a1 Hertford College, Oxfor
Didymus, in modern works of reference, gets rather a good press. It is conceded on all sides that he was not an original researcher and that his remarks often betray a certain want of common sense. But the general estimate is favourable: more recent works do not substantially dissent from Sandys’ verdict (History of Classical Scholarship, i. 143): ‘The age of creative and original scholars was past and the best service that remained to be rendered was the careful preservation of the varied stores of ancient learning; and this service was faithfully and industriously rendered by Didymus.’ His industry is, of course, beyond question. But it is perhaps surprising that his reputation for accuracy did not drop sharply with the publication of the Berlin papyrus of the,the defects of which cast grave doubt on his reliability and general competence.
1 I should like to thank Mr. G. L. Cawk-well for his unfailing advice and encouragement.