Conclusions

The editor of this papyrus seems especially interested in highlighting connections between the poems in this collection and contemporary prose works, particularly the 'wonder-books' describing natural rarities inaugurated by Callimachus and popular throughout the Hellenistic period. The wording of the headings, the prominence of the 'wonder' topics (Xidixa, olu>vocK(miKa) at the head of the collection, the selection of epigrams, and the impression (even if partly false) of utilitarian sequencing within the sections all tend to create an epigram book with strong didactic colouring. A secondary emphasis on the Ptolemies, notably the queens, is not inconsistent with this didactic strain, but the flavour of this collection would be very different if the votive and equestrian sections (currently third and sixth) had instead been first and second. One section of the papyrus, however, displays a markedly different editorial aesthetic. The sculpture poems, with their symmetrical framing and thematic variatio, resemble other author-designed collections such as Callimachus' Aitia. This section was perhaps copied in its entirety from an exemplar organized in quite a different fashion—perhaps even one designed by Posidippus himself. Whatever its origins, the sculpture section ends by serving as a dramatic foil to the remainder of the book, a display piece which reveals the paths this editor chose not to take.

56 Lysippus as model for sculptors is followed by Philitas as model for poets (AB 62, 63; these programmatic poems are closely linked but also set off against one another); the miniature workmanship of Theodorus is paired with the colossus of Rhodes (AB 67, 68). See A. Sens, below, Ch. 11; Gutzwiller, 'Posidippus on Statuary'.

0 0

Post a comment