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“Modernism,” “Postmodernism,” and the Death of the Stanza

« Modernisme », « postmodernisme » et la mort de la strophe
“Modernismo”, “postmodernismo” e morte della stanza
G. O. Hutchinson


On ne devrait pas considérer que la lyrique après Pindare décline et s’épuise, mais plutôt qu’elle se développe selon des voies qui questionnent radicalement ou jouent avec les fondements du genre (ou « super-genre »). La strophe est une caractéristique cruciale de la lyrique jusqu’à Pindare, surtout d’un point de vue textuel ; l’expansion « moderniste » en grandes entités astrophiques (Timothée entre autres) et la réduction « postmoderne » à des vers stichiques (Callimaque entre autres) impliquent toutes deux une remise en cause radicale du super-genre, et l’une est une réaction à l’autre. Cependant, les postmodernistes les plus novateurs sont les poètes un peu antérieurs à Callimaque et Théocrite (Simmias, Philicos entre autres) ; Callimaque et Théocrite prolongent leurs idées avec de nouveaux ajustements et de nouveaux objectifs. Mais la strophe n’est pas réellement morte : dans les poèmes de Timothée et de Callimaque se construisent des structures d’apparence strophique. Le développement tardif et hellénistique de la lyrique est aussi dynamique et stimulant que celui de la sculpture.

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1A traditional view of lyric, heavily affected by Horace, might run like this: Greek lyric consisted primarily of its nine great canonical poets, from the archaic to the early classical period. After Pindar, it degenerated into the bizarre efforts of Timotheus and others, and by the Hellenistic period had more or less faded out: inscribed cultic poems, the occasional erotic fragment, and the stichic compositions of Callimachus and others all fail to make the grade, for reasons either of quality or of form. Horace then revives the genre (with perhaps some help from Catullus; Laevius is again just bizarre). The genre has changed, however, from performed lyric to lyric in a book; it is politer not to mention the Carmen Saeculare.

2This view seems to do the late classical and Hellenistic periods little justice; a prompt to a different perception may be given, for example, by the history of sculpture, and the antagonistic ideologies apparent in Posidippus’ epigrams on the art-form (cf. Ep. 62–63 Austin–Bastianini, etc.). Bold and fundamental experiment, revision and counter-revision, may be seen in lyric as in so many areas of late classical and Hellenistic culture. But to see how the experiment gets to some basics of the genre we need to consider tricky matters.

  • 1 For the term “super-genre” cf. G. O. Hutchinson, “Genre and Super-genre,” in T. D. Papanghelis, S.  (...)

3This piece will be concerned, not with the genres that are often thought of in the context of lyric—paeans, epinicians, etc.—but with the larger super-genre, as I shall call it, of lyric itself. The ancient evidence from the fourth century on clearly sees “lyric” as a group like “hexameter” (ἐπικὴ ποίησις): cf. e.g. Pl. Ion 533e5–534a7, Dion. Hal. Comp. 22, 2.98.8–10 Usener–Radermacher ἐν μὲν ἐπικῆι ποιήσει . . . ἐν δὲ μελοποιίαι . . ., 24, 2.121.16–17 μελοποιῶν μὲν . . ., τραγωιδοποιῶν δὲ . . ., Plut. Mor. 348b (Glor. Ath. 5; <ἐπι>κῆς Reiske and Bernardakis convincingly for τῆς), Hermog. Id. 2 pp. 412–413 Rabe. The notion of sung performance is vital to the idea of lyric in Hellenistic and Imperial discussion, Latin included; but there are various reasons for looking beyond performance, much as performance appeals to us. First, and least, emphasis on an original performance looks less significant when we bear in mind the importance of secondary consumption: not only individuals singing even an originally choral song at a symposium, but also people reading a text to themselves or reading a text out loud to someone else. The means of consumption are multiple, and seem to increase with the Hellenistic period: so slaves whose sole job it is to read texts out, cf. Hier. Rhod. fr. 52a and b Wehrli ἐπʼ ἀ[ναγ]νώστου παιδὸς φωνὴν ἀπο[δεδ]ρακέναι, εἰς ἀναγνώστου παιδὸς φωνὴν καταδύντα, Hermipp. FGrHist 1026 F 73 (fr. 50 Wehrli) τὸν ἀναγνώστην τοῦ Καλλισθένους Στροῖβον, Cic. Att. 1.12.4 (note the Greek term anagnostes), Sest. 110, Fam. 5.9.2, etc. Second, quasi-performance had long been part of Greek culture; it had flourished in Greek oratory from the beginning. It is doubtful whether the difference between performance and quasi-performance is crucial for the assignment of genre. It is also often hard to know whether a text was written for actual performance or not. In any case (the third point), the written text, and especially its metre, were the main material that Hellenistic scholars had to go on in deciding how an earlier text was performed, and the main material that we have; and metre is an important aspect of genre in its own right.1

  • 2 Pfeiffer’s influential discussion of words connected with lyric (R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical (...)

4Metrical criteria are much more central in the ancient classification of non-dramatic super-genres, especially Hellenistic and Latin, than they are for us; and it is usually worth seeing whether ancient views of ancient culture have merit. For the present piece, we will concentrate on metre. The Latin evidence is particularly valuable, as it precedes much of the extant Greek evidence. It must be based on Hellenistic ideas, though the term preferred in Latin, lyricus (melici Cic. Opt. Gen. 1), is only one of the possibilities available in Greek (cf. Gal. Us. Part. 17.3, 2.451.22–23 Helmreich παρὰ τοῖς μελικοῖς ποιηταῖς, οὓς ἔνιοι λυρικοὺς ὀνομάζουσιν), and Greek’s most popular term for a lyric poet, μελοποιός, is eschewed as linguistically too Greek. The importance of metre in dividing genres is very clear, in Latin and Greek passages which mostly link to earlier Greek literature: so Ov. (?) Her. 15.5–8 forsitan et quare mea sint alterna requiras | carmina, cum lyricis sim magis apta modis . . ., Petr. 2.4 nondum umbraticus doctor ingenia deleuerat cum Pindarus nouemque lyrici Homericis uersibus canere timuerunt, Stat. Silv. 4.7.1–8 Iam diu lato sociata campo | fortis heroos, Erato, labores | differ atque ingens opus in minores | contrahe gyros, | tuque, regnator lyricae cohortis, | da noui paulum mihi iura plectri, | si tuas cantu Latio sacraui, | Pindare, Thebas; Dio Chr. Or. 55.6 (answer to: Socrates the philosopher cannot be imitator of Homer the poet) εἶεν· οὕτως μὲν οὐδὲ Ἀρχίλοχον εἴποις ἂν Ὁμήρου ζηλωτήν, ὅτι μὴ τῶι αὐτῶι μέτρωι κέχρηται εἰς ὅλην τὴν ποίησιν, ἀλλʼ ἑτέροις τὸ πλέον, οὐδὲ Στησίχορον, ὅτι ἐκεῖνος μὲν ἔπη ἐποίει, Στησίχορος δὲ μελοποιὸς ἦν; Gal. Meth. Med. 1.2 (1.2.6 Hankinson), 10.12.12–13.1 Kühn (starts sarcastically) ἀλλὰ τίς ἡμῖν οὕτω μεγαλόφωνος ποιητὴς ὃς ἄισεται ταῦτα; τίνος Ὁμήρου νῦν εὐπορήσομεν ἐν ἑξαμέτρωι τόνωι τὴν Θεσσάλειον ὑμνήσοντος νίκην; ἢ τίνος μελοποιοῦ κατὰ Πίνδαρον ἄισοντος ὑψηλῶς ἐν διθυράμβοις ὡς πάλαι τὸν Διόνυσον οὕτως νῦν τὸν Θέσσαλον; ἢ τούτων μὲν οὐδενὸς χρήιζομεν, Ἀρχιλόχου δʼ ἢ Ἱππώνακτος ἰάμβους γραφόντων . . .;2

  • 3 See briefly on the parts of Hephaestion mentioned J. M. van Ophuijsen, Hephaestion on Metre: Transl (...)

