1.20 Epilogue: On the Market

Because Terence was still used so widely, the flood of new editions continued and even increased in the seventeenth century. If the first thirty years of printed Terences were rather a desert in text-critical terms, the end of our period, from 1600 to 1650, was truly a golden age for the Roman playwright. Even provincial booksellers of the mid-seventeenth century could boast a variety of editions, and the buyer could choose among editors of great fame and distinction. Indeed, the market looks very modern. A teacher or student in Strasbourg in 1668 could take his pick from eight different seventeenth-century editions in several formats by five modern scholarly editors. A prosperous buyer might have opted for an omnibus edition, two volumes printed in 1619 at Neustadt an der Haardt that combined a critical text by Johann Philipp Pareus (1576-1648) with commentaries and emendations by six other scholars. A comparable shopper at Frankfurt in 1660 would have seven different modern editions to choose from. A secondary market allowed less prosperous students or those with a taste for sixteenth century printing to choose from older editions also still to be had. (93)

In Italian shops the choice was also wide, though restricted somewhat by the fact that the editions by Erasmus and some Protestant editors were not sold openly and by the general preference of Italians for Italian editions. Kaspar Schoppe at Padua in the sixteen thirties unequivocally recommended Fabrini's Terence, to the exclusion of all other editions. Still, at the upper end of the market, Francesco Cardinal Barberini (1597-1679) owned seven editions and three critical works on Terence. (94) The great English text critics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries would take up Terence again and create what is now the accepted text, but they did so with the benefit of a century and a half of earlier work embodied in the many, many editions of the high Renaissance. And these latter-day editors did not have to worry the morals of this optimum auctorem latinitatis, since that question had been effectively settled for most Europeans in the long sixteenth century. They did not all agree, but they had agreed to disagree. The critical work could go forward. (95)


  • Open Bibliography
  • (93) Paulli 1668 and Beyer 1660 offer new editions; compare the much older stock of the Widow Dämmler at Nuremberg in 1652, six editions all of the sixteenth century. On the availability of these many texts, Bury 1996, 126-127.
  • (94) Schoppe 1671, 84-85; Barberini 1681.
  • (95) The epithet is that of Crinito 1505.
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