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Poetry in the Iron Age: interplay of voices in Callimachus’ Iambi

La poesia nell’ultima età: intersezioni di voci nei Giambi di Callimaco
La poésie à l’âge de fer : effets de voix dans les Iambes de Callimaque
Massimo Giuseppetti

Résumés

Cet article explore l’utilisation de la poésie iambique archaïque dans les Iambes de Callimaque. En tant qu’iambographe, le poète hellénistique se place en dehors de la sphère de la haute poésie dont il relève en général et sa nouvelle et « légère » écriture iambique s’engage dans une confrontation avec les adversaires à la fois personnels et littéraires de Callimaque.

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Notes de l’auteur

This paper was first presented at the Seminar in the Humanities directed by E. Cingano and L. Milano that took place in Venice (Oct. 2006 - Nov. 2007). I wish to thank all the participants for their comments; I owe a particular debt of gratitude to E. Cingano, A.-T. Cozzoli and R. Hunter, who read with patience and constructive criticism several drafts of this paper.

Texte intégral

The moral satirist is almost by definition a victim.

(T. M. Compton, Victim of the Muses: Poet as Scapegoat, Warrior and Hero in Greco-Roman And Indo-European Myth And History, “Hellenic Studies” 11, Cambridge (MA) and London, 2006, p. 346)

  • 1 On one hand, Archilochus’ “political” overtones were probably hard to elude (G. B. D’Alessio, (...)
  • 2 This does not mean that these poems represent a historical portrait of the author and h (...)
  • 3 This succession is not fortuitous but probably stretches back to Callimachus himself, as most (...)
  • 4 M. L. West, Studies in Greek Elegy and Iambus, Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und (...)
  • 5 It is not by chance that Archilochus, instead of Hipponax, was the source for Horace’s Epodes(...)

1Extremely ugly, shameless and lame: this is the portrait of the archetypal “blame hero” epitomized by Tersites in the second book of the Iliad. Not very different, as a matter of fact, from the biographical details we gather about certain classical authors. Often Archilochus’ and Hipponax’s tattered fragments do nothing but re-echo commonplaces: iambic poets are ugly, poor, shameless, their poems are vulgar and obscene and, as if that were not enough, they cause damage and hurt. Archaic iambus, distant in time and space from Alexandrian literati, is brought back to life in Callimachus’ Iambi, where the poet opts for the Hipponactean côté of the genre. Why, then, specifically Hipponax, and why this old-fashioned genre? These questions suggest several answers.1 In this paper it is my intention to offer a tentative reading of some common patterns in Callimachus’ book of Iambi which may help to shed new light on these fascinating, if lacunose, poems. In the Iambi there are several speaking voices, but most of them are closely based on the historical author, that is to say they seem to be very close to Callimachus qua character.2 Especially in the choliambic poems (1-4, 13),3 these voices exploit a fundamental ambiguity in the personae of the archaic iambicists: they are vulgar and aggressive, sometimes even assume “the character of a low buffoon”,4 but their attacks are not gratuitous, for they have been wronged. As we shall see, Callimachus’ iambic spokesmen represent themselves as humble characters, often far from moral perfection, yet still their voices claim a righteous stance and urge the scholars to stop their violent feuds. However, they will find nothing but a cold reception: for, in a paradoxical reversal of roles, the scholars are now true heirs of the archaic iambic vitriol. In the depiction of such a clear-cut opposition Hipponax was then an excellent model, for he was master of a rascally poetry in which he often indulged in representing himself as a victim in a coarse and degraded world: no doubt that his claim to fame was the “invention” of a lame, defective meter, the choliamb.5

  • 6 Hipponax himself may have mentioned the story, but with Myson winning first prize (cf. (...)
  • 7 Scholarship on this poem is exhaustive, and it is not my aim to give a full account of (...)
  • 8 Cf. R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit., p. 47-48.
  • 9 Only the Diegesis says that this is the setting of the poem. We have no positive confirm in o (...)
  • 10 Cf. v. 6-7 and schol. Flor. ad loc.; R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, Oxford, 1949, p. (...)
  • 11 I adopt A. Kerkhecker’s text throughout. Another, if more sarcastic, bird-comparison is found (...)

2In Iambus 1 the revenant Hipponax has some time to spend in the world of living beings and offers the edifying story of Bathycles’ cup6 to his public of scholars, chastising them for treating each other with phthonos.7 From the very outset he refuses to sing of a battle against his old bête noire, Bupalos; still this is not the same as a weak confrontation with his audience.8 Before beginning his story Hipponax sets the tone for the poem and the whole collection: as a means of less outspoken criticism he employs animal similes to depict the true nature of the scholars he has just summoned near the temple of Sarapis, in Alexandria.9 At first, Hipponax apparently compares them to birds, κέπφοι (v. 6-7) and thus mocks them for their stupidity, a proverbial feature of these birds.10 After a few lines, though, his mood has slightly changed as soon as he takes describing them in three short similes.11

ὤπολλον, ὧνδρες, ὡς παρ᾽ αἰπόλῳ μυῖαι
ἢ σφῆκες ἐκ γῆς ἢ ἀπὸ θύματος Δελφ[οί,
ε̣ἰ̣λ̣η̣δ̣ὸ̣ν [ἑσ]μεύουσιν · ὦ Ἑκάτη πλήθευς.

Apollo! Men! Like flies around a goatherd,
wasps out of the ground or Delphians after a sacrifice
they are swarming en masse! Hecate, what a mob! (Ia. 1.26-8, fr. 191 Pf.)

  • 12 Perhaps one should not underestimate a possible, ironical reference to Delphic bee-maidens, c (...)

3The first two insect-similes have a Homeric background, as the scholia to this passage rightly remark. The third simile, comparing them to Delphians around a sacrifice, surprisingly breaks the sequence, for another insect simile is expected to complete the sequence.12 Nevertheless, all of these images are crucial for Iambus 1 as a whole. They effectively express the polarity between the isolated, and therefore weak, narrator, and the potentially dangerous scholars surrounding him. In order to grasp this polarity we need to focus on what these images imply.

  • 13 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., 32; see also M. R. Falivene, “Callimaco (...)
  • 14 Il. 16.641-644, which recall Il. 2.469-471. As R. Janko, The Iliad:A Commentary (General Edit (...)
  • 15 G. B. D’Alessio, Callimaco, op. cit., II p. 581 n. 13 quotes Od. 11.34-43, 632-633; Cratin. A (...)
  • 16 Cf. Il. 16.259-65; J. T. Kakridis, “Σφήκεσσιν ἐοικότες ἐξεχέοντο (Π 259-267)”, in his Homer R (...)
  • 17 Callim. Γραφεῖον fr. 380 Pf.; Leonid. Tar. AP 7.408 = 58 G-P (Hippon. T 16 Dg). For thi (...)
  • 18 See R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., ad loc.; L. Bodson, “Le coutelas (...)
  • 19 Soon after a sacrifice, cf. Pind. Pae. 6.112-120 Maehler (= D6 Rutherford), N. 7.40-42 ᾤχετο δὲ πρὸ (...)