5The ideas suggested below were first conceived of without considering the parts of Hephaestion περὶ ποιημάτων and περὶ σημείων; but those sections tie in interestingly with what the remains of the poetry suggest. Why people want to define things is a significant question, and not least why they want to define or avoid defining genres (a genre is just a kind [γένος] of work, not a mystical entity). Yet the development of lyric has very much to do with the whole question of what lyric is. At a metrical level, conceptions of genre as a set of expectations do not make much sense: a hexameter poem not in hexameters would be not an unexpected twist but a contradiction. Familienähnlichkeiten—an obvious idea for lexicographers—might be more pertinent if we wanted to consider the total range of genres included in the super-genre; but we are more interested in whether we can form a textual and metrical idea of lyric, and what seems to be involved in calling something a “song.” We shall see, not a single feature, but something simpler than “ein kompliziertes Netz von Ähnlichkeiten, die einander übergreifen und kreuzen” (Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen § 66; 67 for the term Familienähnlichkeiten). Ideas of what lyric is are relevant in some way for the procedure of Hellenistic and even late classical poets; so let us see what textual and metrical features of poetry are at least leading characteristics of what is called lyric, or perhaps of μέλη, ἄισματα, ὠιδαί. These three last terms are strongly associated either with poems we would class as lyric or with choruses or solo songs in tragedy (cf. e.g. Ar. Nub. 1355–1356, Av. 917–919, Pl. Prot. 339b4–6, etc., Gorg. 484b1–11, [Pl.] Theag. 125d10–e3, Plut. Them. 21.3).3

  • 4 Page prints the Cologne Archilochus in SLG (D. L. Page, Supplementum Lyricis Graecis: poetarum lyri (...)

6Most of the poetry by the canonical nine poets is written in stanzas (note αἱ στροφαί as crucial to μελοποεῖν at Ar. Thesm. 66–69; cf. also Dion. Hal. Comp. 19, 2.84–86 Usener–Radermacher (with a picture of historical development), and Gal. Us. Part. 17.3, 2.451 Helmreich). What is a stanza? Let us try: a group of metrical entities, separable by pause, combined into a larger metrical entity, which recurs. Two obstacles to excluding other poetry by this means are the elegiac couplet and the epodes of Archilochus and Hipponax. Elegiac poetry forms a large obstacle; it might be possible to evade it by requiring at least three consitutent entities, but see below. Another point which somewhat distinguishes stanzas in our poets from elegiac couplets is a stronger tendency for the lyric stanza to form a unit in sense, though often with a run-over; in the elegists, long sentences can pour over several couplets. Epodes need not be so much of a problem: the poets are famous in other genres, and it would not in itself be a difficulty for their work to include some poems that could be called lyric.4

  • 5 The point on Theocritus adapts E. Lobel, Σαπφοῦς μέλη: The Fragments of the Lyrical Poems of Sappho(...)

7An obstacle to using our formulation to include all the canonical poets’ poetry not in hexameters or elegiacs, and to the notion above of requiring at least three constituent entities, are poems which present entities all of the same form, possibly constituent and in pairs, or possibly detached stichic lines. Hephaestion comments (p. 63.9–24 Consbruch) that the poems of Sappho’s Books 2 and 3, in each of which books only a single line was used, always had an even number of verses, so could be seen as stichic or as a paired σύστημα. Papyrus confirmation can certainly be offered for what Hephaestion says about the marking of “old” copies in pairs; and it is significant that Horace’s Odes are nearly all confined, even when they only repeat the same line, to multiples of four (textual problems in 4.8; the real exception is 3.12, in ionics, for which see Heph. p. 65.12–21 Consbruch). The four rather than two is intriguing, as if four makes a clearer stanza. But some papyri decline to mark paragraphoi, precisely in poems from Sappho Books 2 and 3 or in their metres; the conception of all these potentially stichic poems was most likely controversial, as Hephaestion himself suggests. On the one side we could set P. Oxy. IX 1233, with its paragraphoi in two-line stanzas (though not in fr. 2 col. ii 17–23; a long series in fr. 1 col. ii [Alc. frr. 37–38 a Voigt]) and the paragraphos in P. Köln XI 429 (third century BC) after Sapph. fr. 58.14 (Old New Sappho), and generally the paragraphoi for two-line stanzas in P. Oxy. XV 1787. On the other, we could set the complete absence of paragraphoi in P. Oxy. XVII 2076, and X 1232 (Sappho fr. 44 Voigt), and also P. Fouad 239 col. ii (Sapph. fr. 44 a). Not all texts of Sappho and Alcaeus seen by Theocritus will have included the division into two-line stanzas, in view of his poem 28, with 25 lines. However they were understood, these poems of Sappho and Alcaeus are in a minority for the body of the canonical poets generally: it is much commoner for the entities in a stanza not all to be identical to each other.5

  • 6 For Stesichorus’ metres see M. Davies and P. J. Finglass (ed., trad.), Stesichorus. The Poem, Cambr (...)

8A further point complicates the metrical picture of lyric, and prevents us from considering stanzas alone. It applies to most texts by the nine, and incidentally marks a difference from the body of epodic fragments. Iambic trimeters and trochaic tetrameters, say, are single-short metres, where longs alternate with single shorts, or ancipitia; dactylic hexameters or anapaests, say, are double-short metres, where longs alternate with double shorts, or contracted double shorts. The majority of lyric stanzas combine these types of movement. Aeolic cola in themselves combine these movements, as does dactylo-epitrite. We see mixture in the best-preserved stanzas of Alcman. The majority of Stesichorus’ stanza forms use dactylo-epitrite—though some are dactylo-anapaestic, so only double-short. Sappho and Alcaeus use aeolic cola in most of their poems. Ibycus normally includes a single-short element in his stanzas, often at the significant moment of the end, though a double-short movement prevails. Anacreon uses: aeolic metres; ionic, with a characteristic variation (anacreontic) in which a double-short start is followed by a single-short movement; poems which are only single-short (so PMG 347 fr. 1 and 417). Simonides, Bacchylides, and Pindar mostly use dactylo-epitrite, aeolic, and mixtures of these (a striking example of single-short alone: Bacchyl. fr. 21 Maehler). So mixed movement obviously predominates in the stanza forms of lyric poetry, as it does not in epodic poetry; aeolic and dactylo-epitrite, outside drama, can only be lyric.6

9Here, for crude simplicity, are some propositions to keep in mind for poetry up to c. 440 BC; they suggest, not essential qualifications for being a lyric poem, but ideas of what lyric poems were as texts, or what traditional or canonical lyric poems were.

  • A All or most lyric poems in this period are written in stanzas (whether all or most was probably controversial).
  • B Not all poems written in stanzas – as defined above – are lyric.
  • C Most lyric poems are in mixed movement.
  • D Most poems in mixed movement are lyric.
  • E All poems in aeolic or dactylo-epitrite metres are lyric.
  • F Not all lyric poems are in aeolic or dactylo-epitrite metres.

We may add points which are not metrical, and are less fundamental (so, later, Callimachus Hymns 5 and 6 could not be lyric, though written in Doric):

  • G Most poems written in Aeolic or Doric dialect are lyric.
  • H Not all lyric poems are written in Aeolic or Doric dialect.

