Philip of Thessalonica, a Dexterous Weaver of Words: A Self-referential Reading of Anthologia Palatina 6.247

  Plastira-Valkanou, Maria. 2023. “Philip of Thessalonica, a Dexterous Weaver of Words: A Self-referential Reading of Anthologia Palatina 6.247.” In “Γέρα: Studies in honor of Professor Menelaos Christopoulos,” ed. Athina Papachrysostomou, Andreas P. Antonopoulos, Alexandros-Fotios Mitsis, Fay Papadimitriou, and Panagiota Taktikou, special issue, Classics@ 25.

Philip of Thessalonica is mostly known for compiling the homonymous mid first-century anthology of epigrams, in emulation of Meleager. Philip’s Garland is woven in rivalry with his predecessor, as the hapax ἀντανέπλεξα (“plaited in rivalry with”) emphasizes (Anthologia Palatina [1] 4.2.3). Philip, in addition to being an anthologist, was a creative poet, yet an underestimated one. [2] Magnelli [3] and Höschele [4] are among the very few scholars who explored Philip’s work as an epigrammatist from a literary perspective. Along this line I will examine AP 6.247 focusing on Philip’s poetic technique, intertextuality, and lexical creativity. Indeed, a well-recognised feature of Philip is the exceptionally large number of coinages, mostly compound nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Peek (1938) counts 160 new word formations; Gow and Page (1968:2,329n1) estimate 166, of which 121 are new compound adjectives. There is a chance that some of these hapax legomena first attested in Philip may have originated in earlier texts which have not survived. Nevertheless, 100 of Philip’s neologisms do not reappear in later authors.
Being a highly prolific epigrammatist, [5] Philip deals with hard-working, everyday people [6] in several of the 89 epigrams ascribed to him. In the AP many epigrams refer to various labourers who dedicate, during old age, their work paraphernalia and their tools to various deities. Philip exploits this stereotypical theme in several of his epigrams: the story features a woman, a weaver, [7] who interacts with various male characters, namely fishermen, [8] rustics, [9] craftsmen, [10] a cook, [11] and a priest of Rhea. [12]
This paper explores AP 6.247, which features a dedication of an aged weaver. Philip of Thessalonica’s use of hapax terms in this epigram is noteworthy; this epigram alone features the highest number of hapax terms, [13] which are not attested anywhere else. Philip coins six new compound adjectives, [14] plus a proper name and a patronymic adjective. All coinages occur in a single eight-line epigram, composed in elegiac distich, which shall be the object of my discussion. [15]
First, I shall look into the literary background of the individual components of the compound words newly coined by Philip in AP 6.247. The purpose is to understand these contrived neologisms, and to appreciate his poetic skill and mastery of the language. Then, I shall discuss weaving as a metaphor or a literary convention and the poem as a vehicle of self-referential allusions challenging the reader to view it in a new light.
The epigram 6.247 reads as follows:

          Kερκίδας ὀρθρολάλοισι χελιδόσιν εἰκελοφώνους,
                    Παλλάδος ἱστοπόνου λειομίτους κάμακας,
          καὶ κτένα κοσμοκόμην, καὶ δακτυλότριπτον ἄτρακτον
                    σφονδυλοδινήτῳ νήματι νηχόμενον,
5        καὶ τάλαρον σχοίνοις ὑφασμένον, ὃν ποτ᾽ ὀδόντι
                    ἐπλήρου τολύπη πᾶσα καθαιρομένη,
          σοί, φιλέριθε κόρη Παλλαντιάς, ἡ βαθυγήρως
                    Αἰσιόνη, πενίης δῶρον, ἀνεκρέμασεν.

Weft-beaters, with voices like dawn-twittering swallows,
loom-labouring Pallas’ warp-smoothing rods,
and ‘tress’-arranging comb, and finger-rubbed spindle
swimming in whorl-spun yarn,
and reed-plaited basket, once brimming with tooth-cleansed wool,
these to you Pallantian maiden, lover of wool-labourers,
Aisione deep in old age hung up the gift of her poverty. [16]

Dedications by weavers to Athena appear in six epigrams of the AP written by various epigrammatists. One epigram commemorates a collective offering of four weavers, [17] three other epigrams are collective dedications by three weavers, [18] and two epigrams are single dedications. [19]

The spinning and weaving implements offered are usually presented in the form of a catalogue. [20] The occasion of the dedication is stated openly at AP 6.289 (Leonidas of Tarentum) Ἀθαναίας παυσάμεναι καμάτων (“ceasing from the labours of Athena”) and is implied at AP 6.247 βαθυγήρως (“in great old age”). At AP 6.288 (Leonidas of Tarentum) the objects are offered as a tithe of the profits accompanying a prayer for future success.
A noteworthy subcategory of this type of dedications are offerings of tools either to Athena [21] or to Aphrodite [22] by weavers who, weary of their toilsome life, quit weaving to turn to prostitution. [23]
The protagonist of Philip’s epigram, Αἰσιόνη, is a respectable weaver and a “fighter” of life, who, upon reaching old age, dedicates her tools to another weaver and fighter, Athena, her patroness. Philip elevates the skillful craftswoman and her labours by a detailed description of her implements which are: weft-beaters (κερκίδας), a comb (κτένα), a spindle (ἄτρακτον), and a basket (τάλαρον). These tools are connected paratactically (και … και … και).
Κερκίς, the principal instrument of a weaver, [24] appears in all the weaver-related epigrams mentioned above. It opens the list [25] of Aisione’s tools, and its description covers the first elegiac distich of the epigram:

κερκίδας ὀρθρολάλοισι χελιδόσιν εἰκελοφώνους,
          Παλλάδος ἱστοπόνου λειομίτους κάμακας

Weft-beaters, with voices like dawn-twittering swallows,
loom-labouring Pallas’ warp-smoothing rods

Κερκίς is recognised as the most characteristic tool of a weaver in Plato’s Cratylus 388c (ὑφαντικὸν δέ γε ἡ κερκίς;). Discussing the word, Plato also mentions different kinds of κερκίς, appropriate to weaving different types of cloth (Cratylus 389b–c).

There is considerable debate concerning the exact meaning of the word κερκίς. Except for the Cambridge Greek Lexicon (Diggle et al. 2021), κερκίς has been generally translated as “shuttle” (also by Gow and Page in their rendering of the epigram, while Paton 1927:1.431 chooses the term “weaving-comb”). However, closer analysis by Edmunds [26] (and others cited by her) led to the proposal that a more accurate translation is “pin-beater” or “weaving pin.” [27] A pin-beater is recognised as the tool that beats the weft, previously carried into place by the πηνίον (“bobbin,” “spool”). The explanatory apposition to κερκίδας in Philip’s epigram, i.e. λειομίτους κάμακας (line 2) throws a new light on this specific weaving tool. Κάμακας corresponds to the shape of the instrument, while the epithet that defines it (λειομίτους) alludes to its function.
Photius and Suda s.v. κάμαξ explain the noun as χάραξ “pointed stake,” ὀρθὸν ξύλον, “a straight piece of wood.” This alludes to the simple shape of the kerkis of our poem. As suggested by its root meaning (*krek- “beat the weft with a stick,” κρέκω “strike the weft” and by extension “weave”; “pluck a stringed instrument”), [28] the primary function of the instrument was the beating, i.e. the compacting of the weft threads into place. The epithet λειομίτους, “warp-smoothing,” implies a second function, that the tapered end of kerkis was used to strum the warp-yarn to ensure that each vertical thread is separate by aiding the release of knots and tangles. This action, described by Plato (Cratylus 388a–b) with the verb κερκίζω (“discriminate the threads”) and by Aristotle (Physica 243b11) with the noun κέρκισις (“pushing apart”) marked the weaver’s skill and—along with the beating itself—resulted in a high-quality product.
In the AP the sound of the kerkis [29] is often compared to music or song. It is called “sonorous” (εὔθροος) at AP 6.39.6 (Archias), “singer and dancer of the loom” (τὰν ἱστῶν μολπάτιδα) at AP 6.288.5 (Leonidas of Tarentum), “fond of singing” (φιλαοιδός) at AP 6.47.1 (Antipater of Sidon); cf. also AP 6.160.1–2 (Antipater) discussed below.
We also find it compared to birds already in Aristophanes, [30] and three times in the AP, here with the swallows, at AP 6.160.2 (Antipater of Sidon) with the halcyon and at AP 6.174.5 (Antipater of Sidon) with the nightingale.
The swallows, to which Aisione’s kerkis is compared in Philip’s epigram, are described by the first hapax of this epigram, ὀρθρολάλοισι (line 1). [31] This is a nominal compound epithet that means “dawn-twittering.” It is attested only here and in Suda s.v. ὀρθρογόη [32] “early-wailing,” where it is given as a synonym (along with a quotation of Philip’s line). ὀρθρογόη is an attribute of the swallow in Hesiod, Opera et Dies 568 (ὀρθρογόη Πανδιονὶς ὦρτο χελιδών), where some scholars [33] adopt the reading ὀρθρο- or ὀρθο- βόη instead of ὀρθρογόη. The reading ὀρθροβόη (“early caller,” “chanticleer”) agrees with Plato’s explanation [34] that the twittering of the nightingale, the swallow, and the hoopoe are not laments. Ὀρθοβόας, a similar in meaning epithet, is attested twice in the AP: AP 12.137.1 (Meleager) and AP 12.24.3 (Laurea), and it is always applied to a cock.
Although most compounds in -λαλος appear rather late in Greek literature, [35] the earlier hapax -λάλος compounds are attested in Aristophanes; ἀμφίλαλος “talking in two languages, in broken Greek” (Ranae 679) of the demagogue Cleophon, and ὀξυλάλος, “glib of tongue,” of Aeschylus, attested at Ranae 815.
Epigrammatists show a predilection for these formations, with ἀείλαλος “ever-babbling” being the commonest in the Anthology, where it appears four times; twice identifying women, a Samian girl in AP 7.459.3 (Callimachus) and a bibulous woman in AP 7.353.3 (Antipater of Sidon), and twice with reference to Eros, in AP 5.177.3 (Meleager) and AP 5.178.5 (Meleager). [36]
The epithet ὀρθρολάλος is the opposite of νυκτιλάλος “nightly-sounding” first appearing with reference to Anacreon’s lyre (κιθάρη) at AP 7.29.2, and possibly coined by Antipater of Sidon, one of Philip’s sources of influence. Ὀρθρολάλος seems to have been formed after Hesiod’s ὀρθρογόη (Opera et Dies 568), but Philip does not perceive the early morning birdsong of the swallow as a lament, but rather as a simple communicative note. Similarly, Suda considers it to be a call to start work with no sign of lament. [37] We cannot answer the question whether Philip by this formation sides with Plato’s view of birds not lamenting [38] or whether he simply coins an epithet that can describe both the swallow and a weaver. Philip’s coinage combines two elements that allude topical features of these craftswomen: early arising to start working and loquacity (this is clearly different from the Hesiodic concept of lamenting associations of swallows).
Out of the adjective εἴκελος (“like”), another hapax is coined, the second one of the epigram, εἰκελοφώνους (line 1). [39] A number of -φωνος compounds occur in the AP. [40] A -φωνος compound attributed to birds in general is λιγύφωνος at AP 9.363.16 (Meleager). [41]
At Odyssey (21.410–411) the sound of Odysseus’ bowstring, as he twanged it after stringing it, is compared to the chirping of the swallow:

δεξιτερῇ ἄρα χειρὶ λαβὼν πειρήσατο νευρῆς
ἡ δ᾽ ὑπὸ καλὸν ἄεισε, χελιδόνι εἰκέλη αὐδήν.

Philip’s hapax is based on the Homeric phrase χελιδόνι εἰκέλη αὐδήν, which is converted into χελιδόσιν εἰκελοφώνους and put at the same metrical position as in Homer, i.e. after the third trochee caesura. Philip replaces the noun αὐδήν with its synonym φωνή (-φων-) as the second component of his new compound.

In the pentameter line, κάμακας is assigned the third hapax of this epigram, λειομίτους “yarn-smoothing” (line 2). Λειο- compound epithets with a nominal second component are rare. They appear in prose [42] and more often in technical writings. [43]
-μίτος compounds often have a numeral (ἑξά-, ἑπτά-, δί-, τρί-) adjectival or adverbial first component (λεπτό-, εὔ-, πολύ-). In the Anthology ἑξαμίτης (of hair) occurs at AP 7.702 (Apollonides), while and ἑπτάμιτος defines the lyre at AP 9.250.6 (Honestus). Τρίμιτον is attested in Cratinus Junior fr. 5, while Pollux 7.78 cites Aeschylus’ τριμίτινος (fr. 365 Radt). Λεπτόμιτος, εὔμιτος, πολύμιτος also occur in drama. [44]
Philip’s λειομίτους seems to be coined after the Euripidean λεπτόμιτος (“of fine threads”) attested at Andromacha 831 (λεπτόμιτον φάρος). [45] However, unlike λεπτόμιτος, λειόμιτος is not a descriptive determinative compound; instead, λειόμιτος is a dependent determinative compound, with the verbal stem λειο- (“yarn-smoothing”) as its first component (unlike λεπτόμιτος that has an adjectival first component). The epithet λειόμιτος acknowledges the master skill required on the part of the weaver to strum the warp with the tapered end of the kerkis (or even with her fingers) to ensure a fine, evenly woven, smooth product.
The structure of Philip’s first distich

κερκίδας ὀρθρολάλοισι χελιδόσιν εἰκελοφώνους,
          Παλλάδος ἱστοπόνου λειομίτους κάμακας

is similar to that of Antipater AP 6.160:

κερκίδα τὰν ὀρθρινά, χελιδονίδων ἅμα φωνᾷ,
          μελπομέναν, ἱστῶν Παλλάδος ἀλκυόνα

with words at the same metrical position (κερκίδα, χελιδονίδων, φωνᾷ / κερκίδας, χελιδόσιν, (εἰκελο)φώνους).

Philip echoes and emulates his predecessor. He forms a heavy distich (lines 1–2) with four substantives and four adjectives, three of which are hapax, alternating in a schematic arrangement in each line: the terms in the hexameter line form a chiaston “NenE,” [46] while those in the pentameter form a “Neen” structure.
Philip’s reference to kerkis, using the noun κάμακας, at the opposite end of the distich and in homeoteleuton with κερκίδας, is worth discussing from another aspect as well. The usual meaning of κάμαξ is “vine-pole,” “vine-prop” [47] or “any pole or shaft.” [48] It can also refer to the “shaft of a spear.” [49] In the latter sense it appears in a dedication to Athena at AP 6.131.4 (Leonidas) as shown below, at the same metrical position and in proximity to Pallas, but in reverse order:

Αἵδ’ ἀπὸ Λευκανῶν θυρεάσπιδες, οἵ δε χαλινοὶ
          στοιχηδόν, ξεσταί τ’ ἀμφίβολοι κάμακες
δέδμηνται, ποθέουσαι ὁμῶς ἵππους τε καὶ ἄνδρας,
          Παλλάδι· τοὺς δ’ ὁ μέλας ἀμφέχανεν θάνατος.

