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The Three Preoccupations of Simias of Rhodes

Les trois préoccupations de Simias de Rhodes
I tre interessi fondamentali di Simia di Rodi
Jan Kwapisz

Résumés

La présente discussion reconsidère les fragments poétiques et grammaticaux existants de Simias de Rhodes dans le but de montrer ses principales préoccupations et, par là, d’esquisser son profil intellectuel. Son intérêt pour la philologie se manifeste non seulement dans ses fragments grammaticaux – qui suggèrent que sa technique lexicographique, quoique plutôt rudimentaire, était d’un genre particulier – mais aussi, à un niveau plus sophistiqué et en accord avec la pratique des poètes ultérieurs, dans son œuvre poétique. Une attention particulière est accordée à son penchant bien connu pour l’expérimentalisme formel, à la fois dans le domaine du mètre et du jeu de mots. Enfin, il s’agit de montrer que la présence marquée de l’élément fantastique était un trait distinctif de sa poésie. L’une des manifestations les plus notables de sa prédilection pour l’inquiétant et l’étrange est son obsession des paradoxes de la voix, du discours et de la communication des hommes, des animaux et des créatures fantastiques.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 H. Fränkel, De Simia Rhodio, Diss. Göttingen, Dieterich, 1915.
  • 2 An earlier such attempt was made by L. Sternbach, Meletemata Graeca, I, Vienna, Gerold, 1886, pp. 1 (...)
  • 3 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, Leuven, Peeters, Hellenistica Groningana 19, 2013, with fur (...)
  • 4 The two obvious references at this point are M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in (...)

1Perhaps not all admirers of Hermann Fränkel’s contribution to the study of Classics are aware that his long and rich scholarly career began with a rendezvous with the Hellenistic grammarian and poet Simias of Rhodes, whose fragments he edited and commented in his PhD thesis published in 1915.1 This counts as one of few attempts to approach all of what is left of Simias’ output,2 and at once to see in him more than the founding father of the tradition of figure poems in Europe, which he indeed was and for which he is notorious.3 This title to fame, however, is of such special nature that it relegated him to the margin of ancient literature, which he has never ceased to inhabit.4 The centenary of the publication of Fränkel’s edition (the bulk of the present essay was written in 2015) is a good occasion to ask again the question of who Simias actually was.

2The extant remnants of Simias’ poetic and grammatical works hardly form a large corpus (Fränkel’s edition comprises four testimonies and thirty-two fragments). Notwithstanding, this is a colourful assortment, and many of these bits may say something instructive about their author to a keen ear. As a matter of fact, they try to tell us so much that it is difficult to discern meaningful patterns in this clamour of untuned voices. Yet such patterns exist, and the methodology I adopt to uncover them is simple. I borrow it from Geoffrey Arnott’s essay on Theocritus, where he summarises it in one sentence:

  • 5 W. G. Arnott, “The Preoccupations of Theocritus: Structure, Illusive Realism, Allusive Learning,” i (...)

In this paper as a confirmed idolater I should like to pick out three preoccupations, three points of emphasis that make Theocritus at one and the same time distinctive, memorable and yet typical of the new Hellenistic world.5

3This is what I have in mind, too. Yet one difference between Theocritus and Simias is, obviously, that the preserved opus of the latter is much more fragmentary than what has reached us of the former, and the handful of accidentally preserved fragments we have may not suffice to identify what truly mattered to Simias. I do not claim, therefore, to do more than draw an arbitrary portrayal of my Simias (I realise that the preoccupations of Simias which I point out happen to be my own preoccupations), and that the same evidence might be used to portray other Simiases is, I admit, a possibility. To ensure a minimum dose of objectivity, however, I will be careful to invoke at least two fragments of two different types to illustrate each of the intuitions in giving expression to which I will indulge in what follows.

4For Simias’ fragments clearly belong to several different categories. The most obvious division is between poetic and grammatical fragments. What we find in the editions is in accord with what the Suda tells us in the entry for Simias:

Σιμμίας Ῥόδιος, γραμματικός. Ἔγραψε Γλώσσας, βιβλία γ´· ποιήματα διάφορα, βιβλία δ´.

  • 6 Translations are mine, unless stated otherwise.

Simias of Rhodes, grammarian. He wrote three books of Glosses and four books of miscellaneous poems.6

  • 7 Yet see M. Perale, “Il. Parv. fr. 21 Bernabé e la Gorgo di Simia di Rodi,” art. cit.
  • 8 Marco Perale points out to me (per litteras) that Meineke’s Ἀμύκ|λαντος is probably better than Frä (...)

5Extant are merely four tiny fragments of Γλῶσσαι, but even those, as we will see, tell us something about the lexicon of which they were a part. It may not be by accident that the poetic fragments we have can be grouped in four categories, which might correspond to the four books of miscellaneous poems the Suda mentions. First, there are hexameter fragments, most of which are ascribed by our sources to two poems, Apollo (frr. 1–2 Fränkel and Collectanea Alexandrina 1–5) and the enigmatic Gorgo (frr. 3–[3a] Fränkel = CA 6–7—the poem is enigmatic because we know very little about it,7 not because of a resemblance to, for instance, Lycophron’s Alexandra). Then there is a fragment of what seems to have been a didactic poem, Months (Μῆνες; fr. 4 Fränkel = CA 8), to which August Meineke gave an elegiac form:8

      ὅν ῥʼ <ἀπʼ> Ἀμύκλαντος παιδὸς ἄποφθιμένου
λαοὶ κικλήσκουσιν.

. . . which [month] people call after the dead son of Amyclas.

  • 9 A. Meineke, Delectus poetarum Anthologiae Graecae, Berlin, Enslin, 1842, p. 100. Cf. L. Di Gregorio (...)
  • 10 See R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I, Oxford, OUP, 1949, p. 339; cf. J. U. Powell, op. cit., p. 121. On (...)

6Son of Amyclas is Hyacinth, and Meineke is surely right that Simias speaks here of the (Dorian and also specifically Rhodian) month of Hyacinthius.9 The elegiac didactic poem dealing with the names of the months brings to mind, on the one hand, Callimachus’ Aetia, and, on the other, the same author’s obscure grammatical work on precisely the same subject Simias’ Months was concerned with.10 If Meineke was correct in supposing that the Months was elegiac (and this is quite an “if”), then this gives us a hint about what might have filled the second book of Simias’ poetry.

  • 11 S. Hornblower (ed., trad.), Lykophron. Alexandra, Oxford, OUP, 2015, p. 356 (cf. p. 362) suggests t (...)
  • 12 J. Kwapisz, “Were There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” in id., D. Petrain and M. Szymański (eds.), The (...)
  • 13 J. Kwapisz, “Were There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” art. cit., p. 163; id., The Greek Figure Poems, (...)

7The third book of the four mentioned by the Suda may have consisted of poems in various metres of lyric origin, whose several incipits are preserved by Hephaestion (frr. 9–14 Fränkel = CA 9 and 13–17). The fragments strongly suggest that these compositions had hymnic contents. I argued elsewhere that one and the same poetry book may have included Simias’ three famous technopaegnia (Axe,11 Wings and Egg), all in experimental metres, and the metrical novelties whose fragments Fränkel’s edition groups in the section “Variorum metrorum fragmenta.”12 This conjecture is still appealing to me. To corroborate this supposition, I note, in addition, that the poetics of the Axe oscillates between a dedicatory epigram and a hymn, both addressed to Athena, that the Wings is a mini-treatise on Eros, and that even the Egg, which I posited to make an appropriate sphragis for Simias’ book of poems in miscellaneous metres,13 prominently features Hermes. This makes the technopaegnia fit for the book of polymetric hymnic poems on gods and heroes.

8I admit, however, that evident epigrammatic features of the technopaegnia may also suggest another context of “publication,” namely among epigrams. Several epigrams that have been ascribed to Simias have survived through the Palatine Anthology (frr. 22–[28c] Fränkel, CA 18–[23], 1–7 Gow-Page). As we will see, at least two of these exhibit links with the Egg. At any rate, Simias’ Book 4 might have contained his epigrammatic production.

  • 14 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, art. cit., pp. 21–23 and esp. M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geog (...)

9At the end of this brief introduction, I should mention that in what follows I assume that it is a correct view that Simias was a contemporary of Philitas of Cos, who was probably one generation older than the Golden-Age poets such as Callimachus and Theocritus.14 It is striking that Simias curiously resembles the famous Philitas in more than one respect (which confirms their belonging to the same epoch), as they both were simultaneously poets and grammarians, they shared aesthetic interests and they even both either originated from or lived in the Dodecanese. It might prove rewarding to think more about how deep these similarities are and where they end. Here, however, my business is only with Simias.

1. Philology

  • 15 Cf. R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship: From the Beginnings to the End of the Hellenisti (...)
  • 16 For an introduction to Simias the grammarian, see C. Meliadò’s 2008 article in Brill’s online Lexic (...)

10In what precedes, I have been careful to refer to Simias as not only poet, as he is normally viewed, but at once as poet and scholar. The fact that we have significantly more poetic fragments of Simias than the fragments of his grammatical work may distort the actual character of his output.15 We have seen that the Suda refers to him simply as γραμματικός, but this may not mean much, because this is how its author also refers, for instance, to Alexander of Aetolia, although he is subsequently introduced as a member of the Pleiad, and Philitas is, according to the Suda, γραμματικὸς κριτικός, although his poetry is also mentioned (I note, however, that Antimachus of Colophon is called by the Suda γραμματικὸς καὶ ποιητής). Yet Strabo, who famously refers to Philitas as ποιητὴς ἅμα καὶ κριτικός (14.2.19), also styles the inventor of the technopaegnia Σιμμίας ὁ γραμματικός when he lists famous Rhodians (14.2.13), which is a strong indication that this is how he was regarded in Antiquity. What do his four extant grammatical fragments tell us?16

  • 17 P. Bing, “The Unruly Tongue: Philitas of Cos as Scholar and Poet,” in id., The Scroll and the Marbl (...)
  • 18 Philitas’ approach to lexicography is likely to have created a paradigm of grammatical thinking. S. (...)

11In an enlightening discussion of Philitas’ scholarly interests, Peter Bing persuasively argued that the Coan scholar had a penchant for exploring “exotic diction and local customs.”17 One fragment suggests that Simias may at times also have felt this inclination. In a passage dedicated to a certain species of fish called φάγρος, Athenaeus informs us that Simias explained φάγρος as a Cretan word for whetstone (ἀκόνη; fr. 32 Fränkel ap. Ath. 7.327e–f). This is the sole attestation that φάγρος may have this sense. In this fragment, Simias betrays the same interest in how dialectal usage may twist the standard meaning of words that Bing found so striking in Philitas’ lexicographical pursuits.18

  • 19 See P. Bing, art. cit., pp. 18–19 n. 19.

12Yet two other fragments may indicate that Simias’ lexicon substantially differed from the famous Ἄτακτοι γλῶσσαι compiled by Philitas. In a corrupt passage in which Athenaeus reports how various grammarians interpreted the Homeric hapax ἴσθμιον (Od. 18.300), the definitions from both Philitas and Simias are quoted (Ath. 15.677b–c = Philit. fr. 13 Dettori = 41 Spanoudakis = Sim. fr. 29 Fränkel). The quotation from Philitas suffers from textual corruption, but it is clear enough that he offered a longer comment, in which he mused about how the word had, homonymically (the term ὁμωνυμία appears in the text), several different meanings.19 Simias, in turn, and one or two later grammarians “render it by one word” (ἀποδιδόασιν ἕν ἀνθʼ ἑνός; this phrase recurs nowhere else in Athenaeus): ἴσθμιον· στέφανον. Athenaeus gives us a glimpse of Simias’ lexicographical method: unlike Philitas, who adduced several meanings of the problematic Homeric gloss, Simias reduced his explanation to one authoritatively chosen word. The fact that he ignored variant meanings suggests that he was focused on deciding what the word’s true or original sense was.

13We can probably see Simias applying the same method in his gloss on κοτύλη, a word which receives, unsurprisingly, a lengthy discussion in Athenaeus (11.478d–479c). Athenaeus first describes what sorts of vessels are called κοτύλη by what poets. Then he goes on to discuss more unusual meanings attested for this word: the hollow part of the hip-joint (yet he adds that the grammarian Marsyas’ designation for the hip-joint is ἄλεισον or κύλιξ), the sucker-pads on an octopus’ tentacles, which are called κοτυληδόνες, and cymbals. At the very end of this passage, he quotes Simias (fr. 31 Fränkel):

Σιμμίας δὲ ἀποδίδωσι τὴν κοτύλην ἄλεισον.

Simias renders kotyle by aleison.

14This example of Simias’ technique of glossing ἕν ἀνθʼ ἑνός is perplexing, as he explains one Homeric word for a cup with another, literally σαφηνίζων Ὅμηρον ἐξ Ὁμήρου. Yet precisely the constraints of this exegetical method must be the reason for which he does so. If one word has to be chosen, there may be no better equivalent of κοτύλη than ἄλεισον, since not only do both words refer to similar vessels in Homer, but they moreover cover the same semantic field by denoting various sorts of hollow objects, as Athenaus is careful to point out by quoting the grammarian Marsyas. In glossing ἴσθμιον and κοτύλη, Simias apparently strove to find what he believed was the closest equivalent, whereas sorting out the connection between the two words he left to the reader. Did he also gloss φάγρος with a single word, perhaps in the belief that its original meaning was preserved in the Cretan dialect?

15The final extant fragment of his Γλῶσσαι may provide another instance of the word-for-word technique, but on this occasion Simias corroborated his interpretation with a quotation (fr. 30 Fränkel ap. Ath. 11.472e):

Κάδος. Σιμμίας ποτήριον, παρατιθέμενος Ἀνακρέοντος [PMG 373.1–2]·
“ἠρίστησα μὲν ἰτρίου λεπτοῦ μικρὸν ἀποκλάς,
οἴνου δʼ ἐξέπιον κάδον”.

  • 20 Transl. S. D. Olson, Athenaeus. The Learned Banqueters. V, Books 10.420e–11, Cambridge (MA), HUP, T (...)

Kados. Simias [identifies this as] a cup, citing Anacreon:
“I broke off a bit of crisp sesame-cake and had it for lunch,
and I drank a kados of wine.”20

  • 21 As noted by E. Dettori, Filita grammatico. Testimonianze e frammenti, Rome, Quasar, Quaderni dei se (...)

16This is another counterintuitive explanation, as κάδος is normally “jar” rather than “cup” (cf. Archil. fr. 4.7 West). Perhaps Simias’ assumption was that what goes with μικρὸν ἰτρίου λεπτοῦ was an equally small cup (which would have missed all the fun inherent in the image of eating little and drinking from a jar21). Again, this against-the-current philological thinking may suggest that he was strongly committed to getting to the bottom of what the word actually meant. Yet what matters more, to us, is that this fragment is instructive about the range of Simias’ philological interests, as κάδος, although poetic, is not a Homeric word. That these interests extend beyond Homer is also illustrated by the previously discussed fr. 32; the appearances of φάγρος before Simias are, predictably, limited to comedy and the philosophers who wrote on zoology.

