Thursday, July 07, 2011

Traube: O Roma Nobilis

"Men work best for a high purpose; and Traube's second and greater, service to palaeography was to give it such a purpose. Bred on classical philology, he embarked, soon after graduation, on a long association with the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, for which he edited vol. III of Poetae latini aevi Carolini between 1886 - his twenty-fifth year- and 1896. His main task in the University of Munich, from 1888 onwards, was to teach Latin philology, and he was eventually promoted, in 1904, to a new chair of Medieval Latin. At Munich he taught palaeography from the beginning ... but he had come to it from the study of literature, and for him palaeography was an integral part of his own particular brand of philology. What distinguished him from all other good editors of his own day, and from all too many since, was a lively historical sense which caused him to see successive stages in the transmission of a text in human terms, not just as the groundwork for an edition, but as evidence for the cultural history of the centres through which that text had been transmitted."

Julian Brown, 'Latin Palaeography since Traube', The Inaugural Address, Chair of Palaeography in the University of London, delivered at King's College on 22nd November 1962. Originally published in the Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 3 (1963), reprinted in J. Bately, M.P. Brown and J. Roberts, eds, A Palaeographer's View. The Selected Writings of Julian Brown (London, 1993), pp. 17-38, here 22-3. 

"Traube more than once expressed to me his admiration for Henry Bradshaw's gift of what he called 'sympathy with MSS.' Certainly Traube himself had this gift in a marked degree. Both of them had that loving admiration of the 'written page' to which Austin Dobson's lines give expression: 'Not as ours the books of yore, / Rows of type and nothing more.' And Traube had, like Bradshaw, the power of communicating his enthusiasm to others."
W.M. Lindsay, Obituary for Traube, Classical Review 21 (1907), pp. 188-9. 

Ludwig Traube's O Roma nobilisPhilologische Untersuchungen aus dem Mittelalter, 19.2 (Munich, 1891). 

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