In This Article Greek Poetry: Iambos

  • Introduction
  • Bibliographies
  • Texts and Translations
  • Iambic Meter
  • Minor Figures
  • Solon’s Trochaic and Iambic Poems
  • Roman Revival

Classics Greek Poetry: Iambos
by
Christopher G. Brown
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 May 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0097

Introduction

The word iambos (sometimes Latinized as iambus; the plural is iamboi or iambi) is a word of uncertain etymology. It seems originally to have been used of a type of poem that is first attested in Ionia in the 7th century BCE. Defining iambos has proved to be elusive, owing to the fragmentary state of the surviving evidence. Modern scholars have typically understood it as defined by content rather than form, with its most salient features being invective and the abuse of named individuals. Other characteristics are obscenity, narrative (often involving a first-person narrator), speeches embedded in narrative, moral exhortation, and the use of beast fables. Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance of occasion in determining genre in early Greek poetry, but for iambos there is no agreement on the occasion at which the poems were performed. Form, however, may not be irrelevant to understanding iambos. The iambic rhythm seems to have been characteristic of these poems, and the use of the term to describe the rhythm seems to have arisen from its association with early iambos. The problem here is that there was clearly early iambic poetry that does not reflect the characteristics associated with iambos. The most prominent association of iambos is with the poet Archilochus, and, to a slightly lesser extent, with Semonides of Amorgos and Hipponax. Although there were other composers of iambos, these three poets seem to have been considered the canonical early iambographers. In later Antiquity iambos was revived by both Hellenistic and Roman poets, but the resulting poetry seems to have been very different in character from the early form.

General Overviews

Discussion of early iambos has tended to be focused on the particular poets, but there are a number of overviews of the field as a whole. Carey 2009 is both succinct and insightful in setting the three central iambographers in the context of current scholarship. Brown 1997 prefaces a reading of the poets with a detailed discussion of the possible prehistory of the genre. Bartol 1993 is particularly useful on the question of performance and occasion. Rotstein 2010 is less interested in the iambographers than in iambos itself, and offers a detailed account of the development of the ancient understanding of the genre.

  • Bartol, Krystyna. 1993. Greek elegy and iambus: Studies in ancient literary sources. Poznań: Adam Mickiewicz Univ. Press.

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    Discusses iambos with an emphasis on performance and occasion, seeing its social function in terms of paraenesis (“exhortation”) and entertainment.

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    • Brown, Christopher G. 1997. Iambos. In A companion to the Greek lyric poets. Edited by Douglas E. Gerber, 13–88. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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      An overview of iambos and a survey of the three major poets.

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      • Carey, Chris. 2009. Iambos. In The Cambridge companion to Greek lyric. Edited by Felix Budelmann, 149–167. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

        DOI: 10.1017/CCOL9780521849449E-mail Citation »

        A concise and judicious survey of early iambos.

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        • Rotstein, Andrea. 2010. The idea of iambos. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press.

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          A comprehensive treatment of ancient understanding of iambos as a genre, employing a methodology derived from the cognitive sciences.

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          Iambos and the Question of Poetic Genre

          The question of genre and generic definition has been central in the recent study of early Greek poetry. The system of classification handed down from Antiquity, in which metrical form plays a crucial role, has been recognized as the product of Alexandrian scholarship and is not necessarily appropriate to poetry of the Archaic period. Dover 1964 made a fundamental contribution by arguing that occasion is the most common characteristic of the genre. West 1974 developed this view by arguing that iamboi were composed for a public spectacle that had its roots in cult; the poems were traditional cult songs dealing with stock characters. While accepting that iambos has its roots in cult song, Brown 1997 argues that although the work of Archilochus and the other iambographers reflects a development from traditional cult song; their poems represent individual poetic production. Accordingly, iambos need not have been performed at a cultic occasion. Bartol’s work (cited under General Overviews) suggests public meetings or the symposium, which is commonly considered a likely venue for the performance of much early Greek poetry. Other scholars have focused on content as a means of understanding the generic identity of iambos. Kantzios 2005, who also surveys various approaches to the genre, is particularly helpful in setting out the salient characteristics of iambos, as is Pellizer 1991. From the ancient testimonia it is clear that the most salient feature was invective and personal abuse. Miralles 1989 stresses the importance of first-person narratives, and Bowie 2001 argues that narrative is as important as invective in defining the genre. The most comprehensive treatment of iambos as a genre is now Rotstein 2010, who explores the developing concept of the genre from the perspective of an approach to ancient genre based on the cognitive sciences.

          • Bowie, Ewen. 2001. Early Greek iambic poetry: The importance of narrative. In Iambic ideas: Essays on a poetic tradition from Archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire. Edited by Alberto Cavarzere, Antonio Aloni, and Alessandro Barchiesi, 1–27. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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            Emphasizes the importance of narrative in defining the genre of iambos.

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            • Brown, Christopher G. 1997. Iambos: Introduction. In A companion to the Greek lyric poets. Edited by Douglas E. Gerber, 13–42. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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              An overview of iambos with particular emphasis on possible origins in cult poetry.

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              • Dover, K. J. 1964. The poetry of Archilochos. In Archiloque. 183–222. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 10. Vandoeuvres and Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                A seminal paper for much recent scholarship addressing the nature of genre in early Greek poetry. Reprinted with additions in K. J. Dover, Greek and the Greeks: Collected papers, vol. 1, 97–121 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987).

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                • Kantzios, Ippokratis. 2005. The trajectory of Archaic Greek trimeters. Mnemosyne Supplement 265. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                  Considers the development of the iambic trimeters of the main early iambic poets with useful discussion of the characteristic of the genre.

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                  • Miralles, Carles. 1989. La tradizione giambica. Quaderni di Storia 29:111–132.

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                    Focuses on the poetic “I” and the development of the literary genre.

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                    • Pellizer, Ezio. 1991. Per una morfologia della poesia giambica arcaica. In Oinēra teuchē: Studi triestini di poesia conviviale. Edited by Klaus Fabian, Ezio Pellizer, and Gennaro Tedeschi, 15–29. Alessandria, Italy: Edizioni dell’Orso.

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                      Considers the salient characteristics and function of iambos. Originally published in I canoni letterari: Storia e dinamica, edited by G. Petronio and Schulz-Buschhaus (Trieste, Italy: LINT, 35–48).

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                      • Rotstein, Andrea. 2010. The idea of iambos. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                        A comprehensive treatment of ancient understanding of iambos as a genre, employing a methodology derived from the cognitive sciences. This is now the most important work on the subject.

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                        • West, Martin. 1974. Studies in Greek elegy and iambus. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                          DOI: 10.1515/9783110833188E-mail Citation »

                          An important treatment by the editor of the standard text of the early iambic poets that includes many acute observations on individual passages. The chapter on iambos as a genre stress its cultic origins, and argues that iambos was a traditional cult song that concerned stock figures.

