This paper deals with the epigram of Herodicus (apud Ath. 5.222a). First it is examined as a piece of Greek literature—with a history, a number of imitators, a Greek intellectual and scholarly context, and the expressive resources of the Greek language. Several cruces are discussed, but the meaning of the final two words of the poem—θεόπαις Βαβυλών—is of particular importance. The internal syntactic structure of the compound adjective θεό-παις is analysed using comparative evidence from Greek. But the actual comparandum that is argued to be crucial for establishing its meaning is an epithet of Babylon found in Akkadian and Sumerian. The basis for the relevance of this is the existence of Akkadian texts in Greek script (the ‘Graeco-Babyloniaca’), which are reviewed in full as part of the evidence for cultural contact in Hellenistic Babylon.
The first unmetrical word of Leonidas, AP 6.4 requires emendation, not explanation. On the basis of a variant in Lucian, a new textual suggestion is made. The paper explores metrical and intertextual criteria for explaining the passage, but rejects them in favour of emendation.