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Echoes & Imitations of Apollonius Rhodius in Late Greek Epic

Echoes & Imitations of Apollonius Rhodius in Late Greek Epic

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286



FRANCIS VIAN



A distinction has to be made between imitations and echoes within

the frame of the epic genre in general and those related to the narrative proper, though of course the dividing line between the two is

sometimes very thin.

1. Epic themes

A. Nautical scenes

The "departure of Argo" (Arg. 1.519—85) has been laid under contribution on three occasions to underpin the account of the voyage

that brings Neoptolemos3 and Philoktetes4 to the Troad and for the

departure of the Greek ships.5 The landing in Tenedos features borrowings, some of them at the textual level, from Apollonius.6 The

storm of book 14 takes up motifs which occur throughout the

Argonautica.1

B. "Typical" scenes

— Arming scenes. Penthesilea's arming (1.140 ff.) draws principally

on Homer, but eaaato . . . 9oapr|Ka (1.144) comes from Arg. 3.1225 f.

(the arming of Aietes).

- Ecphrasis. The ecphrasis of Jason's mantle (Arg. 1.728 ff.) forms

the background to one of three ecphraseis in Quintus, that of Eurypylos'

shield (6.198 ff.).8

— Funeral scenes. A formula peculiar to Apollonius
Sivr]0evTe<; (Arg. 1.1059 = 4.1535) is to be found split between Q.S.

3.695 cri)v evieaiv eppcoaccvxo9 and 5.619 rcepi 8ivr|aavto.

3



Q.S. 7.392, 401-11 ~ Arg. 1.580-5. Cf. Vian (1966) 102 n. 3.

Q.S. 9.442-3 ~ Arg. 1.572-4 (the dolphin motif). Homeric imitation is prevalent throughout the passage: cf. Vian (1966) 197 n. 2 (222); however, i>n' duxpotepoiai

7t65eaoi (438) reminds one of Arg. 2.932 eq 7t65a<; ducpoxepoix;.

5

Q.S. 14. 370-82, 404-18 ~ Arg. 1.519-85. Cf. Vian (1959) 81-2; Vian (1969b)

167-8; 191 n. 4; 193 n. 3 ( 234). Line 380 repeats almost verbatim Arg. 1.885.

6

Q.S. 12.345-9. Cf. the ad loc. notes of Campbell (1981b). Two nautical expressions come from Arg. 4.523, 661 f, 1713: euvaq 5' ev9' e(3ata>v, rceiauai' e8r)aav/

f|iovcov. The theme of the waiting warriors echoes two clausulae from a similar context in the Argonautica (2.1285 ee^5o|ievovai (padv0r|; 3.176 juiuveG' eicr|Xoi).

7

Cf. Vian (1959) 82-3; Vian (1969b) 196 n. 3, 4, 8 (235); 199 n. 7 (235). Note

esp. Q.S. 14.490 TiA,ipdioiai 5' EOIKOTCC icoum' opeaaiv ~ Arg. 2.169 (from Od.

3.290); 493 f. •ux|/T|X6v . . . cpopeeoice ~ Arg. 2.587; 497 duTixavvri (3e(3oXrinevov ~ Arg.

2.578; 4.1701 (the expression comes from a different context: cf. Arg. 3.432); 504

Svexeuov aeAAai ~ Arg. 3.320; 578 f. uopuvpov, d(ppo<; ~ Arg. 1.542-3 (from //. 5.599).

8

Cf. Vian (1966) 75 n. 1.

9

Other echoes: the sending of a messenger (Iris or Hermes) eq Ai'oXov: Q.S.

3.699 ~ Arg. 4.764 f.

4



ECHOES AND IMITATIONS IN LATE GREEK EPIC



287



- Hospitality scenes. Memnon's reception by Priam (Q.S. 2.113 25)

is modelled on two analogous Apollonian scenes. The initial formula

a)Jjf\koicl 8' odpi^ov (cf. //. 22.128) is a modification of Arg. 1.980

6cAAr|ta>i)<; 8' epeeivov (Jason's reception by Kyzikos); the ensuing

conversation adheres to the pattern of Jason's encounter with Lykos

(Arg. 2.761-72).10

G. Similes



AfHnities and differences of taste are evident in the way Quintus

draws inspiration from Apollonius' similes. It is noticeable that he

ignores Apollonius' Alexandrian similes, esp. those related to the feminine world: see, for instance, Arg. 1.269 ff.; 3.291 ff., 656 ff.; 4.167

ff. 11 In general, Quintus is concerned only with such similes as belong

to the epic tradition, extending them by some new feature.12 There

are some twenty instances, which may be divided into five classes:

(a) repetition of an incipit: Q.S. 7.317—24 (of a horseman riding a

spirited horse) ooq 8' oie nq 9oov UHIOV . . . ~ Arg. 4.1604;13 Q.S.

