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On the metrical inscription found at Pergamum ('SEG' 39.1334).

Written in Phalaecians [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and dating from the second decade (230-220) in the reign of Attalus I, the following inscription was found at Pergamum in 1966 and published by H. Muller in 1989:(1)



The epigram is remarkable for its metre(3) as well as for the amount of erudition it displays. Thoenias of Sicyon was already known as a later representative of the school of Lysippus; that Dionysodorus was a fellow-citizen of his has not emerged so far, but he is mentioned by Polybius as an admiral and an emissary of Attalus.(4) `Frisky' is known to us from an epigram by Dioscorides, where he guards the tomb of Sositheus, and from a passage of Nonnus;(5) Cornutus, N.D. 30 classified Scirti along with Satyrs and Silens. But the poet remains unnamed: Dionysodorus, a military man, can hardly be credited with such a piece of refined Hellenistic versification (6)

The Sicyonian background of the epigram has been already investigated,(7) but I should like to offer a further suggestion. Dionysodorus and Thoenias as well as Pratinas of Phlius, Scirtus and Dionysus all seem to point to that corner of the Peloponnesus which lies west of Acrocorinth. The lower Asopus valley between Phlius and Sicyon was prominent in antiquity for its vineyards and for Dionysiac revelry.(8) I wonder if we should not apply there also for an author's name. Despite efforts to suggest the contrary, Pergamum in the early reign of Attalus was hardly an abode for poets.(9) Had the epigram been transmitted in literary rather than inscriptional form, it would have been likely to end up in one of the sources of A.P. 13, just as Phalaecus' hendecasyllables did.(10) There we find, instead, a poem by Theodoridas (a Syracusan by birth. but also active on the Greek mainland, and an adversary of Euphorion).(11) blaming his contemporary Mnasalces of Sicyon for clumsily composing dithyrambs in the manner of Simonides:


Though mainly known to us for elegiac epigrams. Mnasalces is deservedly itemized in 1). F. Sutton's Dithyrambographi Graeci.(13)He seems to have been a Sicyonian patriot from the age of Aratus, and was possibly commissioned to write a dedicatory inscription by the Boeotian Orchomenus.(14) Evidence that it was he who wrote the Scirtus epigram is not at hand, but consider the allowing: (i) he is chronologically compatible. (ii) he probably had connections with Oropus, also a place of interest for Thoenias (IG VII 384. 431);(15) (iii) he appears to have written Dionysiac poetry;(16) (iv) the rather artificial disposition of words in the new epigram is somewhat reminiscent of the late-archaic lyric style: (v) Mnasalces used to imitate Simonides, who was in turn the most successful composer of dithyrambs in his time (epigr. 97 FGE); (vi) he definitely comes of Sicyonian stock.(17)

Of the huge production of Simonides in this field just one fragment survives,two perhaps.(18) More are likely to lurk among the incertae sedis; I surmise that one such is 119/624 PMG: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]


[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Cramer, An Ox. i. 424, 1 5 - 16). Now [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is vox nihili(19) but [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] would be easily recommended, if by nothing else, by haplography. In fact it had already been conjectured, as Page and Campbell record, by A. Hecker in 1850: `[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ignotum: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] coni. Hecker'(20) Actually what Hecker wrote was not a common noun but [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],(21) the satyr. Was this a forerunner of the SicyonianPhliasian namesake, whom we met at Pergamum?(22)

L. LEHNUS State University of Milan/ Wolfson College, Oxford

(1) Ein neues hellenistisches Weihepigramm aus Pergamon'. Chiron 19 (IS89), 499-553.

(2) D. Lebek, ZPE 82 (1990), 297,-8.

(3) On stichic hendecasyllables in Hellenistic poetry see R. Kassel, Kleine Schriften (Berlin & New York, 1991), 138-9.

(4) Details in Muller, op. cit. (n. 1), 50021.

(5) A.P. 7.707 end Dion. 14.111. Add SEG 36.1263, from late-antique Paphos.