4As A. Kerkhecker already observed, “the insect-similes evoke notions of troublesome throngs”.13 In Iliad 16 the warriors around the corpse of Sarpedon are compared to flies, and in Iliad 17 (?) the same image is applied to the Trojans surrounding Patroclus’ corpse. In both cases the swarm of warriors threatens to desecrate the corpse of the slain hero. By evoking these Iliadic images along side the more pastoral image of the flies swarming the goatherd, Callimachus here highlights the fact that insects were known to cause decay.14 At the same time, moreover, he is also turning upside down the topos, exemplified in Odyssey 11, of the dead gathering threateningly around the hero.15 If flies may corrupt a corpse, wasps with their stingers are capable of a wider range of action – they can also cause pain and even death. In applying this image to the Alexandrian scholars, Callimachus’ Hipponax is making a fundamental point: the poet’s colleagues are true heirs of the archaic iambic vitriol, for their behaviour expresses aggression and anything but mellowed hatred. In fact the wasps-simile calls attention to their peevishness16 because the wasps’ stings were regularly associated with iambic aggressiveness: elsewhere in Callimachus it is attributed to Archilochus, and in Leonidas of Tarentum it is significantly attributed to Hipponax himself.17 Eventually the cluster of similes reaches a climax of hostility with the comparison of the scholars to Delphians, whose greediness was often the object of jibes in Old Comedy. Here, however, the reference points also to the danger they pose to other people at the sacrifice. Delphians used to attend their sacrifices armed with knives and ready to take their own share of meat,18 and they had a reputation for not being very kind to strangers. Indeed, the Delphic “black legend” featured the murders of both Neoptolemus and Aesop and they actually killed the former in a fight about shares of meat.19 But as we shall see later, it is Aesop who is the primary target of Callimachus’ allusion to the “black legend”, for he is a fundamental figure in Iambus 2, where his murder at the hands of the Delphians is specifically mentioned.

  • 20 R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit.
  • 21 D. L. Clayman, Callimachus’ Iambi, Mnemosyne Suppl. 59, Leiden, 1980, p. 16; cf. A.-T. Cozzol (...)

5By means of these similes, then, Hipponax has depicted the scholars as a quick-tempered, potentially violent crowd. At the same time, these images suggest that Hipponax is going to be their victim, and it is not difficult to imagine that Hipponax’s positive lesson of humility will encounter a very cold reception. Unfortunately P.Oxy. 1011 is very lacunose in the section preserving this part of the poem, yet lines 78-94, when the text resumes at P.Oxy. 1011 fol. iiiv, allow us to consider Hipponax’s self-presentation further. R. Pfeiffer labelled these lines with a cautious “de ‘philologis’ certantibus”.20 The narrator says that someone else is as mad as Alcmeon (l. 78-79), then follows “a man from Corycus” (l. 82-83), somebody “exercises the throat” (l. 86), people who “do not learn even an alpha” (l. 88), and eventually a man who was “the only one to pick up the Muses eating green figs” (l. 92-93). Since R. Pfeiffer, these lines have been considered either as the voice of Hipponax “offering abuse to his audience or, in the manner of Horace’s rejected satirist, he may be portraying himself as its victim”.21 Caution, give the state of the papyrus, should prevent us from suggesting interpretations of this passage that are too exclusive. Nevertheless, we are on safe ground in assuming that Hipponax’s portraits in these lines had arisen from his audience’s bad reception of his lesson of pax philologa. Particularly interesting in this context is the charge of madness:

ἀλλ᾽ ἢν ὁρῇ τις, “οὗτος Ἀλκμέων” φήσει
καὶ “φεῦγε· βάλλει· φεῦγ᾽” ἐρεῖ “τὸν ἄνθρωπον”.

“He’s like Alcmaeon!” one might shout when he sees him
and “Run! He throws things! Run away” he might say “from that man!” (Iamb. 1.78-79)

  • 22 This the case, for example, in Herod. 4.72-74, where Cynno praises the painter Apelles saying (...)
  • 23 Cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia. The Iambi of Callimachus and the Archaic Iambic Tradition, (...)
  • 24 After R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 170, A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ B (...)
  • 25 People from Corycus (l. 82) were believed guilty of divesting the sailors of informatio (...)
  • 26 Note, nevertheless, the poem’s very last words in POxy 1011, τῷ κύσῳ (v. 98), which may (...)
  • 27 The locus classicus on iambiké idéa is Aristot. Poet. 1449a-b; cf. also Proleg. de como (...)
  • 28 In commenting on this poem, A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 44, (...)

6“You will say that this man…” is a sort of formular expression, often employed in the aesthetical judgement of a famous person from the past.22 Therefore, it is very tempting to read these lines as a potential charge against the iambicist qua narrator of this poem:23 Hipponax himself already knows that he soon will be considered out of his mind – “he throws things”, like lunatics would do24 – by a member of his audience. Although isolated passages are problematic in their specific interpretation,25 it is possible nevertheless to detect a clear-cut opposition in Hipponax’ representation of himself vis-à-vis the Alexandrian scholars. They show all the hallmarks of typical blame poets: they are dangerous, envious and ready to fight. As for Hipponax, the quintessential blame poet, his old vitriol has mellowed, and he now claims for himself a righteous stance towards Callimachus’ colleagues. His criticism of scholarly phthonos is strong, but it does not turn to his old obscene vulgarity.26 His targets are never blamed gratuitously and he seldom mocks them ὀνομαστί.27 The Alexandrian scholars do not understand this fundamental change the iambicist has undergone, and Hipponax’ very words urge us to expect, sooner or later, a violent reaction from them.28

  • 29 A similar fable is to be found indeed in the Aesopic collection. Unlike Archilochus, Hipponax (...)
  • 30 Cf. Vit. Aesop. G. 97, 99, W. 97, 133; Pl. 282, 300; Fab. 465 Perry ap. Max. Tyr. Or. 19; Xen (...)
  • 31 On the much discussed τραγῳδοί in l. 12, cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. (...)
  • 32 So R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 172-173 ad l. 4 f. and 6 (...)

7Iambus 2 may be seen as a further development of the narrator’s progressive revealing. The poem deploys Aesopic fable29 as an instrument of mockery, but the narrator appropriates this kind of utterance as an expression of himself and his condition. The poem begins with a widespread topos of the genre (“it was the time when both men and animals spoke…”),30 at the same time announcing in advance the iambic note which marks its end, a mocking aetiology of men who talk like animals: Eudemus speaks like a dog, Philton like an ass, someone else like a parrot and, finally, tragic actors like fish.31 According to the Diegesis, which follows the poem very closely, two animals played a prominent role here, the swan and the fox. The former negotiates with the gods as an ambassador asking for deliverance from old age, the latter dares to charge Zeus himself of unjust rule. Unfortunately we have no idea whether the fox gratuitously complained about the refusal of the swan’s embassy or simply abused the father of the gods. There is a large lacuna between lines 3 and 4, and when the text resumes we are apparently dealing with the end of the fox’s speech, while already in l. 6 the narrator is speaking again:32

τἀπὶ Κρόνου τε καὶ ἔτι τὰ πρὸ τη[
̣λ ̣ ̣ουσα και κως [ ̣]υ σ[ ̣]νημεναισ ̣[
δίκαιος ὁ [Ζε]ύς, οὐ δίκαι[α] δ̣᾽ αἰσυμνέ̣ω̣ν
τῶν ἑρπετῶν̣ [μ]ὲν ἐξέκοψε τὸ φθέ̣[γμα,
γένος δὲ τ ̣υτ ̣[ ̣] ̣ρον—ὥσπερ οὐ κάρτ[ος
ἡμέων ἐχόντων χἠτέροις ἀπάρξασθαι—
̣ ̣ ̣]ψ ἐς ἀνδρῶν· καὶ κ⎣υ⎦νὸς [μ]ὲ[ν] ⎣Εὔ⎦δ̣ημος
κτλ.

  • 33 The fox and the eagle: Archil. fr. 172-181 W2; cf. Aesop. Fab. 1 Perry and T 101 Perry (...)
  • 34 T. M. Compton, Victim of the Muses, op. cit., p. 348. The fact that the fox was Archilochus’ (...)
  • 35 On Aesop cf. T. M. Compton, Victim of the Muses, op. cit., p. 19-40; on the adoption of his f (...)
  • 36 Vit. Aesop. G. 110.
  • 37 In the Mnesiepes inscription, for example, Archilochus was wronged by Parians, who “believed (...)
  • 38 On the “multiple inspiration” of Callimachus’ Iambi cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, R. Scodel, “A (...)