12.489-94 (of little birds in their nest) do<; 8' 61' epr||iaiT|v . . . ~ Arg.

4.1298.14

(b) repetition of an expression: Q.S. 1.277 Xecov cot; Titoeai |ir|A,tov ~

Arg. 4.486; Q.S. 1.698 eTUKTOTteouai Se pfjaaai; 4.240 rcepl Se Ppoiieovai

Ko^covai; 7.259 jcepippo(ieo\)oi KoXcovai ~ Arg. 4.1340 imoppofiecnjaiv . . .

pfiaaai;15 Q.S. 3.578-80 (snow-melting) TuSaxxx;. . . /rcetpavrn; ~ Arg.

4.1456;16 Q.S. 11.383 Kepippojieouai netaoaai = Arg. 1.879.17

(c) renewal of a Homeric simile: Q.S. 1.209-10 (a forest fire) ~

Arg. 1.1027-8;18 Q.S. 1.345-6; 2.536-7; 3.325-7; 5.409-10 (leaves

falling in autumn) ~ Arg. 4.216-7;19 Q.S. 2.208-10 (sunrise) ~ Arg.

10

The subjects of the conversation are similar: genealogical information; recollection of the past. There are echoes of several formulae: Q.S. 2.121 Ti8e mi
~ Arg. 2.770; Q.S. 2.125 tepneTo ti^bc, ~ Arg. 2.761, 772. The episode in book 6

(119-50) repeats the same themes; however, Quintus draws inspiration mainly from

previous scenes: cf. Vian (1966) 71 n. 7 (211).

" Only one simile features a woman (Q.S. 1.86-7, Penthesileia): Quintus feminizes the motif of the son who comes back after a long absence (Od. 16.17-8; Q.S.

7.637-9).

12

On Quintus' similes cf. Vian (1954).

13

Cf. Vian (1966) 118 n. 1.

14

Cf. Vian (1954) 41. The subject of the two similes is different.

15

The text of the Argonautica has been restored from Quintus. The majority of

the mss. has wtotpouiowrw: cf. Vian (1954) 39 n. 2; Vian (21996) 193.

16

Cf. Vian (1954) 39 n. 2.

17

The context is rather different: cf. Vian (1969b) 64 n. 1.

18

Cf. Vian (1954) 35; Vian (1963b) 20 n. 4.

111

Cf. Vian (1954) 32.



288



FRANCIS VIAN



3.1229-30;20 Q.S. 4.237-8 (a fight between bulls) ~ Arg. 2.88; Q.S.

4.245 (a foaming muzzle) ~ Arg. 3.1352-3; for the latter cf. also Q.S.

5.373 (a raging beast); 7.319 (an impatient horse);21 Q.S. 6.396— 8 (a

wounded beast in rage) ~ Arg. 2.123-8;22 Q.S. 13.44-8 (a hungry

wolf attacking the fold) ~ Arg. 2.123-8.23

(d) rearrangement of a simile peculiar to Apollonius: Q.S. 3.221-6

(smoking out the bees) ~ Arg. 2.130-4;24 Q.S. 6.107-11 (toiling oxen)

~ Arg. 2.662-7.25

(e) original simile suggested by the Arg.: Q.S. 9.451-^6 (a half-hewn

pine) ~ Arg. 4.1682-6;26 Q.S. 14.75-9 (a wheatfield drooping to the

ground after hail) ~ Arg. 3.1399-403 (cf. Q.S. 14.74 Kcmi^Swe,

14.77 epoc£,e ~ Arg. 1400 Katrui-uo-uaiv epa^e; Q.S. 14.79 ~ Arg. 1401b).

D. Mythology, Geography, Anthroponyms



(a) Mythology. Quintus is particularly indebted to two Apollonian

mythological narratives:

- Orpheus. Arg. 1.23-31 ~ Q.S. 3.637-4 1.27 Apollonius' text has

also contributed to the song of Apollo and the Muses in 3.103-5

and 4.141-3; the complaints of Ida and the rivers (12. 181-2) echo

Arg. 1.27.

