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The New Politics of OlymposKingship in Kallimachos' Hymns$
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Michael Brumbaugh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190059262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190059262.001.0001

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Apollo as a New Paradigm for Kingship

Apollo as a New Paradigm for Kingship

(p.127) 4 Apollo as a New Paradigm for Kingship
The New Politics of Olympos

Michael Brumbaugh

Oxford University Press

This chapter details how Kallimachos resumes the patron/client discourse from the Hymn to Zeus in the Hymn to Apollo by depicting a hierarchy linking Apollo, the narrator-poet, and the chorus he leads. Here, however, Kallimachos revises the relationship between Apollo and his traditional client. Instead of simply detailing the similarities between the poet and Apollo, as he did in his first hymn, Kallimachos casts the poet as a gatekeeper, controlling access to the god’s transformative gifts. In his place, Kallimachos sets the founder-king as Apollo’s client. In the context of likening “my own king” to Apollo, the narrator-poet issues a gnomic admonition against striving with the gods. Echoing the Iliad, Kallimachos uses the intertext to engage in a discussion about humans with pretentions of godlikeness, in which he implicitly validates Ptolemy’s claims to divinity. By contrast, Kallimachos situates the ἀ‎λ‎ι‎τ‎ρ‎ό‎ς‎, “transgressor,” in the Hymn to Apollo and the Hymn to Artemis as an anti-client who arrogantly oversteps his bounds. Kallimachos substitutes the harmful strife associated with such transgressors for the conflict traditionally associated with members of the divine family, as in the Homeric Hymns where there are constant reminders of the forces that might bring down Zeus’ regime. Intra-family strife is instead portrayed ironically, as with Artemis and Apollo’s charming sibling rivalry in the third hymn. In this way, Kallimachos depicts the divine family and its clients as unified in their opposition to external enemies who are unambiguously wicked.

Keywords:   Kallimachos, Hymn to Zeus, Hymn to Apollo, Hymn to Artemis, client, patron, hierarchy, transgressor, strife

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