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Ptolemaeus (2) Chennos of *Alexandria (1) (fl. c.100 ce) wrote the Sphinx, a mythologico-grammatical work, perhaps in dramatic form (ἱστορικὸν δρᾶμα, Suda), though this is disputed; Authomeros, in twenty-four rhapsodies, correcting Homer's errors; Παράδοξος (or Καινὴ) ἱστορία (‘Marvellous (or ‘New’) History’) of which *Photius gives an extract.

Article

Ptolemaeus (3) Epithetes, grammarian so nicknamed because of his attacks on *Aristarchus (2). He was a pupil of *Hellanicus (2), but his date cannot be precisely established. He wrote among other things Περὶ τῶν παρ᾽ Ὁμήρῳ πληγῶν (‘on the wounds in Homer’) and an exposition of *Zenodotus' textual choices in *Homer.

Article

Grammarian (2nd cent. bce), pupil of *Aristarchus (2). He wrote a number of works on *Homer, and sometimes disagreed with his master on matters of textual criticism. He also concerned himself with the concepts of συνήθεια (ordinary language) and ἀναλογία (see analogy and anomaly).

Article

Andrew Barker

Ptolemy's Harmonics is outstanding in its field, and significant in the history of scientific thought for its sophisticated blend of rationalist and empiricist methodology. While rejecting Aristoxenian empiricism (see aristoxenus) outright, insisting with the Pythagoreans that musical structures must be analysed through the mathematics of ratio and shown to conform to ‘rational’ principles, Ptolemy criticizes the Pythagoreans for neglecting perceptual evidence: the credentials of rationally excogitated systems must ultimately be assessed by ear. He pursues this approach with meticulous attention to mathematical detail, to the minutiae of experimental procedures, and to the design and use of the special instruments they demand. Book 1 establishes the ratios of concords and melodic intervals, and divisions of tetrachords in each genus. Here and in book 2 Ptolemy's criticisms of earlier theorists preserve important information, especially about *Archytas and *Didymus (3). Book 2 analyses complete two-octave systems. Perhaps mistakenly, it dismisses as musically insignificant the contemporary conception of τόνοι as ‘keys’, thirteen (or fifteen) transpositions of identical structures: on Ptolemy's view their role is to bring different species of the octave into the same central range, and there can be only seven.

Article

G. J. Toomer and Alexander Jones

Ptolemy wrote at *Alexandria (1), between 146 ce and c.170, definitive works in many of the mathematical sciences (see mathematics), including *astronomy and *geography. Ptolemy's earliest work, the Canobic Inscription, is a (manuscript) list of astronomical constants dedicated by him in 146/7. Most of these are identical with those of the Almagest, but a few were corrected in the latter, which must have been published c.150. This, entitled μαθηματικὴ σύνταξις (‘mathematical systematic treatise’: the name ‘Almagest’ derives from the Arabic form of ἡ μεγίστη sc. σύνταξις), is a complete textbook of astronomy in thirteen books. Starting from first principles and using carefully selected observations, Ptolemy develops the theories and tables necessary for describing and computing the positions of sun, moon, the five planets and the fixed stars. The mathematical basis is the traditional epicyclic/eccentric model. In logical order, Ptolemy treats: the features of the geocentric universe and trigonometric theory and practice (book 1); spherical astronomy as related to the observer's location on earth (2); solar theory (3); lunar theory, including parallax (4 and 5); eclipses (6); the fixed stars, including a catalogue of all important stars visible from *Alexandria (1) (7 and 8); the theory of the planets in longitude (9–11); planetary stations and retrogradations (12) and planetary latitudes (13).

Article

Eveline Krummen

Pythermus (1), poet, of *Teos, wrote drinking-songs, of which one line survives. He composed in the Ionian mode and was mentioned by *Hipponax (Ath. 14. 625c).

