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Κραδίᾳ γνωστὸς ἔνεστι τύπος (Meleager, Anth. Pal. 5.212.4): Self-Reflexive Engagement with Lyric Topoi in Erotic Epigram

Κραδίᾳ γνωστὸς ἔνεστι τύπος (Méléagre, Anth. Pal. 5. 212. 4) : quand les poètes participent de manière autoréflexive des topoi lyriques dans l’épigramme érotique
Κραδίᾳ γνωστὸς ἔνεστι τύπος (Meleagro, Anth. Pal. 5.212.4): l’approccio autoriflessivo ai topoi lirici nell’epigramma erotico
Regina Höschele

Résumés

Sarah Mace, dans un article de 1993, a brillamment retracé l’usage de δηὖτε dans la lyrique archaïque, où le topos répandu de « Aime … encore une fois » évoque non seulement l’expérience personnelle du désir érotique répété du locuteur, mais aussi la récurrence de l’apparition débordante de l’amour tout au long de l’histoire du genre. Quand les auteurs d’épigrammes hellénistiques écrivent sur leur eros plusieurs siècles plus tard, ils participent manifestement de ce topos lyrique et d’autres, faisant de leur expérience de l’amour quelque chose qui est bien connu de la tradition érotique : c’est notamment la connaissance de leurs modèles lyriques qui leur permet, ainsi qu’à leurs lecteurs, de diagnostiquer correctement les symptômes amoureux et d’identifier les symboles érotiques en tant que tels. Bien qu’un tel jeu métapoétique soit quelque chose que nous associons volontiers à la poésie hellénistique, le potentiel d’évocation consciente de la tradition poétique et des conventions génériques est déjà inhérent à la lyrique archaïque elle-même. Le présent article se penche sur ces exemples antérieurs d’autoréflexivité en comparaison avec les modes d’allusion que nous rencontrons dans les épigrammes érotiques. En délimitant les similitudes et les différences dans la conscience générique et/ou intertextuelle des poètes archaïques et hellénistiques, il espère apporter un éclairage nouveau sur le fonctionnement interne de l’allusion dans différents contextes littéraires.

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Texte intégral

The Sappho syndrome

  • 1 Πᾶσα μὲν ἐψύχθην χιόνος πλέον, ἐκ δὲ μετώπω | ἱδρώς μευ κοχύδεσκεν ἴσον νοτίαισιν ἐέρσαις, | οὐδέ τ (...)
  • 2 As Ps.-Longinus, to whom we owe the poem, rightly observes, Sappho describes τὰ συμβαίνοντα ταῖς ἐρ (...)

1When Simaetha, the girl lamenting her lost love in Theocritus’ Idyll 2, first set eyes upon Delphis, she was instantly smitten (χὠς ἴδον, ὣς ἐμάνην, Id. 2.82), consumed by fire and gripped by a debilitating disease, which tied her to the bed for ten days and nights (lines 82–92). Finally confessing her secret longing to a servant, she asked her to summon the beloved; as soon as he crossed the threshold, Simaetha suffered a whole variety of physical symptoms: from freezing accompanied by an outbreak of sweat to speechlessness and bodily paralysis (lines 105–1091). A reader familiar with the ancient erotic tradition will immediately recognize the poetic model for Simaetha’s illness: Sappho’s famous description of her physical reaction to viewing the girl of her desire seated next to a man (fr. 31 Voigt), the locus classicus for symptoms of love, including a fluttering heart and broken tongue, burning skin, dysfunctional eyes, roaring ears, sweat, tremor and paleness.2

2So intricately linked was the motif of lovesickness with Sappho’s name that Plutarch, in his Life of Demetrius, refers to erotic symptoms as τὰ τῆς Σαπφοῦς (38.4): when Antiochus, son of Seleucus I, had fallen in love with his step-mother Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes, he attempted everything in his power to conceal his passion and tried to starve himself to death under the pretense of being sick. The physician Erasistratus, however, quickly caught on to the true cause of his disease and was able to identify the object of Antiochus’ longing by observing his reaction to female visitors entering his chamber. While the other women had not the least effect on him, he exhibited “all those symptoms of Sappho” in Stratonice’s presence:

ἐγίνετο τὰ τῆς Σαπφοῦς ἐκεῖνα περὶ αὐτὸν πάντα, φωνῆς ἐπίσχεσις, ἐρύθημα πυρῶδες, ὄψεων ὑπολείψεις, ἱδρῶτες ὀξεῖς, ἀταξία καὶ θόρυβος ἐν τοῖς σφυγμοῖς, τέλος δὲ τῆς ψυχῆς κατὰ κράτος ἡττημένης ἀπορία καὶ θάμβος καὶ ὠχρίασις.

  • 3 Erasistratus ultimately solved the boy’s predicament by claiming that he was in love with his (i.e. (...)

. . . all those symptoms of Sappho appeared in him, the faltering voice, fiery blush, failing eyes, sudden sweat, irregular and tumultuous heartbeat, and at last, when his soul was overcome by passion, perplexity, amazement and paleness.3

  • 4 Note, too, how Plutarch compares a young man’s reaction to “true progress in philosophy” with Sapph (...)
  • 5 C. Segal, “Underreading and Intertextuality: Sappho, Simaetha, and Odysseus in Theocritus’ Second I (...)
  • 6 Cf. also C. Segal, art. cit., p. 207: “Simaetha’s shallow reading only enhances the deep reading to (...)

3Plutarch’s use of the expression τὰ τῆς Σαπφοῦς4 illustrates the impact of Sappho’s songs on the conceptualisation of desire well beyond the realm of poetry. Whereas the biographer thus explicitly points to the topos’ literary origins, Simaetha’s narrative lacks any such self-awareness: while recalling her reaction to viewing the beloved, she, in fact, “relives” Sappho’s agony without being conscious of her model. To her the desire for Delphis is a unique experience, an emotional state overwhelming in its unfamiliarity; to the reader it is a re-enactment of a well-known literary topos originating with the Archaic poetess. As Charles Segal put it, “Simaetha unknowingly repeats a pattern of erotic behavior deeply rooted in the cultural traditions about love.”5 This tension between the girl’s naiveté and the poet’s sophisticated engagement with the poetic past, which is well laid out in Segal’s analysis, indeed, constitutes a lot of the text’s charm.6

  • 7 The question how the learned allusions of Hellenistic authors compare to other forms of intertextua (...)

4That Simaetha suffers from “the Sappho syndrome” unwittingly is in line with her characterization as a simple, inexperienced girl in love for the first time, who offers herself all too quickly to an untrustworthy lover (in retrospect she views herself as ταχυπειθής, Id. 2.138). Other poems of the period, by contrast, spoken in the voice of poet-lovers, demonstrate a much greater degree of literary self-awareness in marking their use of this and other lyric topoi. In what follows, I would like to contemplate how Hellenistic epigrammatists self-reflexively engage with the erotic tradition, how the knowledge of their lyric models enables them (and their readers) to correctly diagnose amatory symptoms and identify erotic symbols as such. Needless to say, this sort of metapoetic play is something we readily associate with Hellenistic poetry. Remarkably, though, we may see the potential for self-conscious evocation of the poetic tradition and generic conventions already inherent in Archaic lyric itself. It is my aim to look at these earlier instances of self-reflexivity in comparison with Hellenistic modes of allusion. By delineating similarities and differences in the generic and/or intertextual self-awareness of Archaic and Hellenistic poets, I hope to shed some new light on the inner workings of allusion in different literary contexts.7

Amour, encore !

  • 8 S. Mace, “Amour, Encore! The Development of δηὖτε in Archaic Lyric,” GRBS 34, 1993, pp. 335–364.
  • 9 Cf. S. Mace, art. cit., p. 338: “ . . . any speaker who can observe that the situation he is descri (...)