Philip seems to converse here with Leonidas. The same word (κάμαξ) defines two different dedicatory objects, which correspond to two different realms of protection of the goddess.

The second item in Philip’s catalogue of Aisione’s dedicatory objects, is a comb-like tool (κτείς, line 3), used for separating the fibres to create the roving before spinning it. This distich alludes to the first laborious step of the spinning and weaving process, that of the carding. It entails the preparation of the wool for spinning, after having it cleaned, treated, and broken into its smallest components.
The term κτένα (which does not appear in other epigrams of the same theme) is qualified by the fourth hapax of this epigram, κοσμοκόμην “dressing the hair” (line 3). The first component in Philip’s formation is not nominal (i.e. the noun κόσμος), [50] but instead the verbal stem κοσμ-. [51] κοσμοκόμης is a dependent determinative compound with the substantive κόμη in the second part as the object of the verb (κοσμοκόμης = κοσμεῖ τὴν κόμην). The metaphorical sense of κοσμοκόμης (“arranging the strands”) vies with the literal sense “dressing the hair.”
Compounds with the nominal suffix -κόμης were often used as epithets of gods. [52] It is worth noting that κοσμοκόμης evokes the etymology of the noun κόμη from κόσμος and κοσμῶ: κόμη, παρὰ τὸ κόσμον εἶναι τοῦ σώματος. [53]
The third item in the list is the spindle (ἄτρακτον), prominently positioned at the end of line 3 that is made up—again—by two nouns and two adjectives, as previously, arranged in the structure NEen.
The newly carded wool, held in the distaff, was turned into yarn by slowly pulling it out and twisting around a hanging spindle. The end of the yarn was attached to the spindle, whose weight served to carry on the twisting, aiding the finger-twisting.
Ἄτρακτον is qualified by the fifth hapax of this epigram, δακτυλότριπτον “worn by the fingers” (line 3). Regarding the first component, δακτυλο-, Philip seems to echo tragic diction, since the only other known δακτυλο- compounds, δακτυλόδεικτος (“pointed at with the finger”), [54] and δακτυλόδικτος (“thrown from the fingers”), [55] occur in tragedy.
Odyssey 21.151 features the epithet ἄτριπτος (hapax in Homer), with reference to Leiodes, one of the suitors, the first to test Odysseus’ bow without success; ἄτριπτος means “not worn hard by work,” i.e. not calloused. Arguably, Philip had ἄτριπτος in mind, when he coined δακτυλότριπτον, which is opposite to the Homeric meaning yet resembling the abovementioned tragic compounds. At the same time, Philip was aware of δακτυλόδικτος, which describes the sound produced by an instrument (a musical in Aeaschylus’ case). The epithet δακτυλότριπτος recognises the hard work with the action of the finger-rubbing, which can cause blistering and cuts—especially when spinning coarse goat-hair.
The poet imagines the spindle to “swim” in the thread (νήματι), which is qualified by the sixth hapax compound epithet σφονδυλοδινήτῳ (line 4). The spindle whorl (σφόνδυλος), introduced here as the first component of the epithet, consisted of a small disk (whorl) with a spindle shaft, inserted through a hole in the middle. The second component alludes to the whirling. Philip’s σφονδυλοδίνητος is formed after Leonidas’ ἀειδίνητος, [56] which qualifies the spindle (AP 6.289.3), whereas Archias coins πολυδινέα (AP 6.39.3) to describe the same instrument.
The fourth object of dedication, the woven basket (τάλαρον, line 5), [57] is the only one that is not defined by a hapax. Yet, in the final couplet (lines 7–8) we come across two hapax names, a patronymic adjective and a proper name, which I shall discuss briefly before proceeding to the second part of the paper. Athena is addressed as Παλλαντιάς κόρη, i.e. by a patronymic adjective attested only here. The poet alludes to an obscure myth [58] according to which Athena was the daughter of the giant Pallas, not Zeus, and retained her virginity despite the attack by her father. Τhis address recalls Bacchylides (AP 6.313.1) κούρα Πάλλαντος … πότνια Νίκα.
The weaver’s name, Αἰσιόνη, is delayed. It appears in the prominent position at the beginning of the final pentameter and is announced by the rare epithet βαθυγήρως, elegantly contrasting the ages of the young goddess and the aged mortal.
The name Αἰσιόνη derives from Αἶσα (also known as Moira) who appears twice in the Iliad [59] and once in the Odyssey [60] spinning the fate of mortals. The name also alludes to one of the three Fates, Atropos, the other two being Clotho and Lachesis, identified with Αἶσα, the divinity who allotted to everyone his destiny, but was also known as the one who cut the thread of life when death approached, Atropos. Therefore, spinning and weaving as a metaphor of life and death, destiny and time is reflected in Philip’s deliberate choice of the name Αἰσιόνη, and its position at the final line of the poem.
It is also of interest that the masculine names Αἴσιος and Αἰσίων are relatively uncommon. They appear in Athens four times (twice each). [61] Fraser and Matthews associate all these four instances of the name with Plutarch’s Αἰσίων (Demosthenes 11.4) a politician and rhetor who was also of advanced age at the time of Demosthenes’ early career. As an orator Αἰσίων is quoted by Aristotle (Rhetoric 1411a25) for two emotive metaphors. [62] One should further consider that there is a point of contact between Αἰσιόνη, and Αἰσίων: their old age. Another consideration is that Αἰσίων is associated with the use of metaphor. This perhaps substantiates further the hypothesis that this epigram, with Αἰσιόνη as its protagonist, should (also) be read under a metaphorical light.

