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Theocritus and the reversal of literary tradition Cater, Amanda Jane 1985

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THEOCRITUS AND THE REVERSAL OF LITERARY TRADITION By AMANDA JANE CATER B.A., Univers i ty Col lege, London, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS \, f ... . ...; ; We accept th i s thesis .as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1985 (c) Amanda Jane Cater, 1985 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CLASSICS The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 ABSTRACT My purpose is to demonstrate Theocritus' treatment of traditional literary genres. I show the specialized character of the bucolic genre by concentrating on the combination of epic, tragic and bucolic elements in selected poems of Theocritus. My concern is the portrayal of characters and character-types from myth and literary tradition and how the traditional literary portrayal has been changed. My discussion of Theocritus' poetic technique is divided into two parts. The f irst section deals with Theocritus' method of "reducing" or down-grading figures who have previously been presented and accepted as heroes. This section is introduced by a brief survey of the changing attitudes towards heroes in Greek literature from Homer to Theocritus. This is followed by a discussion of four poems which illustrate Theocritus' inversion of the standard portrait. This treatment ranges from a humorous recasting of the status of Polyphemos (Idyll 11) and Herakles (Idylls 13 and 24) to a critical portrayal of the Dioscuri (Idyll 22). The second part deals with the technique operating in reverse. In this section, I show how Theocritus juxtaposes epic themes with 'low-life' scenes and how the characters involved are consequently upgraded or 'elevated1. The four poems I select endow their insignificant protagonists with heroic amplitude. In Idyl 1 1, epic and tragic elements are infused into the portrayal of Daphnis the cowherd. Simaetha in Idyll 2 envisages herself as a Medea in a context of bourgeois reality. The mythological material in Idyll 3 achieves humour from the disparity of the goatherd's rustic simplicicy and his awareness of mythological precedents. Idyll 7 expands the anti-heroic material of the i i Odyssey and describes a goatherd with a d i f ference. In my conclusion I demonstrate the coherence of Theocr i tus ' treatment of epic and dramatic narrat ive with his programmatic statements. The passages referred to are the epilogue of Idy l l 22 (212-23), the characters c i ted in Idy l l 16 (36-57), Simichidas' speech in Idy l l 7 (45-48) and the descr ipt ion of the herdman's cup in Idy l l 1. (29-61). In the l i g h t of t h i s , I l i n k Theocritus ' poetic method to his at t i tude to the function of l i t e r a tu r e and i t s re l a t ion to soc ie ty . TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT v PART I INTRODUCTION 1 THE CYCLOPS 4 HERAKLES IN LOVE 15 BABY HERAKLES 24 THE TWINS 34 PART II INTRODUCTION 46 THE NEATHERD 47 SIMAETHA 54 DELPHIS: A POST-SCRIPT 65 THE GOATHERD 67 TWO COMPANIONS 70 CONCLUSION 84 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 89 i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would l i k e to thank Professor H. Edinger for his time, patience and helpful advice throughout the preparation of th i s thes i s . I am also grateful to Professor A. Podlecki for his reading of my paper. My thanks are also due to C M . Osborne for his careful reading of the text and useful suggestions. v 1 PART I INTRODUCTION The a t t i t u d e towards the concept o f "he ro" has ranged from p r a i s e i n the verse of Homer and P indar to doubt i n Greek tragedy and the ep i c of Apo l l o n i u s Rhodius to c r i t i c i s m by Theoc r i t u s and f i n a l l y r e j e c t i o n by the Roman poe ts . Homeric verse d i d not ques t i on the m o r a l i t y of aggress ion or k i l l i n g , s i nce the hero i c code d i c t a t e d t ha t such conduct brought noble renown. One of He rak l e s ' great deeds was to take Geryon 's c a t t l e , but he d i d i t w i thou t ask ing or pay ing . P indar f i n d s a s o l u t i o n to t h i s qualm about R igh t and Wrong, s ince Herak les i s r i d d i n g the ea r th of e v i l and d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e s . The nature of a t r a g i c drama i s such tha t some heroes must n e c e s s a r i l y be c a s t as v i l l i a n s . Odysseus i s o f ten a cand ida te . H is r epu t a t i on f o r cunning wins him admi ra t i on i n Homeric poe t ry , s i n ce he l i e s out of n e ce s s i t y and seldom has d e c e i t f u l i n t e n t . However h i s c ha r a c t e r i s b lackened by the Greek d r a m a t i s t s . P h i l o c t e t e s shows h i s c o r r u p t i o n of Neoptolemus and h i s c r u e l t y to Hecuba.* By the time of Apo l l o n i u s Rhod ius 1 ep i c the on ly way he can preserve the hero as a sympathet ic f i g u r e i s to s t r i p him of h i s he ro i c q u a l i t i e s , thus Jason i s t y p i c a l l y amechanos wh i l e he cas t s Herak les as an ambiguous f i g u r e . 2 *In some cases dramat ic p o l a r i s a t i o n can l e ad to a l l the Greeks being c a s t as v i l l a i n s , as i n Eur . T ro . 764: "You Greeks , ba rba r i an are the th i ngs you do! " T rans . A .S . Way, Eu r i p i d e s I , Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y , 1912. ^He i s nomina l ly a hero but k i l l s Thoedamas " c r u e l l y " to provoke a war (Ap. (Footnote cont inued) 2 Theocritus introduces a new race of su f fe r ing heroes whose f i nes t hour i s t he i r Liebestod which shows his re jec t ion of the v io len t hero.3 The contrast i s made e x p l i c i t in the address to Adonis in Idy l l 15: "Thou, dear Adonis alone of demigods . . . dost v i s i t both earth and Acheron. Such l o t f e l l not to Agamemnon, nor mighty A ias , that hero of the heavy anger [ho megas, barumanios hero's] nor Hector . . . " . 4 Even in the panegyrics Theocritus manages to avoid almost en t i r e l y the usual praise of b e l l i c o s i t y . Against the f igure of Hiero set t ing out to war g i r t . . . protero is isos heroessi (16. 80) i s set the overwhelming emphasis on the rural peace Hiero 's v ic tory w i l l b r ing . "Grant that towns which the hands of foes have wasted u t te r l y be peopled again by the ancient master. May these t i l l f e r t i l e f i e l d s , while sheep in countless thousands grow f a t . . . ." (16. 88-91). Theocritus ' highest praise of Ptolemy i s reserved for Idyl 1 14, where Thyonichus says he i s "The very best - k ind l y , cu l tured , ga l lant as pleasant as may be; knows his f r i end and knows his enemy even bet ter . As a king should be, he's generous to many and doesn't refuse when asked. . . ." (61-64) Herakles i s presented as a Wunderkind in Idyl 1 24 5 and an idea l i sed ^(continued) Rh. Arg. 1. 1213-19) and he t e r r i f i e s the Libyan nymphs (4. 1432f. ) . ^Such heroes are Daphnis in Idyl 1 1, the Cyclops in 11, Hylas in 13 and Adonis i n 15. 4 I d . 15. 136-39. A l l t rans la t ions from Theocritus are taken from A.S.F. Gow, Theocri tus, 2 Vols . (Cambridge: Cambridge Univers i ty Press, 1952) Vo l . I. ^G. Giangrande, "Irony in Theocritus: Methods of L i te rary In te rpre ta t ion , " MPhL 3 (1978): 144. 3 lover in Idy l l 13, although his behaviour a f te r the loss of Hylas reveals h is ambiguous nature. Idy l l 22 presents the greatest problem in that Theocritus goes out of his way to de l iberate ly denigrate the D ioscu r i . The best ind icat ion of the characters who are most important to Theocritus i s provided in Idy l l 16, where he praises the ind iv idua ls whom Homer made famous. "Never had Odysseus won l a s t i ng fame, who . . . came a l i ve to far thest Hades, and escaped . . . the baleful Cyclops; never would the swineherd Eumaeus have been named, nor Ph i l o e t i u s , busied with the c a t t l e of the herd, nor the great-hearted Laertes himself , had not the minstre ls of an Ionian bard pro f i t ed them" (16. 51-57). 4 THE CYCLOPS "Reduc t i on" i s the term I have g iven to T heo c r i t u s ' method of p r e s en t a t i o n i n h i s poems of mytho log i ca l c h a r a c t e r . As the term i m p l i e s , i t i s the s c a l i n g down of a f i g u r e who has been gene ra l l y accepted i n l i t e r a r u r e as " h e r o i c " , who can do no wrong, a c t i n any way he sees f i t , even i f a t ano the r ' s expense, and i n consequence i s the sav i ou r of a l l . Homeric and P i n d a r i c verse i s p a r t l y " r e s p o n s i b l e " f o r t h i s c r e a t i o n of an i d e a l . The doubt c a s t upon t h i s i d ea l by the Greek t raged ians i s magn i f i ed by Theo c r i t u s , but h i s approach i s not a new one. he does not i n t r oduce i n the cha ra c t e r s of He rak l es , the D i o s c u r i , o r Pentheus ( I d y l l 26) many aspec ts which have not been p r e v i o u s l y e n t e r t a i n e d . Eu r i p i d e s r ecogn i zed Herak les as the n o n - i n t e l l e c t u a l hero, p r o t e c t o r of Man by h i s b ru te s t r e n g t h . The i n c i d e n t of the D i o s cu r i and the Aphar idae o r i g i n a t e d i n the Cyp r i a and was se t down by P indar (Nemean 10 ) . Pentheus, i n h i s r e j e c t i o n o f the Dionysos c u l t , r e ce i ved due r e t r i b u t i o n i n E u r i p i d e s ' Bacchae. The nove l t y of Theo c r i t u s ' poems i s t ha t they s h i f t t h e i r focus to p a r t i c u l a r aspec ts o f these wel l-known f i g u r e s which have h i t h e r t o been h i n t ed a t but not emphasized. He rak l e s ' l ove f o r Hylas has l i t t l e support from e a r l i e r l i t e r a r y accounts , but i s made the s ub j e c t o f I d y l l 13. Herak les was a baby when he s t r ang l ed the serpents and P inda r devotes a s e c t i o n of the f i r s t Nemean ode to t h i s . Theoc r i t u s se t s the whole scene i n the he r o ' s nu r se r y . With the except ion of the Aphar idae episode i n Idy l 1 22, Theoc r i t u s r a r e l y i n v e n t s , he s imply concen t ra tes on t r i v i a l and remote aspec ts of h i s chosen c h a r a c t e r ' s l i f e and p e r s o n a l i t y , such as have not p r e v i o u s l y been exposed, o f ten f o r reasons o f p r o p r i e t y . He shows c l e a r l y 5 he 1s not a b l i n d f o l l o w e r of t r a d i t i o n . H is method b r i ngs i n t o ques t i on the techn ique o f r e p o r t i n g and na r r a t i ng even t s . Fac t s are gathered from va r i o u s sou r ces , repeated and embe l l i shed u n t i l the s t o r y ga ins c redence . Theoc r i t u s takes a r e a l i s t i c look a t myth. By i n f l a t i n g minor elements of a s t o r y he i s p a r t l y be ing arrogant i n demonstrat ing h i s knowledge o f a l l the re i s to know about a p a r t i c u l a r sub j e c t , but he i s a l s o say ing tha t t h i s p a r t o f h i s c h a r a c t e r ' s l i f e may a l so have been a f a c t . In s p i t e o f m i racu lous e x p l o i t s which a charac te r may per form, Theoc r i t u s chooses to examine the a l t e r n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n . 6 Theoc r i t u s i s a l s o d e l i b e r a t e l y pe rve r se . In h i s tendency to see whi te as b l a c k , he w i l l j u s t as r e a d i l y recognize the converse . Th i s i s most ev i den t i n h i s p o r t r a y a l of the Cyc lops . In Homer, he i s an enemy of Odysseus ( o r , a cco rd ing to Theoc r i t u s , a v i c t i m ) and Eu r i p i d e s p resents him as a drunk, grotesque brute who cannot s i ng a note . ' Theoc r i t u s r ep l a ces t h i s p r e sen t a t i on w i t h a f o r l o r n human l o v e r , "a shepherd o f h i s p a s s i o n , not sheep". I d y l l 11 announces the s u p e r i o r i t y of poetry over phys i ca l cure as a means to remedy the a i lmen t of unrequ i ted l o v e . Theo c r i t u s ' "excuse" f o r h i s poem i s a s i x - l i n e i n t r oduc to ry address to the doc to r -poet N i c i a s . I t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t Theoc r i t u s i s concerned t ha t an an t i do t e to t h i s a f f l i c t i o n may r e a l l y be found, but i s i s a f i t t i n g pre lude to the melancholy request to Ga la tea .? Reference to o ther poems i s not 6 The d i v i n i t y of the D i o s cu r i does not impede Theo c r i t u s ' c r i t i c a l t reatment of them. In f a c t i t i s a s ub s t an t i a l cause of h i s open degradat ion of the gods. ^Theocr i tus g ene r a l l y cons ide r s such romantic problems w i th detached (Footnote cont inued) 6 n e c e s s a r i l y proof of Theo c r i t u s ' a t t i t u d e , but i n I d y l l 6 the Cyc lops expresses qu i t e a d i f f e r e n t sent iment to Ga l a t ea , who upbra ids him f o r h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e to her .8 In I d y l l 11 the Cyc lops i s so c a s u a l l y i n t r oduced i n l i n e 7 houto goun d i a g ' ho Kuklops t h a t i t be t rays T heo c r i t u s ' r ea l i n t e n t i o n of endeavouring to f i n d any way a t a l l to get on to the sub j e c t of the Cyc l ops . Instead of a reworked n a r r a t i v e on the most famous i n c i d e n t concern ing the Cyc l ops , we are to hear of the t ime "when he was i n l ove w i t h Ga l a tea " (8 ) .9 The f l a v o u r o f what i s to f o l l ow i s suggested by the j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f the f a m i l i a r i z e d t i t l e ho Kuklops ho g a r ' hamin (7) and the Homeric horcha ios Polyphamos ( 8 ) . The balanced phrases i n d i c a t e the two-s ided nature of T heo c r i t u s ' Cy c l ops , a r e a l i s t i c f i g u r e begging h i s l oved one f o r a t t e n t i o n , whose Homeric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are s t i l l i n ev idence . One p resen ta t i on i s superimposed upon the o t he r . H is appearance i s both of a young man a r t i geneiasdon pe r i to stoma tos krotaphos te (9) and o f one f a r from human " . . a shaggy brow s t r e t ches a l l over my forehead - one long s i n g l e brow from ear to ea r ; and s i n g l e i s the eye beneath and broad the n o s t r i l above my l i p " (31-33) . These opposing elements c r ea t e a cons tan t t en s i on , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Cyc l op s ' song, which forms the body of the poem (19-79) . 7(cont inued) amusement, as exemp l i f i e d by h i s t reatment of Simaetha ( I d y l l 2) and the goatherd ( I d y l l 3 ) . ^Polyphemus i s i n f a c t " p l ay i ng i t c o o l " w i t h Ga la tea here to cure her of her s o p h i s t i c a t e d a l o o f ne s s . ^The l i t e r a r y background to t h i s i s obscure and de r i ves from a dithyramb of Ph i l o xenus , which i n i t s e l f may have been based on a misunderstand ing by t h i s poet of the connect ion of the two f i g u r e s . See Gow, T h e o c r i t u s , 2: 118. 7 The 18-line introduction sets up another polarity of medicine and love. Nicias is the suitable addressee because he is both a doctor and loved by the nine Muses (5-6). Love as a disease is a literary commonplace and medical symptoms were a Hellenistic preoccupation.1° To this extent, the Cyclops is a Simaetha-figure. His love is a madness (10-11), the effect of this love is physical deterioration katetaketo . . . echthiston echoh hupokardion helkos (14-15). Simaetha begs Thestylis to find some remedy for her sore complaint . . . chalepas noso heure ti^ machos (2.95) and in the same way the Cyclops seeks a cure: to pharmakon heure (17). Medical cure and emotion are combined in the first three lines of the poem. The two nouns of line one are erota and pharmakon while erota and Pierides frame pharmakon, euchriston and epipaston - abstract versus material . 1 1 However novel his approach, Theocritus cannot pass by the subject of love without mentioning the proverbial dart of Cypris (126). The Homeric line is varied by Theocritus but its insertion is a reminder that the Cyclops' ailment is not new. The sentiments of the Cyclops are simple to the point of pathetic. Apples, roses, and ringlets are false foils to the anti-climactic cap of "downright frenzy" (10-11). 1 2 1 0 For example, Id. 2. 95, Id. 14. 3 and 9, Cal l . Fr. 56-67 which show the sufferings of Simaetha, Aeschinas, and Kydippe respectively. ^Gow notes that Theocritus speaks only of remedies for external application because love is a wound, Theocritus, 2: 209. In Homer, pharmakos is only_applied outwardly but is used abstractly by Pindar Pyth. 4. 187 epi thanatoi pharmakos eas aretas heuresthai. 1 2 I n Idyll 6. 6-7 i t is Galatea who pelts Polyphemos with apples. Gow notes that ringlets are not standard love-tokens in antiquity, Theocritus, 2: 211. It is typical of Theocritus to insert something unexpected into an (Footnote continued) 8 The song to Galatea is a piece of Cyclopean psychotherapy. In his attempt to sort out his love problem, he tries to defend and explain Galatea's adverse reaction to him. The style of his song is deliberately rough and disjointed, as he continually breaks off his ideas. Such breaks occur at lines 30, 42, 50, 54, 63, 67, and 72 where, as each point comes to nothing, he tries to start off afresh in search of the cause of his distress until he finally appears to have sorted himself out (72-79). This progress in self-analysis from distraction to self-possession, is reflected in the forms of address he uses for Galatea. He names her in various ways six times and the vocatives occur more frequently during the init ial stages of his debate. The sentiment behind each address ranges from familiarity ~5 leuka Galateia (19), to endearment kora (25) and chariessa kora (30), to unadulterated sentimentality to phi Ion glukumalon (39), and finally the relatively formal Galateia (63). The name Galatea suggests milk and whiteness as she is ini t ia l ly described (20). Colour adjectives dominate the song and enhance its apparent simplicity. The pastures are green (13), Galatea is white (19), she is whiter than curd (20), the wolf is grey (24), the sea is green (43), the ivy is dark (46), snow is white (48), snowdrops are white (56), and the poppy petals are scarlet (57). The implication of innocence conveyed by this predominance of whiteness is supported by the repetition of "sweetness". Sleep is sweet (22-23) and so is Galatea (39) l 2(continued) otherwise tedious l i s t . Locks of hair might be customarily dedicated by boys to a god (Horn. II. 23. 144-51, Aesch. Cho. 6) or cut off in honour of the dead as AchillesHid for his beloved Patroclus. (Horn II. 23). It is not impossible that Theocritus intends this particular relationship to be inferred from the otherwise perplexing reference, unless he merely wants to be original. Theocritus' references are rarely idle. 9 and the vine is sweet-fruited (46). All combine to give the sense of freshness and rusticity and add to the endearing portrayal of the Cyclops as naive. His unceasing love for her began on the day she was with his mother picking hyacinths. He knows why she flees from him because of his shaggy eyebrow and large nostril. If she could only overlook this, she would find he has so much to offer - herds of cattle, milk, and cheese and he is rearing fawns and bear cubs just for her. If she cannot bear the sight of him, she should remember that his cave is warm and so is his heart. The idea of the Cyclops in his desire to please, professing to pipe and sing at the same time, is ludicrous (39-40)!3 a s j s the futi l i ty and pathos of the gifts he offers her, as well as his simple exposition such as the repetition of line 45-47. St i l l exciting no response, he begins on a new tack - why wasn't he born a fish? Then he could have brought her white snowdrops and red poppies. The ridiculous idea is followed by a humourously simplistic afterthought, that he could not bring them both together, since they grow in different seasons. His last attempt consists of the most unattractive assurance that she can shepherd with him, drawing milk and setting cheese (65-66). Having heaped the blame on his mother, as the young are wont to do, he finally recovers some sense of himself and contents himself that there are in fact many more fish in the sea. It is quite clear that Theocritus is making fun of his subject. If the Cyclops' drunken aspect is not in evidence, he is nevertheless being presented as a fool. In his demotion from epic status, he becomes an l^ Gow states that the intention here must be alternating music. Theocritus, 2: 215. 