle ou telle discipline aborderont en détail les points méritant un examen approfondi.“ (P. Hummel, in: Revue des Études grecques, vol. 129 (2016/2), pp. 607-614).