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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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On the Good Queen

On the Good Queen

(p.191) 6 On the Good Queen
The New Politics of Olympos

Michael Brumbaugh

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which Kallimachos creates a new ideology of queenship in the four hymns dedicated to goddesses. He explicitly likens Artemis, Athena, and Demeter to the ideal king embodied by Zeus and Apollo in his earlier hymns. Moreover, Kallimachos crafts their identities as queens in dialogue with a discourse about the role of royal women emerging at the Ptolemaic court in conjunction with Arsinoë II’s return to Egypt in the mid-270s. The poet rehabilitates the image of the queen, distancing his goddesses from the stereotype of the jealous wife who stirs up court intrigue and threatens to undermine dynasties. Following a discussion of the early development of Ptolemaic queenship, it examines the Hymn to Artemis, Bath of Pallas, and Hymn to Demeter, demonstrating how their honorands resolve stasis within the household, successfully negotiate relationships of charis and philia, and promote peace. Likewise, it discusses how each goddess appears as an arbiter of justice within a narrative of transgression and punishment. It concludes by returning to the depiction of Hera in the Hymn to Delos as a caricature of the bad queen whose farcically cruel behavior reinforces the image of the good queen by contrast.

Keywords:   Kallimachos, Hymn to Artemis, Bath of Pallas, Hymn to Demeter, Hymn to Delos, Arsinoë II, Berenike II, queenship

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