16. Constructing Legitimacy: The Ptolemaic Familiengruppe as a Means of Self-Definition in Posidippus’ Hippika [1]

Elizabeth Kosmetatou, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Scholarly interest in the Hellenistic epigram has recently soared, and important studies have been published on its specific characteristics, context, models, and development. [2] Of particular relevance is the ongoing vivid discussion of the process by which these short, almost incidental, poems acquired new life in their transition from stone to book. The lucky survival of the new Milan papyrus, plausibly associated with Posidippus, has been a most welcome addition to this significant body of texts, as it sheds light on a variety of old questions, raises new problems, and opens paths for renewed debate. Indeed, one cannot stress enough its importance for our understanding of ancient poetry collections, the early book roll, and the aesthetics of organizing texts. However, interesting though this new cultural monument may be to a variety of disciplines, art historical, archaeological, historical, philosophical, or literary, its context remains primarily associated with the early Ptolemaic political spectacle. [3]
It is a topos among students of the Hellenistic period that much of its contemporary literature resulted from royal initiative to take positions opportunistically and to devise means for misleading public presentations of self. [4] It is a universal law of politics that in order for a leader to climb up the greasy pole and establish a regime, winning the support of disparate and often conflicting groups is crucial. These entities include the referential hinterland consisting of a ruler’s “immediate mirrors”, or his immediate entourage, the governed mass, the wider international community, as well as posterity. [5]
In such a context, legitimacy can first be viewed as a term of international law. Any state or organization is deemed to be legitimate after having been recognized and accepted by the international community, in other words by its peers with whom it expects to interact in the future. Even though the third century BCE was by no means a peaceful period, and conflicts among the Hellenistic kingdoms remained unresolved, the status quo established at Ipsus in 301 BCE was pretty much secure. [6] Alexander’s empire, whose initial survival rested on the personality and image of the Macedonian conqueror, had been a “great patient” since its birth, its size and diversity requiring the setting up of a specific state structure and institutional functions that never came to be. A few short years after Alexander’s premature death, it was therefore definitively parceled out among his generals, a new model of state developed, and it soon became obvious that reviving the dead in all its unstable glory would prove a futile endeavor. However, the official policy of self-promotion and misinformation ensured a continuous recognition of the newly emerged Hellenistic kingdoms as legal entities and powers to be reckoned with. After all, states were still being formed and could still disappear as the example of Lysimachus’ kingdom of Thrace instructed everyone in 281 BCE. [7] Every forged alliance counted.
Egypt, like Syria, was faced with additional concerns, as it was ruled by a Greek minority, an elite that had to be accepted by the wide population. As the kingdom gradually took shape, and new populations blended in living side by side with the native Egyptians, there arose the usual problems that any government deals with in its attempt to survive. [8] The manipulation of public opinion into winning the confidence of the ruled could only be achieved through the construction and reconstruction of a public persona in the form of illusions that aimed to discourage critical evaluation of policy, to maintain the social peace, and to define the ruler as a binding power that the ruled ought to take into account. [9] Additionally, it was equally important for the Ptolemies to retain a close relationship with their roots in Greece proper, especially its culture as formed by the old aristocracy and royalty over the centuries. The success of the early Ptolemies as image-makers lay on their linking themselves closely to their subjects and peers and on integrating themselves in their community on the basis of a shared set of expectations, values, and patterns. The use of social and religious structures, including processions and festivals was of paramount importance in this policy. [10]
Several of the new Milan epigrams highlight these recurring themes in Ptolemaic dynastic propaganda as it was formulated in the first decades of Lagid rule over Egypt. [11] This paper will examine the use of dynastic imagery as reflected in Posidippus’ Hippika, a section that attempts to mould the reader’s perception of the Ptolemies, in part by alluding to their use of statuary groups. Ptolemaic dynastic group monuments, featuring the reigning monarch and members of his immediate family, sometimes alongside his illustrious predecessors, were set up in areas under Ptolemaic influence and in major sanctuaries and cities. This form of representation, an extension of the usual gift of statue to an influential patron, was not new: it had already developed as a phenomenon among the Greek aristocracy in the mid-sixth century BCE, had declined with the rise of democracy in the Classical period, and had been revived in late 4th century BCE, among others, by Philip II of Macedonia. It was thereafter widely used by monarchs throughout the Hellenistic period as a means of legitimating their power, as well as for their self-glorification. Portraits of the honorees that were usually set up in public places, also functioned as monuments of royal euergetism toward cities, sanctuaries, and individuals who thus rewarded their patrons and invited future benefactions. At the same time, these sponsors advertized their own high connections at the Hellenistic courts. [12]
Very few surviving statues can be associated with confidence to Ptolemaic dynastic statuary groups. Most of our evidence about them comes from a wealth of inscriptions that have been discovered in sanctuaries and cities of Greece, Egypt, and Asia Minor. Their texts provide partial information about donors, statue materials, and, sometimes, the occasion for the dedications. [13] Of these undoubtedly the most interesting are the inscribed bases that once supported bronze or marble life, or larger-than-life, honorific or cult statues. Although none of the sculptures that were associated with the existing dedicatory inscriptions have survived to the best of our knowledge, we get an idea of how they may have looked from the few surviving portraits in stone and on portrait-coins. [14] Moreover, echoes of them can now be found in the new epigrams of the Milan papyrus.
Posidippus’ Hippika section comprises some of the most fascinating and spectacular epigrams on victories in the κέλης and chariot-racing events. A tremendous speed and energy stemming from the euphoria of victory comes across from the opening epigram, as the reader’s attention and the eyes of his/her imagination are repeatedly directed from the victorious horse to its owner and back, as they are both being crowned at the Pythia (AB 71):
οὗτοϲ ὁ μουνοκέληϲ Αἴθω̣ν ἐμὸϲ ἤ̣[ρατο νίκην]
     κἀγὼ τὴν αὐτὴν Πυθιάδα ϲτ̣[εφόμην]
δὶϲ δ᾿ ἀνεκηρύχθην Ἱππόϲτρ[ατοϲ] ἀ̣θλοφ̣[όροϲ τ᾿] ἦ̣ν
     ἵπποϲ ὁμοῦ κἀγώ, πότνια Θεϲϲα̣λ̣ία.

This, my single horse, Aithon [won victory]
     and I was crowned at the same Pythian games;
twice was I, Hippostratus, heralded victor
     my horse, as well as I, lady Thessaly. [15]
The epigram in question stresses the dazzle of victory, as it gives way in medias res to the following epigrams featuring the successful races themselves. This sense of energy is further accentuated in the two epigrams that follow (AB 72–73), evoking at the same time vivid visual images: [16]
τοῦ πώλου θηεῖϲθε τὸ λιπαρέϲ, ὡϲ πνόον ἕλκει
     παντὶ τύπωι καὶ πᾶϲ ἐ<κ> λαγόνων τέταται
ὡϲ νεμεοδρομέων· Μολύκωι δ᾿ ἤνεγκε ϲέλινα
     νικήϲαϲ ἄκρωι νεύματι καὶ κεφαλῆι.

