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MXJÏ. Pendergraft: Euphony and Etymology43 Euphony and Etymology: Aratus' Phaenomena Mary L.B. Pendergraft ?a??ete, ?epta? ???s?e?, '???t?? s?µß???? dyptmvlrt?. Greetings, ? subtle words, token of Aratus' sleepless nights. Thus Callimachus (Epigrammata 27 Pf.) paid his respects to die Phaenomena, diat neo-Hesiodic poem relating both a description of die constellations and dieir positions (as catalogued by Eudoxus), and weadier prediction from the natural world (based on the Peripatetic treatise De Signis) to the Stoic belief in a divinity whose providence makes the universe intelligible to humankind.1 1 We owe the surviving fragments of Eudoxus' Phaenomena almost solely to Hipparchus, who quoted them in order to compare them with Aratus; they are collected by F. Lasserre, Die Fragmente des Eudoxos von Knidos (Berlin 1966). The text of the De Signis, often incorrectly attributed to Theophrastus, can be found in the edition of A. Hort, Theophrastus. Enquiry into Plants and Minor Works on Odours and Weather Signs, vol. 2 (London and Cambridge 1916). It was not Aratus' source, although the two documents bear a close resemblance to one another and derive from a common source. On its composition, sources, and relation to Aratus and to other meteorological works, see V. Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus (Leipzig 1863; rep. NY 1971) 243-54; J. Boehme, De Theophrasteis quaeferuntur Tlepl S?µe??? Excerptis, diss. (Halle 1885) 10-11; M. Heeger, De Theophrasti quifertur ?e?? S?µe??? Libro, diss. (Leipzig 1889) 6-8; R. Böker, RE Supp. JX (1962) 1616 ff., s.v. Wetterzeichen; A. Arrighetti, "Problemi di letteratura meteorológica greca," ?a?a 15 (1963) 399-441. Aratus' relationship to Hesiod has been frequently addressed; see, in addition to more general studies, G. Pasquali, "Das Prooimium des Aral," ????te? für Friedrich Leo (Berlin 1911) 113-22; F. Solmsen, "Aratus on the Maiden and the Golden Age," Hermes 94 (1966) 124-28; H. Schwabl, "Zur Mimesis bei Arat: Prooimion und Parthenos," Antidosis: Festschriftfür Walter Kraus, W. S. Beiheft 5 (Vienna 1972) 336-56. On the relationship of the metrical usages of the two poets, see E.G. O'Neill, Jr., "The Localization of Metrical Word Types in the Greek Hexameter: Homer, Hesiod, and the Alexandrians," YCS 8 (1941) 102-78; H.N. Porter, "Hesiod and Aratus," TAPA 77 (1946) 158-70; JJ. Walsh, Variety and Repetition in Hesiod and Aratus, diss. (UNC-CH 1974) 17. Aratus' debt to Homer for language is equally extensive: A. Ronconi, "Arato interprete di Omero," SIFC 14 (1937) 167-20, 237-59; A. Traîna, "Variazione omeriche in Aratos," ?a?a 8 (1956) 39-48. Aratus' late nights were devoted not only to watching the progress of the stars across the sky bit also to poring over earlier books and to polishing his own work (Achilles, Isagoga Excerpta in E. Maass, Commentariorum in Aralum Reliquia [Berlin 1898, rep. 1958] 89); P. Bing, "The Weil-Read Muse: Present and Past in 44Syllecta Classica 6 (1995) Indeed, assimilating these various sources and integrating them into hexameter could well cost many a night's sleep. But is diat effort, for all diat it betrays of the poet's bookish, Hellenistic bent, enough to earn the accolade ?ept?? for the poem?2 When J.-M. Jacques re-discovered the acrostic ?ept? at Phaenomena 783787 ~an acrostic apparently known to Nicander and to Vergil-he felt tiiat he had found the answer to that question: Aratus' poem was ?ept?? here; Callimachus referred spectfically to these five lines.3 In other words, Jacques claimed that the didactic poet had paid tribute to the aesthetic principles diat Callimachus championed, and Callimachus' response demonstrated his recognition that the acrostic indicated tiiat the poets shared poetic goals, but not necessarily that Aratus had achieved them. Such a solution, however, is too hasty: ?ept?t?? is a complex concept, and one tiiat offers a guide to appreciating much of die truly sophisticated character ofa poem that deliberately affects an archaic, Hesiodic stance.4 The question of striking a balance between the claims of tradition and individual originality faced all Greek poets, of course, and die task diat Aratus set for himself, to relate contemporary science in an archaic form, required him to confront the question in...

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ISSN
2160-5157
Print ISSN
1040-3612
Pages
pp. 43-67
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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