[Humanist] 30.204 evidence or style?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jul 26 07:39:28 CEST 2016

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 204.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 20:08:19 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: style attributions pre-computer analysis
        In-Reply-To: <20160610092103.32B6E6BD8 at digitalhumanities.org>


Reading the passage below made me wonder about humanities computing and
stylistics and how such comments would be received today.

Gilbert Bagnani on the attribution of the Ludus de Morte Claudii in
<i>Arbiter of Elegance: A study of the Life & Works of C. Petronius</i>

I do not propose to deal with the question of style, since this is a
matter of personal evaluation and opinion. We do not possess any other
examples of the pamphlet literature of the time, whether by Seneca or by
anyone else, and we have therefore no fair terms of comparison, but to say
that "the sytle and spirit of the piece can be readily recognized as those
of the philosopher-poet in his lighter vein" would seem, to me at least,
to go far beyond the evidence. [Â
]  Still, I think it is fair to say that,
were it not for the manuscript attribution and Dio's mention of the
<i>Apokolokyntosis</i>, the Senecan authorship would never have appeared
obvious on grounds of style alone.

In these days of computer-assisted analysis what constitutes evidence, and
what personal evaluation?
Francois Lachance

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