Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.07.47
Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Elizabeth Kosmetatou, Manuel Baumbach, Labored in Papyrus Leaves, Perspectives on an Epigram Collection attributed to Posidippus. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. Pp. 377. ISBN 0-674-01105-8. $25.00 (pb).
Contributors: B. Acosta-Hughes, M. Baumbach, P. Bing, B. Dignas, M. Fantuzzi, K. Gutzwiller, G. Hoffman, R. Hunter, E. Kosmetatou (2x), G. Nagy, D. Obbink (2x), N. Papalexandrou, A. Sens, D. Schur, D. Sider, M. Smith, S. Stephens, R. Thomas, K. Trampedach
Reviewed by Jan Maarten Bremer, University of Amsterdam (email@example.com)
Word count: 4672 words
Already one year after the publication of the Milan Papyrus the result of a first conference on Posidippus (henceforth: P.) was published, Un poeta ritrovato (Milan 2002), and also of a second one, Il papiro di Posidippo un anno dopo (Firenze 2002). In that same year the ten fellows of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington organised a third conference to which each of them contributed a paper; an equal number of invited (senior) participants did the same. These papers have been edited by three of the fellows; they are the subject of the present review. In 2003 a fourth conference on P. was held at Cincinnati; these papers, edited by Kathryn Gutzwiller, will be published later this year by the Oxford University Press under the title, The New Posidippus: a Hellenistic Poetry Book (2004). It is evident that the stream of work is continuous; proof of this is found in the fact that four contributors to the book reviewed here (Bing, Fantuzzi, Gutzwiller, Sens) refer to another paper they have contributed to the forthcoming OUP book. So work is still in progress, and the dust has not yet settled. But some important features are becoming clear: 1. most (not all) scholars agree about P.'s authorship of what has been found on the Milan papyrus; 2. the network of relations between these epigrams and their "Ptolemaic context" is becoming more and more evident; 3. there is a growing respect for the ordering of this collection and its significance; and this leads to 4. a growing admiration for the skill and subtlety of P. -- he is no longer seen as a poet wholly unworthy of his contemporaries Asclepiades and Callimachus, a Salieri unworthy of Haydn and Mozart.
"Labored in Papyrus Leaves", the title of the book, is a translation of ἐν βύβλοις πεπονημένη, a phrase occurring in AB 137 and referring to the poetic persona of P. Of the twenty papers the first (by Stephens & Obbink) introduces the discussions by presenting the papyrological facts, and another recapitulates the discussions from an archaeological point of view (Hoffman). Of the remaining eighteen papers two (those by Nagy and Schur) contribute nothing substantial; Dignas on 'P. and the Mysteries' presents an important aspect, but this had already been discussed adequately by Dickie in ZPE 109 (1995) 81ff. and Rossi in ZPE 112 (1996) 59ff. This leaves us with fifteen papers which bring new material or new ideas. Let us reap these sheafs of a Posidippean harvest. N.B.1. Whenever I refer to one or more of P.'s epigrams I use the numbering in Austin & Bastianini (AB) in their editio minor, Milan 2002. N.B.2. BMCR readers are kindly asked to forgive the length of my review: this length is proportionate in the first place to the high quality of (most of) the contributions, but also (I regret to say) to the high number of mistakes in presenting or translating the Greek, in providing references etc.
Three papers, by Obbink, Sider and Acosta-Hughes respectively, deal with one and the same question: given the fact that before 2001 Gow & Page in Hell. Epigr. gave twenty-four epigrams of P. and that now the Milan Papyrus offers more than one hundred new ones, what is the relationship between Old and New Posidippus? -- Dirk Obbink concentrates on what 'pre-milanese' papyri offer, and esp. on P.Louvre 7172 (= P.Firmin-Didot) which contains two dedicatory epigrams (AB 115,116) copied into a poetry-book by two young Greco-Egyptians (sons of a Macedonian soldier and, probably, an Egyptian woman -- see D.J. Thompson in PCPhS 33 (1987) 105-21) . Epigram 115 concerns the Pharos lighthouse, 116 the temple of Arsinoe-Aphrodite at Cape Zephyrium. Although there is evidence that both poems were inscribed on the actual monuments, Obbink argues that the young men copied the poems from a professionally produced collection like the Milan roll: but this must have been another collection, for they are not found on the Milan papyrus. There are two inaccuracies: a big one, in so far as Obbink says that "the two monuments in question were hundreds of miles apart" (p. 22); in fact, the distance between the two locations is no more than 17 miles! Another detail, this a tiny one: the name of one of the two brothers is once printed as Ptolemy on p. 22, and then Ptolemaus (sic!) throughout pp. 24-27.
