Jacoby and FGrHist

Felix Jacoby’s Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker is a multivolume collection of extracts and quotations of Greek historians whose complete works are known but not extant. Building on the work of Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller’s Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (1841–1870, abbreviated FHG), Jacoby published the first volume in 1923 and continued with additional volumes until his death in 1959. At that time only the first three parts of the planned five parts had been completed (and part 3 lacked commentary on its authors). Parts 4 and 5 are now being completed by a team of editors.

The initial parts were published by Weidmann (Berlin), but since 1940 Brill has been the publisher; Brill is also completing the entire work under the title Brill’s New Jacoby (BNJ). Brill describes the project as follows:

Brill’s New Jacoby provides a revised edition of the Greek texts of Felix Jacoby’s Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker I–III where relevant. It includes several new authors and many fragments of existing authors that were either unknown to Jacoby or excluded by him. For the first time ever, commentaries are provided on the final 248 authors in FGrHist I–III, which Jacoby was unable to prepare before his death. Brill’s New Jacoby presents facing English translations of the Greek fragments, a new, critical commentary, and a brief encyclopedia-style entry about each historian’s life and works, with a select bibliography. Brill’s New Jacoby is currently still a work-in-progress with final publication of the last historian scheduled for 2017.

For additional background, see “Help with Fragments, part 3: Brill’s New Jacoby Online” on the Library of Antiquity blog here.

This post clarifies SBL Press style for citing Jacoby’s Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker. Most of these guidelines also apply to citations of BNJ.

1. Contra SBLHS §§8.4.1 and 8.4.2, we recommend using the abbreviation FGrHist (not FGH) for this multivolume work, since FGrHist follows Jacoby’s own practice and is less likely to be confused with Müller’s FHG.

2. Jacoby assigned each of the 856 historians in FGrHist a unique number, which forms the primary basis for citations of the work. The historians and their numbers in Jacoby’s system are conveniently listed here.

3. Jacoby also numbered the testimonia (statements about the historian) and fragments (citations and quotations of a historian’s writing) for each author. The letter T precedes the number of each testimonium; an F precedes the number of each fragment.

Instead of citing FGrHist by part (or volume) and page number, the three elements just identified are used for a full citation of a testimonium or fragment for a given historian. Specifically, citations to texts should include the abbreviation FGrHist + the author number + F/T + the fragment/testimonium number. Each element is separated by a space but no punctuation. For example, a proper citation of fragment 3a for Pausanias of Antioch (author 854 in FGrHist) is:

FGrHist 854 F 3a

Citation of the single testimonium for Pausanias is:

FGrHist 854 T 1

Contra FGrHist, SBL Press uses a single T or F even when citing multiple testimonia or fragments.

FGrHist 1 F 38–103 [i.e., all of the fragments of Hekataios of Miletos preserved by Stephanos of Byzantion]

Finally, one may identify a historian using the FGrHist number even if no testimonia or fragments are cited.

FGrHist 235 [i.e., Marcus Tullius Cicero]

For further background on FGrHist, see John Marincola’s review of the index volumes in BMCR here.

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