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From Pittacus to Byzantium: the history of a Callimachean epigram.

Callimachus, ep. 1 Pfeiffer (= LIV Gow-Page = AP 7.89) relates an anecdote about Pittacus: when consulted by a stranger from Atarneus who was wondering whether to marry a woman of his own social class or one of a higher status, he suggests the question is answered by the cries of the children playing with tops, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The chequered history of the transmission and interpretation of the poem is beset by a number of unfavourable or patronizing judgements which, I hope to show, have their origin in a series of misunderstandings. The poem seems to lack the sharp point characteristic of epigrams, and indeed Gow-Page go so far as to pronounce that it `has no claim to be called an epigram at all'.(1) We now have a number of valuable parallels for the unusual length of the piece,(2) but grave doubts continue to be expressed about the Callimachean authorship of the poem. While Diogenes Laertius (henceforth referred to as `D.L.'), who quotes the poem in his life of Pittacus (1.79ff.), explicitly attributes it to [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in P and Pl there is no ascription at all: there our epigram has been mistakenly consigned to the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] simply because AP 7.81 (= Antipater XXXIV Gow-Page), on the Seven Sages, is followed by some fifty epigrams on them and other philosophers, all (save three) derived from D.L. In the Palatine ms. there survive traces of the questions raised by this poem, though--surprisingly--both Pfeiffer and Gow-Page fail to report them. The hand which Stadtmuller called L,(3) now generally accepted as identical with J (convincingly identified by Cameron as that of Constantine the Rhodian),(4) adds the note [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. This puzzling and contradictory assertion may be explained in three different ways: (i) by accepting Schneider's improbable suggestion(5) that after [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] the words [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] have dropped out by reason of homoeoteleuton; (ii) by regarding the note as a lapse of memory, or an invention; or (iii) by positing that in a copy of D.L., not known to us, used by J or his exemplar, the introductory formula [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (sc. Pittacum) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] had lost its last clause, and the epigram came immediately after [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

The suspicion that the poem might have been written by D.L. himself was also voiced by the corrector C, who adds `recentiore charactere et nigriore atramento' the words [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. This note, even more than the earlier one of J, seems to be of the same order as the speculative ascription proposed by J in the upper margin of at line 10: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Here Pittacus' city of origin has prompted Constantine the Rhodian's outright invention of Alcaeus' authorship (as so often, the epigrammatist Alcaeus has been confused with his namesake the Iyric poet of Mytilene, who was known to have been a contemporary of Pittacus);(6) Constantine Cephalas seems to have had a special interest in Alcaeus the epigrammatist: cf. the note of J at AP 7.429.5 (= Alcaeus XVI Gow-Page) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(7)

Until now J's note at the level of line 13 has either been totally ignored or regarded as misguided; it reads [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. No-one has seen that this echoes a supposedly historical detail from the life of Pittacus: cf. Suda [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1659 (iv p. 137.3ff. Adler) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], an anecdote derived from D.L. 1.74. The full significance of the note emerges when it is recognized as an explanation of line 7, where the gloss cleverly elucidates the pointed reference of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which all modern commentators have missed. Pittacus, who in his youth had been a doughty fighter, and had fought a famous duel with the Athenian Phrynon, in advanced old age had to content himself with a pathetic `weapon', his stick, which Callimachus refers to in ironically grandiloquent diction.(8) If J, copying this note, inserted it at the wrong place, and indeed on the wrong page (line 7, where it belongs, is on page 220, whereas line 13 is on p. 221), this shows that he was simply transcribing something he found in his copy-text, probably in Cephalas' exemplar.

