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Ilias parva

(320 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ἰλιὰς μικρά/ Iliàs mikrá, the ‘Little Iliad’). Lost part of the  Epic cycle. Except for short summaries in the Chrestomathia by  Proclus [2], the epitome by  Apollodorus [7], and a few testimonia, only seven direct quotations with a total of 26 hexameters [1; 2; 3. 95] are available for reconstruction and dating. According to Proclus, the work comprises 4 bks., the starting point apparently (in this, Proclus agrees with Aristot. Poet. 1459a 37-b 7 [4. 2411]) being the Hóplōn krísis (the decision on who deserves Achilles' armour). The opus must therefore h…


(404 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ἀλκμαιωνίς; Alkmaiōnís, ‘Poem of Alcmaeon’). An early Greek epic, transmitted to us in three fragments of text, about  Alcmaeon, son of the Argive hero and seer  Amphiaraus, linking the Theban with the Trojan mythical cycle (Immisch [1], Bethe [2.134], Kullmann [3.143-151]). The author was probably unknown already in antiquity (he is described in our testimonia anonymously eight times as ὁ τὴν Ἀλκμαιωνίδα γεγραφώς, πεποιηκώς and the like). The epic appears to have originated after…


(376 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (γιγαντομαχία; gigantomachía, Plato and others, γιγαντία; gigantía, Philostratus; Gigantomachia Claudianus and others). Battle of the  Giants against the (Olympian) gods for the rule of the world, usually set in Phlegrae or  Phlegra (e.g. Aesch. Eum. 295; Eur. HF 1194; Ion 988) that was, in a second step, equated with the peninsula of  Pallene (e.g. Hdt. 7,123); won by the gods with the help of  Heracles (the role of Heracles probably mentioned for the first time in Hes. Theog. 954 [1. 41…

Amphiaraou exelasis

(162 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ἀμφιαράου ἐξέλασις; Amphiaráou exélasis, Suda; Ἀμφιάρεω ἐξελασία ἡ ἐς Θήβας, Vita Homeri Herodotea ed. Wilamowitz 1929, 9,9 f.): ‘Expedition of Amphiaraus (against Thebes)’. A poem ascribed to Homer, since at least Hellenism (see above Vita Hom. Herod.), from which no fragment has been preserved, and the independent existence of which is doubtful. There are three possibilities from which one can choose: (1)  Amphiaraou exelasis (AE) was only another title for the (Cyclic)   Thebais (thus [1. 187 f.]); (2) AE was a larger epic withi…


(243 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Θησηΐς; Thēsēḯs). Title of numerous (exact number unknown) poetic reworkings of the Athenian Theseus legend. Aristotle [6] (Aristot. Poet. 1451a 16-22) speaks of "all those poets who have created an Heraklēḯs, a Theseis and similar poetic works." As with other mythical subjects the production of further variations on the theme, in accordance with contemporary tastes, continued in Greek and Latin until the Imperial period. As a rule we know only the authors' names [4. 1046], apart from two cases: (1) of an anonymous hexametric Theseis, which presumably came into…

Oechalias halosis

(170 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Οἰχαλίας ἅλωσις/ Oichalías hálōsis, “The capture of Oechalia”). Lost early Greek epos of the Heracles epics, relating the conquest of the city of Oechalia (probably [3]) by Heracles (= point of departure for Soph. Trach.). 1 fragment (Heracles speaks to Iole) and 3 attestations (= fr. 2-3 in [1] and [2]) survive, which admittedly are only about the correct localisation of the city and the number of children of its royal couple, Eurytus [1] and Antioche (or Antiope). Ascribed either …


(314 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Δολώνεια; Dolṓneia, ‘poem about Dolon’), a probably old (cf. e.g. Διομήδεος ἀριστείη already in Hdt. 2,116,11; further examples in [1. 148] term for the 10th book of the Iliad, in which the Trojan   Dólōn (a name etymologically derived from δόλος: ‘guile’, so perhaps ‘Foxy’, ‘Wily’, ‘Sneaky’ [2. 186]) plays a major role. In the night after the unsuccessful embassy to Achilles both the Achaeans and the Trojans send scouts into their opponents' camp: Odysseus and Diomedes come upon Dolon, take h…