10 object of derision. He fails to realise that the girls ' offers to sport with them at night (77) are a joke even though he reports that they all titter at him when he listens to them.*4 Theocritus' approach 1s gentle and humorous, but the humour succeeds on two levels. The f irst level is the obvious naive humour of the Cyclops' pathetic belief that he may succeed with Galatea and the innocence of his requests. The second level is derived from the irony achieved from the literary allusion of certain words and images in the poem. Just as Theocritus manipulates Simichidas in Idyll 7, making the character say many things of whose true meaning he is not aware, so Theocritus finds another puppet in the Cyclops. In one sense, the Cyclops' character is a dichotomy in that he is at once simple and sophisticated. However, since he does not wilfully make literary allusion as a character in himself, but is unknowingly outwitted, the description is not strictly applicable. I will now review the poem in the light of the more sophisticated humour which Theocritus achieves. The Cyclops is introduced as lonely and abandoned, singing to the sea in the hope that Galatea might be listening. Achilles is often depicted in heroic isolation beside the seashore^ but more precisly Theocritus intends us to recall Odysseus on Calypso's island, sitting on the rocks looking out to sea in longing for home.16 It is also worth noting that Nausikaa is leukolenos (Od. 6. 601), where Odysseus is overcome by her beauty, just as !^ Gow says kichlizein is of wanton or lascivious laughter. Ibid., p. 220. 15Hom. IK 1.488-492. 16Hom. Od. 5. 156. Gow understates the allusion: "Theocritus is probably conscious also of Odysseus." Theocritus, 2: 212. This is surely the whole point of the image. 11 the Cyclops finds Galatea's whiteness attractive. For a lovelorn figure to be seated on the rocks is not original, but 1t 1s unprecedented for the Cyclops. This artif ic ial combination occurs frequently 1n the Cyclops' song. The rustic images he associates with Galatea (20-21) are natural comparisons for a shepherd to make, as is the simile at line 24. Yet the language is complex, the alliteration widespread and the four comparative adjectives are so positioned as to create more than one chiastic arrangement.1? The repetition in line 22-23 is so simple that i t must be a deliberate attempt to create an extremely unsophisticated Cyclops and yet the lines have a humorous "see-saw" effect, as one imagines Galatea scuttling back and forth in accordance with the Cyclops' waking hours "...you come when sleep holds me, you're off when sleep leaves me." This is combined with the Homeric echo of glukus hupnos.1** Galatea is addressed twice as kora (25 and 30) and in each case the expression is not a simple one of emotion. One may wonder why she is depicted picking hyacinths on a h i l l with the Cyclops' mother. Dover notes the flavour of Old Comedy in the figure of the mother-in-law and the language of 29.19 More allusive than this, kora is the Doric form of Attic kore, the t i t le of Persephone, who went picking flowers in a meadow with Demeter, before she was snatched away. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter begins ^Galatea is "whiter than curd to look on, softer than the lamb, more skittish than the calf, sleeker (phiarotera) than the unripe grape . . . " (20-21). Phiaros (21) appears only six times elsewhere in literature. See i b i d . , 2: Z~Y2~. !^See ib id . , 2: 213 for references. l^K. J . Dover, Theocritus: Select Poems, (London: Macmillan, 1971) p. 175. 12 with a flower catalogue listing roses, c r o d , violets, hyacinths, and narcissi, the last named being the flower which causes the earth to open for h e r . 2 0 Typically, Theocritus has not chosen the most important flower and there is also humour in the lack of the momentous event which the reader would associate with the picking of such a flower. Instead of the gaping of the earth, as the young heroine is seized by her lover, the Cyclops simply fel l in love - erasthen (25). 2 1 Where kora is used a second time (30) i t has both its extended meaning of "dolly" or "darling" and its l iteral meaning since i t is significantly used in the Cyclops' description of his brow and the single eye beneath. It would be difficult (and surprising) for Theocritus to consider the Cyclops without alluding in one way or another to the well-known incident with Odysseus. This is subtly achieved with the ironic portrayal of the Cyclops, like Odysseus, on the rock (see above). This is stretched further in the triple meaning of akamaton pur (51), the fire which keeps him warm, the undying fire of his love, and the fire to heat the olive stake with whioi Odysseus blinded the Cyclops. The allusion is substantiated by the following lines, "I'l l let you burn my soul and my one eye too, than which nothing is dearer to me" (52-53). The innocence of the request combined with the irony of the reference el icits laughter at the Cyclops' expense. Such irony is less subtly achieved in line 61 with the crude anticipation of future events. /-20Hom. H. 5. 6f. These five flowers are listed in the Cypria line 43f and are used" by Moschus at the time Europa is carried off byZeus (Mosc. Eur. 63f) 2 l F o r the Homeric background of hodon hagemoneuon (27), see Gow, Theocritus, 2: 213. 13 The Cyclops hopes some stranger (t^s xenos 61) may come to help him to swim and, since he has no reason to expect visitors, Theocritus' intention 1s obvious. Again, the Cyclops is put in a pathetic light, since his reasons for needing to swim in the event referred to are far from happy. The self-address at line 72 has literary precedent in heroic monologues in times of trouble.22 The phrase ti ton pheugonta diokeis; (75) picks up ti^ ton phileont' apoballei; (19) and shows the change which has come over the Cyclops. It remains to ascertain whether the Cyclops is cured of his preoccupation with Galatea or not. Gow notices a discrepancy in aeidon (13). 2 3 Theocritus has init ial ly stated that, although i t is hard to find, the Muses (poetry and song) are a cure for love-sickness. Yet at line 13 i t is while the Cyclops is singing that he is wasting away with love. He is shown as a useless figure, incapable of leading his l i f e , neglecting his duties (12), and nursing the wound in his breast (15). Theocritus tell us that, by singing, houto goun rhaista diag' ho Kuklops (7) and the idea is repeated in the last line of the poem. No mention is made of an actual cure, merely that by singing, the Cyclops dealt with l i fe more easily. This is supported by epoimainen ton erota (80). To shepherd love is to nurture i t and make i t grow stronger. An idea of alleviation is required i f the Muses are to provide a remedy and the reader has no assurance that the Cyclops is not going to sing the same song on the next day. The lack of any firm conclusion supports the contention that Theocritus is not concerned with the Cyclops' personal problem which he has invented within 2 2 E . g . , Eur. Med. 402, Horn. Od. 20. 17. 23Gow, Theocritus, 2: 211. 14 an art i f ic ial framework. The success of the poem Hes in the portrait of a novel Cyclops whose Homeric characteristics are retained but subordinated to other more human qualities. Theocritus has grafted the emotions of a sentimental adolescent on to an epic figure and created a literary hybrid of tradition and realism. 15 HERAKLES IN LOVE Nicias the doctor-poet of Idyll 11 is again addressed in Idyll 13. There are indicators in the first line that the two poems might be a pair. Erota occupies the same position in line 1 before the weak caesura, Nikia begins line 2 of both poems while hos edokeumes in line 1 can be understood to refer to the previous occasion in Idyl 1 11. This may be a key to the fact that Theocritus is going to take up a similar theme. On the surface, Idyll 11 appears to offer advice to a friend by using the Cyclops as an exemplum and a possible solution to the problem of how to cope with an affair of the heart. In fact, the address to Nicias acts merely as an introduction and an excuse to link the Cyclops with a new theme. In light of this, Theocritus may be preparing the reader for a similar treatment of character in Idyll 13. The poem deals with an incident also narrated by Apollonius Rhodius24 but, whereas the latter account is closely woven into the framework of a larger epic theme, the Argonautic expedition, Theocritus focuses closely upon this minor episode, the rape of Hylas by the nymphs, and subordinates the event to a depiction of Herakles in an unusual environment. The poet is dealing with a traditional mythological character who is a well-known hero. Contrary to expectation, Theocritus inserts Herakles, famed for his deeds of valour and his courage, into a poem whose subject purports to be love, ouch hamin ton Erota monois etech' (1). After the neat four-line introduction Theocritus wastes no time in getting down to the business of 2 4 A p . Rh. Arg. I 1187-1357. 16 his poem. Herakles is proudly introduced as ...Amphitruonos ho chalkeokardios huios (5). The five-syllabled epithets are a deliberate "mouthful" in the almost wholly dactylic line and while the epithet sounds Homeric, i t is unprecedented in literature and this prepares the reader for a new Herakles. The hero's divine parentage is ignored 2 5 and line 20 is devoted to emphasizing the female and mortal side of his ancestry, Alkrnenas  huios Mideatidos heroinas. The juxtaposition of line 6 sets the tone for the manner in which Herakles is going to appear, the lion-hearted hero hos ton 1 in hupemeine ton agrion, erato paidos. The object of Herakles' affection is a pretty young lad, "sweet Hylas, with his tresses s t i l l unshorn" called ho xanthos at 36. In a father-son relationship Herakles taught Hylas the very qualities by which he himself gained renown, to be agathos and aoidimos (9). These attract attention as epithets of Herakles only within the compass of this poem, since they must be later reconciled with Theocritus' portrayal of Herakles, as well as the charge laid upon him of "deserter" of the Argonauts. The gentle timidity of Hylas in this poem is a humorous indication of the extent of Herakles' success as teacher of these qualities and the manner in which he instructed his pupil is also suspect. That the boy peponamenos eie to Herakles' mind (14) suggests that he was moulded like a piece of clay and the implication of total dominance by Herakles is borne out later in the poem where Hylas occupies a servile role. The inseparability of the pair is stressed by three similes at lines 10-13, each descibing a time of day in an anti-climactic tricolon. 2 ^ The 2 5 A t Ap. Rh. Arg. I 1188, he is huios Dios. 17 object of the comparison is to elucidate choris d'oudepok' es . . . (10) and then to highlight the shocking event of their separation. However the transparency of such emphasis is revealed in the humorous insertion into the Homeric l i s t of the rustic description of evening, "when the chickens looked twittering to their roosting place . . ." (12). 2 7 The story of the expedition begins at line 25 and the narrative is set in motion. Theocritus' adherence to the epic style is shown by the Argo's epithets euedron (21) and koilan (28) and the description of the crew disembarking and preparing the camp (32-35) borrows from Homeric scenes of disembarkation.2 8 Such comparisons highlight the concise brevity of Theocritus and the details appear otiose from a poet who is generally so selective and evasive of static narrative. The verbal similarities to Apollonius Rhodius' description (374f.) have been noced and i t seems likely that by such reminiscences, Theocritus is drawing attention to an alternative account to point the superiority of his own. 2 9 One important 2 6The insertion of these similes at this point in the narrative pays only lip-service to the Homeric style. The point of reference of a Homeric simile to the narrative to which i t alludes is often obscure. While illustrating one single point, i t can otherwise appear to be a digression, e.g., Horn. IJ_. 16. 7-10. Such is the intention here, but even in Homer, these similes would more likely appear at lines 25-26, where the time aspect of the similes is intrinsic to the narrative. 2 7 This is Theocritus' way of informing the reader that he is following Homer, only not to follow him. In the Palatine Anthology, an epigram is assigned to Theocritus which states Alios ho Chois, ego de Theokritos . . . / eimi Syrakosion . . . Wilamowitz paraphrases this as^Homer ist ein  anderer, ich bin~zwar Epiker, aber nicht Homeriker, sondernHh"ab~e ich meine  eigne Muse," which conveys the sentiment "I am he who is not Homer." Cited by David M. Hal perin, Before Pastoral: Theocritus and the Ancient Tradition of Bucolic Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 19"8~3~), pp. 250-253. 2 8 E . g . , Horn. II 1. 432-487. 18 detail in which Theocritus diverges from Apollonius Rhodius is in the pairing of Herakles and Telamon for dinner.30 The theme of the poem is the close relationship of Herakles and Hylas who were never parted (10). At line 38 the comradeship of Herakles and Telamon is stressed hoi[ mi an amp ho  hetaipoi aei dainunto trapezan and Hylas is their servant. The reason provided for Hylas' errand is to fetch water autoi th' Heraklei kai  astemphei Telamoni (37) and in so doing he meets his fate.31 The structure of lines 36-39 reflect Hylas' separation from Herakles. The unusual position of chalkeon angos echon (39), referring to Hylas three lines before shows Hylas as an outsider "framing" Herakles and Telamon placed in between. These four lines are themselves part of a larger well-balanced section (36-42) which may be structurally divided into 36-39, 39-40 and 40-42, where Hylas takes the central position in lines 39-40. Echon stops at the strong caesura of line 39, while tacha feeds instant energy into the narrative and resumes the action from where i t was dropped at line 36 with koicheth' which neatly clips the previous description of the bivouac with the sense of "and he was off . . .". Hylas is now out of the protection of his master and totally on his own. The young boy catches sight of a spring and there follows a six-line description of the area (40-45). It is lush 29Gow, Theocritus, 2: 231, compares the accounts and links their difference to the dispute that was believed to have arisen between the Hellenistic poets about how to write epic poetry. Whether or not this existed and whether Apollonius Rhodius' account came f irst , the similarities are too numerous to be accidental. See ibid . , 2: 238. 3^Ap. Rh. Arg. 1. 397 pairs Herakles with Ancaeus for rowing but no mention is made of messing by pairs. Gow, Theocritus 2: 238. 31cf. Ap. Rh. Arg. 1. 1208, where Hylas fetches water not just for this pair but generally for the evening meal. 19 and green and Nymphs dance in the water. Everything has the appearance of beauty and delicacy and at first sight Theocritus seems to be recreating the idyl l ic atmosphere of his locus amoenus description at Idyl 1 7 (131-146). However the environment is not what i t ini t ia l ly seems. The dog's tooth is "spreading through the marshes" (eilitenes 42), the wild celery grows rife (thallonta 42), a plant which is known to be "nurtured from the marsh",32 the celandine is dark (41)33 and there is green maiden-hair (41) which is noted to grow particularly in watery areas.34 The scene is no pleasant pool, but a low-lying swamp of quite grotesque aspect. Instead of adding a lighter note to the picture, the nymphs are described as Numphai akoimetoi, deinai theai agroiotais (44)35 Their names are noted to have been chosen "partly for the pleasure of the ear",36 but what is attractive about the girl of night Nucheia, who has eyes of spring and Eunika, "the girl who conquers easily" (45)? The mock-heroic words eros hapalas phrenas exephob¥sen (48) and the apparent oxymoron of eros and ekphobein emphasize that in the Theocritean world, elements which are non-violent in appearance can prove to be dangerous. The verb adds to the unnerving atmosphere but in its suggestion of panic is also humorous, since i t is difficult to imagine Hylas being capable of insti l l ing fear. The 32Hom. JJk 2. 776. 33GOW sees no reason why this plant should be so described. Gow, Theocritus, 2: 239. 34iheophrastus, H.P. 7. 14. 1. 35circe the witch is similarly enchanting and is also deine. Horn. Od. 10. 136. ~ 36GOW, Theocritus, 2: 240. 20 spring itself is simply called kranan (39) and meian hudor (49).37 The water is black, the celandine is dark, the nymph 1s "of the night", and, although the time is not stressed, i t can be assumed that i t is dark. Since the nymphs are akoimetoi, this suggests that others would normally be asleep at this hour while the crew are about to have their evening meal. Night setting is subtly implied by the similes of the shooting star to describe Hylas (49-52): . . . kateripe d'es^  mei an hudor/ athroos, hos hotejjursos ap'ouranou eripen aster/ athroos en pontoi, nautas de tis eipen hetairois/ 'kouphoter', o paides, poieisth' hopla. pleustikos ouros.' ". . . and headlong into the dark pool he fell as when some flaming star falls from the heavens headlong in the sea and some sailor cries to his comrades 'make your tackle snug my lads; i t is a sailing breeze' (49-52). The simile is proleptic. Nautas de tis is Jason, who will order the crew to leave without Herakles. The star, the signal that the weather is fair , is the cause of the order. Hylas is the cause of Herakles1 prolonged absence. The star is pursos (50) and Hylas is ho xanthos (36). The primary point of comparison is the movement of the fall athroos as shown by its repetition.38 Hylas' small fall may be compared to the star simile which describes the long descent of Athene from Olympus, "As when the son of . . . Kronos casts down/ a star, portent to sailors or to widespead armies of peoples/ glittering, and thickly the sparks of fire break from i t 37Ap. Rh. Arg. 1. 1222-28 describes the spring as fair-running, kailinaoio (1228) and the area of its situation "a lovely headland," eraton rhion (1223). 38Ap. Rh. Arg. 1. 428 uses this word to describe the fall of an ox which has been sTain by Herakles for sacrifice. 21 . . . " J y The Homeric parody continues as the nymphs console Hylas with aganoisi . . . epeessin (54). However the Unking of the rape of Hylas with the departure of the crew 1s cleverly managed by the image. Herakles meanwhile is put into a state of confusion 'tarassomenos' (55) for his loved one. 4 0 He races after him (oicheto 56), as ever, clutching his club (57)41 There is something very boorish in his depiction as he bellows for Hylas hoson bathus eruge laimos (58). The belching connotation of erugein is supported by the more common connection of laimos with food rather than speech. His yells contrast with the faint echoing cries of Hylas who is close by, but in a terrain where reality is fused with unreality. Araia  d'hiketo phiona/ ex hudatos, pareon de mala schedon eideto porro. (59-60). This is not the heroic world where lions are, for all their ferocity, lions. Herakles is forced out of his natural environment into akanthais which are for him atriptoisin (64). His reaction at 62, like a lion, is purely heroic and is out of keeping with the setting. Herakles is now the victim of a chalepos theos (71) who is the agent of his emotion. Now far from the Pindaric hero whose semi-divinity can overcome forces of heaven, he is a raging lover mainomenos (71) whose heart is torn within him. 4 2 The 39Hom. JJ.' 4. 75-77. Trans. Richmond Lattimore, The IIiad of Homer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), p. 567 4 0 F o r Alexandrian philosophers this contrasted with the Stoic or Cynic sage to whom ataraxia or "freedom from trouble" was the highest good. See G. Karl Galinsky, The Herakles Theme: The Adaptation of the Hero in Literature  from Homer to th"e""Twentieth Century~To~xford: OxforcTUmversityTress, T972), chapterTT 4 lThis is a standard depiction of Herakles whose "remorseless grip" is frequently referred to. Pindar Nem. 1. 44-45, Theoc. 24. 26. 