[Sca-cooks] roman feast / Apicius

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 19 17:29:27 PDT 2008

I wrote:
>  > Going from memory here, ISTR that Vehling was using a very
>  > redacted (in the true sense) manuscript from the 15th? 16th? century.
>  > In other words, he was not using the oldest available source, but one
>  > which had undergone many changes over the centuries.

Emilio wrote:
>Could you please try to recall or to look up where you got this?

Hey, didn't you notice my "weasel words" (i.e., "going from memory 
here" and "ISTR")??  :-)

I'll have to go take a look in my various books and check the old 
discussions in the Florilegium that Stefan conveniently posted.

>  > his translation of an already flawed source
>  Just in case there are the changes you mentioned, are
>  all of them "flaws"? I mean, in the field of cookbooks, there
>  is much change, deletion, addition, change of sequence etc., which
>  is not at all unusual.

Some change is to be expected, but there are usually more changes 
over a longer period of time and space (say, from Empire or Late 
Antique Period Rome to 19th C. Germany or England).  And there will 
probably be fewer changes or errors from, say, late 15th Spain to 
early 16th century Spain.

Also, when one is working from a complete text, one is less likely to 
make strange interpretive errors than when one is working from an 
incomplete text, and again, things often get lost over a longer 
expanse of time and space.

>  > The original manuscript is not in Classical Latin
>  Which manuscript are you speaking about? Which one do you
>  consider the "original" one. The one
>  in the New York Academy of Medicine (ninth century), the
>  one in the Vatican library (ninth century) or the one in
>  Paris (eighth century). Certainly, there must have been
>  older manuscripts now lost.

What you say is true. We don't have the original original. Or even 
early copies. We only have later copies. And the more often a copy is 
made, the more likely for scribal errors to creep in. (i.e., B is a 
copy of A, C is a copy of B, D is a copy of C, and so forth...)

 From what i read none of the existing mss. is in Classical Latin, and 
a trustworthy one is in a form of Latin common to the Late Antique 
period (more or less 2nd to 4th or 6th C. CE), a form not necessarily 
in use in the date the ms. was copied (such as the 8th or 9th C.). 
Again, i'll have to look for a good quote for you.

>  > in which words might look familiar but would have
>  > different meanings from the Classical, as well as new words
>  > whose meanings would not be in one's standard Classical
>  > Latin dictionary.
>  Could you please provide a few examples?

I don't know if i can. I have to trust my source, which, as i said, 
i'll have to check later today. The single best source of information 
on the existing manuscripts i know of is :
Apicius: A Critical Edition with an Introduction and English Translation.
by Christopher Grocock
published by Prospect Books in 2006 - September, IIRC.

 From my personal experience:
I studied Classical Latin in high school (1963-1965), after which i 
transferred to a boarding school that didn't offer Latin (which made 
me very sad). Within the past 15 years i've tried reading some 
Medieval Latin, and it was quite clear that word order and word usage 
had changed from the Classical, and certain words were in use that 
did not exist in Classical Latin (i have a Casell's Classical Latin 
dictionary, which is generally considered decent). I did, however, 
understand the Latin used in that awful movie "The 13th Warrior" 
without reading the subtitles (should i be proud of that, or ashamed? 
Seeing it was my SCA consortly duty). I don't think i've read any 
Late Antique Period Latin other than the Apician cookbook (and 
cookbooks use specialized language), but i assume that between Caesar 
and the more northerly European 14th C. stuff i was reading, there 
were quite a few changes.

Again, if i don't post with more details, remind me. I'm not trying 
to squirm out of your questions, which are all excellent, i.e., 
asking me to defend my off-the-cuff remarks with quotes and sources. 
I just sometimes forget to follow up even when i intend to.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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