GK 365 • Callimachus
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Callimachus was the most versatile and influential of the poets of the Hellenistic Age. Familiarity with his works and literary doctrines is especially important for students of later Roman poetry. He is well known for his subtle wit and highly allusive, learned style of poetic reference. His Greek is not easy, so the course will proceed with close analysis of a limited number of lines each day. We have extant six hymns, modelled on the Homeric Hymns, 40+ epigrams, as well as substantial fragments of the Aetia (a collection of etiological narratives in elegiac couplets), the Iambs (satirical poems), and the Hecale (a miniature epic about an old woman who hosts the hero Theseus). In-depth study of this material will provide a fascinating window into the world of the Alexandrian library and Greek literary culture of the 3rd century BCE. The course grade will be based on two midterm exams, a final exam, in-class translation, and a final research paper of about 10 pages (20% each). Interested graduate students may participate by registering for a graduate-level conference course, with somewhat different assignments and grading criteria.
Texts: R. Schmiel, Callimachus: Hymns 1, 2, 5, 6 (Bryn Mawr Classical Commentaries), ISBN 0-929524-05-5 N. Hopkinson, A Hellenistic Anthology (Cambridge U.P.), ISBN 0521314259