8L. 6 seems to imply that Zeus was an unjust ruler because he cut off the voices of “those which crawl”. Is the narrator simply reporting the animal’s speech here, or is he abusing Zeus in the same way the fox did, that is, is he identifying himself with fox? There seems to be no clear-cut answer to these questions. It is worth considering, nevertheless, the disparate status of the main characters in the first part of the Iambus: the swan is a symbol of “high” poetry (here its association with deliverance from old age is particularly interesting in the light of the Aetia prologue), whereas the fox, already featured in two Archilochean αἶνοι, is at home in the relatively low realm of fable. The poet from Paros even identified himself with the fox, which in his fables plays the part of the weaker character:33 although both poet and fox are potentially very harmful, verbal aggressiveness is their only defence.34 This may cast some doubt on the assumption that the final mocking aetiology is the focus of poem, especially considering that in the Diegesis the narrator “mocks in passing” (παρεπικόπτων, Dieg. 6.30) Eudemos and the others. In Iambus 2 we hear, more or less directly, disparate voices representing as many stances: the “high”, slightly selfish swan recalling Callimachus’ persona in the Aitia prologue; the “low”, “abusive” fox recalling the old Archilochean iambus and, finally, the narrator, who is after all affable and friendly in his mockery. At the end of his speech, his main concern emerges: self-victimization. He concludes his fable by saying: “This is what Aesop from Sardis told the Delphians, who badly received him while singing a mythos” (l. 15-17).35 The reference to Delphians here no doubt is meant to recall the comparison in Iambus 1. It makes clear that the narrator is representing himself as a new Aesop, a figure who embodies a “low”, popular tradition of (often paradoxical) wisdom. The Lives of Aesop portray him as a slave who, despite his repulsive appearance, is wiser and cleverer than his master and many other free men. In a sense we might say that the biographical traditions encompassing iambic poets and Aesop share many common patterns. If Hipponax and Archilochus induced their enemies to suicide, something similar is reported also about Aesop: Aenus, his unjust (adopted) son, commits suicide after receiving a tongue-lashing from him.36 They are all wronged by their opponents and often suffer abuse even though they are very close to the gods.37 Aesop’s evocation in Iambus 2, therefore, is not just the acknowledgement of a source, but the appropriation of a poetic persona embedded in such a wisdom tradition.38 The conclusion of this poem reiterates the mention of Delphians in Iambus 1 and points to worse to come in Iambi 4 and 13.

  • 39 I will not give full details of the questions arising from this poem. I hope to deal wi (...)
  • 40 Cf. Men. Adelph. 2 fr. 10 K-A.
  • 41 It is generally assumed that the narrator is the lover. Even though the Diegesis does n (...)
  • 42 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 80. This paradoxical wish has been mu (...)
  • 43 In this respect this poem is far from contemporary cynic poetry. They share themes and images (...)

9Yet before Iambus 4 there is room for a poetic interlude: Iambus 3.39 The narrator of this poem at first complains about the decadence of the present day, when “Apollo and the Muses are not anymore held in great esteem” (l. 1-2) and “life has turned topsy-turvy” (l. 9).40 In the second part of the poem he cites one of his own misfortunes as evidence for the corruption of the age: a certain Euthydemos puts his youthful good looks to profitable use and breaks his promise to the poet, leaving him alone with his unsatisfied desire.41 The narrator concludes his speech with self-reproach: “It would have been most profitable to me to toss my hair for Cybele to the Phrygian flute, or to drag my ankle-length robe to cry, alas, Adonis, man of the goddess. But now, a madman, I have inclined to the Muses. Therefore that which I have kneaded I shall dine upon” (l. 34-40). A. Kerkhecker suggests that “Whatever… these cults are meant to suggest, they are chosen to insult the Muses”.42 The speaker is a poet, and thus a servant of Muses. However this involves only self-reproach for this foolish “inclination”.43 The poem begins with moralizing pretensions, and ends with erotic disappointment. The narrator now discloses himself and his world, and the poem’s tonality becomes more intimate. He is far from moral perfection, and his present condition appears far from both the quarrelsome eruditi of Iambus 1 and the aurea aetas when Apollo and Muses were held in great honour.

  • 44 On the poem’s structure, cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 111-115 (...)
  • 45 Cf. l. 77 and Hec. fr. 248 Pf. = 36 Hollis, l. 84 and Del. 321-322. These references ma (...)
  • 46 “O fair one in all things, [as] the swan [of Apollo] you sang the fairest of my feature (...)
  • 47 Archilochus: A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 113-115; Hipponax: L. Ed (...)
  • 48 Cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 191 n. 62, for further bibliography.

10With Iambus 4 we are back to the world of quarrels, now in a fable setting. The narrative frame is concise and abrupt: “What? You too, one of us, is that it, son of Charitades?” The speaker then tells his interlocutor an old fable on the contest between laurel and olive. The contenders differ from each other in tones and manners: the laurel is abusive and aggressive and often gives way to insults, the olive is unassuming and polite; it even allows two birds to sit in its branches and carry on the quarrel. Just as they finish their twittering, as reported by the olive, and the laurel is eager to join battle again, a bramble bush pipes in and invites them to stop cursing one another. “But the laurel cast a sideward glance at her, a bull’s glare, and said: ‘You awful disgrace! So you are one of us, are you? Zeus forbid! You choke your neighbours!...’” (l. 101-104). The Iambus poem is artfully conceived as a “game of Chinese boxes” to deceive the reader with its polyphonic play of voices.44 When we efface the first part of the quarrel, we are prompted to be on the side of the modest olive, apparently enjoying the narrator’s sympathy as well. In this assumption we are easily driven to take the tree as Callimachus’ own spokesman, for it refers more than once – as most scholars now agree – to passages from the poet’s œuvre.45 Yet at the intrusion of the bramble, all these implicit correspondences prove to be wrong: the voice which delivers the first lines and tells the “old fable” about the quarrel has to be identified, within the narrative frame itself, not with the olive but with the presumptuous laurel. As to these characters, the text itself suggests several associations: the laurel is the “poetic tree” par excellence, as the olive itself seems to acknowledge by comparing its speech to the song of the swan.46 At the same time, the laurel’s abusive assaults also recall iambic vitriol, and scholars have detected possible Archilochean or Hipponactean reminiscences.47 As a matter of fact, the challenge of identifying each character with a precise historical figure (or poet) has been a bone of contention ever since the publication of POxy 1011.48 Why would one want to do so? Why do figures in Callimachus (or e.g. Pindar) have to stand in for anyone biographical?

  • 49 Cf. G. B. D’Alessio, Callimaco, op. cit., I p. 17-8. This facet has apparently been und (...)
  • 50 One might even quote Odysseus’ reply to Thersites in Il. 2.245-247: καί μιν ὑπόδρα ἰδὼν (...)
  • 51 Cf. Alcae. Mess. AP 7.536 = 13 G-P, Hippon. T 17 Dg. On the reception of the two iambicists i (...)
  • 52 The name is given by the Diegesis, but it might be just a trope, cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, (...)
  • 53 Two lines in the margin of l. 117 in POxy 1011 apparently mark the conclusion of the po (...)
  • 54 One may reasonably argue that there is no harsh break between Ia. 4 and 5, given the latter’s (...)