David Sider points to a striking fact: in quite a few of P.'s 'pre-milanese' epigrams (123-25, 129-30, 134-35, 137-41) one finds a recognisable 'voice', an outspoken poetical subject. This personal feature of the 'pre-milanese' ones, combined with the general attractiveness of their sympotic-erotic nature, has led some scholars to consider the Milan epigrams second-rate, or not-Posidippean, for they are very 'objective', often indeed bound to objects (stones, birds, ex-votos, statues, tombs, horses). Sider explains this qualitative difference between Old and New Posidippus by pointing to Meleager's Garland. Probably this anthologist was impressed by the brevity and wit displayed by Asclepiades and Callimachus; therefore he selected from P. mostly his four-liners. But on the Milan roll one finds, besides many four-liners, 38 epigrams of 6 lines, 11 of 8 lines, 2 of 10 lines and even 3 of 14 lines; of the three other poems found on papyri, AB 118 and AB 115 are 10-liners as well. With this quantitative difference goes an important qualitative difference: in these longer poems P. takes time for elaborate descriptions, narratives, encomia. In n. 34 AP IX 63,3 it should be ἤεισε, not ἤσεισε. At the bottom of p. 37 it is not AB 139 but 135. In n. 41 it should be Hutchinson 1998, on p. 40 πολυστιχίην.
Acosta-Hughes's paper adds two valuable observations to what has been observed by Obbink and Sider: 1. while P.'s 'Egyptian connection' is present in only one or two 'pre-milanese' epigrams, it is important everywhere in the Milan roll ("the reader of Posidippus reads the city of Alexandria through his poetry" p. 50); 2. in many of the new poems the poet himself is actively engaged in viewing and invites his readers to gaze at jewels, birds, tombs, statues, horses etc. This second point will recur in other papers, especially those contributed by Kosmetatou and Papalexandrou. But Acosta-Hughes's paper suffers from annoying inaccuracies. In n. 12 it should be Parsons 1977, in n. 14 Fantuzzi 2002. On p. 52, dealing with AB 51 he prints in line 3 Τηελφίης, and in line 2 he translates Καρύαι by "Carian women", thus neglecting the comment given by Bastianini & Gallazzi (p. 171) about the Arcadian city Caryai; cf. also Battezzato in ZPE 145 (2003) 34. The Greek for 'Carian women' is Κάειραι. On p. 53 line 6 from bottom it should be "Ionic ἥ of line 3" (not 2). On p. 55 in AB 131,2 it should be ἐπεσπάσατο, not ἐπεστάσατο. Acosta-Hughes's translation of AB 131 goes astray in line 4: "wondering what part of life he yet retained"; he translates εἴ τινα as if it were ἥντινα. Austin translates: "asking herself if any life was left in him". These infelicities in the paper of one of the editors are regrettable.
Alexander Sens' paper on Doricisms in P. is based on a solid knowledge of Greek dialects. He argues (pp. 74-5 with n. 43) that in P.'s Hippika one finds "a regular (and natural, given the supposed Doric origin of the Macedonian ruling class) connection between Doric and epigrams on early Macedonian royalty." In a similar way in the Andriantopoiika the epigrams on statues made by three sculptors who would themselves have spoken a West Greek dialect (Cresilas in AB 64, Lysippus in AB 65, Chares in AB 68) show marked Doric features (pp. 75ff). More generally, Sens is inclined to think that "for Hellenistic readers attuned to nuances of dialect the mixture of Doric and non-Doric forms may have formed part of the point"(p. 80). He finds a subtle instance of this in AB 139: the first two lines are 100% hymnic, in the great tradition of choral lyric poetry which is almost always phrased in a Doric koine (even in Attic tragedy) and therefore we find here a threefold ἃ. But in line 3 the poet switches from the goddess Aphrodite to a sexually willing hetaira, and then he uses ἣ. He ends by saying that "the evidence offered by the new papyrus cautions against dismissing this and other passages in which the dialect seems to be inconsistent as merely the result of errors in transmission or as products of authorial carelessness" (p. 82).
Kathryn Gutzwiller states as her opinion right from the start that in the case of the Milan papyrus we have to do with a carefully designed poetry book: "the sections are ordered to create a certain poetic experience and themes take precedence over formal categories" (p. 85). To make this plausible she runs at high speed through the nine sections found on the Milan papyrus. Her paper is an apéritif in so far as it whets our appetite to see and enjoy the forthcoming OUP book edited by her; given the title of this book it cannot but deal with the Milan papyrus precisely as Poetry Book.