Article

Python  

Richard Seaford

Python is said by *Athenaeus (1) (2. 50f; 13. 586d, 595e–6b) to be the author of a short satyr-play (see satyric drama) called Agen, produced in the camp of *Alexander (3) ‘the Great’ on the Hydaspes (in the Punjab) in 324 bce. From the play he cites eighteen lines about the relations of *Harpalus (recently absconded with Alexander's treasure) with the courtesans Pythionice and Glycera.

Article

Queer theory takes its name from a derogatory term for persons considered “odd” or “abnormal”, notably those whose sexual behaviour, gender expression, or other characteristics do not conform to established social norms. It harnesses the experience and perspective of gender non-conformists and sexual deviants as a vantage point for understanding—and dismantling—the coercive workings of social structures and discursive regimes. Since queerness marks a position outside or at the margins of—and thus relative to—the social order, it necessarily takes on different forms under different normative regimes: while different kinds of queers have existed at all times and in all places, what counts as “queer” in any given time and place depends on what counts as “normal”.Ancient literature’s queerness, consequently, has two dimensions: (a) accounts—real and imagined—of sexual behaviours, erotic desires, intimate relationships, and notorious figures recognizably at odds with the sociosexual norms of Greece and Rome (“ancient queers”); and (b) accounts that, whatever their status in antiquity, appear strikingly odd in their later reception (“queer ancients”). These two dimensions can and do converge, as in the development of modern Western sexual identity categories (homosexual, bisexual, etc.), which drew heavily on ancient “case studies.”Frank about their committed stance in the present, queer readings of ancient literature interrogate interconnected formations and histories of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism, and classism; ponder and celebrate pre-modern instances of resistance to sexual norms; and tap into the classical past in order to open new possibilities for erotic and social relations and subjectivities.

Article

Quintus Smyrnaeus was a poet of the late 2nd or 3rd century ce, the author of the epic poem the Posthomerica (14 books, 8,786 lines), which covers the narrative lacuna between Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey and thus treats stories that were originally covered by the Epic Cycle. The narrative technique is more episodic and linear than that of the Homeric epics, but it does not lack plot coherence and an overarching design. The language and style is strongly Homericising: vocabulary, syntax, and the use of formulaic phrases resemble that of the Homeric epics to a large degree. At the same time, Quintus’s language is also characterised by Alexandrian traits. In a wider cultural context, Quintus belongs to the same period as the Second Sophistic, and the Posthomerica can be understood as a response to revisionist tendencies against Homer. Scholars debate the question as to whether Quintus still had access to the Epic Cycle and whether he was influenced by Roman authors, especially by Vergil’s Aeneid.

Article

Revision happens when a text is changed. Its most common name in Greek was διόρθωσις; in Latin, emendatio. It was practised by writers of all styles and levels of ability, working alone and in consultation with others, and in many different genres. Evidence for revision comes from papyri and from descriptions in ancient literature. It occurred on papyri, in wax tablets, and in authors’ minds as they prepared a text, and it was understood by ancient writers as either the inevitable consequence of error or as a valuable exercise leading to greater cognitive and political skill. In addition to reminding us of the fluidity of textuality and the always contingent nature of every literary formation, the study of revision provokes reflection on the relationship between literature and natural language, and on writing’s place in social exchange.

Article

Martin Litchfield West

Rhapsodes were professional reciters of poetry, particularly of *Homer but also of other poets (Ath. 14. 620 a–d, cf. Pl. Ion 531 a). The name, which means ‘song-stitcher’, is first attested in the 5th cent. (GDI 5786, Hdt. 5. 67, Soph. OT391), but implies the formulaic compositional technique of earlier minstrels; cf. ῥάψαντες ἀοιδήν ‘stitching song’ ‘Hes.’ fr. 357 M–W, ῥαπτῶν ἐπέων ἀοιδοί ‘singers of stitched words’ Pind. Nem. 2. 1 (variously explained by schol.). Originally reciters of *epic accompanied themselves on the lyre, but later they carried a staff instead (cf. Hes. Theog. 30 with 95). Both are shown on vases; *Plato(1) distinguishes rhapsodes from citharodes, but classes Homer's Phemius as a rhapsode (Ion 533 b–c). In the 5th and 4th cents. rhapsodes were a familiar sight, especially at public festivals and games, where they competed for prizes. They declaimed from a dais (ibid. 535 e), and hoped to attract a crowd by their conspicuous attire (ibid. 530 b, 535 d) and loud melodious voice (Diod. Sic. 14. 109). They would be likely to own texts of Homer (Xen. Mem.