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                          Iambos and Epic

                          The relationship between the Homeric poems and early Greek poetry has been a question of perennial interest. Fowler 1987 argues that the Homeric language used by Archilochus and other early poets is indicative of influence and engagement, not a sign of orality. Suter 1993 sees iambic elements in certain passages in the Iliad, especially in the treatment of Paris. Steinrück 2008 argues that the presentation of the suitors in the Odyssey constitutes a portrait of the audience for early iambos, and, accordingly, that the epic poem contains an implicit criticism of the iambic genre.

                          • Fowler, R. L. 1987. The nature of early Greek lyric: Three preliminary studies. Phoenix Supplement 21. Toronto, ON: Univ. of Toronto Press.

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                            Offers an important discussion of epic language in Archilochus.

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                            • Steinrück, Martin. 2008. The suitors in the Odyssey: The clash between Homer and Archilochus. Hermeneutic Commentaries 2. New York: Peter Lang.

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                              Argues that the suitors of the Odyssey suggest the audience of iambic poetry.

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                              • Suter, Anne. 1993. Paris and Dionysos: Iambus in the Iliad. Arethusa 26:1–18.

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                                Argues that there are iambic elements in the Iliad.

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                                Iambos and Comedy

                                The prominence of invective and personal abuse in iambos and Attic Old Comedy, as well as the Aristotelian view that comedy also developed from cult song, has encouraged scholars to explore the affinities between the two genres. Degani 1993 sees the personal invective and obscenity of comedy as a direct development of the iambic tradition. Rosen 1988 considers both the references to the iambographers in the texts of Old Comedy and more generally the influence of iambos on comedy, suggesting that Cratinus may have played a crucial role in bringing iambic elements onto the Attic stage. Zanetto 2001 also sees the influence of iambos in the use of fables and the manipulation of names in comedy. Bowie 2002 calls into question the view that comedy is a direct descendant of iambos. Rosen 2007 discusses iambos and comedy within a larger reading of ancient satire.

                                • Bowie, Ewen. 2002. Ionian iambos and Attic komoidia: Father and daughter, or just cousins? In The language of Greek comedy. Edited by Andreas Willi, 33–50. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                  DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245475.001.0001E-mail Citation »

                                  Considers the question of the relationship between early iambos and Attic Old Comedy, raising important objections to the view that the invective of comedy reflects the influence of the iambos.

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                                  • Degani, Enzo. 1993. Aristofane e la tradizione dell’invettiva personale in Grecia. In Aristophane: Sept exposés suivis de discussions. Edited by J. M. Bremer, and E. W. Handley, 1–36. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 38. Vandoeuvres, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                    Explores Aristophanes’s debt to iambos and the Greek tradition of personal invective.

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                                    • Rosen, Ralph M. 1988. Old Comedy and the iambographic tradition. American Classical Studies 19. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

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                                      Argues that the invective of Old Comedy is directly indebted to the tradition of iambos.

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                                      • Rosen, Ralph. 2007. Making mockery: The poetics of ancient satire. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                        DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309966.001.0001E-mail Citation »

                                        Iambos is discussed within the context of a comprehensive understanding of ancient satire.

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                                        • Zanetto, Giuseppe. 2001. Iambic patterns in comedy. In Iambic ideas: Essays on a poetic tradition from Archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire. Edited by Alberto Cavarzere, Antonio Aloni, and Alessandro Barchiesi, 65–76. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                          Sees the fable and the manipulation of names in comedy as indicative of iambic influence.

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                                          Cultural Context of Iambos

                                          The recognition that the Homeric poems are the product of a tradition of oral song has had a profound impact on our understanding of early Greek culture and literature. Gentili 1988 situates iambos within the context of praise and blame as basic elements in the fundamentally oral culture of early Greece. Steinrück 2000 considers iambos with a view to its implicit audience, which he judges to be largely unmarried males at the symposion and komos. Although focused on Alcaeus, Rösler 1980 gives a searching account of the social setting for the performance of much early Greek poetry, including Archilochus. Hedreen 2006 sheds interesting light on early iambos by drawing comparisons with the sexual humor of Attic representations of Silenoi in art.

                                          • Gentili, Bruno. 1988. Poetry and its public in ancient Greece. Translated by A. T. Cole. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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                                            Sees iambos within the context of praise and blame in the oral culture of Archaic Greece.

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                                            • Hedreen, Guy. 2006. I let go my force just touching her hair: Male sexuality in Athenian vase-paintings of Silens and iambic poetry. Classical Antiquity 25:277–325.

                                              DOI: 10.1525/ca.2006.25.2.277E-mail Citation »

                                              Explores the affinities between the sexual humor of iambos and that of the representations of Silenoi in Athenian art.

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                                              • Rösler, Wolfgang. 1980. Dichter und Gruppe: Eine Untersuchung zu den Bedingungen und zur historischen Funktion früher griechischer Lyrik am Beispiel Alkaios. Theorie und Geschichte der Literatur und der schönen Künste 50. Munich: Wilhelm Fink.

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                                                Explores the social context of the symposium as the context for the performance of much early Greek poetry.

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                                                • Steinrück, Martin. 2000. Iambos: Studien zum Publikum einer Gattung in der frühgriechischen Literatur. Spudasmata 79. Hildesheim: Georg Olms.

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                                                  A study of the genre that focuses on the implicit audience of early iambos, which is judged to be largely unmarried males at the symposion and komos.

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                                                  Bibliographies

                                                  Gerber 1991 is an exhaustive annotated survey of scholarship on early iambos. More recent work can be found in Rotstein 2010. L’Année philologique is an obvious starting point for serious work, and the online version can be searched in a variety of ways. The website of the Network for Archaic and Classical Greek Song contains bibliographical details of published work, as well as work in progress.

                                                  • L’Année philologique. Paris: Les Belles Lettres. 1924–.

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                                                    The standard bibliography for the field of classical studies in general. In print from 1924 and online from 1949.

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                                                    • Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song.

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                                                      Contains bibliographical details of published work, as well as work in progress.

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                                                      • Gerber, Douglas E. 1991. Greek elegy and iambus 1921–1989. Lustrum 33:7–226.

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                                                        A bibliography of the scholarship on early Greek iambos that is both comprehensive and critical.

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                                                        • Rotstein, Andrea. 2010. The idea of iambos. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                          A comprehensive treatment of iambos as a genre with a full bibliography of the relevant scholarship.

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                                                          Texts and Translations

                                                          The standard critical edition of the corpus of early iambographers is West 1989–1992; his number of the fragments is now the standard way of referring to these texts. Gerber 1999 is a translation in the Loeb Classical Library with an independent Greek text of the fragments in West. The addition of a full collection of ancient testimonia concerning these poets gives this volume a particular value to the student of ancient iambos. West 1993 contains a translation of the poetic fragments with very brief annotation; this book is important in showing how the standard editor of iambos understands the Greek text. Snell and Franyó 1972 is a useful presentation of the major fragments to German-speaking readers. The Italian translation in Aloni 1993 is complemented by helpful notes. There is regrettably no full-scale exegetical commentary on the fragments of the early iambographers, but Bremer, et al. 1987, which treats a few central papyrus texts, shows how helpful such a commentary would be.