Behold the colt’s splendor, how it draws in breath
     with every stroke and from its flanks is all taut
as though running the Nemean race; for Molycus it brought the celery crown
     on winning with the furthest motion of its head. [17]

εὐθὺϲ ἀπὸ γραμμῆϲ ἐν Ὀλυμπίαι̣ ἔ̣τρεχον οὕτω
     κέντρα καὶ ἐξώ̣[ϲειϲ οὐδ᾿ ἐπιδεξά]μενοϲ,
ἁδὺ βάροϲ ταχυ[τᾶτι.......ἐϲτ]εφάνωϲαν
     θαλλῶι Τρυγα̣ῖ[ον.......]..[.].[ο]υ

Straight from Olympia’s starting line so I ran
     not awaiting the whip’s bidding
a sweet weight for spe[ed (?) … … ] they crowned
     Trygaeus with a branch[ … … … [18]
Indeed, this enormous energy is found in the characters and in the action within this cluster of epigrams, as it transcends from animal to human. While all the epigrams reflect the actual games that took place in major Panhellenic sanctuaries, the reader’s interest is captured throughout by the complexity and variety of events. People and animals are dashing about in thrilling races, achieving unparalleled glory and renown. Anecdotal stories are reconstructed featuring Ptolemaic protegés (AB 74): [19]
ἐν Δελφοῖϲ ἡ πῶλο̣ϲ ὅτ᾿ ἀντιθέουϲα τεθρίπποιϲ
     ἄξον<ι> Θεϲϲαλικῶι κοῦφα ϲυνεξέπεϲε
νεύματι νικήϲαϲα, πολὺϲ τότε θροῦϲ ἐλατήρω̣ν̣
     ἦν ἀμφικτύοϲιν, Φοῖβ᾿{ε}, ἐν ἀγωνοθέταιϲ
ῥάβδουϲ δὲ βραχέεϲ χαμάδιϲ βάλον, ὡϲ διὰ κλή̣ρου
     νίκηϲ ἡνιόχων οἰϲομένων ϲτ̣έ̣φ̣ανον·
ἥδε δὲ δεξιόϲειρα χαμαὶ ν̣εύ̣ϲα[ϲ᾿ ἀ]κ̣ερα̣ίων
     ἐ̣[κ ϲ]τ̣ηθ̣έ̣ω̣ν α̣ὐτ̣ὴ̣ ῥά̣β̣δ̣ο̣ν ἐφειλκύϲα[το,
ἡ̣ δ̣ε̣ι̣ν̣ὴ̣ θ̣ή̣λεια μετ᾿ ἄρϲεϲιν· αἱ δ᾿ ἐβόηϲ[αν
     φ̣θ̣έ̣γ̣μ̣α̣τ̣[ι] π̣α̣ν̣δήμ̣ωι ϲ̣ύμμιγα μυριάδ[εϲ
κ̣ε̣[ίν]η̣ι̣ κ̣η̣ρ̣ῦ̣ξ̣αι ϲ̣τ̣έφανον μ̣έγαν· ἐ̣ν̣ θ̣ο̣ρ̣[ύβωι δέ
     Κα̣λ̣[λικ]ρ̣ά̣τ̣ηϲ δάφνη<ν> ἤρατ̣᾿ ἀνὴρ Ϲάμ̣ι̣ο̣[ϲ,
Θε̣ο̣ῖ̣ϲ̣ι̣ δ᾿ Ἀ̣δ̣[ε]λ̣φε{ι}οῖϲ εἰκὼ ἐναργέα τῶ̣ν τότ᾿ [ἀγώνω]ν̣
     ἅρ̣[μα καὶ ἡνί]ο̣χ̣ον χάλκεον ὧδ᾿ ἔθετο.

In Delphi when this filly competed in the four-horse race
     swiftly it arrived at the finish, racing against a Thessalian chariot,
winning by a nod. Then there was great uproar among the charioteers
     before the Amphictyonic judges, Phoebus.
They cast their short staffs to the ground, for by lot
     the charioteers ought to have won victory’s crown.
But then the horse on the right side inclined to the ground and without guile
     at heart (?) herself she drew up a staff,
an excellent female among males; whereupon roared
     in one commingled voice all those myriads
to proclaim a great wreath for her. In the up[roar
     Callicrates, a man from Samos, won the laurel crown.
And to the Brother-Loving gods the life-like image of that contest then
     he set up here—the chariot and the charioteer in bronze. [20]
These first epigrams in the Hippika are of particular interest because they feature certain structuring devices that link them with each other and the rest, thereby bringing some order to the moving figures. As a concluding epigram of this first cluster, AB 74, already from its opening, resumes on the topics mentioned by the first two: The foal of AB 74 that won by a nod (νεύματι νικήϲαϲα) therefore echoes Molycus’ horse in AB 72 whose victory was also close (νικήϲαϲ ἄκρωι νεύματι καὶ κεφαλῆι). Likewise, the double victory in AB 71 is remembered in the last line of AB 74 (εἰκὼ ἐναργέα τῶ̣ν τότ᾿ [ἀγώνω]ν̣ ᾑ ἅρ̣[μα καὶ ἡνί]ο̣χ̣ον χάλκεον ὧδ᾿ ἔθετο), also alluding to a long tradition of victory monuments to which the surviving Charioteer of Delphi (5th c. BCE) belongs (Figure 1). In this respect, AB 74 also repeats in some detail the story of the three previous epigrams so to speak (AB 71–73).
As is the case with the Anathematika and the Andriantopoiika, the structure of the Hippika serves certain programmatic purposes related to the glorification of two Ptolemaic royal women (Berenice I and Berenice of Syria) and by extension of the entire dynasty, present in the epigrams that follow. [21] These poems serve then as ideological texts, through which the political leaders of Egypt figure as signs of competence and promise; the energy vibrating in the Hippika section, reflects their own strength, and their virtues introduce meaning to a confusing political world. [22]
Among the diverse eulogies with which Posidippus’ employers are showered, two stand out, AB 78 and AB 88 in honor of the royal sister and brother: the Syrian Berenice and the future Ptolemy III Euergetes. [23] The first and longest one places emphasis on three generations of victorious Ptolemaic women:
ε]ἴπατε, πάντεϲ ἀοι̣δ̣ο̣ί, ἐ̣μὸν̣ [κ]λέο̣ϲ̣, ε[ἴ] π̣[οτ᾿ ἀρέϲκει
     γ̣νωϲτὰ λέγειν, ὅτ̣ι μοι δ̣ό̣ξ[α παλαιόγονοϲ·
ἅρματι μὲ<ν> γάρ μοι προπάτω̣[ρ Πτολεμ]α̣ῖοϲ ἐν̣[ίκα
     Πιϲαίων ἐλάϲαϲ ἵππον ἐπὶ ϲτα[δίων,
καὶ μήτηρ Βερενίκη ἐμοῦ πατ[ρόϲ· ἅ]ρ̣[μ]ατι δ᾿ αὖτ̣[ιϲ
     νίκην εἷλε πατὴ̣ρ̣ ἐ̣<κ> βαϲι̣λέω̣[ϲ] βαϲ̣[ι]λεύϲ
πατρὸϲ ἔχων ὄνομα· ζευκτ̣[ὰϲ δ᾿] ἐξ̣ή̣ρατο̣ πάϲαϲ
     Ἀρ̣ϲινόη νίκαϲ τρεῖϲ ἑνὸϲ ἐξ ἀέ̣[θλου·
π.[       ±13       ] γένοϲ ἱερὸν [... γυ]ν̣αικῶν
     κε[      ±12      ] παρθένιοϲ [......]ϲ
τα̣[ῦ]τ̣[α] μ̣ὲ̣[ν εὔχε᾿ ἐ]π̣εῖδεν Ὀλυ̣[μπ]ί̣α̣ [ἐξ ἑ]νὸϲ οἴκ̣ο̣υ̣
     ἅρ̣μαϲι καὶ παίδων παῖδαϲ ἀεθ̣λ̣ο̣φόρο̣[υ]ϲ̣·
τεθρίππου δὲ τελείο<υ> ἀείδετε τὸν Βερ[ε]ν̣ί̣κ̣η̣[ϲ
     τ̣ῆϲ βαϲιλευούϲηϲ, ὦ Μακέτα[ι], ϲτέφανο̣ν