10Lyric poetry not written in stanzas would clash with A on one of the two possible views. Lyric poetry not written in stanzas, but in Aeolic dialect and aeolic metre, would satisfy E (and fit with G). And so forth. A poem not written in stanzas would not, as was noted, straightforwardly fail to meet the criteria for being a lyric poem, as a poem in iambi would fail to meet the criteria for being an elegiac poem; but it would present a striking challenge, one related to the metrical fundamentals of the super-genre. To make a comparison: Liszt’s B minor piano sonata (1853) is still clearly a piano sonata as regards performance—it is a big piece for piano; but by being in one movement rather than two, three, or four, it contravenes one of the formal basics. (Interestingly for Timotheus, as we shall see, it still mimics a three-movement structure by making most of the development section a sort of slow movement.) A weaker, but comparable, challenge could be seen in Beethoven’s string quartets op. 130 and 131: they contravene the four-movement structure fundamental to the genre in Haydn’s conception, but in performance are still substantial pieces for 2 violins, viola, and cello. Schoenberg’s 2nd string quartet, by contrast, which has four movements, challenges the basis of performance by adding a soprano in movements three and four.

  • 7 For ποιήματα of dramas cf. e.g. Pl. Resp. 2.381d5–6. The notion continues e.g. in seventeenth-centu (...)

11A sketch will show how approaches to the stanza develop. Throughout, stanzas are designed structures, in which the metrical entities relate. In Alcman, large stanzas are repeated, in some lost poems with a change of form half-way through (Heph. p. 74.15–22). Sappho and Alcaeus, who may well represent an old tradition, have short recurring stanzas. In Stesichorus, we see the development, a novelty in our evidence, of triadic form: instead of the same form being repeated unceasingly, we have the unceasing repetition of a set of three, where the third differs from the first two. In its way, the triad extends a pattern often seen within stanzas, of following repetition with divergence. Drama, itself a ποίημα which combines metres (Heph. p. 63.12–14, cf. 64.12–15, 76.3–16), accelerates divergence by changing the form of stanza with each strophic pair (not always in Aristophanes). Of course, this leaves any epode as an isolated entity. We find, especially as tragedy progresses, long epodes, and long solo songs with no responsion. There will be connections with the lyric of Timotheus and others. A point to be slipped in is that Aeschylus, more than Sophocles and Euripides, had emphasized single-short rhythm: the importance of lyric iambi creates a greater metrical homogeneity in the total tragedy or tetralogy, where later tragedy creates a more diverse ποίημα through its interest in mixed movement, especially aeolic. On the other hand, Aeschylean lyric as a whole distances itself more from the rhythms that predominate in the canonical lyric poets (cf. C).7

  • 8 Cf. P. A. LeVen, The Many-headed Muse: Tradition and Innovation in Late Classical Greek Lyric Poetr (...)

12Timotheus’ citharodic nomoi are noted by Hephaestion as being written εἰκῆι and ἄνευ μέτρου ὡρισμένου (pp. 64.24–65.2). Arist. (?) Pr. 19.15, 918b13–29 contrasts the nomos as a genre with αἱ ἄλλαι ὠιδαὶ αἱ χορικαί (the other types of song, which are for choruses): it is not written strophically. The author links this with the skilled and representational solo competitors, through whom the ode became long and πολυειδής. For similar reasons, on this writer’s view, solo songs in drama are astrophic; the dithyramb, unlike the nomos, has become astrophic after not being so at first. We will look in more detail at Timotheus later; but we should note at once that in the body of the Persae, single-short movement predominates. The distance from earlier non-dramatic lyric is heightened, whether or not the connections of the work with Aeschylus are relevant (they will be sometimes: see below). Timotheus is much concerned with his relation to tradition: he is criticized and controversial, and responds with his own history of continuous innovation in song; this stresses both that he innovates and that he belongs in the tradition.8

  • 9 Date of Isyllus is probably late fourth century BC: cf. P. A. LeVen, op. cit., pp. 317–318. M. L. W (...)

13In Hellenistic lyric various strands of continuation may be seen. In sources which to some degree differ from professionally written texts on papyrus for circulation, there is much astrophic composition, some strophic. On P. Tebt. 1 and 2, not a straightforward literary book-text, we see a lament by Helen which offers a rough responsion, though both stanzas consist just of cretics; another, descriptive piece seems not to show responsion, but develops ionics, with anacreontics and other variations. The scruffily and continuously written Fragmentum Grenfellianum presents astrophic monody; the metre gives a prominent place to single-short movement: iambi and the dramatic dochmiacs. Aristonous’ paean to Apollo shows a simple aeolic stanza (with wil often replacing gl); his poem to Hestia does not. Isyllus’ inscription strongly emphasizes the poet; the paean, in astrophic ionics, stands amid pieces in other metres, and the virtuosity of Isyllus is suggested (inventive in other ways too: see B on the inscription).9

  • 10 C. Luz, Technopaignia. Formspiele in der griechischen Dichtung, Leiden, Brill, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 32 (...)

14More spectacular and innovative virtuosity is envinced by Simmias, early in the Hellenistic period. His Wings shows, not ordinary responsion (lines abcd abcd), but symmetry (lines abcd dcba), from large to small and back again; this also depicts visually the wings of Love. The arrangement challenges the basic notion of responsion—and in addition that of performance, since the phenomenon must be apprehended on papyrus. An element of play is far from diminishing the “postmodernism” of these twists. Still more notable are the Axe and Egg. Each seems to offer a series of pairs of responding lines, a form which itself reduces provable responsion to a minimum; but the words must then be rearranged, to produce symmetry and the image of an object. The Axe before rearrangement tapers away almost to nothing, by contrast with its words: ὅδʼ ὄλβος | ἀεὶ πνεῖ. The longest lines in Wings and Egg show the principles of aeolic expansion pushed to an extreme.10

  • 11 The naming of the poet on an inscription is of course unusual; for disputes on IG XII 5.1.310 see m (...)

15Similar metrical invention is ostentatiously displayed by Philicus’ Hymn to Demeter, which repeats a single hugely expanded aeolic form (5 ch ba, in non-aeolic terms). This form is, in a prelude, offered to scholars, that is presumably to experts on lyric metre and literature (SH 677 καινογράφου συνθέσεως τῆς Φιλίκου, γραμματικοί, δῶρα φέρω πρὸς ὑμᾶς, cf. Boiscus SH 233, with a single-short line). Philicus is probably early, though less early than Simmias: he was an important figure, as priest of Dionysus, at the grand procession of 275/274, together with all the Artists of Dionysus (Alexandria liked performance). There is a play on performance in this poem: the speaker, who is not Philicus, ceremoniously brings an offering to the scholars. Now we see lyric at its furthest from astrophic composition; rather the stanza is nearing elimination in the other direction, as a single line is repeated. This is, as mentioned, an aeolic line; in view of the Mytilenean poems with a single line, this poem would seem to evoke or invite controversy on its status. There is only one possible paragraphos in the twelve lines where the left-hand margin is preserved in the papyrus, which is from the third century BC (PSI XII 1282, SH 680.50/51); it would probably mark the end of a speech. We may add that an extended poem by Hyssaldomus in an unpublished inscription lays overt emphasis at the end (compare Timotheus) on its author’s skill in every metre. It too presents a narrative, but in a single-short metre associated with Hipponax rather than canonical lyricists: a cholotrochaic tetrameter.11

  • 12 See L. Prauscello, op. cit., pp. 202–206. Her discussion in the whole chapter is very valuable. The (...)