                                                          • Aloni, Antonio, ed. and trans. 1993. Lirici greci: Poeti giambici. Milan: Oscar Mondadori.

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                                                            A useful annotated Italian translation accompanied by a Greek text.

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                                                            • Bremer, J. M., A. Maria van Erp Taalman Kip, and S. R. Sling, eds. 1987. Some recently found Greek poems. Mnemosyne Supplement 99. Leiden, The Nether lands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                              Detailed and important commentaries on some papyrus fragments of Archilochus (frs 25–26 188 and 196A West2) and Hipponax (fr. 118 West2).

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                                                              • Gerber, Douglas E., ed. and trans. 1999. Greek iambic poetry from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC. Loeb Classical Library 259. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                A careful translation of early Greek iambos. The full collection of testimonia is an important supplement to West’s critical edition of the poetic fragments.

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                                                                • Snell, Bruno, and Z. Franyó, eds. and trans. 1972. Frühgriechische Lyriker; Zweiter Teil: Die Jambographen. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

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                                                                  A useful translation of a Greek text thoughtfully assembled by a distinguished scholar.

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                                                                  • West, M. L., ed. 1989–1992. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                    The standard critical edition of the early iambic poets.

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                                                                    • West, M. L., trans. 1993. Greek lyric poetry. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                      A straightforward translation of the poetic fragments by the editor of the standard text.

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                                                                      Iambic Meter

                                                                      The most common modern understanding of iambos is as a metrical term referring to the iamb, a unit of metrical movement (a short followed by a long syllable). This usage is first clearly attested in Plato’s Republic (3.400b7), where it seems to be derived from the musical theory of Damon. Damon and this passage of Plato are usefully discussed by West 1992. It remains a source of debate whether this metrical meaning is part of the basic early associations of iambos.Wilamowitz-Moellendorff 1921 influentially discusses the iambic meter as a development of cult song. West 1982 is the standard discussion of the iambic meter, and he approaches the subject with a view to its historical development. Lennartz 2000 argues that later uses of the terms iambos and iambeion are not used without some reference to the metrical character of the text. Rotstein 2010 provides detailed discussion of the metrical terms.

                                                                      • Lennartz, Klaus. 2000. Zum “erweiterten” Iambusbegriff. Rheinisches Museum 143:225–250.

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                                                                        Argues against the view that the terms iambos and iambeion were used of poems with an “iambic” tone or character, regardless of meter.

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                                                                        • Rotstein, Andrea. 2010. The idea of iambos. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                          A comprehensive treatment of ancient understanding of iambos as a genre, employing a methodology derived from the cognitive sciences.

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                                                                          • West, M. L. 1982. Greek metre. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                            The standard account of the subject in English.

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                                                                            • West, M. L. 1992. Ancient Greek music. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                              The standard treatment of the subject.

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                                                                              • Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Ulrich von. 1921. Griechische Verskunst. Berlin, Germany: Weidmann.

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                                                                                Contains an important chapter (pp. 284–322) on the development of the iambic trimeter and the place of iambic metra in lyric poetry.

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                                                                                Archilochus

                                                                                The poet Archilochus (or Archilochos; less often Arkhilokhos) is the most prominent name associated with iambos, and his reputation in Antiquity was such that he was frequently named alongside Homer. He is generally considered to have been active on the islands of Paros and Naxos in the second half of the 7th century BCE. There is a rich, albeit highly problematic, tradition associating Archilochus with events of his times, and he was clearly a figure with an important local tradition in Paros, which is partially preserved in surviving inscriptions. Although his work survives only in a fragmentary state, Archilochus was poet of some range, and we have evidence for poems in elegiac couplets, iambic meters, and more complex strophic meters. As a poet of iambos Archilochus was famous for his invective. This is most often illustrated with a story concerning his feud against a man named Lycambes, who betrothed his daughter to Archilochus but later broke off the engagement. The poet responded with poems so fierce that Lycambes, and in some version his whole family, committed suicide. This story has generated considerable controversy among scholars, and there is little agreement whether Lycambes was a real person and the story true, or a stock figure in a traditional story, or the fictive product of the biographical tradition. These differing views are often intimately connected to rival views of the nature of iambos itself. Rankin 1977 is the only book-length treatment of Archilochus in English; he offers a useful survey of the issues, but his work suffers from the uncritical acceptance of the biographical tradition. Rotstein 2010 sees Archilochus as the central figure in ancient understandings of iambos as a genre. Brown 1997 offers a view of the poet that sees him as upholding the traditional values of society through the medium of iambos. In contrast, Miralles and Pòrtulas 1983 see Archilochus as an outsider, a “trickster.” Nagy 1976 argues that the invective of Archilochus is a highly stylized form of blame-poetry. Burnett 1983 reads the central fragments with considerable imagination and independence; she also subjects important critical attitudes to vigorous criticism. The relationship of Archilochus’s poetry to the epic tradition has been dominant concern of scholarship. Kirkwood 1974 gives a general reading of the fragments that stresses the literary debt to epic. Aloni 1981 considers the texts in light of Oral Theory.

                                                                                • Aloni, Antonio. 1981. Le muse di Archiloco. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.

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                                                                                  A discussion of Archilochus’s style in light of Oral Theory.

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                                                                                  • Brown, Christopher G. 1997. Archilochus. In A companion to the Greek lyric poets. Edited by Douglas E. Gerber, 43–69. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                    A critical survey of the poet’s work.

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                                                                                    • Burnett, Anne Pippin. 1983. Three Archaic poets: Archilochus, Alcaeus, Sappho. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      A deeply felt, imaginative, and often idiosyncratic treatment of Archilochus.

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                                                                                      • Kirkwood, G. M. 1974. Early Greek monody: A history of a poetic type. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        A general view of Archilochus that pays particular attention to the poet’s engagement with the epic tradition.

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                                                                                        • Miralles, Carles, and Jaume Pòrtulas. 1983. Archilochus and the iambic poetry. Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo.

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                                                                                          A stimulating, although not always cogent, treatment of Archilochus that stresses the view of the iambic poet as “trickster.”

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                                                                                          • Nagy, Gregory. 1976. Iambos: Typologies of invective and praise. Arethusa 9:191–205.

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                                                                                            Argues that Archilochean invective is a highly stylized form of blame-poetry. Revised in Gregory Nagy, The best of the Achaeans (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1979), 243–252.

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                                                                                            • Rankin, H. D. 1977. Archilochus of Paros. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes.

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                                                                                              A general study of the poet that is often uncritical in accepting the evidence of the ancient biographical tradition.

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                                                                                              • Rotstein, Andrea. 2010. The idea of iambos. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                Extensive discussion of Archilochus as the paradigmatic exponent of iambos.

