12. For You, Arsinoe …

Susan Stephens, Stanford University
The recent publication of P.Mil.Vogl. VIII 309 not only provides us with a substantial portion of an epigram collection from the early Hellenistic period, it allows us important new insights into the ways in which the images of the Ptolemaic monarchs were being integrated into contemporary poetry. At critical points throughout the collection we find discrete epigrams that implicate the Ptolemies. Further, the epigrams are set out in sections, each of which is headed with a title in such a way that the interplay of title, section size, and subject matter of the epigrams within each section courts an immediate reader response. Two of these sections—the third and the sixth—are in large part devoted to the celebration of Ptolemaic queens. The nature of any such collection of poems, but especially one organized like the Milan roll, will be to have many focal points and many converging lines of interpretation. What follows is a discussion weighted to expose the nature and significance of the role of the Ptolemies, and in particular Arsinoe II, the sister-wife of Ptolemy II, both as it is set out in the third section and within the new epigram collection as a whole. My argument rests upon two critical assumptions: the poetic collection was intentionally organized (whether by author or editor) and that reading an epigram within a sequence of poems produces a reader response that differs from reading the same epigram in isolation.
The third surviving section of the roll is titled Anathematika, or ‘Dedications’ (AB 36–41). [1] It consists of six epigrams arranged in an order of 8–8–4–8–4–6 lines, and its total of 38 lines provides a marked contrast to the first two sections. These contain respectively 21 epigrams in 126 lines (on stones) [2] and 15 epigrams in 80 lines (Oiônoskopika). The section immediately following Anathematika, consisting of tomb inscriptions, is also large—20 epigrams in 116 lines. The relative proportions of these four sections, 126–80–38–116 lines, [3] or three large with one considerably smaller, would seem to be reversed in the next four sections. In these, labeled Andriantopoiika, Hippika, Nauagika, and Iamatika, we find respectively 50, 98, 26, and 32 lines. [4] If the Anathematika is set apart because of its brevity, in these next four it is the large unit (98 lines) that differs. [5] Both of these sections, differentiated by relative size, showcase Ptolemaic queens. Within the sequence of six poems of the Anathematika the first four are dedications to Arsinoe, the fifth is to Leto, the dedication of the final poem is now missing.
Because these texts are very fragmentary, I have set out the parameters for interpretation:
1.The first epigram (AB 36) is complete, though there are a number of problems with understanding the text. It is a dedication of a linen object [6] from Naucratis made to Arsinoe Philadelphus by Hêgêsô, a Macedonian girl. She makes the dedication in response to a request made by the queen, who appeared to her in a dream. Hêgêsô’s correct interpretation of the dream forges an immediate connection with the previous Oiônoskopika on the proper understanding of omens and provides a foil for AB 33 in which the subject misinterprets a dream about Athena.
2.The second epigram (AB 37) has a number of lacunae that impede understanding. [7] A lyre of unknown date and origin was brought “to Arsinoe” by a dolphin. The dolphin bears the epithet Arionios, a word that should mean “like Arion’s” or “worthy of Arion.” It is not clear if we are to imagine that the lyre was washed up on the shore near the temple or arrived in Arsinoe’s kingdom by other means. Nor is it clear whether we are to imagine that the dedication is the lyre or a poem written by Arion or both. [8] The dedication itself was made by a temple guardian (ναοπόλος), most likely at the Cape Zephyrium temple celebrated in the fourth epigram of this series. [9]
3.Next is a dedication made to Arsinoe (AB 38) by a manumitted slave woman after she drinks or pours her first free libation. [10] This epigram also serves as a link to the following section of tomb inscriptions, since one of these (AB 48) purports to be an inscription from a slave woman who finds good masters and the fine tomb “better than freedom” (κρέϲϲον᾿ ἐλευθερίηϲ). The slavewoman’s name, Epicratis (= Mistress), may be a speaking name. Often the names in these poems express the inverse of actual circumstances, for example, Euelthôn (= Mr. Good Journey) is killed on a journey (AB 29).
4.The fourth epigram (AB 39) commemorates the dedication of Arsinoe’s temple at Cape Zephyrium by Callicrates. In presentation it closely resembles a poem of Posidippus on this subject preserved in Athenaeus (VII 318d = 13 GP = AB 119). The scale of Callicrates’ dedication makes a decided contrast to that of the freed slavewoman or the Macedonian girl.
5.The fifth epigram (AB 40) breaks the pattern of the first four: it is a dedication to Leto. Brief and witty, it seems to depend on a pun for its point—a man named Wolf (Λύκος) leaves a dedication in the mouth of a statue of a wolf. The circumstances suit a context now known only from Delphi. If so, the epigram possibly points forward to the Hippika, all of which are located in the Panhellenic sanctuaries of the Greek games—Olympia, Nemea, Delphi, and Isthmia.
6.Only a few phrases survive from the final epigram (AB 41). It would appear to be the dedication of a tortoise shell probably by the man upon whose head the live animal was dropped. The name of the dedicatee is now missing. The opening of the epigram has verbal reminiscences of an anecdote on the death of Aeschylus. [11]

I. Arsinoe as warrior

The centrality of Arsinoe to the Anathematika in combination with the sixth section on victories in chariot and horse racing (Hippika), where Ptolemaic queens are again foregrounded, gives the epigrammatic collection as a whole a decidedly imperial focus. But the fact that their queens seem to eclipse the male members of the family will not necessarily be poetic hyperbole, so much as the reflection of a calculated policy. Two queens—Arsinoe II and Berenice II—were deliberately promoted in cult by their male kin, and both were linked after death with the cult of Alexander. [12] In contrast, the male members of the family did not include themselves in the cult as individuals, but always coupled with their spouses—as Theoi Adelphoi (Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II) or Theoi Euergetai (Ptolemy III and Berenice II). [13] We find an analogous process at work within the opening sections of the collection, as the reader is encouraged to associate Arsinoe with Alexander via several strategically placed poems that move us from the great Persian king Darius to Alexander, who defeated the Persians, to the Ptolemies. This trajectory culminates in the image of Arsinoe II holding the accoutrements of battle in the opening poem of the Anathematika.