Recount, all poets, my glory, if ever it pleases you
     to tell of what is known, as my renown is ancient;
for with the chariot my forefather Ptolemy won
     driving his horses through Pisa’s [stadium,
and Berenice, my father’s mother. With the chariot again
     my father scored victory, a king descended from a king,
named after his father. And in a single competition
     Arsinoe [24] scored all three victories for harnessed races;
… … … ] the holy race … of] women
     [ … … … ] virginal [ … … … ]
These victories from a single house Olympia beheld
     children’s children victors with their chariots.
Her crown for the victorious four-horse chariot,
     Sing, Macedonians, for your queen Berenice. [25]
Verse 12 of the above epigram with its emphasis on the repeated victories by the younger generation (αὶ παίδων παῖδαϲ ἀεθ̣λ̣ο̣φόρο̣[υ]ϲ̣), in a manner that echoes the repetitive references to the victory of horse and owner in AB 71, also links AB 78 with AB 88 relating a victory by the later Ptolemy III Euergetes, perhaps during the same Olympic Games (before 252 BCE):
πρῶτο[ι] τρεῖϲ βαϲι̣λῆ̣εϲ Ὀλύμπια καὶ μόνοι ἁμέϲ
     ἅρμαϲι νικῶμεϲ̣ κ̣α̣ὶ γονέεϲ καὶ ἐγώ·
ε̣ἷϲ μ̣ὲν ἐγὼ̣ [Π]τολεμαίου ὁμώνυμοϲ, ἐ<κ> Βερενίκαϲ
     υ̣ἱ̣[οϲ], Ἐορδαία γέννα, δύω δὲ γονεῖϲ·
πρὸ<ϲ> μέγα πατρὸϲ ἐμὸ<ν> τίθεμαι κλέοϲ, ἀλλ᾿ ὅτι μάτηρ
     εἷλε γυνὰ νίκαν ἅρματ<ι>, τοῦτο μέγα.

We alone were the first three kings to win at Olympia
     in chariot-racing, my parents and I.
I am one, of the same name, Ptolemy, and Berenice’s son
     of Eordean descent—my parents (the other) two.
I have added to my father’s great glory, but my mother,
     a woman, won a victory in the chariot races—a great feat. [26]
The above two epigrams certainly belong to the epinician tradition in poetry that had been developed by Simonides, Pindar, and Bacchylides, but move even further. Placed among epigrams on equestrian triumphs, many of which clearly evoke victory monuments with their visual language and their use of demostratives, [27] these two epinicians for the two royal children also allude to a different kind of monument, the extensive Familiengruppe that was in vogue during the fourth and third centuries BCE. The presence of epigrams describing sculptures in the Hippika, rather than the Andriantopoiika, is not surprising. Indeed, the poet often displays in it, as in previously known work, his love for ambiguity, a tool that served him well in challenging his reader’s erudition and forcing him to become an active participant in the process of supplementation, Bing’s so-called Ergänzungsspiel. [28] The epinician epigrams in honor of the early Ptolemies do not only serve as flash-backs of their victories; they also allude to single or group monuments in their honor for athletic and political achievement. Last, but not least, they argue that Ptolemaic glory was further embedded in the Greek past.
Indeed, family renown seems to have been a standard element in the commemoration of members of Greek aristocracy as early as the seventh century BCE, before they found their visual expression in Familiengruppen. Interestingly, the earliest known epigram that praised a prominent family is associated with a daedalic votive-offering to Artemis, set up by a woman, Nicandre, on Delos. [29] It is dated to ca. 650 BCE, and the boustrophedon text inscribed on its base boasts:
Νικάνδρη μ᾿ ἀνέθε̄κεν h<ε>κηβόλο̄ι ἰοχεαίρηι, ϙο̄́ρη Δεινο-
δίκηο̄ το̄ Ναhσίο̄, ἔhσοχος ἀ(λ)λήο̄ν, Δεινομένεος δὲ κασιγνε̄́τη,
Φhράhσο̄ δ᾿ ἄλοχος ν<ῦν>.
Nicandre dedicated me to the goddess who shoots from afar, the pourer of arrows,
daughter of the Naxian Deinodices, the greatest of all, and sister of Deinomenes,
now wife of Phraxus. [30]
As was stated above, the origins of dynastic group monuments can be traced back to the middle of the sixth century BCE, the date of the so-called Geneleos group that was set up at the Heraion of Samos in honor of the queen of the gods (560–550 BCE). This Familiengruppe was set up prominently in the sanctuary and featured the reclining figure of the patriarch [ - - - ]arches, probably an aristocrat, and his wife Phileia on either end of a long base, flanking their four children. [31] Two hundred years separate it from the next surviving Familiengruppe, the so-called monument of Pandaetes and Pasicles that was set up on the Athenian Acropolis in the second half of the fourth century BCE. [32]
However, Ptolemaic dynastic group monuments were conceived on the basis of two parallel traditions. Modelling themselves after Alexander the Great’s Argead dynasty, they were probably influenced by the Philippeion, built by Philip II after 338 BCE as a circular Ionic structure that was set up at Olympia, the site of the Olympic Games. It reportedly contained chryselephantine statues of three generations of the royal family: Philip II and his chief wife Olympias, his parents Amyntas and Eurydice, and his son and successor, Alexander. The Philippeion was significant in another way as well: it interacted with the major temples in the sanctuary, a practice that would be adopted by Ptolemy II Philadelphus as well. [33] Additionally, the use of gold and ivory in the statues of the Macedonian royal family drew an unmistaken parallel with the chryselephantine cult statue of Zeus and established a link between the Olympian god and the Macedonian kings. [34]
The Philippeion at Olympia was perhaps modelled after the lavish Mausoleion, the tomb of queen Artemisia’s husband Mausolus at Halicarnassus. The tomb was envisaged as a massive dynastic group monument featuring free-standing portraits of some thirty-six members of the royal family that were placed in the intercolumniations of its superstructure. The same program was later adopted by other Hellenistic dynasties, most notably the Attalids of Pergamon. [35]
The monument which comes closest to the ones echoed in Posidippus’ AB 78 and 88 is the so-called Daochus Progonoi monument—a variation of the Familiengruppe, which was set up in Delphi by the homonymous Thessalian dynast between 336 and 333 BCE. The group in question consisted of nine statues portraying the donor and his ancestors, real or fictitious, if indeed Apollo had also been featured in it. What is significant in this case is that two of these ancestors, Agias and Telemachus, had been Olympic victors between 490 and 480 BCE, while they had also scored victories at the Pythia together with their brother Agelaus, facts that were stressed by their portrayal in heroic/athletic nudity. [36] Each sculpture is identified by an epigram, and the athletes of the family boast their victories in a manner that is echoed in Posidippus: [37]
Ἀκνόνιος Ἀπάρου τέτραρχος Θεσσαλῶν

Acnonius, son of Aparus, Tetrarch of the Thessalians

πρῶτος Ὀλύμπια παγκράτιον, Φαρσάλιε, νικᾶις,
     Ἀγία Ἀκνονίου, γῆς ἀπὸ Θεσσαλίας,
πεντάκις ἐν Νεμέαι, τρὶς Πύθια, πεντάκις Ἰσθμοῖ·
     καὶ σῶν οὐδείς πω στῆσε τροπαῖα χερῶν.

First victory at the Olympian pankration you scored,
     Pharsalian Agias, son of Acnonius, from the Thessalian land,
five victories at the Nemea, three at the Pythia, five at the Isthmus;
     and no one has yet taken this record from your hands.

