Small but Mighty: Critical Note to De facie 944A
Keywords:Plutarch, Moon, Textual Criticism, Ancient Astronomy
In De facie 944A, in the midst of his speech about the moon’s nature and functions, the Stranger affirms that astronomers’ calculations of the size of the moon are incorrect, and this body is, in fact, larger than previously thought. The text of the passage is not an easy one: there are a number of discrepancies between the manuscripts’ readings, two lacunae, and several interventions by scholarship.
In this paper, I will first address other passages where the matter of the moon’s size is discussed, so as to give some contextualization to the Stranger’s views; and, secondly, I will survey the historical-philological background of the solutions offered in the past in order to suggest another way to solve the textual issues.