22 Insu l t of 1Iponautan (73) which the crew cast upon him, assures Herakles* removal from the heroic mould and the pun of "heroes" (73) and eroese (74) inverts the t r ad i t i ona l ro le of Herakles. This time the crew are the heroes and Herakles i s a deserter.43 However, the tone i s l ight-hearted and the absurdity of the subversion of Herakles i s stressed by Hylas f i n a l l y assuming the d i v i n i t y which mythology had at t r ibuted to Herakles, houto men k a l l i s t o s Hylas makaron ar i thmeita i (72), as i f the poem was an a i t i o n of Hylas' immortal i ty. Kertomein (73) can denote a harmless dig in the r ibs rather than moral denigration and i t i s in such a vein that the rest of the crew probably taunted Herakles when he eventually ar r ived in Co l ch i s . Lovers, says Theocritus, are s che t l i o i (66) and often do rash th ings , as Herakles did in momentarily forget t ing his dut ies . Theocritus has a "pract ise of subverting t r ad i t i ona l heroic f igures by depict ing them in postures of e rot i c discomfiture [which] i s ca lculated to appeal to his cu l t i va ted r e a d e r s . " 4 4 Theocritus' poem microscopical ly i n f l a t e s a t iny inc ident in the Argonautic expedition to a f u l l - s ca l e drama whose hero i s a t imid and pretty young boy who meets a t rag ic death and thereby i s ra ised to the heights of immortal i ty. He reduces a mighty hero to the planes of ordinary l i f e and ordinary love, where he i s wholly out of place and f a i l s both in his quest for Hylas and his support of his shipmates. Heroes ^ H a l p e r i n , Before Pas tora l , p. 235, c a l l s th i s "comic s t rategy" . "There i s grotesque . . . disproport ion between the superhuman vigor of Herakles' quest and i t s sentimental purpose. . . . " 4 3Lines 73-75 have been dismissed as part of the poem due to the i r prosaic nature and the c r i t i c i s m they openly cast upon Herakles. 4 4 H a l p e r i n , Before Pas tora l , p. 235. 23 cannot survive in everyday l i fe and upon this premise, for Theocritus, such heroes do not exist in reality. 24 BABY HERAKLES Having experienced one slight upon his reputation, Herakles now suffers another. From a love relationship, he is now planted in the nursery where Theocritus completely "bourgeoisifies" the legend originating from Pindar (Nemean 1. 35-72) and presents the hero in the off-duty mood. There is no climax to the introduction of Herakles who sets the poem in motion, not as pais Dios 4 5 nor as the valiant son of Amphitryon, but as plain "Herakles." The flavour of the poem is set with poch'(1) "once upon a time." Theocritus is telling one of those stories we all like to read and invites the reader to settle down to a good tale. However, i t must be borne in mind that the beckoning finger of Theocritus is not to be trusted and the reader must be constantly on the alert for surprises. There is constant tension in this poem, which maintains many external manifestations of epic and remains true to certain details of the Pindaric account of this event but which also sets up as a contrast the ordinary human 'hum-drum' way of l i fe in the manner of New Comedy.4** The story begins J_n medias res and as an ordinary mother would do, Alkmena is putting her babies in the cradle and rocking them to sleep with a lullaby (1-9). The following section describes the entry of the snakes 4 5 P i n d . Nem. 1. 37. 4 6 I t is noted that the domestic realism of Theocritus has been overemphasized, which has caused an off-balanced view of the poem as a whole. The realistic treatment is limited to 1-63 wnile Herakles' "heroic search for immortality [is] found latent even in the ordinary details." J . Stern, "Theocritus' Idyll 24," AJPh 95 (1974): 350. 25 and t h e i r s t r a n g u l a t i o n by ten-month o l d Herak les (10-33) . I p h i c l e s ' c r i e s send the whole household i n t o panic and they race to the scene (34-63).. The prophet T e i r e s i a s i s summoned to revea l He rak l e s ' f u tu re (64-102) and He rak l e s ' e a r l y educat ion completes what remains o f the poem (103-140), . 4 ? t r a d i t i o n 4 8 and i n t h i s poem they are not on ly domestic managers but the head of the househo ld , wh i l e Amphitryon i s no t i c eab l y i n the background. The f i r s t f i v e l i n e s in t roduce a l l o f the members of the f am i l y i n one sentence. Hrak lea ba lances I p h i c l e a , w i th ha M i d e a t i s / Alkmeha occupy ing a c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n ( 1 - 2 ) , wh i l e the l a t t e r phrase stands i n symmetry w i t h tan  P t e r e l a ou / Amphitryon ( 4 - 5 ) . Herak les i s emphasized no more than the o t he r c h a r a c t e r s , Alkmena i s po s i t i oned i n the middle o f her two sons, and Amphitryon i s p laced a t the end o f the sentence, juxtaposed not w i t h a s tandard e p i t h e t o r re fe rence to h i s b i r t h p l a c e , but w i th the name of the k i ng he s u b d u e d . 4 y The babies are put to bed i n a s h i e l d ( 4 ) . Th i s d e t a i l 4 7 I t r e a t the poem as an e n t i r e t y of Theocr i tean au tho r sh i p . However, where Theoc r i t u s chose to end t h i s poem i s a sub je c t of debate. Theo c r i t u s ' s t y l e i s such tha t poems are ended w i th the minimum apparel o f c l o s u r e which i s not a f ea tu re of t h i s poem. However, the s e c t i o n 105-133 i s an example of Theo c r i t u s ' p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r l i s t s ( e . g . , 16. 48-57, 11. 10-11) . A s t r u c t u r a l argument cou ld make 87, 104, and 172 a l l p o s s i b l e s topp ing p l a c e s , s i n ce these l i n e s end s e c t i o n s which are complete i n c i d e n t s . One argument aga ins t s topp ing a t 172 i s t ha t Theoc r i t u s l i k e s to compose i n d i p t y c h s , as he does i n poems 1, 2, and 15. L i nes 105f . would p rov ide a pa r t II to the poem, w i th He rak l e s ' youth ba l anc i ng He rak l e s ' c h i l d hood . However, there are a l ready two pa r t s i n the a c t i o n be fore the prophecy. A l s o , l i n e 134 i s i n keeping w i th the f i r s t pa r t o f the n a r r a t i v e , which s t r e s se s maternal dominance, hence i t i s f i t t i n g t ha t Theoc r i t u s would s t a t e t ha t Alkmena organ i zed He rak l e s 1 educa t i on . 4 8 E . g . , Mosch. Megara and Herod. Mim. 4. The emphasis on the wome r o l e i s much i n the H e l l e n i s i t i c 4 9 A c c o r d i n g to some accounts , he k i l l e d h im. See Gow, Theo c r i t u s , 2: 416. 26 i s Theocritus ' invention and 1t neatly establ ishes the f i r s t tension of epic versus domestic. Weapons are at r es t , the sh ie ld i s now kalon hop!on (5). A device of war and instrument of defence has become a ch i l d ren ' s crad le . In the same way, Amphitryon's sword i s described as ever hanging above his bed out of use (43). Theocritus lays weapons and heroes aside and puts them in the nursery. The set t ing i s cozy, the ch i ldren have been washed and fed , and are sent to sleep with a l u l l a b y . 5 0 Yet i t i s not tota l t r a n q u i l l i t y . Theocritus de l iberate ly upsets the harmony not only by the mention of the sh ie ld but of the method by which i t was obtained. I t must be noted that the reader i s not wholly se t t l ed by the in t roduct ion , not so much by the mention of the sh i e l d , but the fac t that Theocritus chooses to state the method by which i t was obtained. Theocritus ac t i ve ly searches for something which can detract in any way from the atmosphere of peace. The t r a d i t i o n of Amphitryon's v ic tory over Pterelaus affords him a prime oppor tun i t y . 5 ! Amos de (11) i s a s ignal that action i s going to b e g i n . 5 2 A sequence of gnomic present tenses (11-14) followed by the sudden a o r i s t orsen (15) i l l u s t r a t e s v i v i d l y the impetuous attack of the snakes launched by Hera and emphasizes the strength of her hatred. 5 3 The jealous goddess launches her 5 0 L i n e s 7 and 8 show Theocritus ' in teres t in popular song, as i s evident elsewhere with the shepherds' songs and also Helen's br ida l hymn at Id. 18. 9f . 5 1 D i n e i n (10) i s used to describe the manner in which Alkmena rocks the sh i e l d . I f i t i s co r rec t , i t has to be humorous, since the verb has the sense of wh i r l ing round and round unt i l the babies would be quite nauseous! (Cf. Gow, Theocri tus, 2: 416). Kinein may be a more f i t t i n g verb for the back-and-forth motion required here. 5 2 See Id. 13. 25. 27 beasts at midnight ( 1 1 - 1 3 ) . M Orion and the Bear are mentioned together in the H i ad. 55 The epic f lavouring i s continued with hamos . . . tamos (11-13) and polumechanos Hera (13) which transfers Odysseus' formulaic ep i thet to Hera. This i s Homeric narrat ive with a dif ference and may also be an ind i ca t ion that Theocritus i s going to use the Odyssey as a background to his narrat ive . The most important word i s mesonuktion (11). The darkness of the palace i s a good set t ing for the subsequent i l l um ina t i ons , as the f i r e s f lash from the snakes eyes (18-19), the house l i g h t s up (22) and Amphitryon's slaves l i g h t the i r torches ( 5 2 ) . 5 6 The descr ipt ion of the snakes' entry i s notable for i t s ambiguity (15-19) as i s the consequent reaction of the ch i ld ren . Although the sense i s obvious in that i t could be none other than the snakes who are the subject of the dual verb lampeske (19), i t must also be remembered that there are two snakes and two babies. The snakes were l a s t named at l i n e 14 and are next referred to as to d' (17). Theocritus i s being de l ibera te ly 53This aspect of the myth i s an unsuitable topic for P indar 's poem. Hera's motive i s b r i e f l y summarized as sperchtheisa thumoi (Nem. 1. 40). She was "ne t t l ed in her heart . " 54Gow gives considerable discussion to the accuracy of the time reference at 11-12 (Theocritus, 2: 127-28). Theocritus l i kes to "play" with the standard descr ipt ion of "time when" and imitates the Homeric formulaic approach, often at a point in the narrat ive when the time reference i s not pa r t i cu l a r l y important, e . g . , Id^ 13. 10-13 and 25-26. The technique i s the same at these l i nes where th"e intent ion i s to convey, in the Homeric fash ion , that i t i s dark. 5 5Hom. I K 18. 486-89. 5 6 S t e r n contrasts the d i f fe rent kinds of l i g h t which occur on a mundane leve l (the torches (52) and Te i res i as ' fumigation with sulphur (96)) and on the miraculous level (18-19, 22). He l i nks the theme of f i r e to the common motif in myth of infants who are threatened from a f i e r y source and c i t e s various cases where a childhood episode depicts an attempt to achieve (Footnote continued) 28 vague. He adopts the same technique at l i n e 23. Alkmehas phi l a tekna (22) i s followed by etoi hog' euthus ausen . . . (23) where the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of ho i s withheld un t i l l i n e 25.5? Since the reader knows that Herakles i s the main subject, one would natural ly expect ho g_^  of l i n e 23 to refer to him. Iphicles i s not subordinate in importance to Herakles and i t could s t i l l refer to e i ther one of them. Thus for one b r i e f moment, the reader may ask who i s screaming in f r i g h t , so that the revelat ion in l i n e 25 has the sense of "Don't worry, i t ' s I ph i c l es ! " Herakles' name i s also delayed to l i n e 26-27 ho d^ enantios . . ./ Heraklees, but i t i s unmistakable now to whom ho <T must r e fe r . Theocritus' account of the subduing of the snakes lays emphasis on the gr ip of Herakles. He attacks them chersin (26) and . . . ampho de barei  enedesato desmoi,/ draxamenos pharugos (27-28), while the snakes t r i e d to f ind release from Herakles' desmou anankaiou (33).58 Lines 34-63 re la te the reaction of the household to the miraculous event. I t i s not Amphitryon but Alkmena who i s f i r s t to hear the cry of her son, since she i s the mother who i s psychological ly attuned to her 56(continued) immortal i ty. He believes th i s i s the reason for the f i r e in th is poem. Stern, " I dy l l 24 , " pp. 355-56. There i s also the example of the in fant prodigy in Hdt. 5. 92 where the baby Kypselos smiles at his attackers and prevents his own death. 57pindar adopts the same technique at Nem. 1. 43: ho rT orthon men  anteinen. However, the unnamed "he" of Pindar i s Herakles. Pindar ignores Iphic les since he i s the unheroic brother and thus i n s i g n i f i c a n t , so there can be no debate who the subject i s . 58in Pindar 's account, the snakes are in d i s s a i s i . . . aphuktois chersin heais . (Nem. 1. 44-55) and in contrast Amphitryon has a sword en cheri (1. WT. 29 c h i l d ' s c r i e s . I t takes her six l i n e s of "nagging" to rouse her sleeping husband, who eventually gets up alochoi . . . pithesas (41). The fact that the l i g h t s go out i s pure comedy and Amphitryon i s t o t a l l y i n e f f e c t u a l , fumbling around in the dark and incapable of rousing his own slaves. He screams for them (ausen 47) j u s t as Iphicles screamed at the snakes (23), and the servants eventually pay heed not to him, but to his serving-woman. He has no reaction at a l l to the events of the night and simply puts the boy (ton allon 62) back to bed. 5 9 The only sentiment accorded to him i s at l i n e 63 . . . emnasato koitou. The reaction of Pindar's Amphitryon stands in acute contrast: Esta de thambei dusphoroi/ terpnoi te michtheis ("And there he stood possessed with overpowering rapture and delight").60 There i s humour in the incongruity of th i s brawny c h i l d being put under a woolly blanket while i t i s a notable scaling down from the saffron swathing blanket around Pindar's Herakles. 6 1 The l i t e r a r y background of the bedroom scene i s Odyssean. Theocritus indicates the source of his a l l u s i o n by subtly hinting d e t a i l s . Amphityron's bed i s of cedar-wood (43), Odysseus' was of olive.62 The Phoenician serving-woman sleeps by the cornmi.ll (51). In Book 20 of the Odyssey, Penelope awakens weeping and Odysseus asks for an omen which i s 59Gow remarks that i t i s as i f he had been "roused to turn a cat out of the house or to shut a window." Theocritus, 2: 415. 6 0 P i n d . Nenu 1. 55-56. 6 1 P i n d . Nem. 1. 36. "The humane characterization of the parents, the sudden awakening of the children . . . the blunt return to bed . . . indicate a su p e r f i c i a l attempt at v e r i s i m i l i t u d e " . Stern, " I d y l l 24," p. 357. 62Hom. Od. 22. 190-200. 30 uttered by women grinding at the mill (Od. 20. 104). At line 38-39 of Theocritus' poem, Alkmena remarks that in spite of the dark, "the walls are all as plain to see as i f i t were clear dawn." Telemachus remarks to Odysseus that the house gleams as i f i t is on fire, mega thauma, and a divinity is the agent, just as Hera is 1n this poem.63 Penelope takes Odysseus' bow "from its peg, where i t hung in its own case. . . . " 6 4 Amphitryon takes his sword "which ever hung on its peg above his couch of cedar-wood" (42-43). After the suitors have left Odysseus' palace, he purifies i t with sulphur as Teiresias orders Alkmena to do . 6 5 It is Alkmena who summons Teiresias and lines 64-102 detail the prophet's prediction of Herakles' future and his instructions for the purification of the house. The language of the speech is in the epic style. Alkmena asks Teiresias for the truth, med' ej t± theoi noeonti poneron,/ aidomenos me krupte (68-69). 6 6 Her dominant role is further emphasized by the slight change in the traditional exchange, as she says, " . . . mala toi phroneonta  didasko" (71) (. . . well thou knowest what I teach thee") which one would expect to come from Teiresias as prophet. Teiresias mentions f irst that i t will be Alkmena who will be famous, then her son, who is not named once throughout the speech. He is toios aner (79) and . . . teos huios, apo  sternon platus heros (80), which implies he is big, but only from the chest 63pd. 19. 36. 64pd. 21. 53-54. 6 5 0 d . 22. 481 and Id^ 24. 96-97. 6 6 The sentiment is that of Oedipus to Teiresias, Soph. O.T. 359^ _ Achilles to Calchas, Horn. II. 1. 85 and Achilles to Thetis, oistha. ti e toi tauta  iduiel pant'agoreuoT Horn. 1. 365. 31 downwards. 6 7 The ambiguity of 'greater ' and ' l e s se r ' i s brought out in l i nes 79-81. Herakles 1s going to be " b i g " ( toios aner 79) while a l l other beasts and men w i l l be hessones (81). Theocritus ' Te i res ias does not dwell on any heroic deed of Herak les 6 8 but goes s t ra ight on to inst ruct ions for pur i fy ing the house to remove any remains of th i s e v i l event (88-100). The de ta i l s of the ins t ruct ions have many l i t e r a r y precedents which endow the narrat ive with an elevated tone. Alkmena must burn the snakes and cast the ashes away astreptos ( 9 6 ) . 6 9 The attent ion given to such a c t i v i t i e s i s comically exaggerated when matched with the lack of momentum with which the inc ident was treated when i t actual ly occurred. The t r ans i t i on to Herakles' education i s made by the l i nk i ng statement that the boy was nurtured at his mother's side neon phuton hos en aloai ( 1 0 3 ) . 7 0 I t i s only at l i n e 104 that Herakles i s eventually ca l l ed "the son of Amphitryon, the Arg ive . " A l i s t of the characters who helped to educate Herakles begins with his grammar teacher. 7 1- The old man Linos i s huios Apollonos meledoneus  agrupnos heros (106) which i s the kind of praise one would have expected 6 7 " I t i s not^the brawny, b i g , broad-shouldered men (hoi pi ate is oud'  eurunotoi photes) who prove the best at need, but wise men (hoi  phronountes) have power everywhere". Soph. Aj^ 1250-51. ( trans. F. S tor r , Loeb C lass ica l L ib ra ry , 1913). 6 8 C f . P ind . , Nem. 1. 61-72. 6 yMedea t e l l s Jason to return af ter a s a c r i f i c e to Hecate without turning back, Ap. Rh. Arg. 3. 1203-1208. A lso , Soph. Q.C. 490, OcK 5. 530. 7 0 Used of A c h i l l e s , Horn. I K 18. 56. and of Nausikaa, Horn. Od^ 6. 163. 7 1A1though Herakles was worshipped for his strength, as the prototype of the muscle-man, he was l a t e r in te l l ec tua l ! ' zed . See Gal insky, Herakles Theme, chapters 2-4. 32 for Herakles. Theocritus i s br inging into prominence the most i n s i g n i f i c a n t of characters and inverts the genre by making them the heroes instead of the obvious candidate. According to other accounts, Linos was k i l l e d by Herakles when teaching him m u s i c . 7 2 The par t i cu la r funct ion of music teaching i s assigned to the unknown Eumolpus while Harpalycus of Panopeus (116) i s equally obscure. He i s a su i tab le tutor for mighty Herakles, "such was the scowling brow that overhung his grim visage" (118). A l l of Herakles* schooling was arranged for him by phi l a mater (134) while Amphitryon taught him to r ide horses (119-124) and gave him the proverbial l ion-sk in (135-36). Of a l l h is great p r i v i l e g e s , th i s item i s the one thing which i s described as g iv ing Herakles pleasure (136). Theocritus ' at tent ion to such a small object w i th in such a wide framework of Herakles' l i f e and experiences i s a facet of his poetic philosophy that the l i t t l e things (short poems, humble f igures) should be valued in favour of larger concerns. In Idy l l 7. 25-26 Lycidas comments on the singing of the pebbles which spin from Simichidas ' boots and th is i s contrasted to the works which ignorant poets " . . . heap as high as the peak of mount 0romedon".73 insp i te of a l l the heroic accomplishments he has been taught, Herakles i s g r a t i f i e d by the simple l i f e . A smal l , uncooked lunch, an evening meal of meat and bread and a short garment (137-140) are enough to sa t i s f y him. He i s depicted as no more than a land-labourer who leaves in the morning for the day's work and returns in the evening for dinner. The r e a l i t y of everyday l i f e i s the 7 2 Gow, Theocritus, 2: 432. 7 3 I d . 7. 45-48. Halper in, Before Pas to ra l , p. 174. 33 overwhelming picture presented in this poem, while the notion of hero Is satirized in the comic depiction of Herakles who woke up his parents one night only to send his mother into fits of terror and disturb his father from a good night's sleep. 34 THE TWINS Idy l l 22 re lates two events concerning the Dioscuri and has a four-part s t ructure . The prologue (1-26) imitates the s ty le and content of the t h i r t y - th i r d Homeric Hymn to the D ioscur i . The core of the poem deals f i r s t with an incident involv ing Polydeuces and recounts a boxing-match between him and Amycus, the king of the Bebrycians (27-134). It i s then re lated how Castor k i l l e d Lynceus in the bat t le of the Dioscuri with the Apharidae for the daughters of Leucippus (137-211) and the poem ends with an epilogue, again in the manner of a Homeric Hymn (212-223). The poem i s considered problematic because the incident concerning Castor i s b la tant ly c r i t i c a l of the D ioscu r i . The d i f f i c u l t y ar ises because Theocritus has i n i t i a l l y professed that he i s going to hymn, and therefore pra i se , the pa i r and also because the section focusing on Castor i s incompatible in tone, s t y l e , and at t i tude with the section pra is ing Po lydeuces . 