Performance and Occasion
Abstract and Keywords
This Chapter compares another pair of representations of Hermias, two epigrams in elegiacs. An epigram Aristotle is said to have composed for a memorial at Delphi is read against the mocking response to this verse by Theocritus of Chios and the different social functions of elegiacs as opposed to lyric verse are introduced. It emerges that Aristotle’s poetry for his friend necessarily took on a polemical, even propagandistic aspect. The genre of epigram also raises possibility that the occasion projected by a poem for its ostensible performance may be fictive, as in the case of “book epigrams.” Although it declares itself a poem inscribed on stone, Aristotle’s Delphic epigram shows a rhetorical subtlety that suggests that he, like Theocritus, may have anticipated the Hellenistic tradition of literary epigrams.
Having noticed some early documents from Hermias’s career, we turn to the poetry his death elicited. I begin not with Aristotle’s song but with a short epigram he composed in Hermias’s memory and an epigram responding to this by a contemporary poet, Theocritus of Chios. To take up these poems, however, is not to move at last from talking about historical context to texts, for these texts propose contexts and occasions for their own performance that we must take into account in interpreting them. This returns me to the argument with my colleague mentioned above, and my position that, although our reconstructions of performative contexts for Greek poems must be tentative and sometimes speculative, we cannot fail to attempt such reconstructions because the words of the poems often call them forth by alluding to their own situations of performance. Unlike most modern Western lyric, Greek lyric poems typically present themselves not as private meditations but as speeches made in social circumstances. They create meaning by projecting a persona by whom such words might be spoken and also occasions at which they might (p. 28 ) appropriately be delivered. Though Aristotle and his peers were obviously highly literate and literary, poetry was still in his day predominantly an art to be heard, and the occasions at which a song was presented could exert a powerful influence on how it was received and interpreted. For this reason, many Greek songs find ways to construct for themselves preemptively ideal occasions in which they would be the perfect thing to say. Context thus must be considered not only as a hard reality out in the world against which songs echoed—actual places, occasions, and audiences before whom they were performed—but also as a projection of the song by which it hoped to secure a favorable reception. Our approach to occasions and contexts, then, must be partly historical—considering the social realities that gave the words of a poem particular relevance and resonance—and partly rhetorical—allowing that the poetic language could do a great deal to situate the audience and shape their perception of the event.
Context in this sense is integral to interpreting the song for Hermias because it is not too much to say that the genre of a Greek poem was effectively the same as the occasions for which it was appropriate. The question of contexts of performance is thus tied to that of genre, and when we come to consider Aristotle’s trial we will have to ask how far his song’s meaning and genre changed when the lyric was brought into the courtroom. For the present, however, I want to pursue the idea of context and occasion as something projected by the poem, partly a reflection of the importance of social conventions in a still vital performative culture and partly a rhetorical construct, an imagined world and set of expectations that the performance itself brought about and fulfilled. Epigrams would seem to be easy to discuss in these terms: the obvious context is the physical site where the inscribed stone is set; the occasion nothing (p. 29 ) particular at all, just the chance of a passerby happening upon the words. It will be seen that things are not so simple on both counts, and I will propose that with Theocritus’s counter-epigram and possibly with Aristotle’s original we have to allow for the possibility that we are dealing with book-epigrams, fictional representations of stones, locales, and their inscriptions. Considering the verses in these terms will put us in a better position to ask in the following chapter what was the original context or contexts for Aristotle’s song for Hermias.