κἀγὼ τοῦ{ο}δε ὁμάδελ[φος ἔ]φυν, ἀριθμὸν δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν
     ἤμασι τοῖς αὐτοῖς [ἐχφέρ]ομαι στεφάνων,
νικῶν μουνοπά[λης], Τ[··]σηνῶν δὲ ἄνδρα κράτιστον
     κτεῖνα, ἔθελον τό[γε δ᾿ οὔ]· Τηλέμαχος δ᾿ ὄνομα.

And I was born his full-brother; and on the selfsame day
     I carried off the same number of crowns
having scored victory in wrestling. I killed a mighty man from T[ - - ],
     but not on purpose. My name is Telemachus.

οἵδε μὲν ἀθλοφόρου ῥώμης ἴσον ἔσχον, ἐγὼ δὲ
     σύγγονος ἀμφοτέρων τῶνδε Ἀγέλαος ἔφυν·
νικῶ δὲ στάδιον τούτοις ἅμα Πύθια παῖδας·
     μοῦνοι δὲ θνητῶν τούσδ᾿ ἔχομεν στεφάνους.

And these have shared an equal strength for victory, while I,
     Agelaus, was born a kinsman of both;
I won the stadion for youths at Pythia, just like they did;
     we alone of all mortals have carried off these crowns.
The similarities between Posidippus’ Hippika and the three epigrams associated with the victors featured in the Daochus monument are striking. First, there is emphasis on the considerable number of victories scored by the periodonikai Agias and Telemachus which are especially recounted in the Agias epigram in a clear attempt to overwhelm the reader. [38] The same technique is used by Posidippus, especially as he relates the story of the owner of a horse with obvious ambitions to win eventually a periodos in AB 76: [39]
ἐκ̣τ̣έτα̣[τ]α̣ι̣ π̣[ρ]ο̣τ̣[ρ]έ̣χ̣ω̣ν̣ ἀ̣κρώνυχοϲ, ὡϲ Ἐτεάρχωι
     οὗ]τ̣ο̣ϲ̣ κ̣[λεινὸϲ Ἄ]ρ̣α̣ψ ἵπποϲ ἀεθλοφορεῖ
[ν]ι̣κήϲ[α]ϲ̣ Πτ̣ο̣λ̣εμ̣α̣ῖ̣α καὶ Ἴϲθ̣μια καὶ Νεμέαι δίϲ,
     [τ]ο̣ὺϲ̣ Δελφ̣ο̣ὺ̣ϲ̣ π̣α̣[ριδ]ε̣ῖ̣ν οὐκ ἐθ̣έ̣λει ϲτεφάνουϲ.

At full stretch running on the tips of its hooves, so for Etearchus
     this famed Arabian horse was victorious.
Having won in the Ptolemaea, and Isthmia, and Nemea twice,
     he does not wish to shun the crowns of Delphi.
It is undoubtedly by design that Posidippus mentions the Ptolemaea, a Panhellenic festival instituted by his employer Ptolemy II in memory of his father Ptolemy I Soter, which occupies here the first place, carrying off the glory that is a victory in the Olympic Games.
The same theme of multiple victories at the Olympic, Nemean, and Isthmian games is featured in the series of epigrams in honor of princess Berenice (AB 78, 79, and 82). Rather than present these achievements in a nutshell, Posidippus spread them out by dedicating a poem for each event. However, this sense of energy and concentrated victory is still conveyed by the poet’s reference to the later Syrian queen’s multiple scores in chariot-racing. This device may have been first used by the tragic poet Euripides in 416 BCE in his epinician for the Athenian general Alcibiades, the first Greek to enter seven chariots for one event and to score three victories: [40]
Σὲ δ᾿ ἀείσομαι, ὦ Κλεινίου παῖ
     καλὸν ἁ νίκα· κάλλιστον δ᾿, ὃ μηδεὶς ἄλλος Ἑλλάνων,
ἅρματι πρῶτα καὶ δραμεῖν καὶ δεύτερα καὶ τρίτα,
     βῆναί τ᾿ ἀπονητί, Διὸς στεφθέντα τ᾿ ἐλαίᾳ
κάρυκι βοᾶν παραδοῦναι.

Your praises I’ll sing, child of Cleinias.
     To win is beautiful; yet this is the fairest of all that no other Greek has achieved:
to score first and second and third victory in the race of the chariots
     and effortlessly to succeed and be crowned with the olive of Zeus
and the object to be of the herald’s proclamation. [41]
Although this intriguing text is fragmentary, the few verses from its opening include a fascinating reference to the ease with which victory was achieved (ἀπονητί), the same that is also found in Posidippus’ AB 79 in praise of princesss Berenice’s effortless en bloc victories at the Nemea:
παρθένοϲ ἡ βαϲίλιϲϲα ϲὺν ἄντυ[γ]ι̣, ν̣αί, Βερε̣νίκη
     πάνταϲ ἅμα ζευκτοὺϲ ἀθλοφ̣ορεῖ ϲτεφάνουϲ,
Ζ̣εῦ παρὰ ϲοὶ Νεμε̣ᾶτα· τάχει δ᾿ ἀ̣πελί<μ>πανεν ἱππω̣ν̣
     δίφρ̣ο̣ϲ̣ ἐπε̣ὶ̣ [κάμψη]ι τὸν πολὺν ἡνίοχον,
δαλ[οῖϲ δ᾿ εἴκελοι ἵ]π̣ποι ὑπὸ ῥ[υτ]ῆρι θέοντεϲ
     πρῶ[τοι ἐϲ Ἀ]ρ̣γ̣ο̣λικοὺϲ ἦλθον [ἀγω]νοθέταϲ.

A virgin the queen with her chariot, yes, Berenice,
     carries off all victory crowns for chariot-racing
from you, Nemean Zeus. By the speed of her horses, her chariot
     left many charioteers far behind, whenever she turned;
her horses running under the rein [like meteors]
     came first before the Argive judges. [42]
A second common theme occurring both in the epigrams from the Daochus monument and Posidippus’ AB 78 and 88 in praise of princess Berenice and the later Ptolemy III Euergetes is the emphasis on the collective achievement of the Ptolemaic clan. Agias, placed first for his seniority, lists his extraordinary victories, which may have been surpassed by his brother’s accidental, yet nevertheless impressive, killing of a mighty opponent (Τ[··]σηνῶν δὲ ἄνδρα κράτιστον | κτεῖνα, ἔθελον τό[γε δ᾿ οὔ]·). However, Telemachus’ achievement is presented through a link to his brother’s, the blood relationship of the two being declared first as further praise of the honoree (κἀγὼ τοῦ{ο}δε ὁμάδελ[φος ἔ]φυν). Kinship (σύγγονος ἀμφοτέρων τῶνδε) is also stressed in the epigram in honor of Agelaus which also incorporates the youngest brother’s Pythian victories in the family tradition begun by the elder brothers, a piece of information that becomes available only in the third poem, in addition to the Olympic achievement of the two. The unprecedented athletic glory of the family of Daochus (μοῦνοι δὲ θνητῶν τούσδ᾿ ἔχομεν στεφάνους) may echo Euripides’ boasting for Alcibiades (ὃ μηδεὶς ἄλλος Ἑλλάνων).
Euripides’ Epinician for Alcibiades and commemorative monuments in the tradition of the Naxian Nicandre probably influenced Cynisca’s epigram that was inscribed on a victory monument that this daughter of king Archidamus II and sister of kings Agesilaus II and of Agis II of Sparta set up at Olympia. She was the first woman to score victory in chariot-racing at the Olympic Games of 396 or 392 BCE. [43] Her epigram was preserved on stone and was also transmitted by the Greek Anthology (XIII 16):
Σπάρτης μὲν βασιλῆες ἐμοὶ πατέρες καὶ ἀδελφοί·
     ἅρματι δ᾿ ὠκυπόδων ἵππων νικῶσα Κυνίσκα
εἰκόνα τάνδ᾿ ἔστασα, μόναν δ᾿ ἐμέ φαμι γυναικῶν
     Ἑλλάδος ἐκ πάσας τόνδε λαβεῖν στέφανον.