- Phaethon. Arg. 4.596-611 ~ Q.S. 5.625-30 (digression on amber);

10.192-4 (Phaethon's fall). The nauseating emanations from Paphlagoneios, the river born of Memnon's blood (Q.S. 2.564-6), recall

Arg. 4.600 (although there are no textual similarities).28

There is a number of other more or less probable echoes:

- Achilles in the Elysian Fields: Arg. 4.811 (from Od. 4. 563) ~

Q.S. 14.224.

- The Amazons: Arg. 2.987-90 ~ Q.S. 1.456-61. Cf. Arg. 2.989

ml "Apeoc; e'pyoc |ie|j,riA,ei ~ Q.S. 1.457 Kai oa' dvepec; epya Ttevovtai

(coni. plures: TieXovxai codd.).29

20



Cf. Vian (1963b) 63 n. 3.

Cf. Vian (1954) 32 n. 2; Vian (1963b) 145 n. 3 (177).

22

Cf. Vian (1954) 31; Vian (1966) 83 n. 1.

23

Cf. Vian (1969b) 130 n. 3 (224).

24

Cf. Cuypers (1997) 158-63.

25

The same context (oarsmen in action). Cf. Vian (1954) 33; Vian (1966) 71

n. 5 (211).

26

Cf. Vian (1966) 198 n. 2; Livrea (1973) 462 (on Arg. 4.1682).

27

Cf. Vian (1959) 33 n. 4.

28

Cf. Vian (1966) 43 n. 1. The river's name is to be associated with that of the

Oacptaxyoveg (Arg. 2.358). In the same passage 570 f. echo Arg. 2.98 (of the army

refusing to leave the dead king).

29

I would now read ui^ovtocv on the basis of the Argonautica passage.

21



ECHOES AND IMITATIONS IN LATE GREEK EPIC



289



- The Erinyes: cf. Arg. 4.713-4 ~ Q.S. 1.28-9 with the repetition of o|iep8aXeac;. . . 'Epivuaq.

- The Hesperides fleeing before Herakles: Q.S. 6.256-9 takes up

and seems to recast Arg. 4.1396-9, 1406-9.

- The fire-breathing bull: Q.S. 6.236-7; cf., perhaps, Arg. 3.1292

Trupoc; oeAxxc; d(i7ive{ovte<;, 1297 Kpatepoiaiv . . . Kepdeaaiv.

(b) Geography. Quintus is independent of Apollonius with regard

to geography, although he borrows ovpeoc IlacpAxryovcov (6.473) from

Arg. 4.300, while ev Kop\)(pfioi/nr|Xioi) aircewoio (8.160 f.) seems to

recall Arg. 1.520 Hn^iou aiTieivdc; . . . aicpiat; (from hAp. 33). For the

description of the river Parthenios and Herakleia's cave which communicates with Hell there is a parallel in Argonautica book 2. Yet

Quintus, rather than following Arg. 2.936-7, refers to the river's calm

flow in Homeric terms. Also, far from emphasizing the terrifying

aspect of the cave (Arg. 2.353-6, 727-51) he celebrates its charm

through recollection of the Nymphs' cave in Od. 13.103—12. It is

hard to say whether he wished to give Apollonius' digression a

Homeric turn or simply ignored it.30

c) Anthroponyms. The two poets share one anthroponym which

occurs in two identical hemistichs: Arg. 1.1042 OriXeix; 8e ZeA,w eiXev

~ Q.S. 10.125 Teikpcx; 5e Zetov eiXe.31

2. Echoes and imitations in the narrative



The battle scenes occupy a considerable part of the Posthomerica,

offering but a few points of contact with the narrative of the Argonautic

expedition. However, when he has the opportunity to do so, Quintus

does not fail to refer to the Argonautica. The following are some of

the most notable instances:

A. Book 4. The boxing match (Q.S. 4.329-69) borrows a number

of features from the fight of Polydeukes against Amykos in Arg.

2.25-97. Here are the principal textual parallels: Q.S. 4.333 d^aXeouc;

i\ia.viac, ~ Arg. 2.52 f; Q.S. 4.343 f. xe^PaG £«<; rceipaVevoi. . . /ax;

Tcpiv £mp6%aA,oi. . . papvGoiev ~ Arg. 2.46 f; Q.S. 4.346 era' aKpoTocTOK; 8e 7i68eaai ~ Arg. 2.90; Q.S. 4.353-5 TtepiKrurceovco yeveia,



30



Cf. Vian (1959) 128 f.; Vian (1966) 86 n. 3. There is no textual echo; only

cnai (Q.S. 6.484) may echo KaTavpdtK; (Arg. 2.353).