5In her 1993 article “Amour, Encore ! The Development of δηὖτε in Archaic Lyric,” Sarah Mace brilliantly traces the usage of the particle-adverb δηὖτε (“again”) in the erotic poems of Alcman, Ibycus, Sappho and Anacreon, where it frequently appears in combination with the noun “Eros” and the personal pronoun “me” as part of what Mace calls “a distinct compositional form” (p. 337), namely the collocation “Eros . . . me, again.”8 The speaker’s realization that he (or she) is yet again in the grips of Love suggests their familiarity with being enamoured, which allows them to assess their emotional state from a certain distance, even as they remain helpless victims of Eros.9 As Mace has shown, this widespread topos is used (and alluded to) by multiple poets to varying effect, the tone ranging from sincere, pathos-laden outcries to comical laments full of self-irony.

  • 10 Similarly, S. Goldhill, art. cit., p. 271, albeit in the context of Hellenistic poetry: “For as The (...)
  • 11 As G. Nagy, Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond, Cambridge, CUP, 1996, pp. 96–97 observes, “thi (...)

6Most importantly for our context, the iteration of desire takes place on two different levels. For not only does δηὖτε here point to the speaker’s personal experience of repeated erotic passion, but it also suggests the recurrence of love’s overwhelming onset throughout the genre.10 Add to this the possibility of re-performance, in which a singer—be it the poet himself or somebody else—relives, yet again, Eros’ latest attack in a potentially unending cycle of new loves. There can be no doubt that the performative context itself invites one to identify the sensation of renewed desire as the singer’s own—think, e.g., of Marlene Dietrich “falling in love again” as a modern-day example. That many different performers over the course of centuries may lend their voice to the poet’s words, their own identity temporarily merging with that of the song’s speaker, gives added point to the motif of “yet again”11—though in this case, too, the focus remains on the experience of the individual. However, if one song’s particular instance of “amour, encore” is viewed against the backdrop of other popular songs on the same theme—familiar from sympotic gatherings, maybe even sung at the same occasion—δηὖτε takes on a broader reference, encompassing the entire tradition (the more so for later readers encountering the poems in a written medium). Indeed, it is tempting to imagine the participants at a symposium telling of love’s renewed attack(s) ἐπὶ δεξιά, with each “yet again” looking back to the “yet again” of songs just heard or remembered from previous dinner parties. Even if we cannot tell how common a scenario this was, it strikes me as very likely that Archaic audiences witnessed such performances, where the wider meaning of δηὖτε became palpable through the sequence of songs intoned by those present.

  • 12 Similarly P. Bing, “A Proto-Epyllion?,” art. cit., p. 186 on Callimachus’ intertextual echo of the (...)
  • 13 Cf. K. Gutzwiller, Poetic Garlands: Hellenistic Epigrams in Context, Berkeley, University of Califo (...)
  • 14 Cf. R. Höschele, “Meleager and Heliodora: A Love Story in Bits and Pieces?,” in I. Nilsson (ed.), P (...)

7While I do not wish to argue that Archaic lyricists engage in self-conscious, metapoetic play to the same degree and with the same intentions as their Hellenistic counterparts, the use of δηὖτε in these erotic songs very much lends itself to a multidimensional reading, especially from the perspective of later poets, who time and again signal intertextual repetition precisely through such verbal markers.12 To give just one example: when Meleager proposes a toast to his beloved Heliodora in Anth. Pal. 5.136.1–2 (= 42.1–2 Gow–Page) with the words ἔγχει καὶ πάλιν εἰπέ, πάλιν πάλιν “Ἡλιοδώρας” | εἰπέ (“pour the wine and say again, again and again ‘to Heliodora’, say it . . .”), he echoes the incipit of a sympotic epigram by Callimachus toasting the boy Diocles (Anth. Pal. 12.51.1 = 5.1 Gow–Page = 29.1 Pfeiffer), which in all likelihood preceded Meleager’s text, the first poem of his Heliodora cycle, in the opening sequence of the Garland’s erotika:13 ἔγχει καὶ πάλιν εἰπὲ “Διοκλέος” (“pour the wine and say again ‘To Diocles’”). As I have argued elsewhere, Meleager’s twice-repeated πάλιν together with his doubling of the imperative εἰπέ self-reflexively mirrors the allusive replication of Callimachus’ sentence; at the same time his emphatic request to say “again, again and again ‘To Heliodora’” anticipates the prominent role this particular beloved will play within his oeuvre.14 In view of such intertextual practices, common among Hellenistic and later poets, the δηὖτε-topos in Archaic lyric may, indeed, seem like a precursor of later allusive techniques, including the kind of learned self-annotation we will encounter in the texts discussed below.

Meleager’s γνωστὸς τύπος

8Let us now turn to our first example, a Meleagrean variation on the motif of erotic symptoms, Anth. Pal. 5.212 (= 10 Gow–Page):

Αἰεί μοι δύνει μὲν ἐν οὔασιν ἦχος Ἔρωτος,
      ὄμμα δὲ σῖγα Πόθοις τὸ γλυκὺ δάκρυ φέρει·
οὐδʼ ἡ νύξ, οὐ φέγγος ἐκοίμισεν, ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ φίλτρων
      ἤδη που κραδίᾳ γνωστὸς ἔνεστι τύπος.
ὦ πτανοί, μὴ καί ποτʼ ἐφίπτασθαι μέν, Ἔρωτες,
      οἴδατʼ, ἀποπτῆναι δʼ οὐδʼ ὅσον ἰσχύετε;

Forever does the sound of Eros penetrate my ears, and my eye, in silence, offers this sweet tear to the Desires, neither night nor the light of day grants [me] rest, but due to love’s charms, I suppose, the well-known typos [impression/stamp] is now residing in my heart. O winged Loves, can it be that you know how to fly over here, but do not at all have the strength to fly away again?

  • 15 I take the implied object of ἐκοίμισεν to be ἐμέ, though one might also think of Meleager’s restles (...)
  • 16 As S. Mace, art. cit., pp. 351–353 has astutely observed, Ibycus already playfully tops the concept (...)
  • 17 Strato amusingly alludes to this Platonic passage in Anth. Pal. 12.224 (= 67 Floridi). To him the t (...)

9The epigram’s speaker suffers continuously from roaring ears, weepiness and insomnia,15 bodily phenomena that leave no doubt as to his condition. In a gesture of one-upmanship, Meleager has turned the δηὖτε-topos’ seriality of desires into a state of perpetual lovesickness (αἰεί), without respite or pause.16 He finds himself under permanent attack by Erotes, who keep coming at him, but never let go. The image of Erotes not flying away contrasts with the rapid take-off of the common lover envisioned by Pausanias, whose speech in Plato’s Symposium criticizes the ephemeral nature of Ἔρως πάνδημος. According to him, a lover who desires the body, not the soul, instantly flies away as soon as the beauty of his beloved begins to fade (ἅμα γὰρ τῷ τοῦ σώματος ἄνθει λήγοντι, οὗπερ ἤρα, “οἴχεται ἀποπτάμενος,” 183e).17 Meleager’s focus, though, is different: his epigram does not concern continual passion (or lack thereof) for a single individual, but the state of being permanently in love, no matter with whom.

  • 18 In Anth. Pal. 12.106 (= 104 Gow–Page), for instance, Meleager describes how his desire for Myiscus (...)
  • 19 Cf. T. G. Rosenmeyer: “Eros: Erotes,” Phoenix 5, 1951, pp. 11–22, at p. 14: “. . . not only in Hesi (...)
  • 20 Cf. G. O. Hutchinson, Hellenistic Poetry, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1988, pp. 272–273.
  • 21 For the plural Erotes as a reference to multiple loves, one might also think of Phanocles’ elegiac (...)
  • 22 Cf. M. Ypsilanti, “Literary Loves as Cycles: From Meleager to Ovid,” AC 74, 2005, pp. 83–110; R. Hö (...)