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                                                                                                Collections of Papers

                                                                                                The papers in Reverdin 1964 provided stimulus for much subsequent scholarship. In particular the papers by Pouilloux and Konteon focused attention on Archilochus’s connection to his own times; Dover prompted a critical evaluation of the question of genre, and urged caution in treating first-person statements in the fragments; Page encouraged the view that Archilochus was an oral poet. The papers in Katsonopoulou, et al. 2008 are the proceedings of an international conference on the poet held on Paros in 2005 and provide a revealing snapshot of current scholarship.

                                                                                                • Katsonopoulou, Dora Petropoulos, Ioannis Petropoulos, and Stella Katsarou, eds. 2008. Paros II: Archilochus and his age. Athens: Paros and Cyclades Institute of Archaeology.

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                                                                                                  A wide-ranging collection of papers that treat Archilochus from a number of perspectives, including literary, historical, and archaeological.

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                                                                                                  • Reverdin, Olivier, ed. 1964. Archiloque. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 10. Vandoeuvres and Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                    Contains J. Pouilloux, “Archiloque et Thasos: histoire et poésie” (1–36), N. M. Kontoleon, “Archilochos und Paros” (37–86), Anton Scherer, “Die Sprache des Archilochos” (87–116), Denys Page, “Archilochus and the oral tradition” (117–179), K. J. Dover, “The poetry of Archilochos” (181–222), Winfried Bühler, “Archilochos und Kallimachos” (223–253), Erik Wistrand, “Archilochus and Horace” (255–287).

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                                                                                                    Poetry Against Lycambes

                                                                                                    At the heart of the tradition concerning Archilochus is the story of the poet’s feud with Lycambes over the broken engagement with Lycambes’s daughter Neobule. The story famously culminated in the suicide of Lycambes, and in some versions of his whole family, as the result of Archilochus’s poems of bitter invective. The most famous of these poems, which survives in a number of fragments, was an epode in which Archilochus used the fable of the fox and the eagle to comment on the dispute with Lycambes. Many scholars have considered this story to be inherently implausible and have judged all or parts of it to be fiction. West 1974 has influentially argued that it is a traditional cult story, in which Lycambes is a stock character. Carey 1986 and Brown 1997 have responded that it is not implausible within the context of the values of early Greek society. Corrêa 2007 has studied the fable in light of the tradition of beast fable. Hawkins 2008 has interestingly attempted to reconstruct the figure of Lycambes as a poetic rival to Archilochus.

                                                                                                    • Brown, Christopher G. 1997. Archilochus. In A companion to the Greek lyric poets. Edited by Douglas E. Gerber, 43–69. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                      A critical survey of the poet’s work with emphasis on the poetry concerning Lycambes.

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                                                                                                      • Carey, Christopher. 1986. Archilochus and Lycambes. Classical Quarterly 36:60–67.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800010533E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        An important argument for the historicity of the story of Lycambes and the broken engagement.

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                                                                                                        • Corrêa, Paula da Cunha. 2007. A human fable and the justice of beasts in Archilochus. In Hesperos: Studies in Greek poetry presented to M. L. West on his seventieth birthday. Edited by P. J. Finglass, C. Collard, and N. J. Richardson, 101–117. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                          A study of Archilochus’s fable of the fox and the eagle in light of the tradition of the beast fable.

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                                                                                                          • Hawkins, T. 2008. Out-foxing the wolf-walker: Lycambes as performative rival to Archilochus. Classical Antiquity 27:93–114.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1525/ca.2008.27.1.93E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            An attempt to reconstruct aspects of the figure of Lycambes in the Archilochean tradition.

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                                                                                                            • West, Martin. 1974. Studies in Greek elegy and iambus. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1515/9783110833188E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              An important treatment by the editor of the standard text of the early iambic poets that includes many acute observations on individual passages.

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                                                                                                              The “Cologne” Epode

                                                                                                              Of vital importance for the study of Archilochus was the publication (Merkelbach and West 1974) of a Cologne papyrus containing a substantial epode, an erotic narrative in which Neobule is named. This poem is usefully presented with detailed commentary by Bremer, et al. 1987 and Nicolosi 2007. The latter is particularly helpful in collecting the vast bibliography of specialized studies on the text of the poem. Campbell 1976 is helpful on the poem’s language. The affinities with early Greek erotic poetry are studied by Henderson 1976. Henrichs 1980 explores the influence of the poem in Hellenistic and Roman literature. Lefkowitz 1976 considers the implication of the papyrus for Archilochus’s biographical tradition.

                                                                                                              • Bremer, J. M., A. Maria van Erp Taalman Kip, and S. R. Sling, eds. 1987. Some recently found Greek poems. Mnemosyne Supplement 99. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                Detailed and important commentaries on some papyrus fragments of Archilochus (frs 25-26 188 and 196A West2) and Hipponax (fr. 118 West2).

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                                                                                                                • Campbell, David A. 1976. The language of the new Archilochus. Arethusa 9:151–157.

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                                                                                                                  Examines the language of the poem, especially newly attested poetic usage.

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                                                                                                                  • Henderson, Jeffrey. 1976. The Cologne Epode and the conventions of early Greek erotic poetry. Arethusa 9:159–179.

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                                                                                                                    Sets the poem is the context of other erotic narratives in early Greek poetry.

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                                                                                                                    • Henrichs, Albert. 1980. Riper than a pear: Parian invective in Theocritus. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 39:7–27.

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                                                                                                                      A detailed discussion of allusions to fr. 196A in Hellenistic and Roman literature.

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                                                                                                                      • Lefkowitz, Mary R. 1976. Fictions in literary biography: The new poem and the Archilochus legend. Arethusa 9:181–189.

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                                                                                                                        Explores the implications of the poem for the understanding of the biographical tradition of the poem.

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                                                                                                                        • Merkelbach, R., and M. L. West, eds. 1974. Ein Archilochos-Papyrus. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 14:97–112.

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                                                                                                                          The editio princeps of the Cologne Papyrus (fr. 197A).

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                                                                                                                          • Nicolosi, Anika, ed. and trans. 2007. Ipponatte, epodi di Strasburgo, Archiloco, epodi di Colonna (con un’appendice su P.Oxy. LXIX 4708). Eikasmos Studi 14. Bologna: Pàtron Editore.

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                                                                                                                            An up-to-date and useful edition with translation and commentary of some important papyrus texts.

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                                                                                                                            Archilochus and the Epic Tradition

                                                                                                                            There has been considerable discussion of Archilochus’s relation to Homeric epic, especially concerning the question of whether he represented a fundamental shift in worldview away from the values implicit in epic. Russo 1974 argues against the widely held view that Archilochus marks a break with the values of Homeric epic. Seidensticker 1978 argues that the poet’s presentation of himself has important affinities with the figure of Odysseus in the Homeric poem.

                                                                                                                            • Russo, Joseph. 1974. The inner man in Archilochus and the Odyssey. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 15:139–152.

