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Ethnographic excursus as narrative device in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica

By Emily Allen-Hornblower

When the Argonauts head to Colchis in book II of Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, a significant portion of the narrative describes the Argo’s progression as it travels along the Pontic coast and past various lands and peoples. Several of these places are presented in some detail, including regarding the customs of the peoples that inhabit them — despite the fact that none of these lands are ever actually explored by the Argonauts, and none of these peoples (the Mossynoeci excepted) ever actually interacted with. The very presence of such descriptions is puzzling.

‘Here we lie’: The Landscape of Actium and Memories of War in The Greek Anthology

By Bettina Reitz-Joosse

How does war change the land? Where is its memory preserved – in monuments and trophies, or in absences and silences? This paper deals with the aftermath of the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC. Focusing on two Greek epigrams, it analyses the interplay between warfare, loss, and renewal in literary depictions of the Ambracian Gulf and its environs.

Dialect and Poetic Self-Fashioning in Hellenistic Book Epigram

By Taylor Coughlan

Several Hellenistic book epigrammatists wrote their own self-epitaphs, which likely held important positions in their poetry books, appearing at the close of a section or the conclusion of the entire collection (Reitzenstein 1893 and Wilamowitz 1924). Scholars have recognized that these self-epitaphs were integral to an epigrammatist’s literary self-fashioning, providing commentary on their poetry and poetics (cf. e.g., Skinner 1989; Walsh 1991; Gutzwiller 1998; and Höschele 2013).

Poetry and Place in Poliziano's Nutricia

By Luke Roman

           Angelo Poliziano’s four Silvae, presented as preliminary essays (prolusiones) on classical poetry for his students, are master classes in the medium of classicizing Latin verse: he elucidates classical poetry by renewing and rewriting it. In his silva entitled Nutricia (1491), Poliziano surveys poetry from classical antiquity to contemporary Italy.

The Fragments of Rhianus’ Messeniaca: An Iliad for the Messenian People?

By Veronica Shi

Some fourteen fragments*, miscellaneous testimonia, and a few swaths of paraphrased material in Book 4 of Pausanias’ Hellados Periegesis are all that remain of the Messeniaca, a six-book epic of the Second Messenian War attributed to the 3rd century poet and Homeric scholar Rhianus.  In spite of their meagerness, however, these remains sketch the outlines of a bold attempt by Rhianus to create a national history, in epic form, for the Messenians after their liberation from Spartan rule in 369 BCE.