  • 22 This may shed further light on the methods of the Homeric Γλωσσογράφοι as described by A. R. Dyck, (...)

17To sum up, my impression is that Simias’ four grammatical fragments are concise to the extreme not because Athenaeus decided to omit the rest of these glosses, but because the glosses were meant to be such. This is not to say that this was what Simias’ Γλῶσσαι looked like throughout. For one thing, fr. 30 is the illustration of a more substantial entry, and below I will posit a reconstruction of a gloss of somewhat different structure. Yet I like to think that the one-for-one pattern prevailed in Simias’ lexicon.22 Incidentally, would that philological restraint not explain why only four fragments of this work have reached us and why Philitas has completely outshone Simias as lexicographer? It may not be by accident that when Athenaeus quotes Simias, the quotation is dismissed to the end of his lexicographical discussions three times out of four (frr. 29, 31 and 32), and only once does it appear at the beginning (fr. 30).

  • 23 P. Bing, art. cit., pp. 26–27.
  • 24 M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit.
  • 25 P. J. Finglass, “Simias and Stesichorus,” Eikasmos 26, 2015, pp. 197–202.
  • 26 J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 91–105.
  • 27 On these epigrams, see M. Gabathuler, Hellenistische Epigramme auf Dichter, Diss. Basel, Borna, Nos (...)

18What about Simias’ poetry? Bing was able to find a close parallel for the grammatical pursuits of Philitas’ Ἄτακτοι γλῶσσαι among his scanty poetic fragments.23 It is not difficult to find much more in Simias’ surviving poetry. On the whole, the extant fragments clearly attest his broad range of interests in literature of many genres and several periods. To give only four particularly telling examples, I point out that, as Marco Perale has demonstrated,24 a passage in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (fr. 150.8–35 Merkelbach–West) was notably a model for the geographical catalogue which the longest extant fragment of Simias’ Apollo contains (fr. 1 Fränkel/CA); that, as Patrick Finglass shows,25 Simias’ Axe, which describes the dedication of the tool/weapon with which Epeius built the Wooden Horse/destroyed Troy to Athena, clearly picks up on the opening of Stesichorus’ Sack of Troy (fr. 100 Finglass); that the Wings, as I suggested,26 is permeated with Platonic intertexts, with Plato’s Symposium providing the most prominent source of inspiration; and finally, that Simias composed two epitaphs for Sophocles (Anth. Pal. 7.21–22 = frr. 22–23 Fränkel = CA [23] = 4–5 Gow–Page).27 In the subsequent section of the present discussion, I will furthermore argue that Simias’ novel metrical techniques are another significant means of dialoguing with the past of Greek poetry.

  • 28 E. Sistakou, “Glossing Homer: Homeric Exegesis in Early Third Century Epigram,” in P. Bing and J. S (...)

19Now I turn to a more direct application of philological thinking in Simias’ poetry. It has already been well documented that this poetry contains numerous instances of filologia interna, i.e. the purely philological practise of commenting on more or less rare and obscure glosses excerpted from other poets by inserting them in a newly created context. Fränkel’s index Graecitatis lists more than seventy such glosses, hapaxes, unusual lexical formations and uses, which are evenly distributed throughout the surviving corpus of the fragments of Simias, and we owe an instructive discussion of the philology of Homer in Simias’ epigrams to Evina Sistakou.28 To illustrate how deftly Simias could operate this exegetical tool, I offer a follow-up on Sistakou’s comments on a pair of Simias’ epigrams, namely Anth. Pal. 7.203 and 193 (frr. 24–25 Fränkel = CA 19–20 = 1–2 Gow–Page), which will again be my concern in the final part of this discussion

Οὐκέτʼ ἀνʼ ὑλῆεν δρίος εὔσκιον, ἀγρότα πέρδιξ,
      ἠχήεσσαν ἱεῖς γῆρυν ἀπὸ στομάτων,
θηρεύων βαλιοὺς συνομήλικας ἐν νομῷ ὕλης·
      ᾤχεο γὰρ πυμάταν εἰς Ἀχέροντος ὁδόν.

No longer, my decoy partridge, do you shed from your throat your resonant cry through the shady coppice, hunting your pencilled fellows in their woodland feeding-ground; for you are gone on your last journey to the house of Acheron.

Τάνδε κατʼ εὔδενδρον στείβων δρίος εἴρυσα χειρὶ
      πτώσσουσαν βρομίας οἰνάδος ἐν πετάλοις,
ὄφρα μοι εὐερκεῖ καναχὰν δόμῳ ἔνδοθι θείη,
      τερπνὰ διʼ ἀγλώσσου φθεγγομένα στόματος.

  • 29 Transl. W. R. Paton, The Greek Anthology, II, Cambridge (MA), HUP, The Loeb Classical Library, 1919 (...)

This locust crouching in the leaves of a vine I caught as I was walking in this copse of many trees, so that in a well-fenced home it may make noise for me, chirping pleasantly with its tongueless mouth.29

  • 30 I realised this when I came across “the partridges calling like crickets” in T. H. White’s The Once (...)
  • 31 For all differences between locusts and cicadas with regard to their biology or the literary contex (...)
  • 32 Cf. H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 102.
  • 33 I am grateful to Pauline LeVen for a remark which suggested to me this interpretation.

20These are clearly intended to be companion epigrams; they form a complex poetic creation, which ultimately reflects on poetry itself. Both epigrams describe musical animals. As it happens, partridges may emit a sound resembling the cricket’s chirrup.30 By putting emphasis on the animals’ resonant voice, both poems exhibit a similar metapoetic potential. As such, they place themselves in the midst of the broad universe of metapoetic images involving musical animals in Greek literature.31 In fact, the cricket and the partridge are not just any musical animals, but, in view of the intertextual baggage they carry, ones that are particularly emblematic of their sort. There are also more superficial links between the two epigrams, which help the reader discover their interconnectedness. Both copiously resort to Homeric diction, which contrasts with their quasi-bucolic subject-matter, and this is to mock-heroic effect (this effect is clearer in fr. 24 Fränkel; see further below). Both purport to be inscriptions, although of different sorts. Fr. 24 is an odd epitaph for a decoy partridge, which assisted the hunter by luring its companions; 25 is, as the epideictic τάνδε implies,32 a caption for the cage containing a captive locust. Given the fact that decoy partridges are also kept in cages (cf. LXX Si. 11.30 πέρδιξ θηρευτὴς ἐν καρτάλλῳ, οὕτως καρδία ὑπερηφάνου), one may feel tempted to imagine that the locust was captured to fill the emptiness (and to break the silence) of the cage in which the late partridge was held, so that this pair of epigrams would form almost a continuous narrative.33 On the textual level, they share two words, στόμα and δρίος. To στόμα I will return later; now my attention focuses on the latter word.

21The gloss δρίος is retrieved from Od. 14.353–354:

ἔνθʼ ἀναβάς, ὅθι τε δρίος ἦν πολυανθέος ὕλης,
κείμην πεπτηώς.

  • 34 Transl. R. Lattimore, The Odyssey of Homer, New York, Harper and Row, 1967.

Then I went up, where there was a growth of flowering thicket,
and lay there, cowering.34

  • 35 E. Sistakou, art. cit., p. 395.

22Sistakou observes “how Simias twice varies the Homeric δρίος πολυανθέος ὕλης” by putting ὑλῆεν, εὔσκιον and εὔδενδρον next to δρίος in the two epigrams and, consequently, how he “points to the semantic obscurity of δρίος: but this enigmatic glossa needs to be further modified by additional adjectives.”35 In the footnote, she adds:

The explanation in Σ Q ad Od. 14.353, δρίος] σύνδενδρον χωρίον, δρυώδης καὶ σύσκιος τόπος (“a place full of trees, woody and thickly shaded”), is misleading, because the scholiast glosses the hapax noun δρίος along with its context.

23I should like to take us in another direction. One may get the impression that the Homeric scholiast compiles two explanations, and I am struck by the resemblance of the second part of what he provides to how Simias glosses δρίος in his two epigrams. It is a tempting supposition, I think, that δρυώδης καὶ σύσκιος τόπος in the Homeric scholia looks back, directly or not, to Simias’ Γλῶσσαι. This would be different from the glosses we saw earlier in that it steps aways from the one-for-one pattern. It is not difficult to imagine, however, that Simias was not always able to find one word to illustrate the true meaning of the gloss he commented on, and in such cases resorting to a vague noun with a specific modifier (or two of these) may have still complied with the rigorous standards of his philological method.

24If this is correct, and Simias alludes to his own Γλῶσσαι in his companion epigrams, then this is a particularly intricate case of filologia interna. On one level, this invites the reader to join in an elaborate poetic game, in which he or she needs to discover the connection between the two poems first, so as to be allowed to sort out the full meaning of the obscure Homeric gloss only subsequently. Yet this is also effective on the philological level, as the distribution of the explanation between the two epigrams emphasises the ambiguity of δρίος. If this word denotes a place shaded by the thickness of the forest, then the glossator has to find a way to wed shadiness and trees in the comment.

  • 36 On which see E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Oxford, OUP, 1983, in partic (...)

25This emphatically literary game implies a special audience. A fragment of the Hymn to Demeter composed by Philicus of Corcyra, one of the Pleiad, whom we see as a priest of Dionysus in Ptolemy II’s Grand Procession,36 sheds light on the character of this target group of readers (SH 677):

καινογράφου συνθέσεως τῆς Φιλίκου, γραμματικοί, δῶρα φέρω πρὸς ὑμᾶς.

  • 37 Transl. from M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, op. cit., p. 38.

Grammarians, I bring you the gift of the innovative written composition of Philicus.37

  • 38 This is a locus classicus in the discussion of Simias’ date; cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems(...)
  • 39 Transl. J. M. van Ophuijsen, Hephaestion on Metre, Leiden, Brill, 1987, p. 92.
  • 40 H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar, rev. G. M. Messing, Cambridge (MA), HUP, 1956, p. 293, § 1159.
  • 41 Importantly, J. Danielewicz, “Philicus’ ‘Novel Composition’ for the Alexandrian Grammarians: Initia (...)

26Hephaestion quotes this line to comment on Philicus’ allegedly false pretension to the title of the inventor of this sort of verse (i.e. the choriambic hexameter), which, Hephaestion says, was earlier employed by Simias in his Axe and Wings (Heph. p. 30.21–31.13 Consbruch).38 “Unless,” Hephaestion prudently adds, “it be that Philicus does not speak as being the first inventor of the metron but as being the first to write poems entirely in this metron”.39 This reservation is important; after all, it would be naïve to think that Philicus ignored the immediate ancestry of the verse he chose for his hymn. This ancestry is, I argue, silently implied in what Philicus says; the choice of the metre itself is sufficient to mark his debt to Simias, even if his name remains unmentioned, and it is highly unlikely that Philicus would not have anticipated the recognition of the source by the γραμματικοί he addressed. One implication of this realisation is that καινόγραφος may be, to some extent, a generic characterisation, which can be applied not only to Philicus’ hymn, but also to the model provided by Simias with his technopaegnia; the meaning of the word would be almost “neoteric.” The position of the article τῆς and its omission before καινογράφου συνθέσεως may support this reading: “[i]n this arrangement the attributive is added by way of explanation,”40 so that the emphasis is on “I give you a novel composition,” whereas “one by Philicus” comes as a supplement, which, I think, detaches καινόγραφος from the agency of Philicus. Another conclusion is that the society of γραμματικοί to which Philicus dedicates his poem includes not only his audience, and not only himself as the author of the poetry for γραμματικοί, but also himself as the reader of Simias, and Simias as the initiator of this club.41

  • 42 On εὐμαθίη in this epigram, see M. Fantuzzi, “Callimaco, l’epigramma, il teatro,” in G. Bastianini (...)
  • 43 Most notably, of course, by A. Cameron, Callimachus and His Critics, Princeton, PUP, 1995.

27It is telling that when Simias has to find one quality to praise in Sophocles, what he singles out is εὐμαθίη πινυτόφρων—a sort of learnedness which one would more readily associate with philological activity than with tragic poetry (Anth. Pal. 7.22.5 = fr. 23.5 Fränkel = 5.5 Gow–Page).42 The poets such as Simias remain grammarians even when they compose poetry—the conclusion is the same as that of the discussion of the two epigrams on the musical animals inhabiting the δρίος of Simias’ poetry. This is perhaps what the author of the entry in the Suda means when he states simply, “Simias of Rhodes, grammarian.” Much effort has been spent, to good and refreshing effect, in showing that the Hellenistic poets were not imprisoned in an ivory tower.43 Yet this δρίος, this shady grove, into which Simias lures his readers, disturbingly resembles that solitary place of confinement. Does he try to lock us in the cage with his partridge and locust, and may this be what was to become the famous Μουσέων τάλαρος of SH 786?

2. Formal experimentalism

  • 44 P. Bing, The Well-Read Muse: Present and Past in Callimachus and the Hellenistic Poets, revised ed. (...)

28Even if Simias liked to remain in the solitude of the thick coppice of his philological interests, it would be a mistake to view him as no more than a practitioner of l’art pour l’art. He lived in a period which witnessed one of the most momentous transformations in European cultural history, namely the efflorescence of the sophisticated culture of the book and bookishness, and there is much to suggest that he was a self-conscious contributor to this change. In two poems, he reflects on the ongoing process of the translation of poetry from the oral domain onto the papyrus scroll. The first to come to mind is the Egg, to which I will soon return. Yet it is the other one which gives expression to this awareness in a more straightforward manner. It is a pseudo-epitaph for Sophocles, whose relevance for the discussion of Hellenistic book culture has already been highlighted by Peter Bing44 (Anth. Pal. 7.21 = fr. 22 Fränkel = 4 Gow–Page; it makes a pair with the subseqent epigram in the Anthology, to which I will shortly return):

Τόν σε χοροῖς μέλψαντα Σοφοκλέα, παῖδα Σοφίλλου,
      τὸν τραγικῆς Μούσης ἀστέρα Κεκρόπιον,
πολλάκις ὃν θυμέλῃσι καὶ ἐν σκηνῇσι τεθηλὼς
      βλαισὸς Ἀχαρνίτης κισσὸς ἔρεψε κόμην,
τύμβος ἔχει καὶ γῆς ὀλίγον μέρος, ἀλλʼ ὁ περισσὸς
      αἰὼν ἀθανάτοις δέρκεται ἐν σελίσιν.

  • 45 Transl. P. Bing, The Well-Read Muse, op. cit., p. 59, slightly altered. On the sense of line 6, see (...)

You who sang in the choruses, Sophocles, son of Sophillus,
      Cecropian [i.e., Athenian] star of the tragic Muse,
whose hair the twisting Acharnian ivy, blossom-bedecked,
      often crowned by the orchestra’s altar and on the stage,
a tomb and a little plot of earth now holds you; but the rest of time
      beholds you in the deathless columns of your writing.45

  • 46 A detailed overview of the early textual history of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in Athens an (...)
  • 47 A parallel, as Jerzy Danielewicz points out to me, is provided by the ᾠδῆς . . . λευκαὶ φθεγγόμεναι (...)
  • 48 In the light of how Simias reflects on the culture of writing, it is also tempting, as Peter Bing h (...)