16Theocritus’ lyric poems offer aeolic lines, in Aeolic dialect; 28 has an odd number of lines, as we saw, and thus defies reduction to stanzas (unless conceivably a line has been interpolated or lost—after 4, where one might have expected a verb?). Theocritus chooses exactly the metres of which Sappho’s Books 2 and 3 consisted; he gives himself as strong a precedent as possible for the non-stanzaic form. The metre of 29 is much more unusual in the period than that of 28 and 30.12

17Callimachus’ lyric poems, to which we shall return, mostly each repeat a single form; in one of the four main instances (fr. 227 Pfeiffer), the form is single-short. Another poem (fr. 401) repeated only the pherecratean, a form which one would expect to be clausular; there is evidently play, in this short and closural line, on the shutting away of the girl, but not her thoughts: ἡ παῖς ἡ κατάκλειστος, | τήν οἵ φασι τεκόντες | εὐναίους ὀαρισμούς | ἔχθειν ἶσον ὀλέθρωι . . . (Perhaps this led to a comparison with the poet.) Book 13 of the Palatine Anthology shows us related Hellenistic experiments on a small scale (cf. also e.g. P. Köln V 204 [second century BC], poems 4 [cf. AP 6.266] and 5); some offer couplets, single-short only or of mixed movement, sometimes with a hexameter and then a divergent second line. Play on lyric, epigram, and brevity is at a height. This whole avenue of experimentation contrasts its neat and minimalist path with the exuberant meadow of astrophic lyric.

  • 13 For the view contested cf. M. L. West, op. cit., p. 149 (“requires modification, at least in the ca (...)

18Or should we think that the successive developments are unconnected, that no-one is interested in Timotheus, and no-one is serious in the performance of lyric, that the Hellenistic poets are simply developing novel stichic metres for book-texts? Hardly: Timotheus continues to be read (papyrus time of Alexander?) and performed (Plut. Phil. 11.3 [205 BC], Polyb. 4.20.9, ICret I 8.11.7–11, p. 66 and 24.1.6–9, pp. 280–281 [both after c. 170 BC]); he is obviously a major and respected figure. The gap between Timotheus and Simmias in time is less than a century; Timotheus has almost the same floruit as Antimachus, liked by many and disliked by Callimachus. And astrophic lyric does not die out after Timotheus.13

  • 14 Idea of decline in lyric: Strabo 14.1.41, p. 648 Casaubon (Simos corrupting lyric parallel to Heges (...)

19There can be no doubt that Theocritus is interested both in Philoxenus and in Sappho and Alcaeus (and his friend Nicias must have been interested in Timotheus, Miletus’ most famous poet). Theocritus’ choosing the metres of Sappho’s Books 2 and 3 is not the invention of an intriguing new stichic form; it clearly bears a relation to tradition, and looks like justification through tradition for the avoidance of stanzas. Nor can it be doubted that Callimachus is interested in the history of lyric. He certainly registers the unwelcome existence of poets popular in other genres. One should perhaps view as pointed the decision of Hellenistic scholarship not to make Timotheus one of their set of lyric poets. Callim. fr. 604 Pfeiffer on changes in dithyramb has been remarked on in this context: νόθαι δʼ ἤνθησαν ἀοιδαί. Note for the treatment of Timotheus as a significant lyric poet Arist. Metaph. α 993b15–16 (analogy for gratitude to more superficial forerunners of those whose views we share) εἰ μὲν γὰρ Τιμόθεος μὴ ἐγένετο, πολλὴν ἂν μελοποιίαν οὐκ εἴχομεν [there would be a lot of lyric we were without]· εἰ δὲ μὴ Φρῦνις, Τιμόθεος οὐκ ἂν ἐγένετο. The “canonical” set appears generously inclusive of poets up to Pindar; and there was no wider reason for discounting writers of Timotheus’ period: Callimachus gives Archestratus’ title, presumably in the Pinakes (fr. 436), oratory and comedy for Callimachus run into the late fourth century (frr. 432, 443–448: Demosthenes, etc., fr. 440: Diphilus).14

  • 15 On fr. 761 see A. Dale, “Galliambics by Callimachus,” CQ N.S. 57, 2007, pp. 775–781. Even Cameron w (...)

20As for performance, we have no reason to think that, say, Sappho did not continue to be performed, as she was in the Roman period; and the papyrus of the Old New Sappho wants her poems and a later imitation at least to be connected in some way. But even if we imagined there was no singing of lyric poems in Alexandria (Alexandria not singing, like Varro’s dog), poems in strophes can still be appreciated as structures in reading to oneself or in reading aloud. Note Dionysius Thrax (2, p. 6 Uhlig) on how to read lyric out loud (one should read it ἐμμελῶς). Furthermore, Callimachus especially has a pronounced interest in quasi-performance; note especially the prooimion or paroinion fr. 227 Pfeiffer, written at the least to evoke an occasion of performance vividly (ἔνεστʼ Ἀπόλλων τῶι χορῶι· τῆς λύρης ἀκούω; a play on the book-form perhaps in 227.5 with ὁ δʼ ἀγρυπνήσας [        ] μέχρι τῆς κο[ρώνης). Cf. also, besides fr. 228 and 229, fr. 761, probably by Callimachus, where Γάλλαι could well be vocative. So the alleged absence of actual performance would not explain the avoidance of strophic poetry.15

  • 16 Cf. M. L. West, “Pindar as a Man of Letters,” in D. Obbink and R. B. Rutherford (eds.), Culture in (...)

21It is altogether more convincing to see in the late fourth-century and third-century poets a self-conscious reaction within the continuing and controversial history of lyric: like a postmodern reaction to modernism, and one which gains more complexity rather than just reverting to the past. There will, however, be a difference between the earlier poets—such as Simmias, Phalaecus, and Philicus—and Callimachus and Theocritus, who take up and give new turns to traditions already begun. To view the whole development from the late classical period on: in a generic world where metre is so important, we can hardly not see in all this experimentation beyond stanzas diverse but connected confrontations of what had looked like features essential for the genre. Even earlier, the lyric super-genre, which had built up through the accumulation of different local traditions, had already been in Pindar intensely conscious of its own history.16

  • 17 I would still favour an addition at the end along the lines suggested ap. J. H. Hordern (ed.), The (...)

22We now turn to look in more detail, first at Timotheus’ Persae, then at Callimachus’ Iambi and lyric poems. We may note first that the papyrus of the Persae contains paragraphoi at 138, 161, 240 (end of speeches and of poem), a paragraphos and coronis at 201 (end of narrative). Hence even in this continuously written text, with little aid to the reader, some significant pauses are marked. (One might just wonder if all the unusual features of the text are due to its early date and none to non-professional production.) The epilogue is plainly a separate section. In justifying the poet’s novelty, it plays on the simplest imaginable aeolic stanza, glph. This play is especially apparent in the first four lines (202–205): ἀλλʼ ὦ χρυσεοκίθαριν ἀέ‑ | ξων Μοῦσαν νεοτευχῆ, | ἐμοῖς ἔλθʼ ἐπίκουρος ὕ‑ |μνοισ{ιν} ἰήϊε Παιάν. Here the first line is a daringly resolved glyconic (note the significant resolution at 211 ὅτι παλαιοτέραν νέοις, beginning the report of the Spartans’ complaint); in the second line the plain structure is established, paradoxically, by νεοτευχῆ; in the fourth line ἰήϊε Παιάν recalls simple cultic refrains (note especially the stanza 3 gl ph ending ἰὴ ἰὲ Παιάν vel. sim. in Aristonous; and also the last section of Limenius’ paean, starting with a string of gl). The phrase takes up 197–198 Παιᾶνʼ | ἐκελάδησαν ἰήϊον from the immediately preceding narrative, and its literal battle (Greeks with Persians, not Timotheus with Spartans). From the simple basis of the sequence glph, Timotheus creates, with some turns, an entity which is long for a stanza, but ironically short and slick in comparison with the preceding narrative. The final prayer returns to asking Apollo again to come, but to the city; the metrical structure becomes a little less obvious.17

  • 18 On this speech cf. P. A. LeVen, op. cit., pp. 215–217. Clausular bacchiacs of course abound in Aesc (...)