7 4 The skirmish with the sons of Aphareus i s not only uncomplimentary to the Dioscuri but de ta i l s have also been invented to make them appear even more aggressive and immoral. The episode of Polydeuces and Amycus i s an exempt urn of "good" behaviour and i s set up as a contrast to the action of Castor in the second. Moulton explains the contrast as a s t y l i s t i c comment and of fers two explanations for t h i s . 7 5 The section on Castor i s del iberate ly p la in and in the 7 4 See Gow, "The Twenty-Second Idy l l of Theocr i tus, " CR 56 (1942): 11-18 and Theocritus, 2: 383. See a l so , Anna R i s t , The Poems of Theocritus (Chapel H i l l , N.C.: Univers i ty of North Carol ina Press, T9~78), pp. 166-176, and Carrol Moulton, "Theocritus and the D ioscu r i , " GRBS 14 (1973): 41-47. 35 t r ad i t i ona l epic s ty le such as Apol lonius Rhodius would w r i t e , i n comparison to the Polydeuces episode, which assumes the unprecedented form of stichomythia and i s a r t i s t i c a l l y co lour fu l and unconsciously s t y l e d . The respective success and f a i l u r e of the f i r s t and second episodes communicates the message "see how unconvincing we are when we t ry to Homerize our e p y l l i a . " Moulton also supplies a moral reason: "The moral values at stake in the story of [Polydeuces] have a curious reverse echo in that of C a s t o r " . 7 6 In the l a t t e r story i t i s the r ights not j u s t of guests and strangers that are threatened but of hosts and r e l a t i v e s . Therefore Polydeuces stands for c i v i l i s i n g values, Castor for the old heroic mores, the code of force which Theocritus found as objectionable as the old-fashioned poetry that embodied i t . The whole poem i s interpreted as a comment on the s ty le and subject-matter of t r ad i t i ona l ep i c . As a p a i r , the Dioscuri have been chosen as subject for a purely technical reason, enabling Theocritus to compose a d iptych, and both s tor ies contr ibute to making a un i f ied but essent i a l l y l i t e r a r y point . The analysis may be sound and would be pleasing i f there was f i rmer ground on which to rest such in te rpre ta t ions , namely the l i t e r a r y quarrel with Apollonius Rhodius. Since th i s i s only conjecture, such analys is as Moulton's must remain without founda t ion . 7 7 The h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y of a dispute regarding what i s s t y l i s t i c a l l y "best" i s probably based on the l i t e r a t u r e of the poets rather than facts ex i s t ing outside of t he i r 7 5 Mou l ton , "The D io s cu r i , " p. 45-46. 7 6 I b i d . , p.44. 7 7 F o r a discussion of the quar re l , see Gow, Theocritus, 2: 144 and 382. 36 p o e t r y . 7 8 The Alexandrians revered Homer. The aim of reworking Homeric verse was to br ing the poet into the th i rd century and the poets' constant reference to "old-fashioned poetry" i s a token of the i r p ra i se , not the i r c r i t i c i s m . Homeric values may be dead, but not Homeric s t y l e . The presentation of Castor i s highly Theocritean in i t s c r i t i c i s m of the immorality of the heroic code. I t must also be remembered that Polydeuces, the embodiment of a l l that i s v i r tuous , takes part in th is inc ident , even though Castor i s the main f igure and Polydeuces i s referred to only once by name (krateros  Polydeukes 173). Yet, the narrative states quite p l a in l y To men  anarpaxante duo phereten Dios huio (137). This may be surpr is ing a f te r Theocritus has j u s t stated at 135-36 that , having dealt with Polydeuces, he i s now going to hymn Castor. If Theocritus wanted to contrast Polydeuces as a paragon of j u s t i c e , he would surely have excluded him from the Apharidae inc ident . I w i l l discuss these two episodes in more deta i l and look most ca re fu l l y at the incident involv ing Polydeuces which has general ly been neglected by commentators, who agree too readi ly that i t r e f l e c t s Good (Polydeuces) and Ev i l (Amycus). This examination involves close at tent ion to the portrayal of Amycus and the conversation of the pa i r (54-74). I w i l l l i nk my conclusion to the epilogue (212-223). The f i r s t pecu l i a r i t y of the poem i s the treatment of the Dioscuri as separate e n t i t i e s , since t r ad i t i ona l l y they are noted for the i r i n s e p a r a b i l i t y . 7 9 Nemean 10 of Pindar (49-91) re lates the episode with the 7 8 The Alexandrians made frequent s t y l i s t i c comments, e . g . , IdL 7. 45-48, C a l l . Aet. f r . 1. 1-30, Hym. 2. 108-112. 37 Apharidae to emphasize the mutual loya l ty of the d i v i n i t i e s . The important f ac t in Pindar 's ode i s Polydeuces' choice to l i v e and die on al ternate days in order to be together with his brother. Theocritus breaks with t r a d i t i o n and focuses on them separately, although both are present in both episodes.8° The Argonauts land in the t e r r i t o r y of the Bebryces and the Dioscuri wander o f f to scout the region. Lines 37-43 describe a locus amoenus. The king i s s i t t i n g out in the sun, minding his own business. The rock i s smooth (37), the spring ever-flowing (37) and f u l l ( 3 8 ) , the water i s pure (38), i t s pebbles look l i k e crysta l or s i l v e r (39), the flowers are fragrant (42) and summer i s about to begin (43). The peace and beauty are emphasized to press the point that anyone entering such a place w i l l d is turb the t r a n q u i l l i t y . I t i s the Dioscuri who are the in t ruders . The descr ipt ion of the boxer-king Amycus i s l i k e that of a statue - f i rm and s o l i d . The narrat ive freezes as Theocritus focuses on every contour of t h i s awesome, motionless f igure sphurelatos hoi a kolossos (47). Amycus i s very large (huperoplos 44).81 His thickened ears are the mark of a boxer, his muscles stand out l i k e rounded boulders petroi o lo i t rocho i (49) and the hardened f lesh surrounding his stethea . . . pe lo r ia kai platu noton (46) presents an image of a hard, round b a l l . Amycus' shape and s ize should be 7 9 Gow, Theocritus, p. 384. 8 °E .g . , in the f i r s t episode ampho eremazeskov apoplagchthevtes hetairon (35). This emphasizes the i r j o i n t separation from the rest of the Argonauts. S lThis does not have the connotation ofjarrogance which i t has of Amycus at Ap. Rh. Arg. 2. 4 huperopleestaton androh, but refers to s i z e . Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 389. 38 borne 1n mind for the subsequent f i gh t where he 1s shown as blowing up and then de f la t ing l i k e a ba l loon. The descr ipt ion has verbal correspondances to the po r t r a i t of Homer's Cyclops (a sympathetic character for Theocritus) and Theocr i tus ' He rak l e s , 8 2 and should insp i re amusement rather than t e r r o r , yet he i s deinos ide in (45). The general impl icat ion of t h i s phrase i s that i t s subject insp i res fear . However the subject 's reasons for causing fear may be var ied. The chorus f ind Oedipus deinos horan because he i s b l ind and in a state of neglect from his wanderings. Odysseus i s deinos . . . idesthai because he i s covered in blood a f t e r slaughtering the s u i t o r s . 8 3 Amycus may be deinos ide in because he i s muti lated as a resu l t of his boxing career. He stimulates shock not because he i s a savage but because he i s so d i s f igured . Amycus i s a lso described as megan andra (85), T i tuo i enal ink ios aner (94), adephagon andra (115), Amyklaion bas i lea (122) and f i n a l l y anieros (134). The l a t t e r ep i thet i s openly c r i t i c a l but i t i s spoken by Amycus himself in the oath he i s made to swear by Polydeuces and thus the l a t t e r has t o l d him to say i t . S i m i l a r l y , adephagon andra occurs in the three-l ine section (115-118) where Theocritus parodies Homeric s ty le and poses as the Homeric narrator who pauses for insp i ra t ion from the Muse to enable him to continue h is s tory . The word i s inserted to draw attent ion to the otherwise Homeric l i n e and thus to inform the reader that the poet i s consciously im i ta t ing 8 2 A t Od. 9. 187, the Cyclops i s entha d'aner . . . pel (Trios, imitated by Theocritus at l i n e 44 entha d'aner huperoplos and l i n e 46 stethea . . . p e l o r i a . Herakles in Idy l l 24 i s also described as p la tus , or "bulky" and the pa ra l l e l i s supported by the l i on-sk in which hangs over Amycus' back (51-52). At Ap. Rh. Arg. 2. 32, Amycus has a dark cloak of double f o l d . 8 3 Soph . O.C. 141 and Horn. Od. 22. 405. 39 and at the same time changing the epic s t y l e . The adject ive also f a l l s in to the category of the other non-disparaging epithets which denote s i z e . 8 4 Theocritus does use t rad i t iona l epithets for Castor and Polydeuces, but there are exceptions. It i s Polydeuces who i s "grim to challenge in boxing" (phoberon . . . p_ux ere th ize in 2 ) . 8 5 He i s also oinopos (34), an epi thet of D ionysus , 8 6 and the impl ica t ion i s de l iberate ly ambiguous. Amycus i s charged with molesting strangers and v i o l a t i ng the code of h o s p i t a l i t y . The evidence for Amycus being ac t i ve l y barbaric i s weak. I t i s Polydeuces who i s the intruder and the aggressor, j us t as much as the pa i r are in the second episode. Amycus i s provoked to anger, which leads him to challenge Polydeuces and his anger i s j u s t i f i e d . The Homeric code of hosp i t a l i t y i s well establ ished in a set sequence o f : guest arrives,, i s welcomed, bathed, fed , and then asked his name and whereabouts. 8 7 Xeinos i s the standard form of address and i t i s part of the eth ica l code that the nat ive , not the guest speaks f i r s t . Yet i t i s Polyaeuces who makes the f i r s t inquiry of Amycus, cha i re , x e i n ' , hot is e s s i . t ines b r o t o i , non hode  choros (53-54). The abruptness and impoliteness of th i s question account for Amycus' unwelcoming rep ly , "How shal l the day be good that brings me 8 4 Hesychius explains the word as being used by the Argives to decribe a th le tes . See Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 397. 8 5 A t Eur. PTK 127 he i s phoberos to look upon and l i k e a haughty, inhuman g iant . 8 6 E u r . Bacc. 438. 8 7 E . g . , Nestor asks Telemachus and his band o x e i n o i , t ines este ; pothen . . . (Horn. OcL 3. 71f ) . A s im i l a r r i t ua l ancf inquiry i s made by Menelaus (Od. 4. 60TTand by Alcinous (Od. 7. 238-39). 40 men I never saw before?" (55). He i s taken aback by the .forward step of Polydeuces, who draws attent ion to the notion of wrongdoing by his r epe t i t i on of adikos in l i n e 56. His very statement that Amycus sees . . . mete adikous met'ex adikon . . . (56) emphasizes i t s falsehood. In the f i r s t four l i nes of the conversation (54-57), Amycus i s each time passive in that he repeats the i n i t i a l word of Polydeuces. Amycus' words are notable for the i r calmness, which makes Polydeuces' question at l i n e 58 even more absurd, since Amycus has done nothing to merit being asked i f he i s always savage, perverse and haughty ( 5 8 ) . 8 8 Line 59 i s perhaps the most important of the whole exchange, as Amycus r ep l i e s , "I am such as thou seest me, but I am not trespassing on your l and . " Amycus orders Polydeuces, "Give me no g i f t s ; I have none for thee" (61) which may be construed in two ways: "Do not talk about g i f t s , because I am not going to give you any, even i f I had some to g ive , " o r , "Do not . . . because I haven't any to give you, so i t would not be on an equal exchange." The f i r s t explanation i s more l i k e l y in view of Amycus' increasing temper at t h i s po int , but the second i s poss ib le . It i s Polydeuces who not only brings up the idea of g i f t s , but also suggests that Amycus wants payment fo r a drink of water (64). I t i s also he who askes i f there w i l l be a pr ize for the winner of the boxing match (70). Amycus' concern for acts of hybris i s further emphasized when he says that the pr ize w i l l be the recognit ion of who i s master (71). Amycus has not been treated as ru le r of 8 8 I t i s useful to read the stichomythia without the names assigned to each l i n e and consider which words are the more aggressive. At times the reader may feel the utterances of Polydeuces should belong rather to the brutal Amycus. 41 his own land and 1t 1s for th i s he Intends to f i g h t . Lines 80-134 describe the f i gh t . Amycus begins at a disadvantage, with the sun in h is eyes (86). True to the Homeric fashion, Theocritus does not spare the reader gruesome d e t a i l s , and two sentiments, humour and sympathy, dominate the nar ra t i ve . Amycus 1s b ru ta l l y beaten and i t i s when he i s badly wounded and his face swells that Polydeuces confounds and provokes him by " f e i n t i n g " blows (102). A lso , i t i s when he notices him at a loss amechaneont' (103) that he del ivers the most severe blow, at which point the great king i s toppled and l i e s stretched out amongst the flowers (106). The humour of the image provides r e l i e f from the r e a l i s t i c de ta i l s of Amycus' physical destruct ion. However, the gory descr ipt ion i s dramatical ly exaggerated and comments on the c l i n i c a l real ism of Homeric descr ipt ions of death in b a t t l e . 8 9 The contrast of the blood-drenched, muti lated king l y i ng in the flowers has a s im i l a r e f fec t to the pathos e l i c i t e d when Odysseus, a f ter hearing Demodocus' song of the Trojan war, wept l i k e a woman. 9 0 The s imi le shows a side of the Trojan War which the I I iad rare ly conveys and allows a glimpse of what rea l l y happened during the war. Inspite of h is bat ter ing , Amycus manages to get up again and there i s the amusing picture of th is rounded f igure with a huge swollen face and s l i t eyes now co l laps ing into himself l i k e a burst ba l loon, lurching from one side to another. Theocritus gives the cause of his def la t ion to h is copious persp i rat ion (112). The humour climaxes with the idea of 8 9 E . g . , Horn. LU 16. 307-350. 9 0Hom. Od. 8. 521f. 42 Polydeuces gett ing stronger, quicker, and redder (113-114), while Amycus gradually diminishes to dwarf s i z e , (ek megalou de / a lps ' o l igos  genet'andros (112-13). Like a Homeric bard, Theocritus now pauses for breath and for i n sp i r a t i on (115-17). He utters the commonplace saying that he i s the mouthpiece of the Muse (hupophetes 116), although in the epilogue, he i s not only the singer of the songs his Muses give him but i s also prompted by his own insp i ra t ion (222). Theocritus uses Homeric themes but h is poems are h is own. Lines 115-7 are somewhat contradicted by the inser t ion of adephagon andra, which i s s t a r t l i n g and makes the point that Theocritus i s not purely hupophetes. The punch-drunk Amycus f i n a l l y stretches up his hands in admission of defeat and Theocritus addresses Polydeuces as i f to praise him. "Then, 0 boxer Polydeuces, for a l l thy v i c to ry , no grievous hurt d idst thou do him" (131-2). After a f i f t y - l i n e descr ipt ion of brutal wounding, i t i s hard to take th i s ser iously and Theocritus s a t i r i z e s the hero who nobly spares the de f ea t ed . 9 1 This i s capped by the hero forc ing Amycus to swear an oath against w i l l i n g l y (hekon 134) molesting strangers. Rather than a contrast to the Castor episode, the story of Amycus and Polydeuces matches well the theme of moral i ty (or lack of i t ) to the fo l lowing narrat ive . The section deals with three pa i rs of characters (137-211). The Dioscuri have seized the daughters of Leucippus who were already betrothed to the sons of Aphareus. The rape i s bad enough in i t s e l f but Theocritus invents deta i l s to denigrate fur ther the actions of 9 1 A c h i l l e s does not spare his defeated, e .g. Horn. I I . 21. 67-121. 43 the D ioscu r i . Pindar de l i ca te l y glosses over the reason for the bat t l e and states that stolen ca t t l e are the cause (Idas amphi bousin pos  c h o l o t h e i s ) . 9 2 This considerably lessens the offence of the D ioscu r i , when in fac t the thef t of the ca t t l e i s the resu l t of the D ioscur i ' s paying no bride pr ice for the daughters of Leucippus. Theocritus goes out of his way to make the s i tuat ion worse. He makes the Dioscuri cousins of the Apharidae (170 and 200) and the Leucippidae the cause of the quar re l , thus securing the Dioscuri as the aggressors. He needlessly makes the Leucippidae already aff ianced to the Apharidae and recounts how the Dioscuri used both fraud and force to abduct them (148-151). The Apharidae are presented in a sympathetic l i g h t . Lynceus i s po l i t e and addresses the pa i r as daimonioi (145), ph i l o i andres (154) and ph i l o i (165). He attempts to use argument f i r s t to resolve the i r d i f ferences , but char is d'ouch  hespeto muthois (168). In an attempt to give Castor some speech and save him from total disgrace, he i s assigned l ines 171-180. However, i t i s l i k e l y that a l l of the l i nes (145-180) are spoken by Lynceus and that Castor makes no reply at a l l . 9 3 In the ensuing f i gh t between Castor and Lynceus, the l a t t e r i s put at a disadvantage when he not only loses h is sword but his f ingers (196-97). He turns in f l i g h t and i s k i l l e d without a weapon. 9 4 Sympathy i s further aroused towards the Apharidae when Zeus, who 9 2 P i n d . Nem. 10. 60. 9 3 The reason against the l ines being a continuation of Lynceus' speech rests on the d i f f i c u l t y of g iv ing Lynceus l i n e 173, " . . .my brother, mighty Polydeuces" as well as the loss of the i n i t i a l part of t h i s speech. See F. T. G r i f f i t h s , "Theocritus ' S i l en t D ios cu r i , " GRBS 17 (1976): 353-67. 9 4 The features of the bat t le descr ipt ion are again Homeric, e . g . , l i nes 201-204 compare with Horn. JJk 14. 436-39. 44 1s against them, deals the f i na l blow to Idas (210-11), jus t as Athena helped Ach i l l e s in his f i gh t with Hector . y 5 The gods help those who help themselves. "Thus, no l i g h t thing i t i s to war with the sons of Tyndareus" (212). This i s indeed an understatement in the l i g h t of the previous events. The sentiments expressed in the epilogue are cur ious ly i r o n i c a l . Theocritus states that a l l bards are dear to the D ioscu r i , to Helen and to Menelaus (216-17), namely to a l l characters who are associated with war and destruct ion. Homer brought recognit ion to the Greek heroes who sacked Troy but the I I iad does not give praise to the Dioscuri ( 218 ) . 9 6 Theocritus states that to the Dioscuri he bears 1igeon meiligmata Mouseon (221) but "soothing" i s hardly the tone of the preceding l i n e s . 9 7 Theocritus sings a Homeric song but he also sings his own and combines che opposing s ty les into one: " . . . I bear the soothing s t ra ins of the . . . Muses, such as they give me and my own store provides" (221-22). The gods in th i s poem are not praiseworthy. Theocritus asks the reader to r e f l e c t upon the true nature of div ine ac t ion , which in the past has been respected because of the heroic code and the freedom of the d i v i n i t i e s , at the expense of mortals . Their actions are now being questioned and the idea of moral i ty 9 5Hom. I I . 22. 276-77. This act in i t s e l f i s generally d i s l i k e d for i t s dece i t . See Conny Nelson, ed . , Homer's Odyssey (Ca l i f o rn i a : Wadsworth Pub l i sh ing , 1969), p. 86. 9 6 0 n l y one reference to the Dioscuri occurs in the I I iad (3. 236f) and even here they are already dead. See Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 406-407. 9 7 L i g u s describes the lyre which makes pleasant music accompanying the sweet-voiced singer of the Linos song on the sh ie ld of A c h i l l e s , Horn. 18. 569. For the poetic connotations of 1igus, see Halper in, Before  Pas to ra l , p. 252. 45 is introduced. A poem which began by luring the reader into thinking i t is yet another hymn of praise (1-26) where the gods are powerful and strong and have other gods on their side, turns into quite a different poem, where praise is furthest from Theocritus' intention. 