10That Meleager makes no reference to a specific girl or boy in this epigram—as he does in so many of his poems18—is, I believe, programmatic, as is his use of the plural “Erotes.” While the god of love consistently appears as a single, all-powerful deity in early lyric,19 the idea of multiple Erotes is frequently evoked in Alexandrian poetry, often to comic effect. Asclepiades, for instance, who seems to have been especially fond of the image, repeatedly portrays the Erotes as his perpetual tormentors.20 In Meleager’s epigram, the address to plural Loves, not Eros alone (despite the reference to “the sound of Eros” in line 1) highlights, I suggest, the endless series of erotic passions to which our poet is subject. Indeed, Meleager’s oeuvre as a whole well illustrates the poet’s condition, as it features numerous erotika portraying his amorous travails. In a way, the epigrammatic genre, with its plurality of voices and addressees, lends itself particularly well to staging an interminable sequence of loves in brief snapshots, especially when the poems are combined on the written page: the book itself becomes the space in which love follows upon love.21 Significantly, Meleager couples the paradigmatic series of ever new amours with the syntagmatic construction of love stories over the course of multiple texts. As far as we can tell, he was the first to create epigrammatic cycles portraying specific beloveds, each equipped with individual traits22 (an important model for the Roman elegists, who tend to devote themselves to a single beloved over the course of one or even several books). In their seriality, however, these individual romances likewise contribute to the constitution of a general matrix of erotic desire.

  • 23 Cf. K. Gutzwiller, op. cit., pp. 298–299. A further component of this closural sequence was probabl (...)
  • 24 On these links, cf. K. Gutzwiller, op. cit., p. 298.

11As Kathryn Gutzwiller has plausibly argued, Meleager’s epigram formed part of the final sequence of the Garland’s erotika, which contained poems on the ceaselessness of love (Anth. Pal. 5.211 [Posidippus], 212 and 12.166 [Asclepiades]), pleas for reception (Anth. Pal. 5.213 [Posidippus], 214 and 12.167 [both Meleager]) as well as a prayer for the end of desire (Anth. Pal. 5.215 [Meleager]).23 The plight of Posidippus evoked in Anth. Pal. 5.211 (= 3 Gow–Page = 129 Austin–Bastianini) closely resembles Meleager’s: unable to desist from love (λήγω δʼ οὔποτʼ ἔρωτος, line 3), he stumbles from one erotic passion to the next (εἰς ἑτέρην Κύπριδος ἀνθρακιήν, line 2), suffering ever new pains (ἀεὶ . . . ἄλγος . . . καινόν, lines 3–4). Asclepiades, in turn, weary with constant sorrow, pleads with the Erotes to either leave him in peace or reduce him to ashes altogether (Anth. Pal. 12.166 = 17 Gow–Page). That the three epigrams constitute a tightly-knit ensemble can be seen not just from their shared theme of ceaseless love, but also from more specific parallels: Anth. Pal. 5.212 and 12.166 are linked through their common address to the Erotes, Anth. Pal. 5.211 and 12.166 through the motif of coals (cf. ἀνθρακιήν: 5.211.2 + 12.166.4), which picks up the image of passion’s fire from a poem by Asclepiades immediately preceding Posidippus’ epigram (Anth. Pal. 5.210 = 5 Gow–Page; note also the mention of coals, ἄνθρακες, with reference to the woman’s skin color at line 3).24

  • 25 For an overview of the word’s occurrences, cf. S. Mace, art. cit.
  • 26 B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 88.

12The juxtaposition of these three texts, showing us three different poets—the main representatives of erotic epigram within the Garland—suffering from a virtually unending series of amatory pangs, well emblematizes the universality of love’s “yet again,” its constant recurrence not just in the individual lover, but throughout the poetic tradition. Without using the word δηὖτε, which, in fact, appears almost exclusively in lyric,25 never in epigram, the poems, meaningfully grouped together by Meleager, transpose the lyric topos into another genre, their collocation on the written page highlighting eros’ very seriality. Within the context of Meleager’s amatory book, the theme of endless love may, moreover, take on an additional metapoetic meaning, looking back to the entire sequence of preceding erotika. Note, too, how Meleager has juxtaposed his list of symptoms (the roaring ears, weepiness, insomnia) with two other variations on the motif describing the lover’s sensation of being on fire—an echo, that is, of Sappho’s burning (Asclepiades, Anth. Pal. 5.210.2 = 5.2 Gow–Page: τήκομαι ὡς κηρὸς πὰρ πυρί; Posidippus, Anth. Pal. 5.211.1–2 = 3.1–2 Gow–Page = 129.1–2 Austin–Bastianini: πρίν πόδας ἆραι | ἐκ πυρός). As Benjamin Acosta-Hughes notes, “[t]his collection itself suggests the possible use of a poetic model not only for later composition but also for associative reading.”26

  • 27 B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 88.

13Even if Meleager’s own list of bodily symptoms is not as long and elaborate as Sappho’s, her model clearly lurks in the background. To quote Acosta-Hughes, “[t]he epigram’s opening distich recalls the vivid sensory images of Sappho’s poem, though differently. Whereas Sappho’s describes sensory perceptions and reactions (the seeing and hearing of the beloved), Meleager’s describes physiological sensation alone. Aural and visual sensations are in the reverse order of those in the epigram’s lyric model.”27 Through his familiarity with lyric’s archetypical expression of desire, Meleager is able to diagnose his own symptoms, concluding: ὑπὸ φίλτρων | ἤδη που κραδίᾳ γνωστὸς ἔνεστι τύπος. But what precisely is the γνωστὸς τύπος, this “well-known image” or “stamp,” residing in his heart?

  • 28 For further examples, cf. K. Gutzwiller, “Images poétiques et réminiscences artistiques dans les ép (...)
  • 29 The epigram forms a pair with Anth. Pal. 12.56 (= 110 Gow–Page), which contrasts the sculptor’s mar (...)
  • 30 On the semantic range of τύπος, cf. A. von Blumenthal, “ΤΥΠΟΣ und ΠΑΡΑΔΕΙΓΜΑ,” Hermes 63, 1928, pp. (...)
  • 31 According to Democritus, vision is created from the impressions made on the air by particles emanat (...)
  • 32 As H. Morales, Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Clitophon, Cambridge, CUP, Cam (...)
  • 33 Cf. e.g., Meleager, Anth. Pal. 12.127 (= 79 Gow–Page), where the sight of Alexis’ eyes during the d (...)

14On a literal level, it must refer to some form of erotic mark, to love’s imprint—a concept with which Meleager plays in multiple epigrams, most memorably in a poem on the boy Praxiteles:28 Anth. Pal. 12.57 (= 111 Gow–Page) contrasts the famous, but lifeless marble statue of Eros fashioned by the fourth-century sculptor Praxiteles (κωφὸν ἔτευξε τύπον, line 2) with the animate image of Eros that a boy of the same name has fashioned in his heart (ἔμψυχα μαγεύων . . . | Ἔρωτʼ ἔπλασεν ἐν κραδίᾳ, lines 3–4). May he, the poet wishes, also mould his character (πλάσσοι τὸν ἐμὸν τρόπον, line 7) in a way so as to form a temple for Eros in his soul (τυπώσας | ἐντὸς ἐμὴν ψυχὴν ναὸν Ἔρωτος, lines 7–8).29 The noun τύπος can designate a hollow form, mould or stamp as well as the image created from it (hence also its use as a term for “statue”);30 it can, moreover, signify the impression made by sensory objects, on the air or soul, in ancient theories of perception.31 Given the semantic range of τύπος as well as the close nexus between vision and eros (love, after all, typically enters through the eyes32), one can easily see how beholding the object of one’s desire may create an imprint of Eros and/or the beloved in the lover’s soul.33

  • 34 On the ironic use of που, cf. J. D. Denniston, The Greek Particles, 2nd ed., Indianapolis, Hackett, (...)
  • 35 On knowledge of the erotic condition in Callimachus’ epigrams, cf. K. Gutzwiller, Poetic Garlands, (...)

