Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2007.11.17

M.A. Harder, R.F. Regtuit, G.C. Wakker, Beyond the Canon. Hellenistica Groningana 11.   Peeters:  Leuven, 2006.  Pp. x, 390.  ISBN 90-429-1813-6.  €58.00.  



Reviewed by Claudio De Stefani, University of Trieste (Italy) (cdestefani@libero.it)
Word count: 1387 words

The last volume of the successful series "Hellenistica Groningana" is devoted to the "minor poets", viz. the Hellenistic poets beyond the canon of the greatest: Callimachus, Apollonius Rhodius, and Theocritus. Articles deal with both fragmentary texts (Hermesianax, Alexander Aetolus, the extant scraps from the tragedies of Diogenes and Crates, etc.) and better preserved authors, like Nicander, Lycophron, Aratus, and Herodas. One paper concerns the metrics of anonymous inscriptions of iv-i century BC.

Four articles analyze Herodas (of which two deal with the fourth mimiamb): A. Bettenworth, "Die Darstellung nonverbaler Handlungen bei Herondas"; D. Kutzko, "The Major Importance of a Minor Poet: Herodas 6 and 7 as a Quasi-dramatic Diptych", I. Männlein-Robert, "Desillusionierung und Grenz-Überspielungen in Herodas' Viertem Mimiambos", G. Zanker, "Poetry and Art in Herodas, Mimiamb 4"; two are devoted to Lycophron (C. Cusset, "Dit et non-dit dans l'Alexandre de Lycophron", I.A. Schmakeit-Bean, "Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung eines Rätsels: Die Argonauten in Lycophrons Alexandra"); and two to Aratus (M. Semanoff, "Undermining Authority: Pedagogy in Aratus' Phaenomena"; Selina Stewart, "The 'Blues' of Aratus"). Accordingly, such an important author as Nicander should have been dealt with (I think) in more than just one article (by E. Magnelli, "Nicander's Chronology: A Literary Approach").

The most innovative papers seem to me to be Magnelli's and Kutzko's. The former demonstrates (inter alia) that Nicander's style in Theriaca and Alexipharmaca presupposes his knowledge of the "canonical" Alexandrian authors (especially Callimachus and Apollonius Rhodius), since he exploits many iuncturae of theirs (including occasional comic detorsio): this fact sweeps away one of the three traditional datings of Nicander, viz. that which made him a contemporary of Callimachus. Magnelli convincingly proves that Nicander must have lived at the age of Attalus I or Attalus III. Kutzko succeeds (in my view) in closely linking Herodas 6 and 7 (which, he argues, must have been read [or represented?] close to each other) and in identifying the puzzling subject of 6. 92 ἐκδοῦσα with Metro.

Among other valuable papers I mention here Fantuzzi's and Sens' careful analysis of the hexameter of the inscriptional epigrams from the collections of Hansen, Bernand and Merkelbach-Stauber (Fantuzzi and Sens, "The Hexameter of Inscribed Hellenistic Epigram"): one interesting outcome of this survey is that poems from Hellenistic Egypt and Near East are (metrically) closer to archaic epic than are the more ancient epigrams collected by Hansen (pp. 112-3, 120, etc.): this might surprise in Hellenistic poems but can be interpreted as the consequence of a general tendency towards a more "literary" verse (viz. a stronger influence of literature on the anonymous authors).

Two papers competently deal with (hitherto) relatively neglected authors, Pseudo-Scymnus' Periodos to Nicomedes (R. Hunter, "The Prologue of the Periodos to Nicomedes (Pseudo-Scymnus)") and the fragments of Diogenes' and Crates' cynic tragedies (M. Noussia, "Fragments of Cynic 'Tragedy?'").

Readers will also appreciate Zanker's clever setting of Herod. 4 at the Asclepiaeum of Cos (a most valuable demonstration), Männlein-Robert's judicious analysis of Herodas' aesthetic taste, as well as Williams' and Guichard's mise au point on, respectively, Cercidas ("Cercidas: The Man and the Poet") and Simias' Carmina figurata ("Simias' Pattern Poems: The Margins of the Canon").

I add more specific notes on single contributions.

C.L. Caspers ("The Loves of the Poets; Allusions in Hermesianax Fr. 7 Powell") undertakes the task of elucidating and emending a most difficult and corrupted text, Hermesianax' long elegiac fragment from the "Leontion". (He is preparing an edition with commentary of Hermesianax: a true desideratum, which readers will certainly welcome with great interest.)

P. 32, on v. 68: ἐισόκε <τις> δαίμων Εὐριπίδῃ εὕρετ' ὄλεθρον / + ἀμφὶ βίου στυγνῶν ἀντιάσαντι κυνῶν. Caspers, p. 32 n. 23 cautiously proposes Ἀρτέμιδος instead of the corrupted ἀμφὶ βίου: but Ἀρτέμιδος would be rather awkward after δαίμων. I suggest that Hermesianax was playing with Hom. Il. 20. 130 ὅτε κέν τις ἐναντίβιον θεὸς ἔλθῃ (which, by the way, confirms Cuypers' <τις>) and conjecture εἰσόκε <τις> δαίμων Εὐριπίδῃ εὕρετ' ὄλεθρον / ἀντίβιος στυγνῶν ἀντιάσαντι κυνῶν (see Paul. Sil. S.Soph. 273 δαίμονος ἀντιβίοιο, used of Satan). As to Ov. Ib. 595-6 utque cothurnatum vatem tutela Dianae / dilaniet vigilum te quoque turba canum, reference to Diana might be due to the influence of Actaeon's myth or the like.