All these doubts which troubled Byzantine scholars are of course dispelled if we accept the specific attribution by D.L., but they continue to exercise a baleful influence on the understanding and appreciation of the epigram, as is clearly shown by the verdict of Gow-Page: `it must be said that if the ascription were absent nobody would suppose an anecdote so flat and straightforward to be Callimachus'.' Such an outright condemnation is based on an implausible assumption about the poem as a whole, namely that Callimachus introduces the Pittacus story merely to illustrate the relevance of a proverbial saying to his addressee Dion, who, it is presumed, is facing a similar dilemma to that which the unnamed [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] consulted his friend Pittacus about.(9) But if in fact Dion too was about to marry, and was prevaricating between two prospective brides, the whole epigram would be bound to end, quite predictably, in a resounding flop. D.L. seems to have realized this, and sought to salvage what he presumed to be the point of the epigram by dredging up the tittle-tattle explanation that Pittacus' advice was based on his own experience, because his high-born wife [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1.81). A less naive dodge was contrived by whoever replaced the original [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the last line with [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; this is the reading of P and Pl, and gives the whole poem a general application. It met with the approval of Coppola, who argued that [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] implies [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] a programmatic reference to the Prologue to the Telchines (fr. 1.26ff. Pf.) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]|[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Though he was right to adduce this passage, one must reply with McKay,(10) `But the inadequacy of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to express the sympathetic reader is then extremely glaring. If [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is addressed to every reader, the poem would reach those who would need to be told [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].' Yet McKay's own solution, that the children mean `keep to your own track' (he compares Schol. Aesch. PV 887 [p. 214.9-10 Herington] [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and that Dion is being `advised to stick to philosophy and not meddle in literary matters', rests on hazardous a priori assumptions which are incapable of proof, and takes no account of the way in which the anecdote confers on children's play the paradigmatic significance of an oracular response. Justice was done to this question by the Polish scholar Sinko,(11) who interprets the epigram as a kind of poetic epistle to Dion, who is planning to marry, and sees its point in the modification of the familiar Delphic-sounding saying [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Callimachus, he claims, made this change `ut illud cum more Aegyptio ab Apide consilium petendi coniungeret; qua in re Apidis parses secundum antiquam memoriam Pittaco tribuit, dictum autem ipsum [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] exposita illustravit, qua verbo [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] sensus pristinus redderetur'.

In any case it seems opportune to take as our starting point the central importance of the game the children are playing: we need to know more about the game itself and its symbolic meaning. While it is true that the top is certainly apposite in the context of love (cf. the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of Pindar, Pyth. 4.21-4, Theocr. Id. 2.17), Callimachus' motive in choosing this game may also have been his wish, as so often, to make a learned allusion to Homeric scholarship. Among all the various references to children's games in Homer (cf. especially the striking similes Il. 11.558-62, 15.361-6) one stands out, the comparison of Hector, gravely wounded by his enemy, to a top in Il. 14.413 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. This striking simile gave rise to a great variety of would-be explanations; scholia bT (iii p. 663-4.31-6 Erbse) offer a sample: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 419); [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 414-5), [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] This is a complex crux interpretationis, on which see now Janko's commentary, p. 214. Callimachus' view of the solution to this Homeric problem is shown by the wording of his epigram, which has no fewer than three verbal elements in common with the scholion D ad loc. (ii p. 55 Dindorf), [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(12)

But what are the Realien of the game Callimachus alludes to? The interpretation of the mysterious cry shouted by the children is inextricably bound up with this question. If [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], it would mean `whip your own top'; if on the other hand [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (a frequent ellipse), it must be understood as `direct it in your track' or 'keep to your own track'. The ambiguity is heightened by the fact that we do not know whether the children are addressing their playmates, as is usually supposed, or, alternatively, they are apostrophizing the top `go your own way'. The latter is the interpretation prompted by the related paraphrase in the scholion to Aesch. PV 887-93: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (McKay also cites Alciphron 1.12.2 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and the original references to Pittacus' interlocutor, whom a literal application of the children's `oracle' transforms into a top whipped by T [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

Given our ignorance of the game, which we cannot satisfactorily reconstruct either from literary sources or from pictorial representations,(13) one may postulate only two ways in which it could have worked: either each child competed against all the others, and the winner was the one who whipped his own top so as to keep it spinning for the longest time, or the children formed two teams, each of which tried to keep their own top, or tops, going as long as possible. Rather than taking the cry as a piece of advice shouted to team-mates 'de faire marcher celle qui est le plus pres d'eux' (Desrousseaux) or as a warning to the other side who had whipped their opponents' top (Beckby),(14) I feel we should interpret the phrase as a kind of magical or ritual refrain, a standard ingredient in children's play, addressed to the top, to make it follow its proper course and to win. Only with this interpretation does the formula seem appropriate, in a transferred sense, to the marital concerns of the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. That this and this only is the rightful interpretation seems to be confirmed by a number of arguments:

(i) The proverb, according to the paroemiographer Macarius (ii 217 Leutsch-Schneidewin), is applied [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(15)

(ii) The import of the expression tallies with a wise observation which may well go back to Pittacus himself;(16) it is to be seen in Hdt. 1.84, where Gyges says to Candaules [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; cf. Pind. P. 2.33-6 (Ixion addresses Hera) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Plato, Phaedr. 232d [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Tim. 72a, Gorg. 526c, Pol 433a-b, Critias 88 DK fr.41a.

(iii) There is a clear reference to the Sybaritic story told by Philocleon to the prosecutor in Aristoph. Wasps 1427-32 (cited by McKay 48):

[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

There the advice `run along to the doctor's' means in effect `it's no good complaining about your misfortune when you've brought it on yourself'. The saying [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Ps.-Diog. 8.46), which Prittwitz-Gaffron adduces,(17) has a very similar ring; and it is along these lines that we should interpret the choliamb of Cercidas of Megalopolis (fr. 58 Livrea)(18)

[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], it seems clear that Callimachus is alluding to a proverbial saying which counselled against overstepping the limits laid down for humankind in accordance with the teaching of Delphi: see G. Zanetto, P. Ferrari, Callimaco: Epigrammi (Milan, 1992), 93-4. Cf also Phot. Lex. 2. p. 212 Naber, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (test. 214, Martina, q.v., p. 112-13), [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ~ Cleobulus of Lindos, cited Demetrius of Phalerum in his T[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (D.L. 1.92 = p. 96.19 Snell) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Plut. de lib. educ. 13f This is a typically Cynic reversal of the traditional maxim which recommended the choice of a marriage partner from one's own socio-economic class.

(iv) Quasi-magical refrains accompany other games in which some omen about the future is sought: cf. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (carm. pop. 876b Page),(19) where, if the invocation of the sun was followed by its appearance, this constituted a good omen; and cf. above all the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] game recorded in Pollux 9.94.118 Bethe: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(= carm. pop. 30, fr. 876c Page). Despite the disagreements of interpreters on almost every detail,(20) it would be difficult to question the initiatory nature of the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which symbolizes [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and within the game brings about the rite of passage from girlhood to full motherhood; the `leap of Leucas' denotes, with its funerary imagery, the eternal renewal of the alternation of life and death. The girl caught by the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as she runs around her was surely the next one fated to undergo the transition from girlish innocence to the travails of motherhood, as a series of indications in the Distaff of Erinna seems to confirm.(21)

However, all this wealth of fascinating associations revealed in Callimachus' epigram(22) still does not serve to explain the final point, the profoundly sigruficant message which the playing children unwittingly convey. The only way we can avoid foisting on Callimachus a banal platitude which is quite unworthy of him is to include this text among the other well-known passages where he declares his wish to defend his own literary principles.(23) Perhaps Dion was a fellow-poet (rather than a philosopher hankering after poetry, as McKay would have it), wondering whether to compose according to the precepts of Callimachean poetics, which he personally found to his liking, and Callimachus accordingly exhorts him--adapting the verse associated with familiar advice on marriage--to avoid [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and to be true to his own natural inclination towards [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as in the parallel cases of his friends Heraclitus (ep. 2 Pf) and Theaetetus (ep. 7 Pf.), not to mention Aratus (ep. 27 Pf.). This train of thought, similar to those of Theoc. Id. 7.40-48, 22.218ff., is formulated in terms which closely recall the Prologue to the Telchines (fr. I Pf.): cf. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 3 ~ 1.11, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 14 ~ 1.29 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the mock-oracular response of Apollo; [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 15 ~ 1.9 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 10 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1.6 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 37 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 12, 16 ~ 1.26-7 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Moreover, the obscure reference in the Prologue to the asses of Arcadia(24) gains a coherent sense in the light of the literary-eritieal interpretation of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I have proposed: just as the asses of Arcadia, traditionally regarded as the best kind, cannot be forced to accept strange food because they prefer to flee to their poverty-stricken homeland, in the same way, Callimachus asserts, he cannot desert his own nature and will not chase after popular favour by accepting literary principles which are alien to his own outlook; his ideal is symbolized by the pure water, which is eraved also by the Arcadian asses. This conception is mirrored exactly in a fragment of P. Ant. 113 (= SH 239.6), which A. Harder assigns to the Aitia epilogue,(25) but without evoking the programmatic implications of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]:

[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

Seen from this perspective, Callimachus ep. 1, far from being a humdrum piece of narrative, has every right to be included among the most important texts in which Callimachus proclaims his conscious awareness of the originality of his art. From now on, we might speak of the poetics of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] a, to indicate the same complex of ideas and images which are expressed so magisterially in the Prologue to the Aitia and elsewhere. We may pass over as unimportant the question of the identity of the mysterious [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], to whom Callimachus addresses this lofty poetic manifesto; indeed, the variant [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], if it were acceptable, would actually allow us to invest the poem with all the weighty significance of an address by the poet to himself.

(1) A. S. F. Gow-D. L. Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams (Cambridge, 1965), ii. 205; their verdict is nghtly contested by G. Luck, `Witz und Sentiment im griechischen Epigramm', in Entretiens Hardt XIV, L'Epigramme grecque (Geneva, 1967), 392, who however goes no further than recognize in the poem `eine gute Geschichte mit einer Pointe so einfach wie moglich zu erzahlen und dabei das Wunder zu wirken, class sie sich in reine Dichtung verwandelt'. Cf. id., GGA (1967), 30-1. The same simplistic view is taken by L. Coco, Callimaco: Epigrammi (Manduria, Bari, Rome, 1988), 66.

(2) Alan Cameron, The Greek AnthologyfromMeleagertoPlanudes (Oxford, 1993),13 cites en unpublished Vienna papyrus containing the opening lines of two epigrams of twenty lines, one of twenty-one, one of forty, and even one of fifty-two. If the `Seal' of Posidippus was an epigram, it contained at least twenty-eight lines: cf. SH 705.

(3) The accuracy of Stadtmuller's apparatus to AP 7.89 (Leipzig, 1899, 2.1) can be confirmed by checking it against the facsimile of C. Preisendanz (Leiden, 1911).

(4) Op. cit. [n. 2], 298-328.

(5) O. Schneider, Callimachea i (Leipzig, 1870), 404.

(6) The evidence is collected by Gow-Page, HE ii.6-7. The note by the corrector C seems in keeping with his observation on AP 7.1: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(7) On this interesting episode of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the first Byzantine Renaissance (the `New Church' was built for the palace in 880, and the school attached to it dates at the latest from the reign of Leo VI, 886-912) see Cameron [n. 2], 110-11, who goes on to suggest `that Cephalas was Gregory's junior'.

(8) Far from being the nugae which Jacobs ([1817.sup.2], iii) scornfully rejected. The neat implication is that Callimachus was perfectly well aware of the military exploit of Pittacus' youth; Pittacus, and the Seven Sages in general attracted Callimachus' attention: see the diegesis to Iamb 1, p. 165 Pf., and esp. p. 163.15. For another spirited use of the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] cf. fr. 191.69. With his usual finesse B. Snell seems to have divined that the play on words implicit in [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was part of Callimachus' stock-in-trade: see Leben und Meinungen der Sieben Weisen (Munich, 1938), 121.

(9) Thus Gow-Page, HE ii.206, who add the qualification `though not in the same connexion as to the children or even to Pittacus' friend' to the pedestrian interpretation of F. Bum, Die Epigramme des Kallimachos (Diss. Vienna, 1940), 18, E. Howald-E. Staiger, Kallimachos: Dichtungen (Zurich, 1955), 172, T. B. L. Webster, Hellenistic Poetry and Art (London, 1964), 60; cf K. J. McKay, `Callimachea', SO 45 (1970), 41-3. G. Capovilla, Callimaco (Rome, 1967), ii.513-14 (where he oddly speaks of `bambini giocanti con le palline') actually maintains that [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the last line is to be identified with the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of line 1, such is the force of the assumption that Dion must be tormented by the same problem as the unnamed man from Atarneus.