15By calling the τύπος residing in his heart γνωστός, Meleager indicates, first of all, his personal familiarity with Eros: our poet is able to diagnose his symptoms, because he has been there before. The particle που (rendered in the English translation as “I suppose”) casts a tone of uncertainty over his assessment, which, however, is surely meant to be taken ironically: though the tenor is one of diffidence, Meleager hardly appears to harbor any doubts about his condition.34 On a larger scale, his τύπος may be characterized as “well-known,” since love is a universal sentiment recognizable not just to Meleager, but to anyone who has ever been in love or come across lovers. The reader, too, should have no trouble detecting the cause for Meleager’s affliction, just like Asclepiades and Callimachus in Anth. Pal. 12.134 (= Callim. Ep. 13 Gow–Page = 43 Pfeiffer) and 135 (= Asclep. 18 Gow–Page) are able to identify a fellow-symposiast’s lovesickness (despite his denials!) by decoding the visible signs of erotic suffering (his sobs, tears, and disintegrating garlands). As Callimachus self-ironically remarks, he knows a thief’s tracks, being himself a thief (φωρὸς δʼ ἴχνια φὼρ ἔμαθον, Anth. Pal. 12.134.6), i.e. he speaks from experience.35 The adjective γνωστός may thus refer both to the poet’s individual expertise in matters of love and to the universality of love’s impact.

  • 36 Thus also B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 88: “‘the familiar stamp is set’, which might be taken in (...)

16At the same time, however, it is tempting to read the expression as a veiled reference to the Sapphic text on which Meleager’s experience is modelled.36 Unlike Simaetha, he shows, I submit, full awareness of his literary τύπος, self-reflexively drawing attention to the motif’s very source. Evidently Sappho’s description of erotic symptoms left a deep imprint in the subsequent erotic tradition, making it virtually impossible for a poet to experience desire without, in one way or another, harkening back to its archetypical expression in her verse. We may compare this metapoetic dimension of τύπος to the self-reflexivity inherent in Callimachus’ assertion that his conjecture about his friend’s ailment is not “out of step,” i.e. at random (οὐκ ἀπὸ ῥυσμοῦ | εἰκάζω, Anth. Pal. 12.134.5–6), which, as Marco Fantuzzi has observed, points both to his specific model (Asclepiades’ epigram) and the literary tradition:

  • 37 M. Fantuzzi in id. and R. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, 2 (...)

The standard interpretation is that Callimachus has understood what is happening to his friend “not out of ῥυσμός (i.e., ῥυθμός),” because, as a person who has been in love, he can recognise the sequential series (the rhythmos) of signs in a person who is in love. Perhaps too, however, Callimachus suggests that, as a love poet, he knows how to follow the line of interpretation (the “traces”) of an earlier poet, and as a result, his decoding follows the same series of stages already followed by the latter; his speculations were not “outside the pattern.”37

17In both cases, the signs of erotic distress are fairly easy to decipher, and it does not require much erudition for a reader to recognize the Sapphic model underlying Meleager’s poem. The actual hermeneutic challenge, I would say, consists in identifying the poet’s mode of encoding his allusion(s), his self-reflexive engagement with the tradition. While Callimachus’ epigram figures this process itself as larceny, evoking the image of a thief covering up his tracks—though ultimately hoping to be found out—Meleager’s lays it all out in the open, highlighting the very familiarity of his model.

“The sting of love”: Variations on a theme38

  • 38 The following observations are based on R. Höschele, “Epigram and Minor Genres,” in M. Hose and D.  (...)

18The metapoetic trope of knowledge we have just encountered is also an essential element of another Meleagrean epigram, namely Anth. Pal. 5.163 (= 50 Gow–Page), in which the poet addresses a bee grazing his beloved’s skin:

  • 39 For a discussion of this reading and other emendations, cf. K. Gutzwiller, Critical Edition and Com (...)

Ἀνθοδίαιτε μέλισσα, τί μοι χροὸς Ἡλιοδώρας
      ψαύεις ἐκπρολιποῦσʼ εἰαρινὰς κάλυκας;
ἦ σύ γε μηνύεις, ὅτι καὶ γλυκὺ καὶ δυσοΐστου39
      πικρὸν ἀεὶ κραδίᾳ κέντρον Ἔρωτος ἔχει;
ναὶ δοκέω, τοῦτʼ εἶπας· ἰώ, φιλέραστε, παλίμπους
      στεῖχε· πάλαι τὴν σὴν οἴδαμεν ἀγγελίην.

Flower-dwelling bee, why have you left the blossoms of Spring and are touching the skin of my Heliodora? Are you suggesting that she has the sting of cruel-darted Eros, which is both sweet and always bitter to the heart? Yes, I think that’s what you mean. Alas, friend of lovers, away with you! I/we have known your message for a long time.

19While the act of interpretation remains implicit in Anth. Pal. 5.212—Meleager first lists his symptoms, then gives a diagnosis, providing an answer to the unspoken question “what’s wrong with me?”—this epigram intriguingly stages its own interpretation by having the speaker analyze, step by step, the symbolic meaning of the bee: after asking the bee why (τί, line 1) it is touching Heliodora’s skin, he proposes a possible explanation in the form of a question (ἦ σύ γε μηνύεις, line 3), followed by the confident assertion that his is, indeed, the correct analysis (ναὶ δοκέω, τοῦτʼ εἶπας, line 5).

  • 40 B. MacLachlan, “What’s Crawling in Sappho Fr. 130,” Phoenix 43, 1989, pp. 95–99, at p. 96. She show (...)

20The interpretation thus presented to us by Meleager is fairly self-evident: it will hardly come as a surprise to anyone that the epigram’s bee functions as an emblem of love’s bitter-sweetness (cf. γλυκύ, line 3; πικρόν, line 4), a notion going back to Sappho’s description of Eros as a “sweetbitter unconquerable creature” (γλυκύπικρον ἀμάχανον ὄρπετον, fr. 130.2 Voigt). As Bonnie MacLachlan has persuasively argued, the noun ὄρπετον, commonly taken as a reference to something crawling (e.g., a serpent), in fact, casts Eros in the role of a bee, “that creature which carried both honey and a sting, pleasure and pain”.40 Meleager’s epigram, then, is intimately linked with the Sapphic fragment not just through the concept of love’s bitter-sweetness, but, more concretely, through Eros’ association with bees in both places.

  • 41 Cf. R. Höschele, Die blütenlesende Muse, op. cit., pp. 208–210.

21After concluding his analysis, Meleager ends the poem by telling the insect to fly away (παλίμπους | στεῖχε, lines 5–6), since he has known its message for a long time (πάλαι τὴν σὴν οἴδαμεν ἀγγελίην, line 6)—presumably due to his personal experiences with Heliodora. But could one not also take the last line as a comment on the long tradition of the image and its conventionality? Read metapoetically, Meleager’s words carry, I believe, the following message: we, i.e. the poet and his readers (note the plural οἴδαμεν!), know all too well what the bee stands for, because we have encountered this and similar metaphors many times before in poetry. His rejection of the insect can thus be understood as a self-ironic dismissal of his poem’s subject matter—it is almost as though the “bee topos” had forced itself on him and he was now saying with Sappho μήτε μοι μέλι μήτε μέλισσα (“neither honey nor bee for me,” fr. 146 Voigt). Since flowers are a common image for poetry—an image that Meleager himself prominently exploits in the preface to his Stephanos (Anth. Pal. 4.1 = 1 Gow–Page)—his question to the “flower-dwelling” bee as to why she has left her usual blossoms to approach Heliodora may also be read as: “why has this commonplace infiltrated my poetry?” Given the flowery nature of his anthology and his equation of Heliodora with the “Garland’s garland” (Anth. Pal. 5.143 = 45 Gow–Page),41 the poet should, of course, not really be surprised by the bee’s arrival.

22While the image itself is conventional, Meleager’s version is innovative in its characterization of Love’s sting as simultaneously sweet and bitter (one would expect the sweetness to be associated with the bee’s honey, not its κέντρον). And he is not the last one to have played with the topos. Marcus Argentarius, whose epigrams were included in Philip’s Garland, returns to the usual dichotomy, while giving another amusing twist to the image (Anth. Pal. 5.32 = 2 Gow–Page):

Ποιεῖς πάντα, Μέλισσα, φιλανθέος ἔργα μελίσσης·
      οἶδα καὶ ἐς κραδίην τοῦτο, γύναι, τίθεμαι·
καὶ μέλι μὲν στάζεις ὑπὸ χείλεσιν ἡδὺ φιλεῦσα,
      ἢν δʼ αἰτῇς, κέντρῳ τύμμα φέρεις ἄδικον.