11It is not my intention here to side with or against any of the contenders. Rather, I shall plead for the humble, peaceful bramble. Just as in the fable setting of Iambus 4, the bramble’s peace-making stance has often escaped notice in scholarship, and yet it recalls very closely the lesson given by the Ephesian iambicist in Iambus 1.49 It certainly represents more than a mere extra in the quarrel between the more dignified trees. Indeed the bramble sums up the distinctive traits of the “new iambus” championed by Hipponax back in the land of living. It still has thorns, a legacy of the abusive archaic genre, but it has changed: it strives to be useful and settle the rows between others. Still the laurel is not able to recognize the fundamental change undergone by the bramble. On the contrary, exactly at the moment when the bramble displays all its sense and mildness, the laurel censures its behaviour, the particular characteristic of weeds: “You choke your neighbours!” (v. 104).50 In addition to this, the bramble bush is associated with Hipponax in funerary epigram tradition.51 Thus the possibility that the bramble is yet another embodiment of Hipponax’s new, righteous stance appears sustainable. Is there, then, any moral to draw from this fable? For the Diegesis, someone called Simus52 is guilty of equating himself, outrageously, with Callimachus and with one of his antagonists. Yet this poem concludes the “choliambic” section of the collection,53 and it takes up Iambus 1, with a noteworthy difference: there Hipponax simply depicts the nasty and aggressive temper of the scholars; here the bramble is assailed by the laurel’s eruption of anger. So while laurel and olive may differ as to manners and temper, both are nevertheless skilled, well-trained quarrellers: there is no room for the bramble and its lesson of moderation. This marks the conclusion of the choliambi and gives way to new voices and settings in the following section (Iambi 5-12).54

  • 55 Partially anticipated by Iambus 12: cf. M. Giuseppetti, “Il Giambo 12 di Callimaco, occ (...)
  • 56 The charges in this speech have often been taken as serious. There is a strong possibility, t (...)
  • 57 While discussing about Socrates’ trial, Euthyphro tells the philosopher that even he himself (...)
  • 58 Ion the poet, proficient in polyeideia (Dieg. 9.34-36); Ion the rhapsode, one of the ch (...)
  • 59 Cf. R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit.; B. Acosta-Hughes, (...)
  • 60 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 265.
  • 61 A reference to the past fits better the aorist ἠγάπησαν in l. 51.
  • 62 Cf. the rich notes in A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 266-267. (...)
  • 63 Hes. Op. 195-200. Cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 98; G. B. D’Alessio, “Inters (...)
  • 64 φαύλοις ὁμι[λ]εῖ[ν (l. 58), which in a sense might recall the comic characters as being (...)
  • 65 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 267 and n. 99 considers π̣α̣ρέπ (...)
  • 66 In Pind. Pyth. 2.54-56, “abusive Archilochus” is depicted as “fattening himself with strong w (...)
  • 67 If so, does this refer as well to his own condition of poverty, at least implicitly?
  • 68 R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit., p. 41. On the qu (...)

12In Iambus 1355 Callimachus expressly tackles many of the issues faced in Iambi 1-4 and even grants one of his critics to deliver his accusations.56 The setting recalls a trial, and in his reply the narrator exploits this association stating that his defence will not be left deserted. This highlights how critical this poem is, for it represents the final stage of the confrontation with Callimachus’ opponents. The critic charges the poet with “not mixing with Ionians” (11-14) and with madness, for “he does not touch sanity with his fingertip” (l. 21).57 In his defence, Callimachus adopts Ion of Chios as a model of composition in different genres, certainly implying a fair amount of irony by playing on many equivocal “Ions”.58 The irony of Callimachus’ reply is indeed multifaceted, at the same time appropriating the very words of the critic and recalling the language of quarrels as it has been displayed throughout in the collection.59 The poet’s concern gradually shifts from criticism of literary “unwritten laws” (30-34) to the scholars’ “fight club” and – most of all – its moral outcomes. His “personal and moralizing peroration”60 is framed by the Muses (50-66). The goddesses once loved the poets (50-51),61 but now the poets have gone too far with their violent envy: “the singer rages rising in his horns, angry with the singer… questions the birth… says he is slave and one bought and sold repeatedly and… brands the arm” (52-56). These images escalate the insults, styling them in a very iambic fashion.62 All this is set on a complex allusive background drawn from Hesiod. Apparently the reference is to the “good Eris” among “professionals”, yet what is actually meant here is the “bad Eris”, which in the Works and Days anticipates Aidos’ and Nemesis’ flight to Olympus.63 Now even the Muses are frightened by the rampaging phthonos of the poets, and they cannot stand the company of such mean people,64 to the extent that they leave the poets for fear that even they themselves might be slandered (58-59).65 As an outcome of this the poets “do not get a decent bite, but just nibble at it, as if from the Delian palm-tree” (60-61), and they live therefore in poverty and helplessness. Once again this is pure iambic imagery; the passage alludes to Pindar’s depiction of Archilochus as a blame poet in Pythian 2.66 Where does the narrator place himself against this backdrop? Did the Muses desert him along with the ferocious poets? Does the image of their helplessness in 60-61 imply just a “poetic” dimension, or also one of actual poverty?67 Again the text is very elusive and answers are difficult to grasp from it. Be that as it may, the disposition of the four most “atypical” poems (fr. 226-229 Pf.) immediately after Iambus 13 might well represent “a suitably Callimachean disregard for ‘criticism’”:68 after all the Muses did not desert him.

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Bibliographie

CAREY C., “Archilochus and Lycambes”, CQ 36, 1986, p. 60-67.

CUCCHIARELLI A., Intersezioni callimachee: Callimaco, Esiodo, Virgilio, Persio, in A. Martina, A.-T. Cozzoli (ed.), Callimachea I, Atti della prima giornata di studi su Callimaco, Roma, 2006, p. 137-161.

DIJK van G.-J., Αἶνοι, λόγοι, μῦθοι. Fables in Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Greek Literature with a Study of the Theory and Terminology of the Genre, Mnemosyne Suppl. 166, Leiden, New York and Köln, 1997.

NISETICH F., The Poems of Callimachus. Translated with introduction, notes, and glossary, Oxford, 2001.

PERRY B. E., Aesopica. A Series of Texts Relating to Aesop or Ascribed to him or Closely Connected with the Literary Tradition that Bears his Name. I: Greek and Latin Texts, Urbana, 1952.

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Notes

1 On one hand, Archilochus’ “political” overtones were probably hard to elude (G. B. D’Alessio, Callimaco, I: Inni, Epigrammi, Ecale; II: Aitia, Giambi e altri frammenti, Milan, 1996, I p. 16-17) and his passionate love for the drunk Muse made him a far less appealing model. On the other hand, Hipponax’ choliamb was the only meter, among those employed by archaic iambographers, that retained its “true” iambic ring while becoming fashionable early in the third century: cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, Oxford, 1999, p. 6-7.

2 This does not mean that these poems represent a historical portrait of the author and his experience, since the way we think of the author is always a construction: see A. D. Morrison, “Advice and Abuse: Horace, Epistles 1 and the Iambic Tradition”, p. 33-35, MD 56, 2006, p. 27-46.

3 This succession is not fortuitous but probably stretches back to Callimachus himself, as most scholars today would agree: see A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 271-295; G. Morelli, “Giambografia”, p. 28-29, in Da Aἰών a Eikasmós. Atti della giornata di studi sulla figura e l’opera di E. Degani, Eikasmós Studi 8, Bologna, 2002, p. 15-30; B. Acosta-Hughes, “Aesthetics and Recall: Callimachus frs. 226-9 Pf. Reconsidered”, CQ 53, 2003, p. 478-489; A. D. Morrison, “Advice and Abuse: Horace, Epistles 1 and the Iambic Tradition”, op. cit., p. 29-61.