46 PART II INTRODUCTION While the previous examples i l l u s t r a t e the removal of a f igure from his revered pedestal to a level of c r e d i b i l i t y , the fol lowing poems demonstrate a reversal in the opposite ' d i r e c t i o n ' . I c a l l th is technique e leva t ion , since the central characters are raised from a ' low' level to a status fa r beyond what l i t e r a r y t r ad i t i on would c red i t them wi th . Such promotion questions the true nature of heroism and reveals Theocritus ' be l i e f in the necessity of narrowing the gap between l i t e r a t u r e and r e a l i t y . Theocritus does not re jec t epic as a poetic genre, but he wishes to reassess the values i t upholds. By imi ta t ing the s t y l i s t i c features of ep ic , he t r i e s to make the genre more accessible to the He l l en i s t i c world. "The technique of inversion . . . allows Theocritus to prolong the l i f e of the epic genre by transposing i t s language, i t s t r ad i t i ona l subject matter and i t s characters and s i tuat ions into a contemporary social environment and into a modern form of poetic e x p r e s s i o n . " 9 8 9 8 H a l p e r i n , Before Pas tora l , p. 222. 47 THE NEATHERD Rather than inver t ing t rad i t iona l assumptions about a well-known hero, Theocritus takes as the central f igure of Thy rs i s 1 song one of highly obscure o r i g in and endows him with qua l i t i e s far beyond those generally accorded to a humble neatherd. Theocritus presupposes of his reader a cer ta in amount of knowledge of a myth of Daphnis. Such a myth i s e i ther l o s t to us or never existed at a l l and the modern reader must piece together the facts surrounding Daphnis, which are only gradually revealed as the song p r o g r e s s e s . " However, h is associat ions With pastoral and with love (although the connections here are ambiguous) make him a su i table choice for the subject of . . . boukolikas . . . aoidas (1. 64). The song of Thyrsis (1.64-145) i s interspersed between sect ions, with re f ra ins of lengths varying from two to f i ve l i n e s . Thyrsis begins by putt ing h is "stamp" on his song. While being a feature of both poetry and prose, i t i s also a wise secur i ty for shepherds who frequently indulge in s inging c o m p e t i t i o n s . 1 0 0 Such competitions have regular elements of procedure which are observed to varying degrees in the I d y l l s . One of these elements i s the re l a t i ve pol i teness between the competitors which ranges from mutual abuse (Comatas and Lacon in Idy l l 5) to the "Chinese y y Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 1-2, discusses the various t r a d i t i o n s . 1 0 0 S e e i b i d , p. 17 for the "signature" in l i t e r a t u r e . I t i s useful to compare the boastful tone of Theognis' Elegies (19-23). "I seal my words of wisdom with your name, Kurnos; no man can steal them now, nor try to s l i p his trash in with my excel lence. And every man w i l l say, 'This i s a song that great Theognis, the Megarian sang ' " . In Theocr i tus ' other amoebian contests only Simichidas in Idy l l 7 marks h is song as his own (7. 96). 48 po l i teness" of Thyrsis and the goatherd. In th is poem the idea of competition i s maintained only in the s t r u c t u r e . 1 0 1 The f i r s t deta i l about Daphnis i s that he etaketo, (66) which i s commonly used of the wasting away of someone in l o v e . * 0 2 The reader may then presume Daphnis' love i s unrequited. The Nymphs are appealed to because of the i r absence at a time when Daphnis needed them most. They are not in S i c i l y where they should be (Anapus, Etna, Ac i s , 68-69) but in Thessaly (Peneius, Pindus, 67) . The song operates with a "zoom lens" technique, from the heights of Thessaly (67), to S i c i l y (68-69), to w i ld animals (71-72), cows (74-75) and f i n a l l y to Daphnis (77). He i s addressed f i r s t by Hermes coming down from the h i l l (77), by his rus t i c companions in the descending h ierarch ica l sequence of neatherd - shepherd - goatherd (80-81), by Priapus (81) and f i n a l l y by Aphrodite ( 9 5 ) . 1 0 3 Hermes does not know who i s tormenting Daphnis (78) while Priapus does. The g i r l i s searching for him, yet Daphnis i s duseros (85). Since duseros means one whose re lat ionship to eros causes an adverse react ion in himself , the conclusion must be that Dapnnis i s in love with the g i r l but for some reason cannot indulge his p a s s i o n . 1 0 4 Priapus stands 1 0 1 T h e goatherd promises Thyrsis the pr ize of a cup i f he sings as well as he d id in a previous competition (1. 23-24) and his descr ipt ion of that cup (1 . 27-63) replaces the usual competitive song and provides a s t ructura l balance for the song of Thyrsis (1. 64-145). 1 0 2 E . g . , Simaetha, at the s ight of Delphis, says, "to de ka l los etaketo" (2. 83) . 1 0 3 T h e scene may reca l l Prometheus chained to the rock and v i s i t e d by various characters. Aesch. P.V. 182f. 1 0 4 A t Id. 6. 7 Galatea c a l l s Polyphemos duseros because he i s backward in responding to her advances and there may be a suggestion at 1. 85 that Daphnis i s being stubborn. 49 for e ro t i c i sm, shown by the sexual overtone of his comment that Daphnis i s now l i k e a goatherd who longs to j o i n h is goats in sport ing with the nannies (86-88). I t i s the greatest i n s u l t in the pastoral world for a neatherd to be ca l l ed goatherd, the lowest of the low. For some reason, Daphnis cannot j o i n in the dancing and th i s causes him much d i s t r e s s , as Priapus taunts him, "takeai ophthalmos hoti ou . . . choreueis" (91). The reason for h is state i s eventually revealed with the speech of Aphrodite (97-98). Daphnis has made a vow that he i s stronger than love , " tu then ton Erota kateucheo . . . l ug ixe in " (97). The verb lug ixe in i s a wrest l ing term and the image here i s of grappling wich Eros in a f i gh t and gett ing him into a twist of disadvantage. Aphrodite has obviously won her bet since she i s taunting and triumphant, and she approaches Daphnis 1athre"  men ge lao isa , barun d'ana thumon echoisa (96). She i s del ighted about her v ic tory over Daphnis but holds back the v i s i b l e expression of her de l ight and "holds up" (ana . . . echoisa) or feigns an expression of g r i e f . 1 0 6 She adds to th i s a f fec ta t ion by c a l l i n g Eros " c rue l " (98). Daphnis sees through the pretense and i nsu l t s her in the t r i c o l o n 100-101. He i s going to suffer punishment of death in the face of the goddess and thus has commited some kind of hybris for which l i t e r a r y 1 0 6 L i n e 96 has caused some problem of in terpretat ion as to what Aphrodite i s ac tua l ly doing. Is she rea l l y smil ing but pretending to be angry or r ea l l y angry and pretending to smile? G. Zuntz, in "Theocritus 1.95f . , " CQ 59 (1960): 37, says 1athre should not be translated " c r a f t i l y " as Gow does but "not seen." Gel an i s a sentiment expressed but i t does not have to be outwardly shown. See Od. 9. 413: emon d'engelasse phi Ion ker. Homeric Greeks often hedu gelassan at the discomfiture of others, e . g . , I I . 12. 270 at the beating of Thersites by Odysseus. Aphrodite in H. Horn. 5. 49 boasts of her powers hedu geloiesasa. Aphrodite in th i s poem hits a s t ra ight face. See also Aesch. Cho. 748, where Clytemnestra "hides laughter" in her eyes. 50 precedent gives the ru le that mortals who overstep the i r mark are generally l i a b l e to punishment.1°6 Just as Hippolytus boasted that he was immune from Eros, so Daphnis the neatherd has taken a vow of chas t i t y or made the c la im that he w i l l never be affected by love. However, Daphnis has obviously f a l l en in love against his w i l l . Evidence for t h i s comes at 92-93 which re lates that Daphnis " . . . bore his b i t t e r love, bore i t even to h is appointed end" and in Aphrodite's words, "Surely, Daphnis, thou d ids t vow that thou wouldst give Love a f a l l , but hast thou not thyse l f been thrown by cruel Love?" (97-98). That Theocritus intends the reader to assume these facts may be supported by Idyl 1 7. 72-77 where Lycidas sings of Daphnis love for Xenea and how he katetaketo (76). Daphnis eventual reply (100-136) occupies the second ha l f of the song and comes as a surpr ise a f te r his reticence up to th is point . There i s dramatic climax in the mental taunting Daphnis receives, from Hermes' mockery, Pr iapus 1 i n s u l t and Aphrodite's complacency. Daphnis gives an heroic defense and a b i t i n g attack. Before th is point in the nar ra t i ve , the reader i s to assume a timorous, love lo rn , lowly neatherd, who has nothing to say for himself , who i s duseros and amechanos (85). In r e a l i t y , the reader i s being manipulated toward th i s view by means of the other characters. He i s no helpless Promethean f igure nor does he i r r a t i o n a l l y and impulsively reply to h is taunter un t i l he i s f i n a l l y pressured to do so (92). Although death i s inev i tab le , i t i s se l f-w i l l ed and even in Hades he w i l l get his revenge (103). Daphnis proceeds to re late three d iscred i tab le l 0 6 E . g . , C a l l . Hymn 5, Te i res ias i s punished with blindness for seeing Demeter bathing at noon. Worse re t r ibut ion i s cast upon I l i a d i c warriors who boast they are superior to the gods in ba t t l e . 51 incidents (again with dramatic climax) of Aphrodite 's past . The f i r s t inc ident i s her secret l i a i s o n with Anchises (ho boukolos 105) and the second 1s her a f f a i r with Adonis (109-10), neither of which Aphrodite would want to be reminded of . Daphnis proceeds to unearth the great disgrace of Aphrodite 's ba t t l e with Diomedes (112-113) and one may be reminded of her consequent whimpering to her mother when she rushes back to Olympus. 1 0 7 The impl icat ion of Daphnis' challenge i s that i f she can vanquish him, then she must be strong enough to take on Diomedes again. "Daphnis' taunting of Aphrodite i s his boldest challenge . . ." and he "invokes epic ba t t l e scenes in heroic language" (112-113) . 1 0 8 He t e l l s Aphrodite to approach (asson i o i s a 1 1 2 ) l u 9 Diomedes and say, "ton boutan niko Daphnin.al la macheu  moi" (113). The hybris of the challenge i s expressed in the corresponding hybris of s t y l e . Daphnis' invocation to Pan at 123-36 contains recondite mythical a l l us ion in the mention of his various haunts and i s very d i f f e ren t from the rus t i c level of the goatherd's reference to him at the beginning of the Idy l l ( 1 5 - 1 8 ) . l l u In his challenge to Aphrodite, Daphnis has the confidence of a Homeric warrior on the b a t t l e f i e l d and he gives her as good as he receives. As Daphnis d ies , he orders the whole natural world to be turned upside down (panta d 'anal la genoito . . . 134) and he becomes the t ragic hero who has suffered at the hands of F a t e . 1 1 * Rather than a 1 0 7 Hom. U. 5. 330-380. l 0 8 c . Segal, Poetry and Myth in Ancient Pastoral (Pr inceton: Princeton University Press, 196TJT, p. 40T 1 0 9 Hom. I K 15. 105, 22. 92. l l 0 S e g a l , Poetry and Myth, p. 41. 52 Hippolytus, Daphnis i s a Phaedra-figure who nobly drives himself towards death, rather than giv ing way to a forbidden love. The mention of the Nymphs, as Daphnis f a l l s into the water (eba rhoon 140), may be para l l e l ed with Hylas' fate (13. 49-50). Hylas i s also an i n s i g n i f i c a n t f igure who by h is death achieves a d ign i ty that i s fa r beyond his Dast l i t e r a r y mer i t . In comparison with the d i v i n i t i e s in the'song, Daphnis emerges the superior in terms of h is values measured against the i r c h i l d l i k e (Homeric) behaviour. The humble neatherd i s elevated to a t ru l y "hero ic " status with an "hero ic " death i nd i r e c t l y caused by a goddess . 1 1 2 The combination of r u s t i c and epic elements in th i s poem i s symbol ica l ly represented in the cup which i s given to Thyrs is . The descr ipt ion of the cup (27-60) maintains a tension between these polar elements, jus t as the epic mannerisms and t rag ic suf fer ing of Daphnis intrude upon and upset an otherwise peaceful pastoral w o r l d . 1 1 3 The two opposing genres cannot ex i s t together and th i s i s symbolised by the reversal which Daphnis invokes upon nature. "Now v io l e t s bear, ye brambles, and ye thorns, bear v i o l e t s . . . " (132f). The natural world i s the most important for Theocr i tus. While the themes of the l i t e r a r y heroic ^ D a p h n i s may also be paral led to the near-Eastern dying god, Enkidu, in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu i s the w i ld man brought up with nature which weeps for him when he i s dead. This can be compared with the adunaton of 132-36 where Daphnis curses nature. 1 1 2 T h e Homeric gods frequently intervene and upset the l i v e s of mortals. E .g . , Athena ins t igated Pandarus to break the Greek and Trojan truce (Horn. I I . 3. 72-73) and i t i s also Athena who d i rects the spear which k i l l s him THom. I I . 5. 290-296). 1 1 3 S e e Halper in 's discussion of the combination of rus t i c and epic elements in the cup, in Before Pas to ra l , pp. 161-189. 53 world s t i l l survived in Alexandrian c i r c l e s , they were an anachronism. Although Theocritus wished to maintain l i nks with a Greek world which had now crumbled and d iss ipa ted , he did not care to revive the old heroic values. An ordinary rus t i c i s set amidst an environment with which he cannot cope and 1n which he cannot surv ive. Vows of chas t i t y , conversations with goddesses, and attempts to prove the extent of one's n o b i l i t y have become rusty with age. 54 SIMAETHA Idyl 1 2 i s a monologue by a young woman, Simaetha, lamenting the loss of her lover , Delphi's, whom she has not seen for eleven days and who i s reportedly now in love with someone e l se . The s ixteen-l ine introduct ion supplies a l l of the facts concerning the central f i gu re , Simaetha, who i s not named unt i l l i n e 101. She i s concocting a spe l l aided by a maid, Thesty l is (1). She i s attempting to bring back her lover (3) who has abandoned her a f te r the i r b r i e f a f f a i r (4-6). He must be involved with someone else ( 6 - 7 ) . 1 1 4 Her ex-lover spends his time in the wrest l ing school (8). Simaetha, dejected and indignant, appeals to Selene above (112) and Hecate below (12-16) to give her the utmost support in further ing her object ive . The main factors are elaborated in the rest of the poem (17-166), which may be subdivided into the Spell (17-68) and the A f f a i r (69-158) ending with Simaetha's wish for vengeance. Simaetha's monologue i s threaded with a re f ra in which enhances the repet i t ious whir l of the iunx Simaetha spins as she utters her chant. This re f ra in changes at 69, as she r e ca l l s how her meeting with Delphi's began. The exact socia l pos i t ion of Simaetha i s not c e r t a i n . 1 1 5 She has a maid (1) and a f lu te-p layer , P h i l i s t a (146), but no mention i s made of parents and when Thesty l i s leaves, Simaetha says "Now that I am alone . . ." ( 6 4 ) . 1 1 6 She has borrowed C l ea r i s t a ' s wrap to go to the f e s t i v a l (74) 1 1 4 " E r o s " and "Aphrodita" at once character ize Delphi's' i n te res t -- he was not a f ter an a f f a i r of the heart. ^ S e e Dover, Select Poems, pp. 95-96. 55 which indicates a lack of personal resources. Delphi's probably enjoys a higher socia l status since he befriends Eudamippus or "horse t r a i n e r " , suggesting the wealthier c l a s s . Simaetha's attachment to Delphi's and her i n a b l i l i t y e i ther to cope with her problem or to see through Delphis 's transparent i n s i n ce r i t y show her naivety. Youth may play a part in t h i s , but t h i s i s only a p o s s i b i l i t y . Her age i s not mentioned and to th i s extent the label of "teenager" i s not r e l e v a n t . 1 1 7 A more i n c i s i v e ind i ca t ion of her socia l standing may be derived from Simaetha's cha rac te r i za t ion . Her at t i tudes are those of a commoner and Theocritus i s most unsubtle in h is revelat ion of her bourgeois viewpoint. Yet Simaetha has also been l ikened to a heroine of Greek t r a g e d y . 1 1 8 At once a Cyclops, naive and desperate to resolve a love problem, and an awestruck Gorgo or Praxinoa at the Adonis f es t i va l ( Idy l l 15), Simaetha has also the d ign i ty of a Medea. By weighing each of these t r a i t s in the balance, I w i l l show how Theocritus i s manipulating Simaetha on both a high and a low l e v e l . Theocr i tus 's a t t i tude to his protagonist i s problematic. He i s sympathetic to Simaetha, and the poem demonstrates the immorality of women's treatment and the in jus t i ce of the i r l o t in l i f e . Yet he a lso 1 1 6 Comparison w i l l l a te r be drawn between Simaetha and Medea. Medea too i s alone in Cor in th , without parents or brothers (Eur. Med. 257). However she i s never completely .solo, since the chorus i s always present on stage. The absence of other characters shows the increased realism of Theocritus since t h i s i s a true monologue. 1 1 7 E . g . Halper in, Before Pas tora l , p. 180 c a l l s her a " love lorn teenager." 1 1 8 D o v e r , Select Poems, pp. 95-97, note the intrus ion of poetic language side by side with the commonplace and draws pa ra l l e l s to show that Theocritus thought of Simaetha and Delphi's l i k e Apollonius Rhodius' Jason and Medea. 56 pokes fun at her (and Delphi's) in the same manner 1n which he treats the characters of poems 3, 11, and 15. To th i s end, Theocritus creates what might be termed a conspiracy between himself and the reader, enabling the l a t t e r to penetreate the facts as related by Simaetha and thereby ca lcu la te the extent of her n a i v e t y . 1 1 9 Simaetha i s aware that Delphi's has been cruel to her, but i t i s quite c lear that she s t i l l wants him and, given the opportunity, would forgive him. The uncertainty of her feel ings i s shown r igh t from the beginning, where she refers to him as ton emon barun eunta  phi Ion . . . andra (3). Simaetha i s t o t a l l y preoccupied with a man who has not been to see her for eleven days. In her account of the i r f i r s t meeting, she describes how she manoeuvred Delphi's to her home. From th i s point (lOOf) the narrat ive speeds up as the important events take place. Delphi's arr ives the instant he learns of the o f fe r and the humour i s maintained with the dramatic holdup at 105: " . . . no sooner was I aware of him stepping . . . cross my door which f a l l s f l a t when Simaetha innocently chooses to mention only the e f fec t h is entrance had upon her. Through Simaetha's report , the reader can in terpre t the obvious intent ion of Del phis as he catches her eye then s h i f t i l y averts his glance to the f l oo r as one who has something to hide.120 Charles Segal notes that Simaetha understands th i s to be Delphi's' modesty and that she goes on to -a c i t e his words innocently (114f). There i s l i t t l e to suggest that she herse l f has rea l l y understood how f u l l y Delphi's' s ty le betrays his character. The reader, H 9 F o r a f u l l e r explanation of authorial distance, see Harry Berger, "The Tradi t ion of Bucolic Representation: Disenchantment and Revision in Theocritus' Seventh I d y l l , " CSCA 5 (1984): 10-12. 120Apollonius' Jason also does th is to Medea but i t i s due to embarassement as well as his perpetual state of apor ia . Note also the ra i s ing and lowering of the eyes in lover ' s bashfulness. Ap. Rh. Arg. 3. 1008-1024. 57 however, from his aesthetic distance, eas i l y catches the meaning of Delphi's' exaggerations and in f l a ted commonplaces. 