Brill’s Companion to Greek and Latin Epyllion and Its Reception


In classical scholarship of the past two centuries, the term “epyllion” was used to label short hexametric texts mainly ascribable to the Hellenistic period (Greek) or the Neoterics (Latin). Apart from their brevity, characteristics such as a predilection for episodic narration or female characters were regarded as typically “epyllic” features. However, in Antiquity itself, the texts we call “epyllia” were not considered a coherent genre, which seems to be an innovation of the late 18th century. The contributions in this book not only re-examine some important (and some lesser known) Greek and Latin primary texts, but also critically reconsider the theoretical discourses attached to it, and also sketch their literary and scholarly reception in the Byzantine and Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Modern Age.

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Manuel Baumbach, Dr. phil. (1997) in Classics, University of Heidelberg, is Professor of Classics at the Ruhr-University Bochum. His research focuses on Hellenistic Poetry and the Second Sophistic. He has published books on Lucian and he is the co-editor of Labored in Papyrus Leaves: Perspectives on an Epigram Collection Attributed to Poseidippus (2004), Quintus Smyrnaeus: Transforming Homer in Second Sophistic Epic (2007), and Archaic and Classical Greek Epigram (2010).

Silvio Bär, Dr. phil. (2008) in Classics, University of Zurich, is a research assistant and lecturer at the University of Zurich. His research focuses, inter alia, on Greek epic poetry of the imperial period. He has co-edited (together with Manuel Baumbach) Quintus Smyrnaeus: Transforming Homer in Second Sophistic Epic (2007), and is currently writing a book-length study on the Greek hero Herakles.

Contributors: Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Silvio Bär, Manuel Baumbach, Anton Bierl, Peter Bing, Ewen Bowie, Carmen Cardelle de Hartmann, Nicola Dümmler, Ulrich Eigler, Marco Fantuzzi, Kathryn Gutzwiller, Regina Höschele, Richard Hunter, Jacqueline Klooster, Martin Korenjak, Peter Kuhlmann, Christine Luz, Virgilio Masciadri, Ivana Petrovic, Thomas A. Schmitz, Peter Stotz, Stefan Tilg, Vincent Tomasso, and Gail Trimble.
" This is an excellent collection of detailed and at times adventurous studies of a large range of texts", Calum Maciver, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2013.12.02
A Short Introduction to the Ancient 'Epyllion'. Manuel Baumbach & Silvio Bär


1. History and Development of the Term and Concept of the ‘Epyllion’
Before the Epyllion: Concepts and Texts
Virgilio Masciadri
On the Origins of the Modern Term ‘Epyllion’: Some Revisions to a Chapter in the History of Classical Scholarship
Stefan Tilg
Catullus 64: the Perfect Epyllion?
Gail Trimble

2. The Archaic and Pre-Hellenistic Period
The Songs of Demodocus: Compression and Extension in Greek Narrative Poetry
Richard Hunter
Demodokos’ Song of Ares and Aphrodite in Homer’ Odyssey (8.266-366): an Epyllion? – Agonistic Performativity and Cultural Metapoetics
Anton Bierl
Borderline Experiences with Genre: The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite between Epic, Hymn and Epyllic Poetry
Manuel Baumbach
Rhapsodic Hymns and Epyllia
Ivana Petrovic
The Pseudo-Hesiodic Shield and The Poetics of Deferral
Peter Bing

3. The Hellenistic Period
Pindaric Narrative Technique in the Hellenistic Epyllion
Christine Luz
The Hecale and Hellenistic Conceptions of Short Hexameter Narratives
Kathryn Gutzwiller
Miniaturizing the Huge: Hercules on a Small Scale (Theocritus Idylls 13 and 24)
Benjamin Acosta-Hughes
Herakles in Bits and Pieces: Id. 25 in the Corpus Theocriteum
Thomas A. Schmitz
Achilles at Scyros, and One of his Fans: The Epithalamium of Achilles and Deidameia (Buc. Gr. 157-158 Gow)
Marco Fantuzzi

4. The Late Roman Republic and the Augustan Period
“εἰς ἔπη καὶ ἐλεγείας ἀνάγειν”: The Erotika Pathemata of Parthenius of Nicaea
Jacqueline J.H.Klooster
A Virgo infelix: Calvus’ Io vis-à-vis Other Cow-And-Bull Stories
Regina Höschele
The Tenth Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses as Orpheus’ Epyllion
Ulrich Eigler

5. The Imperial Period
The Fast and the Furious: Triphiodorus’ Reception of Homer in the Capture of Troy
Vincent Tomasso
Musaeus, Hero and Leander: Between Epic and Novel
Nicola Nina Dümmler
‘Museum of Words’: Christodorus, the Art of Ekphrasis and the Epyllic Genre
Silvio Bär
The Motif of the Rape of Europa: Intertextuality and Absurdity of the Myth in Epyllion and Epic Insets
Peter Kuhlmann

6. The Middle Ages and Beyond
‘Epyllion’ or ‘Short Epic’ in the Latin Literature of the Middle Ages?
Carmen Cardelle de Hartmann & Peter Stotz
Short Mythological Epic in Neo-Latin Literature
Martin< Korenjak/i>
Robert Burns’ Tam O’Shanter: a Lallans Epyllion?
Ewen L. Bowie

General Bibliography

General Index
Index of Passages Discussed
All those interested in Greek and Latin literature, literary theory, genre, and the history of reception