Because historical figures are rare in these poems, the context of each occurrence becomes commensurately more important for the patterning of the whole text. Darius seems to be the first named historical figure (AB 4.l–2), introduced probably as a patron of the stone cutter’s art. [14] He reappears in the eighth poem of the opening section, now as the artistic subject:
οὔτ᾿ αὐχὴν ἐφόρηϲε τὸ ϲάρδιον οὔτε γυναικῶν
     δάκτυλοϲ, ἠρτήθη δ᾿ εἰϲ χρυϲέην ἅλυϲιν
Δαρεῖον φορέων ὁ καλὸ[ϲ] λίθοϲ—ἅρμα δ᾿ ὑπ᾿ αὐτ™ὸν
     γλυφθὲν ἐπὶ ϲπιθαμὴν μήκεοϲ ἐκτέταται—
φ]έγγοϲ ἔνερθεν ἄγων·
No woman’s neck or finger has ever worn this carnelian. The beautiful stone, readied for a golden chain, depicts Darius and glows from within—the chariot carved under him extends a span in length.
(AB 8.1–5)
The fact that Darius is said to be on his chariot implies a specific context. [15] In the famous “Alexander mosaic” from Pompeii, which reflects a late classical painting, [16] Darius is depicted on his chariot facing Alexander on his horse, either at Issos or Gaugamela. [17] The pathos of the encounter is enhanced as the eyes of the two monarchs meet across opposing battle lines. Plutarch, in his Life of Alexander (XXXIII 3–4) similarly emphasizes the encounter of the two kings as one of tragedy and nobility as the Persian king faces his enemy and defeat:
[Ἀλέξανδρος] πόρρωθεν γὰρ αὐτὸν [Δαρεῖον] κατεῖδε, διὰ τῶν προτεταγμένων ἐν βάθει τῆς βασιλικῆς ἴλης ἐκφανέντα, καλὸν ἄνδρα καὶ μέγαν ἐφ᾿ ἅρματος ὑψηλοῦ βεβῶτα, πολλοῖς ἱππεῦσι καὶ λαμπροῖς καταπεφραγμένον … ἀλλὰ δεινὸς ὀφθεὶς ἐγγύθεν Ἀλέξανδρος … ἐξέπληξε καὶ διεσκέδασε τὸ πλεῖστον.
[Alexander at Gaugamela] saw him at a distance as he appeared deep within the drawn up ranks of the royal cohort, a fine-looking man, and stately upon his high chariot, surrounded by a distinguished and numerous cavalry … but when Alexander was seen near by, with his terrifying looks he struck fear into their hearts and put them to flight.
In isolation an epigram on Darius’ chariot might simply be read as an elegant example of poetic ecphrasis. Its status is altered, however, when its implicit message of Persian defeat returns in Oiônoskopika.
In contrast to the Persian monarch portrayed at a moment that recalls his defeat, the Ptolemies first occur at the end of the opening section as monarchs over a broad domain. In the last poem of the section, Poseidon is invoked to “preserve the land of Ptolemy undisturbed with its islands and coastline” (AB 20.5–6). The Ptolemies next appear at the end of the Oiônoskopika as Macedonian kings, where they are coupled with Alexander:
ἀετὸϲ ἐκ νε[φέω]ν καὶ ἅμα ϲτεροπὴ καταβᾶ[ϲα
     νίκηϲ οἰων[οὶ δε]ξιοὶ ἐϲ πόλεμον
Ἀργεάδαιϲ βα̣[ϲιλε]ῦϲιν, Ἀθηναίη δὲ πρὸ ναο[ῦ
     ἴχνοϲ κίνη[ϲαϲ᾿ ἐ]ξιὸν ἐκ μολύβου
οἷον Ἀλεξά[νδρ]ω̣ι ἐφάνη τέραϲ, ἡνίκα Περϲ[ῶν
     ταῖϲ ἀναρ[ιθμ]ή̣τοιϲ πῦρ ἐκύει ϲτρατιαῖ[ϲ.
An eagle coming from the clouds and, simultaneously, flashes of lightning are auspicious omens of victory in war for the Argead kings. But Athena in front of her temple moving her foot out from the lead [18] appeared as such a sign to Alexander, when he bred fire for the innumerable armies of Persians.
(AB 31)
According to the epigrammatist, both the Argead kings and Alexander enjoy propitious omens, but in different ways. The symbols of Zeus, the eagle and the lightning bolt, signal the success of the one, while the other receives a sign from Athena. For Alexander, the omen is specifically linked to his defeat of the Persians. This epigram relies on the familiar iconography of Ptolemaic coinage to reinforce its meaning. An eagle perched on a thunderbolt appeared on Ptolemaic coins for generations, [19] while coins of Alexander often featured Athena brandishing spear and shield on the obverse. On one important series of silver tetradrachs, minted by Soter in Alexandria, a head of Alexander appears on one side, on the other, Athena with spear and shield is shown protecting the eagle on a thunderbolt. [20] This brief epigram, therefore, not only links the Ptolemies with Alexander, it does so in a way that indicates orderly succession. The coinage that stands behind the epigram was deliberately adopted by Soter and his successors to legitimate themselves as the heirs of Alexander, in image if not in fact.