121 A noted point of Delphi's' i n s ince r i t y i s the convoluted s ty le of 114-116 which reveals his attempt to "think of something f a s t . " This i s supported by his repet i t ion of "I would have come, yes I would. . . ." (118). His a l l u s i on to Dionysos and Herakles (120-1), Cypris (13) and Hephaistos (134) and to batter ing down Simaetha's door (127-8) are dramatical ly exaggerated and del iberate ly standard mot i fs . Del phis ' hes i tant s tu t te r ing i s then replaced by f luent speech, f a i t h f u l l y reported by Simaetha who unconsciously conveys to the reader that Delphi's has now found his place in a speech he has del ivered many times before " . . .my thanks are due to Cypris f i r s t and . . . lady , thou, second, hast caught me from the flame, a l l but consumed.. . . ' (130-33). Simaetha i n i t i a l l y explains how Thesty l i s was informed to t e l l Delphi's, "Simaitha tu k a l e i " (101). Even though th i s i s the kind of i r re levant information that Simaetha might choose to re l a te , i t seems unnecessary for the reader to know the exact words. However she enables Delphi's to use her name at 114, providing him with "the personal touch" and allowing him to create the pretense of knowing the woman he i s about to bed. Segal shows the contrast between Delphi's' elaborate speech and Simaetha's simple language and s t r i k i n g understatement. At 138 she judges hersel f tachupeithes and when she hears the local gossip about Delphi's she states es t i d 'alathes ( 154 ) . I 2 2 Segal l 2 l S e g a l , Poetry and Myth, p. 79. l 2 2 I b i d . , p 80. Gow comments on the unfavourable connotation of hostorgos (112) as "incapable of l a s t ing a f f e c t i on , though not of pass ion. " Theocr i tus, 2: 55. Again, i t i s l i k e l y Simaetha i s unaware of the f u l l (Footnote continued) 58 discusses these points as a sequel to his demonstration that the iunx i s connected with "sudden v io lent love which of fers no cont inu i t y " and that i t s use in the poem i s i r o n i c a l . 1 2 3 Simaetha wants the l a s t i ng a f fec t ion of a re la t ionsh ip but in her ignorance she i s unaware of the mythyological associat ion of the iunx. In her hope " fo r a happy, stable union, . . . the instrument to which she pins her hopes points only to seduction . . . and t rans ient pleasure . . . the iunx by i t s very nature, can only plunge her more deeply in to the realm of changeful and deceptive l o v e . " 1 2 4 Simaetha i s a v ic t im of male des i re , but i t s t i l l remains that i t i s she who summons Delphi's to her home (96-101) and she who pu l l s him down on to the bed (138-39 ) . 1 2 5 In spi te of any empathy aroused for Simaetha, Theocritus i s openly prejudiced toward her at t i tudes and her sex. Her non-inte l lectual preoccupation with men, local gossip and c l o th ing , pigeon-hole her as "female". I t was typ ica l of women to have few in teres ts of the i r own and 1 2 2 ( con t inued ) meaning of the word. 1 2 3 T h e iunx i s commonly understood to be the wryneck b i rd which can twis t i t s head in a f u l l c i r c l e . See Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 41 ad n 17. In magic, the b i rd was spread onto a wheel (which then assumed i t s name) with i t s head facing the wrong d i r e c t i on . The symbolic s ign i f i cance i s that a beloved who i_s walking away may be turned back round and constrained to re turn . Katadesomai (3 and 10) i s the key word meaning that Simaetha w i l l bind and thus force Delphi's to do what she wants. 1 2 4 A n example i s c i t ed (according to Ael ian) of a iunx being a land-torto ise who " f u l f i l s his desire and then goes away". The abandoned mate, now pressed into the sand, i s l e f t a prey to carnivores. Segal, Poetry and Myth, pp. 76-78. 1 2 5 I n Aristophanes' Acharnians, Simaetha i s a whore stolen from the Megarians. a 59 Simaetha makes frequent mention of Timagetus' wrest l ing school (8, 51, 97) where Delphi's spends h is time. In a nostalgic rever ie , she l ingers upon the Dorian o i l f lask which Delphi's would leave a f ter each v i s i t (156). Such a small object gives her the utmost pride to have some connection with her love r ' s pastime. I t i s again i ron i ca l that she muses upon an object of sexual connotation. At 108-110, on seeing Delphi's, Simaetha describes her i n a b i l i t y to speak in terms of babies t ry ing to c a l l to the i r mother in t he i r s leep. This has been noted as an instance of Simaetha's a b i l i t y to poet i c ize "beyond the l i m i t s of ordinary usage, " 1 2 6 D u t ^ i s more pert inent as an ind i ca t ion of her focus of reference. According to Theocr i tus, th i s would be a natural pa ra l l e l for a woman to make, j us t as Simaetha also compares her s t i f f ness to a d o l l ' s (110). Simaetha's monologue i s f i l l e d with t r i v i a l domestic d e t a i l ; she went to the procession with her next-door neighbour who was Theumaris' Thracian nurse. Simaetha accompanies her reference to her with the superst i t ious euphemism ha makari t is (70) jus t as one might cross oneself at the mention of the deceased; she wore C lean ' s ta ' s wrap and halfway down the road, where Lycon's i s , she saw Delphi's and Eudamippus; the source of her gossip i s the mother of P h i l i s t a , her f lute-player and of Mel ixo. Theocritus i s equally sex i s t toward the men of the poem. Just as women pra t t l e and gossip, so are the men t o t a l l y engrossed in wres t l ing . Theocritus' suspic ion of heroes i s no milder than of a th le tes . The high regard bestowed upon them by Pindar had long disappeared amongst i n t e l l e c t u a l s . Theocritus natural ly stands against the obvious forms of crude popular judgement; "brawn without 1 2 6 D o v e r , Select Poems, p. 95. 60 bra ins" was not something Theocritus admired, as his portrayal of Herakles amply proves. Delphis and his companion spend a l l of the i r time in the wrest l ing school (98). They have stethea . . . s t i lbonta (79) while Delphis steps podi kouphoi (104) and prides himself on being ca l l ed elaphros/ kai kalos (124-25). Instead of l ove r ' s myrtle or bay when he woos, he chooses to wear the white poplar of Herakles (121). Just as Simaetha i s characterized by her c h i l d s imi le (108-10), so Delphis uses running as his only frame of reference " . . . with thy summons . . . thou d ids t outrun my coming by no more than I of l a te outran the charming Ph i l i nus " (114-116). Theocritus can be quite aloof and patronis ing and f inds many bourgeois at t i tudes deserving of r i d i c u l e . However, h is i n te res t in the ac t i v i t e s of commoners i s also a feature of the H e l l e n i s t i c desire to amass and c l a s s i f y information. Simaetha's be l i e f in the e f f i cacy of her magic may be non-intel lectual but Theocritus' in te res t in sorcery i n the poem, combined with a be l i e f in medical terminology, r e l ec t s how open-minded the He l l en i s t i c world had become. 1 2 7 In opposit ion to her basic humi l i t y , Simaetha can be distingushed from a Gorgo or a Praxinoa by the l i t e r a r y heroic element of her p o r t r a i t , namely her epic speech, self-comments, rhetor ica l questions, statement of passion and mythological reference. Since many of Simaetha's epicisms have been noted by commentators, i t w i l l su f f i ce to point out only a few. She c a l l s her heart de i la ias (83) and hersel f me ta la inan ( 9 6 ) . 1 2 8 1 2 7 F o r the information Theocritus provided on magic see i b i d . , pp. 98-101. 1 2 8 Medea laments her sufferings in a s im i l a r manner and also invokes Artemis: Eur. Med., 95-97, 111-13, 160-63, 277. 61 Her retrospect ion about the a f f a i r begins in the heroic s ty le as she assesses her conduct. She reproaches hersel f for being too eas i l y won (ha tachupeithes 138) and c a l l s hersel f a fool (ha megaloitos 72). Her speech may reca l l Helen's words in the Odyssey where she c a l l s herse l f "dog-face" in regret for her past behaviour. Helen begins her speech with two rhetor ica l questions j us t as Simaetha begins in typ ica l t rag ic fashion ek t inos arxomai; t i s moi kakon agage touto; (65).129 simaetha i s also aware of her mythological forebears, of Theseus and Ariadne (45-46), of the steeds of rosy Dawn (147-8) and of Circe and Medea (15-16). Simaetha's metaphorical terminology of love as sickness i s also a feature of tragedy. Simaetha asks Thesty l i s for a remedy for her chalepas noso (95). The instant e f fec t upon her of the sight of Delphis i s exaggerated and comical . She l i t e r a l l y f a l l s to pieces, los ing a l l of her hai r and becoming mere skin and bones (88-90). One can perhaps understand why Delphis never came back. The associat ion of love and i l l n e s s i s ind i ca t i ve of the H e l l e n i s t i c preoccupation with medical symptoms. Call imachus' Kydippe f a l l s love-sick for Akontios for seven months and becomes equally pale . . . ten d 'he i l e  kakos chloos, el the de n o u s o s . l 3 0 Apollonius Rhodius displays a great in te res t in medical features and describes Medea's emotion in such terms. A faintness overcomes Medea in the sequence of heart, eyes, cheek, knees and feet.131 The l i t e r a r y o r ig in of such f a in t ing f i t s i s Sappho. In poem 1 29Hom. Od. 4 138-46 begins , "Who are these men? Shall I t e l l the truth or not?" 1 3 0 C a l l . Aet. 2 75. 12. See also A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, The Greek  Anthology: The Garland of P h i l i p , (Cambridge: Cambridge Univers i ty Press, 1968), epigrams 12 and T3~, and C a l l . Hymn. 3. 53, where he jokes about the doctor E r s i s t r a tus ' d issect ion of an eye to f ind that i t has four sk ins . 62 31 Sappho i s phys ica l l y disturbed by her loved one's d is t rac ted a t tent ion . Her heart f l u t t e r s (31. 6 ) , she cannot ta lk (7-8), her tongue i s paralysed (9) , lepton pur creeps over her skin (9-10), and a c h i l l sweat idros  psuchros pours over her ( 1 3 ) . 1 3 2 Madness i s another conventional consequence of f a l l i n g in love chos idon, hos emanen (82). Aeschinas in Idy l l 14 i s in the same predicament a f t e r Cynisca has abandoned him for the Wolfman and in his d ishevel led state he i s "a ha i r ' s breadth" from madness ( Id . 14. 9) . More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , Phaedra refers to her love for Hippolytus as a curse of insani ty and s i m i l a r l y confides in her n u r s e . 1 3 3 The juxtapos i t ion of the character t r a i t out l ined above demonstrates Theocr i tus ' e levat ion method. There i s no actual development of character and in t h i s , Theocritus ' real ism i s paradoxical ly highly a r t i f i c a l . Simaetha i s not i n i t i a l l y introduced as a chatter ing bourgeois to l a t e r r i s e to the respected height of an abandoned heroine. The opposing t r a i t s are concurrent and such an extraordinary mixture i s encapsulated in l i nes 145-49 where the immediate context i s domestic and tne language i n i t i a l l y c o l l o q u i a l , but i s followed by remarkable Homeric imagery. "But today, 1 3 1 A p . Rh. Arg. 3. 963. 1 3 2 Denys Page, Sappho and Alcaeus (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955) p. 21. Unlike Simaetha at 106-7 and Sappho, Apollonius Rhodius' Medea does not sweat, she only blushes, e .g. 3. 725. Dover, Select Poems, p. 107. 133r£ur. Hipp. 241 (emanen), 248 (to de ma in omen on kakon). There was a be l i e f that a woman's insani ty may be l inked with her v i r g i n i t y and the best cure for the state of hyster ia was intercourse. Phaedra's remedy would be be l i a i s o n with her step-son but since th i s i s impossible the chorus recommends her to seek r e l i e f from Artemis (Eur. Hipp. 161-69). Further discussion of th i s i s provided by M. Lefkowitz, Heroines and  Hyster ics , (London: Duckworth, 1981). The primary reason for Artemis' (Selene's) presence in Idy l l 2 i s her inf luence on sorcery and love charms but Simaetha's invocation to her and attendance at her f e s t i v a l i s i r o n i c a l , since she i s hardly a v i r g i n herse l f . 63 when the steeds of rosy Dawn were bearing her sw i f t l y up the sky from Ocean, there came to me the mother of P h i l i s t a , our f lu te-player , and of Mel ixo" ( 1 4 5 - 8 ) . 1 3 4 Having dismissed Thes t y l i s , Simaetha embarks upon her so l i l oquy . Af ter three rhetor ica l questions in the t rag ic manner, the s t y l e suddenly becomes co l loqu ia l and the mixture i s remarkable. "Now that I am alone, from what point shal l I lament my love? whence sha l l I begin? who brought th i s curse upon me? Eubulus' daughter, our Anaxo, went as basket-bearer to the grove of Artemis, and in honour of the goddess many w i ld beasts were paraded that day about her, and among them a l i oness " (2. 64-68). I t might be sa id that Simaetha only aspires to the greater height of a t rag ic heroine but f a i l s to mask her natural mannerisms. An ind ica t ion of t h i s occurs early in her monologue where she envisages hersel f as a "Circe or a Medea or a golden-haired Perimede" (16). In her e f f o r t to remember these names, she makes a mistake on the l a s t . One might say she i s "almost" a h e r o i n e . 1 3 5 A c r i t i c a l view of Simaetha would see her performance as self-aggrandizement and as making a great fuss about bemoaning her l o t . It i s important to remember that Simaetha engineered 1 3 4 S u c h a presentation i s an important mark of Theocritus ' technique. The fo l lowing examples from other poems, although previously dealt w i th , summarize thi£ an t i the t i ca l juxtapos i t ion . The Cyclops i s ho Kuklops he-par ' hamin/ horchaios Poluphamos (11. 7-8); Herakles i s AmphTtruonos ho chalkeokardios huios/ . . . erato paidos (13. 5-6); in poem 24, having performed the wondrous feat of strangl ing two snakes, Herakles proceeds to hold out his booty for his father to see and epal leto d'hupsothi chairon/ kourosunai (24. 57-8). 1 3 5 Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 39_. It i s l i k e l y that Simaetha i s re fe r r ing to the sorceress xanthe*n~Agameden which occupies the same sedes at Horn. I I . 11. 740. ~ 64 the whole event and r e ca l l s every s ingle deta i l to work on her own emotions and exci te her s p i r i t of vengeance. Conversely, Theocritus may be fusing these opposing aspects to reveal a real Medea. By removing the superhuman qua l i t i e s with which l i t e r a t u r e has endowed many of i t s characters, Theocritus shows that a Medea would probably have spoken and acted jus t l i k e S imaetha. I 3 6 Theocritus has de l iberate ly created an inconsistent character and thereby shows that the se lect ive nature of previous l i t e r a t u r e prevents r e a l i s t i c representation of the l i f e i t portrays. Simaetha's language f luctuates from one level to the next and her character never quite f inds i t s own ground.137 Although ind iv idua l elements of Simaetha are true to l i f e , the f i na l product i s no more r e a l i s t i c than Eur ip ides ' Medea. Simaetha i s a l iterary-academic construct and a combination of incompatible strands derived from Homer, Sappho, Eur ip ides , Apollonius Rhodius and the loca l town gossip. To th i s extent, Strabo's descr ipt ion of P h i l i t a s of Cos as poietes hama kai k r i t i k o s (Strab. 14.657) i s equally appl icable to Theocritus. 136$ e e Dover, Select Poems, p 95. l 3 7 S e e Segal, "Thematic Coherence and Levels of S ty le : Theocritus ' Bucol ic I d y l l s , " WS 11 (1977): 35-68. 65 DELPHIS: A POSTSCRIPT I t i s worthwhile to note the connections made in th i s poem between Delphis and Apo l lo . His very name suggests he comes from Delphi and he i s often associated with br ightness. He comes from the br ight (1iparas 51) wrest l ing school and at 102 Thesty l i s i s to bring back ton l iparochron. At 78-79 h is and his companion's beards are more golden (xanthotera) than hel ichryse and the i r breasts br ighter ( s t i lbonta ) than the moon. The sun stands in opposit ion to the moon whom Simaetha invokes (as Selene) to be a counter-force to Delphis (at 11, 33, and 165) and whom she names in the r e f r a i n from 69-135. L ike Apo l lo , i t i s suggested that Delphis i s b i-sexua l , when Simaetha states twice that she i s uncertain whether he i s now with a man or a woman (44 and 150). With Apo l lo ' s re la t ionsh ips in mind, i t i s s t r i k i n g that Delphis i s juxtaposed with daphnan (23) meaning "bay leaf " and being so-cal led a f te r the transformation of Apo l lo ' s beloved Daphne into a bay-tree. At 29 and 96 Delphis i s referred to as ho Mundios. Myndos1 close s i tua t ion to Kos makes i t most l i k e l y that Theocritus would be acquainted with the i r coinage. Of four coins known from Myndos, two have Apo l lo ' s head on one side while another has Artemis on one side and two dolphins (delphis) on the reverse s ide . Another coin i s catalogued whose tentat ive descr ipt ion i s a possible Apo l lo ' s head on one side and two dolphins on the o t h e r . I 3 8 The associat ion with Apollo i s pressed no 138A. Fo rn i , A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the B r i t i s h Museum. London: The (Footnote continued) 66 fur ther but i t i s an undercurrent throughout the poem. Theocritus i s making subtle suggestions about Apo l lo , who i s made to lurk behind the scenes of a quite d i f f e ren t play. This i s t yp i c a l l y Theocritean and the reader i s never allowed to se t t l e in one pa r t i cu l a r environment. The assoc iat ion with Delphis de l i ca te ly disapproves of A D O I I O and suggests that the gods' behaviour has so far been treated too l en i en t l y . Theocritus uses a contemporary guise to r e f l e c t the fau l t s of t r ad i t i on and as such, the presentaion of Delphis i s an example of Theocritus ' reduction method. ^ ( c o n t i n u e d ) B r i t i s h Museum, Vo l . 18, Plate 22 nos 12, 13 and 14 and p. 138, no. 41. 67 THE GOATHERD Simaetha has been ca l l ed "the anonymous c h i l d of the c i t y . . . who v experiences the need to assert her importance on the scheme of t h i n g s . 1 3 9 This might be a more appropriate descr ipt ion of the goatherd in Idy l l 3 who i s very much Simaetha's rus t i c counterpart. He displays a s im i l a r combination of divergent qua l i t i e s and l i k e Simaetha i s manipulated by Theocritus to speak both on a simple level and beyond the a b i l i t y one would expect of a goatherd. The poem lacks the serious undertone of the second poem and Theocritus does not inv i t e any empathy for che nameless goatherd. Theocritus creates a purely f i c t i t i o u s character who i s the object of gentle r i d i cu l e a r i s i ng from the d ispar i ty of the goatherd's naive s tup id i t y and the emotional exaggeration of the sentiments he expresses. The t r ad i t i on urban r i t u a l of paraklausithuron has been transferred to a rus t i c sett ing where a leafy cave opening replaces a barred d o o r . I 4 0 The goatherd begins with paratact ic s imp l i c i t y : "I go to serenade Amaryl l is and my goats graze on the h i l l and Tityrus herds them" (1-2). G i f t s of apples and goats (34-35) reca l l the j i l t e d Cyclops's o f fer ings to Galatea as does the goatherd's f i r s t thought that Amaryl l is re jects him because of his appearance (8-9). However, he has obviously had some previous success with h is beloved since she peeps out of her cave ouketi (6) and has to ld him where to gather apples (11). He also c a l l s himself her sweetheart - ton  erotulon (7) - although th i s may be wishful th ink ing . Just as Simaetha l 3 9 R i s t , Poems of Theocr i tus, p. 37. 1 4 0 D o v e r , Select Poems, p. 112. 68 imagines herse l f to be a t rag ic sorceress and a v i c t im of cruel Eros, so the goatherd bel ieves he i s u t te r l y undone: omoi egon, ti^ patho, ti^ ho dussoos; (24). He threatens to hang himself because Amaryl l is f inds him ugly (9) while the f i r e s of Eros slowly cut him to tne bone (17). Wildly overstat ing his case, h is dramatic threats f a l l humorously f l a t . Amaryl l is w i l l make him tear his wreath to pieces and he w i l l leap into the sea, but take his cloak o f f f i r s t (25). Like Simaetha he speaks with t r i v i a l d e t a i l , reveal ing the i n s i nce r i t y of h is in ten t ion . He w i l l dive from the c l i f f where 01 pis the fisherman watches for the tunny (26); he keeps goats for Amaryl l is but Mermnon's swarthy serv ing-gi r l wants them too (35-36). He knows that Amaryl l is does not love him because the love-flower sh r i ve l l ed on his arm (29-30) and Agroio confirmed t h i s , while she was cut t ing grass by his side (32). His sentimental outburst and the song which fol lows only serve to give him a headache (52), at which point he l i e s down, maintaining that i t i s to o f fe r himself as food to the wolves (53), but more l i k e l y to have a nap. The absurdity of the poem i s stretched even further when the goatherd sings his song (40-51). C i t i ng mythological exempla of men a l l of whom won the i r beloved goddesses, he makes the point that at least they atta ined the i r des i re , however b r i e f and t rag ic th i s may have b e e n . 