The first Zelys comes from Kyzikos, the second from Latmos.



290



FRANCIS VIAN



i8pco<;, Ttapeidq ~ Arg. 2.82 f., 86 f.; Q.S. 4.360

Arg. 2.72; Q.S. 4.363 papeifl xeipi ~ Arg. 2.68 f.32 The combat ends

with the awarding of the prizes. The poet recounts the story of the

two craters designed by Hephaistos, formerly in the possession of

Dionysos and Hypsipyle (Q.S. 4.381-93). His model is //. 7.467-9,

but he has also in mind the story of the Gharites' robe which, according to Arg. 4.423—34, had been transferred from Dionysos to Jason

through the agency of Hypsipyle. At 4.388 f. he almost repeats the

text of Arg. 4.433 f.

The Amykos episode has left other traces in the poem too. The

evocation of Troilos in 4.431 f. seems to echo Arg. 2 .43 f. At Q.S.

5.392 (Aias' rage), Ppv/fi 8e rcepi yva0(ioioiv opcopei is a variation

upon Arg. 2.83.33 The way the Aithiopians react after the death of

Memnon (Q.S. 2.570 f.) recalls the reaction of the Bebrykes following the death of Amykos (Arg. 2.98 o\)8' apoc Be(3p\)Ke<; avSpec; oc(pe(8r|aav



B. Book 7. The portrayal of Medea's distress serves to evoke Podaleirios'

despair after his brother's death (Q.S. 7.22~6 ~ Arg. 3.806 f; 4.20-3),34

and further down, toward the end of the book, the despair of

Deidameia (Q.S. 7.336—43 ~ Arg. 4.26 33). Neoptolemos departing

and taking leave of his mother (Q.S. 7.253 61, 288-91, 313-6, 346,

352, 365-7, 392 f.) draws freely on a similar situation in Apollonius,

where Jason takes leave of his mother Alkimede (Arg. 1.234-306,

580 f.); particularly close are the two women's laments, each interrupted

by a long simile (Q.S. 7.255-61 ~ Arg. 1.268-77).35 As a whole, the

textual similarities are few and far between; cf, however, Q.S. 7.352

~ Arg. 1.237.36 On Neoptolemos' sea-crossing cf. above n. 3.

C. Book 9. The embassy despatched to Lemnos serves as a pretext

for recalling the legend of the Lemnian women: Q.S. 9.338-52 ~

Arg. 1.609-19, 798-833. There are numerous textual echoes: Q.S.

9.339, 347 ~ Arg. 611, 804; Q.S. 9.341 - Arg. 806; Q.S. 9.344, 348

32



For a fuller list see Vian (1959) 39, 97; Vian (1963b) 150 n. 2.

For Ppu/r) cf. Cuypers (1997) ad loc.

34

OapuxxKov aivov (Q,.S. 7.26) comes from Arg. 3.1169, where however the talk

is about the drug that will save Jason.

30

It is noteworthy that Alkimede is compared to a girl maltreated by her stepmother, whereas Deidameia is likened to a cow who has lost her calf.

36

For details cf. Kehmptzow (1889) 32 f; also Vian (1966) 101 f.

33



ECHOES AND IMITATIONS IN LATE GREEK EPIC



291



- Arg. 616; Q.S. 9.345 f. ~ Arg. 617; Q.S. 9.347 ~ Arg. 6 I I . 3 7 The

portrayal of Philoktetes' misfortune borrows some features from

Apollonius' Phineus (Arg. 2.200-7, 301-2): cf. esp. Q.S. 9.371 f. and

Arg. 2. 20 1.38 On Philoktetes' sea-crossing cf. above n. 4.