29The emphasis is on presenting Sophocles as singer (line 1) and performer (3–4). Yet in the closing couplet, the author’s attention shifts to Sophocles’ eternal life guaranteed by the columns of writing (σελίδες) in the papyrus scrolls with his plays. The immediate context for the latter is provided by the momentous projects undertaken both in Athens and Alexandria in the fourth and third centuries BC to ensure the restoration and preservation of the plays of the three great Athenian tragedians, culminating in the production of the authoritative edition by Aristophanes of Byzantium. Simias’ epigram may be roughly contemporary to one of these projects, namely the preparation of a sort of edition (διόρθωσις) of the Athenian dramatic texts, which was commissioned by Ptolemy II, by Alexander of Aetolia (Alex. Aet. test. 7 Magnelli).46 These were monumental enterprises, which may have been thought to have a long-lasting effect, and it is tempting to see Simias’ epigram as a response, even if indirect, to such philological activity.47 Perhaps he composed it for a copy (more likely a private copy; not necessary an “edition,” such as that prepared by Alexander of Aetolia) of the collection of Sophocles’ plays.48

  • 49 What follows takes much not only from J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 14–16, 35–3 (...)
  • 50 M. L. West, Greek Metre, Oxford, OUP, 1982, p. 151.
  • 51 On Optatian and, inter alia, his self-focus, see the extensive collection of essays in M. Squire an (...)
  • 52 J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 106.
  • 53 Cf. n. 49 above.
  • 54 Cf. I. Männlein-Robert, op. cit., p. 149; J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 107.

30Whereas the epitaph for Sophocles illustrates Simias’ reflection on how another author’s poetry enters the domain of the book, in the Egg his concern appears to be more self-focused.49 This is one of the most unusual creations which Antiquity has given us (“the most complex product (metrically) of all Hellenistic book-poetry” according to Martin West50). And it knows it. From the formal point of view, the Egg is a newly-created weft of long-familiar metrical units, mostly of lyric origin, whose number grows from one in the first pair of lines to ten in the last one, each of these distichs being one unit longer than the previous. Incidentally, the previous sentence almost literally quotes what is said by the poem itself: “new weft” is taken from line 3 (ἄτριον νέον; this brings to mind the “neotericness” we saw in the fragment of Philicus’ Hymn to Demeter), whereas the description of the increasing number of metrical units comes with lines 9–10. This instance of poetic egotism is paralleled in ancient literature perhaps only by Optatian Porfyry’s equally eccentric creation.51 Yet when in the introduction to my edition of the Egg I gave expression to the feeling I once had that “[the poem] focuses utterly on itself,”52 I did not get it all right (although I do not think I got it all wrong). One may read the Egg, as Irmgard Männlein-Robert did,53 as a hermeneutic reflection on the process of poetic creation in the new literary world. In this reflection, the vivid and pictorial description of Hermes’ demiurgic dance (lines 7–12 and 20) provides an allegory of poetic communication; the god mediates the arrival of the poet’s song to us, “the tribes of mortals” (φῦλα βροτῶν, line 8). This mediation takes place on the “pages” of the papyrus scroll. Simias returns here to the theme we saw in his epitaph for Sophocles by creating a paradox: the poem copiously refers to singing,54 but this strikingly contrasts with the technopaegnion’s intense Schriftlichkeit.

  • 55 For a full list, see J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 123; cf. the reflection on th (...)
  • 56 Cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 14–16, with further references.
  • 57 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 40–43 for the Egg’s metrical scheme and a dis (...)

31My intention here is to focus on the narrower application of this experiment as an expression of the poetic programme behind Simias’ book of polymetric poetry. If the Egg presents itself as an experiment in translating the song onto the papyrus scroll, then what Simias experiments on is primarily the traditional metrical fabric of the song. His description of the Egg’s metrical pattern in the central lines 9–10 is supplemented by the abundance of words allusive to the metrical terminology of feet and metra in the subsequent part of the poem: μέτρον appears twice, in lines 9 and 20, and there are no less than ten instances of the occurrence of πούς, ἴχνος, κῶλα and foot-related nouns and adjectives in lines 9–20.55 All this implies the concept of metre as the amalgam of structural units, or “the measures of the song” (μέτρα μολπᾶς, line 20). Though simple at first glance, inherent in this concept is a remarkably early instance of what may be called “proto-colometric consciousness.”56 The metrical analysis of the Egg’s pattern enables the reader (reader-grammarian, no doubt) to compile the catalogue of the feet and metra the poem so insistently speaks of, all of them surely discerned by Simias in the treasury of earlier poetry through the application of his usual philological scrutiny. This catalogue would include iambic metra, dactyls, spondees, anapaests, cretics, two types of paeons, choriambs, and bacchiac clausulae (whose appearance mimics the traditional metrical practice).57

  • 58 Cf. J. Danielewicz, The Metres of Greek Lyric Poetry: Problems of Notation and Interpretation, Boch (...)
  • 59 Cf. J. Kwapisz, “Where There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” art. cit., pp. 160–161.

32What can one do with the metrical fabric of old songs once their melody is gone? On a papyrus sheet, one can do whatever he or she wants. The traditional sequences can be rearranged in a haphazard manner—as they are in the Egg, whose metra are “manifold” (πολύπλοκα, line 20), since they mirror the disorderly movement of Hermes’ feet in his trickster-dance (cf. φέρων νεῦμα ποδῶν σποράδην, line 11). The same metrical units can be reused in a more orderly fashion, yet still to various novel effects. If the length of the lines is manipulated by adding or subtracting metra, then the metrical fabric may be molded to produce a visual shape.58 Choriambs and bacchiac clausulae—both present in the catalogue provided by the Egg—are arranged to this effect in the Axe and the Wings. Or these units may be applied to create a verse that would offer a novel replacement for one of the standard stichic metres, such as hexameter or iambic trimeter. To this effect, Simias made liberal use of the assortment found in his own catalogue in composing his polymetric poems. He created several innovative stichic patterns:59
(1) cretics form the tetrameter of frr. 9–10 Fränkel = CA 13–14;
(2) completely resolved cretics with a paeon IV as the clausula appear in fr. 11 Fränkel = CA 15;
(3) choriambs are the base of the variation of asclepiad of fr. 12 Fränkel = CA 16;
(4) anapaests create the trimeter of fr. 13 Fränkel = CA 9;
(5) good old dactyls produce the pentameter of fr. 14 Fränkel = CA 17.

  • 60 F. Leo, Die plautinischen Cantica und die hellenistische Lyrik, Berlin, Weidmann, 1897, p. 66.
  • 61 The reinvention of various lyric metres for stichic uses apparently enjoyed a certain vogue in the (...)

33These metres may be, and were,60 shown to have had antecedents in earlier lyric poetry, and there is little doubt, especially now, when we are well aware of Simias’ preoccupation with philology, that he looked back to various lyric sources when he was “inventing” the above-listed stichic metres.61 However, at the same time their creation can be conveniently explained in view of the instruction implicit in the Egg, and it would be mistaken to dismiss the possibility of their genetic affinity to the technopaegnia. Greek metrical writings seem to provide confirmation that Simias was recognised as the inventor or propagator of these experimental forms: No. 5 from the above list is known as Σιμίειον to Hephaestion (p. 21.10–12 Consbruch) and No. 4 is called by the same name in the scholia to Hephaestion (p. 275.26–29), whereas Trichas refers to the same verse as Σιμμιακόν, as he explains, “since Simias uses it a lot” (p. 383.28–29).

  • 62 Cf. n. 13 above.

34It may be argued, then, that when the Egg speaks of the “new weft,” what it has in its mind (yolk?) is not only itself, but also other metrical innovations from the laboratory of Simias. They all display the same level of metrical consciousness, which is implied both by the analytical reflection on earlier lyric poetry and the capability of remolding the identified metra to produce novel patterns. It is in this sense that the Egg presents itself as a sphragis for a book of Simias’ experimental polymetry,62 whether such a book actually existed or not.

  • 63 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 48.

35Simias’ penchant for experimentalism does not end with his purely metrical innovations and reworkings of the fabric of old songs. Fränkel noticed a curious pattern emerging from the surviving incipit of Simias’ hymn to Dionysus (No. 2 among the polymetric fragments listed above):63

Σέ ποτε Διὸς ἀνὰ πύματα νεαρὲ κόρε νεβροχίτων
. . .

  • 64 On the meaning of this fragment and on the unnecessary attempts to emend the text in CA, see J. Kwa (...)

O youthful son of Zeus, dressed in a fawnskin, [they say] that once upon a time [you went] to the farthest [ends of the earth].64

  • 65 J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” art. cit.
  • 66 Here as elsewhere, my reading is much informed by Peter Bing’s interpretations of Hellenistic book (...)

36In this sequence of resolved cretics, each consecutive metron starts with a word one syllable longer than the previous (σέ:ἀνά:νεαρέ:νεβροχίτων). I suggested elsewhere that this so-called rhopalic pattern is likely to be reminiscent of the remarkable rising verse in the Iliad (3.182), in which Priam addresses Agamemnon from the walls of Troy by employing the courteous language of highly refined praise.65 The uniqueness of this line was commented on by the scholiast, which makes it all the more probable that Simias did not miss it also. The rising effect in his own creation is probably used for emphasis, but above all this is a display of Simias’ masterly poetic control over the substance of language, as he added the difficulty of creating the rhopalic pattern to the necessity of overcoming the constraints posed by the unusual innovative metre. At the same time, this is another example of his preoccupation with translating oral diction to book poetry. The rhopalic verse, through its increasing weight, creates an effect of solemnity when it is heard, but I am not sure that reading aloud Simias’ hymnic incipit would immediately reveal the rhopalic pattern woven into its structure. More likely, this is a treat for attentive readers-grammarians, who are trained to reread the poem as many times as they feel is necessary in order to see through what the poet may have concealed.66

  • 67 See, again, J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” art cit. and cf. S. Lunn-Rockliffe, “The Power of the Je (...)
  • 68 Cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 36–37 and 107.

37Yet the effect of reading aloud even book poetry must not be downplayed. The poetic experiments with “rhopalicness” should probably be viewed in the broader context of various rising structures widely attested in Indo-European oral poetry and magical incantations,67 and as for more broadly defined rising structures (incidentally, the titles of the sections in this essay may serve as a leçon par l’exemple), we are already well familiar with another example provided by Simias’ poetry. The galloping sequence of the Egg’s μέτρα μολπᾶς is grouped in the successively increasing pairs of lines, to an effect which Simias may have designed for the ear rather than for the eye.68 The constant tension between the acoustic effect and the Schriftlichkeit is an identification mark of Simias’ poetry and confirms its immersion in the context of the transformation of Greek culture at the dawn of the Hellenistic epoch.

  • 69 See J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” art. cit., pp. 615–617.
  • 70 For an instructive discussion of this phenomenon, see E. Magnelli, Studi su Euforione, Rome, Quasar (...)
  • 71 In addition, I hesitantly exclude from my count the extremely problematic fr. [3a] Fränkel = CA 6, (...)

38The tendency to put more weight towards the end of the line is richly documented for the Greek hexameter, and traditional epic has been shown to favour rising patterns of several sorts, which have been variously labelled (“tricolon crescendo,” “rising threefolder,” “augmented triad,” “rhopaloid line”).69 It may be rewarding to think in this context about the reversal of this practice as exemplified by the Hellenistic poets’ tolerance for the hexameters ending with a monosyllable.70 This tolerance seems to have become almost a habit for Simias, as there are three examples of such lines in the nineteen hexameters that can be attributed to him with relative certainty (excluding epigrams):71

τοῖς ὤμων ἐφύπερθεν ἐϋστρεφέων κύνεος κράς . . . (fr. 1.10 Fränkel/CA)

χρυσῷ τοι φαέθοντι πολύλλιστος φλέγεται κράς. (fr. 7 Fränkel = CA 4)

  • 72 This rough hexameter, with its double hiatus and no third-foot caesura, is perplexing. It may be tr (...)

. . .  Ἰγνήτων καὶ Τελχίνων ἔφυ ἡ ἁλυκὴ ζάψ. (fr. 8.2 Fränkel = CA 11.2)72

  • 73 Cf., in contrast, the following near-rhopalic hexameters to be found in Simias’ fragments: ναίουσιν (...)

39I suggest that such endings play on the anticipation of the regularly rising flow of words, which is characteristic of traditional hexameters.73 This realisation sheds new light on the subversive effect of deliberately producing the hexameters that are headed (i.e., have κράς at the end) or mouse-infested (cf. Hor. Ars 139). This subtle subversiveness is in keeping with Simias’ taste for experiments with metre and acoustic instrumentation.

40In slowly bringing this part of my discussion to a close, I should like to supply a handful of further examples of Simias’ notable Formspiele, excerpted from his non-technopaegnic fragments. I leave to the reader to decide whether these have more in common with traditional oral diction or they are instances of Hellenistic bookish experimentalism. Or may they be both at the same time, providing yet another illustration of the clash of these two modes of poetic communication on the pages of Simias’ poetry?

41Perhaps the single most remarkable hexameter in what we have of Simias’ poetry is the one-line fr. 3 Fränkel = CA 7, which, as Athenaeus tells us in a passage discussing variant names for the Pleiades, comes from Gorgo (11.490e–491c):

αἰθέρος ὠκεῖαι πρόπολοι πίλναντο Πέλειαι.

  • 74 S. D. Olson, Athenaeus: The Learned Banqueters, Books 10.420e–11, op. cit., p. 389; cf. H. Fränkel, (...)
  • 75 Cf. R. Kühner, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, II 1, rev. B. Gerth, Hannover, Hahn (...)
  • 76 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 40, following U. v. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Sappho und Simonides: Untersu (...)

42The translation which Douglas Olson supplies is, “The Peleiai, swift servants of the upper air, were drawing near.”74 To my mind, however, this is only one among many possibilities. To stir up the pot, I suggest that αἰθέρος may be a separative genitive,75 especially if πίλναντο was originally accompanied, as is usual (cf. LSJ s.v.), by οὔδει or χθονί; the problems we have with this line suggest that it is not a self-contained whole. Why would “the servants Peleiae” have flown down from the sky? Obviously, to nurture the child Zeus with ambrosia, precisely as the doves-Peleiades do in the fragment of Moero which directly precedes the quotation from Simias in Athenaeus (CA p. 21, 1.9–10; cf. Hom. Od. 12.62–63); subsequently, Zeus thanked the Peleiades by catasterising them. If this was the story told by Simias’ poem, how was its title connected to it? There is an account of Zeus’ youth, obscure in details, which seems to imply that he was the Gorgon-slayer (Musaeus, frr. 83–84 Bernabé).76

  • 77 Cf. R. Kühner, op. cit., pp. 384–385.