1 4 1 The knowledge with which Theocritus suddenly endows his humble goatherd i s completely out of character and further exceeds the realm of p o s s i b i l i t y when he mentions Adonis at the breast of Aphrodite (48). Segal notes that t h i s depicts a maternal rather than a romantic re la t ionsh ip and he l i nks i t 1 4 1 D o v e r , Select Poems, pp. 117-118. 69 to the representation of I s i s and H o r u s . 1 4 2 The mention of bebaloi (51) or " u n i n i t i a t e d " suggest that there was a mystery-cult of Demeter and I a s i o n . 1 4 3 The goatherd "brings within the l im i ted enclosure of his conventional and t r i v i a l amorous problems . . . the t rag ic un ive rsa l i t y of primal f e r t i l i t y myths. He compares his l i t t l e a f f a i r with Amaryl l is to an ancient hieros gamos with Demeter recounted in Homer and H e s i o d . " 1 4 4 I t remains to note that Theocritus squeezes an extra laugh at the goatherd's expense with the double entendre of 13-15, where he wishes he was a bee and could get into Amary l l i s ' fern-hidden c a v e . 1 4 5 1 4 2 S e g a l , Poetry and Myth, pp. 67-70. 1 4 3 D o v e r , Select Poems, p. 119. 1 4 4 S e g a l , Poetry and Myth, pp. 71-72. 1 4 5 See M. Campbell, "Three Notes on Alexandrian Poetry," Hermes 102 (1974) pp. 38-39. 70 TWO COMPANIONS In Idy l l 7 Simichidas narrates his success in a s inging competition with Lycidas, whom he meets on the way to a f e s t i va l of Demeter. Events and characters are not what they i n i t a l l y seem and the poem has been interpreted as a l lud ing to contemporary poets and poetry and to Theocritus himsel f . " I t i s natural to assume and i t has un iversa l ly been assumed . . . that the ident i ty between Simichidas and Theocritus i s c o m p l e t e . " 1 4 6 Suggestions for another ident i t y of Lycidas have l ikewise been proposed and again such suggestions are v i t a l for an understanding of th i s most ideo log i ca l l y developed of Theocritus' poems. 1 4 7 I w i l l discuss the meaning of the poem in l i g h t of the conversational exchanges between Lycidas and Simichidas, the songs they s ing , the ident i t y of the pa i r and the relevance of the f i na l scene to the poem as a whole. There i s a nine-l ine introduct ion before Lycidas appears on the scene, followed by the meeting of the two countrymen (10-26), the challenge by Simichidas to a singing competition (27-51), Lycidas' song (52-89), Simichidas' song (96-127) and an epilogue (128-157). The business of the poem i s speedily narrated by Simichidas. The event happened Es chronos (1) 1 4 6 Gow, Theocritus, p. 128. Charles Segal, while fo l lowing the view that the poem i s Theocritus' Dichterweihe, summarizes the recent commentary on the poem and states how sophist icated the interpretat ions have become. "As a resu l t of the c r i t i c i s m of the l a s t three decades i t w i l l never again be possible to read Idy l l 7, as could Legrand nearly a century ago, as " l e r e c i t d'une bonne journee de Theocrite a Cos." Poetry and Myth, p.112. 1 4 7 F . J . Wil l iams, "A Theophany in Theocr i tus, " CQ N.S. 21 (1971) 137-45, E.L.Brown, "The Lycidas of Theocritus' Idy l l 7,'"~HSCPh 85 (1981) 71 ( i t doesn't r ea l l y matter) ; S imichidas, Eucri tus and Amyntas were present; they were going from the town (ek po l ios 2) to the Ha le is . A l l the necesssary information i s provided in the f i r s t two l i n e s . 1 4 8 There fol lows a curious digression on the two i l l u s t r i o u s sons of Lycopeus (4-5) ending in a b r i e f locus amoenus descr ipt ion (6-9). The information appears superf luous. However, Theocritus' narrat ive always has purpose. Lines 3 to 9 are important as an early character izat ion of Simichidas, who i s making a transparent e f f o r t to impress h is audience by doing some name dropping. He then re lates an inc ident which he bel ieves to be a personal triumph. Blinded by his own arrogance, he f a i l s to comprehend what a complete fool he makes of himself . S imichidas 's meeting with Lycidas and subsequent award of the l a t t e r ' s s t i ck has been interpreted as Simichidas' (Theocritus ' ) poetic i n a u g u r a t i o n 1 4 9 in parody of Hesiod's acceptance by the Muses on Mount H e l i c o n . 1 5 0 When considering the fo rma l i t i e s of the conversation between Lycidas and Simichidas, two things should be borne in mind to o f f se t the contrast to the s i tua t ion Theocritus presents to us. These are the t r a d i t i o n of the amoebian contest and the Hesiodic precedent. A study of 1 4 8 T h e scene reca l l s the beginning of P l a to ' s Republic, where Socrates and Glaucon leave the town to go to a f e s t i v a l and on the way back meet Polemarchos. 1 4 9 W i l l i a m s , "A Theophany," p. 137, Segal, Poetry and Myth, p.112, Gow, Theocr i tus, 2: 142 ad 43. 1 5 0 T h e Hesiodic inauguration was generally accepted in the He l l en i s t i c world as a credi tab le experience for a poet to put into his own terms. In the eighth Mime, Herondas receives h is g i f t of poetry from Dionysos and, more s i g n i f i c a n t l y for th i s poem, Callimachos (Aet. 1. 1. 22f) dreams he i s v i s i t e d by Apol lo . 72 Theocritus ' r u s t i c competitions ( Idy l l s 1, 5, 6, [7] and 10) reveals regular rules which are adhered to in varying degrees. Rules s i gn i f i c an t for the present purpose are (a) a meeting followed by abusive teas ing, (b) a chal lenge, (c) the bet of a p r i ze , (d) the challengee sings f i r s t , (e) a mistake i s made, (f ) a decis ion i s made, (g) the pr ize i s awarded. Abusive teasing i s not immediately evident here, but the behaviour of the par t i c ipants comes into question. The reader would assume Lycidas does not know Simichidas but h is f i r s t words are spoken "with a quiet smile and a twinkl ing eye and laughter hung about his l i p s " (19-20). This curious act ion i s repeated at 128-29 when Lycidas hands over the s t ick hadu gelassas,/ hos paros. There i s a great deal of teasing in the f i r s t speeches of Simichidas and Lycidas (27-51), but i t i s highly subtle in contrast to the obvious i nsu l t s of other con te s t s . 1 5 1 S im i ch idas , playing the ro le of experienced herdsman, issues the chal lenge, but instead of a bet , the pr ize of . the s t i ck i s offered s t ra ight away. Simichidas i s going to win i t whatever he s ings . This t o t a l l y removes any notion of challenge and once received, the s t i ck w i l l have no value as a representation of Simichidas' poetic c a p a b i l i t y . 1 5 2 Simichidas i s being treated l i k e a c h i l d who wants to race with a great athlete and bel ieves he can win. This i s the only instance in a l l the rust i c competitions of a pr ize being promised beforehand and i f Simichidas was as well-versed in country matters as he claims to be, he would be insulted by the o f f e r . Adhering to pastoral 1 5 1 E . g . , Id. 5. 12-44. 1 5 2 G . Giangrande, "Theocr i te , Simichidas et les Tha lys ies , " AC 37 (1968): 530. 73 e t ique t te , Lycidas sings f i r s t , since he has been challenged. Simichidas does not make a technical mistake, which i s generally the aim of an opponent - to force him into making an error of r e sponse . 1 5 3 S imichidas' mistake i s not subtle and the resu l t i s so evident that a decis ion does not have to be made e x p l i c i t . The p r i z e , as promised, i s awarded. Simichidas i s a t o u r i s t , having his day out as a herdsman and his peacock-like behaviour indicates his pride in having accomplished what hersdmen l i k e to do. Unfortunately the laugh i s on him. Hesiod's Muses are f u l l of scorn for shepherds, c a l l i n g them gener ica l ly kak' elenchea, gasteres hoi o n . 1 5 4 Simichidas takes del ight in his acceptance not even as a shepherd, but a goatherd, the lowest of the pastoral rank. He receives his " s t a f f " , a goatherd's s t i c k . For Hesiod, his s t a f f i s "the v i s i b l e symbol of his new rank as p o e t . " 1 5 5 He receives i t not as a pr ize (xeineion 129) but a token of f r iendship l i k e the c h i l d ' s pat on the head a f ter he has raced with the expert. Lycidas i s confirmed in his expectation of Simichidas' song and thus his i n i t i a l laughter i s resumed when he hands over the g i f t (128-29). He c a l l s Simichidas a sapl ing (ernos, 44) and as such gives one piece of wood to a n o t h e r . 1 5 6 Lycidas' s t i ck i s o ld and strong (to lagobolon 128) and i s handed to a weak and tender sap l ing . By th i s open o f f e r , Lycidas i s 1 5 3 T h i s may be c lea r l y seen in the amoebian exchanges. For an explanation of Comatas' success in Idy l l 5, see Gregorio Serrao, Problemi di poesia  a lessandrina, (Rome: Studi su Teocr i to , 1971): 69-90. 1 5 4 H e s . Theo. 26. 1 5 5 Giangrande, "Tha lys ies , " p.531, notes the verbal s i m i l a r i t y of Hes. Theo. 30 and Id. 7. 129-30. 156odysseus l ikens Nausikaa to a sapl ing on Delos (Horn. Od. 6. 162) but the sentiment here i s very d i f f e r en t . 74 pretending he has been taken in by Simichidas' boasts (27-41) and his response can only be sarcast ic " . . . thou ar t/ a sapl ing whom Zeus has fashioned a l l for the truth (pan ep ' a l a t he i a i / ) . For much I hate the bu i lder who seeks/ to ra ise his house as high as mount Oromedon. . . "(44-46). This has the impl icat ion "Oh I'm so glad you are t e l l i n g the t r u t h , not l i k e those others who In e f f e c t , Lycidas i s saying to Simichidas, "you are a l i a r and immodest." Natural ly the h int f a l l s on deaf ears. Lycidas rubs s a l t into the non-existent wound by going on to express his hatred of those who blow the i r own vain trumpets (45-48). By g iv ing Lycidas the f i r s t round in the singing match, Simichidas hands him the advantage, since Lycidas can set the standard. The most notable feature of Lycidas' song i s i t s pos i t i ve qua l i t y . I w i l l refer to both songs in terms of the i r du lc is and t r i s t i s e l emen t s . 1 5 7 The topic of Lycidas' song (52-89) i s his love for Ageanax, who i s s a i l i n g to Mity lene, and how Lycidas comforts himself when he has gone. The main elements are hope, fu l f i lment and ce lebrat ion . May Ageanax have a f a i r voyage and l e t the winds be favourable (52). Lycidas' loves Ageanax (thermos eros, 56). If f a i r weather attends him Lycidas w i l l wreathe his brows with f lowers, drink wine and eat beans (63-66). He w i l l have the warmth of a f i r e , food and a so f t couch (piomai malakos 69) to the accompaniment of two shepherds. The subjects of the i r songs, internal to Lycidas' song (71-89), are Daphnis and Comatas. Daphnis' unrequited love tor Xenea and the fate of Comatas detract from the dulc is tone of the song as a whole. However 157yerg. Ec. 7. 8-15 i l l u s t r a t e s th is method of comparison, du lc io r i s matched by amarior, candidior by ho r r i d i o r . In each case, the response i s i n f e r i o r . 75 nature has a pos i t i ve response to both f i g u r e s . l b U Simichidas' reply (91-95), a prelude to h is own song, i s not in tune with h is previously feigned modesty (27-41). On both occasions, he addresses Lycidas as Lukida  phi 1 e (27 and 91) and at 27-29 he concedes Lycidas his expert ise as a p iper , sur iktan meg' hupeirochon (28). Simichidas also dons the cloak of 'herdsman' and says he i s glad Lycidas i s successful and yet kat ' emon noon  i sophar ize in/ elpomai (30-31). Simichidas believes his boasts w i l l lure Lycidas into a competition and that his challenges may s t r i k e Lycidas ' competitive s p i r i t . Af ter a l l , t h i s i s what herdsmen do before they sing (the abusive teasing element). Simichidas assumes that Lycidas, as a fe l low countryman, has the whole day to spend with him (xuna gar hodos xuna de kai aos, 35) and issues the challenge (boukoliasdometha) be l iev ing they may perhaps both learn something from each other (36). His e x c i t a b i l i t y i s demonstrated by h is mounting se l f-pra i se , from doubt to assert ion of f a c t . "I too am a c lear voice of the Muse and a l l c a l l me the best of s ingers" ( 37-38 ) . 1 5 9 Simichidas continues with his c lever l i c t l e game. Thinking that he may have gone too far with th is previous boast, he re t racts from i t by saying that of course he does not believe them (38-39). This i s followed by the biggest boast of a l l , as Simichidas informs Lycidas that he cannot be that good, s ince, in his opinion, kat ' emon noon (39), he i s not yet ready to compete with S ice l idas or Ph i le tas ! Simichidas i s delighted with his own cunning and f inds i t necessary to inform his audience that his words have a l l been part of his act . Hos ephamen epitades (42) has the 1 5 8 F o r Daphnis at 74 and Comatas at 80-82. 1 5 9 P i n d . 01. 6. 91f. 76 sense of a dig in the r ibs to a f r i end whom he wants to be in on the joke. "You see, I was doing i t on purpose - do you get i t ? " Simichidas' audience i s of course ahead of him. The process of separation by which a narrator comes to stand apart from the character he i s creat ing i s now complete. The reader only gradually becomes aware that Simichidas i s not speaking for himself and that , on a higher l e v e l , authoria l manipulation i s taking place. It i s the process of reve la t ion from author to reader, and ex i s t s as a "process" only in the sphere of the reader 's r e a l i z a t i o n of the author's t e c h n i q u e . 1 6 0 In the in terva l between the two songs (90-95), Simichidas i s made to adopt the Hesiodic pose " . . . the nymphs have taught me as I tended my herds . . . " (92). 161 since the reader knows Simichidas i s not a herdsman, i t i s evident that Simichidas i s a mouthpiece for Theocritus and, as a f i c t i t i o u s character, i s not conscious of the meaning of his words or the i r o r i g i n . Simichidas proposes to se lect from his repertoire of songs not any one, but the very best (panton meg' hupeirochon, 94). It i s also worth noting the comparison of his pompous command a l l ' hupakouson (95) and Lycidas ' own request to Simichidas hore, p h i l o s , ei to i areskei/ touth ' (50-51). I t i s surpr is ing that Simichidas' song i s not un iversa l ly acknowledged as "bad". The point of the 'game' i s that Simichidas must match in some way the features of his opponent's song. If Lycidas' song i s du l c i s then so must Simichidas' be. Simichidas knows he must put his "stamp" on his song, as Lycidas d id (55). He must also sing about love. He obviously has 1 6 0 S e e Berger, "Bucol ic Representation," pp. 10-15. 1 6 1 T h e Muses are replaced by Nymphs; Segal, Poetry and Myth, p. 130. 77 a su i tab le song in store and adapts i t for the present purposes. Lycidas sang of his own "hot love" for a boy. Simichidas solves his problem by attaching two l i n e s to the beginning of h is ready-made piece, l i nes about h is love for a g i r l (96-7). Having done t h i s , he i s going to sing not of h is own, but of someone e l se ' s (Aratus') love for a boy. The fo l lowing digress ion on A r i s t i s (99-102) appears superfluous but functions beyond Simichidas' awareness (see below). For Simichidas they are "padding" and a chance to show his verbal dexterity with the pun on the name esthlos aner, meg' a r i s tos (100), even though the phrase i s c l i ched . In only seven l i ne s s i x d i f f e ren t characters have been named. This i s a feature of the rest of the song, as names of places, t r i b e s , and r i ve rs are scattered throughout, accumulating at 111-116, where there are two references in almost every l i n e . Simichidas' attempt to be sophist icated and display h is learn ing only makes the reader confused. Such references are a feature of the learned s ty le of Alexandrian "scholar-poets" , a s ty le which Theocritus i s exaggerating through Simichidas. This confusion i s added to by the paradoxical lack of important information. Aratus loves an unnamed boy (102): l e t Pan come and put him (ton) in the arms of another, tenoio (104), whom one may presume i s Aratus; Pan shal l put e i ther Phi l inus or someone else in h is arms; Aratus i s aflame to his very marrow with love for the boy (102), but i f Pan cannot f ind Ph i l i nus , then anyone w i l l do. The central sec t ion , addressed to Pan (106-114), i s highly r e p e t i t i v e , mentioning s ix kinds of revenge to be taken on the god i f he w i l l not give help. The invocation complete, the subject switches again, th i s time c a l l i n g upon the loves to wound Phi l inus (115-119). The song ends with reference to another unknown, Moion, and i s framed with superst i t ious 78 statements s im i l a r to the goatherd's speech in Idy l l 3. The main feature of Simichidas' song i s u n f u l f i l l e d love and thus i t i s t r i s t i s . Lines 109-114 are wholly negative: may Pan be b i t t e n , scratched, sleep in net t les and co ld , desolate places. Even in summer may he be as far away as poss ib le . I f Pan w i l l consent to help, then one would expect him to be duly rewarded and pra ised. Instead, the wish i s in the negative sense and refers to unpleasant f logg ing . "May you not be flogged . . . " (106-108). When pos i t ive aspects are mentioned, the sweet stream of Hyetis (115) and Oecus, seat of golden-haired Dione (116), Pan must leave these places behind. Phi l i nus i s to be del ivered to numbing pain and strangled (123-125). I t i s f i t t i n g that the f ina l prayer hopes that unlovely (me kala) things be kept away (127). Theocritus' technique of up- and downgrading t r ad i t i ona l f igures may be seen in a most complex form in th is poem, where the invers ion method takes place in what may be described as a "see-saw" fashion. Simichidas the townsman (superior) meets a smelly goatherd ( i n f e r i o r ) . Simichidas then t r i e s to assert his super ior i ty in song-making in the ro le of an i n f e r i o r being (goatherd) and unwitt ingly proves himself i n f e r i o r . Simichidas casts himself as poet, Theocritus casts him as an unsuccessful "would-be" poet. Lycidas r i ses from the lowest postion of goatherd to the highest p o s i t i o n , i n l i t e r a r y terms, of successful poet. This leads one to probe further into what kind of being Lycidas actual ly i s . Commentators have seen that Lycidas may be a god dressed up as a goatherd. This i s supported by the pa ra l l e l s to the epic motif of Mortal encountering Dei ty . The meeting imitates c lose ly Odysseus' encounter with the swineherd, Eumaeus. 1 6 2 A lso , Athena appears to Odysseus andri demas 79 e iku i a neoi . . . and smiles at him, which provides a further explanation for Lycidas ' mysterious smile ( in addit ion to his obvious amusement at S i m i c h i d a s ) . 1 6 3 \ n Book 24 of the I I i ad , Hermes appears to Priam kouroi . . . eoikos (347) at the moment when he has jus t passed the tomb of I Ius. There i s close verbal s i m i l a r i t y of Lycidas ' f i r s t question to Simichidas (21-23) and Hermes' words when he asks Priam, "where . . . are you thus guiding your mules . . . through the immortal night while other mortals are s l e e p i n g ? " 1 6 4 Lycidas' subst i tu t ion of country elements adds humour to the a l l us ion and i s another aspect of Theocr i tus ' fusion of divergent l i t e r a r y elements. Lines 13-14 of the four-and-a-half l i n e descr ipt ion of Lycidas are de l iberat ley ambiguous . . . es d ' a ipo los , oude ke t i s nin /egnoiesen idon, epei a ipo lo i exoch' e o i k e i . The attent ion given to Lycidas ' appearance i s i n t en t i ona l l y prolonged, as i s the emphasis on how l i k e a goatherd he i s . " . . . He was exceedingly l i k e a goatherd" can mean he was l i k e one because he actua l ly was one o r , that he was only l i k e one and not one at a l l . This l a t t e r meaning i s more probable, since the presentation has epic pa r a l l e l s and i s part of Theocritus ' reversal of the epic m o t i f . 1 6 6 The point of Lycidas' unsavoury appearance i s to provide the contrast to the sh in ing , youthful appearance of Homeric gods in d isgu ise . 1 6 2 S e e Halper in, Before Pas to ra l , p. 226-27. 1 6 3 Hom. Od. 13. 222 and 287. 1 6 4 Hom. Il_. 24. 362-63. 1 6 6 F o r the method of Umkehrung, see Giangrande, "Tha lys ies , " pp. 494-531 passim. 80 Wil l iams gives the spec i f i c i d en t i f i c a t i on of Lycidas as Apo l lo . This i s derived from the name Lycidas, his place of o r i g i n , (Kudonikos aner) and his des t ina t ion , P y x a . 