4 M. L. West, Studies in Greek Elegy and Iambus, Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte 14, Berlin and New York, 1974, 29.

5 It is not by chance that Archilochus, instead of Hipponax, was the source for Horace’s Epodes, Horace’s most “genuinely iambic” work: cf. A. Cucchiarelli, La satira e il poeta. Orazio tra Epodi e Sermones, Biblioteca di MD 17, Pisa, 2001, p. 168-179; A. D. Morrison, “Advice and Abuse: Horace, Epistles 1 and the Iambic Tradition”, op. cit..

6 Hipponax himself may have mentioned the story, but with Myson winning first prize (cf. fr. 63 W and R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, p. 48, PCPhS 43, 1997, p. 41-52). Callimachus’ Hipponax offers a different version, with a possible aetiological overtone: Thales dedicated the cup to Didymaen Apollo, after receiving it twice (cf. M. Depew, “ἰαμβεῖον καλεῖται νῦν: Genre, Occasion, and Imitation in Callimachus, frr. 191 and 203 Pf.”, p. 319, TAPhA 122, 1992, p. 313-330).

7 Scholarship on this poem is exhaustive, and it is not my aim to give a full account of it; cf., most recently, E. Livrea, “Sul primo Giambo di Callimaco”, Eikasmos 17, 2006, p. 171-176; M. Di Marco, “Baticle nel Giambo 1 di Callimaco”, in A. Martina, A.-T. Cozzoli (ed.), Callimachea II. Atti della seconda giornata di studi su Callimaco, Università Roma Tre, 15 maggio 2005, Roma, 2007; M. Rosen, Making Mockery. The Poetics of Ancient Satire, Oxford, 2007, p. 176-188. On Hipponax cf. E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, Bari, 1984 (repr. Spudasmata 89, Hildesheim, Zürich, and New York, 2002), passim; T. M. Compton, Victim of the Muses, op. cit., p. 59-68.

8 Cf. R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit., p. 47-48.

9 Only the Diegesis says that this is the setting of the poem. We have no positive confirm in our text, even if one may argue that the apparition of ghost or dreams is at home in such a temple.

10 Cf. v. 6-7 and schol. Flor. ad loc.; R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, Oxford, 1949, p. 162. Alternatively, the point of the reference could be their huge number.

11 I adopt A. Kerkhecker’s text throughout. Another, if more sarcastic, bird-comparison is found in Timon Phlias. SH 786 = fr. 12 Di Marco. Cf. A. Ardizzoni, “Riflessioni sul primo giambo di Callimaco (Fr. 191 Pfeiffer)”, GIF 32, 1980, p. 145-155. In Arat. Ph. 916-917 κέπφοι (cf. here l. 6) fly εἰληδά, an adverb which may also mean “by coiling around” (Antiphil. AP 9.14.6 = GP 970), which may resonate with Callimachus’ passage as well.

12 Perhaps one should not underestimate a possible, ironical reference to Delphic bee-maidens, cf. S. Scheinberg, “The Bee Maidens of the Homeric Hymn to Hermes”, HSCPh 83, 1979, p. 1-28, and C. Sourvinou-Inwood, “The Myth of the First Temples at Delphi”, CQ 29, 1979, p. 231-251. On Delphians cf. Aristoph. fr. 705 K-A.

13 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., 32; see also M. R. Falivene, “Callimaco serio-comico: il primo Giambo (fr. 191 Pf.)”, in R. Pretagostini (ed.), Tradizione e innovazione nella cultura greca da Omero all’età ellenistica. Scritti in onore di Bruno Gentili, Roma, 1993, p. 911-925; L. Bergson, “Kallimachos, Iambos I (Fr. 191 Pf.), 26-28”, Eranos 84, 1986, p. 11-16.

14 Il. 16.641-644, which recall Il. 2.469-471. As R. Janko, The Iliad:A Commentary (General Editor G. S. Kirk), IV: Books 13-16, Cambridge, 1992, p. 393 ad loc., aptly observes, “the pastoral detail that milk is most copious in spring clashes poignantly with the martial context; milk is an innocent liquid and the flies seem harmless, but Homer knew that they can cause decay”, cf. Achilles’ fear in 19.23-27. See also schol.bTIl. 2.469a (I p. 282 Erbse) and Il. 17.570-572 for a warrior compared to a blood-sucking fly.

15 G. B. D’Alessio, Callimaco, op. cit., II p. 581 n. 13 quotes Od. 11.34-43, 632-633; Cratin. Archilochi fr. 2 K-A οἷον σοφιστῶν σμῆνος ἀνεδιφήσατε.

16 Cf. Il. 16.259-65; J. T. Kakridis, “Σφήκεσσιν ἐοικότες ἐξεχέοντο (Π 259-267)”, in his Homer Revisited, Lund, 1971, p. 138-140; M. Davies, J. Kathirithamby, Greek Insects, London, 1986, p. 75-79.

17 Callim. Γραφεῖον fr. 380 Pf.; Leonid. Tar. AP 7.408 = 58 G-P (Hippon. T 16 Dg). For this same image cf. Gaetul. AP 7.71 (= 197 ss. Page 1981), on Archilochus; Philipp. Thess. AP 7.405 = 34 G-P and Alcae. Mess. AP 7.536 = 13 G-P on Hipponax (TT 16-17 Degani, cf. most recently M. Rosen, “The Hellenistic Epigrams on Archilochus and Hipponax”, in P. Bing, J. S. Bruss (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Hellenistic Epigram Down to Philip, Leiden and Boston, 2007, p. 459-476); Babr. Prol. Myth.; E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, op. cit., p. 178-181. In Callimachus and in Leonidas’ epigram we have the same association of wasp’s and dog’s “virtues” (cf. βαΰξας, AP 7.408.3); cf. also Hera’s insult against Athena as κυνάμυια, “dog-fly”, i.e. “shameless fly”, in Il. 21.421.

18 See R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., ad loc.; L. Bodson, “Le coutelas delphique, ou l’imprévisible renommée”, MPhL 3, 1978, p. 25-43. Herod. 8.71-72 employs similar imagery in portraying the reception of his own work at the hands of his colleagues: τὰ μέλεα πολλοὶ κάρτα, τοὺς ἐ̣μ̣οὺς μόχθους, / τιλεῦσιν ἐν Μούσηισιν.

19 Soon after a sacrifice, cf. Pind. Pae. 6.112-120 Maehler (= D6 Rutherford), N. 7.40-42 ᾤχετο δὲ πρὸς θεόν, κτέατ᾽ ἄγων Τροΐαθεν ἀκροθινίων· ἵνα κρεῶν νιν ὕπερ μάχας ἔλασεν ἀντιτυχόντ᾽ ἀνὴρ μαχαίρᾳ (“He went to the god, bringing the possession of first-fruits from Troy, where a man struck him with a sword as he struck back over a fight about shares of meat”). Cf. schol. Pind. N. 7.62a φασὶ τοῦ Νεοπτολέμου θύοντος τοὺς Δελφοὺς ἁρπάζειν τὰ θύματα, ὡς ἔθος αὐτοῖς· τὸν δὲ Νεοπτόλεμον δυσανασχέτως ἔχοντα διακωλύειν· αὐτοὺς δὲ διαχρήσασθαι αὐτὸν ξίφη ἔχοντας; I. Rutherford, Pindar’s Paeans. A Reading of the Fragments with a Survey of the Genre, Oxford, 2001, p. 313-315.

20 R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit.

21 D. L. Clayman, Callimachus’ Iambi, Mnemosyne Suppl. 59, Leiden, 1980, p. 16; cf. A.-T. Cozzoli, “Il I giambo e il nuovo ἰαμβίζειν di Callimaco”, p. 140-141, Eikasmos 7, 1996, p. 129-147.

