This article argues, in a series of discrete but interconnected notes, that Statius engages consistently and consciously with mythographical works—prose collections and exegesis on myth as myth—in the creation of his two major catalogs in the Thebaid, the catalog of Argive allies at 4.1-344 and that of Theban allies at 7.243-373. Both are patently based on Homer’s ‘Catalog of Ships’, but Statius reshapes his model by engaging ingeniously with mythographical and geographical works in prose to invent a unique pre-Iliadic landscape. This paper also explores some of the literary ways in which Statius reinvents Homer’s catalog, including offering his readers mythological puzzles that require knowledge both of Homer’s text and subsequent scholarship thereon.
GeorgacopoulouS., 'Ranger/déranger. Catalogues et listes de personnages dans la Thébaïde', in F. Delarue, S. Georgacopoulou, P. Laurens and A.-M. Taisne(eds), Epicedion. Hommage à P. Papinius Statius, (Poitiers1996) 93-129.
MontanariF., 'Mythographus Homericus', in J.G.J. Abbenes, S.R. Slings and I. Sluiter(eds), Greek Literary Theory after Aristotle. A Collection of Papers in Honour of D.M. Schenkeveld, (Amsterdam1995) 135-172.
PronteraF., 'Sull’esegesi ellenistica della geografia omerica', in G.W. Most, H. Petersmann and A.M. Ritter(eds), Philanthropia kai eusebeia. Festschrift für Albrecht Dihle zum 70. Geburtstag, (Göttingen1993) 387-397.
For Ovid see Cameron2004261-303(contra Graf 2002 119); Cole 2004; Cole 2008; Farrell 2013 223-251. For a positive view that Valerius Flaccus engaged with prose mythographical texts see Zissos 2008 xxiv-xxv (for the scholia to Apollonius Rhodius see ad 1.413-419).
Overviews: Legras190551-55; Kytzler 1969 219-230; Juhnke 1972 88-92; Vessey 1973 196-204; Georgacopoulou 1996 103-107; Asquith 2001 67-72; Lovatt 2005 181-186; Steiniger 2005 11-53; McNelis 2007 81-86; Micozzi 2007 3-15; Parkes 2012 61-66 (ad 4.32-344); cf. Reitz 2013. Some towns however are taken directly from Homer e.g. Theb. 4.102-104 Il. 2.638-644; Theb. 4.286 = Il. 2.606; see Helm 1892 17-19.
Vessey1973198Parkes 2012 ad loc.
Vessey1973200-201; Parkes 2012 ad loc.
Juhnke197291Steiniger 2005 ad loc. and Micozzi 2007 ad loc. all note the Laconian presence but make nothing of it.
Smolenaars1994122suggests that Statius “in adding 16 geographical names to Homer’s list . . . probably [drew] on Pliny’s enumeration of Boeotian and Phocian towns.” This includes Tanagra but this is improbable not least because Pliny’s list contains no mention of any myth in connection with Tanagra; in fact myth hardly figures into Pliny’s account at all.
See Lightfoot2009297n. 93 ad fr. 65 “It is not clear whether Euphorion told all or part of the story.”