At this point we reach the first poem of the Anathematika, where Arsinoe II Philadelphus [21] is introduced as the first named Ptolemy.
Ἀρϲινόη, ϲοὶ τοῦτο διὰ ϲτολίδων ἀνεμοῦϲθαι
     βύϲϲινον ἄγκειται βρέγμ᾿ ἀπὸ Ναυκράτιοϲ,
ὧι ϲύ, φίλη, κατ᾿ ὄνειρον ὀμόρξαϲθαι γλυκὺν ἱδρῶ
     ἤθελεϲ, ὀτρηρῶν παυϲαμένη καμάτων·
ὣϲ ἐφάνηϲ, Φιλάδελφε, καὶ ἐν χερὶ δούρατοϲ αἰχμήν,
     πότνα, καὶ ἐν πήχει κοῖλον ἔχουϲα ϲάκοϲ·
ἡ δὲ ϲοὶ αἰτηθεῖϲα τὸ λευχέανον κανόνιϲμα
     παρθένοϲ Ἡγηϲὼ θῆκε γένοϲ Μακέ[τη.
Arsinoe, to you is dedicated this bregma of linen from Naucratis with folds to be caught by the wind, with which you, dear lady, in a dream wished to wipe your sweet sweat, [22] after ceasing from your sharp toils. You appeared, Philadelphus, holding a spear in your hand, Lady, and with a hollow shield on your arm. The girl, Hêgêsô, a Macedonian in lineage, at your request, dedicated this white strip.
(AB 36)
Arsinoe is portrayed as a warrior, with spear and shield, and sweating. Arsinoe’s status as a goddess is implied by the fact that she has appeared in a dream to Hêgêsô. The atypical nature of the dedication—a parthenos who is not making the usual request for marriage, but rather complying with a dream omen—immediately links this epigram to those on the interpretation omens that precede. It simultaneously positions Arsinoe as a type of divinity, because at the end of the previous section the reader has learned that a sweating divinity would be propitious if properly summoned:
ξέϲματοϲ ἱδρώϲαντοϲ ὅϲοϲ πόνοϲ ἀνδρὶ πολίτηι
     καὶ δοράτων ὅϲϲοϲ προϲφέρεται νιφετόϲ·
ἀλλὰ τὸν ἱδρ[ώϲα]ντα κάλει θεόν, ὅϲτιϲ ἀπώϲε[ι
     πῦρ ἐπὶ δυ[ϲμε]νέων αὔλια καὶ καλάμα[ϲ.
When a statue sweats, what great trouble presents itself for the male cit-izen and what a great snow storm of spears. But summon [23] the sweating god, who will divert fire upon the folds and reed huts of his enemies.
(AB 30)
This epigram becomes the more relevant to the first of the Anathematika because its immediate predecessor in the sequence gave us the example of Athena’s propitious omen to Alexander (AB 31). [24] Athena as a warrior goddess who regularly carries a shield and spear, by virtue of her poetic proximity, becomes the obvious association for an armed Arsinoe. And this is particularly reinforced in the context of coin iconography. Further the epigram quoted immediately above blurs the distinction between sweating statue and sweating god, just as the Hêgêsô dedication does. In the fourth of the Anathematika we learn that Arsinoe—like the sweating deity of the earlier epigram—acts favorably towards those who call upon her for aid. [25]
There is some historical evidence to reinforce an identification of Arsinoe with Athena. For example, Alexandrian street names that employ cult titles of Arsinoe include two that suggest association with Athena—Arsinoe Nikê and Arsinoe Chalkioikos. [26] Athena Nikê is often portrayed on Alexander’s coinage, [27] while Chalkioikos was a cult title of Athena, known elsewhere only from Sparta. [28] The assumption of the epithet Chalkioikos by or its attachment to Arsinoe may have commemorated the particularly close association with Sparta at the time of the Chremonidean War. [29] Other frequent Olympian associations for Arsinoe include Aphrodite, of course, with whom she was identified in her temple at Cape Zephyrium. [30] She also appears as a Demeter-Isis-Tyche figure in oinochoae with a double cornucopia and phiale. [31] However, there is no unimpeachable evidence to indicate that the epigram commemorates any real military activity on Arsinoe’s part, though much has been made of her power and influence upon Ptolemy II’s overall foreign policy. [32] The principal piece of evidence for this is SIG3 434/5, a decree proposed by Chremonides, the Athenian who most aggressively opposed the Macedonian policies of Antigonus, in 268/7. The decree states in part: “King Ptolemy in accordance with the policy of his ancestors and his sister is visibly concerned for the common freedom of Greece.” [33] It is possible that this Milan epigram is intended to recall these or similar historical circumstances. It is also possible that the epigram alludes to a specific cult statue of an armed Arsinoe. We do not know, for example, how she was represented in the Alexandrian Arsinoeion, though according to Pliny the statue itself was of topaz. [34] But even if Arsinoe was never represented as a warrior queen, the sequence of images that runs from Darius to his conqueror, Alexander, and from him to his successors, the Argead kings, by virtue of her shield and spear, locates Arsinoe as the culmination of a process of conquest.