22 This the case, for example, in Herod. 4.72-74, where Cynno praises the painter Apelles saying “Yes, Phile, the hands of the Ephesian Apelles are truthful in every line, nor would you say ‘That man looked at one thing but rejected the other’” (transl. I. C. Cunningham), οὐδ᾽ ἐρεῖς “κεῖνος / ὤνθρωπος ἒν μὲν εἶδεν, ἒν δ᾽ ἀπηρνήθη” (l. 73-74). This passage is suspected by B. M. Palumbo Stracca, “Eronda ipponatteo (Mim. IV, v. 72-78)”, RCCM 48, 2006, p. 49-54, of strong Hipponactean influence. Further examples of the formula in W. Headlam, Herodas:The Mimes and the Fragments, ed. by A. D. Knox, Cambridge, 1922, p. 206 ad loc. On Alcmaeon cf. Eur. Alcmae. Psoph. fr. 65-73, Alcmae. Corinth. 73a-87a Kannicht.

23 Cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia. The Iambi of Callimachus and the Archaic Iambic Tradition, Hellenistic Culture and Society 35, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 2002, p. 54-55. I am less sure that these lines “amount to a satirist’s apologia for his psogoi against critics”, as M. Rosen, Making Mockery. The Poetics of Ancient Satire, op. cit., p. 184, suggests.

24 After R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 170, A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 44-45 mentions Hor. Serm. 1.4.33-38 and Epod. 6.11-14, where the satirist is compared to an angry bull by people who show no interest in poetry and by himself, in this invoking Hipponax as his very model. Yet in Iamb 1.79 βάλλει cannot mean “he butts”, as A. Kerkhecker upholds, since lunatics regularly throw stones, cf. J. Diggle, Theophrastus: Characters, Cambridge, 2004, p. 375 n. 86; R. L. Hunter, Eubulus: The Fragments, Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries 24, Cambridge, 1983, p. 189 (both with further references). Cf. also Hor. Sat. 2.7, where Horace appears in his own persona as freedman, and his wise slave Davus is frightened by his reaction: aut insanit homo aut versus facit (v. 117).

25 People from Corycus (l. 82) were believed guilty of divesting the sailors of information and passing it along to neighbouring cities, cf. A.-T. Cozzoli, “Il I giambo e il nuovo ἰαμβίζειν di Callimaco”, op. cit., p. 137. Again, we are reminded of a similar feature of the iambicist, the propensity to accuse other men of unfairness (cf. Hor. Sat. 1.4.65-72); alternatively, the reference could be to plagiarism: cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 45-46; E. Lelli, Critica e polemiche letterarie nei Giambi di Callimaco, Alessandria, 2003, p. 43. Even more problematic is the interpretation of l. 82-83, where someone “alone chose the Muses /… eating green figs”: cf. A.-T. Cozzoli, “Il I giambo e il nuovo ἰαμβίζειν di Callimaco”, op. cit., p. 131-140, with further bibliography.

26 Note, nevertheless, the poem’s very last words in POxy 1011, τῷ κύσῳ (v. 98), which may denote Hipponactean αἰσκρολογία, not necessarily λοιδορία. Cf. E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, op. cit., p. 47-48; E. Livrea, “Sul primo Giambo di Callimaco”, op. cit. The gratuitousness of genuine Hipponactean blame is reproached by Eustath. ad Il. 464.8 (I 734.1-5 van der Valk).

27 The locus classicus on iambiké idéa is Aristot. Poet. 1449a-b; cf. also Proleg. de comoedia 11b (p. 40 Koster) and M. Sonnino, “Insulto scommatico e teoria del comico in un simposio alessandrino del 203 a.C. (Polibio 15.25.31-33)”, in R. Nicolai (ed.), Ῥυσμός. Studi di poesia, metrica e musica greca offerti dagli allievi a L. E. Rossi per i suoi settant’anni, SemRom Quad. 6, Roma, 2003, p. 283-301.

28 In commenting on this poem, A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 44, argues for a distinction between Hipponax, who can indulge in taunts and mockery, and Callimachus, who does not “compromise his own superior refinement” or demean “his own fastidious detachment”: “Individuals [in l. 16-25] were not named. This generality invites us to find the author among Hipponax’ audience. Iambicists are explicitly mentioned (21). Callimachus, it seems, includes himself among the victims of this poem (34)”. Contra M. Rosen, Making Mockery. The Poetics of Ancient Satire, op. cit., p. 182 n. 14; B. Acosta-Hughes, “Callimachus, Hipponax and the Persona of the Iambographer”, MD 37, 1997, p. 205-216; Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 53-59 (cf. also E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, op. cit., p. 45). Given his traditional harshness, in Hellenistic epigram (cf. n. 51) “only the foolhardy (or very virtuous) would go anywhere near the tomb of Hipponax” (R. L. Hunter, The Shadow of Callimachus. Studies in the Reception of Hellenistic Poetry at Rome, Roman Literature and its Contexts, Cambridge, 2006, p. 12-13 n. 22). In appropriating his very persona, Callimachus may be implying his moral excellence.

29 A similar fable is to be found indeed in the Aesopic collection. Unlike Archilochus, Hipponax seems to have never used fable in his work, and its adoption here may represent an innovation in iambic genre as practiced by the poet of Ephesos.

30 Cf. Vit. Aesop. G. 97, 99, W. 97, 133; Pl. 282, 300; Fab. 465 Perry ap. Max. Tyr. Or. 19; Xen. Mem. 2.7.13; A. Wiechers, Aesop in Delphi, Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 2, Meisenheim, 1961, p. 10.

31 On the much discussed τραγῳδοί in l. 12, cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 54 n. 37, with further bibliography.

32 So R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 172-173 ad l. 4 f. and 6 ff.

33 The fox and the eagle: Archil. fr. 172-181 W2; cf. Aesop. Fab. 1 Perry and T 101 Perry ap. Hermog. Progymn. 1 (Αρχίλοχος δὲ τὸν τῆς ἀλώπεκος, scil. μῦθον). It is not certain that such fable was directed against Lycambes: cf. K. Latte, “Zeitgeschichtliches zu Archilochos”, p. 387 n. 2, Hermes 92, 1964, p. 385-390. The fox and the ape: Archil. fr. 185-187 W2 cf. Aesop. Fab. 81 Perry. On the fox’s κακουργία cf. Sopat. Progymn. fr. 1 Rabe; in Themist. Or. 22 (278c) the fox always tricks stronger animals.

34 T. M. Compton, Victim of the Muses, op. cit., p. 348. The fact that the fox was Archilochus’ mask was well acknowledged by Plato: πρόθυρα μὲν καὶ σχῆμα κύκλῳ περὶ ἐμαυτὸν σκιαγραφίαν ἀρετῆς περιγραπτέον, τὴν δὲ τοῦ σοφωτάτου Ἀρχιλόχου ἀλώπεκα ἑλκτέον ἐξόπισθεν κερδαλέαν καὶ ποικίλην (Plat. Resp. 365c 3-6). A similar image is the cicada in fr. 223 W, which may be significant for Callimachus’ Aetia prologue as well. There is a scholarly consensus on Archilochus’ “irrelevance” as a model in the Iambi, as it should expected in a book which draws in particular from Hipponax (cf. W. Bühler, “Archilochos und Kallimachos”, in Archiloque. Sept exposés et discussions, Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 10, Vandœuvres and Geneva, 1963, p. 225-247, and E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, op. cit., p. 45). We may detect some traces of the poet from Paros (for instance the meter of Ia. 12, labelled as “Archilochean” by metrical treatises), which rather imply the refusal of his fury.

