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Thebais

(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…

Naupactia

(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 au…

Naumachius

(194 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)

Aethiopis

(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…

Rhapsodes

(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…

Titanomachy

(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…

Phocais

(149 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Φωκαΐς/ Phōkaḯs). Lost Archaic epic about the city of Phocaea in Ionia in Asia Minor, probably part of a complex of early historical epics about regions and cities [4]. Attested only in a Life of Homer from the Imperial period (Vita Homeri Herodotea 16 = 10,3-7 in [3]): “the inhabitants claimed that the so-called P. had been composed by Homer in Phocaea”. Thus it seems that the author and time of composition were unknown even to later Phocaeans. No fragments survive. Possibly a so…

Oedipodea

(298 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (ἡ Οἰδιπόδεια/ hē Oidipódeia, also ἡ Οἰδιποδία/ hē Oidipodía and τὰ Οἰδιπόδια/tà Oidipódia). Lost early Greek epic belonging to the Epic Cycle, together with the Thebais and the Epigoni [2] part of its Theban section; it probably told the beginning of the legend of Thebes. According to IG XIV 1292 (= T 1 in [1], 1st cent. AD) it contained 6600 hexameters. Other than T 1, only one fragment (2 hexameters) remains, two late summaries of content and an extensive summary of the story of Oedipus, compiled from sev…

Rhianus

(552 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(Ῥιανός/ Rhianós) of Crete. Epic poet, writer of epigrams and Homeric philologist of the second half of the 3rd cent. BC. [German version] A. Life The only coherent source is an entry in the Suda consisting of only three sentences (according to [3. 781] they go back to Dionysius [18] of Halicarnassus). According to this R. comes from Bene (near Gortyn; exact ancient situation unknown) or Ceraea in Crete (Bene was probably his place of birth and Ceraea where he went to school: [8. 85]). R. is apparently said to have risen from being an attendant in a gymnasium with slave status to a grammatikós

Nostoi

(385 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Νόστοι/ Nóstoi, ‘homecomings’). A part of the Epic Cycle, this epic told in 5 books of the return home of the major surviving Achaean heroes of Troy (Agamemnon, Menelaus [1], Diomedes [1], Nestor [1], Calchas, Leonteus [1], Polypoetes, Oilean Ajax [2], Phoenix, Neoptolemus [1]). Preserved (in [1]): summary by Proclus, 4 testimonies, 11 cases of reliable evidence on content, including 5 1/2 hexameter. Content: Dispute between Agamemnon and Menelaus regarding the timing of the fleet's departure, which occurred after a delay: 1. Diomedes and Ne…

Melampodia

(174 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Μελαμποδία/ Melampodía). Early Greek hexametrical epic in at least three (fr. 277) books. Ancient testimonies ascribe it to Hesiodus, only Paus. 9,31,5 claims it is pseudo-hesiodic. Its origin lies in the 6th cent. BC, probably in Corinth [2. 59]. Ten fragments survive, eight of which verbatim, with 24 hexameters in all (fr. 270-279 in [1]). The author makes use of Homer, Hesiod and the Epic Cycle (Trojan and Theban legends including Alcmaeonis [2. 58]). He presents Greek early hi…

Minyas

(384 words)

Author(s): Dräger, Paul (Trier) | Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] [1] Grandson of Zeus (Μινύας; Minýas). M.' genealogy is very intricate [1. 129ff.; 2. 195ff.; 3]: grandson of Zeus, son or grandson of Poseidon, son of Ares or Aleus [1], grandson, great-(great-) grandson of Aeolus [1], father, son or brother of Orchomenus, father of Clymene [4], Persephone and the Minyades (the female members of the tribe of Minyans reduced to three [2. 204f.]). This lack of a fixed position in genealogy and of his own myths ([4. 133]; Apollod. 3,105 only mentions M. …

Iliupersis

(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…

Telegony

(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…

Cypria

(590 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (τὰ Κύπρια; tà Kýpria; also τὰ Κύπρια ἔπη; tà Kýpria épē, τὰ Κυπριακά; tà Kypriaká, αἱ Κυπριακαὶ ἱστορίαι; hai kupriakai historíai, its title derived from the dominance of Aphrodite = Cypris in the causality of the plot [3; cf. 9. 287]). This epic, a part of the  epic cycle, recounts in 11 bks. (according to Proclus) the history of Troy prior to the better-known Iliad ( Homerus [1]). Approximately 50 hexameters in 12 [1] or respectively 10 [2] frs. are extant; in addition there are short summaries in  Proclus and  Apollodorus, as well as nume…
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