In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
Author: Guy Walker

Abstract

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.

In: Mnemosyne
Author: Dylan James

Abstract

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.

In: Mnemosyne

Abstract

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.

In: Mnemosyne

Abstract

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.

In: Mnemosyne

Abstract

This article examines the role of Heracles as a mythical figure and god in Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Clitophon in order to show the ways in which his representation shapes a reading of the novel. This analysis argues that Heracles, a frequent presence in L&C, is depicted as an erotic figure over a heroic one and that he, therefore, embodies the interweaving of myth, narrative, and eroticism captured in the phrase mȳthoi erōtikoi and thematized throughout the novel. Furthermore, I suggest that the novel’s emphasis on erotic Heracles not only influences the reader’s understanding of Clitophon, but also contributes to the novel’s disruption of the genre’s expectations around heteroeroticism, monogamy, and marriage as the telos of the plot.

In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
Author: Ruobing Xian

Abstract

In this article I offer a new interpretation of the puzzling phrase ἀµύµονος Αἰγίσθοιο at Od. 1.29 by focusing on the context of Od. 1.29-31. A closer analysis of the passage within the narrative logic of the proem strongly suggests that Zeus, after the departure of Poseidon, should think of Odysseus. While Zeus’ opening speech is to be understood as a covert signal to Athena, Homer’s audience is invited to recognize the speech’s direct relevance to Odysseus: the narrator deliberately utilizes the apparent incongruity of the phrase ‘blameless Aegisthus’ to alert the audience to its significance. Not only is the epithet ἀµύµων most frequently attributed to Odysseus in the Odyssean tradition, but also the formulaic combination between Zeus (ἴστω νῦν Ζεύς) and ‘blameless Odysseus’ (Ὀδυσῆος ἀµύµονος) helps the audience to reflect upon the epic hero’s fate and deeds.

In: Mnemosyne

Abstract

An incomplete Latin glossary attributed to ‘Imogontes’ in the only known manuscript (Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Urb.lat. 452) is, in fact, a copy of a text that Ciriaco d’Ancona found at Monza on 27 November, 1442. From the transmission histories of the other texts found with ‘Imogontes’, I suggest that Ciriaco put two copies of the text into circulation; although those copies travelled widely and in the company of other texts that were frequently copied, they drew almost no interest whatsoever from later readers. Although ‘Imogontes’ turns out to be a ghost, the text itself gives yet more information about the interests and obsessions of Ciriaco.

In: Mnemosyne