35 On Aesop cf. T. M. Compton, Victim of the Muses, op. cit., p. 19-40; on the adoption of his figure in the Iambi cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, R. Scodel, “Aesop poeta: Aesop and the Fable in Callimachus’ Iambi”, in M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit, G. C. Wakker (ed.), Callimachus II, Hellenistica Groningana, 7, Leuven, Paris and Dudley (MA), p. 1-21.

36 Vit. Aesop. G. 110.

37 In the Mnesiepes inscription, for example, Archilochus was wronged by Parians, who “believed that they had been insulted in intolerable iambic invective”. Soon after this they were victims of impotence, and Apollo told them the only available cure was to grant Archilochus the honour he deserved (E1 III in D. Clay, Archilochos Heros. The Cult of Poets in the Greek Polis, Cambridge (MA) and London, 2004, p. 104-110). Aesop was forced by Delphians to throw himself down from a rock like a pharmakós. Delphians were then struck by famine, and they had to grant Aesop heroic honours (T 25 Perry = T 1 in D. Clay, Archilochos Heros. The Cult of Poets in the Greek Polis, op. cit., p. 127-128). In another tradition Aesop enjoyed a second life, cf. Plat. Com. fr. 70 K-A and Ptol. Chenn. ap. Phot. Bibl. 191 p. 152b 11-3 Αἴσωπος ἀναιρεθεὶς ὑπὸ Δελφῶν ἀνεβίωσε, καὶ συνεμάχησε τοῖς Ἕλλησι περὶ Θερμοπύλας, cf. K.-H. Tomberg, Die Kaine Historia des Ptolemaios Chennos. Eine literarhistorische und quellenkritische Untersuchung, Diss. Bonn, 1967, p. 188-189 n. 133. We do not know anything similar about Hipponax, but many fragments refer to the Targelia and the expulsion of pharmakoí, cf. fr. 37 W = 46 D ἐκέλευε βάλλειν καὶ λεύειν Ἱππώνακτα, 6 W/D, 5 W = 26 D, 7 W = 27 D, 8 W = 28 D, 9 W = 29 D. A very similar figure is Socrates who, despite his ugliness, was the wisest of mortals. It is noteworthy that Eur. Palam. TrGF fr. 588 ἐκάνετ᾽ ἐκάνετε τὰν πάνσοφον, <ὦ Δαναοί,> τὰν οὐδὲν ἀλγύνουσαν ἀηδόνα μουσᾶν was considered already by Heraclides Ponticus as a reference to Socrates’ death. On Socrates (and Plato’s dialogues in general) as possible models of irony for the Iambi, cf. R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit.; S. Stephens, “Literary Quarrels”, in A. Martina, A.-T. Cozzoli (ed.), Callimachea II, Atti della seconda giornata di studi su Callimaco, Università Roma Tre, 15 maggio 2005, Roma, 2007; for the Aetia, B. Acosta-Hughes, “The Cicada’s Song: Plato in the Aetia”, ibidem.

38 On the “multiple inspiration” of Callimachus’ Iambi cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, R. Scodel, “Aesop poeta…”, op. cit., p. 19: “Each of the models evoked in the collection provides a precedent for some aspects of the enterprise, but none is complete in itself”. The importance of Plato’s dialogues for Callimachus has been the focus of very promising research: cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, “The Cicada’s Song: Plato in the Aetia”, op. cit.; S. Stephens, “Literary Quarrels”, op. cit.

39 I will not give full details of the questions arising from this poem. I hope to deal with this elsewhere.

40 Cf. Men. Adelph. 2 fr. 10 K-A.

41 It is generally assumed that the narrator is the lover. Even though the Diegesis does not shed any light on this, the assumption is most probably correct: cf. the use of first person narrative in l. 26-33, and in particular l. 29 καὶ γαμβρὸν̣ ἠ̣ξ̣ί̣ω̣σ̣ε̣ κ̣α[ὶ] φίλο̣ν θέσθαι (with von Arnim’s supplements), where γαμβρός means “lover”, cf. LSJ9s.v. IV and most recently E. Livrea, “Callimachi Iambus III”, ZPE 146, 2004, p. 47-52 ad loc.; E. Lelli’s “genero” is unconvincing (Critica e polemiche letterarie nei Giambi di Callimaco, op. cit., p. 94).

42 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 80. This paradoxical wish has been much debated recently. For R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 176, it expresses the speaker’s wish for deliverance from sexual desire, while A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 79-80, remains convinced that it refers to the wealth of Galli, but this interpretation is awkward and without clear evidence (Rhet. Her. 4.62 divitias suas iactat sicut Gallus e Phrygia, being more about wildness than about wealth). For E. Lelli, Critica e polemiche letterarie nei Giambi di Callimaco, op. cit., p. 100, it is related to a “lower” Muse (“al mestiere di poeta e letterato… vengono specularmente opposte le professioni di ballerino di Cibele o cantore ai festivals”); E. Livrea, “Callimachi Iambus III”, op. cit., p. 51 suggests l. 34-38 are actually spoken by Euthydemus. We are probably on safe ground in attributing them to the speaker himself, who complains about his worship using sexually ambiguous images: better to be an emasculated worshipper of Cybele or a woman crying a (dead) man, than to be a devotee of Muses deserted by Euthydemus (for a wealthier man).

43 In this respect this poem is far from contemporary cynic poetry. They share themes and images which may suggest common Hipponactean ispiration (cf. Phoenix of Colophon), but they differ strongly in the evaluation of poverty. Cf. E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, op. cit., p. 40-41 and 53.

44 On the poem’s structure, cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 111-115 (here quoted at p. 114); L. Edmunds, “Callimachus Iamb 4: From Performance to Writing”, in A. Cavarzere, A. Aloni, A. Barchiesi (ed.), Iambic Ideas. Essays on a Poetic Tradition from Archaic Greece to the Late Roman Empire, Lanham et al., 2001, p. 77-98. This is a sophisticated development of the persona loquens, a feature of iambic poetry particularly relevant to Archilochus (cf. A. Pippin Burnett, Three Archaic Poets: Archilochus, Alcaeus, Sappho, London, 1983, p. 99). Callimachus is fond of such plays on the ambiguity of voice, cf. the Bath of Pallas and the analysis offered by A. D. Morrison, “Sexual Ambiguity and the Identity of the Narrator in Callimachus’ Hymn to Athena”, BICS 48, 2005, p. 27-46.

45 Cf. l. 77 and Hec. fr. 248 Pf. = 36 Hollis, l. 84 and Del. 321-322. These references make it difficult to consider Ia. 4 an early poem (pace Cameron on this).

46 “O fair one in all things, [as] the swan [of Apollo] you sang the fairest of my features at the end” (l. 44-46, transl. B. Acosta-Hughes).

47 Archilochus: A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 113-115; Hipponax: L. Edmunds, “Callimachus Iamb 4: From Performance to Writing”, op. cit., p. 86-88.

48 Cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 191 n. 62, for further bibliography.

49 Cf. G. B. D’Alessio, Callimaco, op. cit., I p. 17-8. This facet has apparently been underestimated by most scholars. In the most recent discussion of this poem, M. Rosen, Making Mockery. The Poetics of Ancient Satire, op. cit., p. 204-205, argues that the bramble/Simus is responsible of not understanding the literary nature of the neikos between the trees: “Without such an understanding, poetic satire once again appears to be simply an unpleasant, indecorous, even scandalous form of ‘real-life’” (p. 205); “The fable… functions as an epideixis for Simus of a proper literary psogos” (p. 200).

