Theocritus: Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Theocritus: Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Richard Hunter

Language: English

Pages: 244

ISBN: 2:00336969

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Under Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who ruled Egypt in the middle of the third century B.C.E., Alexandria became the brilliant multicultural capital of the Greek world. Theocritus's poem in praise of Philadelphus—at once a Greek king and an Egyptian pharaoh—is the only extended poetic tribute to this extraordinary ruler that survives. Combining the Greek text, an English translation, a full line-by-line commentary, and extensive introductory studies of the poem's historical and literary context, this volume also offers a wide-ranging and far-reaching consideration of the workings and representation of poetic patronage in the Ptolemaic age. In particular, the book explores the subtle and complex links among Theocritus's poem, modes of praise drawn from both Greek and Egyptian traditions, and the subsequent flowering of Latin poetry in the Augustan age.

As the first detailed account of this important poem to show how Theocritus might have drawn on the pharaonic traditions of Egypt as well as earlier Greek poetry, this book affords unique insight into how praise poetry for Ptolemy and his wife may have helped to negotiate the adaptation of Greek culture that changed conditions of the new Hellenistic world. Invaluable for its clear translation and its commentary on genre, dialect, diction, and historical reference in relation to Theocritus's Encomium, the book is also significant for what it reveals about the poem's cultural and social contexts and about Theocritus' devices for addressing his several readerships.

COVER IMAGE: The image on the front cover of this book is incorrectly identified on the jacket flap. The correct caption is: Gold Oktadrachm depicting Ptolemy II and Arsinoe (mid-third century BCE; by permission of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).




















those forced upon him by meter.133 The text printed here must be read in this light. EP shows in fact very few of the standard Doric features of the bucolics,134 and the most striking of such features (e.g., present infinitives in -en, short vowel accusative plurals in -o" and -a", Doric ka) do not occur. The following transmitted “Doricisms” may, however, be noted: 1. th'no", vv. 16, 46, 118. (ej) kei'no" is in fact extremely rare throughout the corpus (cf. Gow on 7.104). 2. Feminine participles

3–7, and 10–11, taken together, are 14.5% and 38.5%, and for Idylls 2 and 14–15, taken together, 16.2% and 41.8%. Two other poems that buck the dominant trend are Idyll 26 (13.1%, 34.2%) and Idyll 16 (10%, 36.7%). 160. Hollis (1990, 16) rightly notes that such overall statistics tend to conceal diªerences between poems. 161. Cf. Sens 1997, 43–44. 162. Cf. Legrand 1898, 340. Introduction / 65 2. The three verse forms ddddd, dsddd, and sdddd account for well over half of EP (74 of 136 whole

flourishes and increases, and she grows old in love with a loving husband, the mother of a handsome and distinguished family (fivlh de; su;n filevonti ghravskei povsei | tekou'sa kalo;n kwjnomavkluton gevno"). She stands out among all women and a divine grace surrounds her. She takes no pleasure in sitting among women in places where they talk about sex. Such women are the best and the most sensible whom Zeus bestows as a favor on men” (fr. 7.85–93, trans. Gerber). 34–35 oi{a d j picks up oi|o"

N2, h[peiron eij" a[peiron ejkbavllwn povda; Etym. Magn. 433.54–55 Gaisford). e[qnea muriva fwtw'n: The language is epic; cf. Od. 11.632, e[qnea . . . muriva nekrw'n; Arg. 2.1204–5, Kovlcwn | e[qnea . . . ajpeivrona; 4.646, e[qnea muriva Keltw'n. As the examples from the Arg. show, such language would normally be applied to the “vast hordes” of non-Greek peoples; here, however, it denotes all the world except the inhabitants of Egypt, and this is a mark of the adaptation of traditional attitudes

Euhemeros’s narrative in which the sanctuary of Zeus Triphylios was established by Zeus himself “while he was still among men and ruled the whole world 168 / Commentary on Lines 91–92 (th'" oijkoumevnh" aJpavsh")” (Diod. Sic. 6.1.6); cf. further Bosworth 1999. Such claims to universal “world” rule are in fact commonplace in both pharaonic and Ptolemaic texts (cf. Hornung 1957, 123–25; Huss 1994, 104 n.162) and more generally in Hellenistic panegyric (cf. Doblhofer 1966, 49–50); T.’s

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