23But even the preceding parts are not organized εἰκῆι. The three paragraphoi in the part before the epilogue all accompany an ending ˘ ¯ ¯; with this rhythm too the speech ends at 81. The speech at 178–195 may reasonably be taken as an entity.18

  • 19 J. H. Hordern, op. cit., p. 94, 216 divides γένοιτʼ | ὄνησις, and takes the end as an implausible i (...)

ἰὼ κατασκαφαὶ δόμων,
σείριαί τε νᾶες Ἑλλανίδες, αἳ
      κατὰ μὲν ἥλικʼ ὠλέσαθ᾿ ἥ-      180
      βαν νέων πολύανδρον.
νᾶες δʼ οὐκ{ι} ὀπισσοπόρευ‑
      τόν <νιν> ἄξουσιν, πυρὸς
      δʼ αἰθαλόεν μένος ἀγρίωι
σώματι φλέξει{ς}, στονόεντα δʼ ἄλγη      185
ἔσται Περσίδι χώραι.
<ἰ>ὼ βαρεῖα συμφορά,
ἅ μʼ ἐς Ἑλλάδʼ ἤγαγες.
ἀλλʼ ἴτε, μηκέτι μέλλετε·
ζεύγνυτε μὲν τετρά<ορ>ον ἵπ‑      190
      πων ὄχημʼ, οἱ δʼ ἀνάριθμον ὄλ‑
      βον φορεῖτʼ ἐπʼ ἀπήνας.
πίμπρατε δὲ σκήνας,
μηδέ τις ἡμετέρου γένοιτʼ ὄνη-
      σις αὐτοῖσι πλούτου.19       195

Alas, the ruining of my house, and those burning (?) Greek ships, which have destroyed the numerous force of young men aged alike! Ships will not bring this force on a voyage back; the blazing might of fire will burn them with its savage form, and the land of Persia will have lamentable woes. Alas, you grievous calamity which brought me to Greece! Come now, men, no more delay. Some of you yoke the fourfold team of horses; some of you carry my uncountable wealth on to the wagons. Burn the tents; from my wealth let that people get no profit.

24Three of the four closes within the speech are ph (181, 186, 192 [187–188 is only a short unit]). The opening of the speech, and the cry at 187 which rings the first part, both echo Aeschylus and have the same (or with Wilamowitz’s ὦ β. a similar) metrical form: ἰὼ κατασκαφαὶ δόμων, <ἰ>ὼ βαρεῖα συμφορά (Chο. 50 ἰὼ κατασκαφαὶ δόμων, Pers. 1044 βαρεῖά γʼ ἅδε συμφορά). The two cries offer simple single-short forms, continued in 188. In between the structure juxtaposes Greek νᾶες and Persian νᾶες: this evokes the simpler Aesch. Pers. 560–563 νᾶες μὲν ἄγαγον, ποποῖ, | νᾶες δʼ ἀπώλεσαν, τοτοῖ | . . ., but with more complicated syntax and metre. The second part, from 189, moves to action; it starts with an ibycean (the form is actually used by Aeschylus, but it suggests a more elaborate metric): ἀλλʼ ἴτε, μηκέτι μέλλετε; this takes up 184 αἰθαλόεν μένος ἀγρίωι. In general the speech becomes more complicated and aeolic as it goes on. It seems to end (193–195) with dragged dodrans, then extended ibycean and finally two bacchiacs, to take us back to iambi, and a slightly anticlimactic emphasis on the king’s attitude to his wealth. Thus we see stanzaic shaping in the midst of the large astrophic design. The poem challenges the metrical essence of lyric; but it actually shows, as on many levels, a more complex relationship with the literary past than at first appears.

  • 20 Lyric poems and Iambi: cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, Oxford, OUP, Oxford Classical (...)

25Callimachus involves various angles, and various difficulties. The first and well-known question is whether the lyric poems form part of the Iambi, or are in any sense to be connected with them. What some see as the decisive argument against the idea is not actually strong (that Iambus 13 must end the book): Herodas 8 looks from its content as if it should be the last poem in the roll, and we would probably think it was, did not another poem begin on the papyrus. A better point might be that the Ἐκθέωσις Ἀρσινόης simply does not look as though it belongs to the Iambi. The Diegeses, inconsistently executed, do not show that the lyric poems come from the same book as the poems of the Iambi, summarized just before (just after comes the Hecale). But the coincidence of this placing with the writing of PSI XI 1216 + P. Oxy. XVIII 2171 and P. Oxy. XVIII 2172 in the same hand renders it plausible that the lyric poems, though not part of the Iambi, made up the book—especially since P. Oxy. 2172, which contains the last of the four poems in the Diegesis, gives the end of a roll. A long stroke is written by a second hand at the end of that poem, the Branchus; not many lines would be available beneath it for another poem (32, if it is from the same roll as PSI 1216, the column of which is exceptionally long). There is no ink visible in what little remains beneath the Branchus; there is a desert of blank space on the right. One analogy for the inclusion of the lyric poems as a separate part of the book might be the possible (authorial?) inclusion of the Carmen Saeculare as an appendix to Βook 4 of Horace’s Odes. A display of metrical range might make sense from Callimachus; or it could be someone else’s idea. Yet, however Callimachus circulated his works, he certainly aims for readers to consider his œuvre together, not least through Iambus 13. From this perspective, some points may be made.20

26Callimachus flirts with the idea of stanzas, but stands back from proximity to canonical lyric. In PSI XI 1216 a double line to the right of the text (see Tav. IX) marks the transition in the Iambi from stichic choliambic poems to poems in other metres, at first couplets (5, 6, 7, at least); poem 13 dwells on Callimachus’ metrical range, in this book or his work in general or both (characteristically through self-defence rather than self-praise). But despite Doric and Aeolic elements in the dialect, he restricts himself in the Iambi to single-short, unlike Horace, Archilochus, Hipponax, and other Hellenistic poets of epodic metres (so SH 990). He thus stands further from the norms of lyric than the epodic tradition obliges him to. Elsewhere he offers stanzas of two or even three elements which mix single-short and double-short movement and include aeolic cola, but only in six-line epigrams, of strongly epigrammatic content. Something the Diegeseis do suggest is that the four poems summarized were Callimachus’ only substantial lyric poems. In these, he does not stick to mixed movement (cf. fr. 227, in the Euripideion, Heph. p. 53.5–11). He does not opt for metres which forcefully recall those Mytilenean poems that use a single form, as does Theocritus, and as does he himself in an epigram (fr. 400; but Doric dialect). Rather, one of his metres was at some point named after Euripides; the phalaecean (fr. 226) and archebulean (228), were used by other Hellenistic poets, including early ones (archebulean used κατακόρως by Archebulus, Heph. p. 28.13–16; note SH 992). The metre of fr. 229 is only a reduced version—one less choriamb—of Philicus’ supposed invention; that invention, and Callimachus’ version, were also used by Simmias (so Axe 1–2, 3–4; Heph. pp. 30.16–31.13). Only one of the main lyric poems, and one of the lyric epigrams, is not in Ionic dialect.

  • 21 On the pattern of epithet and noun at the caesura and end of the pentameter, and Callimachus’ appro (...)