D. Book 10. Oinone's secret departure during the night (Q.S.

10.438-57) is a clear allusion to Medea's flight in Arg. 4.40-66. In

each scene, the women are sighted by Selene, Medea maliciously,

Oinone with sympathy (oppositio in imitando). On this particular occasion, the two poets recall Selene's love for Endymion. There are two

textual echoes: Q.S. 10.440 (pepov Se JJ.IY COKECC yuicc ~ Arg. 4.66 tfyv

8' ai\|/a rcoSec; (pepov eyKoveo-uoav; and esp. Q.S. 10.454-7 if^v 8e

7to\) eioopocooa i60' i)\|/60e 8ia l£?irivr|/|ivrioa(ievr| . . . 'Ev8i)|i{covo<; ~

Arg. 4.54-60 if|v Se veov . . . dvep%o[ievT| 7iepdrr|0ev/. . . eaiScyuaa

0ed . . . Mr|vt|/. . . 'EvSufiicovi/. . . /|ivr|aa|ievr| . . ,39

E. Book 11. When the Greeks form the testudo to attack the Trojan

walls (Q.S. 11.358-75) Q.S. recalls the Argonauts on board their

ship having recourse to the synaspismos in order to fend off the arrows

launched by Ares' birds (Arg. 2.1058—89). There are numerous similarities, although the textual echoes are limited to a handful of terms:

Q.S. 1 1.360 ccamSac; evTuvccvio ~ Arg. 2.1076 CCCJTUOI vfja cruvapTOvavTeq; Q.S. 11.362 epKoq ~ Arg. 2.1073 epiciov; Q.S. 11.363 TUDKVOV ~

Arg. 2.1083, 1088 TIUKIVTIV; Q.S. 11.366 Kccp-ctivavTo ~ Arg. 2.1087

eKapTwavTo; Q.S. 11.375 So^nov = Arg. 2.1067. Cf. further Q.S.

11.361 jiifj . . . 6pjj.fi ~ Arg. 3.1310. The simile of the roof tiles protecting from wind and rain echoes two analogous Apollonian similes, namely Arg. 2.1073-5, 1083-7.40

F. Book 12. It is in this book that echoes are more evident and

numerous: the building and hauling of the wooden horse brings naturally to mind the ship Argo.



37



Cf. Vian (1959) 112, 169; Vian (1966) 193 n. 2-3. The Lemnos episode is

used also in 12.353-7: cf. below n. 46.

38

Cf. D.A. van Krevelen, Mnemosyne 6 (1953) 50 £; Vian (1966) 177 n. 2.

33

The moon is high in the Posthomerica, whereas it is just above the horizon in

the Argonautica. For more detail cf. Vian (1969b) 34 n. 5 (210). On the other sources

of Q.S. (Euripides' Suppl.) cf. R. Goossens, RBPhH 11 (1932) 679-89 (and Vian

[1969b] 11 n. 5).

40

Cf. Vian (1959) 54; Vian (1969b) 45 n. 2; 63 n. 1 and 7 (214).



292



FRANCIS VIAN



(a) 12.422-34. Q.S. draws an explicit comparison between the

hauling of the horse and the ship. He does not name Argo, yet in

12.430 f. he almost repeats the phrasing of Arg. 1.388 f. In fact, the

whole episode is a variation on Arg. 1.363-90 and comprises numerous

textual echoes, most notably: Q.S. 12.427 e?uc6|j,evo<:;. . . imo xeipeaiv

~ Arg. 1.373; Q.S. 12.428 e7uppioavte<; ~ Arg. 1.384; Q.S. 12.431

tpoTiiq ~ Arg. 1.388; Q.S. 12.432 otaaGaivoDaa ~ Arg. 1.377, 390.41

(b) 12.104-16, 266-70. Before this very obvious allusion, there

are two other narratives which point to the beginning of Argonautica

book 1 in a more or less indirect way. Quintus expands on the building of the horse. The passage owes nothing to the handful of lines

Apollonius devotes to the same subject, but when Quintus recalls

that Athena was Epeios' assistant, canfi o-uymiieeiv (12.111), he takes

up the same verb used by Apollonius in the same context (Arg. 1,

19, 111).42 Later, after the building has been completed, Nestor, in

an effort to induce the heroes to get into the horse's womb, volunteers to do so despite his age and remembers how as a young man

he wished to get on board the Argo but was stopped by Pelias (Q.S.

12.266-70). This is the only allusion to the Argonautic expedition

in the poem. As Campbell has pointed out,43 Quintus takes the opposite line to Apollonius: Pelias, the king hated by Jason, is "equal to

the gods", ccvTi0eo<; (12.270) and Nestor obeys him against his will,

unlike Acastus who joins Jason IleAiao 7tap£K voov (Arg. 1.323).