The connection that the reader is encouraged to make between Alexander and Arsinoe is not arbitrary. It accords well with the historical fact of her association with Alexander in ancestor cult and with her promotion to divinity by her male kin. For example, on gold and silver tetradrachmas apparently issued at the time of her death to mark her inclusion in the Alexander cult, Arsinoe is shown with a diadem and veil, from which a ram’s horn protrudes below her ear. The ram’s horn identified Alexander with his “father” the ram-headed god, Zeus Ammon, and was employed in Ptolemaic coin portraiture to connect individual Ptolemies with the divinized founder of the dynasty. The use of this iconography for Arsinoe on commemorative coins was certainly meant to associate her with Alexander. [35] Moreover, a statue of Alexander probably created for his Alexandrian cult shows him wearing a short cloak covered with the aegis. Alexander as “Aegiochos” links him, of course, with Zeus Aegiochos, but it must also to Athena, whom Alexander favored elsewhere, particularly on coinage. [36] Thus a sequence of images that locates Arsinoe in a context of both Alexander and Athena plays out or plays with, perhaps, standard elements in the iconographic repertory of the early Ptolemies.
In contrast to this portrait of Arsinoe, in the rest of the epigram sequence we find no male Ptolemies mentioned in the context of war, and when they are introduced in the Hippika, their accomplishments are overshadowed by the victories of their queens. Arsinoe, therefore, as a sweating warrior queen in the first half of the collection finds her closest parallel in the kudos-acquiring Berenice of the second half, who competes with men in her chariot victories. M. Fantuzzi, in his discussion of the Hippika, argues that the gaining of kudos by this queen, or more precisely her appropriating or surpassing the kudos of Cynisca of Sparta (AB 87), was as close as it was possible for a Greek to approach heroization. [37] Arsinoe, though clearly located in Egypt in the Anathematika, is via the associations of the epigrams identified with Greek divinities and Greek cult, just as the Ptolemaic queens in this later section are constantly identified as Macedonian in lineage and associated with Greek queens and heroes. The ‘divine’ status of the one queen as opposed to the mere athletic prowess of the others might simply reflect the fact that Arsinoe was dead and at least one Berenice [38] was still alive at the time of the composition of the collection. More likely, the divinization of Arsinoe was a phenomenon that could only be comfortably elaborated within the Egyptian context, while in the rest of the Greek world different symbols were required to publicize the excellence and superiority of the Ptolemies. Athletic victories were clearly one such symbol, the importance of which the poet emphasizes by identifying them as acts of gaining kudos. And it is significant that in the Hippika several generations of Ptolemies are linked as athlophoroi. [39] Indeed, the athletic victories of Berenice II (again a queen, not a king) came to be regarded as commensurate with the cultic elevation of Arsinoe. Well after her death, Ptolemy IV in 211/210 BCE introduced Berenice II into the Alexander cult to join Arsinoe and his other divine ancestors. The eponymous priestess of Berenice II’s cult was designated “athlophoros” in contrast to the priestess of Arsinoe’s cult, who was a “kanêphoros”. [40]

II. Geopoetics

The first poem of the Anathematika plays out another theme found in these opening poems—geographic movement. The Macedonian girl, Hêgêsô, who is now in Egypt, dedicates a markedly Egyptian object made of linen and from Naucratis to Arsinoe. This dynamic of objects in motion is similar to that found in Callimachus’ epigram on the nautilus (Athenaeus VII 318b–c = Ep. 6 Pf. = 14 GP). The shell of a nautilus, a creature that wanders the sea, is beached at Iulus in Ceos, where it is presumably acquired by Selenaea, the daughter of Smyrnean Cleinias, then finally comes to rest as a dedication in Arsinoe’s temple at Cape Zephyrium. In both poems, there is a sense of the flow of people and objects from around the Mediterranean to end up in Egypt. [41] This “geopoetics” is played out from the beginning of the whole collection. The roll opens with epigrams on gemstones that have been finely carved to epigrams on larger, uncarved stones and ostraca to a vast boulder hurled up on the beach. The stones seem to migrate from their original locations on periphery of empire—India, Persia, the Caucasus—to their position as jewel, signet, or ostracon moving ever closer to Ptolemaic Egypt. The first section concludes with a prayer for the well-being of the Ptolemies, while the second epigram in the Oiônoskopika features a ship’s journey embarking upon “the Egyptian sea”, and tracing the flight of cranes as a guide for their journey. The cranes migrate annually between Thrace and Egypt. [42] Within the section mention of Alexander and the Argead kings replicates the movement of the cranes—from Thrace to Egypt, while dedications in Egypt dominate the third section. In contrast, the tomb inscriptions begin with girls in Thrace or Macedon, and the Hippika focus on mainland Greece and the Ptolemies as a Macedonian line. In the fifth section (Andriantopoiika) the second poem commemorates a statue of Philitas of Cos, Ptolemy II’s tutor (quoted below) and the final poem mentions Alexander in the context of victory over the Persians. [43] In at least six sections of the collection, therefore, the exchange between Egypt and Macedon delimits the axes of Ptolemaic power and projects an empire that appears to absorb—at least imaginatively— whatever lies around and between.
If Hêgêsô as a Macedonian girl living in Egypt is a human instantiation of the ship that moves between Thrace and Egypt in the Oiônoskopika, the fourth of the Anathematika evokes seafaring in general. The poem begins by recommending that those who are about to embark upon a sea-journey “offer a greeting to Arsinoe, summoning the Lady goddess from her temple” (AB 39.1–2). It further announces that Callicrates dedicated the temple especially for the seafarer, and that those who call out to her on land and sea “will find her receptive” (AB 39.7–8). At the end of the first section, Poseidon, the divinity with power over the sea, was invoked to protect the Ptolemies and their lands. Now Arsinoe Euploia is positioned as a protecting goddess for the individual who travels these same seas, but with an important difference—Poseidon was associated with violence, geological instability, and earthquakes. Arsinoe, first as Athena [44] and now as Euploia, is portrayed as entirely beneficent. This accords well with actual practice in Egypt where devotions to Arsinoe II were extremely popular, not only in the organized dynastic cults, but also within Egyptian temples, where she was co-templed (made “sunnaos”) with members of the Egyptian pantheon. [45] Even private devotions to Arsinoe seem to have been encouraged, if they did not develop spontaneously. [46]
This fourth poem is in many ways a doublet of a poem preserved in Athenaeus as one of Posidippus displaying similarities of phrasing as well as overall structure.
