‘Callimachus’ Galatea and the victory over the Galatians: an ‘Apolline Schema’’

The London ICS Postgraduate Work-in-Progress Seminar (PGWiP) is held every Friday at the Senate House, South Block, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU. This Friday 7th December, Senate House room 246 at 4.30 p.m., Giovanna Pasquariello (Naples) will present on 

‘Callimachus’ Galatea and the victory over the Galatians: an ‘Apolline Schema »

How can literature and politics be related? Which performance occasions can give voice to a piece of Hellenistic poetry? And how can, its part, the latter and its thematic, linguistic and stylistic structure give voice to the historical context? These are some of the most wide questions which could be answered to, by analysing Callimachus’ Galatea. Known as fragments (frr. 378-379 Pfeiffer) through indirect tradition, this piece of hexametric poetry should have been devoted to the homonymous nymph, Galatea, but the fragments we can read give us a sample of Hellenistic doctrina and references to the historical context. Callimachus included a series of fish as a literate intermezzo and he mentioned the Galatian raid against Greece, led by Brennus in 279 B.C. The analysis of the lexical patterns lets us include Callimachus’ Galatea in the Delphic tradition of the mentioned historical episode. The inter-textual comparison among Galatea, a Coan decree (Syll.3 398), Callimachus’ Hymn to Delos, an epigram attributed to Anyte of Tegea (Anth. Pal. 7. 492), two elegiac fragments (CID III 1-2) and other epigraphic testimonies provide a wide panorama of this narrative schema, ‘Apolline’ because the Delphic environment, with its celebrative occasions for the victory against Galatians, represented a real memorial forge for the transmission of this event. But why should Callimachus have inserted his poetry in this ‘memorial’ Delphic pattern and which performance contexts and political reasons can we reconstruct for it? The answer must be searched in Ptolemaic politics during the ‘80-‘50 of III B.C: legitimation purposes and geopolitical networks constituted by Panhellenic Festivals will reveal how literature and history are closely related and how important is to study this relationship to understand the cultural and political dynamics of the ancient world. 

All postgraduates welcome. Wine and nibbles to follow.  

William Coles, Anna Lucia Furlan, Dies van der Linde(Joint Chairs 2018/2019)For further information please visit our websitefacebook page or follow us on Twitter @pgwip.


Auteur : Christophe Cusset

Ancien élève de l'ENS Fontenay/ Saint-Cloud. Agrégé de Lettres classiques. Docteur ès Lettres (Université Lyon II). Professeur de littérature grecque à l'ENS de Lyon.

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.