Article

Donald Russell

The art of public speaking (ῥητορική (sc. τέχνη)) was vitally important in ancient city-states, and it was generally supposed to be teachable, at least to some extent. This article surveys the development of this teaching in the Greek-speaking world, and offers a summary of the system in which it was generally organized. The concepts and terminology of rhetoric are almost entirely Greek: the Romans provided a wider field of activity for the teachers, and certain new emphases in response to practical needs.Effective speaking of course existed long before any theory or teaching. Later rhetors wisely referred pupils to the speeches in *Homer (see Quint. 10. 1. 46 ff.), and his descriptions of the oratory of the heroes (see literary criticism, § 2) were taken as evidence that ‘rhetoric’ was known in his day. In fact, the teaching of these skills probably began (as *Aristotle thought) under the pressure of social and political needs in the 5th-cent.

Article

Born c.275 bce at Bene (?= Lebena) or Ceraea; began life as a slave, working as attendant at a wrestling-school, but was later educated and became a schoolteacher. One of his epigrams (70 Powell) mentions *Troezen, and it has been conjectured that he moved to mainland Greece.Rhianus produced an influential edition of *Homer, more conservative than *Zenodotus'. He also wrote epigrams (66–76 Powell), mostly on erotic themes, but was best known as a prolific writer of epic poetry. Only small fragments (mostly geographical names) survive of his Heracleia (probably in 14 books), possibly modelled on that of *Panyassis, and of the ethnographical epics Thessalica (at least 16 books), Achaïca (at least 4 books), and Eliaca (at least 3 books). We are better informed about the Messeniaca (at least 6 books): two papyrus fragments (Suppl. Hell. 923, 946) have been plausibly attributed to it, and .

Article

Geoffrey Arnott

Rhinthon, writer of phlyax-plays (see phlyakes). A potter's son, probably from *Tarentum (Steph. Byz. under Τάρας, Sudaρ 171), living early in the 3rd cent. bce. He was honoured with an epitaph by the poetess *Nossis of Locri (Anth. Pal. 7. 414 = Gow–Page, HE, 1. x), who calls him a *Syracusan and praises the originality of his ‘tragic phlyakes’, presumably because he gave dignity to a previously crude genre by his comic treatment of tragic themes. Of 38 pieces attributed to Rhinthon nine titles are preserved (almost all burlesques of Euripidean subjects; see euripides), but very meagre fragments (in Doric) survive. One (fr. 10) from his Orestas (Orestes) mentions ‘the metre of *Hipponax’, i.e. scazons, after a curse in that metre has apparently been inserted into the more normal iambic trimeters.

Article

riddles  

Martin Litchfield West

The Greek word is γρῖφος (a plaited creel, i.e. something intricate) or αἴνιγμα, the noun of αινίσσομαι, derived from αῖνος = a tale or fable containing a hidden lesson for the addressee (Od. 14. 508, Hes. Op. 202, etc. ). Since IE times, riddling language, in which a thing's or person's identity is concealed under obscure circumlocutions, metaphors, or puzzling predications, was a feature of some high-flown poetry. We see this in parts of *Hesiod (e.g. Op. 524 f., 742 f.), *Aeschylus, and some later tragedians and dithyrambists, culminating in the Alexandra of *Lycophron (2 b). Sometimes the ‘riddle’ was followed by its solution, as in Aesch. Ag. 494 ‘mud's conterminous sister—thirsty dust’. The independent riddle, set as a challenge, was mostly a form of social amusement, but in myth at least it could be deadly serious. Those who cannot answer the *sphinx's riddle die, and when *Oedipus answers it, she dies; similarly, in the Homer legend, the poet dies when he fails to solve the fisher-boys' riddle.