You, Melissa, do all the works of the flower-loving bee. I know this and am putting it, lady, into my heart. You drip honey from your lips in giving sweet kisses, but when you ask [for money], you inflict an unjust wound with your sting.

23On a first reading the vocative Μέλισσα, occupying the same sedes as in Meleager, looks like an address to the bee (with everything written in majuscules, such a misunderstanding could easily occur), but by the last word of the line it is clear that the poet is addressing a girl with striking similarities to her namesake. Like his predecessor, Argentarius knows (οἶδα ~ οἴδαμεν) about the metaphorical significance of the bee, which he sees reflected in Melissa’s nature. After describing her kisses as honey-sweet, he, however, attributes love’s bitterness not to the usual emotional pangs, but to the sting of the girl asking for money (αἰτῇς, line 4). As so many of Argentarius’ darlings, Melissa belongs to the demi-monde of courtesans, where love is inevitably tied to monetary transactions—not unfittingly for a poet called “banker” (Argentarius puns on his cognomen in Anth. Pal. 5.16 = 1 Gow–Page, where he tries to hunt down a girl with silver coins, literally “silver hounds”—ἀργυρέους σκύλακας). The epigrammatist, then, has transformed the bitter-sweetness of erotic passion, represented by the bee in Meleager’s epigram, into the mixed delight provided by hetaerae, who contaminate the pleasure of kisses with the demand for money—a notion that evidently inspired Cillactor to another, coarser version of the motif, which leaves out the bee, but makes the request for cash explicit (around 100 AD; Anth. Pal. 5.29):

Ἁδὺ τὸ βινεῖν ἐστι. Τίς οὐ λέγει; ἀλλʼ ὅταν αἰτῇ
      χαλκόν, πικρότερον γίνεται ἐλλεβόρου.

It is sweet to fuck. Who would deny it? But when she asks for money, it becomes more bitter than hellebore.

24Against this backdrop, it is tempting to understand “all the works” (πάντα ἔργα) done by Melissa as a reference to her sexual availability, her willingness to perform all conceivable figurae Veneris for adequate compensation. If that is so, might the poet also be hinting that fellatio is one of Bee’s specialties and the honey dripping from her lips is a result of her oral services?

25The image of the bee is, at any rate, also clearly sexualized in an epigram by Strato of Sardis (Anth. Pal. 12.249 = 91 Floridi):

Βουποίητε μέλισσα, πόθεν μέλι τοὐμὸν ἰδοῦσα
      παιδὸς ἐφʼ ὑαλέην ὄψιν ὑπερπέτασαι;
οὐ παύσῃ βομβεῦσα καὶ ἀνθολόγοισι θέλουσα
      ποσσὶν ἐφάψασθαι χρωτὸς ἀκηροτάτου;
ἔρρʼ ἐπὶ σοὺς μελίπαιδας ὅποι ποτέ, δραπέτι, σίμβλους,
      μή σε δάκω· κἠγὼ κέντρον ἔρωτος ἔχω.

Bull-born bee, whence did you notice my honey and are flying around the crystal-like face of my boy? Won’t you stop buzzing about and wanting to touch his skin, which is of the greatest purity, with your flower-collecting feet? Away with you, you runaway, and back to your hives full of honey-boys, lest I bite you. For I too have the sting of love.

  • 42 For a metapoetic reading of Strato’s poem, cf. also K. Gutzwiller in L. Floridi, Stratone di Sardi: (...)

26Once more the vocative μέλισσα precedes the feminine caesura, while the epithet βουποίητε varies Meleager’s incipit ἀνθοδίαιτε with a nod to Argentarius’ ποιεῖς. Like Meleager, Strato is none too pleased to see a bee touch his darling’s skin (ἐφάψασθαι χρωτὸς ~ χροὸς ψαύεις). But instead of engaging with its symbolic meaning, the epigram re-interprets the opposition of μέλι and κέντρον in concrete sexual terms: while dubbing the boy his “honey,” the poet threatens the insect (ἔρρʼ ~ παλίμπους στεῖχε) with a phallic gesture by asserting that he too possesses the “erotic prick.” That Strato modeled his epigram on Meleager is clear. But beyond the imitation of certain expressions and the poem’s general theme, he also seems to have picked up on its metapoetic dimension. For we may, I believe, understand Strato’s initial question about the bee’s origin (πόθεν, line 1) as an implicit reference to his literary source: is the obvious answer not that the bee has come from Meleager’s Stephanos? This metapoetic reading is supported by the characterization of the bee’s feet as “flower-collecting” or “anthologizing” (ἀνθολόγοισι, line 3), which may function as a sort of Alexandrian “footnote” by pointing directly to Meleager’s anthology.42 Strato thus mimics not only Meleager’s evocation of the bee motif, but also his ennui in the face of such a commonplace, and he amusingly makes his own dismissal more forceful by threatening the insect with sexual violence.

Self-conscious allusion

27The examples of self-conscious allusion discussed in the preceding pages, i.e. allusions that are marked through words of knowing and related images, are not isolated instances but belong to a wider matrix of self-reflexive engagement with the literary tradition, typical of Hellenistic and Roman poetry. As Gian Biagio Conte has illustrated, Ovid, for example, has his own poetic figures use words of “memory” to signal intertextual reminiscences. In Book 14 of the Metamorphoses, Mars reminds Jupiter of his promise to make Romulus a god (Met. 14.812–815):

tu mihi concilio quondam praesente deorum
(nam memoro memorique animo pia verba notavi)
“unus erit, quem tu tolles in caerula caeli”
dixisti . . .

You once told me in front of the assembled gods (for I remember your pious words and have kept them in my remembering heart): “There will be one whom you shall raise to the blue regions of the sky.”

  • 43 G. B. Conte, The Rhetoric of Imitation: Genre and Poetic Memory in Virgil and other Latin Poets, It (...)
  • 44 A Latin version of δηὖτε!

28What Mars brings to remembrance here, what he recalls memori animo, is a promise made in a previous text; the quondam of the gods’ concilium can be located very specifically in Ennius’ Annales, where Jupiter first uttered the words unus erit . . . caerula caeli (54 Skutsch).43 Similarly, the Ariadne of Ovid’s Fasti, faced with Bacchus’ disappearance, laments her renewed abandonment (en iterum,44 fluctus, similes audite querellas. | en iterum lacrimas accipe, harena, meas, “there, yet again, oh waves, hear my laments similar [to the previous ones], there, yet again, oh shore, receive my tears,” Fast. 3.471–472), by recalling (dicebam, memini . . ., Fast.. 3.473) the curse she uttered in Catullus 64 against Theseus (perfide . . . Theseu, Catull. c. 64.133 ~ Fast. 3.473), her poetic memory contrasting sharply with the hero’s infamous forgetfulness (immemor, Catull. 64.135).

  • 45 Cf. S. Hinds, Allusion and Intertext: Dynamics of Appropriation in Roman Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, Ro (...)

29In these as in other cases,45 words spoken within the narrative’s universe point to something lying outside of the text, to the literary creation of that fictional world in dialogue with other texts. Ovid’s Ariadne has, of course, not read Catullus’ poem; what she remembers, qua fictional figure, is her own lived reality, as conceived by a previous poet. But Ovid utilizes her as an (unconscious) mouthpiece for a metapoetic comment, a learned aside between him and the reader extraneous to the mythological world of the text’s fiction. In Conte’s words:

  • 46 G. B. Conte, op. cit., p. 62.

Ovid temporarily extracts Ariadne from his world of narrative events by conceding her knowledge of another order of reality. By giving her an allusive power that extends beyond his “ingenuous” narrative convention, he suspends his own artistic illusion, of which the aim is to give poetry the status of an autonomous reality. Thus Ovid himself attracts attention to the artifice and the fictional devices underlying his own poetic world. He unmasks its basically imaginative nature.46

30Self-reflexive annotations of the sort we encountered in erotic epigram function, I would say, in a somewhat different way. The poems, after all, present us not with the voice of a mythological character, but with that of a poet-lover, with the persona of a poet in love, if not the actual author. Thus the metapoetic message forms part and parcel of the speaker’s reflections, which concern both his love and its poetic expression. Here, too, there is a boundary between the author and his persona, but it is less clear cut, since both inhabit, more or less, the same world; the persona’s universe is a fictionalized version of the author’s, not one set in a remote, mythological past. This means that the speaker qua poet-lover can reflect on his engagement with the lyric tradition within the framework of the poem. His words have a literal as well as figurative meaning, but contrary to a fictional character such as Ariadne (or a naïve girl like Theocritus’ Simaetha), we can well imagine him being aware of the latter. Such literary playfulness may seem to be a far cry from expressions of erotic desire in lyric poetry, but a certain degree of self-reflexivity is, as we have seen, not completely alien to Sappho, Anacreon and Co. either.