Each of the remaining papers is focused on one of the sections. Richard Hunter deals with the Lithika. After reminding his readers of a clever point made earlier (by Bing and Hutchinson), viz. that these 'jewels' give a programmatic opening to the collection through the analogy between the detailed craftsmanship of gem-working and the art of the epigrammatist, he points out that while AB 1 opens this section with a mention of Zeus (?) and an evocation of Alexander (his victory at the Hydaspes), AB 20 ends it in a complementary way with Ptolemy and Poseidon. In his discussion of AB 19, the enormous stone smitten by Poseidon on the Euboian shore, he draws attention to the 'piquant' juxtaposition of the Homeric and Theocritean Polyphemus in lines 7+8, adds some other Homeric parallels and ends brilliantly: "just as Homer wrote about bird omens, shipwrecks, and victories in chariot races, so -- Posidippus assures us -- he also wrote Lithika: you just have to know where to look." (p. 104).
Following the path indicated by Gow in his comment on P.#20 in Hell. Epigr. (= AB 15), M. Smith proves that P. drew his information about more or less precious stones from learned treatises written by Theophrastus and Sotacus. After convincing interpretations of several epigrams he concludes: "in the Lithika, but also notably in the Oionoskopika, Posidippus is taking over knowledge whose natural domain might be thought to rest in didactic poetry or scientific treatises" (p. 108).There is -- alas -- a misprint (p. 109) in the Greek of AB 7 where it should be γλυκερ]ῆι, not -ει. Another in the Latin of Pliny (XXXVI, or is it XXXVII?): Sotacus qui (not quo) scripsit etc.
The paper by Manuel Baumbach and Kai Trampedach on the Oionoskopika is the longest and one of the best in this book. They discovered that this section shows a purposeful organization: AB 21-27 present positive bird-signs concerning people's private lives (travel, fishing, marriage, babies, slaves). The last word of AB 27, πολέμῳ, leads subtly over to the next subsection, AB 28-33, where other kinds of signs are related to crime or war, almost all of them with negative impact. The end of the section is reached with AB 34-35, epigrams on Damon and Strymon, two professional seers. The very first epigram, AB 21, contains an explicit reference to Iliad 13.62 ἴρηξ ὠκύπτερος ὦρτο πέτεσθαι; and this epigram has also to do with ships just as in the Iliadic passage. The last epigram of this subsection, AB 27, contains other Homeric phrases; to the ones mentioned by the two authors of this paper should be added οἰωνὸς ἄριστος which is a quote from the famous (anti-mantic!!) line Iliad 12.243. The conclusion of the authors (p. 154) that in this way "P. legitimizes his topic of bird-augury as Homeric" fits in beautifully with my above quote from Hunter's paper. B & T argue that the poet -- after having presented simple and popular use of signs -- acknowledges in AB 34+35 also the existence of traditional professional mantic science, for which they refer to Aesch. Sept. 24-29, Soph. Ant. 998-1004 and Dittenberger Syll.3.1167. They make an important general point, viz. that P. explores new topics and integrates them into a genre which had functioned since the archaic period to provide tombs and ex-votos with inscriptions. It is probable (but hard to prove on the basis of available evidence) that it was Asclepiades who transferred elegiac poetry of erotic-sympotic nature into epigrammatic form; but on this new evidence it has become certain -- so B & T -- that P. introduced into epigram the topics of gem-working and bird-augury. On p. 135, 4th line from bottom "IS can be": IS can be dropped. On p. 140, in the translation of Iliad 12.237: 'regard' (not: regarded).
Commenting on the Anathematika, Susan Stephens, well-known for her work on the Greco-Macedonian AND Egyptian context of Hellenistic poetry, points out that in his presentation of Arsinoe II P. stresses her militant function (in AB 36 this royal lady holds spear and shield, like Athena), which validates her place in a dynasty that claimed to go back to Macedonian Alexander. She draws also attention to Arsinoe's 'site' in Egypt (AB 39, cp. also AB 119) and to the way she is worshipped by simple people there, simple girls (AB 36+38) and sailors (39). To crown it all, P. makes her a protectress of the arts: in AB 37 a lyre is presented to her which has been brought by an "Arionic dolphin".
