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Historical epic

(753 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
[German version] Historical epic (HE), understood as a narrative depiction of events in the near or distant past, generally appears in Greek literature in three distinct forms: archaeological-ktistic ( Ktisis-poems), historical-military and historical-encomiastic (the latter two mostly treat recent history, the historical-encomiastic concentrates on the figure of one single person). In the archaic period, HE used the elegiac distich as its metre more frequently than the hexameter. This is perhaps because the distich was used as the recitative …

Ktisis Poems

(567 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
[German version] (κτίσις/ ktísis, ‘foundation’). As a variant of the pleasure the Greeks took in determining a first discoverer (or inventor) (πρῶτος εὑρετής, prṓtos heuretḗs ), the tale about the origin of cities or colonies is a very widespread aetiological motif in ancient Greek culture. City founders were either mythical figures or were accorded hero status after their death. (Usually a hero to whom an oracle intimated that he should leave his home, or a heroine abducted by a god and forced to set…

Epideictic poetry

(838 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
[German version] This poetic genre corresponded to epideictic prose ( epideixis). Above all, its aim was to praise or reprimand (thus the definitions in Aristot. Rh. 1358b12ff. and Menander Rhetor, 331f. Russel-Wilson) and it served primarily to display (ἐπιδείκνυσθαι; epideíknysthai) the author's δεινότης ( deinótēs) in a public lecture (ἐπίδειξις; epídeixis). There is no documentation of epideictic poetry (EP) as an independent genre until the Hellenistic period. The public performance was almost always the origin of Greek lyric and classica…

Eidyllion

(421 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
[German version] (εἰδύλλιον; eidýllion). Diminutive of εἶδος (schol. Aristoph. Ran. 942; Proleg. E, schol. Theoc. p. 5,10f. Wendel; cf. [1]). In the oldest known source, Plin. Ep. 4,14, eidyllion seems to have the general meaning of ‘short poem’ (cf. also Sozom. Hist. eccl. 6,25). The term is very rare outside the scholia on Theocritus. It is therefore used specifically for the short poems by Theocritus, including the epic and erotic poems, not only the bucolic poems, as one might assume according to the modern meaning (‘r…

Aetiology

(1,993 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Rüpke
[No German version] I. Greek literature Aetiology is the term given to an explanation, generally referring to a mythical past (aetiological myth  Myth), of the αἴτιον (aítion), i.e. of the origin, of some phenomenon affecting the present-day situation of the author and his public, whether it be an object, a city, a custom, or, as is frequently the case, a religious ritual.Up until the 3rd cent. BC aetiology is not the preserve of any particular literary form but in the various forms represents a forma…

Epyllion

(919 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
[German version] The term epyllion, in the sense of a ‘short epic poem’, evidently entered philological usage in German between 1817 and 1824 with F. A. Wolf [cf. 7], with reference to the ps.-Hesiodic Aspís (already in Ath. 2,65a ἐπύλλιον for the ps.-Homeric Epikyklídes). The word epyllion (ἐπύλλιον) occurs very infrequently in Ancient and Byzantine Greek, and not with this specific sense. It possibly had a negative undertone, thus Aristoph. Ach. 398, Pax 531 and Ran. 942, where epyllion refers to the ‘bad iambs’ of Euripides (schol. Aristoph. Ach. 398 and Pax 531; Hsch…

Choerilus

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Pressler, Frank (Heidelberg)
(Χοιρίλος; Choirílos). [German version] [1] from Samos Poet, 5th cent. BC Poet of the 5th cent. BC. Earliest known author of historically based epic poetry; died at the court of the Macedonian king Archelaus (413-399 BC) (Suda: SH 315 = PEG I, T 1). As late as 404 he is attested as participating in an agon of encomiastic poetry in honour of Lysander on Samos (Plut.: PEG I, T 3). These two dates derive from two separate and probably independent sources. The divergent chronologies in the Suda (C. as a contemporary of the epic poet Panyassis; a youth a…

Poetry book

(2,432 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Fuhrer, Therese (Zürich)
[German version] I. Greek In archaic and classical Greek poetry there is no known, unequivocal example of a poetry book in the modern (or even Lat.) sense of the word. The modern designation denotes a collection of short poems in one or several books, the individual poems bearing meaning not only per se but also relative to the other poems within the collection, in which the opening poem is often introductory and programmatic and the final serves as an epilogue. Nor is there any tangible awareness of divisions which served aesthetic purposes or related to the content of the…

Bucolics

(3,076 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Stanzel, Karl-Heinz (Tübingen)
I. Greek [German version] A. Genre Real Greek bucolic poetry (‘real’ compared with its later development in Latin, see below, and in  Longus, 2nd cent. AD) consists of Idyls (= Id.; eidyllia). 1, 3 to 7 and 11 of  Theocritus, 3rd cent. BC (Id. 10 is similar, but more agriculturally Hesiodic than pastoral), and several other poems of the Corpus Theocriteum (Id. 8; 9; 20; 27). The latter are probably pseudoepigraphs and can be ascribed to the epoch between the end of the 3rd and the 2nd cent. All except Id. [8],33-60 (elegiac distichs) are written in hexa…

Hellenistic poetry

(1,603 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Hunter, Richard (Cambridge)
[German version] A. General From the period between Alexander's death in 323 BC and Octavian's victory over Cleopatra in 31 BC, Greek poetry is characterized by a great variety of themes and a deep richness of forms. Unfortunately, only very little is known of the poetry of the late 2nd and early 1st cents. BC that must have been so important for the Roman  Neoteric poets. While the 5th cent. was dominated by Attic comedy and tragedy, other regions produced significant poetry, as early as the 4th ce…