  • 47 As Thomas Nelson suggested to me per litteras, we might distinguish here between generic self-consc (...)
  • 48 I would like to thank Peter Bing, Niklas Holzberg, Emelen Leonard and Thomas Nelson for their helpf (...)

31Whereas the self-awareness of Archaic poets is more of a generic sort, calling attention to love’s repetitiveness as a topos of lyric song, the epigrams we have contemplated combine general evocations of the lyric tradition (as seen from outside that genre) with allusions to specific texts.47 Meleager’s γνωστὸς τύπος (Anth. Pal. 5.212) first and foremost points to Sappho fr. 31 Voigt as the archetypical expression of desire, but in a wider sense it also evokes the ever-recurring experience of love’s symptoms in subsequent poetry; the bee as an emblem of love’s bitter-sweetness (Anth. Pal. 5.163) likewise recalls a specific text by Sappho, while at the same time reflecting on the topos’ conventionality, if not staleness. One way or another, however, love does strike again, again and again.48

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Notes

1 Πᾶσα μὲν ἐψύχθην χιόνος πλέον, ἐκ δὲ μετώπω | ἱδρώς μευ κοχύδεσκεν ἴσον νοτίαισιν ἐέρσαις, | οὐδέ τι φωνῆσαι δυνάμαν, οὐδʼ ὅσσον ἐν ὕπνῳ | κνυζεῦνται φωνεῦντα φίλαν ποτὶ ματέρα τέκνα· | ἀλλʼ ἐπάγην δαγῦδι καλὸν χρόα πάντοθεν ἴσα (“the whole of me became much colder than snow, and sweat like damp dews ran from my forehead, and I could say nothing, not even as much as children whimper in their sleep, crying to their own dear mother: my fair body became stiff, just like a doll”), transl. N. Hopkinson, Theocritus, Moschus, Bion, Cambridge (MA), HUP, The Loeb Classical Library 28, 2015, p. 51).

2 As Ps.-Longinus, to whom we owe the poem, rightly observes, Sappho describes τὰ συμβαίνοντα ταῖς ἐρωτικαῖς μανίαις παθήματα (Subl. 10.1). Against the wrong-headed, but widespread theory that Sappho is suffering from jealousy vis-à‑vis “that man,” cf. e.g. M. Marcovich, “Sappho Fr. 31: Anxiety Attack or Love Declaration?,” CQ 22, 1972, pp. 19–32. For a detailed discussion of Theocritus’ rewriting of Sappho in Idyll 2 with further references, cf. B. Acosta-Hughes, Arion’s Lyre: Archaic Lyric into Hellenistic Poetry, Princeton, PUP, 2010, pp. 17–29; see also V. Di Benedetto, “Intorno al linguaggio erotico di Saffo,” Hermes 113, 1985, pp. 145–156.

3 Erasistratus ultimately solved the boy’s predicament by claiming that he was in love with his (i.e., Erasistratus’) wife. Seleucus urged the doctor to give up his spouse for Antiochus’ sake, asserting that he would do the same were his son in love with Stratonice (which is exactly what he had to do in the end). The story is related in multiple sources besides Plutarch (Val. Max. 5.7 ext. 1, App. Syr. 59–61, Luc. Syr. D. 17–18, Julian. Mis. pp. 186.24–188.9 Nesselrath, Suda s.v.  Ἐρασίστρατος), though he is the only one to explicitly connect Antiochus’ symptoms with Sappho. For a comparative analysis of the various versions, cf. J. Mesk, “Antiochos und Stratonike,” RhM 68, 1913, pp. 366–394; on the historical background, cf. K. Brodersen, “Der liebeskranke Königssohn und die seleukidische Herrschaftsauffassung,” Athenaeum 63, 1985, pp. 459–469. Remarkably, a similar anecdote is told about Hippocrates and Perdiccas (Sor. Vit. Hippoc. 5 = CMG 4 pp. 176.4–11), and Galen (De praecog. 6 = CMG 5.8.1 pp. 100.7–104.23) compares his own method in diagnosing a woman’s lovesickness with that of Erasistratus; cf. J. R. Pinault, Hippocratic Lives and Legends, Leiden, Brill, Studies in Ancient Medicine 4, 1992, pp. 61–78. The late-antique epistolographer Aristaenetus, moreover, rewrote the story of Antiochus and Erasistratus in one of his fictive letters (1.13), which features a doctor named Panaceus saving the love-sick Charicles. On the diagnosis of love-sickness in the Greek novel, cf. D. W. Amundsen, “Romanticizing the Ancient Medical Profession: The Characterization of the Physician in the Graeco-Roman Novel,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 48, 1974, pp. 320–337.

4 Note, too, how Plutarch compares a young man’s reaction to “true progress in philosophy” with Sappho’s symptoms: νέῳ δʼ ἀνδρὶ γευσαμένῳ προκοπῆς ἀληθοῦς ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ τὰ Σαπφικὰ ταυτὶ παρέπεται “κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσα ἔαγε, λέπτον δʼ | αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὑποδεδρόμακεν,” ἀθόρυβον δʼ ὄψει καὶ πρᾶον ὄμμα, φθεγγομένου δʼ ἂν ἀκοῦσαι ποθήσειας (“but to a young man who has had a taste of true progress in philosophy these Sapphic symptoms/words apply: ‘my tongue is broken and a fine fire all of a sudden runs under my skin.’ But you’ll see that his eye is unperturbed and gentle, and you would desire to hear him speak”; Mor. 81d [Prof. virt. 10]).

5 C. Segal, “Underreading and Intertextuality: Sappho, Simaetha, and Odysseus in Theocritus’ Second Idyll,” Arethusa 17, 1984, pp. 201–209, at p. 204.

6 Cf. also C. Segal, art. cit., p. 207: “Simaetha’s shallow reading only enhances the deep reading to which Theocritus’ broad irony invites us. Thus the erotic seduction of Simaetha by Delphis is, at another level, the converse of the sophisticated seduction of the reader by Theocritus’ discourse.” His hypothesis of an ironic distance between the author/reader and the poem’s speaker Simaetha is further developed by S. Goldhill, “Framing, Polyphony and Desire: Theocritus and Hellenistic Poetics,” in id., The Poet’s Voice: Essays on Poetics and Greek Literature, Cambridge, CUP, 1990, pp. 223–283, at pp. 261–272. B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 17, distinguishes between two levels of reception, that of the poet and that of Simaetha, who, according to him, “knows Sappho’s poem as part of the repertory of popular love poetry.” That Simaetha consciously evokes earlier literature was already proposed by N. E. Andrews, “Narrative and Allusion in Theocritus, Idyll 2,” in M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit and G. C. Wakker (eds.), Theocritus, Groningen, E. Forsten, Hellenistica groningana 2, 1996, pp. 21–53 with regard to her epic allusions. However, I do not think that the text itself invites us to regard Simaetha as familiar with Sappho’s (or Homer’s) work.

7 The question how the learned allusions of Hellenistic authors compare to other forms of intertextuality, be it in Archaic poetry or inscriptional Gebrauchspoesie, has also been addressed by Peter Bing in two recent essays: P. Bing, “Allusion from the Broad, Well-Trodden Street: The Odyssey in Inscribed and Literary Epigram,” in id., The Scroll and the Marble: Studies in Reading and Reception in Hellenistic Poetry, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2009, pp. 147–174 and “A Proto-Epyllion? The Pseudo-Hesiodic Shield and the Poetics of Deferral,” in M. Baumbach and S. Bär (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Greek and Latin Epyllion and Its Reception, Leiden, Brill, Brill’s Companions in Classical Studies, 2012, pp. 177–197 (in particular pp. 185–188). Cf. also n. 12 below.