Commemorative Epigrams: Aristotle and Simonides
When Hermias was killed, Aristotle was still in Pella supervising Alexander’s education; it is likely that news of his death came quickly to the capital and that it was from Macedon that Aristotle decided to make a public response, indeed to let his view of the matter be heard throughout the Greek world. Diogenes Laertius’s Life tells us that Aristotle had a statue (andrias) erected for Hermias at the sanctuary of Delphi, and quotes the pair of elegiac couplets he had inscribed beneath it:1
(p. 30 ) A biographical question, naive and unanswerable though it may be, may provide the quickest way into the specificity of this verse: In view of the fact that Hermias and Aristotle had been so close, do we find the tone of the couplets too cool? Verse epitaphs were certainly able to strike a plangent, personal note that is often the more forceful for being compressed; but here Aristotle deliberately focuses not on the loss of his close friend and benefactor but on his despicable enemies. The text stresses the king’s impiety and conflates his execution of Hermias with the treachery of Mentor. Context counts for much in Greek poetry, even for epigrams meant to last for generations, and it seems that this poem was situated in a Panhellenic sanctuary primarily to broadcast the perfidy of Persia.
Aristotle’s public tone, more indignant than grieving, should not mask the deep bond that this dedication represents. We can see this if we understand that the relationship between Aristotle and Hermias was of a very special kind that the Greeks called xenia, a form of ritualized friendship greatly illuminated in Gabriel Herman’s 1987 study. Traditionally translated as “sacred hospitality” or the “guest-host relationship,” xenia named a broad set of mutual obligations between any benefactor and beneficiary, obligations that were underwritten by no less a god than Zeus xenios, “Zeus the god of guest-friends.” Herman points out that the services typically rendered by xenoi could include setting up funerary stones for one’s xenos and composing poems to express one’s affection. Although it was impossible for Hermias to get a proper burial among family and friends, Aristotle could do the next best thing and erect a kind of cenotaph for him. In addition, a monument afforded a blank slate for verse, and so Aristotle took the opportunity to execute a xenos’ duty to set the record straight and spell out just who the villain was in this episode. Pindar, a supreme singer of the ties of hospitality, could have been describing Aristotle’s (p. 31 ) agenda: “I am a xenos: warding off blame that obscures, I come to my dear friend as with streams of water to proclaim his true glory” ().2 Delphi was an obvious choice for these purposes: seat of one of Greece’s most famous oracles and host of the prestigious Pythian games, it attracted visitors from the entire Greek world and a little beyond. There they could read—or have read to them by guides—inscriptions on the monuments that adorned the sanctuary and lined the road leading to Apollo’s temple. One of the examples Herman mentions, a votive plaque put up by Xenophon of Athens in a treasury built by the Athenians along Delphi’s sacred way, suggests in the name of its dedicatee how deeply the ethic lay: “For Proxenos, for he was a xenos.” In addition, Delphi had taken on an extra symbolic role as a symbol of Greek unity in the face of Persian invasions in the early fifth century. Hence Aristotle’s condemnation of Eastern treachery was appropriate to the locale.
The context in which this poem was exposed is reflected in its metrical form, and here I think of form not only from the point of view of artistic shaping but also as a device facilitating the circulation and survival of poetry. Of course, Aristotle’s choice of elegiac couplets was dictated by a centuries-old tradition of Greek epitaphs; but tradition settled on elegiacs for these purposes with reason. First of all, elegiacs are easy to memorize: their dactylic rhythms have much in common with the great warhorse of Greek verse, the hexameter, but elegiacs are even more regular in closing each couplet with an identical heptasyllabic rhythmic unit. For the same reason, they are easy to read, and because they require no melody to be recited, they can be re-performed after being read or heard once or twice. The result is that, though the stone may stay in place, its message can be widely dispersed by passersby. In these respects, Aristotle’s inscribed verse for Delphi is fundamentally different from the song he composed to Virtue, (p. 32 ) even though we call both “poems.” The words of a song might be read off a page, as in the Didymus papyrus, but one will not be able to perform it without learning the melody; without this melody, the rhythms of the song—which were unique to that song—are far less easily memorized or even perceived. I shall return to this basic difference in the two types of rhythmical composition when I come to Aristotle’s song, but for the present observe that not only is a poet’s choice of form made in light of what convention and context demand but that convention and context have favored certain forms because of the way they are able to move among people. To maintain a sense of song and poetry as machines for social communication, we ought not to lump together every text that can be metrically scanned in some broad and homogeneous notion of “poetry.”3 It was as readable, recitable verse that Aristotle’s mini-message was memorized by readers or those within earshot of readers and carried away from this international meeting place.