Weaving as a metaphor for poetry: The case of Philip

Textile imagery is pervasive in classical literature. [63] Spinning and weaving are metaphorically associated—from Homer onwards [64] —with literary composition and especially with poetic imagery of loom-work. Weaving and spinning as a poetological device were used to show poetic originality. The association between weaving and poetry was especially developed by women epigrammatists Nossis and Erinna. [65] They offered to Theocritus a “convenient way to express his own poetic ideas through … female characters,” [66] i.e. via the voice of Adoniazousai in Idyll 15.
In the footsteps of this tradition, I shall suggest that Philip may have exploited the common theme of the dedication of a weaver (Αἰσιόνη) with self-referential connotations in disguise, thus likening his own literary production to weaving. Philip’s epigram, read under the light of metaphoric symbolisms, could be seen as reflecting his own skillful “weaving” of both poetry and novel new words (hapax).
The tools of the weaver to be dedicated to Athena reflect the weaver’s skills and the features of conscientious work. In turn, this mirrors the creativity of Philip. Indeed, the poem can be seen as a metaphor for his own skill of coining new words, as well as and for his novel poetic ideas. In the light of this and on closer examination, the epigram can be read as hiding a deeper meaning and as carrying metapoetic significance. Key literary terms, in my opinion, are the adjectives λειομίτους, κοσμοκόμην, δακτυλότριπτον and the participle καθαιρομένη. Arguably, they have metapoetic meaning and reflect Philip’s innovative and creative poetic skills.
Λεῖος, the first component of the hapax λειομίτους, alludes to the fine, delicate, evenly woven fabric produced by the skillful weaver’s operation of the kerkis. This could be a recall of adherence to Callimachean leptotes in the sense of delicacy, the cardinal idea of Hellenistic poetry. Thus, like the product of the weaver, Philip’s poetic outcome is “fine-spun” writing, with careful choice of well-crafted language.
The precise activity of both the weaver and the poet himself is also echoed in the application of the weaving instruments. In Plato’s Cratylus (388a–b) Socrates describes the word kerkis as the main instrument for separating the warp-thread (κερκίζοντες δὲ τί δρῶμεν; οὐ τὴν κρόκην καὶ τοὺς στήμονας συγκεχυμένους διακρίνομεν;). [67] Just as the kerkis in one of its functions separates the threads, Philip cleverly selects his components and weaves new words into his poetic “fabric.”
The first component of κοσμοκόμην indicates embellishment and adornment of diction. [68] This qualifies the comb (κτένα) and can be likened to the lines of Philip’s poem indicating care in the position of the words and their ornamentation.
Δακτυλότριπτον, used for the personified spindle, indicates another characteristic of Philip’s composition: assiduous work similar to the weaver’s. This epithet inevitably calls to mind κελεύθους ἀτρίπτο]υς, the “untrodden paths” of Callimachus’ Aetia (I 27–28). Perhaps Philip’s untrodden path is that of creating new compound words, as demonstrated in his poem. Also, the epithet ἱστοπόνου to describe Pallas and the ancient etymology of the noun κάμαξ (Etymologicum Magnum Kallierges p.487 and Eustathius vol. 4 p.255.13), which connects the word with toiling (παρὰ τὸ κάμνειν ἐν τῷ βαστάζειν τὴν ἄμπελον), denote hard work by both the weaver and the poet. Poetic composition of Philip’s standing is a toilsome task.
The fourth allusive literary term, καθαιρομένη, in the sense to cleanse or to purify, could point to Philip’ choice of new, fresh words out of “raw” material (τολύπη). Through the catalogue of Aisione’s tools, Philip’s admired characteristics of the weaver are well displayed in his composition. He avoids obscurity. The standard weaver equipment is named in a straightforward and easily recognizable way, with accuracy and without providing unnecessary detail. But he exhibits his poetic ingenuity through refined, intricate, and brand-new epithets with painstaking precision. Thus, in a poem about a weaver Philip gives an example of how he weaves his epigrams, leia, kata kosmon, kathara, equating his art with the art of the skilled weaver.
Certainly, as confirmed by many authors, weaving was an ideal and popular metaphor that poets exploited to express their own poetic ingenuity. Philip’s prolific creation of new words in an epigram devoted to a weaver is not accidental. The self-referential weaving metaphor is carefully disguised in the poem; hence, the hidden meaning of these allusions as self-referential has been previously unnoticed. Following the detailed examination of this poem, I believe Philip’s epigrams, if approached in depth, could further reveal his outstanding skill and elevate him to the rank he deserves.
I trust that my dear friend Menelaos Christopoulos will not follow Aisione’s footsteps of hanging up his “philological instruments,” and instead continue his “scholarly weaving.”