P. 38, on v. 73: οἷα τιναχθεὶς / + ὠρύγῃ ταύτης ἦλθε διὰ πτόλιος ́ γιγνώσκεις. Here Caspers conjectures ὀργαῖς Αἰτναίης κτλ.: the problem with this emendation is that it sacrifices a most rare word (see for instance Erinn. fr. 4.50 Neri = SH 401.50); moreover, Αἰτναίης is (perhaps) not a welcome epithet for πτόλιος, if this has to be identified (as it seems) with Syracuse (which is very far from Aetna: about 70 Km. south of it); of course, Αἰτναίης would hint at Galatea's myth which was treated in the Cyclops, but I am sceptical about the fact that it might generically mean "Sicilian". The alleged corruption lies only in ταύτης and must conceal something like ξείνης (I mean, a less banal adj.).

p. 22 [willingly] should not be bracketed (it corresponds to ἑκόνθ'). P. 30 Casper's Latin is a bit odd: "statui ego [necessary?]... lectionem codicis Θεωρίδος latere agn. Lennep [in lectione?]" .

P. 77 n. 51 of B. Czapla's article ("Der Kuss des geflügelten Eros. Figurationes des Liebesgottes in Moschos 1 und Bion Aposp. 13 Gow als Hellenistische Kontrafakturen des γλυκύπικρον ἀμάχανον ὄρπετον): Poliziano probably didn't inspect "den Planudes Autographen"; it was at that time locked in a box at Palazzo Ducale, like other of Bessarion's manuscripts. The great humanist read in his youth the first τμῆμα in an apograph, and, before death, the rest of the Planudea in Lascaris' edition. See the recent edition of Poliziano's Greek epigrams by F. Pontani, Roma 2002, XXXIX-XL. On Pl's (and his apographa) circulation among humanists, E. Mioni, "L'Antologia Greca da Massimo Planude a Marco Musuro", Scritti in onore di Carlo Diano, Bologna 1975, 263-307, is still authoritative.

A. Kolde sensibly deals with Euphor. SH 415 ("Euphorion de Chalcis, poète hellénistique"). P. 147 n. 33: at v. 11 (καὶ δέ σ' ἐράσμιο[ν] ἄνδρα Σεμείραμις ἀγκάσσαιτο / ὄφρα [σ]οι εὐόδμοιο [π]αρὰ πρόδομον θα[λάμοι]ο / παρθενίῳ [χ]αρίεντα ποδὶ κροτέοιτο [..].ε[) Kolde links [χ]αρίεντα with πρόδομον; but [χ]αρίεντα probably takes over ἐράσμιο[ν], and would be, I think, a nice (ironical) epithet for Lloyd-Jones-Parson's μέ[τωπα. By the way, Magnelli doesn't interpret [χ]αρίεντα adverbially (Studi su Euforione, Rome 2002, 88 n. 121), as Kolde says. Ad. v. 67 (SH 415 ii 25): fortasse ἐπικείσε[τ' ὀδυρμός.

P. 206 n. 9 (Männlein-Robert). On Hipponax' renaissance in Hellenistic literature, F. Jung, Hipponax redivivus, diss. Giessen, Bonn 1929 and E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, Bari 1984, 34-56 should be quoted.

P. 287-301: Schroeder ("Hesiod and the Fragments of Alexander Aetolus") usefully gathers many instances of (possible) influence of Hesiod on Alex. Aet., on account of Hesiod's great popularity among Hellenistic poets (this point is well illustrated by the author). I don't think, however, that these affinities sufficiently prove that Hesiod was a more influential source for the Aetolian than many other classics: the analysis of the fragments rather points to other directions (besides Homer, Aeschylus' tragedy: see Magnelli's note on fr. 3.8).

P. 303-317: the thesis of M. Semanoff about Aratus courteously addressing his interlocutor according to the new Stoic pedagogical criteria is attractive: was it also due to the fact that the first reader and ideal addressee of the poem was his patron and promoter of the enterprise, the stoic king Antigonus Gonatas (whom Aratus obviously must treat well)?

P. 335 (and passim) on Stewart's suggestive analysis of the meaning of κυάνεος, especially with reference to Hades, one could also quote the spring Kuane in Sicily "this was [...] the spot where the earth split open to receive the chariot of the Lord of the Netherworld with his prey, the 'Maiden'" (G. Zuntz, Persephone. Three Essays on Religion and Thought in Magna Graecia, Oxford 1971, 72).

P. 362: Zanker's distinction between ἄγαλμα "the specific term for a statue of a god" and ἀνδριάς is probably correct (see also the examples for "statue" in Wilamowitz on Eur. "HF" 49), but it cannot be regarded as a rule, see for instance Pind. "N." 5, 1 οὐκ ἀνδριαντοποιός εἰμ' ὥστ' ἐλινύσαντα ἐργάζεσθαι ἀγάλματ'.

Misprints are rare: I noted p. 28 l. 10 also seems [also], 111 l. 4 while <in> the Hellenistic; p. 276 n. 21 of "lege" off.

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