European Scholar

CANTER, Willem

  • Image
  • Date of Birth: 1542-08-03
  • Born City: Leeuwarden
  • Born State/Country: Netherlands
  • Date of Death: 1575
  • Death City: Leuven
  • Death State/Country: Belgium
  • Education:

    Study at Leuven, 1554-60; Paris, 1560-2; travel in Europe, 1562-5.

  • Professional Experience:

    Private scholar

  • Publications:

    Novae Lectiones libri quattuor (Basel, 1564); Aelii Aristidis...orationum tomi tres nunc primum versi in Latinum (trans.) (Basel, 1566); Novarum lectionum libri septem, in quibus, praeter variorum autorum, tam Graecorum quam Latinorum, expliiationes et emendationes (Basel, 1566); Lycophronos tu Chalkideos Alexandra (with J.J. Scaliger) (Basel, 1566); De ratione emendandi Graecos auctores syntagma (Basel, 1566; Antwerp, 1571); Euripides Tragoediae XIX (Basel, 1571); Ioannis Stobaieus Eclogae libri duo (with J.J. Scaliger) (Antwerp, 1575); Sophoclis Tragediae VII (Antwerp, 1579); Aeschyli Tragoediae VII (Antwerp, 1580). 

  • Notes:

    Canter began his study of classics when he was shipped from his home in the Netherlands to school in Belgium at the age of 12. After study in Leeuwen he moved to Paris, where Greek was more prominent than in his homeland, and where he studied under Cornellius Valerus (fl. 1557-78) and encountered fellow students Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609), who would go on to expand the notion of the classical world beyond Greece and Rome, and the future member of the Plíade and Hellenist Jean Dorat (1508-88), whom Canter called "unicom et optimum Homeri interpreter." would become a noted Hellenist and a member of the Pléiade. The Wars of Religion drove Canter, who had independent wealth, to Italy where he studied manuscripts. In an era of church-influenced Latin studies, Canter was a groundbreaking Hellenist, who occasionally turned his attention to Propertius and Cicero. With Scaliger he produced editions of Lycophron and Athenaeum. From his home in Louvain, he published lectures (Novae Lectiones 1564) and a highly influential Syntagma on emending Greek texts, and an edition of Stobaeus's Eclogae. His revolutionary work was with the tragedians, beginning with Euripides in 800 pages.. Canter's innovation was to first note the corresponsions in the choruses, marking them with numbers then making any textual changes in accord with that colometry. According to Jebb, his Sophocles was still of value two centuries after its publication.mark the co-responsions of the choruses. produced editions of Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus, the last two published after his untimely death, are distinguished by his marking the metrical responsions in the choruses. His system of determining identifying handwriting, scribal errors, and emending texts, published originally as an appendix to his edition of the orators, was a handbook for editors and used by scholars as late as Eduard Fraenkel.

  • Sources:

    Pfeiffer 1300-1850, 106; Jebb, intro to Sophocles,(1897) xxxviii; Sandys, 216-7; E.J. Kenney, The Classical Text (1974) 36-7; M. Mund-Dopchie, "Guillaume Canter, editeur d'Éschyle, in Album aangeboden aan Charles Verlinden (1975) 233-5; K. Vanek, Ars corrigendi in der Frühen Neuzeit. Studien zur Textkritik (Diss. Düsseldorf, 2007) 52-62; Peter Kuhlmann, BNP, 99.

  • Author: Ward Briggs