However, despite his independence vis-a-vis his model, Quintus does

Apollonius homage in that he uses the latter's very words: Ai'aovoc;

\)ioc; (Arg.: nine times), veo<;. . . 'Apycpric; (Arg.: four times),44 dpicrceac;,

dpiarncov (Arg., passim).^

(c) Other echoes. These do not invite the reader to establish parallels with Apollonius; they just suggest that Quintus has the latter's

epic in mind and draws on it, consciously or not. The following are

the principal instances:



41

Cf. Vian (1969b) 105 n. 7 (220). At Q.S. 12.434 jiccv(n>8vn uoyecmec; dvetpuov

echoes Arg. 1.1162 (Argonauts oaring).

42

Before that, when the goddess visits Epeios in his dream, Q.S. does not use

the traditional Homeric formulae, but at 12.109 (ecm| wiep Ke(paA,fi<;) he takes up the

phrase which Apollonius uses in 4.1350, when the Libyan goddesses appear to Jason.

43

Cf. Campbell (1981b) 90; Vian (1969b) 99 n. 2.

44

These two "formulae" appear only here in the Posthomerica.

45

In other passages the Achaean chiefs receive the titles given by Apollonius to

the Argonauts: 247 'A%oua>v (peptatoi ineq ~ Arg. 4.1383; 305 fipcbcov oi apiaToi =

Arg. 4.1307.



ECHOES AND IMITATIONS IN LATE GREEK EPIC



293



— 12.345—57. On the landing in Tenedos and the waiting soldiers

(Q.S. 12.345-9) cf. above n. 6. The soldiers within the horse wonder about what is going to happen (Q.S. 12.350 f.) just as Medea

hesitates about her course of action in Arg. 3.766 f. Then the Trojans

rush to the shore (Q,.S. 12.353-7), just as the Lemnian women do

on the arrival of Argo (Arg. 1.633—9); note esp. erceSpocjiov atymXoiai

~ Arg. 1.635 and the 8ioc, motif ~ Arg. 1.639.46

- 12.405-18. A sharp pain pierces Laokoon's head (405 f.): similar anatomical details occur in the account of the pain that tortures

Medea's brain (Arg. 3.761-4). The people take pity on Laokoon

(12.415 ff.) just as Zetes does in the case of Phineus: Quintus takes

up two Apollonian expressions: 12.417 rcaptiXiTov d(ppa8iriai, 418

voo<; ev5ov ~ Arg. 2.246, 248.47

- 12.442 f. The Trojans marvel at the sight of the horse; there

is a similar formulation in Arg. 1.550 f, where the nymphs of Pelion

are filled with wonder at the sailing Argo.

— 12.472—6. Laokoon and his sons faced with the serpents. Quintus

repeats a verbal form peculiar to Apollonius (eXeircto) and two expressions: 12.474 imoipofieovtccc; 6A,e9pov ~ Arg. 2.1106; 12.475

oXofjaw . . . yevuaai = Arg. 4.155 (on the monster guarding the fleece).

— 12.500—16. Sacrifices and prodigies following Laokoon's death.

There are numerous borrowings: Q.S. 12.500 ocGavaToiow ercevTwovTO

Burton; ~ Arg. 2.156 f; Q.S. 12.501 Xelpovtec; (jiGi) Xocpov ~ Arg.

1.534 + 456; Q.S. 12.503 iepoc. . . KOCIOVTO ~ Arg. 2.1175; Q.S. 12.505

KccTtvoq . . . aveKT|Kie ~ Arg. 4.600; Q.S. 12.509 e'lcrcoGev ditpocpdcToio ~

Arg. 2.224, al. eiaioGev dcppdoioio; Q.S. 12.511 (miraculous opening

of the gates) ~ Arg. 4.41. The list of prodigies (Q.S. 12.507 f., 514-6:

weeping statues, flowing blood, mysterious sounds, abnormal phenomena in the sky) is comparable to Arg. 4.1284-7.48

- 12.567 f. Kassandra wishes to burn the horse, just as Medea

wishes to set Argo on fire (Arg. 4.391 f.).49

G. Book 14. Nestor's speech, inviting the army to return to Greece

after victory (Q.S. 14.338-45), shows no debt to Jason's corresponding



46



Cf. Campbell (1981b) 116.

On this passage cf. Vian (1969b) 105 n. 3 (219 f), correcting Vian (1959) 169 f.

48

Cf. Vian (1959) 70; Vian (1969b) 108 n. 7; 109 n. 4 (222).

49

Cf. Campbell (1981b) 191 on Ke8daaou which corresponds to Apollonius'

Kedaaai.