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                                                                                                                              Argues against that view that Archilochus represents a radical rejection of the values of the Homeric poems.

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                                                                                                                              • Seidensticker, Bernd. 1978. Archilochus and Odysseus. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 19:5–22.

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                                                                                                                                An examination of possible affinities between Archilochus’s presentation of himself and the figure of Odysseus in the Odyssey.

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                                                                                                                                Historical and Archaeological Context

                                                                                                                                Unlike the other iambographers, Archilochus occupied an important place in the historical tradition of his community. The fundamental discussion of the poet’s date remains Jacoby 1941, who placed his floruit in the middle third of the 7th century BCE. This dating is now standard, but it has been challenged by Lavelle 2002, which argues strongly for a somewhat earlier date. Archilochus’s poetry touched on the colonization of Thasos by Paros, and the Parians commemorated the poet by making him the object of a cult. The Mnesiepes inscription, which was found on Paros, gives a remarkable account of Archilochus’s life and the institution of the cult. Müller 1985 offers a carefully argued restoration of the inscription. Hawkins 2009 connects the crisis narrative of the inscription with a narrative pattern in Archilochus’s poetry. An important monograph, Clay 2004, studies the evidence for the cult within the larger context of the cult of poets in other Greek states. Archilochus’s connection with the colonization of Thasos is explored in detail by Marcaccini 2001, and Podlecki 1974 considers the role of Delphi in the Parian colonization of Thasos.

                                                                                                                                • Clay, Diskin. 2004. Archilochos of Paros: The cult of poets in the Greek polis. Hellenic Studies 6. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

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                                                                                                                                  Detailed examination of the evidence for the cult of Archilochus on Paros.

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                                                                                                                                  • Hawkins, Tom. 2009. This is the death of the earth: Crisis narratives in Archilochus and Mnesiepes. Transactions of the American Philological Association 139:1–20.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/apa.0.0024E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Explores narratives of social breakdown in Archilochus’s poetry and in the narrative of Archilochus’s life in the Mnesiepes inscription.

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                                                                                                                                    • Jacoby, Felix. 1941. The date of Archilochus. Classical Quarterly 35:97–109.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800027531E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      The fundamental discussion of Archilochus’s date. Reprinted in Felix Jacoby, Kleine philologische Schriften, edited by Hans Joachim Mette, vol. 1, 249–267 (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1961).

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                                                                                                                                      • Lavelle, B. M. 2002. The Apollodoran date for Archilochus. Classical Philology 97:344–351.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/449595E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Challenges the generally accepted date for Archilochus.

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                                                                                                                                        • Marcaccini, Carlo. 2001. Construire un’identità, scrivere la storia: Archiloco, Paro e la colonizzazione di Taso. Studi e testi 20. Florence: Università degli Studi di Firenze.

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                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive study of Archilochus’s association with the Parian colonization of Thasos.

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                                                                                                                                          • Müller, Carl Werner. 1985. Die Archilochoslegende. Rheinisches Museum 128:99–151.

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                                                                                                                                            A detailed treatment of the Mnesiepes inscription and the problems of its reconstruction.

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                                                                                                                                            • Podlecki, A. J. 1974. Archilochus and Apollo. Phoenix 28:1–17.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/1087227E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              An important discussion of the historical context of Archilochus.

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                                                                                                                                              Texts and Translations

                                                                                                                                              The standard critical edition of the fragments of Archilochus is West 1989–1992. Tarditi (Archilochus 1968) is a useful edition of the fragments that remains especially important for its collection of ancient testimonia concerning the poet’s life and work. The Budé edition of Lasserre and Bonnard (Archilochus 1958) has a Greek text and French translation; its approach is independent and often stimulating, but is often overly speculative, especially in its reconstructions of the epodes. Gerber 1999 contains text and translation of both the fragments and testimonia, and is the standard English translation of the poet. None of these editions contains the recently published papyrus of an elegiac poem by Archilochus on Telephus, which can be conveniently found in Nicolosi 2007. The Greek text and German translation in Treu (Archilochus 1959) is complemented by a brief but very useful commentary. Nickel (Archilochus 2003), which replaces Treu’s edition in the same series, includes the more recent papyrus finds of Archilochean iambos, but its notes are less insightful. Bossi 1990, which was conceived as the prolegomena to a critical edition of Archilochus, provides a comprehensive discussion of ancient reception of the poet and the differing approaches taken by modern scholarship; he also gives detailed treatment of textual and interpretative issues in a number of particular passages.

                                                                                                                                              • Archilochus. 1968. Archiloco. Edited by G. Tarditi. Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo.

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                                                                                                                                                A useful edition of the poetic fragments with a full collection of ancient testimonia concerning the poet’s life and works.

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                                                                                                                                                • Archilochus. 1959. Archilochos: Griechisch und Deutsch. Edited and translated by Max Treu. Tusculum-Bücher. Munich, Germany: Ernst Heimeran Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                  Greek text and German translation accompanied concise and insightful notes by a distinguished scholar.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Archilochus. 1958. Archiloque: Fragments. Edited by François Lasserre and André Bonnard. Collections des Universités de France. Paris: Société d’Édition “Les Belles Lettres.”

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                                                                                                                                                    Critical edition of the Greek text and French translation characterized by an overly speculative approach to the reconstruction of the epodes.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Archilochus. 2003. Archilochos: Gedichte. Edited by Rainer Nickel. Sammlung Tusculum. Düsseldorf, Germany: Artemis & Winkler Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                      A lightly annotated text and German translation.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Bossi, Francesco. 1990. Studi su Archiloco, 2d ed. Bari, Italy: Adriatica Editrice.

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                                                                                                                                                        A volume conceived as the prolegomena to a critical edition of Archilochus; the text combines searching discussion of some general issues, especially concerning ancient and modern assessments of the poet, with detailed discussion of individual problems of text and interpretation.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Gerber, Douglas E., ed. and trans. 1999. Greek iambic poetry from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                          A careful translation of the fragments of Archilochus. The full collection of testimonia is an important supplement to West’s critical edition of the poetic fragments.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Nicolosi, Anika, ed. and trans. 2007. Ipponatte, Epodi di Strasburgo, Archiloco, Epodi di Colonna (con un’appendice su P.Oxy. LXIX 4708). Eikasmos Studi 14. Bologna: Pàtron Editore.

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                                                                                                                                                            An up-to-date and useful edition with translation and commentary of some important papyrus texts.

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                                                                                                                                                            • West, M. L., ed. 1989–1992. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                              The standard critical edition of the early iambic poets.

