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
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:
P. 38, on v. 73:
p. 22 [willingly] should not be bracketed (it corresponds to
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
A. Kolde sensibly deals with Euphor. SH 415 (“Euphorion de Chalcis, poète hellénistique”). P. 147 n. 33: at v. 11 (
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
P. 362: Zanker’s distinction between
Misprints are rare: I noted p. 28 l. 10 also seems [also], 111 l. 4 while