Euphorion

(1,434 words)

Author(s): Bloch, René (Berne) | Pressler, Frank (Heidelberg) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
(Εὐφορίων; Euphoríōn). [German version] [1] Winged son of Achilles and Helena A figure invented by Ptolemy Chennus (Phot. 149a): E., a winged son of Achilles and Helena, is killed on the island of Melos by a bolt of lightning from Zeus whose love he does not reciprocate. The nymphs who bury the corpse are changed into frogs by Zeus. In Goethe's Faust (2nd Part), E. appears as the son of Faust and Helena. Bloch, René (Berne) Bibliography K.-H. Tomberg, Die Kaine Historia des Ptolemaios Chennos, 1967, 108. [German version] [2] of Athens Tragedian Tragedian, son of Aeschylus. He won priz…

Aratus

(2,847 words)

Author(s): Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
(Ἄρατος; Áratos). [German version] [1] Legendary figure in the early history of Sparta Legendary figure in the early history of Sparta. According to Just. Epit. 3,4,8, in the first Messenian War A. sent the younger soldiers back to their homes, where they had intercourse with all the women and thus ensured the growth of the Spartan population. The so-called  Partheniae conceived in this way, later founded Tarentum under  Phalanthas, the son of A. Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) [German version] [2] Sikyonian leader of the Achaean League (245-213 Bc) Sicyonian, 271-213 BC, between 245 an…

Moschus

(655 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
(Μόσχος; Mόschos). [German version] [1] From Elis, pupil of Phaidon M. from Elis, with Anchipylus a pupil (or pupil of a pupil) of Phaedon of Elis and teacher of Asclepiades [3] of Phleius and Menedemus [5] of Eretria. According to an ancient piece of gossip M. and Anchipylus are supposed to have subsisted only on water and figs their whole lives (Diog. Laert. 2,126; Athen. 2,44c). M. is presumably identical with the homonymous person whose name is the title of a dialogue by Stilpon (Diog. Laert. 2,120). Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) Bibliography SSR III E. [German version] [2] M. from Lampsacus…

Ekphrasis

(3,503 words)

Author(s): Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Reitz, Christiane (Rostock) | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike (Potsdam)
(ἔκφρασις; ékphrasis) I. Literature A. Greek [German version] 1. Definition In the rhetorical terminology of the Imperial period, ekphrasis is a description which aims at vividness (ἐνάργεια, enárgeia) (thus in Rhet. Her., Theon, Hermogenes, Aphthonius, etc.), that is, a description which tries to bring its object clearly in front of the readers' eyes: persons, things, situations, cities, seasons, celebrations, etc. (cf. [8; 17]). The object was not specified until Nicolaus Rhetor (5th cent. AD) as ‘primarily statues, visual works (εἰκόνες), and related things’. The ekphrasis

Bion

(1,386 words)

Author(s): Goulet-Cazé, Marie-Odile (Antony) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence)
(Βίων; Bíōn). [German version] [1] Of Borysthenes Peripatetic philosopher (c. 335-c. 245 BC) Eclectic, peripatetic philosopher ( c. 335- c. 245 BC) born in the city of Olbia at the river Borysthenes' outlet into the Black Sea. Details of his life are known to us principally from Diog. Laert. 4,46-58: the son of a freedman selling pickled fish and a hetaera, he was at a young age sold into slavery with his family when his father evaded taxes. He was bought by a rhetor and received a rhetorical education; he later t…

Antimachus

(718 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Selzer, Christoph (Frankfurt/Main)
(Ἀντίμαχος; Antímachos). [German version] [1] Trojan, opponent of Antenor Trojan, opponent of  Antenor. When, before the war, Menelaus and Odysseus demanded the return of Helen in Troy, he advised, contrary to custom and tradition, killing the envoys (Hom. Il. 3,205; 11,138). Later, bribed by Paris, he prevented the handing over of Helen, then under consideration by the Trojans (Hom. Il. 11,123 ff.). His three sons were killed by the Greeks (Hom. Il. 12,188). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Two Indo-Greek kings in the 2nd cent. BC Two Indo-Greek kings in the 2nd c…

Nicander

(1,519 words)

Author(s): Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Fornaro, Sotera (Sassari) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Damschen, Gregor (Halle/Saale) | Et al.
(Νίκανδρος; Níkandros). [German version] [1] Spartan king, c. 715 BC Spartan king, Eurypontid, the father of Theopompus (Hdt. 8,131). N. led the raid of Spartans and Asinaeans into Argolis, in retaliation for which the Argives destroyed Asine [1] ( c. 715 BC). The settlement was refounded a few years later on the Messenian Gulf (Asine [2]; Paus. 2,36,4f.; 3,7,4; 4,14,3f.). Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) Bibliography M. Meier, Aristokraten und Damoden, 1998, 74f., 93, 96. [German version] [2] Strategos in the Aetolian League, 190/189, 184/3 and 177/6 BC Son of Bittus of Trichonium (Syll.3 5…

Apollonius

(7,446 words)

Author(s): Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Hunter, Richard (Cambridge) | Pressler, Frank (Heidelberg) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Et al.
(Ἀπολλώνιος; Apollṓnnios). [German version] [1] Dioiketes of Ptolemy II (259-245 BC) Of Caria, possibly Ptolemaic o ikonomos there in 267 BC. Was dioiketes of Ptolemy II from April /May 259 until the end of 245; in 252 escorted Berenice to her wedding to Antiochus II. At a critical transition period A. found himself responsible for the economy of the kingdom of the Ptolemies, adapting the fiscal system to the monetary economy of the Lagids, for which purpose he was entrusted with the management of finances and the co…