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Casting Off Shadows: Hellenistic Poetry Beyond Callimachean Aesthetics - 01-03/09/2016, Cambridge (England)



Third-century Alexandria is often conceptualised as a remarkable site of literary innovation and lauded as the pinnacle of Hellenistic Greek culture. The Ptolemies' cultural programme, drawing the heritage of the Greek mainland to their peripheral capital, figured Alexandria as a cultural crucible. Scholars of Hellenistic literature have capitalised on this Ptolemaic context to unlock multiple literary significances, from the Library's archival influence to the cross-pollination of Greek and non-Greek traditions. Callimachus, in particular, has gained from this contextualisation. The readings of his work have been so productive that he has come to represent the period’s literary habits: Hellenistic poetry slides into ‘Alexandrian’ poetry, which often simply becomes ‘Callimacheanism’. The Augustan fixation on Callimachus subsequently validates this vision; the ‘Roman’ Callimachus becomes the paradigmatic Hellenistic poet.

In this conference, we want to shift our focus away from third-century Alexandria and its ‘Callimachean poetry’ and to challenge this privileging of a ‘Golden Age Poetics’, an idea entangled with issues of colonialism, elitism and empire, both ancient and modern. Importantly, Callimachus’ third-century Alexandria was never the only site of literary production in the Hellenistic period. We want to illuminate what has been obscured by Callimachus’ enduring shadow and to redirect attention to the plurality of poetic styles and traditions throughout the Hellenistic world, with all their synchronic and diachronic diversity. At the same time, by highlighting the range of alternatives to, and interpretations of, ‘Callimachean’ poetics within the variegated world of Hellenistic poetry, we might gain a clearer appreciation of what (if anything) is distinctive about Alexandria and its most famous author. We are particularly interested in alternative traditions after Callimachus: the post-, non- and anti-Callimachean strands of Hellenistic poetry.


FECHA/ DATE/DATA: 01-03/09/2016


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Faculty of Classics (Univeristy of Cambridge)


ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Thomas Nelson (University of Cambridge); Max Leventhal (University of Cambridge)


INFO: web - twitter


INSCRIPCIÓN/REGISTRATION/REGISTRAZIONE:  Deadline: 18/08/2016   Aquí/here/qui






13.00-14.00  Arrival and Registration, with Tea and Coffee

14.00-14.15  Welcome: Thomas Nelson (Cambridge) and Max Leventhal (Cambridge)

Panel 1: Drama In and Outside Athens

14.15-15.15  Ben Cartlidge (Oxford): Menander and Theocritus, or how to advance to Rome without passing Alexandria

15.15-16.15   Federico Favi (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa): Theatre outside Athens, Alexandrianism outside (and before) Alexandria: Rhinthon’s ‘tragic phlyaces’

16.15-16.45  Tea and Coffee

Panel 2: Other Places

16.45-17.45  Thomas Coward (KCL, London): Poetry and performance on Hellenistic Rhodes

17.45-18.45  Maria Plastira-Valkanou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): Macedonian feuds versus Alexandria

18.45  Reception in Cast Gallery


Panel 3: Callimachus and Later Epigram

09.30-10.30  Alex Sens (Georgetown): Antipater, Antiphanes, and others on old poets (and new)

10.30-11.00   Tea and Coffee

11.00-12.00  Barnaby Chesterton (Durham): The sound of thunder and swan-song: Antipater of Sidon's appropriation of Callimachean poetics

Panel 4:  Alternative Poetics

12.00-13.00  Andreas Fountoulakis (University of Crete): Dreaming beyond the shadow of Callimachus: Dreams and dream interpretation in Posidippus, Ep. 33 AB and Ezekiel, Exagoge 68-89

13.00-14.30  Lunch

14.30-15.30  Massimo Giuseppetti (Università degli Studi Roma Tre): Callimachus and Hellenistic love elegy

Panel 5: Anti-Callimachean Aesthetics

15.30-16.30  Matt Hosty (Oxford): Build a better mousetrap: the Batrachomyomachia versus Callimachus

16.30-17.00  Tea and Coffee

17.00-18.00  Floris Overduin (Radboud, Nijmegen): From Alexandria to Pergamum: Nicander’s didactic art as anti-Callimachean?

19.30  Conference Dinner


Panel 6: Callimachus in Rome

9.30-10.30  George Kazantzidis (University of Patras): A bit too skinny: An anti-Callimachean reading of Lucretius’ plague at Athens (DRN 6.1090-1286)

Panel 7: The Poetics of Inscribed Epigram

10.30-11.30  Taylor Coughlan (Cincinnati/Tennessee): ΤΟ ΣΥΜΜΙΚΤΟΝ: Dialect on stone and bookroll

11.30-12.00  Tea and Coffee

12.00-13.00  Silvia Barbantani (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan): The kind look of the Muses, the evil eye of Ares: Encomiastic strategies in Callimachus and in Hellenistic inscriptional epitaphs

13.00-13.30  Closing Remarks: Richard Hunter (Cambridge)



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