8 S. Mace, “Amour, Encore! The Development of δηὖτε in Archaic Lyric,” GRBS 34, 1993, pp. 335–364.

9 Cf. S. Mace, art. cit., p. 338: “ . . . any speaker who can observe that the situation he is describing is just like one he has experienced before must necessarily possess some degree of objectivity and perspective on his current state. In sum, a statement of the form ‘Eros . . . me again!’ presupposes a first-person who is experienced and somewhat distanced, but nevertheless at the mercy of his condition.”

10 Similarly, S. Goldhill, art. cit., p. 271, albeit in the context of Hellenistic poetry: “For as Theocritus writes in Idyll 13, οὐχ ἁμῖν . . . μόνοις, οὐχ ἁμῖν . . . πράτοις, ‘not for us alone, not for us first’: the language of desire in particular is always already layered with allusion, informed with normative, paradigmatic expression (especially in the case of the literary representation of desire).”

11 As G. Nagy, Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond, Cambridge, CUP, 1996, pp. 96–97 observes, “this kind of ‘acting’ in the context of archaic Greek poetry is not a matter of pretending: it is rather a merger of the performer’s identity with an identity patterned on an archetype—a merger repeated every time the ritual occasion recurs. . . . If the merger is successful, then the model has not been merely copied, that is, imitated. It has been remodeled, that is, re-enacted. What is remodeled can continue to be a model. What is merely copied cannot. The paradox here is that a model implies no change, whereas whatever is remodeled does indeed imply change.” He views the repetition in Sapph. fr. 1 Voigt, with its threefold use of δηὖτε, as the “premier metaphor for this paradox of re-enactment.”

12 Similarly P. Bing, “A Proto-Epyllion?,” art. cit., p. 186 on Callimachus’ intertextual echo of the word ἠχώ from the Pseudo-Hesiodic Aspis in his description of the Amazons’ Shield Dance at Hymn 3.245 vis-à-vis the Aspis’ echo of ἠχέτα τέττιξ (line 393) from Hesiod’s Works and Days (line 582): “Given the very different circumstances of poetic allusion in the largely oral culture from which the Aspis emerged in the early sixth century BC, I am not sure that its poet self-consciously played with the idea of a literary ‘echo’ when he incorporated a reference to another poem within his own. But I feel certain that from the bookish perspective of the Hellenistic age Callimachus thought he did, and so included an appreciative nod to his source by means of this ‘echo’ of his own.”

13 Cf. K. Gutzwiller, Poetic Garlands: Hellenistic Epigrams in Context, Berkeley, University of California Press, Hellenistic Culture and Society 28, 1998, p. 284.

14 Cf. R. Höschele, “Meleager and Heliodora: A Love Story in Bits and Pieces?,” in I. Nilsson (ed.), Plotting with Eros: Essays on the Poetics of Love and the Erotics of Reading, Copenhagen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2009, pp. 99–134, at pp. 108–109; also ead., Die blütenlesende Muse: Poetik und Textualität antiker Epigrammsammlungen, Tübingen, Narr, Classica Monacensia 37, 2010, pp. 200–201. Importantly, the name “Heliodora” appears in the same sedes—at the end of the first line—in all 16 poems of this cycle except for three, where, however, it is also featured at line-end elsewhere in the text (Anth. Pal. 5.24, 136, 137, 141, 143, 148, 155, 157, 163, 166, 214, 215; 7.476; exceptions: 5.147, 165 and 12.147); cf. R. Höschele, Die blütenlesende Muse, op. cit., p. 196.

15 I take the implied object of ἐκοίμισεν to be ἐμέ, though one might also think of Meleager’s restless desire.

16 As S. Mace, art. cit., pp. 351–353 has astutely observed, Ibycus already playfully tops the concept of “yet again” by presenting his eros as being “at rest in no season” (ἐμοὶ δʼ ἔρος | οὐδεμίαν κατάκοιτος ὥραν, PMG 286.6–7).

17 Strato amusingly alludes to this Platonic passage in Anth. Pal. 12.224 (= 67 Floridi). To him the transience of pederastic desire, which co-exists briefly with a boy’s beauty, but turns elsewhere as soon as the latter vanishes, is something entirely positive; cf. R. Höschele, Die blütenlesende Muse, op. cit., pp. 236–238.

18 In Anth. Pal. 12.106 (= 104 Gow–Page), for instance, Meleager describes how his desire for Myiscus makes him see the boy in everything. D. H. Garrison, Mild Frenzy: A Reading of the Hellenistic Love Epigram, Wiesbaden, F. Steiner, Hermes. Einzelschriften 41, 1978, pp. 79–80 compares the physical effects of love in this epigram to that of Anth. Pal. 5.212, without, however, noting its purposeful unspecificity regarding the object(s) of Meleager’s passion.

19 Cf. T. G. Rosenmeyer: “Eros: Erotes,” Phoenix 5, 1951, pp. 11–22, at p. 14: “. . . not only in Hesiod who is our first authority for the existence of the god, but also in early lyric poetry Eros is constantly, without exception, featured in resplendent singularity.” Multiple Erotes first appear together on Greek vases toward the end of the sixth century, in literature the plural is first attested in fifth-century lyric, above all in Pindar. Rosenmeyer’s discussion of this development is illuminating, if somewhat condescending in its dismissal of plural Erotes as a sign of degeneration (p. 14): “it is indeed difficult to picture . . . how this uniquely individual creature could ever have succumbed to the humiliating fate of pluralization.”

20 Cf. G. O. Hutchinson, Hellenistic Poetry, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1988, pp. 272–273.

21 For the plural Erotes as a reference to multiple loves, one might also think of Phanocles’ elegiac Ἔρωτες ἢ Καλοί, a catalogue poem on pederastic affairs.

22 Cf. M. Ypsilanti, “Literary Loves as Cycles: From Meleager to Ovid,” AC 74, 2005, pp. 83–110; R. Höschele, “Meleager and Heliodora,” art. cit. and Die blütenlesende Muse, op. cit., pp. 194–229.

23 Cf. K. Gutzwiller, op. cit., pp. 298–299. A further component of this closural sequence was probably Posidippus’ programmatic epigram Anth. Pal. 12.168 (= 9 Gow–Page = 140 Austin–Bastianini), which envisions a cocktail created from a mixture of poetic-literary figures (cf. K. Gutzwiller, op. cit., p. 300). On the closural force of Anth. Pal. 5.215 (= 54 Gow–Page), where Meleager imagines himself dead at the hand of Eros, cf. also R. Höschele, Die blütenlesende Muse, op. cit., pp. 223–225. Meleager’s Garland was in all likelihood divided into four books containing erotika, epitymbia, anathematika and epideiktika respectively, cf. A. Cameron, The Greek Anthology from Meleager to Planudes, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993, pp. 19–33.

24 On these links, cf. K. Gutzwiller, op. cit., p. 298.

25 For an overview of the word’s occurrences, cf. S. Mace, art. cit.

26 B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 88.

27 B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 88.

28 For further examples, cf. K. Gutzwiller, “Images poétiques et réminiscences artistiques dans les épigrammes de Méléagre,” in É. Prioux and A. Rouveret (eds.), Métamorphoses du regard ancien, Nanterre, Presses universitaires de Paris Ouest, Modernité classique 1, 2010, pp. 67–112, at. p. 94. In K. Gutzwiller, “Anacreon, Hellenistic Epigram and the Anacreontic Poet,” in M. Baumbach and N. Dümmler (eds.), Imitate Anacreon! Mimesis, Poiesis and the Poetic Inspiration in the Carmina Anacreontea, Berlin, De Gruyter, Millennium-Studien zu Kultur und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends n. Chr. 46, 2014, pp. 47–66, at p. 60 she compares epigrammatic occurrences of the motif with Anacreont. 27, whose speaker can recognize all lovers because they bear “within them some faint brand on the soul” (τὶ λεπτὸν | ψυχῆς ἔσω χάραγμα, lines 7–8).