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Fowler, H. N. 1966. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 1. Cambridge, MA.
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Harlizius-Klück, E., and G. Fanfani. 2016. “(B)orders in Ancient Weaving and Archaic Greek Poetry.” In Fanfani, Harlow, and Nosch 2016:61–99.
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———. 2017. “‘Harvesting from a New Page’. Philip of Thessalonike’s Editorial Undertaking.” Aitia 7.
James, A. 1970. Studies in the Language of Oppian of Cilicia, Amsterdam.
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———. 2006. “Il Proemio della Corona di Filippo di Tessalonica e la sua Funzione Programmatica.” In Incontri Triestini di Filologia Classica 4 (2004–2005), ed. L. Cristante, 393–404. Trieste.
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Nagy, G. 2008. Homer the Classic. Hellenic Studies 36. Washington, DC.
———. 2009. Homer the Preclassic. Sather Classical Lectures 67. Berkeley.
———. 2016. “Weaving while singing Sappho’s songs in Epigram 55 of Posidippus” Classical Inquiries, January 7, 2016.
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Restani, D. 1995. “I Suoni del Telaio. Appunti sull’ Universo Sonoro dei Greci.” In Mousike. Metrica, ritmica e musica greca in memoria di Giovanni Comotti, ed. B. Gentili and F. Perusino, 93–109. Pisa.
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[ back ] 1. Henceforth abbreviated as AP in accordance with common practice.
[ back ] 2. Gow and Page 1968:2, 329; Argentieri 2007:161.
[ back ] 3. 2006:393–404; 2007:176–177.
[ back ] 4. 2016: 105–117; 2017.
[ back ] 5. Eighty-nine epigrams, most of them found in the Palatine and some in the Planudean collection, are ascribed to Philip. See Gow and Page 1968:2, 327.
[ back ] 6. On his other themes, see Gow and Page 1968:2, 328–329.
[ back ] 7. AP 6.247.
[ back ] 8. AP 6.5; AP 6.38; AP 6.90.
[ back ] 9. AP 6.36 a farmer; AP 6.104 a ploughman; AP 6.102 a fruit–grower; AP 6.99 a goat-herd; AP 6.107 a hunter.
[ back ] 10. AP 6.62 a scribe; AP 6.92 a goldsmith; AP 6.103 a carpenter.
[ back ] 11. AP 6.101.
[ back ] 12. AP 6.94.
[ back ] 13. Out of the eighty-nine epigrams ascribed to Philip, only nineteen of them (i.e. 21%) contain no hapax terms (AP 6.94, 103, 104, 259; 7.187, 362,382; 9. 253, 254, 267, 307, 416, 778; 11.33, 321, 347; 16.81, 93, 240). In the rest the number varies from 1 (15 epigrams: AP 6.99, 240; 7.234, 385, 554; 9.22, 88, 232, 247, 262, 708; 11.36; 16.141, 215, 742), to 2 (14 epigrams (AP 6.36, 102, 203, 231; 7.405; 9.56, 83, 240, 299, 438, 543, 709, 777; 16.52) to 3 (7 epigrams AP 4.2; 6.38; 7.383; 9.274, 290, 311, 575) to 4 (8 epigrams AP 6.90, 107, 236, 251; 7.394; 9.285, 561; 16.104) to 5 (2 epigrams AP 6.5, 92) to 6 (2 epigrams AP 6.101, 247).
[ back ] 14. Amongst the epigrammatists who write on the same theme Leonidas (AP 6.289) employs one at AP 6.289 (μιτοεργόν) and four at AP 6.288 (ποτιθύμια, πρόσεργον, μολπάτιδα, εὐβριθεῖς), and Archias (AP 6.39) three new compound adjectives (πολυδίνεα, πολυσπαθέων, εἰροχαρῆ).
[ back ] 15. Another epigram, also featuring a high number of hapax terms (five new compound adjectives and one verb) is AP 6.101, a dedication of a cook, composed in iambic trimeters.
[ back ] 16. Translation by Gow and Page, adapted.
[ back ] 17. AP 6.288 (Leonidas of Tarentum).
[ back ] 18. AP 6.39 (Archias); AP 6.174 (Antipater of Sidon); AP 6.289 (Leonidas of Tarentum).
[ back ] 19. AP 6.160 (Antipater of Sidon); AP 6.247 (Philippus).