N.B. On p. 185 of Dignas' paper one finds lines 1-6 of P.s 'Seal' (AB 118) as they had been printed by Lloyd-Jones in Suppl.Hellen. 705, with παρ' Ὀλύμπου in line 3; in his 1963 JHS paper he had offered arguments for taking this to mean "from Olympus", a legendary auletes. But Colin Austin has informed us that since then Sir Hugh has changed his mind ("P. and the Mysteries of the Text", in Il papiro di P. un anno dopo, Firenze 2002, p. 17) and accepts παρ' Ὀλύμπῳ of the ostrakon. Now Dignas translates this dative (as if she had printed it!), and does so clumsily: "in Olympus". But Mount Olympus is not a city; better "near Olympus" ( Austin). Also, in AB 118, line 5, where the ostrakon has συναείσατε Friedrich had suggested συναείρατε: the poet asks the Muses (not to join him in singing about old age but) to help him in bearing the burden of old age, which they will do by giving him a perspective on everlasting fame. For that is what AB 118 is about.
As the title of the section Andriantopoiika (not Andriantika) implies, P. is -- so Elizabeth Kosmetatou argues -- not engaged in describing statues, but sculptors; more precisely he proclaims a style of sculpture, a 'canon of truth' (AB 63.6), i.e. of realism. Paradoxically speaking, for him the ideal statue presents a person so realistically that (s)he seems to speak. Philitas (AB 63) is not only on the brink of speaking but we hear his actual words (Kosmetatou accepts Scodel's ἄγκειμ]αι in line 10), Idomeneus is actually shouting (AB 64). Kosmetatou argues that P. is not original in this: she refers aptly to three poetic predecessors: Aesch. fr. 78a Radt, lines 11-17, Erinna 3 Gow & Page, and Asclepiades 43 ibidem (in that poem I would prefer to translate γᾶν ὑπ' ἐμοὶ τίθεμαι by "I am in the process of subjecting Earth to my sway", instead of Kosmetatou's static and definitive "I am the master of the Earth", p. 200). Kosmetatou discusses P.'s phalanx of sculptors: Polycletus, Lysippus, Hecataeus, Cresilas, Myron, and points out that "it is no coincidence that Lysippus, Alexander's favorite sculptor, is the honoree of the section, for Posidippus sketches a brave new world ruled by the Ptolemies, Alexander's presumed lawful successors" (p. 195). According to Kosmetatou, P. took his 'canon of truth' from Duris of Samos (340-260 BC), an aristocratic intellectual who wrote not only on history, drama, and ancient games but also on painting and sculpture.
Two papers deal with the Hippika. Marco Fantuzzi explains convincingly the arrangement of these 18 poems. First come seven epigrams, AB 71-77, that focus on the horses which have won victories, either in the single-horse race or chariot-race. There follow five epigrams, AB 78-82, that deal with the victories obtained by Queen Berenice II and her ancestors; the first of these, 78, is emphatic about the Olympic level of the entire royal family. After these five about royalty come four epigrams on victories won by private persons. The section is closed by AB 87+88, which focus on the Olympic victory of Queen Berenice I. Fantuzzi goes on to argue that this section, taken as a whole, shows a pattern comparable to Callimachus' Aitia. There the poet's encomium of the Nemean victory of Berenice II marks the middle of the entire composition and his poem on her Lock of Hair its end. Here, in P.'s Hippika, the middle is marked by the victories of Berenice II, the end by the victory of Berenice I. An attractive suggestion. On p. 214 Fantuzzi makes a mistake comparable to Dignas' on p. 185: he prints the text of AB 71 with (in line 2) Austin's supplement στ[άδιον, but translates the supplement of Bastianini & Gallazzi: στ[εφόμην, "I was crowned".
In the second paper on the Hippika we meet again with Kosmetatou. She approaches these epigrams as part and parcel of a campaign orchestrated by the early Ptolemies aiming to legitimize their rule. For this purpose they had to create a public image of the dynasty as a tight group of eminently successful and illustrious persons. Kosmetatou points to epigraphic evidence that they "allowed" dynastic statuary groups to be set up for them in sanctuaries and cities and argues that P. composed AB 78 and 88 (perhaps also 82) as poetic 'Familiengruppen'. She adduces a striking parallel: the monument set up in Delphi by Daochus, a Thessalian tetrarch and hieromnemon of the Amphictyony at some moment between 336-333. The entire monument consisted of statues of seven members of the dynasty; three of them, sons of the same father, had obtained athletic victories and were honoured with three four-line epigrams (Ebert, Gr. Epigr. auf Sieger, ##43-45). In the rest of this paper (the second longest of the book) Kosm. discusses the Tychaion, a building in Alexandria in which statues of Alexander and Ptolemy occupied pride of place, probably accompanied by statues of other members of the dynasty: a highly interesting state of affairs. This is an excellent paper, filled with erudition about things Egyptian. Therefore it is so unfortunate that it is seriously marred by no less than 13 minor and major inaccuracies. Here they come.