29 The epigram forms a pair with Anth. Pal. 12.56 (= 110 Gow–Page), which contrasts the sculptor’s marble image of Eros (Κύπριδος παῖδα τυπωσάμενος, line 2) with the live image of the boy Praxiteles fashioned by Eros as an autoportrait of sorts (ἔμψυχον ἄγαλμα | αὑτὸν ἀπεικονίσας ἔπλασε, lines 3–4). On this pair, cf. I. Männlein-Robert, Stimme, Schrift und Bild: Zum Verhältnis der Künste in der hellenistischen Dichtung, Heidelberg, Winter, 2007, pp. 107–112; on Eros as a sculptor, cf. ibid., pp. 112–115.

30 On the semantic range of τύπος, cf. A. von Blumenthal, “ΤΥΠΟΣ und ΠΑΡΑΔΕΙΓΜΑ,” Hermes 63, 1928, pp. 391–414.

31 According to Democritus, vision is created from the impressions made on the air by particles emanating both from the seer and the object seen (τὸν ἀέρα τὸν μεταξὺ τῆς ὄψεως καὶ τοῦ ὁρωμένου τυποῦσθαι συστελλόμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ ὁρωμένου καὶ τοῦ ὁρῶντος, Democr. A 135 Diels–Kranz ap. Theophr. Sens. 50); on Theophrastus’ critique of the air imprint theory, cf. K. Rudolph, “Democritus’ Perspectival Theory of Vision,” JHS 131, 2011, pp. 67–83, at pp. 75–77. In Stoic theory, perception results from the imprint (τύπωσις) that objects make upon the principal part of the soul. Cleanthes compared this τύπωσις to the imprint of a seal on wax, while others viewed the process differently; cf. D. Hahm, “Early Hellenistic Theories of Vision and the Perception of Color,” in P. K. Machamer and R. G. Turnbull (eds.), Studies in Perception: Interrelations in the History of Philosophy and Science, Columbus (OH), Ohio State University Press, 1978, pp. 60–95, at p. 84.

32 As H. Morales, Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Clitophon, Cambridge, CUP, Cambridge 2004, p. 18 observes, “ὁρᾶν (to see) and ἐρᾶν (to desire) were closely associated, both linguistically and conceptually.” To illustrate this point she refers to the famous passage of Plato’s Phaedrus (255c–d), which describes how the beloved is filled with love, as his own beauty, reflected in the lover’s gaze, enters through his eyes, as well as the folk-etymological derivation of ἔρως from εἰσρεῖν in Plato’s Cratylus (420a–b): “ἔρως” δέ, ὅτι <εἰσρεῖ ἔξωθεν> καὶ οὐκ οἰκεία ἐστὶν ἡ ῥοὴ αὕτη τῷ ἔχοντι ἀλλʼ ἐπείσακτος διὰ τῶν ὀμμάτων (“But eros is so called, because it flows in, eisrhei, from outside, and this flowing is not intrinsic to the one who has it, but it is brought in through the eyes . . .”).

33 Cf. e.g., Meleager, Anth. Pal. 12.127 (= 79 Gow–Page), where the sight of Alexis’ eyes during the day leads to dream visions of his appearance at night, with sleep modelling the boy’s beauty in the lover’s soul (ψυχῇ κάλλος ἀπεικονίσας, line 8). As K. Gutzwiller, “Images poétiques,” art. cit., p. 94 argues, Meleager’s poetic images of Eros, moreover, help create a mental image in the reader’s mind: “Cette image mentale qui renvoie à des représentations figurées forme une impression dans l’âme du lecteur, reflétant en cela le phénomène qui est censé s’être produit dans l’âme de l’amoureux, où l’amour (ou l’objet aimé) ont ancré une impression des plus vives.”

34 On the ironic use of που, cf. J. D. Denniston, The Greek Particles, 2nd ed., Indianapolis, Hackett, 1996, p. 491. D. H. Garrison, op. cit., p. 79 understands ποὺ κραδίᾳ as “somewhere in my heart,” but it is, to my mind, more likely that the particle serves as an ironic qualification of Meleager’s self-diagnosis.

35 On knowledge of the erotic condition in Callimachus’ epigrams, cf. K. Gutzwiller, Poetic Garlands, op. cit., pp. 215–217.

36 Thus also B. Acosta-Hughes, op. cit., p. 88: “‘the familiar stamp is set’, which might be taken in a double sense, as meaning both of Eros and of Sappho’s text and experience.”

37 M. Fantuzzi in id. and R. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, 2004, pp. 339–340. Building upon Fantuzzi’s interpretation, P. Bing, “Allusion from the Broad, Well-Trodden Street,” art. cit., pp. 166–169 further shows how Callimachus has modeled the epigram’s dramatic situation on two Odyssean scenes, in which Alcinous perceives Odysseus’ distress at listening to Demodocus’ songs. Bing reads the poem, with its direct address of the reader (εἶδες, line 2), as an invitation “to join in the process of discovering the ἴχνια embedded in the scene” (p. 167), a literary detective game with the aim of recognizing the concealed loot of this self-proclaimed poetic thief.

38 The following observations are based on R. Höschele, “Epigram and Minor Genres,” in M. Hose and D. Schenker (eds.), A Companion to Greek Literature, Malden (MA), Blackwell Wiley, 2016, pp. 190–204, at pp. 198–201.

39 For a discussion of this reading and other emendations, cf. K. Gutzwiller, Critical Edition and Commentary of Meleager’s Epigrams, Oxford, OUP, forthcoming, ad loc.

40 B. MacLachlan, “What’s Crawling in Sappho Fr. 130,” Phoenix 43, 1989, pp. 95–99, at p. 96. She shows that the word ἑρπετόν can be used both with reference to creatures on the ground and to flying animals. As she likewise points out (p. 97), the verb δονέω (“to whirl, shake about”; cf. δόνει at Sapph. fr. 130.1 Voigt) can also describe the buzzing of bees.

41 Cf. R. Höschele, Die blütenlesende Muse, op. cit., pp. 208–210.

42 For a metapoetic reading of Strato’s poem, cf. also K. Gutzwiller in L. Floridi, Stratone di Sardi: Epigrammi. Testo critico, traduzione e commento, Alessandria, Ed. dell’Orso, 2007, p. xii. According to her, “the bee is presented not only as a sexual rival but also, metapoetically, as an anthologizer who threatens to steal Strato’s poetry. When Strato turns bee to sting in turn, he expressly activates the old metaphor of the poet as bee and honey as verse. To push the reading even further, we might see in the more aggressive sexual posturing of this variation of Meleager a renunciation of the earlier intermingling of the poet’s own verse with that culled from others in favor of Strato’s single-authored collection of boys beloved by others.”

43 G. B. Conte, The Rhetoric of Imitation: Genre and Poetic Memory in Virgil and other Latin Poets, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, Cornell Studies in Classical Philology 44, 1986, pp. 57–58. The effect of this and other quotations was, in fact, already noted by W. Kroll, Studien zum Verständnis der römischen Literatur, Stuttgart, Metzler, 1924, pp. 176–177.

44 A Latin version of δηὖτε!

45 Cf. S. Hinds, Allusion and Intertext: Dynamics of Appropriation in Roman Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, Roman Literature and Its Contexts, 1998, pp. 1–16.

46 G. B. Conte, op. cit., p. 62.

47 As Thomas Nelson suggested to me per litteras, we might distinguish here between generic self-consciousness (where the text reflects what happens repeatedly in a genre) and intertextual self-consciousness (where the text recognises its repetition of a specific model).

48 I would like to thank Peter Bing, Niklas Holzberg, Emelen Leonard and Thomas Nelson for their helpful comments on this paper.

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Regina Höschele, « Κραδίᾳ γνωστὸς ἔνεστι τύπος (Meleager, Anth. Pal. 5.212.4): Self-Reflexive Engagement with Lyric Topoi in Erotic Epigram », Aitia [En ligne], 8.1 | 2018, mis en ligne le 03 juillet 2018, consulté le 23 juillet 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/aitia/1979 ; DOI : 10.4000/aitia.1979

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Regina Höschele

University of Toronto

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