43Or αἰθέρος might be a genitive of place,77 whereas πίλναντο could have the sense “drew near each other,” as at Hes. Theog. 702–703 γαῖα καὶ οὐρανὸς εὐρὺς ὕπερθε | πίλνατο, so that the line would describe the gathering of the Peleiades in the upper sky . . . Perhaps the safest course of action here is to admit that the lack of context prevents choosing one preferable reading.

  • 78 Perale’s preference, “Il. Parv. fr. 21 Bernabé e la Gorgo di Simia di Rodi,” art. cit., pp. 510–511 (...)
  • 79 Jerzy Danielewicz, however, calls to my attention Il. 8.42 = 13.24, which consists of tetrasyllabic (...)
  • 80 On this poem, see W. Levitan, “Dancing at the End of the Rope: Optatian Porfyry and the Field of Ro (...)

44In a characteristically instructive recent discussion, Marco Perale opts for printing, with several other scholars, αἳ/αἱ θέρος, but besides the fact that this is perhaps not unproblematic,78 I have my own reason to favour αἰθέρος. With this word, we receive a striking pattern—a hexameter that is composed entirely of trisyllabic words (cf. the caption for Section 3 of the present discussion). I have been unable to find the like of this elsewhere in Greek poetry,79 but Optatian’s Poem 15 Polara, which offers a stunning gallery of hexametric and elegiac eccentricities (including a rhopalon),80 begins with four verses consisting entirely of isosyllabic words whose length increases with each line, so that line 1 has seven disyllables, line 2 five trisyllables, line 3 four tetrasyllables, and line 4 three pentasyllables. This evidences that the poets-grammarians were interested in such unusual patterns, which bring to mind the previously discussed rhopalic verse.

  • 81 H. Fränkel, op. cit., pp. 36–37.
  • 82 For a sensible comment on the replication of this passage, see J. I. Armstrong, “The Arming Motif i (...)

45Another striking feature of Simias’ line on the Peleiae is the alliteration of π–λ in the three last words, which Fränkel suspected to be intended to imitate “alarum agitatarum crepitus.”81 One may wonder whether it can be more than just a curious coincidence that a similar alliteration features in the spectacular passage of the Iliad, twice repeated, so that its distinctiveness is less likely to be missed, on the spear which Peleus handed down to Achilles (16.140–144 = 19.387–391):82

                                                . . . ἔγχος
βριθὺ μέγα στιβαρόν· τὸ μὲν οὐ δύνατʼ ἄλλος Ἀχαιῶν
πάλλειν, ἀλλά μιν οἶος ἐπίστατο πῆλαι Ἀχιλλεύς·
Πηλιάδα μελίην, τὴν πατρὶ φίλῳ πόρε Χείρων
Πηλίου ἐκ κορυφῆς φόνον ἔμμεναι ἡρώεσσιν.

  • 83 Transl. R. Lattimore, The Iliad of Homer, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2011.

                                                . . . the spear,
huge, heavy, thick, which no one else of all the Achaians
could handle, but Achilleus alone knew how to wield it;
the Pelian ash spear which Cheiron had brought to his father
from high on Pelion, to be death for fighters in battle.83

  • 84 Cf. R. Janko, The Iliad: A Commentary, IV, Cambridge, CUP, 1992, p. 335 and M. W. Edwards, The Ilia (...)

46Here the insistent repetition of παλλ/πηλ must be meant to subtly evoke the presence of Peleus, whose name is absent from this passage, without bringing him in in person.84 It is impossible to say whether Simias had a similar effect in mind, yet I like to think that the remarkable Homeric passage had stuck in his head as it has in mine.

  • 85 M. Perale, “Simia e la testa del Sole,” art. cit.

47Simias’ liking for the acoustic wordplay is confirmed by other passages. We have already seen the “headed” fr. 7 Fränkel = CA 4; perhaps this was, as Perale attractively suggested,85 the opening of an epigram for the base of a Rhodian statue of Helios:

χρυσῷ τοι φαέθοντι πολύλλιστος φλέγεται κράς.

Your head, much-invoked with prayers, blazes with radiant gold.

  • 86 See H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 50.

48The alliteration of λ interplays with the emphasis this line puts on the sun’s golden shine. The anaphoric assonance of εὐ‑/ἐ‑ in another fragment (fr. 10 Fränkel = CA 14, cretic tetrameters), perhaps from a hymn to some hero (cf. fr. 14 Fränkel = CA 17, which probably addresses Heracles86), may have no other effect than to emphasise precisely εὐ‑, i.e. prosperity and abundance:

Σοὶ μὲν εὔιππος εὔπωλος ἐγχέσπαλος
δῶκεν αἰχμὰν Ἐνυάλιος εὔσκοπον ἔχειν.

Spear-wielding Enyalios, who has many horses and many foals, gave you your unerring spear.

49Occasionally, the awareness of Simias’ taste for such Klangspiele may prove helpful in the textual criticism of his fragments, as in the following line of Simias’ Apollo (fr. 1.10 Fränkel/CA; another “headed” line, already quoted):

τοῖς ὤμων ἐφύπερθεν ἐϋστρεφέων κύνεος κράς . . .

  • 87 M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit., p. 369 n. 14.
  • 88 The text as in M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit., pp. 368–369, except that (...)

50The standard editions have καθύπερθεν, but Perale’s choice is the variant ἐφύπερθεν; he follows Enrico Magnelli’s perceptive suggestion that the acoustic effect of wedding ἐφύπερθεν and ἐϋστρεφέων in this highly musical line is symmetric to the effect created by the alliteration of κύνεος κράς.87 This argument may be reinforced by the observation that Simias’ technical ingenuity manifests itself elsewhere in the passage surrounding this line (fr. 1.7–11 Fränkel/CA):88

ἐκ δʼ ἱκόμην ἐλάταισι περὶ χλωρῇσιν ἐρεμνὰς
νήσους ὑψικόμοισιν ἐπηρεφέας δονάκεσσιν.
Ἡμικύνων τʼ ἐνόησα γένος περιώσιον ἀνδρῶν,
τοῖς ὤμων ἐφύπερθεν ἐϋστρεφέων κύνεος κρὰς
τέτραφε γαμφηλῇσι περικρατέεσιν ἐρυμνός.

  • 89 Transl. H. White, “On a Fragment of Simias of Rhodes,” CL 2, 1982, pp. 173–184, adapted.

I came to islands which were darkened throughout by green firs, and covered with towering reeds. I noticed an unusual race of men who were half man and half dog, and above whose well-twisting shoulders was a dog’s head, which was protected by grasping jaws.89

  • 90 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 23 n. 1.

51Fränkel comments, with some astonishment, on the unfathomably “mirus parallelismus” created by how the syntax and sound of line 7 ἐλάταισι περὶ χλωρῇσιν ἐρεμνάς (or ἐρυμνάς, as Fränkel wants to have it) echoes line 11 γαμφηλῇσι περικρατέεσιν ἐρυμνός.90 Additionally, we ought to take note of how the latter phrase almost exactly replicates the former, although (probably) not one element is left unaltered. If we keep in mind that this effect of ring-composition is enhanced by the unusual acoustic properties of line 10, then this becomes a particularly striking example of how careful Simias may have been about the artful orchestration of his verse.

52Such musical sensitiveness is what permeates all his poetry, from the effusive self-referential loquacity of the Egg to his strangely polished hexameters. The blending of this taste for formal experiments and the poet’s scholarly perspective gives birth to a poetry that is both rich in formal nuances and emphatically self-reflexive; a poetry that results from the painstaking study of its predecessors and wants the reader to contemplate its formal sophistication with precisely the same dedication. Simias’ preoccupation with the alchemy of Formspiele may have had source in his philological obsession, and at any rate both traits are in harmony with each other.

3. Paradox, eeriness, fantasy

  • 91 Z. Kubiak, Antologia palatyńska, Warsaw, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1978.
  • 92 J. Harasymowicz, Wiersze na igrzyska, Warsaw, Czytelnik, 1982, p. 17. This poetry book was commissi (...)

53The Polish essayist and translator Zygmunt Kubiak (1929–2004) is known, inter alia, for his translations of epigrams from the Palatine Anthology. A particularly elegant edition of such a selection, which included the pair of Simias’ epigrams on musical animals, was published in 1978.91 A few years later, the prolific poet Jerzy Harasymowicz (1933–1999) included the following epigram-like poem in one of his numerous poetry books; the title, Simas and the Cricket (Simiasz i świerszcz), clearly points to the source of inspiration:92

Nie wstydził się mędrców Simiasz
      i rozmawiał ze świerszczem
            siedzącym na listku epigramu

I świerszcza obrał sobie
      za przewodnika po świecie

I prowadząc go wszędzie jak pies
      świerszcz pieśń Simiasza
            ocalił na wieki

Simias was not ashamed before the sages and talked to a cricket sitting on the leaf of an epigram. And he made the cricket his guide through the world. And leading him everywhere like a dog, the cricket saved the song of Simias forever.

  • 93 J. Méndez Dosuna, “The Literary Progeny of Sappho’s Fawns: Simias’ Egg (AP 15.27.13–20) and Theocri (...)

54Harasymowicz is known for his fondness for the nature and rural landscapes of Eastern Europe. There is little doubt that the reason why he evokes the intertext of Simias’ epigram is that he feels that the Rhodian poet is his soulmate; he finds in his poetry the same sensitivity to bucolic scenery and its petty detail he cherishes himself. This intuitive poetic vision of Simias corresponds with a fully developed scholarly proposal, which was put forward by Julián Méndez Dosuna, to view Simias as a precursor of the bucolic poetry of Theocritus.93 What led Méndez Dosuna to formulate this suggestion was the observation of the tantalising verbal correspondences between three passages in Theocritus’ poems (Id. 13.62–63; 18.41–42 and 30.18) and the extended simile in the second part of the Egg (13–19), in which Hermes’ dance is likened to the swift dash of the fawns through mountain pastures in search of their mother. Although this simile is predominantly epic in tone, the scenery it describes may be characterised as bucolic. We recognise a similar scenery in the landscape of the epigrams on the partridge and the locust, as if confirming Simias’ predilection for bucolic motifs.

55Yet it would be a superficial and inadequate picture if we attempted to portray Simias as no more than a tender enthusiast of bucolic landscapes. For one thing, the images of nature which we find in his poetry contain a disquieting number of murky copses and foliage tangles. Most of these may be seen to provide, as the dense coppice we saw in the pair of the epigrams on the partridge and the locust, an apt metaphor for sophisticated poetry. In one of Simias’ epitaphs for Sophocles, the Dionysiac foliage abundantly and densely creeping on the tomb of Sophocles corresponds with the tragedian’s εὐμαθίη (Anth. Pal. 7.22 = fr. 23 Fränkel = 5 Gow–Page):

Ἠρέμʼ ὑπὲρ τύμβοιο Σοφοκλέος, ἠρέμα, κισσέ,
      ἑρπύζοις χλοεροὺς ἐκπροχέων πλοκάμους,
καὶ πέταλον πάντῃ θάλλοι ῥόδου ἥ τε φιλορρὼξ
      ἄμπελος ὑγρὰ πέριξ κλήματα χευαμένη,
εἵνεκεν εὐμαθίης πινυτόφρονος, ἣν ὁ μελιχρὸς
      ἤσκησεν Μουσῶν ἄμμιγα καὶ Χαρίτων.

  • 94 Transl. W. R. Paton, op. cit., adapted.

Gently over the tomb of Sophocles, gently creep, o ivy, flinging forth your green curls, and all about let the petals of the rose bloom, and the vine that loves her fruit shed her pliant tendrils around, for the sake of that wise-hearted learnedness that the Muses and Graces in common bestowed on the sweet singer.94

  • 95 There has been some debate about whether the Half-dogs inhabit the islands described in lines 7–8 o (...)

56In the above-quoted fragment of Apollo (fr. 1.7–11 Fränkel/CA), the dense cover of the shady tangle of trees and reeds hides an uncanny race of Half-dogs.95 The descriptions of the Half-dogs and their habitat complement each other; this is underscored by the verbal parallelism between lines 7 and 11. This consistent poetic picture may be contrasted with Theocritus’ depiction of the appearance of Amycus in the space of a locus amoenus (Id. 22.37–52), in which the monstrous silhouette spoils the beauty and tranquility of the bucolic landscape.

  • 96 E. Sistakou, The Aesthetics of Darkness: A Study of Hellenistic Romanticism in Apollonius, Lycophro (...)

57The shadowy landscape of Simias’ poetry inevitably brings to mind Evina Sistakou’s recent study of “darkness,” i.e. Romantic motifs, in Hellenistic poetry. Although her discussion does not include the fragments of Simias, she mentions him as one of those poets who might potentially be “pertinent to the idea of darkness.”96 It might appear somewhat surprising to find this said of the Rhodian poet who wrote about Helios’ head “blazing with radiant gold” (the above-quoted fr. 7 Fränkel), but it is true that the dark, the eerie and the uncanny is not alien to Simias’ poetry. If his fragments also supply brighter images, or even the images that can be interpreted as the visions conceived by an unpretentious bucolic poet, it is because his predilection for fantastic imagery is coupled to the taste for paradox.

  • 97 See n. 71 above.
  • 98 J. Griffin, “The Epic Cycle and the Uniqueness of Homer,” JHS 97, 1997, pp. 39–53; cf. id., Homer o (...)
  • 99 See M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit. and id., “SH 906 and the Apollo of S (...)
  • 100 Cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 91 and 96–99.
  • 101 See P. J. Finglass, “How Stesichorus Began his Sack of Troy,” ZPE 185, 2013, pp. 7–13, esp. p. 13.
  • 102 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 82–83.
  • 103 Unless Dionysus’ katabasis is meant, as Marco Perale thinks (private communication); cf. πυμάταν εἰ (...)

58It is significant that the fragments of Simias evidence his interest in the non-Homeric epics. The Axe deals with what was the subject-matter of the Little Iliad (cf. Il. parv. arg. 4 West), and so does the problematic fr. [3a] Fränkel = CA 6, if it says anything at all about Simias’ poetry.97 It has been observed by Jasper Griffin that in other early epics, the fantastic element was much more prominent than in Homer.98 Superhuman powers, magical transformations, dragons and other marvellous creatures all abounded in the stories, now mostly lost, which contributed to shaping the collective imagination of the Greeks. My impression is that Simias’ poetic imagination was particularly eager to embrace such fantastic visions. His Apollo probably recounted the altogether fabulous story of one Clinis, who was Apollo’s favourite and frequently assisted the god in his visits to the land of the Hyperboreans (see fr. 2 Fränkel/CA). Fr. 1 Fränkel/CA, a thirteen-line excerpt from this poem, is likely to contain Clinis’ account of his wondrous aerial trip;99 several lands are described, each in a two-line unit, but special attention and seven lines are reserved for the description of the land of the Half-dogs and its fantastic inhabitants. The Eros of Simias’ Wings, in turn, is a powerful primeval deity paradoxically residing in the immature body of an ephebe;100 the eeriness of his deceptive countenance is clearly intended to make the reader feel uncomfortable (“do not tremble,” Eros addresses us in line 2). Another technopaegnion portrays the humble carpenter Epeius through implying, para prosdokian, a grand vision of the superhuman hero destroying the god-built walls of Troy with his supernatural weapon (Axe 2–4; such a portrayal owes much to Stesichorus,101 and similar was the representation of Epeius in Polygnotus’ painting in Delphi; cf. Paus. 10.26.2).102 The extant incipits of the polymetric hymns say little about their contents, but it is telling that the already quoted fr. 11 Fränkel = CA 15 apparently referred to a story of Dionysus’ journey—fabulous, no doubt—to the world’s farthest end (perhaps to India?).103

  • 104 J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 133–134. Note that the Homeric ὠμοφάγος, to which (...)
  • 105 See n. 54 above.