47



294



FRANCIS VIAN



speech in Arg. 4.190-205; however, two turns of expression are borrowed from Apollonius: Q.S. 14.339 eiroq 0\)|ir|8ec; eviarcoi = Arg.

1.705 (and 714); Q.S. 14.340 VOOTOIO . . . 0o)ur|8eo<; copri ~ Arg. 1.249

voaioto TeXot; 0i>n.r|8e<; (cf. also Arg. 4.381, 1600).30 On the maritime

scenes and the description of the tempest cf. above nn. 5 and 7.



II.



Triphiodorus



1. Echoes and imitations in the narrative



Triphiodorus draws inspiration from Apollonius in some thirty passages, most of which are to be found in the first 500 lines which

correspond to Quintus' book 12.M The techniques of imitation

employed by Quintus and Triphiodorus are comparable, although

the latter is careful to make himself distinct from his predecessor.

A. Like Quintus Triphiodorus refers to the first part of Argonautica

book 1, though he names neither Argo nor Jason. He shuns the

grand Homeric comparison between the Horse and a ship being

hauled (Q.S. 12.428-34). He is content to make a brief comparison

between the horse's womb and a ship's hull (63 f.), and boldly characterizes Epeios' work as an "equine ship", iftTtevnv o^icdSa (185).152

In referring to the help given by Athena to Epeios, he alludes to

Arg. 1.226 "Apyo<; . . . 0ea<; imoepycx; 'A0f|vr|<; and writes (57) 0efi<;

woepyoc; 'Erceioc;. In describing the hauling of the horse, he draws,

much as Quintus does but independently of him, on Arg. 1.363-90.

For the most part, he limits himself to taking up certain terms: 320

tpi(36|ievoi. . . dveotevov (regarding the wheel-axles) ~ Arg. 1.388 f.

crcevdxovTO . . ./xpip6(ievai (regarding the rollers used instead of wheels);

322 Xiyvuv ~ Arg. 1.389; 330 eiTiexo . . . ITITKX; ~ Arg. 1.386 eorceio . . .

'Apyco; 332 em(3p{oaoa ~ Arg. 1.384



50



Q-uur|8e<; at 14.339 is as problematic as in Arg. 1.705 where it has been conjectured by Frankel. On this problem cf. Vian (1969b) 190 n. 1; Vian (1967) 256 f.

Dl

Cf. the notes of Gerlaud (1982), and the supplementary observations of Campbell,

JHS 104 (1984) 220.

D2

On the comparison between the horse and a ship cf. Gerlaud (1982) 77 n. 5

and 135 n. on 318-22.

53

On this episode cf. Gerlaud (1982) 135 f. n. on 318-22, 330, 331, 332, as

well as Campbell (1981b) 146 f. n. on Q.S. 12.423 f.



ECHOES AND IMITATIONS IN LATE GREEK EPIC



295



B. In the rest of the poem imitation is quite free. As with Quintus,

the echoes and borrowings tend to cluster in certain narrative passages, notably in the Sinon episode which replaces that of Laokoon.

(a) Tr. 57 ff.: construction and ecphrasis of the horse. Tr. 58 rceAxopiov

utTiov, 66 %pt>acp, 67 |ietfiopo<; a\)%evi ~ Arg. 4.1365 f. (the prodigious

horse that appears to the Argonauts in Libya) Ttetabpioc; . . . innoc,,

/. . . xpuaeriai neif|opo<; pr\c, dpapwav

~ Arg. 1.946 (monstrous Earthborn of Kyzikos); Tr. 73f. (a horse biting the bit) ~ Arg. 4.1607 f. (description of a spirited horse within

a simile).

(b) Tr. 139 45: Odysseus invites the ships to set sail. Tr. 139

Tipufivccicc (leGiexe Tteiajiaia vriwv ~ Arg. 4.208 (Jason cutting the

hawsers) rcpujivoua vedx; anb Tceiajiai' eKoyev; Tr. 143 euopficn) xeiavtiajievov eK 7iepiawni<; ~ Arg. 4.900 e\)6p(io\) 5E5oicr|[ievai ex Ttepicojufiq

(the Sirens episode).

(c) Tr. 235 ff.: the Trojans come down from the city. Tr. 241

cnjpfjocc; i)7co£eiL>^avtec; an^vaic, ~ Arg. 3.841 oi)pfia<; \)7co£eiL)^aa0ai

cmrivri (Medea leaving the palace); Tr. 245 f. ot) jiev e|j,e?iXov/yr|0Tlcfeiv

ETil 8r|p6v, eirei Aioq T^GeXe po\Ar| ~ Arg. 3.1133 f. oi) |o,ev 8r|p6v . . .

e)o,eXA,ev/. . . • co<; yap i68e (ifiSeio "Hpri (Medea's misery).

