Erudition and Allusion in Theocritus

Erudition and Allusion in Theocritus

International Colloquium – Friday 27th of May 2016

 Central Building of the University of Athens

Auditorium ‘Alkis Argyriadis’ – 30 Panepistimiou Str.


9.00 – 10.00               Registration and Arrival

10.00 – 10.15             Welcome Speeches from Faculty Members of UOA:

Eleni Karamalegkou (Dean of School of Philosophy)

Nikolaos Georgantzoglou (Head of Section)

Erasmia Stavropoulou (Head of Department)

Opening of the Colloquium: Chris Carey (UCL)

                                   Session 1: Δάφνιδος ἄλγεα in Idylls 1 and 27

10.15 – 10.45             Marco Fantuzzi (UNIMC/Columbia)

Daphnis(es) between Love Troubles and Sexual Satisfaction:

Theocritus and Theocr. (?) 27

10.45 – 11.15                         Ewen Bowie (Oxford)

                                   Daphnis’ Death in Theocritus 1: a hard way to go? 

11.15 – 12.00                         Tea and Coffee

Session 2: Rejuvenating Archaic Poetry

 12.00 – 12.30             Richard Hunter (Cambridge)

Sappho and Theocritus Revisited

12.30 – 13.00                         Maria Kanellou (UCL/OUC)

The Art of Allusion in the Epigrams Ascribed to Theocritus

13.00 – 14.30             Lunch (5’ away from the venue)


The ‘Kapodistriako’

Kostis Palamas Building

Academias 48 & Sina Str.

Session 3: Modes of Irony in Theocritus

 14.30 – 15.00             Styliani Chatzikosta (University of Athens)

Allusive Erudition and Irony in Theocritus ‘Bucolic’ Idylls

15.00 – 15.30                         Christophe Cusset (ENS Lyon)

                                   Allusion in Theocritus Id. 18: between Tradition and Politics

15.30 – 16.00                         Tea and Coffee

Session 4: A Kaleidoscopic Approach to Power in Theocritus

16.00 – 16.30             Evelyné Prioux (MAE/CNRS)

Theocritus’ Astronomical Description in Idyll 24.11-12

16.30 – 17.00                         Flora Manakidou (Democritus University of Thrace)

Theocritus and Hesiod: more than poetry?

17.00 – 17.30             Tea and Coffee

Session 5: Theocritus’ Bucolic Poetry: Debts, Innovations & Reception

 17.30 – 18.00             Kathryn Gutzwiller (Cincinnati)

Theocritus’ Learned Simplicity

 18.00 – 18.30                         Konstantinos Spanoudakis (University of Crete)

Theocritean Techniques and their Survival

18.30 – 18.45                         Closing Remarks: Chris Carey (UCL)



Heerink, Mark. Echoing Hylas


Heerink, Mark. Echoing Hylas: a study in Hellenistic and Roman metapoetics. Wisconsin studies in classics. Madison; London: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. xii, 243 p. $65.00. ISBN 9780299305406.

During a stopover of the Argo in Mysia, the boy Hylas sets out to fetch water for his companion Hercules. Wandering into the woods, he arrives at a secluded spring, inhabited by nymphs who fall in love with him and pull him into the water. Mad with worry, Hercules stays in Mysia to look for the boy, but he will never find him again . . .

In Echoing Hylas, Mark Heerink argues that the story of Hylas—a famous episode of the Argonauts’ voyage—was used by poets throughout classical antiquity to reflect symbolically on the position of their poetry in the literary tradition. Certain elements of the story, including the characters of Hylas and Hercules themselves, functioned as metaphors of the art of poetry. In the Hellenistic age, for example, the poet Theocritus employed Hylas as an emblem of his innovative bucolic verse, contrasting the boy with Hercules, who symbolized an older, heroic-epic tradition. The Roman poet Propertius further developed and transformed Theocritus’s metapoetical allegory by turning Heracles into an elegiac lover in pursuit of an unattainable object of affection. In this way, the myth of Hylas became the subject of a dialogue among poets across time, from the Hellenistic age to the Flavian era. Each poet, Heerink demonstrates, used elements of the myth to claim his own place in a developing literary tradition.

With this innovative diachronic approach, Heerink opens a new dimension of ancient metapoetics and offers many insights into the works of Apollonius of Rhodes, Theocritus, Virgil, Ovid, Valerius Flaccus, and Statius.

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