59Judging from what has reached us, the character of Simias’ poetry owed more to the Epic Cycle than Homer. Moreover, even when he is concerned with, not fantasy, but the tangible reality of nature, he is keen to focus on its paradoxes and disturbing aspects. Our point of departure for this discussion will be the extended simile of the Egg, in which Simias depicts fawns rushing through mountain pastures. Their quick movement excites commotion in the bucolic landscape of the simile (lines 16–19); the bleating (βλαχαί) of startled sheep resounds through the mountains and penetrates the caves. Eventually, “the echoing sound” (ἀμφίπαλτος αὐδά) reaches the lair of a “cruel-hearted beast” (ὠμόθυμος θήρ), which springs from its den in pursuit of the fawns, following “the sound of the cry” (βοᾶς ἀκοά). The Homeric θήρ suggests a lion (see LSJ s.v.), but the imprecise designation enables us to imagine any sort of monster, and on the whole, the narrative is highly disconcerting. I suggested elsewhere that the image of the beast aroused in its lair by joyful sounds may have been a common folk motif, as it resembles the depiction of the awakening of Grendel, enraged by the noise of banquets at Heorot (Beowulf 86–90).104 Yet what is the function of the insistence on sound in this part of Simias’ poem? One would not be mistaken to describe the Egg as a poetic treatise on sound and voice, as this theme notably recurs throughout the poem.105 It is not surprising to find out that Simias is interested in the representations of and metaphors for song and singing, yet the ominous tone of the passage on the awakening of the beast, with the implied characterisation of the voice as a source of danger, is somewhat perplexing. I suggest that other passages in Simias’ extant fragments may shed light on the ambivalent reflection on the nature of voice and speech as offered by the Egg.

60We earlier saw, in a fragment of Simias’ Apollo, the depiction of the race of Half-dogs as humanoids with canine heads, but I omitted the following two lines describing, with almost scientific precision, their (half-)communication (fr. 1.10–11 Fränkel/CA):

τῶν μέν θʼ ὥστε κυνῶν ὑλακὴ πέλει, οὐδέ τι τοίγε
ἄλλων ἀγνώσσουσι βροτῶν ὀνομάκλυτον αὐδήν.

  • 106 Transl. H. White, art. cit., adapted.

Their bark is like that of dogs, but they well understand the articulate speech of other men.106

  • 107 Cf. H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 22.
  • 108 Transl. R. Lattimore, The Odyssey of Homer, op. cit.
  • 109 H. Fränkel, op. cit., pp. 22–23.

61This description is not Simias’ invention, as it is probably based on the account provided by Ctesias (FGrHist 688 F 45.37),107 but the interest in how the hybrid nature affects the communication between the fantastic creatures is, nonetheless, striking. In describing human speech (αὐδή), Simias uses a word whose interpretation has caused some difficulty. Fränkel instructively comments on how ὀνομάκλυτον results from a reinterpretation of Od. 9.364 Κύκλωψ, εἰρωτᾶς μʼ ὄνομα κλυτόν (“Cyclops, you ask me for my famous name”108); according to the Homeric scholiast, κλυτόν does not mean “famous” here, but “by which I am called” (κλυτὸν οὐκ “ἔνδοξον”, ἀλλʼ “ἐξ οὗ καλοῦμαι”; cf. Od. 19.183 with the scholion), and by pursuing a similar chain of thought, Simias employs the adjective to mean, “[speech] in which names of things [ὀνόματα] are heard” or “discerning ὀνόματα,” i.e. “articulate.”109 What I should like to indicate is that the word ὄνομα, which is inherent in this compound, had already at the time of Simias had a history as a linguistic terminus technicus; intriguingly, it appears in connection with a mention of animal voice in Aristotle’s De interpretatione (16a19–29):

Ὄνομα μὲν οὖν ἐστὶ φωνὴ σημαντικὴ κατὰ συνθήκην . . . τὸ δὲ κατὰ συνθήκην, ὅτι φύσει τῶν ὀνομάτων οὐδέν ἐστιν, ἀλλʼ ὅταν γένηται σύμβολον· ἐπεὶ δηλοῦσί γέ τι καὶ οἱ ἀγράμματοι ψόφοι, οἷον θηρίων, ὧν οὐδέν ἐστιν ὄνομα.

  • 110 All translations of Aristotle are from R. A. Zirin, “Aristotle’s Biology of Language,” TAPhA 110, 1 (...)

Now a noun is a vocal sound, which is meaningful by convention . . . I say “by convention” because nothing is a noun by nature, but only when it becomes a symbol; since even the unspellable noises, such as those of wild animals, communicate something, but none of them is a noun.110

  • 111 On the Half-dogs’ impaired linguistic skills as a mark of their primitiveness, see D. L. Gera, Anci (...)

62It is tempting to assume that ὄνομα in Simias’ description of the communication of the Half-dogs has an Aristotelian colouring. The cited passage of Aristotle implies the negative definition of animal speech as a basic system of communication which lacks conventionally meaningful ὀνόματα. Such is the Half-dogs’ bark; like some animals, they communicate something on a simple level, but this communication lacks the meaningful units whose presence characterises human speech. This scientific precision of description helps to underscore the uncanniness of the fantastic biology of the Half-dogs; the hybrid amalgam of their animal features and the properly human Weltanschauung, implied by their capacity to discern and comprehend ὀνόματα, defines their monstrosity.111

  • 112 What follows is vaguely inspired by the discussion of how science and “darkness” intertwine in Nica (...)
  • 113 Such a picture was sketched by R. A. Zirin, art. cit.; see also T. Fögen, “Antike Zeugnisse zu Komm (...)

63The disturbing paradoxes of voice communication are not, however, peculiar to the distant realms inhabited by fantastic creatures. One collateral result of Aristotle’s scientific reflection on the animal world is that it brings out the paradoxical, perhaps even uncanny, characteristics of animal speech.112 The chief point of the study of animal voice is, of course, to gain insight into the nature and boundaries of humanity; such reflection is driven by the hope of finding criteria for identifying the uniqueness of human speech. Aristotle discusses animal voice in several passages throughout his corpus, especially at De anima 2.8 and Historia animalium 4.9, and although these observations do not necessarily form one coherent doctrine, they give us a general picture of his views.113 He discerns three categories of sounds produced by animals: noise (ψόφος), voice (φωνή), and speech (διάλεκτος). The bleating of sheep, for instance, qualifies as voice, as its production involves the apparatus of pharynx and lungs (Hist. an. 535a27–30; cf. De an. 420b26–421a6) and, moreover, it is “a certain meaningful sound [σημαντικός τις ψόφος] and not merely the sound of inhaled air, like a cough” (De an. 420b32–33). Voices of various animals have various, albeit rudimentary, communicative functions, as “each animal has its own particular vocalisations [ἴδιαι φωναί] for the purpose of intercourse and association, as, for example, those of pigs, goats, and sheep” (Hist. an. 536a13–15). Some creatures are devoid of the apparatus of voice, but “make noises [ψοφεῖν] with other parts of their bodies,” as, for example, insects, some of which, as bees, hum or buzz (βομβεῖν), whereas others, as cicadas, are said to sing (τὰ δʼ ᾄδειν λέγεται; Hist. an. 535b2–7).

  • 114 For a discussion of this hesitancy, see R. A. Zirin, art. cit., pp. 339–342 and C. P. Long, Aristot (...)
  • 115 See, e.g., W. Tecumseh Fitch, The Evolution of Language, Cambridge, CUP, 2010, pp. 173–175.
  • 116 See M. Payne, op. cit., pp. 86–87.

64This is all clear enough, yet it has been noted that when Aristotle speaks about διάλεκτος, i.e. the most advanced form of communication, he does so haltingly and with a certain ambivalence.114 First, he says that “the genus of birds emits a voice [φωνή],” but if they have the right kind of tongue (γλῶττα), they have more than that, i.e. speech (διάλεκτος; Hist. an. 536a20–22). Yet not much later he states that speech is peculiar to man (ἴδιον τοῦτο [sc. διάλεκτος] τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐστίν; 536b1–2). And then again, when he proceeds to discuss the differentiation of articulate voice in various birds and he says that “one might speak of [this articulate voice] as ‘speech’ [διάλεκτος]” (ἣν ἄν τις ὥσπερ διάλεκτον εἴπειεν; 536b11–12), the optative and the cautious ὥσπερ betray his reluctance. Clearly, Aristotle is not comfortable with admitting that his definition of διάλεκτος is broad enough to show that this advanced form of communication is, after all, not peculiar to men (language is,115 and Aristotle is aware of this fact,116 but this does not need to bother us here; I focus on what is said in Historia animalium).

65As a result, the encounter with Aristotle’s reflection on animal voice can make one question the intuitive notion of the rigid borders of humanity. I suspect that a certain perturbation resulting from encounters, direct or not, with Aristotle’s thought, or simply from having being born in an epoch whose worldview had been shaped by the thought of Aristotle and his Peripatetic followers, may be what underlies Simias’ obsession with sound, voice and speech. This obsession is reflected not only in the Egg and the fragment of Apollo dealing with the Half-dogs, but also, quite conspicuously, in his pair of the interconnected epigrams on musical animals (frr. 24–25 Fränkel on, respectively, the partridge and the locust), whose engagement with philology I discussed earlier.

  • 117 They still do this in France, as Pauline LeVen tells me.
  • 118 See n. 31 above.
  • 119 A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 431.

66If one thinks about it for a moment, these are both rather odd epigrams. It is one thing to employ decoy partridges in hunting,117 but it is quite another to build tombs and to compose epitaphs for them. There is something surreal about the epigram on the partridge, and that ancient readers may have had similar feelings about it seems to be confirmed by the fact that its reminiscences can be traced in Catullus’ subtly ironic lament for Lesbia’s sparrow.118 The epigram on the captive locust is similarly odd. Gow and Page make a deadly serious comment (in their discussion of Anth. Pal. 7.200 = Nicias 4, an epigram on the same theme) on how “cicadas live on the sap of trees and quickly starve to death in captivity.”119 This is true; capturing cicadas, grasshoppers and locusts is childish (cf. Anth. Pal. 7.190 and 200–201), and locking them up in a cage is even more so.

  • 120 On ancient views on the polyglottism of partridges, see M. Bettini, op. cit., p. 121, with referenc (...)

67These two epigrams, however, are not simply innocent frivolities. They both reflect on the astonishing phenomenon of the musicality, and even poeticness, of various animal voices. The appearance of the word στόμα in both epigrams underscores Simias’ interest in the mechanism of this musicality. Strikingly, the production of sound by both partridges and locusts is discussed by Aristotle in the already quoted chapter of his Historia animalium, devoted to the phenomenon of animal voice (4.9); additionally, the same treatise contains a separate discussion of the idiosyncrasies of the partridge (9.8). The musical skills of both partridges and locusts are peculiar: ἀκρίδες produce sound (ψόφος) by rubbing their hind legs (535b11–12), whereas partridges are notable since their various species have various voices (536b13–14 οἱ μὲν κακκαβίζουσιν οἱ δὲ τρίζουσιν; 614a21–2 οὐ μόνον δʼ ᾄδει ὁ πέρδιξ ἀλλὰ καὶ τριγμὸν ἀφίησι καὶ ἄλλας φωνάς),120 and above all because of their musical displays in combat (536a26–27; 614a10–21).

  • 121 A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 512.

68In Book 9 of Historia animalium (8 in the Balme/Gotthelf edition), a longer (and wonderfully entertaining) excursus is devoted to the uses of decoy partridges in hunting (614a10–28). This is, I submit, Simias’ source of knowledge for his epigram. Aristotle describes the partridges as extremely combative, deceitful and sexually promiscuous birds (he has a comment on their questionable moral conduct, or τοῦ ἤθους πανουργία; 614a30). The hunter can make use of either male or female birds. When a cock is used as a decoy, his provocative chant attracts other male birds as they sense a sexual rival; a hen, in turn, attracts a group of competing cocks. Gow and Page note that “if Simias’s genders can be trusted his bird was a cock,”121 and what points in the same direction is that, as I mentioned earlier, the Homeric diction of this epigram strongly suggests that a mock-heroic effect is intended; this epitaph is for the tomb of an epic warrior, i.e. for a cock which fought other cocks. It may be tempting to see here a jocular metapoetic allusion to the combativeness of poets, but what I choose to focus on is an arresting paradox pictured by Simias, in the literal sense of παράδοξον as something that shakes the common-sense view of the world. Both epigrams on animals clearly evidence Simias’ interest in the most proficient singers of the animal world (recognized as such, as we have already seen, by earlier writers and poets). What must have struck him about the partridge is the realisation that the bird’s legendary musical skills, so astonishing when one thinks of how much toil it takes for human musicians to reach a similar level of technical proficiency, are developed as merely a by-product of its peculiar mating habits. The anthropomorphisation of the partridge in the mock-heroic epitaph, which puts emphasis on how the bird cunningly uses its musical skills to deceive other partridges, as if mimicking and perverting the human use of voice for social interaction, underscores this eerie paradox. One might get the impression that the addressee of this epitaph approaches the verge of humanity—the illusion to which Alcman famously succumbed. Yet this is absurd; Aristotle dispels the illusion. What remains is the paradox.

  • 122 J. Kwapisz, “When Is a Riddle an Epigram?,” in E. Sistakou and A. Rengakos (eds.), Dialect, Diction (...)
  • 123 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 102; cf. A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 512.

69The paradox of the musicality of the locust is no smaller. As I suggested elsewhere,122 this epigram (fr. 25 Fränkel) presents itself almost as a riddle: the word ἀκρίς is, as a matter of fact, missing, and “singing with the tongueless mouth [ἄγλωσσον στόμα]” in the final line is a riddling paradox (“I sing, although I have no tongue. What am I?”). The students of this epigram are surely correct in suggesting that “the tongueless mouth” does not imply Simias’ erroneous views on the production of sound by the locust, but is rather a metaphoric reference to what Fränkel calls ἄστομον στόμα, i.e. the mechanism of friction described by Aristotle.123 The sound produced by locusts is a “noise,” the lowest in the Aristotelian hierarchy of ψόφος, φωνή and διάλεκτος. Yet at least from the poetic viewpoint, this noise is, like the chant of the partridge, a melodious song, so skilful that it famously becomes a model for poets. This paradox is underscored by the use of the adjective ἄγλωσσον, which does much more than just point out that the mouth to which it refers is not really a mouth. We have seen that according to Aristotle, the tongue is a sine qua non for producing speech (διάλεκτος), which is, ideally, peculiar to man, yet also, as Aristotle reluctantly admits, found in birds (like partridges). It is, therefore, particularly paradoxical that locusts “sing” (ᾄδειν). As we have seen, Aristotle resolves the paradox by explaining that ᾄδειν is merely a terminus technicus for the ψόφος produced by cicadas (and locusts, we may add), but Simias, of course, prefers to emphasise the paradox by drawing our attention to how the biologically primitive mechanism of the locust utters a delightful song (τερπνὰ φθέγγεται).