(d) Tr. 262 ff.: Sinon's entreaties draw on the Apollonian scene

in which the shipwrecked sons of Phrixos appeal to the Argonauts

(Arg. 2.1123 ff). Tr. 278 -Arg. 1131 f.; Tr. 288-90 ~ Arg. 1137-9;

Tr. 304 f. ~ Arg. 1168. Cf. also Tr. 299 ~ Arg. 4.1307.54

(e) Tr. 522-5: the Greek ships set sail when Sinon gives the fire

signal, just as Medea signals the Argonauts with a torch (Arg. 4.482-5).

There are some more echoes in the same passage: Tr. 515 ovpavov

aiYA,f|evra = Arg. 4.615; Tr. 523 vfjaq dveKpotxravio ~ Arg. 4.1650

vfja . . . ccvaKpoijeoKov; Tr. 525 TtoXejioio xi'koc, 5i£r]|ievo<; et>peiv ~

Arg. 4.1282 tan^oio teAxx; Tcoii8ey|a,evoi.:'5

2. Epic themes

A. Similes. Triphiodorus borrows two similes from Apollonius: Tr.

360-4 (a heifer stung by a gadfly) ~ Arg. 1.1265-9 (note esp. Tr.

362 f. ~ Arg. 1267a); Tr. 615-7 (a wolf attacking the fold) ~ Arg.



54

55



On this passage cf. Gerlaud (1982) 24 and n. 3.

Cf. the notes of Gerlaud ad loc. ([1982] 152).



296



FRANCIS VIAN



2.123-8 (and for the incipit, Arg. 3.1058 KapxotXeoi ic6ve<; coq). Like

Quintus, Triphiodorus only borrows from Apollonius similes of

Homeric origin.

B. Nightfall. In epic narrative generally nightfall plays a pivotal role.

In Triphiodorus it announces the beginning of the sack of Troy (Tr.

498—505), just as in Apollonius it comes before the nocturnal torment that determines Medea's final course of action (Arg. 3.744-50).

Triphiodorus gives proof of originality, but Tr. 504 (oi>8' \)A,aicf|

aKi)A,aKC0v, aiyn) clearly refers the reader to the famous Argonautica

passage.



III. Nonnus of Panopolis

Unlike his predecessors, Nonnus makes precise references to the

Argonautica saga, and, by a technique peculiar to him, he sometimes cites his source in a disguised way. The catalogue of book 13

compares Laokoon, young Hymenaios' guardian, with Phoenix who

had once (rcdpcx;) accompanied Meleager, still an adolescent, on "Argo,

Jason's ship", in order to sail to the land of the Colchians, eiq %96va

K6X%oov (13.85^9 ~ Arg. 1.190-3): Tidpoc; can only hint at Apollonius'

earlier poem, since the Argonautic expedition comes after that of

Dionysos.56 At 29.197-204 the brass-hoofed colts of the Kabeiroi,

Hephaistos' sons, are compared with the bulls made by Hephaistos

for Aietes. There is nothing like the rcdpoc; of 13.87 here, but Nonnus

points clearly to his source through textual borrowings from Arg.

3.229 ie%vr|eic; "Hcpociotoc;, 230 %a}iK6no$a.q lavpoix; KOCJIE, 232 d8dHOCVTCK;, 1318 iaTo[3ofja. The Dionysiaca contain several references to

Aietes and the Colchians; like Apollonius, Nonnus notes that the former is Kirke's brother (13.331 ~ Arg. 3.310 f.) while the latter are

at war with the Sauromates (23.86-8 ~ Arg. 3.352 f.).57



56

Likewise, ndXiv at N. 24.296 refers to the text of the Odyssee which serves as

a model.

57

Apollonius' formula e0vea KoA-xcov (ter) is repeated at 13.248 e'Gveoc (Mppapcx,

KoX-xcov. As usual, Nonnus uses other sources too. His Colchians, called also Asterioi,

are identical to the Taurians; their land borders Tanais and is not different from

Skythia: cf. N. 13.245-52; 23.85-8; 40.284-91. According to him Kirke dwells in

Sicily (13.328-32) and not in the Italian island of Aiaie (Arg. 3.309-13).



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