καὶ μέλλων ἅλα νηῒ περᾶν καὶ πεῖϲμα καθάπτειν
     χερϲόθεν, Εὐπλοίαι `χαῖρε´ δὸϲ Ἀρϲινόηι,
πό]τνιαν ἐκ νηοῦ καλέων θεόν, ἣν ὁ Βοΐϲκου
     ναυαρχῶν Ϲάμιοϲ θήκατο Καλλικράτηϲ
ναυτίλε, ϲοὶ τὰ μάλιϲτα· κατ᾿ εὔπλοιαν δὲ διώκει
     τῆϲδε θεοῦ χρήιζων πολλὰ καὶ ἄλλοϲ ἀνήρ·
εἴνεκα καὶ χερϲαῖα καὶ εἰϲ ἅλα δῖαν ἀφιεὶϲ
     εὐχὰϲ εὑρήϲειϲ τὴν ἐπακουϲομένην.
When you are about to cross the sea in a ship and fasten a cable from dry land, give a greeting to Arsinoe Euploia, summoning the lady goddess from her temple, which Samian Callicrates, the son of Boiscus, dedicated especially for you, sailor, when he was nauarch. Even another man in pursuit of a safe passage often addresses this goddess, because whether on land or setting out upon the dread sea you will find her receptive to your prayers.
(AB 39)
τοῦτο καὶ ἐν πόντωι καὶ ἐπὶ χθονὶ τῆς Φιλαδέλφου
     Κύπριδος ἱλάσκεσθ᾿ ἱερὸν Ἀρσινόης
ἣν ἀνακοιρανέουσαν ἐπὶ Ζεφυρίτιδος ἀκτῆς
     πρῶτος ὁ ναύαρχος θήκατο Καλλικράτης·
ἡ δὲ καὶ εὐπλοίην δώσει καὶ χείματι μέσσωι
     τὸ πλατὺ λισσομένοις ἐκλιπανεῖ πέλαγος.
Both on the sea and on land venerate this temple of Arsinoe Philadelphus Cypris, to whom, commanding Cape Zephyrium, the admiral Callicrates first dedicated. She will grant safe passage and in the midst of a storm smooth the vast sea for those who implore her.
(AB 119 = 13 GP = Athenaeus VII 318d)
Note that both poems begin with generalized exhortations to pray to the goddess in her temple, then in the fourth line, in very similar language, both identify Callicrates as nauarch and dedicator of the temple. [47] In both she is identified as a goddess (τῆϲδε θεοῦ, Κύπριδος). Both conclude with the sentiment that Arsinoe when implored (λισσομένοις, εὐχάϲ … ἐπακουϲομένην) will respond favorably. In each, Arsinoe’s domain encompasses the traveler on land as well as the sea. In contrast to the anxiety of omen interpretation found in the Oiônoskopika, now we find that a prayer to Arsinoe brings both predictable and favorable results. [48] Coming as it does as the fourth and probably the last of the dedications to Arsinoe, it is by far the grandest since it commemorates the whole temple, not merely a small object. [49] On a reduced scale these four dedications to Arsinoe replicate the dynamic of the opening section where the epigrammatic sequence describes ever larger objects and includes the commonplace as well as objects valued for rarity or artistry.

III. Patroness of the Arts

The second epigram of this set, on the lyre and the dolphin, not only involves geographic movement—the lyre like the earlier stones wanders the Mediterranean only to arrive on Egyptian shores—it introduces the idea of artistry and artistic patronage as well. The reader of this collection first encounters a lyre in the epigram on the ring of Polycrates (AB 9), and the language of that dedication: ἀνδρὸϲ ἀοιδοῦ | [τοῦ φο]ρ̣μίζ[οντοϲ ϲοῖϲ] π̣αρὰ π̣[οϲϲ]ὶ λύρην (AB 9.1–2) is echoed here: λύρην ὑπὸ χειρ[ . . . . . . ]. | φθεγξαμ[ένην] (AB 37.1–2). Polycrates was a tyrant of Samos and well known as a patron of the arts. Ibycus and Anacreon and even Pythagoras were connected with his court in ancient anecdotes, if not in fact. [50] The poetic subject of the earlier epigram, the ring of Polycrates, was famous because it was a highly valued object thrown into the sea, swallowed by a fish, and returned accidentally to Polycrates when a fisherman brought him the extraordinary catch. [51] Arsinoe’s lyre seems to have experienced an equally fortuitous sea journey—it was conveyed to Arsinoe’s realm by a dolphin. Moreover, the dolphin is characterized as Arionios, thus evoking the tale of Arion, the quasi-mythical poet attached to the court of Periander of Corinth. [52] Periander was not only a renowned patron of the arts like Polycrates, he was said to have written poetry and was occasionally counted as one of the Seven Sages. [53] The story goes that while sailing from Italy to Corinth, Arion was attacked with murderous intent by the ship’s crew, but was saved from drowning by a passing dolphin. Allusively, Arionios creates a link between those famous tyrants of old who subvented the arts and the Ptolemies, as well as a link between archaic poets and their successors in this new imperial court. Just as Arsinoe is a warrior queen with whom the action of conquest culminates, so too she is imaginatively positioned as the successor of earlier artistic patrons, [54] as now a lyre—an emblem of the poet’s art—has found its way to her temple. Like the gemstones and other objects that are attracted to the Ptolemaic court as an almost inevitable response to the new empire, poets and poetry similarly gravitate to this new milieu.