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                                                                                                                                                              Semonides of Amorgos

                                                                                                                                                              Little is known about Semonides. Alongside Archilochus, he appears to be a shadowy figure, with little evidence to connect him with any historical moment. The frequent confusion of his name with that of the better-known Simonides means that this is some uncertainty about the attribution of fragments. Particularly important is the question of the authorship of an elegiac passage preserved by Stobaeus. It was once commonly assigned to Semonides on the strength of its similarities to Sem. fr. 1. Recent papyrus evidence has convinced most scholars that this poem is Simonidean (fr. el. 8 West2), but Hubbard 2001 believes that a case for Semonidean authorship is still possible. Like Archilochus and Hipponax, Semonides is given an enemy, Orodeocides, but the name appears to be corrupt and there is no clear trace of the poetry against him. He is principally important for two fragments: fr. 1, a reflection on life that seems more like early elegiac poetry than iambos, and fr. 7, a long passage that recounts the creation of differing types of women from a variety of animals. Brown 1997 surveys the evidence for the poet and considers the two major fragments. Fr. 7 has figured prominently in the study of Greek attitudes toward women. Loraux 1978 is one of the most important treatments, particularly for her discussion of the poem as it stands in relation to the attitudes toward women expressed in Hesiodic poetry. Morgan 2005 discusses the poem’s affinities with wisdom literature, which is also relevant to understanding the Hesiodic tradition. Osborne 2001 attempts to set the poem within a social and historical framework. Schear 1984 notes that the poem concerns women as wives, not women in general, and suggests that the poem was performed in the context of marriage ritual.

                                                                                                                                                              • Brown, Christopher G. 1997. Semonides. In A companion to the Greek lyric poets. Edited by Douglas E. Gerber, 70–78. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                An overview of Semonides’s poetry with particular emphasis on the two long fragments.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Hubbard, Thomas K. 2001. ‘New Simonides’ or Old Semonides? Second thoughts on POxy 3965 fr. 26. In The new Simonides: Contexts of praise and desire. Edited by Deborah Boedeker and David Sider, 226–231. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Argues that Simonides fr. el. 8 West2 should be ascribed to Semonides.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Loraux, Nicole. 1978. Sur la race des femmes et quelques-unes de ses tribus. Arethusa 11:43–87.

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                                                                                                                                                                    An important discussion of the way in which fr. 7 stands in relation to the treatment of women in Hesiod. Reprinted in Nicole Loraux, Les enfants d‘Athéna: Idées athéniennes sur la citoyenneté et la division des sexes (Paris: F. Maspero, 1981), 75–117.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Morgan, Teresa. 2005. The wisdom of Semonides fr. 7. Cambridge Classical Journal: Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 51:72–85.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Connects Semonides’s poem on women with themes of ancient wisdom literature.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Osborne, Robin G. 2001. The use of abuse: Semonides 7. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 47:46–64.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Discusses the poem within its historical and social context.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Schear, Leslie. 1984. Semonides Fr. 7: Wives and their husbands. Echos du monde classique 28:22–46.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that fr. 7 was performed at an occasion connected with a wedding.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Critical Texts and Commentaries

                                                                                                                                                                          The standard critical edition of the fragments of Semonides is West 1989–1992. Pellizer and Tedeschi 1990 is useful for the detailed commentary and collection of ancient testimonia. Gerber 1999 provides a text and what is now the standard English translation of the fragments and testimonia. Gerber 1984 is a useful English commentary on fr. 1. Lloyd-Jones 1975 is an important philological commentary on fr. 7.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Gerber, Douglas E. 1984. Semonides, Fr. 1 West: A commentary. In Greek poetry and philosophy: Studies in honour of Leonard Woodbury. Edited by D. E. Gerber, 125–135. Chico, CA: Scholars Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                            A detailed philological commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Gerber, Douglas E., ed. and trans. 1999. Greek iambic poetry from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A careful translation of the fragments of Semonides. The full collection of testimonia is an important supplement to West’s critical edition of the poetic fragments.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Lloyd-Jones, Hugh. 1975. Females of the species: Semonides on women. London: Duckworth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A major commentary on the poem on women (fr. 7 West2) by a distinguished scholar.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Pellizer, Ezio, and Gennaro Tedeschi, eds. and trans. 1990. Semonide: Introduzione, testimonianze, testo critico, traduzione e commento. Rome, Italy: Edizioni dell’Ateneo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  A major critical edition of Semonides with detailed commentary, full collection of ancient testimonia, and an Italian translation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • West, M. L., ed. 1989–1992. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati. 2 vols. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    The standard critical edition of the early iambic poets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Hipponax

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hipponax flourished in the middle of the 6th century BCE on the coast of Asia Minor. Robertson 1982 has an interesting discussion of the historical and cultural setting. Like the other iambographers, tradition records that he participated in a poetic feud, in this case against sculptors named Bupalus and Athenis, who are said to have made an insulting statue of the poet, and there is some evidence for this poetry among the extant fragments. Hipponax’s engagement with the Homeric Odysseus is discussed by Rosen 1990. Brown 1997 provides an overview of the poet’s work with emphasis on the poetry concerning Bupalus and Athenis. Rosen 1988 looks at the feud with a view to the conventions of early Greek invective. Miralles and Pòrtulas 1988 considers a variety of aspects of the poet, including the authors’ view that he presents himself as a “trickster” figure. They also emphasize his influence in later Antiquity, especially on Petronius’s Satyricon. The literary influence of Hipponax is given important discussion in Degani 1984, a book which also sheds valuable light on a wide range of issues concerning the poet. In addition to the iambic associations, Hipponax is associated with the beginnings of parody in Greek literature. Faraone 2004 gives an interesting reassessment of the passage that is most often considered to be an example of Hipponactean parody. Among the extant fragments a particularly important position is occupied by the first of the so-called Strasbourg Epodes (fr. 115), one of the finest examples of poetic invective in early Greek literature. The authorship of this poem is discussed by Kirkwood 1961, which gives strong support to the earlier view that this poem should be ascribed to Archilochus.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Brown, Christopher G. 1997. Hipponax. In A companion to the Greek lyric poets. Edited by Douglas E. Gerber, 79–88. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      A critical overview of the poet’s work.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Degani, Enzo. 1984. Studi su Ipponatte. Bari, Italy: Adriatica Editrice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A learned and searching set of prolegomena to the Teubner edition of Hipponax.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Faraone, Christopher A. 2004. Hipponax fragment 128W: Epic parody or expulsive incantation? Classical Antiquity 23:209–245.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1525/ca.2004.23.2.209E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Rejects the common view that fr. 128 is parody in favor of a reading that situates the passage in the tradition of ancient invective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kirkwood, Gordon M. 1961. The authorship of the Strasbourg Epodes. Transactions of the American Philological Association 92:267–282.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/283814E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            An important discussion of the question of the authorship of Hipponax frs 115-117, which argues that the first of these poems should be ascribed to Archilochus, not Hipponax.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Miralles, Carlos, and Jaume Pòrtulas. 1988. The poetry of Hipponax. Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              A collection of papers on Hipponax concerning the character of his poetry and its influence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Robertson, Noel. 1982. Hittite ritual at Sardis. Classical Antiquity 1:122–140.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Contains a detailed examination of Hipponax fr. 3a that situates it in its historical and cultural context.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rosen, Ralph M. 1988. Hipponax, Boupalos, and the conventions of psogos. Transactions of the American Philological Association 118:291–296.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A study of Hippoanx’s poetic feud with Boupalos with emphasis on the conventions of invective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Rosen, Ralph M. 1990. Hipponax and the Homeric Odysseus. Eikasmos 1:11–25.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Considers Hipponax’s debt to the figure of the Homeric Odysseus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Critical Texts and Commentaries

