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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: August ::
Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as Roscius
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1623  Friday, 15 August 2003

[1]     From:   Al Magary <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Aug 2003 11:17:40 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1611 Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as Roscius

[2]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 Aug 2003 01:29:08 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1611 Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as Roscius

[Editor's Note: For me to allow this thread to continue, posters will
need to stick only to the issue of the reference itself without extended
speculation. -Hardy]

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Aug 2003 11:17:40 -0700
Subject: 14.1611 Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1611 Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as
Roscius

Even an apprentice scholar could list 10 erroneous assumptions made, and
biases demonstrated, by the Oxfordian who analyzed the alleged 1620-50
handwritten annotation in a 1590 ed. of Camden's Britannia in the
Huntington Library.  The first error is the assumption that the
annotation itself is genuine--i.e., not itself a fraud, perhaps one
committed by an Oxfordian.  (Even the article's author admits that copy
of Britannia was in unknown hands up until 1922.)   The second is the
apparent failure of the author to consult any Latinist other than one
who makes a controversial translation but is anonymous in the citation.
The third is the assumption that the annotator was an expert in any
subject whatsoever.  The fourth is the assumption that Shakespeare was
well known enough in 1590 to be considered a famous son of Stratford.
(Camden wrote voluminously but he wasn't writing a Fuller's Worthies
catalogue.)  The fifth is that this absence (of Sh. as famous son) is
proof of any kind of literary fraud.  The sixth is that...

Shoot; I'm not going to go on.  The article is an excellent example of
fabulous scholarship--as in "resembling a fable; absurd."

Al Magary

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Friday, 15 Aug 2003 01:29:08 -0600
Subject: 14.1611 Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1611 Contemporary Reference to Shakespeare as
Roscius

Terry Ross wrote:

>The latest issue of *Shakespeare Matters* contains an essay by Paul
>Altrocchi that presents what may be a hitherto unnoticed contemporary
>reference to Shakespeare as an actor.  The annotation is in a Huntington
>Library copy of the 1590 edition of William Camden's *Britannia*, and it
>is a comment on a passage about Stratford, which (in the translation
>from Camden's Latin that appears in Altrocchi's essay) "owes all of its
>reputation to its two foster sons, John of Stratford, the Archbishop of
>Canterbury, who built the church, and Hugh Clopton, the magistrate of
>London who began the stone bridge over the Avon supported by fourteen
>arches, not without very great expense."
>
>The word "alumnis" ("foster sons") in Camden has been underlined, and
>this note has been written underneath: "& Guglielmo Shakespear Roscio
>planh nostro." Altroccchi translates the note, "and certainly to our
>Roscius, William Shakespeare."  The annotation in effect adds a third
>Stratford "alumnus" to Camden's pair, John of Stratford and Hugh
>Clopton.  In the annotator's opinion, the great actor William
>Shakespeare certainly should be counted with John of Stratford and Hugh
>Clopton as a Stratford notable.
>
>According to Altrocchi, the Huntington's Mary Robertson believes that
>characteristics of the handwriting "'suggest that our annotation was
>most likely written between 1620 and 1650.'"
>
>*Shakespeare Matters* is published by the Shakespeare Fellowship, which
>is an organization primarily for those who believe that Shakespeare did
>not and that the 17th earl of Oxford DID write the works generally
>attributed to Shakespeare.  Atrocchi gives an Oxfordian spin to the
>annotation, but if what he has found is indeed a hitherto unnoticed
>contemporary reference to Shakespeare, his discovery itself may be of
>considerable interest.  The Shakespeare Fellowship has made Altrocchi's
>essay available at this URL:
>
>http://www.shakespearefellowship.org/Newsletter/Latin_annotation.pdf

Alan Nelson has put up a page on his web site about the annotation, in
which he corrects a few things in Altrocchi's essay (beyond the usual
Oxfordian drivel, such as the ludicrous claim that "there is no evidence
that Shaksper of Stratford was a famous actor and little or no evidence
that he was an actor at all").  Nelson also provides one significant
piece of further information: the name of the book's owner, which is
inscribed on the inside cover.  He was Richard Hunt, who was born c.1596
and was vicar of Long Itchington, Warwickshire from 1621 on.  Nelson's
essay is at:

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ahnelson/Roscius.html

And his main web page is at:

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ahnelson/

Dave Kathman

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