(10) op. cit. (n. 9) 42. To his credit, McKay has spotted the double entendre of the second [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] comparable with [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in ep. 45.3. For [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] cf. Aristoph. Eccl. 39 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 109; 1082 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Peace 711 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Plat. Com. fr. 3.4 K-A [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; for the nautical origin of the metaphor see J. Taillardat, Les Images d'Aristophane (Paris, 1965), 101 [section] 180; contra J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse (New York and Oxford, 1991), 162 [Subsections] 260-1. There is of course no reason to think, with Sinko (v. next note), that Callimachus was suggesting by means of this double entendre that Dion was an adulterer, hankering after other men's wives.

(11) T. Sinko, `Ad Callimachi Epigramma I (de uxore eligenda)', Eos 20 (1914), 5-12, who compares Apul. Apol. 42, 43 (see A. Abt, `Die Apologie des Apuleius von Madaura und die antike Zauberei', RVV 4.2 (1908), 158-85), LXX Ps. 8.3 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (cf. Mt. 21.15), Aristid. Serm. s. 4.572, Cic. de Div. 1.46 (with Pease 287), Plut. de Is. et Os. 14 (with Gwyn Griffiths 315), Dio Chrys. or. 32.13, Pliny NH 8.185, Ael. NA 11.10 Xen. Eph. 5.4, etc. Cf also Corp. Herm. 10.15 (= i p.120 Nock-Festugiere) for the direct link between children and the World Soul. For the priestly functions of children, cf. Call. fr. 194.28-31 Pf., Clem. Al. Strom. 5.8.48.4-5, Iambl. Vit. Pyth. 10.52.

(12) H. Erbse, 'Homerscholien und Hellenistische Glossare bei Apollonios Rhodios', Hermes 81 (1953), 163-96, remains fundamental for the influence of the D scholia on the Alexandrians' imitatio Homerica.

(13) The classic treatment is L. Grasberger, Erziehung und Unterricht im klassischen Altertum (Whrzburg, 1864), i.77; see also the evidence collected by Daremberg-Saglio s.v. turbo (v.541-2), and add the red-figure lekythos reproduced in B. Schroder, Der Sport im Altertum (Berlin, 1927), 83 and Taf 37a, C. Watzinger, Vasen in Tubingen 78, Taf. 25, and the vase of Hegesibulus in RE 7 colt 2608.29. It is difficult to auribute a non-religious significance to the statue at Olympia of a boy with a top, opposite the statue of a victor, Paus. 6.1.7. For the influence of this epigram on Virgil, Aen. 7.378ff. see now A. Salvatore, `La similitudine della trottola in Callimaco e Virgilio', Studi G. Monaco ii (Palermo, 1991), 395-400.

(14) See Desrousseaux on AP 7.89 (p. 94), Beckby p. 574. Even if we do not accept Sinko's hypothesis, that the original phrase was [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which has been adapted to give a message about marriage (cf Aesch. PV 887-93 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(15) See Leutsch-Schneidewin on Apostol. 16.5 (ii 674-5), Diogen. 8.4.6 (i 314).

(16) For the moral outlook exemplified by [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], see A. E. Raubitschek, 'Ein neues Pittakeion', WS 71 (1958), 170-1.