70Ἄγλωσσον may, however, have yet another meaning. We should keep in mind that glosses are Simias’ spécialité as much in this epigram as elsewhere. There may be a faint suggestion in Simias’ use of ἄγλωσσον in reference to the locust that the locust’s “song” is different from, for instance, his own poetry, or the poetry of Homer, in that because it lacks words, or γλῶσσαι, similarly as the Half-dogs’ bark lacks ὀνόματα, it precludes any possibility of hermeneutic interpretation. Simultaneously, the use of this word highlights Simias’ interest in glosses. Again, all this points to the paradox inherent in the insects’ “singing”—its enchanting sophistication offers delight despite the fact that it lacks the distinctive qualities that define the sophistication of human poetry.

71How does all this relate to the Egg? My impression is that Simias’ chief purpose in composing the two epigrams, in spite of all their Aristotelian tinge, was to offer a playful poetic-philological comment on the obscure Homeric gloss δρίος (see Section 2 above). However, this provided an apt occasion for developing the motif of the diversity of voices in nature, to which Simias obsessively returned in his poetry. There are curious similarities in wording and imagery between the epigram on the partridge and the Egg; whereas it may not be surprising that Simias uses similar phrasing to depict the utterance of song in both poems (cf. Egg 20 μεθίει μέτρα μολπᾶς vs fr. 24.2 Fränkel ἠχήεσσαν ἱεῖς γῆρυν), one may wonder whether it is meaningful that the partridges in the epigram are as dappled as the mother deer is in the Egg (Egg 18 ματρὸς . . . βαλιᾶς . . . τέκος vs 24.3 βαλιοὺς συνομήλικας). Probably it is not. I suppose that what these similarities suggest is that there was a hunting, powerful image stuck deep in Simias’ head, whose reflections flash in several passages in his fragments.

72Consequently, we find in Simias’ poetry a whole gallery of creatures variously equipped with communication skills, which occupy various positions in the spectrum between humanity and non-humanity. This gallery includes the hybrid Half-dogs, who cannot speak articulately but comprehend such speech, the locust, whose “noise” resembles human music although it is produced in an entirely non-human fashion, and the similarly (or even more, if we keep in mind Alcman fr. 39 Davies) musical partridge, which, in addition, uses a sort of speech, and even various dialects, to communicate with other partridges, which disturbingly parodies human language. Finally, there is the Egg. Among the many human and divine voices of this poem (e.g., the chant of the Muses; line 12), the most conspicuous is the voice described in the first part of the poem (lines 1–8), where Simias exploits the popular metaphor of the poet as a nightingale (κωτίλα ἀηδών). This is very different from the ambivalent and even uncanny presentation of the partridge. The nightingale embodies the sublime perfection, cherished by the gods, of the voice of the poem itself, and perhaps the voice of poetry in general. Everything in the poem is calculated to highlight precisely how outstanding this poetic voice is.

  • 124 On the muteness of Grendel, see S. Lerer, Literacy and Power in Anglo-Saxon Literature, Lincoln (NE (...)

73The appearance of the “cruel-hearted beast” in the second part of the poem provides a counterpoint to the ultimate musicality of the nightingale. Like Grendel, this beast is mute (this is one case where the argument ex silentio should have some force).124 It can hear, yet unlike the Half-dogs, who understand human language, its participation in voice communication is limited to the simple and brutal response to vocal stimuli. If the nightingale is at one end of the spectrum, then this beast is at the other end—the abstract opposite of what the song of the nightingale represents. This is perhaps the most disturbing creation of Simias’ poetic imagination, and at the same time testimony to its breadth and richness. In the end, this often dark imagination turns out to be rather distant from the bucolic simplicity which Jerzy Harasymowicz wanted to associate with Simias.

*

  • 125 The “close-but-no-cigar” rule applies here; on an unconvincing attempt to ascribe to Simias a new p (...)

74What strikes me about the extant fragments of Simias is that despite their colourful multifariousness, those that can be attributed to him with relative certainty show a remarkable coherence in what they care about and how they put it. One can hope that if a new fragment emerged, no one could fail to recognise Simias, since the fragment would look very like one of his.125 Yet his perseverance in blending philology, the experiments with the poetic form and more or less eerie tales and imagery was not necessarily a path of success. One of the few available testimonia for the reception of Simias’ epigrams suggests that he was not regarded as an accessible poet in Antiquity.

  • 126 One reason for the inclusion of Simias’ epigrams may have been that they were a part of longer sequ (...)
  • 127 Recently by M. Perale, “SH 906 and the Apollo of Simias of Rhodes,” art. cit., p. 209.
  • 128 A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 511.
  • 129 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 10, who follows in the footsteps of U. Wilamowitz, Sappho und Simonides, o (...)
  • 130 Transl. S. D. Olson and A. Sens, Archestratos of Gela: Greek Culture and Cuisine in the Fourth Cent (...)
  • 131 The word can refer either to a tree or its fruit; see LSJ s.v.
  • 132 The image of βρωτὴ ἀχράς is even more graphic if Meleager had in mind Ar. Eccl. 355, where the cons (...)

75Although we see Simias among the flowers Meleager picked in the first century BC for his Garland, it appears that it was with some reluctance that Meleager included in his anthology the Rhodian grammarian’s epigrams, and those that can be ascribed to him with some confidence amount to only five (frr. 22–26 Fränkel = CA 18–20 and [23] = 1–5 Gow–Page).126 It has been observed more than once127 that in Meleager’s poetic preface to his Garland, Simias is characterised, curiously enough, as βρωτὴ ἀχράς (1.30 Gow–Page). As Gow and Page note, this “seems to mean a pear which, though wild . . . , is nevertheless edible.” They observe that “[f]ruit, as distinct from the foliage of fruit-trees, is rare in this proem . . . and Meleager appears to be characterising Simias’s contribution more carefully than usual, but it is difficult to guess what exactly he means.”128 Gow and Page doubt the paradosis so much that in the text they print they actually substitute βρωτή with the βλωθρή (“tall”) once conjectured by Alfons Hecker. There are, nevertheless, reasons to retain the transmitted text. One was given by Fränkel,129 who confirms that βρωτή has the meaning suggested by Gow and Page by adducing a passage of Archestratus (fr. 29 Olson–Sens), in which a certain species of fish is said to be “bad at all times, but it is most edible [βρωτὴ μάλιστα] when the grain is being harvested.”130 Furthermore, although βλωθρή, conventionally used of trees in poetry, is a well-thought-out conjecture, βρωτή has the advantage of being particularly apt for describing ἀχράς.131 Near the beginning of Anth. Pal. 9, we find a series of three late epigrams (4–6), one ascribed to Cyllenius and the two remaining to Palladas, which describe how the crafty insertion of a graft by a gardener transformed ἀχράδες, producing “bastard fruit” (νόθη ὀπώρη; 9.4.1), into “fragrant pears” (εὔπνοος ὄχνη; 9.5.4). This may have metapoetic overtones (the craft of the gardener may be allusive to the poetic excellence), and is vaguely suggestive of Meleager’s characterisation of Simias.132

  • 133 Perhaps his more conventional epigrams were eclipsed by the definitively riddling paignia; see J. K (...)
  • 134 See further J. Kwapisz, “When Is a Riddle an Epigram?,” art. cit.
  • 135 E. Magnelli, “Meter and Diction: From Refinement to Mannerism,” in P. Bing and J. S. Bruss (eds.), (...)

76That Meleager had ambiguous feelings about the epigrammatic output of Simias and his likes is further suggested by his other editorial choices, as attested by the selection of the early Hellenistic epigrams we find in the Palatine Anthology. Philitas, whose epigrams may have tended to display a philological perversion similar to that for which Simias was notable,133 is altogether absent both from the collection of the Garland and from Meleager’s proem to it, although the existence of his book of epigrams is well enough attested by the Suda and by Stobaeus (4.17.5 and 56.10–11 = Philit. frr. 6–7 Lightfoot = 13–14 Sbardella = 23–24 Spanoudakis). Tellingly, even among the extant epigrams of Callimachus there is only one whose diction appears to owe something to the philologically-oriented epigrams and paignia by Simias and Philitas, namely the famous dedication of a nautilus shell to Arsinoe-Aphrodite-Zephyritis (Ep. 5 Pfeiffer = 14 Gow–Page).134 With this single exception, Callimachus’ epigrams are, as Enrico Magnelli has observed, notably plain and straightforward, and lack the learned complexity and recherché vocabulary of the Aetia, Iambi or the Hymns.135 Be that as it may, one may get the impression that the sort of poetry for which Simias developed a special liking did not generate wide enthusiasm.

  • 136 See nn. 25 and 101 above.
  • 137 Incidentally, there is a mention of Telchines in Simias’ extant fragments (frr. 8 and 17 Fränkel = (...)

77Not that he really cared. A metapoetic reading of his Axe may enable us to spot in this poem a glint of the poet’s self-awareness, which might suggest his indifference to criticisms. This technopaegnion purports to be inscribed on the tool used by Epeius to construct the Trojan horse. The humble carpenter is an outsider in the ranks of the Greek army, and it is only with the help of Athena that the unheroic figure is capable of entering “the path of Homer” (Ὁμήρειον κέλευθον; line 7). The poem says that it is Epeius who is dedicating this axe graphically pictured before our eyes to Athena, but is it not at the same the poet himself who is making this offering? Perhaps the reason for which Simias chose to appropriate precisely this outsider hero is not so much that he wanted to secure Epeius’ κλέος, since this is what Stesichorus had done before him,136 as rather that he sensed that his own vocation of philologist-experimentalist resonated with the role of the water-carrier for the Atridae (cf. Axe 6), whom his divinely-inspired ingenuity (κρατερὰ μηδοσύνα in line 1) had elevated to wondrous heights. After all, what I have been trying to show in the present discussion is how Simias kept watering the garden of Greek literature by constantly exploring its various nooks and crannies both as grammarian and as poet (who never ceased to be a grammarian). If Simias was already at his time surrounded by some unfriendly Telchines,137 then the tone of the response he gave them with the Axe was quite different from Callimachus’ lively tirade—even though ultimately Simias can also be seen to commend an unobvious career choice.

  • 138 This has nothing to do with the Old Grammarians’ Club of Paisley Grammar School in Renfrewshire, Sc (...)
  • 139 Theocritus may also have dropped in from time to time (cf. n. 93 above).
  • 140 This essay was written with the financial support of the Polish National Science Centre under grant (...)

78Yet there were ancient poets—not many, but perhaps each epoch of Antiquity knew one—for whom the eccentric mélange of Simias’ preoccupations had a special appeal. These members of the Old Grammarians’ Club138 were at first no more than well-wishing sympathisers, like Philicus.139 Later, the more professed followers of the unpopular poetic formula invented by Simias started to appear, like Laevius or Optatian Porfyry. Eventually, so high a value was attached in some circles to this formula that it managed, somewhat surprisingly, to survive the Middle Ages, thanks to the efforts of the Byzantine scholar-monks such as Constantine the Rhodian and Manuel Holobolus, and subsequently enjoyed a buoyant revival across Europe, especially through the system of Jesuit education thriving in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. That story, however, belongs elsewhere.140

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Notes

1 H. Fränkel, De Simia Rhodio, Diss. Göttingen, Dieterich, 1915.

2 An earlier such attempt was made by L. Sternbach, Meletemata Graeca, I, Vienna, Gerold, 1886, pp. 111–117, a recent one by L. Di Gregorio, “Sui frammenti di Simia di Rhodio, poeta alessandrino,” Aevum 82, 2008, pp. 51–117, and a number of fragments were treated by M. Perale in a series of articles: “Il. Parv. fr. 21 Bernabé e la Gorgo di Simia di Rodi,” in E. Cingano (ed.), Tra panellenismo e tradizioni locali: generi poetici e storiografia in Grecia, Alessandria, Ed. dell’Orso, Hellenica 34, 2010, pp. 497–518; “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo: due diversi casi di ricezione nella prima età ellenistica,” in A. Aloni and M. Ornaghi (eds.), Tra panellenismo e tradizioni locali: nuovi contributi, Messina, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità, Orione. Testi e studi di letteratura greca 4, 2011, pp. 365–389; “Simia e la testa del Sole: fr. 4 Powell,” Eikasmos 22, 2011, pp. 195–200; “SH 906 and the Apollo of Simias of Rhodes: Some Issues of (Mis‑)Attribution,” in J. Martínez (ed.), Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature: Ergo Decipiatur!, Leiden, Brill, Metaforms 2, 2014, pp. 207–217. Besides Fränkel, the fragments of Simias were edited by J. U. Powell, Collectanea Alexandrina, Oxford, OUP, 1925, pp. 109–120.

3 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, Leuven, Peeters, Hellenistica Groningana 19, 2013, with further references.

4 The two obvious references at this point are M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry, Cambridge, CUP, 2004, pp. 37–41 (the subsection entitled “Marginal aberrations?”), and L. A. Guichard, “Simias’ Pattern Poems: The Margins of the Canon,” in M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit and G. C. Wakker (eds.), Beyond the Canon, Leuven, Peeters, Hellenistica Groningana 11, 2006, pp. 83–103.

5 W. G. Arnott, “The Preoccupations of Theocritus: Structure, Illusive Realism, Allusive Learning,” in M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit and G. C. Wakker (eds.), Theocritus, Groningen, E. Forsten, Hellenistica Groningana 2, 1996, p. 55.

6 Translations are mine, unless stated otherwise.

7 Yet see M. Perale, “Il. Parv. fr. 21 Bernabé e la Gorgo di Simia di Rodi,” art. cit.

8 Marco Perale points out to me (per litteras) that Meineke’s Ἀμύκ|λαντος is probably better than Fränkel’s (and Powell’s) and Bergk’s ὅν ῥʼ [or τʼ] Ἀμύκλαντος |, as Homer and Hellenistic poets have Ἀμυκ|λ‑. For κικλήσκω going with ἀπό, Perale compares Aesch. fr. 402 Radt ἀφʼ οὗ δὴ Ῥήγιον κικλήσκεται.

9 A. Meineke, Delectus poetarum Anthologiae Graecae, Berlin, Enslin, 1842, p. 100. Cf. L. Di Gregorio, art. cit., pp. 112–113. On the month of Hyacinthius, see A. E. Samuel, Greek and Roman Chronology: Calendars and Years in Classical Antiquity, Munich, Beck, Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft 1, 7, 1972, p. 93 and 109.

