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His chief work was on Catullus, whom he began to study in 1859. In the course of his research he discovered an important early manuscript of Catullus, named the Codex Oxoniensis. However, Ellis did not recognise the importance of his own discovery, and failed to consult it for his Commentary on Catullus (1876).
This appears to be common in the litterature of the matter, but it seems to me that this is a myth. I would like to point out, that the exact same codex Oxoniensis, sign. Bodl. Canonicianus Latinus 30, is briefly described on p. 837 of Doering edition of Catullus, made 37 years earlier, in 1822. It is true that Doering did not recognize the importance of the codex (a page earlier he put a note which now sounds somewhat funny, viz. that you should not expect a codex of great antiquity in public libraries in Britain, having apparently had the oldest existing one in hands), but neither did Ellis as it is clear from the quotation above. So what is the exact thing Ellis is getting credit for this "discovery" again and again? -126.96.36.199 (talk) 18:03, 23 December 2012 (UTC)