The Classical Quarterly

Research Article

Vergil, Probus, and Pietole, Again

R. S. Conwaya1

a1 St. Albans, September, 1932

MY ‘Further Considerations on the Site of Vergil's Farm’ have drawn from Professor Rand two more long but lively articles in which he seeks again to defend Pietole and to controvert the evidence of the manuscripts of Probus. The effect of his articles on the mind of any reader who has not both time and inclination to test Professor Rand's statements by comparing them with the passages in his own and in my writings, to say nothing of others to which he refers, is almost certain to be twofold. First an impression that the whole question depends on highly technical points, of manuscript criticism and of the interpretation of puzzling scholia, on which no one but an expert can hope to form a judgement. And, secondly, the feeling that if so devoted a student of Vergil as Professor Rand, declaring himself quite content with the mediaeval tradition, can accept with a perfectly light heart interpretations of what Vergil wrote about his own farm which leave the reader in the end quite in the dark as to where it was and what it was like, then the non-specialist scholar may safely leave the matter in that obscurity, only thanking Professor Rand cordially for the charming gaiety with which he has handled and appears to have dismissed a troublesome enigma.