Polymnestus (seventh century BC) is represented in Ps.-Plu. De mus. as the second composer of aulodic nomes and processional songs after Clonas. This paper argues that Polymnestus’ nomes bore his name and that he did not compose either the orthian nomes or those ascribed to Clonas. Polymnestus’ music continued to be known in the classical period; he was considered to be working in an innovative, but decent and sublime style. This does not fit well with the assertion of the scholia to Aristophanes, based on Ar. Eq. 1287 and Cratin. fr. 338 K-A, that Polymnestus composed obscene songs. An explanation for this incongruity is proposed: the expressions Πολυµνήστεια ποιεῖν and Πολυµνήστει’ ἀείδειν may be a pun which connected an Athenian named Polymnestus with his great Colophonian namesake. Thus it provides no information about the artistic heritage of Polymnestus of Colophon, but instead proves his fame in the classical period.
This paper deals with the deuteros plous, literally ‘the second voyage’, proverbially ‘the next best way’, discussed in Plato’s Phaedo, the key passage being Phd. 99e4-100a3. I argue that (a) the ‘flight into the logoi’ can have two different interpretations, a standard one and a non-standard one. The issue is whether at 99e-100a Socrates means that both the student of erga and the student of logoi consider images (‘the standard interpretation’), or the student of logoi does not consider images (‘the non-standard interpretation’); (b) the non-standard one implies the problem of the hypothesis, a problem analogous to the problem of the elenchus; (c) there is a structural analogy between Descartes’ ontological argument for the existence of God in his 5th Meditation and the final proof for the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo.
Although scholarship has identified multiple ironic elements throughout Theocritus’ Idyll 18, his epithalamium for Helen, this paper offers a new perspective on Theocritus’ ambiguity, his allusive puns, and his ironic comparisons that masquerade as generic hymeneal topoi. Additionally, the embedded aetiology of Helen’s tree-cult has long eluded interpretation. This paper proposes a metapoetic reading for the plane-tree and its arboreal inscription. As a mise en abyme, it forms a metatextual link between the imagined internal reader and the external audience to reflect on the power of the author and the text over the reader.
The use of ὀνοµαζόµενα at Arr. Ind. 27.1 continues to puzzle scholars. This article uses the textual debate as a jumping-off point to explore Nearchus’ presentation of naval guides and their role on Alexander’s expedition, something which previous interpretations of the passage have not adequately considered. Through examination of all Nearchan fragments, I argue that providing local place names was a key aspect of a guide’s role and significant for navigation. It is also suggested that the use of this verb may additionally refer to the Macedonians’ practice of giving places new names or altering indigenous names; in this section, comparative material from New World conquest is brought to bear on the ancient evidence. In light of this analysis, I conclude that the manuscript reading of ὀνοµαζόµενα should be retained.
A number of ancient texts ascribe to the well-known sophist Prodicus a theory concerning the rise of religion according to which early men came to regard and worship as gods all kinds of things useful to life. Modern scholars often claim that Prodicus also envisaged a second stage during which inventors of useful things came to be considered divine. The evidence adduced is a passage from Philodemus’ On Piety, which is then, more or less explicitly, considered superior to the other testimonies. The Stoic philosopher Persaeus is here reported to have briefly sketched and endorsed Prodicus’ theory in one of his works. However, a thorough syntactical analysis of the passage reveals that it confirms the rest of the evidence. The second stage obviously alluded to in the damaged text of the papyrus is without doubt ascribed to Persaeus himself.
Suetonius’ biography of Caligula contains two mentions of the sacrifice of exotic birds: at Cal. 22.3 a range of them are sacrificed to the emperor and at Cal. 57.4 Caligula sacrifices a flamingo. By setting these references within the larger context of Roman sacrifice, this article argues that these sacrifices should be considered perverted acts. They form part of Suetonius’ strategy of depicting Caligula’s religious activities as an aberration. Looking beyond Suetonius’ text, the bird sacrifices prompt wider questions about the nature of the Cult of Caligula and about what constitutes an appropriate sacrifice in the Roman world.