Die Ciris im Kontext der Augusteischen Dichtung.
Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 2018. 261. Paperback. A lot of pencil markings and annotions made by a reviewer. Series: Wiener Studien, Beiheft 39. In his monograph Erich Woytek tackles the Cirisfrage - the question of the authorship and the date of composition of the pseudo-Virgilian poem Ciris - and offers a solution: the Ciris was written in 27-26 B.C. by Asinius Pollio. How does he arrive at it? The Ciris poses a paradox: while the poem's internal features point to a date of composition in the Late Republic, its numerous and often extensive parallels with Virgil may seem to betray a borrower. The debate, initiated in 1901 by Franz Skutsch and reopened in 1999 by Dorothea Gall , has mainly concentrated on a comparative analysis of these parallels, on the belief that it is possible to establish for which text a shared passage was originally composed. Initially the main criterion was 'better fit' in terms of meaning, which led Skutsch and Friedrich Leo (Skutsch's main opponent) to the opposite conclusions.  Gall introduced a new approach: she asked in which text a shared passage is stylistically more at home, and concluded that parallels are usually more typical of the Ciris' style than Virgil's. Woytek proposes a set of further formal criteria for distinguishing between the original and the imitation and argues that the poem was composed after the Georgics, but before the Aeneid. Woytek analyses a large corpus of parallels in the Ciris, Virgil, and Ovid (among others) and sketches a kind of typology of the ways in which a borrowed or imitated passage can be recognised as such when compared with its original. (...) While Woytek's treatment of this material is always detailed and penetrating, I have several issues with his typology and its application. (...) Woytek's readings of individual parallels between the Ciris and Virgil or Ovid are often stimulating and can indeed produce arguments on the dating of the Ciris, as long as these are considered in the framework of other relevant facts rather than as self-sufficient formal criteria. (...) To sum up: Woytek's monograph is not the last word in the Cirisfrage, but it is inspiring to see that the debate goes on.' (BORIS KAYACHEV in Sehepunkte Kayachev, 15.10.2018