(6) Muller op. cit. (n. 1), 535 rightly discards Dioscorides. who was active in Alexandria. Rut Dionysodorus is no appropriate replacement.

(7) Most thoroughly by A. Kerkhecker, Zum neuen hellenistischen Weihepigramm aus Pergamon'. ZPE 86 (1991), 30-2.

(8) Antiph. fr. 233.2 K.-A., Athen. 33bc, Plin. N.H. 14.74. Claiming Sicyonian origin and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Scirtus seems to enjoy being involved in that tangle of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], dithyramb and satyr-play which had Sicyon and Phlius as its joint background.

(9) E. V Hansen, The Attalids of [Pergamon .sup.2] (Ithaca & London, 1971), 408 would incline to attribute P. Hamb. inv. 381 to that milieu, but see Lloyd-Jones and Parsons on SH 958. Leschides was later.

(10) A P. 13.6. See G. Morelli. `Origine e formazione del tredicesimo libro dell'Antologia Palatina', RFIC 113 (1985), 257-96 (esp. 279ff.).

(11) Second half of III century, cf P. Maas s.v. Theodoridas in Pauly-Wissowa (1934), and M Gabathuler, Hellenistische Epigramme auf Dichter (Dies. Basel, 1937), pp. 31-2, 92.

(12) A.P. 13.21.3-6 = epigr. 18 Seelbach (1964). I print Beckby's and Buffiere's text ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salmasius, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] P; [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Jacobs, [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] P: a [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Toup, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]-P), but I am aware of the textual shortcomings of the passage, which Gow and Page obelized, though conceding that `the first half of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is evidently rightly corrected and its implication clear' (HE ii. 547). Mnasalces is styled [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] v. 2, and we know that Simonides also wrote elegies (frr. ]-18 IE[G.sup.2]), but Theodoridas' bombastic language hardly suggests parody of elegy, cf F. Buffiere in the Bude edition (1970).

(13) `This epigram would appear to show that Mnasalces wrote dithyrambs as well as epigrams' 68 test I (1989). Since the publication of P. Koln 204 in 1985 Mnasalces is no longer to tee thought of as an exclusively elegiac epigrammatist.

(14) Epigr. 15 Seelbach (attribution discussed on pp. 54-5). On Mnasalces' chronology and political stance see J. Geffcken, s.v. in Pauly-Wissowa (1932).

(15) IG V11 395, cf A. Wilhelm, Neue Beitrage zur griechischen Inschriftenkunde (Wien, 1915), iv. 3-6

(16) For dithyramb and Satyrs cf T. B. L. Webster in Pickard-Cambridge, DT[C.sup.2] 20, for Pratinas see B. Zimmermann, Dithyrambos. Geschichte einer Gattung (Gottingen, 1992), 124-5. Theodoridas too wrote dithyrambs (fr. 739 SH) and his link with Sicyon through Mnasalces should not be overlooked: he is a possible candidate too.

(17) From the deme of Plataeae. see no. 212 Skalet, Prosopographia Sicyonia (1928). Epigr. I S. deals with a vine shedding its leaves prematurely.

(18) 34/539 PMG. cf. Ar. Byz. fr. 124 Slater.

(19) `Haeremus' says F. W. Schneidewin (ed.), Simonidis Cei reliquiae (Brunsvigae. 1835), 129.

(20) Page, cf. Campbell (ed.), GL iii. pp. 488-9.

(21) See Philologus 5 (1850), 510.

(22)Doubts on the assumed attribution of the poem to Dionysodorus (most recently SEG 39, 453) arose during the discussion following a paper on Callimachean chronology. which I gave in Cambridge in November 1994: 1 am indebted to members of the Literary Seminar for many thought-provoking comments I am especially grateful to Dr (now Professor) James Diggle, Cambridge, and to Mr Franco Basso, Oxford, for reading subsequent drafts of this note and offering helpful suggestions, as well as for greatly improving my English. For what is here I am solely responsible.
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Author:Lehnus, L.
Publication:The Classical Quarterly
Date:Jan 1, 1996
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