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hipponax is included in West 1989–1992, the standard critical edition of the early iambographers. The most important edition of the poet, however, is Degani’s (Hipponax 1991), which contains a Greek text with an apparatus that verges on being a commentary, as well as a full collection of ancient testimonia. Of older editions Masson (Hipponax 1962) remains useful, especially on points of language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hipponax, Degani, H. 1991. Hipponax: Testimonia et fragmenta, 2d ed. Edited by H. Degani. Stuttgart and Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      A major critical edition of the poet with a full collection of ancient testimonia.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hipponax. 1962. Les fragments du poète Hipponax. Edited by Olivier Masson. Études et Commentaires 43. Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        A useful critical edition of Hipponax with special attention to the poet’s language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • West, M. L., ed. 1989–1992. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          The standard critical edition of the early iambic poets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Minor Figures

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A number of minor figures are credited with composing iambos. In addition, some poets who are better known for their work in other genres may have written iamboi occasionally (Anacreon is the best example). The relevant texts are included in West 1989–1992. These poets are discussed in detail by Rotstein 2010 with a view to their place in the corpus. The most important minor iambographer seems to have been Ananius, who replaces Semonides in one list of the three great iambic poets. A useful commentary on the major fragments of Ananius can be found in Degani and Burzacchini 1977. Special problems are posed by the Margites, a comic poem which Aristotle ascribed to Homer; it combines dactylic hexameters with iambic trimeters, and thus seems to straddle epic and iambos. Accordingly, the fragments of the Margites find a place in both West 1989–1992, his edition of early iambos, and West 2003, his Loeb collection of Homeric material. Gostoli 2007 provides a very useful edition of the remains of the Margites with a full collection of the relevant testimonia and commentary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Degani, Enzo, and Gabriele Burzacchini. 1977. Lirici greci. Florence: La Nuova Italia.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Contains an introduction to Ananius and a detailed commentary on the principal fragments.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gostoli, Antonietta, ed. 2007. Omero: Margite: Introduzione, testimonianze, testo critico, traduzione e commento. Testi e commenti 21. Pisa: Fabrizio Serra Editore.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              The most detailed treatment of the Homeric Margites.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rotstein, Andrea. 2010. The idea of iambos. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Contains a detailed discussion of all the poets who are said to have composed iamboi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • West, M. L., ed. 1989–1992. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The standard critical edition of the early iambic poets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • West, M. L. 2003. Homeric hymns, Homeric apocrypha, lives of Homer. Loeb Classical Library 496. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Contains a text and translation of the ancient evidence for the Homeric Margites.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Solon’s Trochaic and Iambic Poems

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It remains uncertain whether the iambic poems attributed to Solon should be considered as examples of iambos. Although there are some similarities of tone with Semonides fr. 1, these poems seem to have little in common with the bulk of surviving early iambic poetry; with their predominantly political concerns, they are most like Solon’s political elegies. The texts are included in West 1989–1992; a fuller presentation of the texts can be found in Gentili and Prato 1988. Mülke 2002 provides a detailed commentary. Lardinois 2006 has questioned their authenticity, arguing that they were in fact produced by somewhat later Athenian poets and ascribed to Solon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gentili, Bruno, and Carlo Prato. 1988. Poetarum elegiacorum: Testimonia et fragmenta, 2d ed, vol. 1. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An important critical edition of Solon’s poetry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lardinois, André P. M. H. 2006. Have we Solon’s verses? In Solon of Athens: New historical and philological approaches. Edited by Josine H. Blok and André P. M. H. Lardinois, 15–35. Mnemosyne Supplement 272. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Questions the authenticity of Solon’s iambic poetry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mülke, Christoph. 2002. Solons politische Elegien und Iamben (Fr. 1–13; 32–37 West): Einleitung, Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar. Munich: K. G. Saur.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An important edition of Solon’s political poetry with a detailed commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • West, M. L., ed. 1989–1992. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The standard critical edition of the early iambic poets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hellenistic Revival