(17) E. von Prittwitz-Gaffron, Das Sprichwort im griechischen Epigramm, (Giessen, 1912), 23-4 neatly renders this as `lebe nicht uber deine Verhaltnisse', 'im Stil des [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(18) Cercidas must have related, in keeping with the Cynic principle of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the story of the two successful [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] from Syracuse who were far from content with their own station in life, cf. Athen. 12.554c-e. The connection with the injunction [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was explored by Gerhard, Phoinix von Colophon (Leipzig, Berlin, 1909), with his usual acumen; he mentions the treatment of the same theme by one [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (= SH 131, p. 46), on whom see Fraser, Ptol. Alex. i 778-9, ii 1086-9. Perhaps one might suggest that here Callimachus is investing Pittacus with Cynic features; though again Pittacus also recalls Heraclitus, who preferred playing with children in the temple of Artemis to politicking with his fellow citizens. I suspect this provocative stance on Heraclitus' part could lead us to the correct understanding of the hitherto unexplained of 22 DK 52 (= fr. 93 Marcovich): [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. For the part played by children in Heraclitus, see R. Kassel, Quamodo quibus locis apud veteres scriptores Graecos infantes atque parvuli pueri inducantur describantur commemorentur (Wurzburg, 1954), 33; H. Herter, `Des Kind im Zeitalter des Hellenismus', BJ 132 (1927), 256ff., `Des Leben ein Kinderspiel', BJ 161 (1967), 73-84 (= Kleine Schriften 584-97), `Des unschuldige Kind', JAC 4 (1961), 146-62 (= K Schr. 598 619).)

(19) Cf. Athen. 14.619b [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (fr. 718 Page). That a top was kept in English parishes down to the time of Shakespeare (Twelfth Night 1.3.39-40 `turn o' th' toe like a parish-top') may lend force to the possibility that `originally it was a sacred object analogous to the wheels which were used in ceremonies to represent the chariot of the Sun' (Less. univ. Ital. 23, p. 455); see the texts collected by Kern on Orph. fr. 43, p. 110-11. If this is so, the oracular function of the top may not be Callimachus' fanciful invention after all.

(20) I hope to treat this subject more fully elsewhere; cf. for the present R. Drew Griffith, G. D'Ambrogio Gnffith, `II gioco della "chelichelone"', Maia 43 (1991), 83-7, who are unfortunately unaware of E. Livrea, Studi cercidei (Bonn, 1986), 90-3, on the marriage symbolism of the tortoise. Here I wish simply to stress that in each of the four iambic trimeters there is a strong flavour of the popular refrain, together with riddling questions and the secret lore of a mystical wisdom which finds its expression through the purity of children and the changeless and unselfconscious ritual of the game. The same factors seem to be present in the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of Callimachus.

(21) See the reference to the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in SH401.16, and cf S. Pomeroy, `Supplementary Notes on Erinna', ZPE 32 (1978), 17-22.

(22) As well as Pittacus' assigning of the oracular response to the children (see n. 18 above) one might mention at least: (i) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (line 14) used as a technical term for the oracular response, cf Plut. De Is. et Os. 14.356e [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (ii) the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of line 10: this is no gratuitous detail, but indicates the site par excellence for significant encounters, see Livrea on Nonnus, Par. 18.98, pp. 157-8.

(23) This was intuitively perceived by G. Serrao, Problemi di poesia alessandrina. 1: Studi su Teocrito (Rome, 1971), 53-5; he acutely observed the connection between [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Theoc. Id. 22.222-3 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], cf. also Id. 7.40-8. To the two possible ellipses [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Callimachus elegantly and allusively adds a third, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as Coppola had already postulated (cited in n. 10 above; Serrao misses this), referring to the Prologue to the Telchines. At the close of our epigram [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] must be taken as `style, literary-critical stance'. On the road metaphor in Callimachus, see the classic excursus by W. Wimmel, Kallimachos in Rom (Wiesbaden, 1960), 103ff., and add now A. Harder, `Untrodden Paths: where do they lead?' HSCP 93 (1990),287-304.

(24) This has of course survived only in the schoiia Londiniensia, correctly interpreted by M. Pohlenz, `KaHimachos' Aitia', Hermes 68 (1933),322-3; see E. Livrea, `Callimaco fr. 114 Pf, il Somnium, ed il Prologo degli Aitia', Hermes 123 (1995),47-62 and `Callimaco e gli asini', ZPE forthcoming, for the complex of problems raised by the image of the asses in the Prologue to the Telchines.

(25) A. Harder, `Some Thoughts about Callimachus, SH 239 and 253', ZPE 67 (1989), 26.
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Author:Livrea, Enrico
Publication:The Classical Quarterly
Date:Jul 1, 1995
Words:4879
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