My ancestors and brothers were kings of Sparta;
     and having won with a chariot drawn by swift-footed horses
I set up this image, and I boast that I’m the only woman
     of all in Greece to have carried off this crown. [44]
Posidippus obviously nods to this monument in AB 87 which focuses on Berenice I, challenging Cynisca’s kydos. Fantuzzi has brilliantly discussed the context of these two mini-epinicians and has drawn parallels between Ptolemaic preoccupation with ancestral glory and several odes by Pindar in honor of prominent aristocratic victors. [45] This theme of challenge is important in the Hippika, and the glove is thrown, so to speak, explicitely to such glorious figures of the past as Cynisca, but the element of competition is also present in the continuous allusion to the long tradition to which the Ptolemies aspired. In this respect, the Lagid kings emerge victorious from their implicit juxtaposition with Alcibiades and aristocratic families of the remote past and, especially the illustrious quasi-royal family of Daochus, to whose victory monument may allude continuous references to his native Thessaly. [46]
Ptolemaic dynastic group monuments that focused on athletic victories of the rulers and their extended family may have existed, although the literary sources and the archaeological record have yet to furnish information on them. Remains of more mundane statuary groups standing on inscribed bases without epigrams have been associated with the early Ptolemies. These monuments are closer in concept to the Geneleos rather than the Daochus groups. A Ptolemaic statuary group was set up by the Aetolian League, an important Ptolemaic ally, at the sanctuary of Apollo in Thermos perhaps around 239 or 238 BCE. [47] Fragments of the base have survived and suggest that the group featured Euergetes, Berenice, and their six children from left to right: the heir to the throne, the later Ptolemy IV Philopator, Arsinoe III, the deified princess Berenice, a son whose name has not survived, but who may have been called Lysimachus, Alexander, and Magas. The group was completed by at least one more figure whose name has also not survived. Scholars have suggested Apollo for the last figure of this dynastic group, the honored god of the sanctuary, but Ptolemy I or Alexander the Great are likely candidates as well. [48]
A second dynastic group monument in honor of Ptolemy III was dedicated by the Aetolians in the venerable Panhellenic sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi which they controlled during the third and second centuries BCE. A few fragments of its base have survived, but its reconstruction suggests that it was very similar to the one from Thermos and represented again Euergetes and his immediate family. Both Ptolemaic groups meant more to the Aetolians than a mere expression of gratitude and displayed at the same time the League’s high connections. The prominent position of prince Ptolemy, the heir to the Egyptian throne, in the group was an expression of the Aetolians’ hope for the continuation of Ptolemaic military support into the reigns of Euergetes’s successors. [49]
At the same time, both monuments advertised the excellent relationship between king and queen, as well as the importance of children in the state propaganda under Euergetes, who thus functioned as symbols for dynastic succession. [50] Indeed, this latter theme was mostly promoted by Euergetes, and later by his son Philopator, in an era before the murderous habits of his successors turned against members of their family, real or constructed challengers. Ptolemy III and Berenice II’s young children are mentioned in inscriptions; they escorted their parents on official visits, and the death of the infant Berenice initiated a cult in her honor of an unprecedented nature. [51] It was during that time that miniature intaglio portraits of Ptolemaic children became especially in vogue and circulated widely, like the oionochoai in fayence that were massively produced featuring Arsinoe II and other queens in relief. [52] This line of propaganda, later adopted by Augustus at a time when he constructed his own portrait of leadership, [53] had always been an effective means of creating ideal types. An image of a strong, perpetually united ruling family appealed to the common man who could thus relate to his ideal leader by identifying with his conservative habits. Moreover, the ubiquity of the royal children during the reign of Euergetes constitutes a subtle visual expression of an important term of political rhetoric that presented the public with the powerful ideas of security and austerity that one usually associates with a father figure. [54]
Whether Posidippus’ Progonoi epigrams in the Hippika are an ecphrasis of real or imaginary dynastic groups, he may have derived inspiration for their composition from monuments like the Daochus group. At any rate, he had probably noticed the specific group, set prominently at Delphi, given his attested relationship with the sanctuary where he himself had been honored. [55] This theory becomes even more attractive if we take into account that Lysippus, Posidippus’ apparently favorite sculptor (cf. AB 65), had made at least one bronze statue of Agias that was set up at Pharsalus. Although the Lysippan associations of the surviving Delphic marbles are possible, yet fiercely debated among scholars, the likelihood of a connection between the group monument and the Sikyonian sculptor makes the question of Posidippus’ models even more intriguing. [56]
Posidippus attempted to display continuity in the rule of Egypt from Alexander the Great to the Ptolemies. Indeed, the Macedonian conqueror is mentioned by several epigrams, directly or indirectly, or is alluded to by the mere mention of the Persians, as well as of the boundaries of his kingdom. [57] Even though his allusion to Ptolemaic dynastic group monuments is limited, the literary evidence suggests that Alexander the Great featured in some of these. It is not surprising that state propaganda in the first years of the Ptolemaic rule focused on underlining the ruler’s legitimacy as heir to Alexander’s empire and legacy. In this context, Ptolemy I, former general in the Macedonian army, had successfully manipulated the politically confusing situation which ensued after the conqueror’s death, occupied Egypt and areas around it, and eventually seceeded from the rest of the empire. His grip over his territory was secure, but Ptolemy also sought to gain the respect and obedience of his subjects, as well as prestige among the Greeks as a legitimate king. In a mastertroke, he seized Alexander’s body in ca. 321 BCE, while it was being transferred to the Ammoneion at modern-day Siwa desert or Macedonia and buried it in Memphis, in accordance with both Macedonian and Egyptian practices, which dictated that the ascension of the new king to the throne was marked by his burying of his predecessor. It was in Alexandria that Alexander’s earthly remains eventually found their resting place, however, under his son and successor, Ptolemy II. [58]
Throughout his reign, Ptolemy sought to emphasize his closeness to the Macedonian conqueror. The publication of his own history of Alexander’s wars exercised influence over the way posterity remembered the Persian campaign. The former general undoubtedly made sure that he figured prominently in the narrative, while he surely exaggerated the importance of his actions and contribution to its success. [59] But the close relationship between the two great men was further emphasized, particularly towards Ptolemy’s subjects, when a blood relation between Alexander and Ptolemy was invented. According to rumours that were spread by the king’s entourage and which are reflected in the texts of various authors, Arsinoe, Ptolemy’s mother, married his father, Lagus, while she had already been impregnated by Philip II of Macedonia and therefore carried the future general and king of Egypt. By claiming Alexander as his half-brother, Ptolemy also sought membership to the Macedonian Argead House and thus genealogical continuity for his dynasty. [60]
Ptolemy’s retroactive adoption into Alexander’s family was emphasized whenever possible. Posidippus’ AB 31 suggests that the dynasty that the Ptolemaic or Lagid dynasty was also known as “Argead”:
ἀετὸϲ ἐ<κ> νε[φέω]ν καὶ ἅμα ϲτεροπὴ καταβᾶ[ϲα
     νίκηϲ οἰων[οὶ δε]ξιοὶ ἐϲ πόλεμον.
Ἀργ<ε>άδα<ι>ϲ βα̣[σιλε]ῦϲιν, Ἀθηναίη δὲ πρὸ ναο[ῦ
     ἴχνοϲ̣ κινή[ϲαϲ᾿ ἐ]ξιὸν ἐ<κ> μολύβου· [61]
οἷον Ἀλεξά[νδρ]ω̣ι ἐφάνη τέραϲ, ἡνίκα Περϲ̣[ῶν
     ταῖ̣ϲ ἀν̣α̣ρ̣[ιθμ]ή̣τοιϲ πῦρ ἐκύει ϲτρατια̣ῖ[ϲ.

