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By Clement Hal

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Two further matters deserve notice. Callimachus leaves us in no doubt about the nature of Apollo’s opponent, dail|mior h^q, j aQm¹r evir. In Apollonius Dekv}mgr is merely given the general epithet pek~qior48 and there is no explicit indication of what sort of creature it was. We may contrast 4, 1396 – 1398 where K\dym, the serpent of the Hesperides, is described explicitly as wh|mior evir, and Apollonius’ obvious interest in dragons is fully displayed at 4, 127 – 161. His silence at 2, 706 may therefore be added to the cumulative argument that he is writing in this passage with his eye on an already existing poetic version.

Of some interest perhaps are the similarity of v. bom, to v. jo}s,, and the fact that whereas Apollonius has indicated an etymology for Delphi (cf. above p. 36), Callimachus refers to both names for the holy shrine, Delphi (98) and Pytho (100); no strong argument for priority can, however, be derived from either of these observations. Suggestive also is the word 1v}lmiom which both poets use. This word is first found here and at Call. fr. om 1v}lmiom43 ; 1v}lmiom has been thought to be an invention of Callimachus, but no good argument for this has been produced44.

Of criticism in English most can be learned from E. Phinney, ‘Narrative Unity in the Argonautica, the Medea-Jason Romance’, TAPA 98 (1967), 327 – 41 and Campbell 37 – 77. Cf. Fusillo’s strictures (p. 287 n. 54)’ II problema della “doppia Medea” e forse il piu ozioso e il piu falsato nell’ impostazione di quelli su cui si e soffermata la bibliografia apolloniana’. 2. 3 Behind criticism of this kind lies both an understandable desire to relate the characters of ancient literature, if not to our own experience, at least to what instinct tells us is possible, and the whole tradition of criticism which descends from the Poetics of Aristotle.

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La Cura Impossibile by Clement Hal


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