27Callimachus is neither coming as close as possible to canonical lyric, nor ostentatiously experimenting; but he visibly chooses a position within different and controversial approaches to lyric. As in epigram, he is less of an innovator than the slightly earlier poets whom he takes up; but as there his choices are made striking both by his paraded generic range and by his self-proclaimed concern with refinement and smallness. One may notice how in fr. 228 he has devised rules and norms for this line. He further creates internal structures, as was being done in elegiacs: epithets and nouns in agreement at the near-caesura half-way through the line and at the end: 42, 44, 47 (this feature especially close to elegiacs); anaphora at the beginning of the line and after the earlier caesura: 49; punctuation at that caesura, striking after two shorts: 43, 44, 48?, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 75. Each line is an elaborately crafted entity; at the same time, the punctuation at the early caesura shows how the structure encourages striking enjambement, and so generates pairings which run outside the single line.21

28This, Callimachus’ substantial lyric poem in Doric dialect, was much the grandest of the four substantial lyric poems in subject, and possibly too in scale. The gods’ eye perspective and the interaction among the gods has some similarities with Pindar, e.g. in Ol. 7.54–71; but the emotional temperature of the speeches is quite different. Indeed, the most likely sequel would seem to be some speech of lament by the female Philotera; that would connect with a tradition which goes back to Simonides (PMG 543), but is heavily represented in Hellenistic lyric. Speeches bulked large in this poem (note Proteus at 39), as they did in another occasional poem, the elegiac (not lyric) epinician for Sosibius. The pattern indeed connects with the dominance of speeches in the main preserved part of Timotheus’ Persae. While Timotheus builds speeches up into quasi-stanzas, Callimachus exploits the impact of his separated lines, often with curt and dramatic phrases (of course, there are short phrases in some of Timotheus’ speeches too). One might contrast the popular θρῆνοι being described by Charis (fr. 228.69–75) with the pared-down poetry the consumer is reading or hearing read (cf. also 7–8 or 10).

  • 22 The lines, when uncertain supplements are omitted, are too broken for a translation. Note recently (...)

μή μοι χθονός – οὐχὶ [
περικλαίεο· μηδέ τ̣ι̣[
ἄλλα μέ τις οὐκ ἀγαθ̣[ὰ
θρῆνοι πόλιν ὑμετέρ[αν      70
οὐχ ὡς ἐπὶ δαμοτ[
χθών· ἀλλά τι τῶ[ν] μεγάλων ε̣[
τάν τοι μίαν οἰχομ̣[ένα]ν ὁμό̣δ̣ελφ̣υν [
κλαίοντι· τὰ δʼ ἇι [κεν ἴ]δηις, μελαν[
χθονὸς ἄστεα· ν̣[ωϊτ]έρων τὸ κρατ̣[22      75

29At the same time, the lines are formed into shapes beyond themselves. κλαίοντι 74 picks up περικλαίεο 68 in a large rhetorical structure; the argument also involves initial or near-initial χθονός at 67 and 75, initial χθών at 72 (there is punctuation after the word in the papyrus at 67 and 72, as after περικλαίεο and κλαίοντι). So e.g. in Athena’s elegiac speech at Hymn 5.97–130, design runs across the couplets (so δῖα γύναι 97, 103). On a smaller scale at 50–51 we see, between lines, pressing anaphora of νότος with asyndeton: νότος αὐ[ , | νότος αἴθριος. Callimachus is building structures out of his self-standing lines, Timotheus is creating smaller structures within his massive entity; but with both, different levels of design are in operation together. The impact of their poems is less divergent, and is more complicated, than we might at first suppose from the difference of the stances they adopt within the history of lyric. Both poems offer us formal self-consciousness and a position taken within literary debate; both also use form to generate emotional and imaginative edifices. Neither poem would have at all the same force, if we could even conceive of them, in a genre other than lyric.

  • 23 On Horace and lyric after Pindar, a few thoughts at G. O. Hutchinson, “Genre and Super-genre,” art. (...)

30The development of non-dramatic lyric after Pindar is a story as arresting as in any literary genre. On a purely metrical level, hexameter poetry in the same period offers only refinement, rather than drastic rethinking of the formal fundamentals of the genre. Nor are these arid and abstract debates; the issues bear a complicated relation to remarkable productions. The literary history needs to be looked at in a different way—and from a late-classical and Hellenistic angle, with less concern over what is to come next. Not that Horace himself is necessarily as remote as he might seem from post-Pindaric lyric. Late-classical and Hellenistic lyric shows us continuing literary development and revision, of singular enterprise and interest.23

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1 For the term “super-genre” cf. G. O. Hutchinson, “Genre and Super-genre,” in T. D. Papanghelis, S. J. Harrison and S. Frangoulidis (eds.), Generic Interfaces in Latin Literature: Encounters, Interactions and Transformations, Berlin, De Gruyter, Trends in Classics. Suppl. 20, 2013, pp. 19–34, and id., Greek to Latin: Frameworks and Contexts for Intertextuality, Oxford, OUP, 2013, e.g. pp. 223–224. The material of what follows in the text draws on my own assemblage; but much of it appears, with a good deal else, in H. Färber, Die Lyrik in der Kunsttheorie der Antike, Munich, Neuer Filser-Verl., 1936, 1. Teil, pp. 3–16, 25–28, 2. Teil, pp. 5–11, 22–25; F. De Martino and O. Vox (eds.), Lirica greca. I, Prontuari e lirica dorica, Bari, Levante, 1996, pp. 9–107. For Dion. Hal. Isoc. 13.3, 1.73 Usener–Radermacher (Hier. Rhod. fr. 52b Wehrli), G. Aujac (ed., trad.), Denys d’Halicarnasse. Opuscules rhétoriques. I, Les orateurs attiques, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, CUF, 1978, pp. 131 and 194–195, while rightly citing Philodemus, leaves out the end of the passage, and so misunderstands Dionysius’ phrase and understates his closeness here to Philodemus (or Hieronymus). On Stroebus, cf. J. Bollansée (ed.), Felix Jacoby. Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker Continued. IV, Biography and Antiquarian Literature (ed. G. Schepens). Fasc. 3, Hermippos of Smyrna, Leiden, Brill, 1999, p. 519. Sung performance in Hellenistic period, including resetting: L. Prauscello, Singing Alexandria: Music between Practice and Textual Transmission, Leiden, Brill, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 274, 2006. Note also P. Louvre E 10534 (A. Bélis, “Un papyrus musical inédit au Louvre,” CRAI 148, 2004, pp. 1305–1329); and see e.g. FD 3.1.49 (c. 160 BC) Θράσων καὶ Σωκράτης Πάτρωνος Αἰγιρᾶται παραγενό|μενοι ποθʼ ἁμὲ ἐπιδείξεις ἐποήσαντο τῶι θεῶι διὰ τῶν λυρικῶν συστημάτων προφε|ρόμενοι [τ]ῶν ἀρχαίων πο[ητ]ᾶν ἃ ἦν πρέποντα ποτί τε τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὰν πόλιν ἁμῶν. A. Dale, Callimachus Lyricus: The Lyric Fragments of Callimachus and the Greek Lyric Tradition, D. Phil., Oxford, 2009 (unpublished), p. 32, stresses Theocles’ song (Powell, CA 173) for lyric performance at an Alexandrian festival (note the two-line or four-line stanza).

2 Pfeiffer’s influential discussion of words connected with lyric (R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship from the Beginnings to the End of the Hellenistic Age, Oxford, OUP, 1968, pp. 182–183; cf. e.g. M. Leigh, “The Garland of Maecenas (Horace, Odes 1.1.35),” CQ N.S. 60, 2010, pp. 268–269) attempts to impose too much order on usage (note Gal. Us. Part. 17.3 cited above), and does not make clear the relatively late first attestations of μελικός as well as λυρικός.