Re-performance is also built into the rhetoric of the piece: as phrased, the inscription can be taken in two ways, as a label attached to an object on the spot or as a script for a more portable speech act. As a label, as information carved on a statue base, the stone “speaks” the verse in the sense that it imparts to the viewer the story behind the monument; such “speaking monuments” are very common in the rhetoric of Greek tombstones. But the addition of a little particle, “once upon a time .. . ” (), which is found in other commemorative inscriptions, makes the words performable in another way.4 The adverb transforms the verse from a label affixed to a stone into something that can be said by an onlooker at some distant time, indeed something that can be said on an indefinite number of occasions in the future. The reader no longer speaks in the name of the stone, vocalizing its message, but adopts the persona of a local exegete or tourist who may stand before the monument—the deictic force of “this” (p. 33 ) in v. 1 is strong in Greek—and declare what it is. This aspect of the text makes every reading of it a re-play, a re-dedication of the original act of inscription that can be re-enacted with no end in sight. As performed, the words are moreover not only a speech act but something of a curse. It is worth recalling that epigrams were designed to be recited aloud rather than silently read, and the Greeks were always aware that their word for glory () meant “something heard”; “renown” meant re-naming and re-hearing. Hence every reader/performer of this text ensured that the name of Persia lived in infamy, her impiety literally resounding again.
Aristotle thus contrived for his Delphic monument a message that was at once authoritatively rooted to the spot and re-playable, even portable. Our last observation is that it may have been fictional as well. Consider, for example, the epithet “bow-bearing”: this may be taken to hint at Persian cowardice, if the bow be given its traditional force as a symbol of unheroic fighting—the antithesis of Homeric warfare at close quarters with swords and spears. On the other hand, gods can be “bow-bearing” as well, and the epithet is found of divinities in earlier poetry, including Delphi’s own Apollo. The choice between these two flavors of the epithet is between reading Aristotle’s epigram as an attempt to transcribe a historical event in conventional form and language or as an attempt to extend and innovate within the tradition of monumental epigrams. In favor of the latter possibility is the fact that the same form of the epithet is found in the same metrical position in an epigram attributed to Simonides, Greece’s most famous memorializing lyric poet. “Bow-bearing” also modifies the Persians (called “Medes” in fifth-century parlance) in a pair of elegiacs that purport to celebrate their defeat by the Athenians at the river Eurymedon in 468 BCE:
The unresolved debate about whether these lines, which are preserved only in a late anthology, were actually inscribed on a monument or were what Page calls “a later literary exercise” only makes clearer that the “memorial” () left behind at the end is figurative; more than any stone that may have stood near Eurymedon, it is the verse itself that works as a “reminder” () of these excellent dead.5 Aristotle’s epigram too, although the deictic pronoun leading off the poem would seem to tie it to a stone, has undoubtedly had life apart from “this” monument, circulating in oral re-performance and making Persian perfidy resound among hearers who would never set eyes on the stone (as it continues to do this day). Once the “this” is allowed to be fictional, one might question whether there was a “real” stone at all, for no trace of this monument has ever been found. In other words, we may underestimate the power of Aristotle’s rhetoric when we assume as realists that some actual monument, now lost, lies behind Diogenes’ quotation rather than crediting the poetic “this” of the verse with generating our belief in a stone on which the text was first inscribed. After all, in the fourth century, Greek poetry had begun to explore the genre of artificial and consciously ironic “book epigrams” that feature so prominently (p. 35 ) in Hellenistic literature.6 In a book epigram the “Here lies …,” which functions as true a deictic in inscribed epitaphs, becomes a conventional marker of the genre, its meaning ironically reversed to “not here,” “not on this page.” I raise the issue not because there is a particular reason to doubt Diogenes’ word, but to call attention to the fact that Aristotle’s language in the poem is at once thoroughly conventional and at the same time capable of shaping our conceptions of the world that it ostensibly points to.7 If occasion and context can powerfully affect the meaning given a poem, poetic language can do a good deal to determine the contexts and occasions we imagine for it as well—almost to the point of producing a stone out of thin air.