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There does not seem to have been a continuous tradition of iambos in the postclassical period. This was an age of literary experimentation, when the old genres of the archaic and classical periods were often combined and developed to create new poetic expression. Hellenistic poets looked back to Archilochus and Hipponax as models that could be developed according to Alexandrian literary principles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Callimachus’ Iambi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Callimachus (sometimes spelled Callimachos or Kallimachos) flourished during the 3rd century BCE in Alexandria, where he worked in the great Library and had close ties with the court of the Ptolemaic rulers. As the leading poet of his time, Callimachus was the central figure of Alexandrian poetry, and his Iambi (the conventional way of referring to his Iamboi) are an important example of his art. These poems take their point of departure from the figure of Hipponax, presented in the first poem as returning from the Underworld, but the results are very different from early iambos. Pfeiffer (Callimachus 1949) remains the fundamental presentation of the papyrus fragments in which these poems survive. The most important contribution of Kerkhecker 1999 is to offer a detailed reassessment of the textual evidence. D’Alessio (Callimachus 1996) also offers an independent text with very useful notes and an Italian translation. Literary questions are treated in a pioneering monograph, Clayman 1980. More recently Acosta-Hughes 2002 has illuminated the complex generic texture of Callimachus’s poems. Callimachus’s engagement with early iambos is most evident in Iambos 13, which Steiner 2007 discusses within the larger context of the iambographic tradition. There is a longstanding debate over whether the texts that Pfeiffer prints as Mele (lyric poems) are in fact a continuation of the Iambi; Lelli 2005 edits these texts with a detailed introduction and commentary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Acosta-Hughes, Benjamin. 2002. Polyeideia: The Iambi of Callimachus and the Archaic iambic tradition. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A close reading of the surviving fragments of Callimachus’s Iamboi in light of the Archaic tradition of iambos and other generic associations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Callimachus. 2001. The poems of Callimachus. Edited and translated by Frank Nisetich. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Contains a useful annotated translation of the fragments of Callimachus’s Iambi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Callimachus. 1949. Callimachus, Volumen I Fragmenta. Edited by Rudolph Pfeiffer. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Remains the standard collection of the fragmentary texts, despite the fact that many new papyrus texts have come to light.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Callimachus. 1996. Callimaco: Aitia, Giambi e altri frammenti, vol. 2. Edited by Giovan Battista d’Alessio. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Contains a Greek text accompanied by an Italian translation and brief but judicious notes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Clayman, D. L. 1980. Callimachus’ Iambi. Mnemosyne Supplement 59. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A literary study of Callimachus’s poems.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kerkhecker, Arnd. 1999. Callimachus’ book of Iambi. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A comprehensive reading of the surviving papyri.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lelli, Emanuele. 2005. Callimachi Iambi XIV–XVII. Lyricorum Graecorum quae extant 14. Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An edition of Callimachus frs. 226–229 Pfeiffer that argues that these texts belong to the Iambi rather than Lyrica.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Steiner, Deborah. 2007. Galloping (or lame) consumption: Callimachus Iamb 13. 60–66 and the iambic tradition. Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici 58:13–42.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Discusses the affinities of Iamb 13 with early iambos.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Herodas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The papyrus containing the works of the Hellenistic poet Herodas (or Herondas) was first published in 1891. The poems are called Mimiamboi, and that word, a fusion of mimos (“mime”) and iambos, gives some indication of the character of the poetry. Herodas has fused dramatic mime with the tradition of early iambos. Like his contemporary Callimachus, Herodas looked to Hipponax as a model not only for his poetic language, but also for iambic elements incorporated into the text. Hipponax is mentioned in the fragmentary Mim. 8, a poem that seems to reflect Herodas’s literary program. The great commentary by Headlam and Knox (Herodas 1922) with its minute examination of the poet’s language remains a fundamental tool for research, but its presentation of the text is unsatisfactory by current standards. Cunningham (Herodas 1971) established the foundation for the standard edition, the Teubner text Herodas 1987. The recent edition by Zanker (Herodas 2009) is particularly helpful in addressing the literary aspects of the poems. Rosen 1992 explores the iambic elements in Herodas’s Mimiamboi with an emphasis on the programmatic Mim. 8.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Herodas. 1922. Herodas: The Mimes and Fragments. Edited by Walter Headlam and A. D. Knox. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An edition of the surviving texts with translation and detailed commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Herodas. 1971. Herodas: Mimiambi. Edited by I. C. Cunningham. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A critical text with commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Herodas. 1987. Mimiambi. Edited by I. C. Cunningham. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The standard critical edition of the text.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Herodas. 2009. Herodas: Mimiambs edited with a translation, introduction and commentary. Edited by Graham Zanker. Aris and Phillips Classical Texts. Oxford: Oxbow.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A modern translation with a useful commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Rosen, Ralph M. 1992. Mixing of genres and literary program in Herodas 8. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 94:205–216.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/311426E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Explores the mixing of dramatic and Hipponactean elements in Herodas’s Mimiamboi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Later Greek Literature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Iambic themes and influence have been identified in later Greek literature. Nesselrath 2007 considers the satirist Lucian’s use of Archilochus and iambic language. Zanetto 2003 sees the influence of early iambos on Greek prose fiction, especially Achilles Tatius’s novel. The fierce invective of Archilochus and Hipponax was a favorite theme of writers of epigram, and Rosen 2007 studies these texts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther. 2007. Lucian and Archilochus, or: How to make use of the ancient iambographers in the context of the Second Sophistic. In Hesperos: Studies in Greek poetry presented to M. L. West on his seventieth birthday. Edited by P. J. Finglass, C. Collard, and N. J. Richardson, 132–142. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Studies Lucian’s use of iambos and the figure of Archilochus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rosen, Ralph. 2007. The hellenistic epigrams on Archilochus and Hipponax. In Brill’s companion to Hellenistic epigram. Edited by Peter Bing and Jon Steffen Bruss, 459–476. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A study of the Hellenistic epigrams on the central iambographers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Zanetto, Giuseppe. 2003. Archaic iambos and Greek novel: A possible connection. In The ancient novel and beyond. Mnemosyne Supplement 241. Edited by Stelios Panayotakis, Marike Zimmerman, and Wytse H. Keulen, 317–328. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Detects the possible influence of early iambos in later prose texts, especially the novel by Achilles Tatius.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Roman Revival

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Written in the shadow of the Civil Wars, the Epodes of Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus, 65–8 BCE) reflect both Roman engagement with early Greek iambos and Alexandrian poetry. These poems have been the object of considerable attention in recent years, and there are two recent commentaries in English that provide a foundation for future scholarship: Mankin (Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) 1995) is concise and helpful on points of language and interpretation; Watson 2003 is a major commentary that offers a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the poems. Watson 2007 provides a useful overview of the texts and their problems. Horace overtly draws his inspiration from Archilochus and Hipponax, but it is clear that the iambic influence is mediated by the example of Callimachus’s Iambi. There has been a long-standing division among scholars over whether Archaic iambos or Callimachus is the more important influence, but Barchiesi 2001 seems to be right in urging a more nuanced view that in involves both Archaic and Hellenistic poetry. Barchiesi 2002 discusses Horace’s understanding of the early genre. Harrison 2001 argues that Archilochus is a more important influence than has often been recognized. Freudenburg 1993 discusses the importance of iambos for Horatian satire. Horace was not the only Roman poet influenced by early Greek iambos, and Heyworth 2001 examines iambic themes in Catullus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Barchiesi, Alessandro 2001. Horace and iambos: The poet as literary historian. In Iambic ideas: Essays on a poetic tradition from Archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire. Edited by Alberto Cavarzere, Antonio Aloni, and Alessandro Barchiesi, 141–164. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Explores the complex iambic and Alexandrian elements in the Epodes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Barchiesi, Alessandro. 2002. Palingenere: Death, rebirth and Horatian iambos. In Horace and Greek lyric poetry. Edited by Michael Paschalis, 47–69. Rethymnon Classical Studies 1. Rethymnon: Univ. of Crete, Department of Philology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Considers Horace’s understanding of the genre of early iambos.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Freudenburg, Kirk. 1993. The walking muse: Horace on the theory of satire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Considers the role of iambos in Horatian satire.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Harrison, Stephen J. 2001. Some generic problems in Horace’s Epodes: Or, on (not) being Archilochus. In Iambic ideas: Essays on a poetic tradition from Archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire. Edited by Alberto Cavarzere, Antonio Aloni, and Alessandro Barchiesi, 165–186. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argues for the importance of Archilochean themes in the Epodes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Heyworth, Stephen J. 2001. Catullan iambics, Catullan iambi. In Iambic ideas: Essays on a poetic tradition from Archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire. Edited by Alberto Cavarzere, Antonio Aloni, and Alessandro Barchiesi, 117–140. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Discusses the influence of iambos on Catullus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus). 1995. Horace: Epodes. Edited by David Mankin. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A useful edition and commentary with an emphasis on Horace’s debt to early iambos.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Watson, Lindsay C. 2003. A commentary on Horace’s Epodes. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A major commentary on the Epodes. It is now the standard treatment of the subject.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Watson, Lindsay. 2007. The Epodes: Horace’s Archilochus? In The Cambridge companion to Horace. Edited by Stephen Harrison, 93–104. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CCOL0521830028E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A concise overview of the poems and their interpretive problems by the standard English commentator.

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