Instead, the texts show in their style and composition that their authors 63 See the excellent survey by R. Kannicht, "Thalia. Uber den Zusammenhang zwis- chen Fest und Poesie bei den Griechen," in W. Haug, R. Warning eds., Das Fest (Munich 1989 [Poetik und Hermeneutik 14]) 29-52 = R. Kannicht, Paradeigmata. Aufsditze zur griechischen Poesie (Heidelberg 1996) 68-99; further R. Thomas,Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece (Cambridge 1992) 118-123 and, most recently, E. Stehle, Performance and Gender in Ancient Greece: Nondramatic Poetry in Its Setting (Princeton1997). 64 Bing (above, n. 42) 17. See furtherK. Kerenyi, "Die Papyri und das Problem des griechischen Romans," in Actes du Ve congrks international de papyrologie Oxford, 30 aoat-3 septembre 1937 (Brussels 1938) 192-209; on the general consequences of literacy for the reception of texts see W. J. Ong, Orality and Literacy. The Technologizing of the Word (London 1982) 101-103. 65 On competitions see Cameron (above, n. 3) 29-45, on recitals see Hose (above, n. 20) 54-55, on Hellenistic poets and the court see A. Kerkhecker, "ModT"aov Ev tarxpp-Dichter und Dichtung am Ptolemierhof," A&A 43 (1997) 124-144. This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:21:44 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
174 Thomas A. Schmitz expected them to be read by a wider audience.66 Thus, they could no longer expect to find a community of listeners, they would write for a widely scattered reading public. This explains why the context of reception which hitherto had been defined by the external event came to be integrated into the text itself. An especially good example of this change can be seen in the so-called "mimetic" hymns that Callimachus wrote. Although some critics still assert that the Hymns were meant for actual performance, I find the case for artificial mimesis of occasional poetry compelling.67 By way of dramatic monologue, the author has integrated into his text the ritual situation in which these hymns were traditionally performed. Integrating these situations into the text means to fictionalize them. Obviously, Callimachus' hymns were read at occa- sions other than traditional ritual gatherings, and the text created a fictitious congregation of which every reader could imagine herself or himself a member. An analogous technique can be found at work in a genre which appears to have been very popular in the Hellenistic time, the epigram. Originally, these poems had been just what the Greek word says: inscriptions on objects such as votive offerings or funeral monuments. As the monumentitself stood before the eyes of the reader, it did not have to be described or even referred to.68 When the objects themselves are lost, as is frequently the case either because they were destroyed or because the epigram has been transmitted through literary sources only, we often no longer understand the words. In the Hellenistic period, however, we find rather book-epigrams.69 As there is no object that 66 This has convincingly been demonstrated by Bing. Therefore, pace Cameron and Hose (as cited in n. 65 above), I still accept his account of Hellenistic literature as valid.