Abstract

Abstract:

Book 14 of the Palatine Anthology comprises, alongside proper riddles and oracles, forty-five arithmetical epigrams. Long underrated as poetry, these deserve to be reappraised in light of a recent trend of unmasking a complex cultural agenda of ancient scientific literature. By focusing on two particularly elaborate epigrams (AP 14.1 and 4), this discussion sets out to explore these poems' self-aware engagement with various literary and cultural traditions. I argue that as poetry as much as pieces of an arithmological jigsaw puzzle, these are vehicles for an intricate, if not entirely serious, Platonizing and neo-Pythagorean program of uniting poetry and mathematics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3168
Print ISSN
0002-9475
Pages
pp. 457-486
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-02
Open Access
No
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