[ back ] 20. AP 6.39 (Archias); AP 6.160 (Antipater of Sidon); AP 6.247 (Philippus); AP 6.288 (Leonidas of Tarentum).
[ back ] 21. AP 6.47 (Antipater of Sidon); AP 6.48 (anonymous).
[ back ] 22. AP 6.285 (Nicarchus).
[ back ] 23. Tarán 1979:115–131.
[ back ] 24. On kerkis, see Blümner I.151, Edmunds 2012:§§40–51.
[ back ] 25. Similar catalogues are found in AP 6.288–289 (Leonidas of Tarentum), and AP 6.160 (Antipater of Sidon).
[ back ] 26. Edmunds 2012:§42.
[ back ] 27. Nagy 2016:§§4–8.
[ back ] 28. Barber 1991:279–280 and Barber and Adams 1997:572, cited by Edmunds 2012:§41.
[ back ] 29. On the sound of kerkis, see Restani 1995:98–99, and Moxon 2000.
[ back ] 30. Ranae 1315–1316: ἱστότονα πηνίσματα, / κερκίδος ἀοιδοῦ μελέτας (of the twittering of the halcyon).
[ back ] 31. On the song of the shuttle marking the dawn, see AP 6.160.1 (Antipater of Sidon) ὀρθρινά.
[ back ] 32. ὀρθρογόη: χελιδών. λέγεται καὶ ὀρθρόλαλος. κερκίδας ὀρθρολάλοισι χελιδόσιν εἰκελοφώνους.
[ back ] 33. See West 1978:123, 301.
[ back ] 34. Phaedo 85a.
[ back ] 35. Buck and Petersen 1970:358.
[ back ] 36. The remaining hapax compounds in -λαλος: ἐρημολάλος “chattering in the desert,” only in Meleager, μοῦσαν ἐρημολάλον of the cicada (AP 7.196.2); νευρολάλος “with sounding strings,” found only in Tullius Sabinus (AP 9.410.3); θρηνολάλος, “uttering laments,” of the Sirens IG12(8).445.5 (Thasos) and ἡδυλάλος IG12(7). 95.4 (Amorgos).
[ back ] 37. χελιδόνιον μέλος: τῆς χελιδόνος. ἔστι δὲ αὐτῆς ἡ φωνὴ οὐ θρῆνος, ἀλλ’ ᾆσμα ἐνδοτικὸν καὶ κελευστικὸν πρὸς ἔργα.
[ back ] 38. Phaedo 85a–b ἐπειδὰν αἴσθωνται ὅτι δεῖ αὐτοὺς ἀποθανεῖν, ᾄδοντες καὶ ἐν τῷ πρόσθεν χρόνῳ, τότε δὴ πλεῖστα καὶ κάλλιστα ᾄδουσι, γεγηθότες ὅτι μέλλουσι παρὰ τὸν θεὸν ἀπιέναι οὗπέρ εἰσι θεράποντες. οἱ δ᾽ ἄνθρωποι διὰ τὸ αὑτῶν δέος τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τῶν κύκνων καταψεύδονται, καί φασιν αὐτοὺς θρηνοῦντας τὸν θάνατον ὑπὸ λύπης ἐξᾴδειν, καὶ οὐ λογίζονται ὅτι οὐδὲν ὄρνεον ᾄδει, ὅταν πεινῇ ἢ ιγῷ ἤ τινα ἄλλην λύπην λυπῆται, οὐδὲ αὐτὴ ἥ τε ἀηδὼν καὶ χελιδὼν καὶ ὁ ἔποψ, ἃ δή φασι διὰ λύπην θρηνοῦντα ᾄδειν. ἀλλ᾽ οὔτε ταῦτά μοι φαίνεται λυπούμενα ᾄδειν οὔτε οἱ κύκνοι, ἀλλ᾽ ἅτε οἶμαι τοῦ Άπόλλωνος ὄντες, μαντικοί τέ εἰσι καὶ προειδότες τὰ ἐν Ἅιδου ἀγαθὰ ᾄδουσι καὶ τέρπονται ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν διαφερόντως ἢ ἐν τῷ ἔμπροσθεν χρόνῳ (“(swans) who sing at other times also, when they feel that they are to die, sing most and best in their joy that they are to go to the god whose servants they are. But men, because of their own fear of death, misrepresent the swans’ song and say that they sing for sorrow, in mourning for their own death. They do not take under consideration that no bird sings when it is hungry or cold or has any other sorrow; no, not even the nightingale or the swallow or the hoopoe which are said to sing in lamentation. I do not believe they sing for grief, nor do the swans; but since they are Apollo’s birds, I believe they have prophetic vision, and because they have foreknowledge of the blessings in the other world they sing and rejoice on that day more than ever before)” (translation by Fowler 1966).
[ back ] 39. On compounds in -φωνος, see James 1970:33–34.
[ back ] 40. ἄφωνος (AP 6.269.1; AP 7.47.2; AP 14.10.6); πολύφωνος (AP 9.7.1); μελίφωνος (AP 9.66.1); χαλκεόφωνος (AP 9.505.15); βαρβαρόφωνος (AP 14.97.1); μυριόφωνος (AP 16.362.3); πάμφωνος (AP 16.290.6).
[ back ] 41. Cf. also ἠερόφωνος of cranes in Oppian Halieutica 1.621, and of a herald in Iliad 18.505.
[ back ] 42. λειογένειος (Herodotus 5.20); λειοκύμων (Lucian Verae Historiae 2.4).