An eagle coming down from the clouds and lightning together
     were favorable omens for victory in war,
for the Argead kings, and Athena, in front of her temple
     brought forth her foot from the lead.
A similar sign appeared to Alexander when he upon the Persians’
     innumerable armies brought forth fire. [62]
Evidence from the Delian inventory lists mentioning Ptolemaic gifts to the sanctuary make it obvious that, like Alexander the Great had done before him, Ptolemy I evoked two different fathers, according to the occasion. We know that he dedicated an elaborate gold thericleian kylix, weighing about one modern kilo, which bore the inscription “ἀνάθημα Πτολεμαῖος Λάγου Μακεδὼν Ἀφροδίτηι.” [63] At the same time, Theocritus in his seventeenth Idyll (17.13–33) mentions Ptolemy I as son of Lagus but at the same time groups the king together with Alexander and with his own son, Ptolemy II in a continuing father-son structure. Such an apparent discrepancy should not surprise: the close association of rulers with divinities and heroes was a regular feature of civic ceremonial and political manipulation that dated from at least Pisistratus’ time, and audiences were not as gullible as scholars had initially assumed; they rather understood and appreciated the symbolism that was embedded in the theatricality of public life as controlled by the powers that be. [64]
Visual advertisement of the fictional brotherly relationship between Alexander the Great and Ptolemy I found its expression in several dynastic group monuments, according to the sources. In the grand procession for the Alexandrian Ptolemaea statues of Ptolemy I and Alexander were carried together, flanked by personifications of Greek regions. [65] Nicolaus Rhetor (ca. 400 CE) also mentions a similar elaborate group in his description of the now lost circular Tychaion of Alexandria. This building was commissioned by one of the first two Ptolemies, was located in the center of Alexandria, and probably constituted a shrine adjoining or incorporated to Ptolemy II’s Mouseion. On the side leading to the latter stood bronze statues of prominent kings, unspecified by Nicolaus, while on the opposite wall was a marble laurel crown flanked by the statues of two philosophers. Bronze stelae stood in the center on which the laws of the city of Alexandria were inscribed. The two adjoining sides each contained seven niches which were separated from each other by engaged columns. The central niche on the left side of the room, contained a larger-than-life-size statue of Ptolemy I holding a cornucopia which was flanked by six Olympian gods represented on a smaller scale. Facing the king across stood Charis (Grace) flanked by the remaining six Olympians. In the center of the room stood a sculptural group representing Alexander being crowned by the personification of Gaia. The latter was in turn crowned by Tyche, flanked by statues of Victory. [66]
Although Alexander’s statue occupied the center of the sanctuary and his extraordinary conquests were clearly emphasized, the primary focus of the Tychaion’s sculptures was Ptolemy I, his presumed half-brother and legitimate heir by the grace of the gods. According to Nicolaus, the entire ensemble culminated in the group which was set against the back wall and which included the laurel crown, the philosophers and the bronze stelae rather than Alexander. In his own clever and subtle way, Soter thus discreetly projected an idea whose debate was to occupy ancient philosophers: Alexander’s successes were mostly due to the benevolence of Fortune. The heavy duty of governing his spear-won territories weighed upon Ptolemy, his next of kin, who ruled by divine right. His absolute power would never become a tyranny, however, as his subjects were ingenuously informed: Soter was an enlightened ruler and patron of the arts and sciences who abided by the laws that he instituted and consulted the best and wisest advisors.
Until recently, scholars who attempted to reconstruct the Alexandrian Tychaion, incorporated the building in the Roman Imperial architectural tradition of Asia Minor. [67] Stewart has convincingly argued for a higher date for the Alexandrian Tychaion, however, by plausibly dating its intellectual roots to the mid-320’s BCE. [68] Alexander’s military successes had been considered as a gift of Fortune as early as 327 BCE, when the philosopher Theophrastus, Aristotle’s disciple and head of the Peripatos, wrote a treatise entitled Callisthenes or On Grief. [69] The significance of Fortune’s benevolence toward the Macedonians was further treated by Demetrius of Phalerum in a long treatise which may have been commissioned by Ptolemy I after 307 BCE when the exiled Athenian philosopher-“tyrant” fled to Soter’s court. [70] Their attractive ideas certainly influenced contemporary religious practice and triggered the foundation of various cults of Tyche. In this context most notably, Seleucus I of Syria commissioned a famous statue of Tyche for Antioch, his kingdom’s capital. The goddess was represented seated on Mount Silphion and holding a sheaf of wheat with the personification of the river Orontes at her feet. [71]
The theme of the triumph of divine and enlightened monarchy which influenced the commission of the Alexandrian Tychaion was further amplified by other philosophers who worked at the court. Indeed the philosopher Euhemerus is credited with the introduction of the theory on “divine monarchy,” according to which the traditional gods had once been great rulers who were eventually deified. In order to illustrate his point, Euhemerus compared Ptolemy’s kingdom to the legendary court of Osiris and Isis. A passage from Diodorus attempting to trace the position of intellectuals and their influence over the Hellenistic courts back to the physicians, who took part in the Trojan War and served Agamemnon, may reflect the ideas of Euhemerus and his followers. Several intellectuals of the period lived under the illusion that they exercised positive influence on their patrons’ policies. [72] The representation of royal statuary groups reflects the ideology of the period: Rulers are crowned by personifications underlining their virtue already in the early third century BCE. In particular, Pausanias describes two groups from Olympia which bear similarities to the Alexander group of the Tychaion. In one, the region of Elis crowns Demetrius Poliorcetes and Ptolemy I, while in a later group, the personification of Hellas crowns Antigonus Doson and his son and successor Philip V. [73]
The presence of Olympian gods in the dynastic group monument of the Alexandrian Tychaion, may owe to late fourth-century BCE antecedents. In particular, Philip II of Macedon reportedly introduced this practice. The Macedonian ruler celebrated the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra at Aegai in 336 BCE and concluded the festivities with games which took place in the theater. An elaborate procession opened the events featuring a float which carried the statues of the Olympian gods and of Philip II as one of them. [74] Philip’s divine aspirations reportedly came as a shock to the Greeks who explained his ensuing assassination as the punishment of Nemesis for his hybris. By the time Ptolemy I commissioned the Tychaion, however, the Greek world had become used to royal claims to divine status. Soter went one step further than Philip II by placing his statue as second only to Alexander’s, but certainly more prominently than the once revered and feared Greek Pantheon.
The identity of the kings who were represented against the Tychaion’s wall which led to the Mouseion, necessarily remains a mystery, but we may plausibly assume that this, too, was an elaborate Ptolemaic dynastic group monument. That these statues may have been expanded in the three hundred years that followed by the addition of prominent Ptolemies who wished to associate their policies to that of Alexander and Ptolemy I, is an attractive theory, which cannot be stated with certainty, however. If this be the case, the Tychaion may therefore have been an ever-growing dynastic group monument extending over the centuries of Ptolemaic rule over Egypt and linking the later Ptolemies to their illustrious past. Such seems to have been the intention of most of these kings, starting from Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who chose to be buried near the tomb of Alexander thereby creating a large funerary complex which at the same time served as a royal group monument and functioned as visual expression of dynastic continuity.
Even though there is little evidence for the planning and setting up of elaborate Ptolemaic Familiengruppen during the second and first centuries BCE, the ideas that were first formulated and implemented under the early Ptolemies were always present in the language that these kings used in their appeal to their world for support. All political terms in the later period of the Ptolemaic dynasty evoked the importance of dynastic continuity that had been served well in the past by visual propaganda and could be traced back to that era when the young kingdom was still taking its form and link it with the Greek remote past. Posidippus’ retrospect of present and past victories in the Hippika recalls the viewer’s gaze upon monuments stemming from a long tradition that was shaped by the Greek elite from the seventh century BCE onwards. Initially it consisted of an elaborate praise of the Progonoi on inscriptions that were especially associated with great deeds: elaborate dedications to the gods, many of them in commemoration of prestigious athletic victories. The popularity of such stone epigrams made their transition from stone to book especially smooth, and longer epinicians often employed the theme of ancestral glory which found its visual expression in the Familiengruppe. The Ptolemies embraced this form of self-definition throughout the history of their dynasty and remained especially proud of their ancestry. Indeed, the reported eulogy over the dead body of Cleopatra VII, the most famous of the Ptolemies, pronounced by her dying maid Charmion seems to echo the words of Posidippus more than two hundred years before: she died as was becoming a queen, descendant of so many kings. [75]


