Konrad Gesner, the Loci Communes by pseudo Maximus Confessor and the Melissa by Antonius the monk

Diego Baldi

Abstract


The Konrad Gesner’s editions of the Loci Communes by pseudo Maximus Confessor and of the Melissa by Antonius monk, both published in 1546, were for a long time a point of reference for scholars interested in florilegia. The editorial approach of Gesner has been strongly criticized by philologists, because of his textual manipulations. For understanding the reasons of these manipulations, we have to consider the circumstances: according to the general economic situation, Gesner had to publish a cheap edition of the anthologies, and for this reason he shortened the texts. This kind of manipulation was not regrettable to the readers of the time, whom were used to Moreover, Gesner accomplished these editions and the Bibliotheca Universalis and the Pandectae at the same time. In this way, Gesner concentrated himself on the structure of the anthologies, which were divided in loci or chapters, not on their texts. The textual organization of the florilegia inspired Gesner for his classification system, fully developed in the Pandectae. From Gesner’s point of view the anthologies were a sort of catalogues, not literary works and that is the reason why he was not afraid to manipulate the texts. In the end: the Gesner’s editions are not acceptable for philologists and they are quite useless to know the true text of these byzantine anthologies. On the other hand, they are fundamental for understanding the evolution of the Gesner’s idea of Bibliography and semantic classification.

Keywords


Konrad Gesner; Maximus Confessor; Antonius Melissa; Loci Communes; byzantine anthologies

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2283-9364/5711

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