10 See R. Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I, Oxford, OUP, 1949, p. 339; cf. J. U. Powell, op. cit., p. 121. On Callimachus’ Month Names according to Peoples and Cities and the Hellenistic preoccupation with months, see J. Kwapisz and K. Pietruczuk, “Your Own Personal Library of Alexandria: Callimachus’ Scholarly Works and their Readers,” in M. A. Harder et al., Callimachus Revisited, Leuven, Peeters, forthcoming.

11 S. Hornblower (ed., trad.), Lykophron. Alexandra, Oxford, OUP, 2015, p. 356 (cf. p. 362) suggests that the attribution of the Axe to Simias was rejected by Gow and Page, but this is mistaken; the authenticity of the three technopaegnia has not been doubted.

12 J. Kwapisz, “Were There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” in id., D. Petrain and M. Szymański (eds.), The Muse at Play: Riddle and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry, Berlin, De Gruyter, Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 305, 2013, pp. 160–163.

13 J. Kwapisz, “Were There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” art. cit., p. 163; id., The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 13.

14 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, art. cit., pp. 21–23 and esp. M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit., pp. 367–368 n. 7.

15 Cf. R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship: From the Beginnings to the End of the Hellenistic Age, Oxford, OUP, 1968, p. 90 n. 1: “It may be significant that he is never called ποιητής, but only γραμματικός.”

16 For an introduction to Simias the grammarian, see C. Meliadò’s 2008 article in Brill’s online Lexicon of Greek Grammarians of Antiquity (ed. F. Montanari).

17 P. Bing, “The Unruly Tongue: Philitas of Cos as Scholar and Poet,” in id., The Scroll and the Marble: Studies in Reading and Reception in Hellenistic Poetry, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2009, p. 16.

18 Philitas’ approach to lexicography is likely to have created a paradigm of grammatical thinking. S. D. Olson (ed., trad.), Athenaeus. The Learned Banqueters. III, Books VI–VII, Cambridge (MA), HUP, The Loeb Classical Library, 2008, p. 548 n. 445 points to Ath. 9.398b–c, where Athenaeus wryly comments on the grammarians’ habit to say, “It’s a type of plant, or a type of bird, or a type of stone,” in answer to whatever question is asked.

19 See P. Bing, art. cit., pp. 18–19 n. 19.

20 Transl. S. D. Olson, Athenaeus. The Learned Banqueters. V, Books 10.420e–11, Cambridge (MA), HUP, The Loeb Classical Library, 2009, p. 293.

21 As noted by E. Dettori, Filita grammatico. Testimonianze e frammenti, Rome, Quasar, Quaderni dei seminari romani di cultura greca 2, 2000, p. 47. Cf. the translation of Anacreon’s fragment provided by D. A. Campbell, Greek Lyric, II, Cambridge (MA), HUP, The Loeb Classical Library, 1988, p. 67: “I dined by breaking off a small piece of thin honeycake, but I drained a jar of wine.”

22 This may shed further light on the methods of the Homeric Γλωσσογράφοι as described by A. R. Dyck, “The Glossographoi,” HSCPh 91, 1987, pp. 119–160.

23 P. Bing, art. cit., pp. 26–27.

24 M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit.

25 P. J. Finglass, “Simias and Stesichorus,” Eikasmos 26, 2015, pp. 197–202.

26 J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 91–105.

27 On these epigrams, see M. Gabathuler, Hellenistische Epigramme auf Dichter, Diss. Basel, Borna, Noske, 1937, pp. 46–48 and below. On the problem of authorship, see A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, II, Cambridge, CUP, 1965, pp. 513–514.

28 E. Sistakou, “Glossing Homer: Homeric Exegesis in Early Third Century Epigram,” in P. Bing and J. S. Bruss (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Hellenistic Epigram, Leiden, Brill, 2007, pp. 393–395.

29 Transl. W. R. Paton, The Greek Anthology, II, Cambridge (MA), HUP, The Loeb Classical Library, 1919, slightly altered.

30 I realised this when I came across “the partridges calling like crickets” in T. H. White’s The Once and Future King (The Ill-Made Knight, ch. 7).

31 For all differences between locusts and cicadas with regard to their biology or the literary contexts in which they appear (and even their grammatical gender), it is relevant to mention such powerful literary visions as, from the time before Simias, Pl. Phdr. 258e–259d on the dialoguing cicadas of the Muses (see below on the impossibility of insects’ dialoguing; for a seminal discussion on this passage and the musical cicadas, see P. A. LeVen, The Music of Nature in Greek and Roman Myths, Cambridge, CUP, forthcoming, ch. 3: “Cicadas: On the Voice”), and, from the generation after Simias, the cicada featuring in Call. Aet. fr. 1.29–36 Pfeiffer/Massimilla/Harder. As for the partridge, according to Alcman, fr. 39 Davies = 91 Calame, the invention of the lyric song was due to the imitation of partridges; note that this passage probably contained a prominent mention of a glossa (unfortunately obscure due to textual corruption; for a sensibly cautious discussion of this problem, see C. Calame, Alcman. Rome, Ateneo, 1983, Lyricorum graecorum quae exstant 6, p. 482; on Alcman’s partridges as teachers of poets and the glossa in this fragment, see M. Bettini, Voci. Antropologia sonora del mondo antico, Turin, Einaudi, Saggi 892, 2008, pp. 43–45 and esp. 118–122, and in addition 274–275). Alcman’s sphragis with its glossa was more than likely to have attracted the attention of the glossographer Simias (cf. below on the aglossia of the partridge epigram). The importance of Simias’ partridge epigram for later poets, in turn, is suggested by a connection between this epigram and Catullus’ lament for Lesbia’s sparrow; Catull. 3.11 qui [sc. passer] nunc it per iter tenebricosum probably echoes line 4 of Simias’ epigram. Cf. R. Ellis, A Commentary on Catullus, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1876, p. 8. On the Hellenistic musical animals (birds, crickets, cicadas etc.) and their poetic connotations, see I. Männlein-Robert, Stimme, Schrift und Bild: Zum Verhältnis der Künste in der hellenistischen Dichtung, Heidelberg, Winter, 2007, pp. 202–243 (and LeVen quoted above in this footnote).

32 Cf. H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 102.

33 I am grateful to Pauline LeVen for a remark which suggested to me this interpretation.

34 Transl. R. Lattimore, The Odyssey of Homer, New York, Harper and Row, 1967.

35 E. Sistakou, art. cit., p. 395.

36 On which see E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Oxford, OUP, 1983, in particular pp. 55–56 on the role of Philicus. Note, however, that the contextualisation of the Grand Procession and in particular its dating are highly problematic; see recently A. Erskine, “Hellenistic Parades and Roman Triumphs,” in A. Spalinger and J. Armstrong (eds.), Rituals of Triumph in the Mediterranean World, Leiden, Brill, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 63, 2013, pp. 46–47.

37 Transl. from M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, op. cit., p. 38.

38 This is a locus classicus in the discussion of Simias’ date; cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 21–22.

39 Transl. J. M. van Ophuijsen, Hephaestion on Metre, Leiden, Brill, 1987, p. 92.

40 H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar, rev. G. M. Messing, Cambridge (MA), HUP, 1956, p. 293, § 1159.

41 Importantly, J. Danielewicz, “Philicus’ ‘Novel Composition’ for the Alexandrian Grammarians: Initial Lines and Iambe’s Speech,” Classica Cracoviensia 18, 2015, p. 145 points to several correspondences between the proem to Philicus’ Hymn to Demeter, especially if SH 677 and SH 676 are taken as one two-line unit, and the opening couplet of Simias’ Axe, which, alongside the choriambic metre, suggest deliberate allusion (footnotes suppressed): “The shared elements are: the god’s name in the dative, the name of the donor, the object offered as a gift (δῶρον) and its praise, the article τά used as a deictic. Note also that in both cases the relation of the dedicatee(s) to the dedicator is comparable and can be described in terms of hierarchical interconnection: consummate master and judge of art’s quality (Athena, grammatikoi)—artisan or artist. Last but not least: the beginnings of both poems are characterised by self-referentiality. Epeius’ πέλεκυς in Simias not only denotes the material object whose history is described, but also—by mere insertion of this word in the carmen figuratum formed in the shape of an axe—acquires the metatextual/metapoetic function of a pointer to the visual concept of the poem. Similarly, the phrases καινογράφου συνθέσεως . . . μυστικὰ . . . δῶρα in Philicus, as an utterance about the general character of the poem inserted intratextually in its beginning, reflect the ‘meta‑’ perspective of the author qua creator of the text.” I add to this list the significance of the fact that both poems programmatically begin with hapaxes; see J. Danielewicz, ibid., pp. 139–140 and J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 80.

42 On εὐμαθίη in this epigram, see M. Fantuzzi, “Callimaco, l’epigramma, il teatro,” in G. Bastianini and A. Casanova (eds.), Callimaco: cent’anni di papiri, Florence, Istituto Papirologico “G. Vitelli,” Studi e testi di papirologia N.S. 8, 2006, pp. 76–77 and id., “Epigram and the Theater,” in P. Bing and J. S. Bruss (eds.), op. cit., pp. 481–482.

43 Most notably, of course, by A. Cameron, Callimachus and His Critics, Princeton, PUP, 1995.

44 P. Bing, The Well-Read Muse: Present and Past in Callimachus and the Hellenistic Poets, revised ed., Ann Arbor, Michigan Classical Press, 2008, pp. 59–61.

45 Transl. P. Bing, The Well-Read Muse, op. cit., p. 59, slightly altered. On the sense of line 6, see A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page op. cit., p. 514. Accordingly, I assume, with Bing, that δέρκεται takes the σέ of line 1 as the object and that περισσός has the meaning similar to that in τὸ περιττὸν τῆς ἡμέρας (Xen. Ephes. 1.3.4). Cf. E. Magnelli, “Notes on Four Greek Verse Inscriptions,” ZPE 160, 2007, p. 38 n. 10, who, in addition, points out a possible echo of this passage in a second-century AD inscriptional epigram.

46 A detailed overview of the early textual history of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in Athens and Alexandria is provided by K. Pietruczuk, Dzieje tekstu Ajschylosa, Sofoklesa i Eurypidesa między Atenami i Aleksandrią, Warsaw, Wydawnictwo Sub Lupa, 2013 (with the summary in English on pp. 283–288); an English version of this book is in preparation for the series “Quaderni di Seminari Romani di Cultura Greca.” For a discussion of the Lycurgan restoration project in fourth-century Athens, see J. Hanink, Lycurgan Athens and the Making of Classical Tragedy, Cambridge, CUP, Cambridge Classical Studies, 2014, pp. 60–92 and for introductions to the early transmission of the three Athenian tragedians, D. Raeburn and O. Thomas, The Agamemnon of Aeschylus: A Commentary for Students, Oxford, OUP, 2011, pp. lxix–lxxi; G. Avezzù, “Text and Transmission,” in A. Markantonatos (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Sophocles, Leiden, Brill, 2012, pp. 39–45; P. J. Finglass, “The Textual Transmission of Sophocles’ Dramas,” in K. Ormand (ed.), A Companion to Sophocles, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, 2012, pp. 10–14; id., “The Textual Transmission of Euripides’ Dramas,” in A. Markantonatos (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Euripides, Leiden, Brill, forthcoming.

47 A parallel, as Jerzy Danielewicz points out to me, is provided by the ᾠδῆς . . . λευκαὶ φθεγγόμεναι σελίδες of Sappho in Posidippus’ epigram on Doricha (122.6 Austin–Bastianini = 17.6 Gow–Page), the context for which is provided by the early third-century edition of her poems. The two epigrams are also compared in J. Klooster, Poetry as Window and Mirror: Positioning the Poet in Hellenistic Poetry, Leiden, Brill, Mnemosyne. Suppl. 330, 2011, pp. 27–29.

48 In the light of how Simias reflects on the culture of writing, it is also tempting, as Peter Bing has suggested to me, to view the locust’s singing with “the tongueless mouth” in Anth. Pal. 7.193 as a metaphorical reference to literary communication through the papyrus scroll. This adds to the list of potential deeper meanings of ἄγλωσσον στόμα I put together in this discussion (see Section 3 below).

49 What follows takes much not only from J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 14–16, 35–37 and 106–137, but also I. Männlein-Robert, op. cit., pp. 142–150. The illuminating recent studies on the place of the technopaegnia in ancient visual culture are A. Pappas, “The Treachery of Verbal Images: Viewing the Greek Technopaegni,” in J. Kwapisz, D. Petrain and M. Szymański (eds.), op. cit., pp. 199–224 and M. Squire, The Iliad in a Nutshell: Visualizing Epic on the Tabulae Iliacae, Oxford, OUP, 2011, pp. 231–236. Here my interest is in the metrical, rather than visual, aspect of the innovativeness of Simias’ technopaegnia.

50 M. L. West, Greek Metre, Oxford, OUP, 1982, p. 151.

51 On Optatian and, inter alia, his self-focus, see the extensive collection of essays in M. Squire and J. Wienand (eds.), Morphogrammata: The Lettered Art of Optatian. Figuring Cultural Transformations in the Age of Constantine, Paderborn, Fink, Morphomata 33, 2017.

52 J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 106.

53 Cf. n. 49 above.

54 Cf. I. Männlein-Robert, op. cit., p. 149; J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 107.

55 For a full list, see J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., p. 123; cf. the reflection on the Egg’s “self-conscious lexis” in R. A. Prier, “And Who Is the Woof? Response, Ecphrasis and the ‘Egg’ of Simmias,” QUCC 46, 1994, p. 88.

56 Cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 14–16, with further references.

57 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 40–43 for the Egg’s metrical scheme and a discussion of it. For an instructive metrical discussion of the poem and a new interpretation of what it does, see A. Lukinovich, “L’ordonnance des rythmes dans l’Œuf de Simias,” in ead., La Sphinx, Ménandre, l’Œuf : trois études, Trieste, Ed. Università di Trieste, Graeca tergestina. Studi e testi di filologia greca 6, 2016, pp. 55–78.

58 Cf. J. Danielewicz, The Metres of Greek Lyric Poetry: Problems of Notation and Interpretation, Bochum, Pomoerium, 1996, p. 48.

59 Cf. J. Kwapisz, “Where There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” art. cit., pp. 160–161.

60 F. Leo, Die plautinischen Cantica und die hellenistische Lyrik, Berlin, Weidmann, 1897, p. 66.

61 The reinvention of various lyric metres for stichic uses apparently enjoyed a certain vogue in the third century BC (which almost completely died out subsequently), as is evidenced above all by Theocritus’ Aeolic Idylls (28–31), the epigrams of Anth. Pal. 13, Sotades’ fragments (CA pp. 238–240), and the fragments of Philicus’ Hymn to Demeter mentioned above (SH 676–680); see further M. L. West, op. cit., pp. 149–152 and M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, op. cit., pp. 37–40 (yet for another view on the developments of such metres as a stage in the continuum of the history of Greek lyric, see G. O. Hutchinson in this issue of Aitia). May Simias have been the initiator of this trend?