[ back ] 1. It is a pleasure to thank the following scholars for discussing with me previous versions of this article: Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Manuel Baumbach, Peter Bing, Marco Fantuzzi, Nassos Papalexandrou, Dorothy Thompson, and Stephen V. Tracy. [ back ] The term “Familiengruppe” was first introduced by Borbein. See Borbein 1973:88–90. See also relevant discussion in Smith 1988:16–17; Hintzen-Bohlen 1990:129; Schmidt-Dounas 2000:102–119. Rose introduced the English term “dynastic group monument”; cf. Rose 1987 and Rose 1998. Since this article will be dealing with echoes of a specific type of dynastic group monument, i.e. the genealogical statuary group, which is not exclusively associated with royalty, this author has preferred to use the German term “Familiengruppe.”
[ back ] 2. Cf. Bing 1988; Bing 1998; Gutzwiller 1998:229–230; Rossi 2001; Fantuzzi and Hunter 2002:389–448; Gutzwiller 2002.
[ back ] 3. On the consequences of the public’s access to information for ideology, action, and quiescence and the need to view political news as spectacle, see Edelman 1988:1–11.
[ back ] 4. The bibliography on literature as a product of royal patronage is substantial. Cf. Stephens 1998; Kosmetatou 2000:35–39; Stephens 2003, all of which cite earlier bibliography.
[ back ] 5. Muller and Jobert 1987; Edelman 1988:57; Barker 2002:30–35; Geuss 2002:31.
[ back ] 6. Green 1990:21–35; Billows 1990.
[ back ] 7. Lund 1992; Kosmetatou 2003.
[ back ] 8. Cf. Quaegebeur 1983; Thompson 1987; Thompson 1988; Clarysse 1992; Thompson 1992a; Thompson 1992b; Thompson 1992c; Thompson 1993; Clarysse 1998; Stephens 1998.
[ back ] 9. Cf. Stephens 1998:167–171; Geuss 2002:35–36.
[ back ] 10. Connor 1987:40–50.
[ back ] 11. Fantuzzi (this volume); Hunter (this volume); Kosmetatou on “Vision and Visibility: Art Historical Theory Paints a Portrait of Ideal Leadership in Posidippus’ Andriantopoiika” (this volume); Stephens (this volume); Fantuzzi in Gutzwiller 2004 (forthcoming); Thompson in Gutzwiller 2004 (forthcoming).
[ back ] 12. On royal euergetism and the city-states see: Gauthier 1985:39; Welsh 1904–1905:32–43; Poland 1909:425–445; Henry 1983:294–310; Smith 1988:15; Hintzen-Bohlen 1990:129; Hintzen-Bohlen 1992; Rose 1998:3–4; Savalli-Lestrade 1998; Bringman 2000.
[ back ] 13. See Smith 1988:15.
[ back ] 14. Kyrieleis 1975; Stambolidis 1982:297–310, figs. 1–3; Smith 1988:86–98, cat. nos. 46–82. On the types and styles of Egyptian royal portraits, see Stanwick 1999.
[ back ] 15. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou. I have chosen to retain the Greek text of the ed. princ.
[ back ] 16. Cf. articles by Papalexandrou and Hoffman (this volume).
[ back ] 17. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 18. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 19. On Callicrates from Samos, see Hauben 1970; Bing 2003 (forthcoming).
[ back ] 20. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 21. Bastianini and Gallazzi identified the queen quoted at AB 78, 79, and 82 with Berenice II, daughter of Magas of Cyrene and wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes, whose Nemean victory in a chariot race was celebrated by Callimachus (SH 254–69). Thompson (forthcoming) has convincingly argued, in the opinion of this author, that Posidippus’ Berenice in this case is the daughter of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe I, and sister of Ptolemy III. She married Antiochus II in 252 BCE and was murdered along with her son by Antiochus immediately after her husband’s death in 246 by his former wife Laodice. Cf. Fantuzzi (this volume).
[ back ] 22. Cf. Edelman 1988:37–38.
[ back ] 23. See Thompson (forthcoming) on queen Berenice of Syria. BG:206 and AB:102 identify the queen as Berenice II who was retroactively adopted into the family of her husband.
[ back ] 24. This author agrees with Gallazzi, Bastianini, and Austin in identifying the Arsinoe of AB 74 with Arsinoe II. Contrast Thompson (apud AB 74) who identifies her with Arsinoe I, the biological mother of Ptolemy III and the Syrian Berenice. It is noteworthy that Arsinoe I was divorced and disgraced, after which Ptolemy II married his sister Arsinoe II. The latter adopted his children. Cf. Gutzwiller 1992. It is therefore unlikely that Posidippus would recall Arsinoe I in such a late context, dated to the 250’s BCE.
[ back ] 25. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 26. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 27. Cf. AB 72; AB 74, v. 14 (ὧδε).
[ back ] 28. Bing 1995. Significantly, the Andriantopoiika is not dedicated to sculpture, but rather to style, representing a fascinating analysis of art theory debate during the Classical and early Hellenistic periods.
[ back ] 29. Levin 1970:157–165; Lejeune 1971:209–215; Marcadé 1987:369–375; Ridgway 1993:147–149. The statue, most likely of Artemis as πότνια θηρῶν, may have held the reins of lions. On Archaic lions, see Kokkorou-Alewras 1993.
[ back ] 30. Translated by E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 31. Freyer-Schauenberg 1974:104–130; Walter–Karydi 1985:91–104; Hintzen-Bohlen 1990:149; Hintzen-Bohlen 1992:15–17; Ridgway 1993: 135–136, 190–193, 209–210.
[ back ] 32. IG II/III2 3829; Loewy 1885:63–65, no.83; Borbein 1973:88, no.226.
[ back ] 33. Ptolemy II set up colossal statues of himself and his sister–wife Arsinoe II on columns in front of the Stoa of Echo which faced the temples of Zeus and Hera, thereby creating a visual representation of his own consanguinous marriage and underlying his newly assumed divine status. Cf. Theocritus 17.131–134; Hoepfner 1971:11–54; Hintzen-Bohlen 1992:77–81, 210, no.8; Rose 1998:5–6.
[ back ] 34. Miller–Collett 1973; Ridgway 1981:161–163, 168–170; Hintzen–Bohlen 1990:131–134; Rose 1998:4–5. On chryselephantine statuary, see Lapatin 2001.
[ back ] 35. Cf. Hoepfner 1989; Hoepfner 1996; Ridgway 2000:19–102; Stewart 2000:32–57.