(1) Note 13 refers to Smith 1988 who is not mentioned at all in the bibliography.
(2) On p. 229 she translates παντὶ τύπῳ in AB 72 by: "with every stroke"; but the phrase refers to the entire form of the racing horse; Austin translates "with all its body".
(3) In AB 74,6 ῥάβδους δὲ βραχέες χαμάδις βάλον is difficult. Austin suggests βραχέως and translates: "in no time"; J. Bingen, Chron. Eg. 77 (2002) 186-88 keeps βραχέες, but gives it an unexpected twist). But Kosmetatou is certainly wrong in translating:"they cast their short staffs to the ground" (p. 230).
(4) Her note 21 repeats verbatim Fantuzzi's long note 5; she should simply have referred to it.
(5) Something has gone wrong in each of her translations (pp. 235f.) of the three epigrams on the three brothers glorified on the Daochos monument. Line 4 of the first says καὶ σῶν οὐδείς πω στῆσε τροπαῖα ξερῶν. She translates, "and no one has yet taken this record from your hands" ('this record' referring to the 13 victories listed in the previous lines). She ought to have seen Ebert's pertinent reference to Soph.Trach. 1102 and his translation, "Noch keiner hat Trophäen aufgestellt (als Zeichen des Sieges) über deine Hände".
(6) In the first line of her translation of the second epigram it should be "the selfsame days" (plural).
(7) In line 3 of the third the text runs νικῶ δὲ στάδιον τούτοις ἅμα πύθια παῖδας. Ebert interprets correctly, "ich habe, als auch diese dort siegten, bei den pythischen Spielen den Stadionlauf der Knaben gewonnen". Kosmetatou translates, "I won the stadion for youths at Pythia (sic!), just like they did." Nonsense, his brothers did not run at all, as one was a pankratiast and the other a wrestler.
(8) On p. 237 she translates AB 79.3: " Berenice carries off all victory crowns FROM you, Nemean Zeus" but she overlooks that the Greek text (line 3) says Ζεῦ παρὰ σοὶ Νεμεᾶτα which means "at your place (or festival), o Nemean Zeus".
(9) On p. 237, in AB 79,4 she prints καμψη]ι, but she translates "whenever she turned"; thus translating Gronewald's felicitous supplement καμψα]ι, an iterative optative.
(10) In n. 55 (p. 240) she refers to "IG IX 12,17, 24 from Thermium" (sic! it is Thermon), but from the rest of the note it becomes clear that she means to refer to FdDelphes III 3.192, the Delphic inscription which grants proxeny to P.
(11) On p. 242 the interpunction of the Greek of AB 31 is muddled and so is the translation.
(12) In n. 69 her references to Plut. Alex. 4,1-7 and Athenaeus 435a have no relevance whatsoever to Theophrastus.
(13) In n. 72 she states as a fact that "Solon enjoyed the patronage of king Croesus of Lydia". In Herodotus' fictional narrative the famous Athenian is received with respect at Croesus' court and not at all patronized by him. From How & Wells on Herodotus I 29ff. or indeed from any ancient history textbook she might have gathered that Solon left Athens shortly after 594 BC and most probably had returned from his travels and died long before Croesus came to the throne in 560 BC.
The archaeologist Nassos Papalexandrou points out that in all sections of the Milan papyrus the epigrams have a material or pragmatic basis: stones, the flight of birds, objects offered to gods, tombs, statues, racing horses, remains of shipwrecked sailors, and doctors' patients. Many epigrams contain deictic pronouns which confirm this material referentiality, e.g., σάπειρον τόνδε (AB 5), τόνδε Φιλίται χαλκὸν (AB 63), etc. Therefore, so he argues, scholars should consider the material culture that framed these objects in their original function. He gives two examples: the racing horse of AB 72 finds its partner in a Hellenistic bronze figuring a horse in flying gallop with a jockey on its back which was found in 1926 off the coast of Euboia (Athens, Nat. Mus. Br 15177; figure 2 in this book). And P.'s description (AB 95) of the bronze statue of an emaciated patient set up by the physician Medeios applies almost 100% to a Hellenistic bronze statue now in the Byzantine Collection of Dumbarton Oaks (Inv.no. 47.22; figure 3 in the book). Papalexandrou hides his conclusion in n. 6, "a detailed and rigorous archaeological commentary on these epigrams is urgently needed."