Book Epigrams: Theocritus of Chios
Whether it was ever inscribed or not, Aristotle’s epigram would have spread at least as widely by passing from mouth to mouth as by being read in situ. By either route, the brief and pointed poem made its way across the Aegean and came to the attention of a Chian politician and poet called Theocritus. No friend of Hermias or of the philosopher, he issued a sharp reply in kind:
(p. 36 ) The elegiacs, preserved for us by Didymus and Diogenes, among others, are a faux-epitaph, an alternate inscription for Hermias’s monument.8 Posing as an inscription on the same (“this”) cenotaph on which Aristotle wrote, Theocritus’s epigram is a kind of graffito scrawled over the original. At the same time, the verses are crafted so as to be rewarding in oral performance. The stunning first line has nine of fourteen syllables composed of ou- sounds, and the second is neatly divided between k’s and nasals in the first half and t’s and sibilants in the second. One assumes such a flourish of assonance could sound savagely taunting. It is also noteworthy that Theocritus’s opening alliteration, with the line-ending doulou, picks up the doliou (“deceptive”) that ended Aristotle’s epigram, suggesting that his own text would “play” very neatly if it followed a recitation of that verse.
Theocritus’s is a “book epigram,” a fictional epitaph never inscribed; he was known as a satirist and his witticisms were collected in a book by an otherwise unknown figure called Bryon or Ambryon.9 Literariness can be contagious, for when Theocritus took it up he ensured that Aristotle’s verse—whether or not an original was actually carved anywhere—entered the world of performative epigrams as well. As such, both texts became subject to minor variation or adaptation in re-performance. For example, it is a notable detail that Theocritus says Aristotle’s poem was on a tomb (a sêma), whereas Diogenes speaks of a statue (andrias).10 We should not put much weight on either as historical evidence: there is no reason to assume that Theocritus’s sêma represents eye-witness testimony; conversely, Diogenes’ “statue” may be an inference from the initial , “this man,” he found in his version of the text. Complicating any attempt to settle the question is the fact that we are examining the operations of a highly traditional language of poetic commemoration in which words and phrases of a given metrical shape tended to be easily substitutable for each other in (p. 37 ) a line. For an audience of such poetry of variety-within-limits, it made little difference whether Theocritus was misremembering or modifying his precursor text in order to set up a pun. Sêma suits Theocritus’s second verse better than would the roughly synonymous and isometric mnêma (“memorial”) because one did speak in Greek metaphor of an empty sêma, a cenotaph, but less readily of an “empty” memorial or statue. There are in fact visible traces of the oral circulation that these epitaphs enjoyed in the transmission of Theocritus’s text. Consider, for example, the minor variations in the way its first two lines are recorded. Diogenes Laertius, citing “Ambryon’s” On Theocritus gives (5.11):
Didymus, citing the same On Theocritus but attributing it to “Bryon,” gives:
Eusebius, quoting Aristocles, gives:
Among several small differences, the sources do not settle whether Theocritus spoke of Hermias’s memorial (mnêma, Aristocles) or tomb (sêma, Didymus and Diogenes).11 Didymus and Diogenes may have found the latter reading in the treatise “On Theocritus.” But their versions of v. 2 diverge on whether Aristotle “wrought” or provided the tomb () or “erected” it (). As is quite understandable in a text so much “in the air,” there is also instability in the deictic language: Aristotle’s “this man” becomes “this one” (, i.e., this tomb) in Aristocles and probably in Didymus, whereas in Diogenes the deictic disappears altogether under the relatively colorless adverb (“at once”). Where there is no object in view to which deixis points, substitutions arise easily in this formula-heavy genre, especially when sources quote poetry from memory rather than seeking out and finding the spot in a papyrus roll. The kinds of variation noted here are less likely to result from a scribe miscopying letters than from a performer adapting or slightly misremembering phrases. Such “oral variants” characteristically preserve the meter and general sense of the original in more or less the same words without being resolvable into a clear hierarchy of archetype and copies. The textual transmission of Theocritus’s poem thus indicates that it enjoyed a degree of oral performance.