3 See briefly on the parts of Hephaestion mentioned J. M. van Ophuijsen, Hephaestion on Metre: Translation and Commentary, Leiden, Brill, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 100, 1987, pp. 5–6; he omits them altogether from his translation and commentary, unfortunately. The doubts of T. Gaisford, Ἡφαιστίωνος Ἐγχειρίδιον περὶ μέτρων καὶ ποιημάτων / Hephæstionis Alexandrini Enchiridion, 2nd ed., Oxford, OUP, 1855, i.114 about Heph. pp. 58.12–62.14 Consbruch were reasonable. On the definition of genres see L. A. Swift, The Hidden Chorus: Echoes of Genre in Tragic Lyric, Oxford, OUP, Oxford Classic Monographs, 2010, ch. 1, esp. pp. 7–17; she is mainly concerned with divisions inside the super-genre lyric, as scholars mostly are. Cf. e.g. C. Calame, “Réflexions sur les genres littéraires en Grèce archaïque,” QUCC 17, 1974, pp. 113–128. For genre as just “kind” cf. the tactic of D. Sider, “Didactic Poetry: The Hellenistic Invention of a Pre-existing Genre,” in R. Hunter, A. Rengakos and E. Sistakou (eds.), Hellenistic Studies at a Crossroads: Exploring Texts, Contexts and Metatexts, Berlin, De Gruyter, Trends in Classics. Suppl. 25, 2014, pp. 14.

4 Page prints the Cologne Archilochus in SLG (D. L. Page, Supplementum Lyricis Graecis: poetarum lyricorum Graecorum fragmenta quae recens innotuerunt, Oxford, OUP, 1974). On the “canon” cf. e.g. Anth. Pal. 9.184, Hor. Carm. 1.1.29–36, 4.9.1–12; H. Färber, op. cit., 1. Teil, pp. 25–26, 2. Teil, pp. 7–11, 22–24; R. Pfeiffer, op. cit., pp. 205–206; F. De Martino and O. Vox, op. cit., pp. 37–52; B. Acosta-Hughes, Arion’s Lyre: Archaic Lyric into Hellenistic Poetry, Princeton, Princeton UP, 2010, pp. 214–219 (the whole book deals with the transformation of lyric poetry beyond the lyric super-genre). Even on Pfeiffer’s judicious view, the lyric “canon” is extensive. The impact of the choice is seen in the poets that appear e.g. at Oxyrhynchus.

5 The point on Theocritus adapts E. Lobel, Σαπφοῦς μέλη: The Fragments of the Lyrical Poems of Sappho, Oxford, OUP, 1925, p. xvi. In P. Oxy. 1233 fr. 32 a look at the original (Bod. MS Gr. Class. b 18 (P)) with only a magnifying glass suggests that there should indeed be a paragraphos after Alc. fr. 50.4 Voigt as well as 50.2 (so Lobel and Lobel–Page but not the ed. pr.).

6 For Stesichorus’ metres see M. Davies and P. J. Finglass (ed., trad.), Stesichorus. The Poem, Cambridge, CUP, Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries 54, 2014, pp. 47–52; for Ibycus’, C. L. Wilkinson (ed.), The Lyric of Ibycus, Berlin, De Gruyter, Sozomena 13, 2013, pp. 37–42; for Pindar’s, K. Itsumi, Pindaric Metre: The ‘Other Half’, Oxford, OUP, 2009. Davies and Finglass accept the theory that the hexameter was originally dactylo-epitrite. This somewhat extravagant notion would not be relevant for the perception of metre in the periods we are considering.

7 For ποιήματα of dramas cf. e.g. Pl. Resp. 2.381d5–6. The notion continues e.g. in seventeenth-century French.

8 Cf. P. A. LeVen, The Many-headed Muse: Tradition and Innovation in Late Classical Greek Lyric Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, 2014, pp. 86–101. Iambi play a significant role in the Phrygian’s song in the Orestes.

9 Date of Isyllus is probably late fourth century BC: cf. P. A. LeVen, op. cit., pp. 317–318. M. L. West, Greek Metre, Oxford, OUP, 1982, pp. 138–152 presents the basic evidence for lyric in the period with the masterly accuracy and economy so characteristic of this lamented scholar. A. Dale, op. cit., S. Phipps, The Styles and Voices of Non-Dramatic Greek Poetry in the Fourth Century B.C., D. Phil., Oxford, 2011 (unpublished), P. A. LeVen, op. cit., offer important treatments. For the Fragmentum Grenfellianum see E. Esposito, Il Fragmentum Grenfellianum (P. Dryton 50): introduzione, testo critico, traduzione e commento, Bologna, Pàtron, Eikasmos. Studi 12, 2005.

10 C. Luz, Technopaignia. Formspiele in der griechischen Dichtung, Leiden, Brill, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 324, 2010, pp. 355–356, gives considerable emphasis to Schriftlichkeit in the Technopaegnia. She treats Simmias at pp. 327–341; see J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, Leuven, Peeters, Hellenistica Groningana 19, 2013 for detailed discussion and commentary. Cf. also G. O. Hutchinson, Hellenistic Poetry, Oxford, OUP, 1988, pp. 17–18; but the present paper sees Simmias and other predecessors of the best-known Hellenistic poets in a less preliminary light.

11 The naming of the poet on an inscription is of course unusual; for disputes on IG XII 5.1.310 see most recently V. Garulli, Byblos lainee. Epigrafia, letteratura, epitafio, Eikasmos, Studi 20, Bologna, Pàtron, Eikasmos. Studi 20, 2012, p. 123 n. 202. For the claim on metrical range cf. IG 22.3800 = G. C. R. Schmalz, Augustan and Julio-Claudian Athens: A New Epigraphy and Prosopography, Leiden, Brill, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 302, 2009, no. 203 (Q. Pompeius Capito). On Philicus, performance, and books cf. P. Bing, “Text or Performance / Text and Performance: Alan Cameron’s Callimachus and his Critics,” in R. Pretagostini (ed.), La letteratura ellenistica. Problemi e prospettive di ricerca. Atti del Colloquio Internazionale, Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, 29–30 aprile 1997, Rome, Quasar, Quaderni dei seminari romani di cultura greca 1, 2000, p. 142; see also E. L. Bowie, “Time and Place, Narrative and Speech in Philicus, Philodamus and Limenius,” in A. Faulkner and O. Hodkinson (eds.), Hymnic Narrative and the Narratology of Greek Hymns, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 384, Leiden, Brill, pp. 88–101. On the paragraphus in Philicus, H. Lloyd-Jones and P. J. Parsons, Supplementum Hellenisticum (indices H.‑G. Nesselrath), Berlin, De Gruyter, 1983, p  326: “51 supra h.v. fort. paragraphus,” sound less sceptical than ed. pr.: M. Norsa and V. Bartoletti, Papiri greci e latini XII: ni. 1223–1295, Florence, F. Le Monnier, 1951, p. 145: “La traccia può parere un α̣ piuttosto che il segno di paragraphos.”

12 See L. Prauscello, op. cit., pp. 202–206. Her discussion in the whole chapter is very valuable. The distichic structure found in 29 is notable (cf. R. L. Hunter, Theocritus and the Archaeology of Greek Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, 1996, pp. 174–175); if she is right on the difference from 28 and 30, that would confirm the notion of a controversy over the originals, in which Theocritus is taking an ambivalent position. Interesting in this light are Rossi’s points (L. E. Rossi, “La letteratura alessandrina e il rinnovamento dei generi letterari della tradizione,” in R. Pretagostini (ed.), op. cit., p. 152) on quasi-lyric stanzas in the hexameter poem 3. Thoughts of loss or addition in 28 receive no support from P. Oxy. L 3551, which presents the beginnings of lines 1–13 as in the MSS.

13 For the view contested cf. M. L. West, op. cit., p. 149 (“requires modification, at least in the case of Theocritus”: R. L. Hunter, op. cit., p. 175 n. 43), and also A. Cameron, Callimachus and His Critics, Princeton, Princeton UP, 1995, pp. 148–149. Cameron thinks that Sappho and Alcaeus were performed in Alexandria, but that this deterred Hellenistic poets.