1 6 6 Elaborating on these " ca re fu l l y planted c l ues " , Wil l iams goes on to point out the irony in Lycidas ' words (45-46) where he re fers to mount Oromedon, because th i s al ludes s p e c i f i c a l l y to the c u l t of Apo l lo . Lyc idas ' words may then be reinterpreted as meaning "I hate the poet (tekton) who thinks he i s as good as I (Apollo) am!" In add i t ion , when Simichidas' refers to A r i s t i s in his song, he c a l l s him a man "whom Phoebus himself would not grudge . . . to s ing " (100-101). Theocritus has used an opportunity here to plant another lead to Apollo and th i s also emphasizes Simichidas' ignorance of whom he i s competing wi th . A less pointed suggestion of Apollo may be contained in Lycidas' own song when he gives the places of o r ig in of the two shepherds who w i l l pipe to him heis  men Acharneus,/ heis de Lukopitas (71-72). Acharneus refers to the A t t i c deme Acharnes and as such i s another random place name, charac te r i s t i c of Theocr i tus ' purely colourful geography. 1 6 7 The word may also suggest ha Charneos, the f e s t i v a l of Charneias which celebrates Apol lo . The a l l us ion in Lukopitas i s not so c l ea r , but i t i s s i gn i f i c an t that Lukoreia was a v i l l a g e in D e l p h i . 1 6 8 Thus, the f ina l "back-sl ide" in the inversion technique i s that Lycidas i s simultaneouly up- and downgraded. As a goatherd, he i s elevated to the posi t ion of an accomplished poet, even of 1 6 6 W i l l i a m s , "A Theophany," pp. 138-140. 1 6 7 Gow, Theocritus, 2: 150 ad 71f. 1 6 8 Luko*re ia : po l i s Del phi dos. en hjM timatai Apol lon . Cf. R. P f e i f f e r , Call imachus, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953) 1: 68. Lukoreus appears f i r s t in C a l l . Ly. 2. 18 as a cognomen of Apol lo . 81 the god of poetry himself . As Apo l lo , he i s reduced to the leve l of a rough-looking goatherd, who smells of rennet. I t remains to discover why Apol lo in pa r t i cu la r should be chosen as the god to confront Simichidas. Apol lo i s t r ad i t i ona l l y connected with herdsmen and i s god of poetry. In Call imachus' poetic inauguration Apollo appears to Callimachus in a dream as Apollon Lukios and t e l l s Callimachus what i s good and bad p o e t r y . 1 6 9 S im i l a r l y , in th is poem, Simichidas as a t r i a l poet i s informed by Lycidas what kind of poetry i s the best (45-48). The singing match over, the pair go the i r separate ways and Simichidas l i e s down with his fr iends in what appears to be the perfect place (131-157). "The dusky cicadas were busy with the i r chat ter " ( te t t iges  lalageuntes echon ponon, 139), "while far-away the tree-frog c r ied in the dense thorn-brake" ( ha d'ololugon / telothen en pukina is i baton truzesken  akanthais, 140). Such words would be highly s i gn i f i c an t wi th in the He l l en i s t i c c i r c l e . Callimachus compares himself to a cicada and according to P la to , the cicada i s the favourite of the M u s e s . 1 7 0 The goatherd awards the cup,to Thyrsis because he sings better than the c i c a d a . 1 7 1 Truzesken (140) r eca l l s the grouching of Callimachus' enemy poets, the Telechines, who epitruzousin his w o r k . 1 7 2 The tree-frog grumbles in the dense thorn-brake. Akanthobatai i s the name given to a clan of grammarians who 1 6 9 C a l l . Aet. 1. 1. 22. See Wi l l iams, "A Theophany," p. 141 and 144-45. 1 7 0 C a l l . Aet. 1. f r . l . 29-35, P l a t . , Phaed. 259. 1 7 1 J _ d . 1. 148. akr is i s analogous to t e t t i x and i s used symbolical ly of poetry, see ,Id. 7. 41 and Id. 1. 52. 1 7 2 C a l l . Aet. 1. f r . l . 1. 82 tear up others ' poetry by the roots , " . . . unhappy bookworms that walk on t h o r n s " . 1 7 3 The scene at the end of t h i s poem i s of the "good" poets doing the i r work (echon ponon, 1 3 0 ) 1 7 4 while the threatening c r i t i c s are always present, but are only in the background and i ne f f e c tua l . The presence of the tree-frog merely unsettles the otherwise harmonious occasion. A s i m i l a r l y disconcert ing e f fec t i s produced by the two mythological a l l us ions (148-152). These examples introduce an unwanted s i n i s t e r note into the most relaxed of scenes. Both are instances of heroes (Herakles and Odysseus) intruding into rus t i c scenes and the outcome of the i r intervent ion i s v io len t in both cases. Sacred water (hieron hudor 136) f a l l s nearby. Later , the Casta l ian Nymphs "mingle" nektar for the f r iends to drink (153-154). The Casta l ian Nymphs are pure water, while nektar (153) i s very strong w i n e . 1 7 6 The H e l l e n i s t i c poets recognized a t r ad i t i on of describing poets as e i ther water- or w ine-d r i nke r s . 1 7 6 Theocritus advocates mixing strong wine and pure water (153-154). In poetic terms, Theocritus i s saying good poetry can be produced using the techniques of a Callimachus and a Homer. This i s 1 7 3 A . P . 11 322. 1 7 4 F o r the connotations of ponein, see Berger, "Bucol ic Representation," pp. 17-19. 1 75polyphemos i s served nektar by Odysseus. Horn. Od. 9. 359. 1 7 6 A group of "thorn-gathering poets" (. . . poieton phulon akanthologon A.P. 11. 20. 2) i s c r i t i c i z e d because they wri te decorative and pedantic verse. Such poets drink 1i ton hudor from krenes . . . hi eres (4) and are contrasted with Archilochus and Homer who are wine-drinkers. Callimachus i s proud of the fact that he i s a water-drinker, Aet. 1. f r . l . 32-34. See a l so , C a l l . Aet. 1. f r . 178 . 85 (a par ty ) , and fr.BTR, against Archi lochus ' drunkeness. Gow and Page, The Garland of P h i l i p c i t e s Hor. Ep. 1. 19. 1. v ivere non possunt carmina 7~quae scr ibuntur aquae potoribus. 83 his recipe fo r the best kind of poetry and i s prec ise ly the pract ise Theocritus fo l lows . Just as a fan winnows the pure corn from the chaff (155-156), so Theocritus ends his poem by plant ing his shovel in the heap of corn, having got r i d of the worst kinds of verse and leaving only the best of poems. 84 CONCLUSION If art r e f l ec t s l i f e , then l i f e for Theocritus i s complex. His presentation of characters as fusions of d i f f e r i ng leve ls of language and at t i tudes bespeaks a world where people and values are inconstant. I t i s a world where a Herakles can f a l l in love or a Simaetha can reca l l Theseus and Ariadne. The v i c to r i e s of P h i l i p and Alexander had great ly affected the Greek world with the resu l t that " [ i ]n huge countries l i k e Egypt and Syria,Greek communities, surrounded by a sea of a l i en subjects , hugged the i r education and the i r language as marks of the i r status and as reminders of what they were and what they were resolved to r e m a i n . " 1 7 7 By the time of Alexander's death, suspicion and cynicism had been aroused amongst the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a towards the image of a conqueror. Homeric verse o f fe rs an ins ight into the r e a l i t y of war only rarely and i n d i r e c t l y but when i t does, i t betrays the truth about the consequences of heroic behaviour. The Trojan war occurred because the law of hospitable conduct had been v io la ted . Menelaus defended his r ights while others sought to gain glory by dying on the b a t t l e f i e l d . Upon hearing the story of the war, Odysseus wept As a woman weeps, l y ing over the body of her dear husband,/ who f e l l f igh t ing for her c i t y and people as he t r i ed to beat o f f the p i t i l e s s day from c i t y and ch i l d r en ; / she sees him dying and gasping for breath,/ and winding her body about him she c r i es high and s h r i l l , while the men behind her,/ h i t t i n g her with the i r spear butts on the back and the 1 7 7 K . J . Dover, ed . , Ancient Greek L i te ra ture , (Oxford: Oxford Univers i ty Press, 1980) p.134. 85 shoulders,/ force her up and lead her away into s lavery , to have hard work and sorrow,/ and her cheeks are wracked with p i t i f u l weeping. 1-' 8 This i s what rea l l y happened at Troy, but the nature of epic i s such that r e a l i t y i s hidden behind a screen of a r t i f i c e . Human beings do not perform mirac les , they do not have superhuman strength, nor do they converse in elaborate language. In his panegyric of Hiero, Theocritus states the importance of not r i s i n g above one's s t a t i on . " I t i s ever the task of Zeus' daughters, ever that of bards, to hymn the immortals and the glor ious deeds of heroes. The Muses are goddesses and hymn the i r fellow-gods, but we are mortals here below, and, being such, of mortals l e t us s i n g " . ! ? 9 Theocritus re jects the pretensions of the heroic code and i s thankful that Homer benefited c i v i l i s a t i o n not with Ach i l l e s or Agamemnon, but with the Cyclops, the swineherd Eumaeus, Ph i loe t ius and his ca t t l e and o ld L a e r t e s . 1 8 0 Domestic de ta i l s might be mundane and small objects might be t r i v i a l but they are r e a l i t y and as such deserve a t tent ion . Constant asp i ra t ion towards f i c t i t i o u s heights resu l t s in the importance of ' l i t t l e ' things being overlooked. Expectations that reach beyond what l i f e can possibly give are assuredly u n f u l f i l l e d . Behaviour larger than l i f e i s purely f i c t i o n and Theocritus urges h is reader not to bel ieve in or admire the perfect being. The ambiguous nature with which he endows his characters tarnishes the i r supe r f i c i a l veneer and 1 7 8 Hom. Od. 8. 523-30. Trans. Richmond Latt imore, The Odyssey of Homer, (New YorkT Harper and Row, 1965) pp. 134-35. 1 7 9 I d . 16. 1-4. 1 8 0 I d . 16. 53-57. 86 teaches that magnanimous conduct 1s not desirable. Theocritus' attitude is symptomatic of Alexandrian society, where the poet . . . had ceased to occupy the clearly defined social and public position of a Tyrtaeus, a Solon, an Aeschylus. The poet's world becomes more inward, self-conscious, self-reflective. Thus he inevitably becomes aware of his ambiguous relation to reality. Indeed, from Euripides on, he is persistently engaged in the task of questioning just what 'reality' i s . 1 8 1 Theocritus' poetic method illustrates the distance between fact and fiction. His verse is in hexameters and he employs a wide range of dialects and styles which may appear simultaneously in one poem or one speech. His poetry is consciously crafted and ar t i f i c ia l . Poetic composition for Theocritus is art for art's sake and his adaptation of traditional themes is a feature of his contrived style. He may assimilate the mannerisms of epic into his poetry but not the old values. Theocritus makes his characters simultaneously ancient heroes and modern boors and the humour this e l ic i ts rises from the knowlege that the combination is realistically impossible. The novel feature of Theocritus' bucolic poetry is the use of old themes in settings which are totally his own.182 His poetic theory is best illustrated by the description of the cup which the goatherd gives to Thyrsis in the first poem.183 j n e C U p combines 181segal, Poetry and Myth, p. 44. 182ne states in the epilogue of Idyl 1 22 that he bears the songs of the Muses but he also adds to these his "own store" of inspiration (Id. 22. 212-23). ~ 183jd. i . 29-61. Halperin, Before Pastoral, p. 161-89 discusses the cup extensively in terms of its symbolic significance for Theocritean poetry and links its individual elements to the style and thematics of the Idylls. Particularly notable is the discussion of kissybion. p.167-74. 87 rus t i c and epic elements in the same way as Theocr i tus ' poems. . The dup l i c i t y of i t s nature i s summed up in i t s descr ipt ion as a ipo l ikon thaema (Id. 1. 56), a miracle in the eyes of a goatherd. Considerable e f f o r t has been made to piece together the physical components of th i s cup in an attempt to envisage i t as an actual o b j e c t . 1 8 4 The f a i l u r e of such attempts reveals the del iberate intent ion of Theocr i tus. As separate components of a cup, the mater ia l , r im, handles, base and bowl are a l l ' p o s s i b l e ' . As a s ingle st ructure, the elements combine only in so far as the cup i s a l i t e r a r y c reat ion . In the same way, the elements which make up Theocritean characters may be i nd i v idua l l y c red ib le but, when absorbed into one, they become absurd. Theocritus ' view of himself as poet i s defined in the th i rd p icture on the cup. I t i s of a small boy completely absorbed in the task of weaving a t iny grasshopper c a g e . 1 8 6 He i s so involved in his task that the potent ia l danger of two foxes intending to steal his lunch does not d i s t r a c t him from his task. The whole descr ipt ion emphasizes ' sma l lness ' . The pos i t ion of the boy i s described in re la t ion to the fisherman on the cup as "a l i t t l e way from" him (tutthon d'hosson apothen 45) ; he i s "a l i t t l e boy" ( o l igos  t i s koros 47) and a " l i t t l e c h i l d " (paidion 5 0 ) . 1 8 6 The small aspects of 1 8 4 See the discussions of A.M. Dale, "K i s syb ion " , CR 2 (1952): 129-32, A.S.F. Gow, "The Cup in the F i r s t Idy l l of Theocr i tus" , JHS 33 (1913): 207-22, and Ph. E. Legrand, Etude Sur Theocr i te , (Par is : Bibl iotheque des Etudes Franchises D'Athenes et de Rome, 1898) p. 223. Legrand of fers the most reasonable conclusion, that " l ' au teur . . . ne dec r i va i t . . . aucun objet concret, ne se f a i s a i t aucune idee precise du skyphos q u ' i l imagina i t . " 1 8 6 F o r the t r ad i t i ona l associat ions of weaving (plekein) and the creat ion of poetry, see P ind. 01. 6. 86-7, i d . Nem. 7. 77, Baccy l . 19. 8. For the associat ions of grasshoppers (akrides) see above, p. 79). 88 l i f e are much more s i g n i f i c a n t for Theocritus than are the weighty themes of long epic narrative written by would-be poets of the day who try to emulate Homer. The treatment of theme and character in the I d y l l s stands i n d i r e c t opposition to the kind of poetry which the "crowing cocks" would produce — the builders who seek to bui l d t h e i r "house as high as the peak of mount Oromedon" (7. 46-48) . 1 8 6 H a l p e r i n , Before Pastoral, p. 181. 89 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Aust in , N. " I d y l l 16 and Simonides," Transactions of the American  Ph i l o log i ca l Associat ion 98 (1967): 1-21. Berg, W. "Daphnis and Prometheus," Transactions of the American  Ph i l o log i ca l Associat ion 96 (1965): 11-23. Berger, Harry. "The Trad i t ion of Bucolic Representation: Disenchantment and Revision in Theocr i tus ' Seventh I d y l l , " CSCA (1984) 1-39. Boyle, A . J . Ancient Pastoral Ramus Essays on Greek and Roman Pastoral  Poetry. A u s t r a l i a : Aureal Pub l i ca t ions , 1977K Brown, Edwin L. "The Lycidas of Theocritus' Idy l l Seven," Harvard Studies in C lass i ca l Phi lology 85 (1981): 35-52. Buck, C D . The Greek D ia l ec t . Chicago: Univers i ty of Chicago Press, 1955. Dale, A. M. "K i s syb ion , " C lass ica l Review 2 (1952): 129-132. Dawe, R. D., ed. Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Cambridge: Cambridge Univers i ty Press, 1982. Dover, K. J . , ed. Ancient Greek L i t e ra tu re . Oxford: Oxford Univers i ty Press, 1980. . Theocri tus: Select Poems. London: Macmillan Press, 1971. Edmonds, J .M . Lyra Graeca I I I . Loeb C lass i ca l L ib ra ry , 1927. E f fe , B. "Die Destruktion der T rad i t ion : Theokrits Mythologische Gedichte," Rheinishes Museum 121 (1978): 48-77. Form', A . , ed. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the B r i t i s h Museum. Vo l . 18. London, 1964. Gal insky, G.K. The Herakles Theme: The Adaptations of the Hero vn L i terature from Homer to the Twentieth Century. "Oxford: Oxford Univers i ty Press, 1972. Garson, R.W. "An Aspect of Theocritean Humour," C lass i ca l Phi lology 68 (1973): 196- 203. Giangrande, G. "He l l en i s t i c Poetry and Homer," L 'Ant iqu i te Classique 39 (1970): 65-77. . "Irony in Theocritus: Methods of L i te ra ry In terpre ta t ion , " Museum Philologum Londiniense 3 (1978): 143-47. . "Theocr i te , Simichidas, et les Tha lys ies , " L 'Ant iqui te 90 Classique 37 (1968): 491-543. Gow, A.S.F. and Page, D.L. The Greek Anthology: The Garland of P h i l i p . Cambridge: Cambridge Univers i ty Press, 1968. Gow, A.S.F. "The Cup in the F i r s t Idy l l of Theocr i tus , " Journal of Hel lenic Studies 33 (1913): 207-222. . Theocr i tus. 2 Vo ls . Cambridge: Cambridge Univers i ty Press, —mrr G r i f f i t h s , F.T. "Theocr i tus ' S i l en t D i o s cu r i , " Greek, Roman and Byzantine  Studies 17 (1976): 353-67. Halper in , David M. Before Pas tora l : Theocritus and the Ancient Tradi t ion of Bucolic Poetry^ New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983. Holtsmark, E.B. "Poetry as Self-Enlightenment: Theocritus X I , " Transactions of the American Ph i lo log ica l Associat ion 97 (1966): 253-259. Latt imore, Richmond. The I I iad of Homer. Chicago: Univers i ty of Chicago Press, 1951. . The Odyssey of Homer. New York: Harper and Row, 1965. Lawal l , G. Theocr i tus ' Coan Pastora ls : A Poetry Book. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge Univers i ty Press, 1967. Lee, Desmond, Trans. P l a to : The Republic. London: Penguin Books, 1955. Lefkowitz, M. Heroines and Hyster ics . London: Duckworth Press, 1981. Legrand, P.E. Etude sur Theocr i te . Pa r i s : Bibliotheque des Etudes Francaises d'Athenes et de Rome, 1898. Mastronarde, D.J. "Theocr i tus ' Idy l l 13: Love and the Hero," Transactions of the American Ph i l o l og i ca l Associat ion 99 (1968): 273-290. McKay, K.J. "Theocr i tus ' 'Bacchantes' Re-examined,' Antichthon 1 (1967): 16-28. Moulton, Ca r ro l . "Theocritus and the D ioscu r i , " Greek, Roman and  Byzantine Studies 14 (1973): 41-47. Murray, A. T. Homer, The I I iad (2 v o l s . ) . Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 191:4. . Homer, The Odyssey (2 v o l s . ) . Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1919. Nelson, Conny, ed. Homer's Odyssey. C a l i f o r n i a : Wadsworth Publ i sh ing, 91 1969. Page, Denys. Sappho and Alcaeus. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955. P f e i f f e r , Rudolf. Callimachus. 2 vo l s . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953. . The History of C lass ica l Scholarship. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 196"87 Richardson, N.J., ed. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974. R i s t , Anna. The Poems of Theocritus. Chapel H i l l , rt.C: Univers i ty of North Carol ina Press, T97BT Rosenmeyer, T.G. The Green Cabinet: Theocritus and the European Pastoral L y r i c . Berkeley: University of Ca l i f o rn i a Press7T969. Sanders, N. K., Trans. The Epic of Gilgamesh. London: Penguin Books, 1972. Sandys, S i r John. Pindar. Loeb C lass i ca l L ib ra ry , 1915. Seaton, R . C , Apollonius Rhodius. Loeb C lass ica l L ibrary , 1912. Segal , C P . Poetry and Myth in Ancient Pas tora l . Pr inceton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981. Serrao, G. Problemi dj[ poesia a lessandrina. Vol I Studi su Theocr i to . Rome: F i l o l o g i a e c n t i c a , 1971. Spofford, E.W. "Theocritus and Polyphemos," American Journal of Phi lo logy 90 (1969): 22-35. Stern, J . "Theocritus' Idy l l 24, " American Journal of Phi lology 95 (1974): 348-361. S to r r , F. Sophocles I_I. Loeb C lass i ca l L ib ra ry , 1913. Van S i c k l e , J . "Epic and Bucolic (Theocitus Id. v i i ; V i r g i l Ee l . i ) , " Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura C lass ica 19 (1975): 45-72. . "Theocritus and the Development of the Bucolic Genre," Ramus 5 (1976): 18-44. Van Groningen, B.A. "Quelques Problemes de l a Poesie Bucolique Grecque," Mnemosyne 12 (1959): 24-53. Way, Arthur S. Euripedes (vol IV). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univers i ty Press, 1912. Webster, T.B.L. He l l en i s t i c Poetry and A r t . London: Methuen and Company, 92 1964. Wender, Dorothea, Trans. Hesiod and Theogm's. London: Penguin Books, 1973. White, Heather. Theocritus ' Idy l l 24: A Commentary. Amsterdam: C lass i ca l and Byzantine Monographs, 1979. Wi l l iams, F. "Scenes of Encounter in Homer and Theocr i tus , " Museum  Philologum Londiniense 3 (1978): 219-225. . "A Theophany in Theocr i tus, " C lass i ca l Quarterly 21 (1971): iT^lT2. Zuntz, G. "Theocritus 1. 95 f . , " C lass i ca l Quarterly 59 (1960): 37-40., 


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