The fictionality of these epitaphs, that is to say their lack of connection to any original source (whether a stone at Delphi or a page of On Theocritus), lets them change slightly as they are reused. Partly because his poem has been removed from the historical context that would have limited its reference, Theocritus’s meaning is underdetermined at points, notably (p. 39 ) in his final insult and in the word just before the poem’s end. The difficulty turns, indeed, on whether to take as a proper or a common noun, a decision that in turn determines how we date and understand the epigram as a whole. The eminently well-read Plutarch tells us, when he quotes the end of the poem, that Borborus was the name of a river in Macedonia (On Exile 603C); in that case, the poem would refer to Aristotle’s leaving Hermias and “the Platonists” at Assos to take up with Philip and Alexander in 342. But as Michael Flower brings out in an excellent discussion, we are not bound to accept this unconfirmed geographical tidbit. Writing around four centuries after Aristotle, Plutarch may well have been repeating an ad hoc fiction designed to help make sense of the epigram as it aged.12 Printing lower-case , as I have done, suggests a different context: Aristotle is being mocked for leaving Athens to go to Atarneus in 347, the “outpourings of slime” being the debased patronage of Hermias. One point in favor of this reading is that Theocritus’s poem becomes a more direct response to Aristotle’s if it closes by insulting Hermias and the philosopher together. The connotations of the common noun are consonant with this, since in the vocabulary of the sacred mysteries, to lie in slime or mud was a traditional image for the woeful fate of a non-initiate.13 The image would be a direct riposte to the pretentiousness of Hermias’s philosophizing as Theopompus represented it in his Letter to Philip.14 Page takes a similar view of , but for chronological reasons I do not agree when he adds that the religious connotations of the word hinted at Aristotle’s alleged impiety. Theocritus’s parodic epitaph would have had most point if it were composed, like its target poem, while the events of the late 340s BCE were still fresh in people’s minds; but it appears that the charges against Aristotle surfaced several years later, whether after Alexander’s accession in 335 or, more likely, his death in 323.15 Lower-case puts (p. 40 ) the parody closer to the death of Hermias in 341 and Aristotle’s original. On this interpretation, , (“outpourings”) has a possible double entendre: rather than referring to a particular river, it might suggest the hospitality a wandering philosopher requires in images of “pouring out” of toasts and libations.16 Aristotle abandoned the civilized, Hellenic precincts of Plato (as Theocritus is willing to characterize the Academy for the purposes of this epigram) to revel in the polluted streams of Hermias’s hospitality; it is further implied that this hospitality is uncivilized, for chimes with , “barbarian.”