The last poem in this section on the tortoise shell surely plays out this idea from a slightly different perspective. Though very fragmentary, the following may be said. The event described is reminiscent of the anecdote on the death of Aeschylus, another peripatetic artist enjoying support of an imperial patron. In this sixth dedication, an eagle clutching a tortoise in its talons apparently dropped it onto the head of an unknown person. [55] Although Aeschylus is killed, this man apparently survives to dedicate the tortoise shell. In proximity to the earlier poem on the lyre and the dolphin, it may be relevant that it is the tortoise that gave up his shell involuntarily so that Hermes could invent the lyre. [56] The lyre as both subject and source of poetry and the tortoise shell as a common element that can become a musical instrument seem obviously programmatic for these poems. This is stated quite explicitly in the first epigram of the Andriantopoiika where the human and the non-heroic are praised as the proper canons of art:
τόνδε Φιλίται χ̣[αλ]κ̣ὸν̣ [ἴ]ϲ̣ο̣ν̣ κατὰ πάνθ᾿ Ἑκ[α]ταῖοϲ
     ἀ]κ̣[ρ]ι̣βὴϲ ἄκρουϲ [ἔπλ]α̣ϲ̣ε̣ν εἰϲ ὄνυχαϲ,
καὶ με]γ̣έθει κα̣[ὶ ϲα]ρ̣κ̣ὶ τὸν ἀνθρωπιϲτὶ διώξαϲ
     γνώμο]ν᾿, ἀφ᾿ ἡρώων δ᾿ οὐδὲν ἔμειξ᾿ ἰδέηϲ,
ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀκρομέριμνον ὅλ̣[ηι κ]α̣τεμάξατο τέχνηι
     πρ]έϲβυν, ἀληθείηϲ ὀρθὸν [ἔχων] κανόνα·
αὐδήϲ]οντι δ᾿ ἔοικεν, ὅϲωι πο̣ι̣κ̣ί̣λ̣λεται ἤθει,
     ἔμψυχ]ο̣ϲ, καίπερ χάλκεοϲ ἐὼν ὁ γέρων·
ἐκ Πτολε]μ̣αίου δ᾿ ὧδε θεοῦ θ᾿ ἅμα καὶ βαϲιλῆοϲ
     ἄγκειτ]α̣ι Μουϲέων εἵνεκα Κῶιοϲ ἀνήρ.
Hecataeus has formed this bronze likeness of Philitas accurate in every respect to the tips of the fingers. Following a measure proper to man in size and form, he has incorporated no aspect of the heroic, but fashioned the old man accurately with all his skill, adhering to the proper canon of the truth (emphasis mine). He (Philitas) is represented as a man about to speak with such realism that he seems alive, just like an old man, although he is bronze. In this way by order of Ptolemy, both god and king, was the Coan man dedicated for the sake of his talent (?) [for the sake of the Muses].
(AB 63)
As we see in the lyre dedication of the Anathematika, in this epigram the proximate cause of an art that allows the celebration of such an anthrôpisti gnômôn is a Ptolemy.
The fifth epigram seems to move away from royal patrons at least momentarily since it is a dedication to Leto. Though Leto herself enjoyed a connection with Alexandria. Satyrus in his treatise On the Demes of Alexandria records a shrine dedicated to her, and she may also have been commemorated in a deme name. [57] While the subject matter of the epigram is presumptively about an ordinary man, like the poems on the lyre or the tortoise shell it is allusively rich. According to Aelian, Leto became a she-wolf to avoid Hera’s wrath when she became pregnant with Apollo, and for this reason a statue of a wolf was set up in Delphi. [58] (The anecdote also provides an aition for Apollo’s cult title of Λύκιος.) Leto’s presence must inevitably suggest her son, who is the divine patron of poets. It may not be fortuitous in this context that Apollo Lukios is slyly evoked by Callimachus at the opening of the Aetia—it is the Wolf-god Apollo who instructs Callimachus to raise fat sheep (fr.1.21–24Pf.). We saw an earlier confluence with the opening of the Aetia in the mention of Thracian cranes in the Oiônskopika (AB 22.3–6). If we consider that the third and fourth books of the Aetia are framed with poems for Berenice II, [59] and that the dedication of Berenice’s lock in the final poem of the Aetia is made in Arsinoe’s temple at Cape Zephyrium, the Milan epigrammatist’s treatment of these same two queens may well have been structured as an intertextual dialogue with Callimachus. [60] In any case, Leto, lyres, poets, and tortoise shells adumbrate a poetic universe of royal patrons and fellow poets with Arsinoe at its center.