Article

Cecil Maurice Bowra and Eveline Krummen

Sacadas (Σακάδας) (7th/6th cent. bce), musician and poet, of *Argos (1) (Paus. 9. 30. 2), connected with the second phase of musical organization in *Sparta (i.e. the Gymnopaedia, ps-Plut. De mus. 8). He won three successive Pythian victories (see pythian games) with the flute, and his Pythian *nomos(2) representing Apollo's fight against the serpent became a traditional set-piece.

Article

Sannyrion, Athenian comic poet, produced Danae after Euripides Orationes (408 bce), to which fr. 8 refers. We have titles and a dozen citations. Fr. 1 (‘we gods…you mortals…’) shows that in Laughter at least one deity was a character.

Article

Margaret Williamson

Born on *Lesbos in the second half of the 7th cent. bce, she was hailed in antiquity as ‘the tenth Muse’ (Anth. Pal. 9. 506), and her poetry was collected into eight or nine books (arranged mainly by metre) by Alexandrian editors. Only two whole poems (one completed by a recent discovery) and some substantial fragments survive, culled from quotations in other writers or from papyrus finds.Most of her poems were for solo performance, and many refer to love between women or girls. Other subjects include *hymns to deities and apparently personal concerns such as her brother's safety (fr. 5). Wedding songs, and snatches from a lament for *Adonis (fr. 140) are clearly for several singers. Fr. 44, describing the marriage of *Hector and *Andromache, is unusual in its narrative length and proximity to *epic.Little about her life is certain: biographies (POxy.

Article

Richard Seaford

In the Classical period it was normal for a satyr-play to be written by each tragedian for performance after his set of three tragedies at the Athenian City *Dionysia. The chorus is composed of satyrs (see next entry), and is closely associated with their father Silenus. One complete satyr-play 709 lines long (Euripides' Cyclops), survives, together with numerous fragments, notably about half of *Sophocles (1)'s Ichneutae (‘Trackers’) preserved on papyrus, and numerous vase-paintings inspired by satyr-plays, notably the Pronomos vase (Beazley, ARV2 1336. 1), which displays the entire cast of a victorious play. The themes were taken from myth (sometimes connected with the theme of the trilogy), and the earthy preoccupations of the satyrs may have had the effect of reducing the dignity of various heroes, as happens to *Odysseus in the Cyclops. Odysseus' speech is, metrically and stylistically, virtually indistinguishable from tragic speech, and even that of the satyrs and Silenus, though lower in tone, remains much closer to tragedy than to comedy. Horace describes tragedy as like a matron who does not descend to uttering trivial verses as she consorts modestly with the impudent satyrs at a festival (Ars p.

Article

Peripatetic author from Callatis (Mangalia, Romania). Works: (1)Bioi (Lives) of kings, statesmen, orators, philosophers, and poets, known chiefly from citations by *Athenaeus (1) and *Diogenes (6) Laertius. POxy. 1176 preserves a substantial fragment on *Euripides from book 6, which also covered *Aeschylus and *Sophocles (1). Satyrus evidently used a *dialogue form; though the style is agreeable, the approach is unscholarly, material being drawn from comedy and anecdote, and from passages in Euripides' plays uncritically treated as autobiographical.(2)Peri characteron (On characters); the one fragment, a passage quoted by Athenaeus (4. 168e), exhibits the moralistic propensity observable in the fragments of the Lives. (Other authors of the same name should be credited with works On the*demesof*Alexandria(1) (FGrH631, cf. POxy. 2465 (RE18), on myths (RE19; see next entry), and on gems (RE20).