Scholia Basileensia

Introduction by Ivana Dobcheva


Scholia Basileensia received their named after the manuscript Basel, Universitätsbibliothek, AN IV 18. They are an abbreviated translation of the Catasterisms of Pseudo-Erathostenes that served as scholia to Germanicus' Aratea. Lactantius (fl. 4th c.) quoted them three times, which provides a terminus ante quem for their composition.

Recently Kristen Lippincott examined the character of the text comparing it with passages of Hyginus and the 'Alexandrian compilation'. She noticed the dependence on the work of Publius Nigidius Figulus who the scholiast used as a source for the catasterismic myths of the zodiacal constellations. Lippincott's caution suggestion is that the scholiast was a scholar with good Greek language skills, who had access to a Greek version of the Catasterisms and to a Latin text on the mythography of the zodiacal constellations by Nigidius Figulus, but not to Hyginus's De astronomia.Kristen Lippincott, ‘The Latin Aratea and Their “Fellow Travellers”’, in The Stars in the Classical and Medieval Traditions, ed. Alena Hadravová, Petr Hadrava, and Kristen Lippincott (Prague: The Institute of Czech Academy of Sciences/Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Science/ Scriptorium, 2019), 271–359, here p. 304.

Incipit: Quaeritur quare ab Ioue coepit et non a musis ut Homerus

Explicit: et ostendisse lacte mirate effusum est circuli albi species.




(draft version: 2021-01-15)
How to quote: Ivana Dobcheva, 'Scholia Basileensia - Aratea Digital' ( - last update: 2021-01-15).