62 Cf. n. 13 above.

63 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 48.

64 On the meaning of this fragment and on the unnecessary attempts to emend the text in CA, see J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” CQ 64, 2014, pp. 618–619 n. 31.

65 J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” art. cit.

66 Here as elsewhere, my reading is much informed by Peter Bing’s interpretations of Hellenistic book poetry; see in particular his essay entitled “Allusion from the Broad, Well-Trodden Street: The Odyssey in Inscribed and Literary Epigram,” in id., The Scroll and the Marble, op. cit., pp. 147–174 (cf. R. Höschele’s paper in this issue of Aitia).

67 See, again, J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” art cit. and cf. S. Lunn-Rockliffe, “The Power of the Jewelled Style: Christian Signs and Names in Optatian’s versus intexti and on Gems,” in M. Squire and J. Wienand (eds.), op. cit., pp. 427–459.

68 Cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 36–37 and 107.

69 See J. Kwapisz, “Behaghel’s Club,” art. cit., pp. 615–617.

70 For an instructive discussion of this phenomenon, see E. Magnelli, Studi su Euforione, Rome, Quasar, Quaderni dei seminari romani di cultura greca 4, 2002, pp. 79–80; cf. L. Di Gregorio, art. cit., p. 97 n. 340.

71 In addition, I hesitantly exclude from my count the extremely problematic fr. [3a] Fränkel = CA 6, in the light of its suspicious incompatibility with the coherent colouring of the diction of the other fragments; cf. already H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 38. For a recent eloquent attempt to place this fragment in Simias’ Gorgo, see M. Perale, “Il. Parv. fr. 21 Bernabé e la Gorgo di Simia di Rodi,” art. cit., with an extensive summary of the status quaestionis.

72 This rough hexameter, with its double hiatus and no third-foot caesura, is perplexing. It may be true, as Marco Perale suggests to me, that this is not a hexameter at all, but I hesitate to rule out an instance of Simias’ metrical eccentricity. At any rate, ἁλυκὴ ζάψ is more likely than not the ending of Simias’ genuine hexameter; this appears as the clausula of SH 389 (Dionysius Iambus), which may well be, as H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 46 suggests, an echo of Simias.

73 Cf., in contrast, the following near-rhopalic hexameters to be found in Simias’ fragments: ναίουσιν τόξοισι πεποιθότες ὠκυβόλοισιν (fr. 1.4 Fränkel/CA; the pattern is 3:3:4:5); χρυσῷ δʼ αἰγλήεντι προσήρμοσεν ἀμφιδασείας (fr. 5.1 Fränkel = CA 3.1; the pattern is 2:4:4:5).

74 S. D. Olson, Athenaeus: The Learned Banqueters, Books 10.420e–11, op. cit., p. 389; cf. H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 37.

75 Cf. R. Kühner, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, II 1, rev. B. Gerth, Hannover, Hahn, 1898, pp. 394–395.

76 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 40, following U. v. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Sappho und Simonides: Untersuchungen über griechische Lyriker, Berlin, Weidmann, 1913, pp. 226–227 n. 2, felt inclined to think that Gorgo may have recounted the Perseus myth. If Gorgo was centred around Zeus, then fr. 6 Fränkel = CA 10 on Dodona may have belonged to this poem.

77 Cf. R. Kühner, op. cit., pp. 384–385.

78 Perale’s preference, “Il. Parv. fr. 21 Bernabé e la Gorgo di Simia di Rodi,” art. cit., pp. 510–511 n. 38, is αἵ as a possessive pronoun (LSJ s.v. ὅς, ἥ, ὅν I), but this pronoun must not be separated from the noun. For that matter, the separation of αἱ would also call for some explanation. It is true that the article and the noun can be separated, but in such cases the article is normally followed by μέν, δέ, γε or γάρ, as in every instance of this phaenomenon listed by E. Maass (ed.), Arati Phaenomena, Berlin, Weidmann, 1893, p. 97 for Aratus, who shows a special predilection for splitting the article and the noun. Two exceptions to this rule can be found in Callimachus’ Hymns, at Ap. 1 and Cer. 120. In the former, however, perhaps the speaker’s agitation may account for the separation, and in the latter, “[t]he extreme hyperbaton . . . (τὸν κάλαθον between the article-noun group, αἱ . . . ἵπποι) has the effect of locating the κάλαθον upon the chariot”; S. A. Stephens (ed., trad.), Callimachus: The Hymns, Oxford, OUP, 2015, p. 294 (note, at any rate, that here the separation results from a textual emendation).

79 Jerzy Danielewicz, however, calls to my attention Il. 8.42 = 13.24, which consists of tetrasyllabic words (ὠκυπέτα χρυσέῃσιν ἐθείρῃσιν κομόωντε).

80 On this poem, see W. Levitan, “Dancing at the End of the Rope: Optatian Porfyry and the Field of Roman Verse,” TAPhA 115, 1985, pp. 246–250.

81 H. Fränkel, op. cit., pp. 36–37.

82 For a sensible comment on the replication of this passage, see J. I. Armstrong, “The Arming Motif in the Iliad,” AJPh 79, 1958, p. 352.

83 Transl. R. Lattimore, The Iliad of Homer, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2011.

84 Cf. R. Janko, The Iliad: A Commentary, IV, Cambridge, CUP, 1992, p. 335 and M. W. Edwards, The Iliad: A Commentary, V, Cambridge, CUP, 1991, p. 280. Note that an important context for this instance of alliterative wordplay is provided by the popularity of aetiological wordplay in oral poetry, a phenomenon whose echoes can be detected in Callimachus; see J. J. Clauss, “The Near Eastern Background of Aetiological Wordplay in Callimachus,” in M. A. Harder et al., Callimachus Revisited, op. cit., forthcoming.

85 M. Perale, “Simia e la testa del Sole,” art. cit.

86 See H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 50.

87 M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit., p. 369 n. 14.

88 The text as in M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit., pp. 368–369, except that I prefer ἐρεμνάς in line 7, a conjecture put forward by F. Jacobs, Animadversiones in epigrammata Anthologiae Graecae, I 2, Leipzig, Dyck, 1798, p. 6, instead of ἐρυμνάς, as I believe a slight variation between the two adjectives is more in place here than the almost exact repetition, which is likely to be due to an easy corruption; see further below.

89 Transl. H. White, “On a Fragment of Simias of Rhodes,” CL 2, 1982, pp. 173–184, adapted.

90 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 23 n. 1.

91 Z. Kubiak, Antologia palatyńska, Warsaw, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1978.

92 J. Harasymowicz, Wiersze na igrzyska, Warsaw, Czytelnik, 1982, p. 17. This poetry book was commissioned for the 1982 Olympic Games in Moscow, but its publication was delayed; my guess is that the subtle classicising poetry Harasymowicz composed on this occasion was found unfit for the spirit of Soviet celebration.

93 J. Méndez Dosuna, “The Literary Progeny of Sappho’s Fawns: Simias’ Egg (AP 15.27.13–20) and Theocritus 30.18,” Mnemosyne 61, 2008, pp. 192–206.

94 Transl. W. R. Paton, op. cit., adapted.

95 There has been some debate about whether the Half-dogs inhabit the islands described in lines 7–8 or rather lines 7–8 and 9–13 refer to two separate lands. Most scholars incline toward the latter view; see M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit., pp. 381–382 n. 50. However, the ring-composition created by lines 7 and 11 strongly suggests that these lines embrace one whole.

96 E. Sistakou, The Aesthetics of Darkness: A Study of Hellenistic Romanticism in Apollonius, Lycophron and Nicander, Leuven, Peeters, Hellenistica Groningana 17, 2012, p. 47.

97 See n. 71 above.

98 J. Griffin, “The Epic Cycle and the Uniqueness of Homer,” JHS 97, 1997, pp. 39–53; cf. id., Homer on Life and Death, Oxford, OUP, 1980, pp. 165–167.

99 See M. Perale, “Il catalogo ‘geografico’ di Esiodo,” art. cit. and id., “SH 906 and the Apollo of Simias of Rhodes,” art. cit.

100 Cf. J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 91 and 96–99.

101 See P. J. Finglass, “How Stesichorus Began his Sack of Troy,” ZPE 185, 2013, pp. 7–13, esp. p. 13.

102 See J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 82–83.

103 Unless Dionysus’ katabasis is meant, as Marco Perale thinks (private communication); cf. πυμάταν εἰς Ἀχέροντος ὁδόν in line 4 of the partridge epigram. On the text of the fragment on Dionysus, see n. 64 above.

104 J. Kwapisz, The Greek Figure Poems, op. cit., pp. 133–134. Note that the Homeric ὠμοφάγος, to which ὠμόθυμος is clearly allusive, is used of, besides lions (e.g., Il. 5.782), various animals, savage men, fantastic creatures and demons; see LSJ s.v.

105 See n. 54 above.

106 Transl. H. White, art. cit., adapted.

107 Cf. H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 22.

108 Transl. R. Lattimore, The Odyssey of Homer, op. cit.

109 H. Fränkel, op. cit., pp. 22–23.

110 All translations of Aristotle are from R. A. Zirin, “Aristotle’s Biology of Language,” TAPhA 110, 1980, pp. 325–347.

111 On the Half-dogs’ impaired linguistic skills as a mark of their primitiveness, see D. L. Gera, Ancient Greek Ideas on Speech, Language and Civilization, Oxford, OUP, 2003, pp. 185–187; cf. A. Nichols, Ctesias: On India, London, Bristol Classical Press, 2011, pp. 124–125.

112 What follows is vaguely inspired by the discussion of how science and “darkness” intertwine in Nicander’s didactic poetry in E. Sistakou, The Aesthetics of Darkness, op. cit., pp. 193–250.

113 Such a picture was sketched by R. A. Zirin, art. cit.; see also T. Fögen, “Antike Zeugnisse zu Kommunikationsformen von Tieren,” A&A 53, 2007, pp. 46–49. G. Lachenaud, Les routes de la voix. L’Antiquité grecque et le mystère de la voix, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, Coll. d’études anciennes, 2013, pp. 85–87 puts the hierarchy of voices in a broader context.

114 For a discussion of this hesitancy, see R. A. Zirin, art. cit., pp. 339–342 and C. P. Long, Aristotle on the Nature of Truth, Cambridge, CUP, 2011, pp. 79–81. See also M. Payne, The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination, Chicago, UCP, 2010, pp. 84–88.

115 See, e.g., W. Tecumseh Fitch, The Evolution of Language, Cambridge, CUP, 2010, pp. 173–175.

116 See M. Payne, op. cit., pp. 86–87.

117 They still do this in France, as Pauline LeVen tells me.

118 See n. 31 above.

119 A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 431.

120 On ancient views on the polyglottism of partridges, see M. Bettini, op. cit., p. 121, with references to Theophrastus and Aelian.

121 A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 512.

122 J. Kwapisz, “When Is a Riddle an Epigram?,” in E. Sistakou and A. Rengakos (eds.), Dialect, Diction, and Style in Greek Literary and Inscribed Epigram, Belin, De Gruyter, Trends in Classics 43, 2016, pp. 151–171.

123 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 102; cf. A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 512.

124 On the muteness of Grendel, see S. Lerer, Literacy and Power in Anglo-Saxon Literature, Lincoln (NE), University of Nebraska Press, Regents Studies in Medieval Culture, 1991, p. 28 and 175.

125 The “close-but-no-cigar” rule applies here; on an unconvincing attempt to ascribe to Simias a new papyrus fragment, see M. Perale, “SH 906 and the Apollo of Simias of Rhodes,” art. cit.

126 One reason for the inclusion of Simias’ epigrams may have been that they were a part of longer sequences of variations on one theme, which would have seemed incomplete without them. The epigrams on the partridge and the locust belong to a series of eighteen epigrams (Anth. Pal. 7.189–206) on cicadas, locusts and birds (including, conspicuously, partridges), to which Meleager himself contributed two or three pieces (195–196; cf. 207). Simias may have started off this catena or at least was one of the first to contribute to it (if I were to guess I should say that it all began with Anyte’s 190 and 202; for the dependence of Simias’ epigrams on Anyte, see R. Reitzenstein, Epigramm und Skolion. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der alexandrinischen Dichtung, Giessen, Ricker, 1893, pp. 119–120). Analogously, the epigrams on Sophocles are a part of the long sequence of epitaphs for poets, philosophers and other viri illustres with which Anth. Pal. 7 begins, and Simias’ Anth. Pal. 6.113 = fr. 26 Fränkel = CA 18 = 3 Gow–Page has a place in the middle of a gallery of hunters’ trophies (Anth. Pal. 6.110–116).

127 Recently by M. Perale, “SH 906 and the Apollo of Simias of Rhodes,” art. cit., p. 209.

128 A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, op. cit., p. 511.

129 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 10, who follows in the footsteps of U. Wilamowitz, Sappho und Simonides, op. cit., pp. 226–227.

130 Transl. S. D. Olson and A. Sens, Archestratos of Gela: Greek Culture and Cuisine in the Fourth Century BCE, Oxford, OUP, 2000. Cf. their comment ad loc. on p. 125: “the σάλπη is bad all year round, but if one has to eat it, one ought to do so in the summer.”

131 The word can refer either to a tree or its fruit; see LSJ s.v.

132 The image of βρωτὴ ἀχράς is even more graphic if Meleager had in mind Ar. Eccl. 355, where the constipating effect of the ἀχράς is referred to (cf. sch. ad loc.). I am grateful to Marco Perale for this suggestion.

133 Perhaps his more conventional epigrams were eclipsed by the definitively riddling paignia; see J. Kwapisz, “Were There Hellenistic Riddle Books?,” art. cit., pp. 154–160.

134 See further J. Kwapisz, “When Is a Riddle an Epigram?,” art. cit.

135 E. Magnelli, “Meter and Diction: From Refinement to Mannerism,” in P. Bing and J. S. Bruss (eds.), op. cit., pp. 165–166.

136 See nn. 25 and 101 above.

137 Incidentally, there is a mention of Telchines in Simias’ extant fragments (frr. 8 and 17 Fränkel = CA 11), yet probably the inhabitants of Rhodes, rather than malicious demons, are meant.

138 This has nothing to do with the Old Grammarians’ Club of Paisley Grammar School in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

139 Theocritus may also have dropped in from time to time (cf. n. 93 above).

140 This essay was written with the financial support of the Polish National Science Centre under grant No. DEC-2013/11/B/HS2/02628. It is a part of a broader book project I am currently working on, entitled The Paradigm of Simias. I owe thanks to Patrick Finglass, Pauline LeVen, Marco Perale and the audience at the Poznań workshop, especially Jerzy Danielewicz, for having read through earlier versions of this lengthy discussion and for their most helpful comments.

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Jan Kwapisz, « The Three Preoccupations of Simias of Rhodes », Aitia [En ligne], 8.1 | 2018, mis en ligne le 31 juillet 2018, consulté le 12 novembre 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/aitia/2117 ; DOI : 10.4000/aitia.2117

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Jan Kwapisz

University of Warsaw

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