Some interpreters accept “outpourings of slime” here but interpret the insult differently, as intimating that there was sexual impropriety in the relationship between Aristotle and “the eunuch.”17 That charge was certainly floated in the ancient sources (e.g., Diogenes Laertius 5.3), but here I think it would, so to speak, muddy the waters; the basic moral failing that Theocritus imputes to Aristotle in this poem is gluttony, along with the hypocrisy to disguise it with fine language. The word for “belly” in v. 3, slightly indecorous in Greek verse as in English, is a traditional poetic symbol for the body’s basic needs that can drive even a hero to undignified acts of self-preservation.18 In the version of verse 3 recorded in Aristocles and printed by Lloyd-Jones and Parsons, the word helps make a noteworthy phrase: Aristotle left Athens “on account of his unrestrained belly” (). The language for lack of restraint () comes out of fourth-century philosophical ethics, which debated the nature and causes of being unable to control oneself ().19 (It may be significant that the Peripatetic Aristocles is the one who preserves this philosophically inflected reading.)20 Pairing this high-culture term with the common “belly” makes a phrase that paints Aristotle as philosophe and vagabond at once; the deliberately incongruous language exposes the euphemistic (p. 41 ) rhetoric by which itinerant intellectuals were wont to cloak their “unmentionable” needs in high ethical terms.
Theocritus’s little poem thus fits squarely in a satirical tradition that mocked sages who abandoned the cultural centers of Greece for distant courts and hospitality of a not altogether spiritual kind. The theme was struck at the end of the fifth century, when Aristophanes teased the tragic poet Agathon for retiring to “the golden isles” of Macedon and the patronage of Archelaus (Frogs 50).21 Earlier still, the archetypal “intellectual for sale” had been Simonides of Ceos: an avowed consort of tyrants in the late sixth century—for whom he composed songs celebrating the victories that they, like Hermias, won in the games—Simonides was remembered as the first poet to charge money for songs. The life of a wandering intellectual that Aristotle led in the years following Plato’s death might appear to critics to have much in common with the ambiguous career of Simonides, who was both counted among the Seven Sages and given the nickname (“greedy”) for the way he capitalized on his wisdom.22 The charge of excessive appetite can be found laid against the Stagirite already in his lifetime by Cephisodorus: Aristocles reports that Cephisodorus, a “pupil” of Isocrates, criticized Aristotle as self-indulgent and a glutton, as did other of Aristotle’s detractors.23
Texts and Things: Herodotus on Hermotimus
Theocritus’s verse activates a tradition of blame epigrams to paint Aristotle as a hypocrite philosopher enslaved to low desires. The way he inflects this tradition in fourth-century ethical terms suggests that “slime” is not primarily a sexual metaphor, and here we may as well address the delicate question raised by (p. 42 ) some of our sources: Was Hermias a eunuch or wasn’t he? The question is not altogether facetious; trying to give a definite yes-or-no answer is a fair epitome of the historicist’s quest for “the truth,” even as the desire to gaze upon the Ding wie es eigentlich gewesen ist can put the historian in the ridiculous posture of peeking under Hermias’s chiton. Theocritus’s statement that Hermias was a eunuch is, technically speaking, contemporary evidence, as is the description by Theopompus of Chios.24 I have noted that Chians were no friends of Hermias, and so even early and corroborated evidence can be disputed. But the fact that Pythias is variously described as Hermias’s niece or adopted daughter suggests that her existence had to be squared with some acknowledged reproductive impairment. A different direction is suggested by Mulvaney, who brought up a fascinating parallel for these charges in a story Herodotus tells about Hermotimus of Pedasa, a city a little further down the Ionian coast from Atarneus (Histories 8.104–6).25 Captured in war, Hermotimus was sold to a Chian named Panionius who had him castrated and sold as a slave. Eventually, Hermotimus rose to become the chief of Xerxes’ eunuchs and from this position tracked down Panionius in Atarneus and got his revenge. Mulvaney suggests that the nexus slave/eunuch/Atarneus is the “germ” of later slanders against Hermias, whose name is close to Hermotimus and whose life, we may add, was also a rags-to-riches story. We do not have enough evidence to disentangle what, if any, are the connections between the tales, but the phenomenon it points to inspires caution: it is obvious that real facts may become legend in the course of their being selectively recounted and shaped; but it is also true conversely that legends may give rise to historical facts by inspiring legend-like behavior in real historical agents.