The Anathematika, like every other section in this fascinating text, has an internal coherence as well as extensive links with many of the poems that precede or follow. Internally, the epigrams celebrate Arsinoe as an embodiment of Ptolemaic Egypt. They reflect the historical reality of her cults and shrines, and the breadth of her popularity—ranging from the extravagant gesture of the imperial admiral, Callicrates, to the humble devotion of a freed slave. They portray Arsinoe as a queen, goddess, and patron of the arts, as the successor of Alexander on the one hand and as an instrument of succor and mercy on the other. The dedications of Hêgêsô, the Macedonian girl, the manumitted slave woman, and the prayers of the unnamed seafarers suggest the mundane context in which denizens of Ptolemaic Egypt would have turned to the deified queen. Even the epigram on Leto reinforces this—as a goddess of the second rank, not quite Olympian, with good Alexandrian credentials as well as associations with Delos and Delphi, she makes a fit companion for Arsinoe. These six poems also play out a theme that pervades the whole collection—the juxtaposition of ruler and subject, rich and poor, the exalted and the absurd, in fact, human nature in all its variety. Throughout the collection we find a concomitant emphasis on the transformation of the mundane or ordinary into a fit subject for poetry, and this, of course, is enabled by the Ptolemies.


[ back ] 1. The word seems to be post-classical in its use, the earliest occurrence from the second century BCE. Polybius (XXVII 18.2) refers to statues of a living ruler—Eumenes II of Pergamon—as ἀναθηματικὰς τιμάς in contrast to inscriptions (ἐγγράπτους τιμάς). The term (whether spelled ἀναθεμ- or ἀναθημ-) may also refer to dedications in a more general sense. The sixth book of the Palatine Anthology is devoted to Anathematika.
[ back ] 2. The title is now missing, as is that for the fourth section. For this reason I use English descriptions rather than the Greek titles suggested in the editio princeps. Where titles exist I transliterate the Greek.
[ back ] 3. The ratio is roughly 3:2:1:3.
[ back ] 4. The ratio is roughly 2:3:1:1, though the basis for the ratio is smaller (ca. 25 lines) than in the previous grouping, where the basis is ca. 40 lines.
[ back ] 5. Nine sections have survived in considerable part, and intercolumnar numbering (XVI 17–19, between AB 109 and 110) makes clear that there must have been a tenth. But it is not possible to determine the original size of the collection.
[ back ] 6. The object is called bregma, which normally refers to bones at the front of the head. Possibly, as the editors conjecture (BG:151n11), the word is used here in a sense closer to its cognate verb, βρέχω, and would therefore mean something moistened. The fact that it is of linen and later referred to as λευχέανον κανόνιϲμα and that its purpose is to wipe away sweat, requires it to be a cloth of some sort, perhaps to wipe the forehead (bregma). See also my discussion in “Battle of the Books”, Gutzwiller 2004 (forthcoming).
[ back ] 7. See BG:152–153nn23–25.
[ back ] 8. For example, see C. Austin’s restorations and translation in AB 37.
[ back ] 9. BG:152n19.
[ back ] 10. The context for the slavewoman’s libation could have been the Arsinoeia or a private dedication. Note that Arsinoe had cult titles of Eleêmôn and Sôzousa (Fraser 1972:1.237).
[ back ] 11. The anecdote survives in various sources: see Vita Aeschyli 9; Suda s.n.; Sotades apud Stobaeum, Flor. 98.9; Pliny NH X 3.7; Valerius Maximus IX 12; Aelian On Animals VII 16. And see discussion in BG:156–157.
[ back ] 12. Quaegebeur 1988:41–42.
[ back ] 13. Fraser 1972:1.214–215.
[ back ] 14. So BG:112n15.
[ back ] 15. See Kosmetatou 2003a.
[ back ] 16. See the extensive discussion of Stewart 1993:130–150 and Cohen 1997, a book devoted to the subject.
[ back ] 17. Stewart 1993:134 argues for Issos; cf. Cohen 1997:84 who favors Gaugamela.
[ back ] 18. I have in part adapted the supplements and punctuation of Schröder 2002:28–29.
[ back ] 19. See Svoronos 1908:pls.A, nos.22–38 and B throughout. Theocritus Idyll 17.71–75 notes the appearance of an eagle at Ptolemy II’s birth; see notes ad loc. in Gow 1950:2.337–338.
[ back ] 20. See Stewart 1993:231–243, especially 239–241 and pls.8c, 78, and 79.
[ back ] 21. On the introduction and use of “Philadelphus” for Arsinoe, see Fraser 1972:1.217 and 2.367n228 and Quaegebeur 1998:83–84,107.
[ back ] 22. “Sweet sweat” may mark nothing more than Arsinoe’s divine status, but in light of the subsequent argument linking her with Alexander, it may be relevant that Plutarch finds the εὐωδία of Alexander’s skin and breath noteworthy (Life of Alexander 4.4–5). I am endebted to B. Acosta-Hughes for this observation.
[ back ] 23. Accepting κάλει, the reading of Gronewald 2002:2; so also Lloyd-Jones 2002:6.
[ back ] 24. Alexander regularly sacrificed to Athena Nikê before battle, see Curt. III 12.27, IV 13.15 (before Gaugamela); VIII 2.32 and 11.24. For the omen of Athena’s statue sweating see Plutarch’s Life of Lucullus 10 (cited in BG).
[ back ] 25. Sweating statues of divinities are quite commonly attested. See BG:143–144nV16–19 and151nVI12–13.
[ back ] 26. Fraser 1972:1.35.
[ back ] 27. See Stewart 1993:159–160.
[ back ] 28. Fraser 1972:1.238 and see Pausanias III 17.2–7 on her temple in Sparta, “the Bronze House”.
[ back ] 29. See Cartledge and Spawforth 1989:35–37 for the relations of Sparta and the Ptolemies at the time of the Chremonidean War of 267/262. For a recent discussion of the Chremonidean war, see Huss 2001:271–281.
[ back ] 30. Aphrodite also may be represented as an armed goddess, though not as consistently as Athena. See Pausanias II 5.1; III 15.10; III 23.1. See Bing 2003, who would identify this armed Arsinoe with Aphrodite rather than Athena.