[ back ] 43. λειόχρως (Aristotle apud Athenaeus 7.312); λειόκαυλος (Theophrastus Historia Plantarum 7.8.2); λειόφλοιος (Theophrastus Historia Plantarum 1.5.2); λειόφυλλος (Theophrastus Historia Plantarum 7.4.4); λειόπους (Galen 18(1).613).
[ back ] 44. Euripides Andromacha 831, Iphigeneia Taurica 817, and Aeschylus Supplices 432 respectively.
[ back ] 45. The adjective λεπτόμιτος qualifies hunters’ nets at AP 6.11.2 (Satrius).
[ back ] 46. N = first noun, E = first epithet, n = second noun, e = second epithet.
[ back ] 47. Homer Iliad 18.563, Hesiod Scutum 299.
[ back ] 48. κάμακες πεύκης Aeschylus fr. 171.
[ back ] 49. Aeschylus Agamemnon 66; Euripides Hecuba 1155; Euripides Electra 852.
[ back ] 50. Κοσμο- compound epithets (with the first component meaning universe, world) appear late and are rare (κοσμογράφος, κοσμοποιός, κοσμοπρεπής). Two such compounds in the Anthology are κοσμοπλόκος (hapax) (AP 9.525.11) “holding the world together,” qualifying Apollo, and κοσμοφθόρος, “destroying the world,” also rare, at AP 11.270.1 (anonymous) of the king Anastasius.
[ back ] 51. For such usually poetic compounds, see Smyth 1920:880.
[ back ] 52. ἀκερσεκόμης of Apollo e.g. Homer Iliad 20.39, and of Dionysus e.g. Nonnus Dionysiaca 15.49; ἀκειρεκόμης of Apollo e.g. Pindar Pythian 3.14, and of Asclepius IG 3.171; χρυσοκόμης of Apollo e.g. Tyrtaeus 3.4, AP 6.264.2 (Mnasalces); and of Dionysus Hesiod Theogony 947. Other compounds are ξανθοκόμης (Pindar Nemean 9.17, Theocritus Idylls 17.103); ἁβροκόμης (AP 12.256.9, Meleager); ἐρημοκόμης (AP 6.294.4, Phanias).
[ back ] 53. Etymologicum Gudianum s.v. Cf. also Aelius Herodianus and Pseudo-Herodianus (Grammatici Graeci Vol.3.1 p.325, l.13 ed. Lentz) κόμη βαρύνεται ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμος γεγονυῖα, and Epimerismi Homerici 36,b1a (ed. Dyck) τὸ δὲ κόμη εἴρηται ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμος, τοῦτο παρὰ τὸ κοσμῶ.
[ back ] 54. Aeschulus Agamemnon 1332 δακτυλοδείκτων … μελάθρων.
[ back ] 55. Aeschylus Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3.57.4: ὁ μὲν ἐν χερσὶν βόμβυκας ἔχων, τόρνου κάματον, δακτυλόδικτον πίμπλησι μέλος (changed by editors to δακτυλόδεικτον instead of the mss reading δακτυλόδικτον).
[ back ] 56. Cf. also AP 6.205.7 (Leonidas of Tarentum) εὐδίνητος of the carpenter’s tools (τρύπανα “borers”).
[ back ] 57. For further dedications of weavers’ baskets, see AP 6.39.6 (Archias); AP 6.160.5 (Antipater of Sidon); AP 6.174.3 (Antipater of Sidon); AP 6.289.4 (Leonidas of Tarentum). On kalathos, see Trinkl 2014:91.
[ back ] 58. Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.59; Clement of Alexandria Protrepticus 2.28.2.
[ back ] 59. 24.209–210; 20.127-128.
[ back ] 60. 7.197–198.
[ back ] 61. See Fraser and Matthews 1987-2005 s.v. Αἴσιος and Αἰσίων.
[ back ] 62. Westwood 2017.
[ back ] 63. On textile and clothing imagery, see Fanfani, Harlow and Nosch 2016.
[ back ] 64. On the application of weaving imagery to poetry-making, see McIntosh Snyder 1981:193–196; Scheid and Svenbro 1996:111–130; Nagy 2008:§92; 2009:§§ 384–385; Harlizius-Klück and Fanfani 2016:86–99.
[ back ] 65. Skinner 2001:214–215.
[ back ] 66. Bustos 2019:155–160.
[ back ] 67. Similarly, in Plato’s Politikos (282b) we read that both spinning and weaving consist in “taking apart” the things that lie close together (τὰ ξυγκείμενα ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων ἀφίστησι).
[ back ] 68. Euripides Medea 576; Plato Apology 17c. See also Cambridge Greek Lexicon s.v. κοσμέω 6.