Department of the Classics, Harvard University"I Hate All Common Things": The Reader's Role in Callimachus' Aetia PrologueAuthor(s): Thomas A. SchmitzSource: Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 99 (1999), pp. 151-178Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard UniversityStable URL: .Accessed: 12/09/2013 16:21Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at..JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected].Department of the Classics, Harvard Universityis collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extendaccess to Harvard Studies in Classical Philology.This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:21:44 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
"I HATE ALL COMMONTHINGS": THE READER'S ROLE IN CALLIMACHUS' AETIA PROLOGUE * THOMAS A. SCHMITZ WHEN in 1928 a papyrus discovered in the Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus revealed large portions of the prologue to Calli- machus' Aetia, critics immediatelyrecognized that this text was one of the most important of all of Hellenistic poetry. Accordingly, it has attracted the attention of a great number of interpreters.' A large por- tion of this interest, however, has concentrated on historical and bio- graphical problems rather than on the text itself. This interpretative emphasis was already apparent in antiquity.Fragments of an ancient commentary on a papyrus now in Florence (PSI 1219), the so-called "Florentine scholia," show that ancient scholars tried to identify the opponents whom Callimachus designated under the name of Telchines (3-9). Moderncritics have followed suit, and a disproportionate amount of scholarly work has concentrated on the question of who these envi- ous and evil creatures were. It was widely assumed that the names given in the Florentine scholia were those of epic poets. Epic poetry, * Earlier versions of this paper were given at Harvard University and the University of Washington at Seattle. I wish to thank all those who participated in the discussion and helped me get a clearerview of some of the issues involved. My thanks are especially due to A. Henrichs, Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones, and R. F Thomas. Madeleine Gogh helped me correct the English. 1The lively scholarly discussion which followed the discovery of the papyrus has been described by G. Benedetto, II Sogno e l'Invettiva: Momenti di Storia dell' Esegesi Callimachea (Florence 1993 [Pubblicazioni dell' Istituto di Filologia Classica dell' Uni- versith di Milano 4]) 1-26.