[ back ] 31. See Fraser 1972:1.242–243 and Thompson 1973:31–33. For other links to Demeter, see Minas 1998:44–49.
[ back ] 32. See Burstein 1985 for a skeptical view. The whole controversy is reprised in Hazzard 2000: 93–100.
[ back ] 33. ὅ τε βασιλεὺς Πτολεμαῖος ἀκολούθως τει τῶν προγόνων καὶ τει τῆς ἀδελφῆς προ[α]ιρέσει φανερός ἐστιν σπουδάζων ὑπὲρ τῆς κοινῆς τ[ῶν] Ἑλλήνων ἐλευθερίας. Other evidence includes the Pithom stele, according to which she accompanied her husband as he inspected the irrigation repairs and oversaw the return of the gods from Persia. For the relevant text, see Roeder 1955:121–122, 124–125. On Arsinoe in the Pithom stele see Hauben 1993:155–162.
[ back ] 34. Pliny NH XXXVII 108. In an earlier book (XXXIV 148) Pliny mentions that the roof of the temple was magnetic so that an iron statue of the queen could float above it. These cult statues of the dead queen provide a useful reminder of the extravagance of imperial display and the context in which these Milan epigrams would have been composed and circulated.
[ back ] 35. See Kyrieleis 1975:79 and plates 70, 1 and 2.
[ back ] 36. Stewart 1993:248–250 and fig. 83. I am endebted to Ann Kuttner for pointing out this connection.
[ back ] 37. “Posidippus at Court”, in Gutzwiller 2004 (forthcoming).
[ back ] 38. BG and others have assumed that the younger Berenice of the Hippika was Berenice II, the wife of Ptolemy III. D. Thompson, in Gutzwiller 2004 (forthcoming), has suggested that the terms pais and parthenos would be more appropriate for Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe I.
[ back ] 39. AB 78.12: παῖδων παίδαϲ ἀεθλοφόρο[υ]ϲ.
[ back ] 40. Kanêphoroi were found in many cults throughout the Greek world, though one of the most prominent was the Athenian Panathenaia, held in honor of Athena. On Arsinoe’s kanêphoros, see Minas 1998.
[ back ] 41. Selden 1998:309–313.
[ back ] 42. Cranes figure prominently in the opening of Callimachus’ Aetia (fr. 1.13–14Pf.). There they are banished from Egypt.
[ back ] 43. The last three extant sections do not have the same geographic movement, though all feature individuals from many locations in the Mediterranean in motion. We find a Coan dedication to Aesclepius, for example, or the Cretan misanthrope of the Tropoi.
[ back ] 44. The contest of Poseidon and Athena for Attica figures in Callimachus’ sixth Iambus. It is possible that the shift of Poseidon to an Athena-like Arsinoe is an allusion to this mythological struggle.
[ back ] 45. Quaegebeur 1988.
[ back ] 46. Satyrus, On the Demes of Alexandria (P.Oxy. 2465 fr.2, col.1.7–23) provides the evidence for this claim. See also Thompson 1973:117–122.
[ back ] 47. On Callicrates, see Bing 2003.
[ back ] 48. I am endebted to M. Baumbach for this observation.
[ back ] 49. Callicrates’ munificence is seen again in the fourth epigram of the Hippika, which celebrates his dedication of a bronze group consisting of the victorious chariot and charioteer to the Theoi Adelphoi (Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II).
[ back ] 50. Ibycus’ “Hymn to Polycrates” has survived in a fragmentary state (P.Oxy. 1790); for Anacreon, see Herodotus III 121; and for Pythagoras, see Diogenes Laertius VIII 3.
[ back ] 51. Herodotus III 39–43. The fact that it was Amasis, a king of Egypt, who encouraged Polycrates to throw away the ring in order to avert the envy of the gods, may not be entirely irrelevant for these poems.
[ back ] 52. Herodotus I 23–24 and Plutarch Septem Sapientium Convivium 18 (160F–162B).
[ back ] 53. See the Diegeseis VI 13 Pf. for Callimachus’ first Iambus.
[ back ] 54. Even the Persian Darius might belong to this sequence of patrons of the arts if the original editors are correct in that he is introduced in AB 4.2 as the stone cutter’s patron (see above and n. 14).
[ back ] 55. The opening words of the epigram: ἀετοῦ ἐ[ξ and ]χ[ελ]ώνη seem to echo the Aeschylean anecdote. K. Gutzwiller observes that ἀετόϲ also occurs as the opening word of the epigram on omens for the Ptolemies and Alexander discussed above, pp. 165–166. It is possible, therefore, that the Anathematika section may have been bounded by the parameters of this earlier poem, moving from Alexander’s Athena to Ptolemy’s eagle.
[ back ] 56. See, e.g, Homeric Hymn to Hermes 25–55. An anecdote from the fragmentary novel of “Metiochus and Parthenope” now found only in a very late Persian version suggests a possible connection. In that novel, Parthenope is the daughter of Polycrates of Samos and while visiting her father’s court, Metiochus relates an account of how the lyre was invented from a tortoise shell. See Stephens and Winkler 1995:74–75.
[ back ] 57. P.Oxy. 2465 fr.11, and see Fraser 1972:1.44 and 196.
[ back ] 58. On Animals X 26 and Aristotle HA 580a16–19.
[ back ] 59. Assuming that Berenice II is the queen of the Hippika, then both epigrammatic sequences include poems on Berenice’s Nemean victory, which gives them the same poetic terminus post quem.
[ back ] 60. See Fantuzzi’s remarks in this volume.