In ZPE 138 (2002) 1-10 Hutchinson had convincingly observed that with the help of these new epigrams we might "enlarge our understanding of Latin literature, and of Latin elegy in particular." Richard Thomas (he is the only scholar in this book to doubt Posidippean authorship, see his n. 4) realizes this possibility in a detailed study of three famous Latin poems concerned with persons who had suffered shipwreck: Archytas in Horace' Carm. I 28, Paetus in Propertius III 7, and Palinurus in Vergil Aeneid 5.833-71and 6.337-83. In each of these three cases Latinists have been worried by what they considered to be poetic inadequacies. Thomas argues that by comparing these Latin poems to the sequence of these ναυαγικά as a whole (AB 89-94), with the shifts of voices and themes, we can appreciate better the seeming inconsistencies in the poems of the three great Latin poets. On p. 260, 3rd line from above we need γῇ, not γὴ, and there is a misquote of Austin's translation of AB 94 on p. 262, for Austin writes "as he too was hastening" (not "too he").
The Iamatika open with an 8-line epigram (AB 95) about a bronze statue offered to Apollo by a physician called Medeios of Olynthos. In an earlier paper in ZPE 140 (2002) 297-300 Peter Bing had managed to uncover Medeios' identity: this was the man who held the position of eponymous priest of Alexander and the Theoi Adelphoi in 259/8 BC. The importance of this function can be seen if we take in the fact that the first person chosen by Ptolemy II for it (in 272/1) was the Samian Callicrates, admiral of the Ptolemaic fleet for 20 years (cf. AB 39.4 with the note ad locum in the editio princeps). In this paper Bing suggests that this series of 7 epigrams was perhaps compiled in Medeios' honor. They cover a range of ailments: snakebite (Medeios' speciality!), paralysis, epilepsy, infection of a wound made by weapon, deaf- and blindness, and reflect the routine at an Asklepieion --patients travel to the god, they sacrifice and pray, sleep in the sanctuary, make thank-offerings. Medeios may quite well have been active at the medical sanctuary of Imouthes/Asclepius at Memphis. There, just as at Epidaurus, stelae have been found with (prose) tales of miracles performed by the god. "The poet translates the subject matter of a prose-genre into poetic form, and shifts it from its inscriptional medium into the scroll" (p. 283). Bing ends by asking whether P.'s epigrams carry the same message of simple belief as the 'official' Iamata. The epigrams AB 97+103 (Soses is healed, but even so he dies) and AB 100 (Zeno dies two days after he had been cured from blindness) make Bing wonder whether P. may perhaps have meant to make his readers realize the relative unimportance of miracles and the supreme importance of a modicum of health and wealth. For that is what the voice praying in the last poem of the series (AB 101) hopes to receive from Asclepius. In AB 97 (printed on p. 286) we need δωρεῖται, and ἑξαετῆ.
Obbink whose papers had opened the book ends it with a short paper on the equally short section Tropoi. Focusing on this title (clearly readable halfway down col. XV), he compares very aptly Theophrastus, who says in the preface of his Characters that he has often wondered that Greeks, living in the same climate, country etc., οὐ τὴν αὐτὴν τάξιν τῶν τρόπων ἔχειν. More generally, he reminds us that "Peripatetic interest in classifying of all sorts, including ethical character types is well known." He adds that the poet deals with these tropoi in relation to social conventions, nomoi; Obbink pays detailed attention to νόμου χάριν in AB 103,1. He ends his paper with a philological meditation on the common bond of mortality evoked in AB 103.4. Two disturbing misprints: in AP XI 141 printed on p. 295 we find μνήσητι which should be μνήσθητι, and χορίδιον which had better be χοιρίδιον.
It will have become clear that this book is a goldmine for everyone who wants to deal with the new epigrams found on the Milan papyrus, either to teach them in class or to pursue further research. The papers do not suffer from longwindedness (a vice, alas, found in this review), but they do suffer from a regrettable lack of editorial care. That fellows of the CHS, whose first concern is Greek, have left standing so many mistakes in the Greek printed and translated is something which gives one pause. For the future of Hellenic studies we need young people with not only bright ideas and erudition but also great respect for, and knowledge, of the niceties of the Greek language.