The literary activity of Hermippos of Smyrna (2nd half 3rd century B.C.) covered various fields, but he mainly gained fame as a biographer of celebrities in the cultural and literary sphere: legislators, the Seven Sages, philosophers, rhetoricians, poets.
The present study (edition, translation and commentary) of the fragmentary remains of his biographical and other historical works shows Hermippos firmly entrenched in the Alexandrian intellectual milieu of his time, as exemplified by his derivative method and his juxtaposition of sensational stories and pinacographical material (lists of writings, pupils); his aim can best be described as 'infotainment'.
No other biographer has been cited more often by later writers in antiquity, and Suetonius singled him out as an influential predecessor, so Hermippos stands as a key figure in the history of ancient biography.
Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker is available in print, and now also online as part of the online reference work
Jacoby Online. Please
click here for more details.
A study of the phenomenon of literary patronage, both non-imperial and imperial, during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian (81-96 A.D.). This work centres on the
Epigrams of Martial and the
Silvae of Statius.
The book deals not only with the relationships between poets and patrons, but also with the audiences and the functions of patron-oriented poetry. It includes discussions of such topics as "patronage" versus "friendship", the poetic "I", the role of poetry at symposia and festivals, dedication and publication, the influence of rhetoric on poetry, and the poetic representation of imperial power.
The book should prove of interest not only to specialists in Roman poetry, but also to ancient historians and to students of literary patronage in other cultures. All Latin and Greek is translated.