Because these epigrams proliferated beyond their immediate contexts, we can no more fix the truth behind them than affix them to an actual stone. The elusiveness of the referents pointed (p. 43 ) at by these deictic verses is like the undiscoverability of what we can call, taking a euphemism from Freudian linguists, Hermias’s “master signified.” This elusiveness is partly due to the texts’ rhetorical posturing; but we should not ignore the historical forces that are at work to remove us from contact with the past. This can be seen if we consider one final stone from Delphi. Even apart from its prominence as a cultural center of the eastern Mediterranean, Delphi made sense as a place for Aristotle to site his monument to Hermias because of the good connections he enjoyed there. Aristotle had conducted on-site archival research into the victors at Delphi’s centuries-old Pythian games. Working with his nephew Callisthenes, he sifted through local records and compiled a , a “List of Pythian Victors.”26 Probably sometime in the 330s, the ruling body at Delphi officially recognized the pair for their labors and erected a stele which still survives bearing an inscription thanking them. We hear from Aelian (14.1) that the honor was later rescinded, and scholars have connected this information with the fact that the stone was discovered in Delphi broken in pieces and at the bottom of a well.27 If a change in the political winds was the reason that Aristotle’s monument was broken, we may see why it fell to the “book” tradition to keep his Delphic epigram alive. In any case, the shattered for Aristotle and Callisthenes provides a tangible and eloquent image of the real danger and violence at the root of these tales, as well as of the processes of propaganda and counter-propaganda that have served as a conduit to bring these realities down to us, even if only in fragments.
The next chapter turns to Aristotle’s song for Hermias and the question of its possible performative contexts. It begins with one other extraordinary contemporary document, a prose encomium to Hermias written by Callisthenes of Olynthus. Callisthenes’s text, which can be read as if it were designed to complement his (p. 44 ) uncle’s song, has led some scholars to posit that both were first performed in a private ceremony held by Aristotle and a few of Hermias’s close friends. Not all the details of this philosophers’ rite of remembrance can be accepted with confidence. But even if we cannot be sure of retrieving the “original” context and function of Aristotle’s song, comparison with Callisthenes brings out the different meanings that it seems to take on when set in different contexts. Such a perspective will then enable us to say whether the story of the song being put on trial is plausible.
(1.) Diogenes Laertius 5.6 (= Aristotle Fr. 674 Rose). I give the text of Page (1975, 622–626). For discussions, cf. Page (1981, 31–32), Wormell (1935, 61), Dielh (1925, 1.46.3), Wilamowitz (1893, 2.403–404, mainly censuring Aristotle’s versification).
(5.) A.P. 7.258 (= Page [1975, 879–881]); cf. Page (1981, 268–272). The cowardice of bowmen is a theme that can be found from Homer’s Iliad (see 11.385 ff.) through Euripides (Hercules Furens 157–164); cf. Lissarague (1990, 13–34). The adjective is not negative when used in archaic and classical Greek poetry for Apollo or Artemis; it apparently began to be used of Easterners in Herodotus (9.43, quoting an oracle) and Simonides.
(6.) Gow and Page (1965, 2.546) note Theocritus’s reply as an early example. Cf. Fantuzzi in Fantuzzi and Hunter (2004, 283–291). On the passage of epigrams “from stone to book” see Gutzwiller (1998, ch. 3, esp. pp. 47–53), placing the rise of a distinctly epigrammatic aesthetic “toward the end of the fourth century and the beginning of the third” (52), Bing (2009, 116–141). To remark the rise of “book epigrams” is not to rule out continuing traditions of oral performance and even impromptu composition: see Cameron (1995, 71–103, esp. 76–84), arguing that many were composed for sympotic contexts; discussion by Bing (2009, 106–116, esp. 113–115). On deixis in Greek funerary inscriptions, see Tsagalis (2008, 216–224).