(788 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(Πανύασις/ Panýasis, rarely Πανύασσις/ Panýassis; also epigraphically attested in the form Πανύατις/ Panýatis (Syll3 45, I.52-54, Halicarnassus): originally a Carian name with the /s/-phoneme [1. 5f.] foreign to Greek ears). One of the four (or five) canonical Greek epic poets (Homer [1], Hesiod, [Peisander [6]], Panyassis, Antimachus [3] of Colophon). [German version] A. Life Born in 505/500 BC in Halicarnassus, where he died in 455/50, older cousin [1. 6] of Herodotus [1], of a distinguished aristocratic family that opposed the tyrant Lygdamis [3], who came to power c. 460; P.…


(327 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ἰλίου πέρσις/ Ilíou pérsis, ‘The destruction of Ilius [= Troy]’). Lost part of an epic of the  Epic cycle; except for brief summary of its contents in the chrestomathia by  Proclus and in the epitome by  Apollodorus [7] of Athens and some testimonies there is only one literal quotation with eight hexameters [1; 2; 3. 96] available for reconstruction and dating. According to Proclus it consisted of two books, beginning with the discussions of the Trojans standing around the Wooden Horse in Troy (cf. Verg. Aen. 2,31-249). The Iliupersis thus takes up after the  Ilias…


(496 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Τηλεγόνεια/ Tēlegóneia; Τηλεγονία/ Tēlegonía). Concluding part (2 bks.) of the Epic Cycle about Odysseus's (= O.) last phase of life following his return home to Ithaca and his death caused by his own son Telegonus (= Tel., 'the one born far away') whom he had fathered with Circe. In Antiquity, the T. was consistently attributed to Eugam(m)on of Cyrene (with scepticism: [3]). Correspondingly, the period of origin could be no earlier than the 6th cent. BC (the founding of Cyrene: 63…

Epic cycle

(1,142 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(ἐπικὸς κύκλος; epikòs kýklos). [German version] A. Concept ‘A circle or ring of epics’. Literary historical technical term, current not ‘only after Aristotle [and] before Callimachus’ [1. 359], but already before Aristotle [4. 93-95], who in An. post. 77b 32f. (= T 1, p.1 Bernabé = T *2, p.13 Davies) appears to assume knowledge of it. Reference to a book-title Τραγικὸς κύκλος ( Tragikòs kýklos; cf. Τραγῳδούμενα/ Tragōidoúmena), by Isocrates' pupil Asclepiades of Tragilus (prose book retelling in chronological sequence the myths treated by Attic tragedy) was…


(260 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Λέσχης; Léschēs in Paus. also Λέσχεως; Léscheōs: probably an individual error [5. 311]). Aristotle's student Phaenias of Eresus [8. 18 fr. 33] introduced the name of this early epic poet, supposedly from Pyrrha (Lesbos), who lived before Terpander and is purported to have confronted Arctinus in a poetry agon. First named as the author of the Iliás mikrá on Homeric goblets ([9. MB 27 and 31]; 3rd/2nd cents. BC) and thereafter frequently by scholiasts and mythographers (by Paus. as author of the Ilíou Pérsis ): passages in [7. 2420f.]. The name was not necessarily…


(516 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (ἀοιδοί; aoidoí, ‘Singers’, from ἀείδω, later ᾀδω ‘to sing’, cf. ἀοιδή, later ᾠδή ‘Ode’, ‘Song’). As a technical term of the language of the early Greek Epic, aoidoi is a designation and self designation of that professional group, which in pre-Homeric and Homeric times had the function of the poet (and at the same time, in better cases, of creative intellectuals). The social position, self-image, method of working, etc. of the aoidoi can be reconstructed from the images which Homer reflects in the Iliad (e.g. 24,720; 2,595-600) and the Odyssey (in the aoidoi