14 Idea of decline in lyric: Strabo 14.1.41, p. 648 Casaubon (Simos corrupting lyric parallel to Hegesias corrupting oratory; cf. Aristocl. fr. 8 Müller, FHG 4.331; S. Radt, Strabons Geographika. VIII, Buch XIV–XVII: Kommentar, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009, pp. 53–54); note also Anth. Pal. 9.184 (end of lyric), Sext. Emp. Math. 6.13–15 (φασίν). On Callim. fr. 604 Pfeiffer cf. A. Dale, op. cit., pp. 20–21. Contrast with the passage from Metaphysics α the explanation of L. E. Rossi, “I generi letterari e le loro leggi scritte e non scritte nelle letterature classiche,” BICS 18, 1971, p. 78 for the absence of lyric from the Poetics: “La lirica è ormai morta da tempo nelle sue forme originarie e Aristotele volge il suo interesse a generi che conservino un certo grado di vitalità.”

15 On fr. 761 see A. Dale, “Galliambics by Callimachus,” CQ N.S. 57, 2007, pp. 775–781. Even Cameron would allow Hymn 5, say, as an instance of quasi-performance (A. Cameron, op. cit., p. 63).

16 Cf. M. L. West, “Pindar as a Man of Letters,” in D. Obbink and R. B. Rutherford (eds.), Culture in Pieces: Essays on Ancient Texts in Honour of Peter Parsons, Oxford, OUP, 2011, pp. 50–68, and H. L. Spelman, Paths of Song: Linear Coherence in Pindar’s Epinicians, D. Phil., Oxford, 2015 (unpublished). Theoretical discussion of modernism and postmodernism does not confine these terms to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, even if it may seem to put too much faith in their reality and difference. Cf. e.g. T. Docherty, Alterities: Criticism, History, Representation, Oxford, OUP, 1996, p. 98. Another earlier poet to be noted is Asclepiades, who used the Mytilenean metres subsequently named after him. R. L. Hunter, op. cit., pp. 172–173 interestingly sees him as a possible model for Theocritus’ paederastic poetry. A crucial question we cannot answer is whether Asclepiades used Aeolic dialect along with aeolic metre. Fr. 51 Sens, SH 215, if we knew it to be by Asclepiades (note the suspicious placing of αὖ), would suggest no close adherence: φαείν‑ for φαίν‑; ‑οισα and ‑εσσι could be Doric (as in Pindar or Theocritus) as well as Aeolic. Cf. A. Sens (ed., trad.), Asclepiades of Samos. Epigrams and Fragments, Oxford, OUP, 2011, pp. 343–344.

17 I would still favour an addition at the end along the lines suggested ap. J. H. Hordern (ed.), The Fragments of Timotheus of Miletus, Oxford, OUP, Oxford Classical Monographs, 2002, pp. 95, 246–247. Excellent discussion of Timotheus’ language in P. A. LeVen, op. cit., pp. 176–187 (see also F. Budelmann and P. A. LeVen, “Timotheus’ Poetics of Blending: A Cognitive Approach to the Language of the New Music,” CP 109, 2014, pp. 191–210); this may be complemented by discussion of the metre here. Gl + ph: on series of glyconics with pherecratean clausula in Anacreon, cf. G. M. Leo (ed., trad.), I frammenti erotici di Anacreonte, Rome, Quasar, Quaderni dei seminari romani di cultura greca 18, 2012, pp. 62–63, 69. For comparison with Limenius cf. J. H. Hordern, op. cit., 232. Aristonous is mid-fourth century, cf. M. L. West, Greek Metre, op. cit., 139 n. 7. For ἰήϊε Παιάν cf. also fr. 800 Hordern, with which there would be further interplay did the fragment indeed come earlier in this poem.

18 On this speech cf. P. A. LeVen, op. cit., pp. 215–217. Clausular bacchiacs of course abound in Aeschylus—not to mention (Dr J. Kwapisz’s point) Simmias’ Egg.

19 J. H. Hordern, op. cit., p. 94, 216 divides γένοιτʼ | ὄνησις, and takes the end as an implausible ia tr.

20 Lyric poems and Iambi: cf. A. Kerkhecker, Callimachus’ Book of Iambi, Oxford, OUP, Oxford Classical Monographs, 1999, pp. 271–282, A. Dale, Callimachus Lyricus, op. cit., pp. 96–106, against A. Cameron, op. cit., pp. 163–171; see also E. Lelli (ed., trad.), Callimaco. Giambi XIV–XVII, Rome, Ed. dell’Ateneo, Lyricorum graecorum quae exstant 14, 2005, pp. 1–26. I have looked at the originals of P. Oxy. XVIII 2171 and 2172, and see nothing which prevents their coming from the same roll; indeed, they seem very similar. The scribe of the roll would have inserted lectional signs more often in the lyric poems than in the Iambi: not implausible. The ink and hand of subsequent insertions in P. Oxy. 2171 (cf. also PSI 1216 col. ii. 8, 14) look to be the same as for those few in P. Oxy. 2172 (I am grateful to Dr James Brusuelas for discussion on this point). Carmen as appendix: G. O. Hutchinson, Talking Books: Readings in Hellenistic and Roman Books of Poetry, Oxford, OUP, 2008, p. 174; G. Bitto, “Regina Odarum? Zur Publikation des Carmen Saeculare,” RhM N.F. 155, 2012, p. 166–184, taking up this suggestion, would prefer to see the Carmen as the last ode of the book. As for the mixture of genres in a roll, Theocritus’ aeolic poems must have been included in the same roll as some hexameter poems when circulated (not necessarily always the same poems); we have only papyrus codices, in which they directly preceded 22 (P. Antinoe, fifth-sixth century AD, C Fol. 2 recto) and directly followed 17 (very probable for P. Oxy. L 3551, third century AD, attractive for P. Antinoe).

21 On the pattern of epithet and noun at the caesura and end of the pentameter, and Callimachus’ approach to this fashion, see G. O. Hutchinson, “Pentameters,” in E. Sistakou and A. Rengakos (eds.), Dialect, Diction, and Style in Greek Literary and Inscribed Epigram, Berlin and Boston, De Gruyter, Trends in Classics. Suppl. 43, 2016, pp. 119–137.

22 The lines, when uncertain supplements are omitted, are too broken for a translation. Note recently on the poem G. O. Hutchinson, “Hellenistic Poetry and Hellenistic Prose,” in R. Hunter, A. Rengakos and E. Sistakou (eds.), op. cit., p. 35. On the poem for Sosibius, and on Hellenistic epinician generally, see A. Kampakoglou, Studies in the Reception of Pindar in Hellenistic Poetry, D. Phil., Oxford, 2011 (unpublished).

23 On Horace and lyric after Pindar, a few thoughts at G. O. Hutchinson, “Genre and Super-genre,” art. cit., pp. 29–30. The basic ideas of the piece go back to a lecture delivered over the years to undergraduates and graduates. I am grateful for the comments of listeners; these include able young scholars whom I have had the pleasure of supervising or helping with publication (Drs A. Dale, J. H. Hordern, A. Kampakoglou, S. Phipps, H. L. Spelman, C. L. Wilkinson). Comments at the conference in Poznań have been useful and encouraging too; the kind hospitality of Professor J. Danielewicz and his colleagues and students created a memorable event.

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G. O. Hutchinson, « “Modernism,” “Postmodernism,” and the Death of the Stanza », Aitia [En ligne], 8.1 | 2018, mis en ligne le 25 juin 2018, consulté le 30 juin 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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G. O. Hutchinson

University of Oxford

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