In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

K.J. Gutzwiller: Anyte's Epigram Book71 Anyte's Epigram Book Kathryn J. Gutzwiller Anyte, a native of Tegea in Arcadia, belongs to a group of early Hellenistic poets who wrote epigrams not solely for inscriptional purposes nor as a minor art form, but to replace major genres as a sophisticated vehicle for literary expression. She is famous for her descriptive epigrams, which introduced rural or pastoral themes into the genre, and as a composer of tender epitaphs for dead animals. My discussion of Anyte's poetry attempts to relate these two topics one to the other in the course of considering how her various epigrammatic poems coexisted in an author-edited poetry book.1 Although we have no definitive evidence that Anyte issued her epigrams in book format, several factors make it reasonable to assume that she did so.2 Certain of her poems, such as the epitaph for a beached dolphin, were clearly book poetry, and her sophisticated use of language in even her most traditional epigrams indicates a high degree of poetic self-consciousness.3 In addition, the number of epigrams preserved for us (twenty-four, of which I consider 1-20 HE to be genuine)4 suggests 1 The following editions will be cited below: A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, 2 vols. (Cambridge 1965) (HE) and The Garland ofPhilip, 2 vols. (Cambridge 1968) (GP); D.L. Page, ed., Further Greek Epigrams (Cambridge 1981) (FGE); P.A. Hansen, Carmina epigraphica Graeca saeculorum VII-V a. Chr. ?. (Berlin 1983) (CEG 1) and Carmina epigraphica Graeca saeculi IV a. Chr. ?. (Berlin 1989) (CEG 2), W. Peek, Griechische Vers-Inschriften, voL 1 (Berlin 1955) (Peek); and A.S.F. Gow, ed., Bucolici Graeci (Oxford 1952) (BG). 2 An epigram collection issued by Anyte was considered certain by R. Reitzenstein, Epigramm und Skolion (Giessen 1893) 134-5 and J. Geffcken, "Studien zum griechischen Epigramm," NJA 39 (1917) 102-05. 3 For details about Anyte's refined style, see D. Geoghegan, Anyte: The Epigrams (Rome 1979) 9-14, who points out that the phrase ????? "?µ????» (Antipater Thessalonicensis 19.3 GP = AP 9.26.3) may have been applied to Anyte because "almost every line of the epigrams embodies a reminiscence of Homer" (9). 4 Except for one epigram preserved by Pollux (5.48), all of the poems ascribed to Anyte were transmitted through the Palatine or Planudean Anthology, where Anyte is named author by the lemmata. 72Syllecta Classica 4 (1993) that Meleager had at his disposal a collection from which he anthologized for his Garland. It is highly likely that the first artistically designed epigram books appeared in the early years of the third century B.C. when Asclepiades apparendy issued a collection of sympotic epigrams and Anyte a collection of inscriptional epigrams. We have conclusive evidence that author-edited epigram books existed by the second quarter of the third century. A statement of Aristarchus demonstrates that the epigrams of Posidippus, who was composing by the 270's, appeared in two editions, at least one of which was edited by the poet himself.5 As Posidippus was heavily influenced by Asclepiades, so Mnasalces, writing perhaps about 250 B.C., issued an epigram collection highly imitative of Anyte in style and subject matter. A papyrus of the second century B.C. preserves a sequence from that collection, showing that Mnasalces skillfully intermingled sepulchral and dedicatory epigrams through variation of subject and type.6 Since Mnasalces was Anyte's most faithful imitator, even his techniques of arrangement may have been derived from her epigram collection. The placement of epigrams in a poetry book encourages the reader to synthesize the collection's thematic similarities, tonalities, and formal properties as the conscious projection of an authorial presence.7 Starting from this observation, I propose a reassessment of Wilamowitz's influential claim that there is nothing "personal" or "womanly" in Anyte's poetry, that it has "no definite tone."8 I assert, on the contrary, that Anyte deserves recognition as the first epigrammatist to project a distinct literary persona and that she did this by setting herself, as a woman and an inhabitant of largely rural Arcadia, in opposition...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 71-89
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.