(7.) Theocritus’s riposte apart, Diogenes is our sole source for the verse, though it is referred to in the pseudo-Aristotelian Apology quoted by Athenaeus, discussed below, and by Himerius Or. 6.6 when he says “for Hermias alone of his friends Aristotle celebrated his death with an elegy” ( [so Penella, for of the paradosis] ).
(8.) My text is taken from SH 738, except that at v. 4, I read with Diehl (1925, 1.110) rather than . For discussion, see Wormell (1935, 74–75), Düring (1957, 35, 381), Page (1981, 93–95), and Harding (2006, 157–158) with further bibliography. Translation by Flower (1994, 88, reading ).
(11.) Aristocles F 2.12 Chiesara (= T 58k Düring); Didymus col. 6.46–49 (T 15h Düring) cites Bryon’s On Theocritus probably courtesy of Hermippus. Plutarch Mor. 603C quotes only from the end of the third line, Diogenes Laertius 5.11 only the first two verses.
(13.) Page (1981, 95) cites Plato Phaedo 69C, where the lot of the uninitiated is to “lie in slime” in Hades. Evidence of its popularity is the exclamation of Dionysus in Aristophanes Frogs when he arrives in (p. 182 ) the underworld and exclaims, no doubt peering out at the audience, “What a lot of muck and slime!” (, 140–1). Liapis, per litteras, points me to Asius of Samos, who abuses a disgusting old parasite appearing at a feast, “rising like a hero from slime” (1.4 IEG). He also notes that it is possible to take Borborou as a proper name of a fictional river (“Slime River”).
(14.) The phrase is perhaps mock heroic, resembling a fictional epitaph for the hero Memnon from a collection of “literary” epitaphs Aristotle may have known (Fr. 641.62 Rose): “I Memnon, son of Tithonus and Dawn, here lie / in Syria by the outpourings of the river Belos” ().
(15.) Most scholars place the prosecution of Aristotle in the anti-Macedonian atmosphere following Alexander’s death; Rutherford (2001, 92–93) would place it in 335, when Aristotle returned to Athens and Alexander acceded to power, though he leaves open the possibility that it influenced Aristotle’s final departure from Athens in 323.
(16.) See LSJ s. v. and note s. v. II: a synonym for prokhoos, a vessel for pouring libations.
(19.) Ruina (1986, citing Timaeus 73A and Phaedrus 238A); like Page, he would include Aristotle’s alleged sexual impropriety in the charge; but Xenophon Mem. 1.2.1 (cited by Ruina) makes a distinction between sex-and gastêr-greed: “Socrates was the most temperate of men as far as sex and the stomach went” ().
(20.) Aristocles’ reading is also the basis for the version of Theocritus in Michael Apostolius, a fifteenth-century Paroemiagrapher (6.38a Leutsch-Schneidewin). Didymus apparently read, , a milder expression.
(22.) Simonides’ actual social and economic situation—which there is no reason to doubt may have been remarkable in the mobile sixth century—is too obscurely known; he truly is, for us, no more than a figure of discourse, but one that is beautifully opened up in a study by J. M. Bell (1986).
(23.) Cephisodorus, noted as a detractor of Aristotle in Athenaeus 354b, is cited by Aristocles F 2.7 Chiesara (= T 58h Düring). Similar abuse in Pseudo-Aristippus, from the first book of the treatise On Ancient Luxury, is mentioned below.
(27.) SIG3 275 (= 187 Tod = Callisthenes FGrH 124 T 23 = 80 Rhodes and Osborne). See Tod (1985, 2.246–248, esp. 248), and Rhodes and Osborne (2003, 395), who date the inscription to 337–327 BCE. A similar instance of iconoclasm occurred in the wake of Philip’s aggression in 340, which provoked the Athenians to smash the stone on which their recent treaty with Macedon had been inscribed (Philochorus FGrH 328 F 55A and 55B; cf. Diodorus Siculus 16.77.2).