(129 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ὁμηρίδαι; Homērídai). Special group of  rhapsodes (first mentioned in Pind. Nem. 2,1, c. 485/480 BC) that is said, according to late sources (schol. ad loc. Harpocration s.v., among others), to have traced itself back biologically directly to  Homer [1] in the first generation and after that was considered to be the ‘administrator of the legacy’ of the Homeric epics. Located in: Chios; best-known representative: Cynaethus. Homeric associations by this name (admirers rather than rhapsodes: Pl…


(397 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Θηβαΐς; Thēbaḯs). Title of numerous poetic accounts of the Theban cycle (Thebes [2] III.). Only the Latin T. by Statius [II 2] is entirely extant. We have fragments (1) of the 'Cyclic T.' (i.e. pertaining to the Epic cycle), (2) of the T. by Antimachus [3]. From the 'Cyclic T.' 8 testimonies and 10 fragments survive (in [1]), including 6 verbatim with a total of 20 hexameters. Still recognisable from the content are: (1) invocation of the Muse (Muse, invocation of the) with 'Argos' (not 'Thebes') given as the subject ma…


(244 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ναυπάκτια ἔπη/ Naupáktia ép ē, also Ναυπακτικά/ Naupaktiká and Ναυπακτιακά/ Naupaktiaká). Early Greek genealogical epic of unknown authorship (about 20 citations by ‘the poet of the NE’ and ‘in the NE’; only once - Paus. 10,38,11, supposedly after Charon [3] of Lampsacus - by ‘the Naupactian Carcinus’), evidently composed in the 6th cent. BC, since already used by Pherecydes (about 500). What has been left (in [1]), are nine definitely attributed hexameters, as well as nine testimonies, mo…


(194 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ναυμάχιος; Naumáchios). Author, otherwise unknown, of a hexametrical didactic poem (title unknown) addressing young women (παρθενικαί; parthenikaí) on the correct conduct of life and marriage, composed mid-4th cent. AD. 73 hexameters are preserved in Stobaeus (4,22,32; 23,7; 31,76), in three complete sections, two from the chapter Γαμικὰ παραγγέλματα (‘Marriage advice), one from the chapter Περὶ πλούτου (‘On wealth). The three sections originally formed a complete unit (printed as such in [2]). …


(492 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Αἰθιοπίς; Aithiopís, ‘Poem of the Ethiopian’). Lost epic in five books (no textual fragment extant) belonging to the  epic cycle. Its composition is attributed in late sources (p. 332 Kaibel, from the 1st cent. BC ; Proclus; Eusebius) to Arctinus of Miletus: since Wilamowitz [1. 345,353 f., 370 f.] this attribution has been regarded as speculation on the part of peripatetic literary researchers (Bethe [2. 63]; Davies [3. 99 f.]): the author and the exact date of composition are un…


(749 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(ῥαψῳδοί/ rhapsōidoí). Professional reciters of (as a rule epic) poetry. The profession emerged in Greece in the 8th cent. BC as a consequence of the transition from speech to writing as a medium for the transmission of information (Literacy/Orality). [German version] A. Meaning and connotation The first component of the word is the stem of the verb ῥάπτειν/ rháptein, 'sew' (cf. modern Greek ῥαπτο-μηχανή/ rhapto-mēchanḗ, 'sewing machine'); the second element the stem of the noun ᾠδή/ ōidḗ (< ἀοιδή/ aoidḗ), 'song', in the role of object effected. The meaning is thus: 'he wh…


(508 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Τιτανομαχία; Titanomachía). The battle of many years between the Olympic gods under Zeus against the Titans for world-domination. The cosmological-theological meaning of this invention is the revolutionary displacement of a primal state marked by the ('titanic') powers of nature through a regular ('civilized') world order (s., in contrast, Gigantomachy). The probably primeval subject that originated in the oral tradition was a popular source for literary and artistic adaptations d…
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