Arist. Poet. 1461b1–3: a broad hint at Zoilus?

In Poetics 25 (1461b1–3), Aristotle mentions critics who tend to misunderstand the text or  read it inaccurately and thus criticise not the actual work, but rather their ideas on it. Some  of the extant fragments of Zoilus (4th c. BC), the best-known and the most notorious critic  of all the Aristotle’s contemporaries, imply that his critique was sometimes based on misreading  and misinterpreting of the text so he could be one of those whom Aristotle meant. This  article deals with three fragments attributed to Zoilus (two of them are found in the Scholia  to the Iliad, the third one is quoted in Ps. Longinus’ De Sublimitate), each containing criticism  towards certain passages in Homer’s poems. On closer examination it turns out that all the  inconsistencies Zoilus postulated can be explained, should we read the text more carefully.  Hence Zoilus dealt not with what is written but rather with what seemed to him to be convenient  for his criticism.

  Pavlova A.V. Arist. Poet. 1461b1–3 a broad hint at Zoilus