50 One might even quote Odysseus’ reply to Thersites in Il. 2.245-247: καί μιν ὑπόδρα ἰδὼν χαλεπῷ ἠνίπαπε μύθῳ· / “Θερσῖτ᾽ ἀκριτόμυθε, λιγύς περ ἐὼν ἀγορητής, / ἴσχεο, μηδ᾽ ἔθελ᾽ οἶος ἐριζέμεναι βασιλεῦσιν” (“with an angry glance scolded him with harsh words, saying: ‘Thersites of reckless speech, clear-voiced talker though you are, restrain yourself, and do not think to be the sort of person who may quarrel with kings’”).

51 Cf. Alcae. Mess. AP 7.536 = 13 G-P, Hippon. T 17 Dg. On the reception of the two iambicists in the epigram tradition cf. now M. Rosen, “The Hellenistic Epigrams on Archilochus and Hipponax”, op. cit. Interestingly, the Diegesis labels the bramble as “old”, βάτος παλαιά (Dieg. 7.12). Old age is a standard feature of traditional figures: Hipponax, for example, is “old” (πρέσβυς) also in the epigram by Alcaeus just quoted and he should be probably identified with the old man in Herondas’ dream as well (Mim. 8), cf. especially v. 75-79 (Hippon. T 47 Dg) and E. Degani, Studi su Ipponatte, op. cit., p. 51-53; L. Di Gregorio, Eronda: Mimiambi (V-XIII), Biblioteca di Aevum(ant) 16, Milan, 2004, p. 366-381. On old age as “recognisable poetic code”, cf. R. L. Hunter in M. Fantuzzi, R. L. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry, Cambridge, 2004, p. 74-76.

52 The name is given by the Diegesis, but it might be just a trope, cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 193-194.

53 Two lines in the margin of l. 117 in POxy 1011 apparently mark the conclusion of the poem and “totius partis iambicos trimetros claudos continens” (R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 184 ad loc.). Cf. L. Edmunds, “Callimachus Iamb 4: From Performance to Writing”, op. cit., p. 79-80.

54 One may reasonably argue that there is no harsh break between Ia. 4 and 5, given the latter’s imagery and partially choliambic meter.

55 Partially anticipated by Iambus 12: cf. M. Giuseppetti, “Il Giambo 12 di Callimaco, occasione e allusività giambica”, Paideia 61, 2006, p. 207-225.

56 The charges in this speech have often been taken as serious. There is a strong possibility, though, that the critic’s words are styled with very Callimachean irony (cf. l. 40). Cf., in particular, R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit., p. 41-45.

57 While discussing about Socrates’ trial, Euthyphro tells the philosopher that even he himself has been charged of madness when he foretells what is going to happen, and no doubt this is due to the phtoneros nature of the Athenians (Plat. Euth. 3b9-c5). Socrates’ reply is significant: Athenians get angry if a wise man tries to teach others to be as wise as he is.

58 Ion the poet, proficient in polyeideia (Dieg. 9.34-36); Ion the rhapsode, one of the characters in Plato’s Ion; Ion the ancestor of the Ionians: cf. R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit.

59 Cf. R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit.; B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 97.

60 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 265.

61 A reference to the past fits better the aorist ἠγάπησαν in l. 51.

62 Cf. the rich notes in A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 266-267. On tattooing add C. P. Jones, “Stigma: Tattooing and Branding in Graeco-Roman Antiquity”, JRS 77, 1987, p. 139-155. Cf. also Ia. 4.22 and R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I: Fragmenta, op. cit., p. 179 ad loc. It is not certain that κἠμέ (l. 53) implies the speaker is the victim of the attacks.

63 Hes. Op. 195-200. Cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Polyeideia, op. cit., p. 98; G. B. D’Alessio, “Intersezioni callimachee: Callimaco, Esiodo, Virgilio, Persio”, p. 147-150, in A. Martina, A.-T. Cozzoli (ed.), Callimachea I. Atti della prima giornata di studi su Callimaco (Roma, 14 maggio 2003), Roma, 2006, p. 137-162.

64 φαύλοις ὁμι[λ]εῖ[ν (l. 58), which in a sense might recall the comic characters as being φαυλότεροι than real people in Aristot. Poet. 1449a 32-34.

65 A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, op. cit., p. 267 and n. 99 considers π̣α̣ρέπτησαν (l. 58) to be gnomic aorist, but this also may be proper aorist: the poets have reached their last age, just as in Hesiod, and the Muses’ flight is definitive (cf. also l. 51). Cf. Aratus’ myth of Dike in Ph. 133-134 with A. Schiesaro, “Aratus’ Myth of Dike”, MD 37, 1996, p. 9-26.

66 In Pind. Pyth. 2.54-56, “abusive Archilochus” is depicted as “fattening himself with strong words and hatred” (εἶδον… τὰ πόλλ᾽ ἐν ἀμαχανίᾳ ψογερὸν Ἀρχίλοχον βαρυλόγοις ἔχθεσιν πιαινμενον), here the poets οὐδὲν πῖον, ἀ[λλὰ] λιμηρά / ἕκαστος ἄκροις δακτύλοις ἀ̣π̣ο̣κνίζει (l. 60-61, which recall also l. 21). Cf. G. B. D’Alessio, “Intersezioni callimachee: Callimaco, Esiodo, Virgilio, Persio”, op. cit., p. 146-147; Archil. fr. 125 W; Semon. fr. 7.6 W; Anan. fr. 5.9 W; A. Pippin Burnett, Three Archaic Poets: Archilochus, Alcaeus, Sappho, op. cit., p. 58-59. The interpretation of the Pindaric passage is much discussed: cf. most recently C. G. Brown, “Pindar on Archilochus and the Gluttony of Blame (Pyth. 2.52-56)”, JHS 126, 2006, p. 36-46. The verb πιαίνω is used in the Iliad in the descriptions of the dogs injuring the corpses of the heroes fallen on the battlefield, cf. G. Nagy, The Best of the Achaeans. Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry, Baltimore, 19992, p. 226; M. Graver, “Dog-Helen and Homeric Insult”, CA 14.1, 1995, p. 41-61; cf. also Bacch. Ep. 3.67-68 εὖ λέγειν πάρεστιν ὅσ|[τις μ]ὴ φθόνῳ πιαίνεται (this reading is due to the second corrector: ϊαινεται Π, cf. also Hesych. s.v.). It is interesting to observe that Pindar has to refrain from δάκος ἀδινὸν κακαγοριᾶν (P. 2.53). The word δάκος is etymologically connected with the verb δάκνω, “to bite”: it is probably not by chance that the Delian cult referred to in Ia. 13.60-62 involved biting of the sacred tree, cf. Call. Del. 322-323 πρέμνον ὀδακτάσαι ἁγνὸν ἐλαίης / χεῖρας ἀποστρέψαντας. Cf. also D. Steiner, “Slander’s Bite: Nemean 7.102-105 and the Language of Invective,” JHS 121, 2001, p. 154-158.

67 If so, does this refer as well to his own condition of poverty, at least implicitly?

68 R. L. Hunter, “(B)ionic man: Callimachus’ iambic programme”, op. cit., p. 41. On the questions, cf. most recently E. Lelli, Callimachi Iambi XIV-XVII, Roma, 2005, even though I do not share his conviction that fr. 226-229 Pf. are “Iambi 14-17” tout court.

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Massimo Giuseppetti, « Poetry in the Iron Age: interplay of voices in Callimachus’ Iambi », Aitia [En ligne], 2 | 2012, mis en ligne le 11 juillet 2012, consulté le 29 novembre 2014. URL : http://aitia.revues.org/558 ; DOI : 10.4000/aitia.558

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Massimo Giuseppetti

Università Roma Tre

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