[ back ] 36. Smith 1910:168–174; Pouilloux 1960:67–80; Dohrn 1968:33–53; Borbein 1973:79–84, 88–90; Ridgway 1989:46–50; Hintzen-Bohlen 1990:134–137; Hintzen-Bohlen 1992:205, no.4; Ridgway 1997:289; Rose 1998:5; Jacquemin-Laroche 2001:305–332.
[ back ] 37. Ebert 1972:137–145, nos.43–45. Translated by E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 38. On the periodonikai, who scored victories in all four, later more, Panhellenic games, see IG III 809; IG V(1) 669; Philo II 438; P.Oxy. 1643, v. 2; Dio LXIII 8.
[ back ] 39. Multiple victories are also recounted in AB 77 and 86.
[ back ] 40. Plutarch Alcibiades 12.2. Cf. Thucydides VI 16.1–3; also Fantuzzi (this volume).
[ back ] 41. Translated by E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 42. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 43. Pausanias III 8.1; III 15.1; V 12.5; Ebert 1972:33.
[ back ] 44. Translated by E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 45. Fantuzzi (forthcoming). On the importance the Ptolemies placed on their Macedonian heritage see also Thompson (forthcoming).
[ back ] 46. Cf. AB 71, 74, 82–86. This is particularly interesting in AB 74, where the intelligent horse owned by the Ptolemaic protegé Callicrates of Samos wins against a Thessalian chariot.
[ back ] 47. Cf. Bennett 2002.
[ back ] 48. IG IX.1.1256 = Moretti 1978:II, no.86; Huss 1975:312–320; Hintzen-Bohlen 1990:144–145; Hintzen-Bohlen 1992:134; Scholten 2000:138n31; Kotsidu 2000:168–170, no.104; Bennett 2002:141–145.
[ back ] 49. Colin 1930: 275–278, nos.232–234; Hintzen-Bohlen 1990: 145–146.
[ back ] 50. On the role of the passionate relationship between Euergetes and Berenice II in state propaganda, see Gutzwiller 1992.
[ back ] 51. Bennett 2002:142–143 (where previous bibliography is cited). Cf. Canopus decree on the honors for the dead princess Berenice: OGIS 56. On Philopator’s dynastic group monument that was set up in the royal yacht see Athenaeus V 205f; Borbein 1973:88n225; Grimm 1998; Pfrommer 1999.
[ back ] 52. Cf. Vollenweider 1984; On the Ptolemaic oinochoai: Burr-Thompson 1973.
[ back ] 53. Rose 1990; Rose 1998:11–21.
[ back ] 54. Kosmetatou 2002:406; Kosmetatou 2003.
[ back ] 55. Cf. IG IX.12.17, verse 24, from Thermium, granting proxeny status to Posidippus at Delphi. On inscribed epigrams and their readers in antiquity, see Bing 2002.
[ back ] 56. Cf. Preuner 1900; Ridgway 1989:47, 68n33; Edwards 1996:135–137.
[ back ] 57. AB 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 31, 35, 65, 70. Cf. Bing (forthcoming).
[ back ] 58. The principal ancient accounts on Alexander’s resting place and his cult are: Strabo XVII 1.8, 794; Diodorus XVIII 26.3–28.2–4; Arrian in FGrHist 156 F 9, no.25; Mar. Par. in FGrHist 239 F B 11; Pausanias 1.6.3; 1.7.1; Curt. Ruf. 10.10.20; Pseudo-Callisthenes III 34; Aelian VH XII 64; Zenobius III 94; Suetonius Augustus 18; Dio LI 16.3–5; Herodian IV 8.9. For recent modern discussion on the subject see: Fraser 1972:15–17n79, 225–226; Pollitt 1986:19; Hammond and Walbank 1988:120; Green 1990:13–14; Stewart 1993:209–225. Rose 1998:4–5 erroneously states that Ptolemy I, rather than his successor Philadelphus, buried Alexander in Alexandria.
[ back ] 59. Ptolemy’s history is mainly known from Arrian. See: FGrHist 138–139; Errington 1976:154–156; Pearson 1983:150–211; Roisman 1984:373–385; Stewart 1993:11–12.
[ back ] 60. See Satyrus in FGrHist 631 F 1; P.Oxy. 2465; Curt. IX 8.22; Pausanias I6.2. Cf. also OGIS 54, l.5. For modern discussion on the subject see: Bosworth 1976:28; Errington 1976:154 ff.; Stewart 1993:229.
[ back ] 61. Accepting Schröder’s restoration. Cf. Schröder 2002.
[ back ] 62. Translated by B. Acosta-Hughes and E. Kosmetatou.
[ back ] 63. It appears on inventory lists dated from 279 to after 166 BCE. Cf. IG XI (2) 161, B, lines 26–27. On the importance of Aphrodite in Ptolemy’s propaganda, especially with regard to his last wife, Berenice I, the mother of his heirs, see Gutzwiller 1992.
[ back ] 64. Connor 1987. Cf. Herodotus I 60.2–5 and his incredulity on Pisistratus’ staged return to Athens on a chariot escorted by an actress dressed as Athena.
[ back ] 65. Rice 1983; Thompson 2000:365–368.
[ back ] 66. The principal ancient account of the Alexandrian Tychaion is in Pseudo-Libanius (Nicholaus Rhetor) Progymnasmata XXV 1–9. Several post-4th century CE authors mention this monument in passim. Theoph. Simoc. VIII 13; Theoph. Chron. PG 108 col. 616A; Georg. Mon. II pp. 663–664; Nic. Call. Hist. Eccl. XVIII 41; Ps.-Call. I 41.4. According to Palladas in the Greek Anthology IX 180, the Tychaion was converted into a wine–shop or a restaurant after CE 391. For modern discussion on the building see: Schweitzer 1931:218–220; Fraser 1972:I, 241–242; II, 392n417; Hebert 1983:10–25; Stewart 1993:243–246, 383–384.
[ back ] 67. The architectural parallels are listed by Hebert 1983:24–25. Cf. Fraser 1972:II, 392n417.
[ back ] 68. Stewart 1993:244–245.
[ back ] 69. Tusc. III 21; 5.25; Diogenes Laertius V 44. Cf. Plutarch Alexander 4.1–7; Athenaeus Deipn. X 435a.
[ back ] 70. Polybius XXIX 21.3–6.
[ back ] 71. Pollitt 1986:277–279; Stewart 1990:201–202.
[ back ] 72. Several scholars sought advancement in the employ of kings, and some of them even had the illusion that they exercised significant influence over these rulers’ deeds. As early as the sixth century BCE the Milesian Thales lived under the protection of the tyrant Thrasyboulus of Miletus, while Solon enjoyed the patronage of king Croesus of Lydia (Diogenes Laertius I 22.27; Herodotus I 30–33). Thucydides, Euripides, and Agathon lived for a while in the court of king Archelaus of Macedonia during the late fifth century BCE. Plato and Aristotle also served as advisors and protegés of Dionysus of Syracuse and Philip II of Macedonia respectively (Diogenes Laertius III 9.18–23; 5.5–6.11; Plutarch Alexander 8.53–55.77; Aristotle, Fr. 666 [Rose]). On Euhemerus, see: Diodorus I 15.4; IV 71.4; Diogenes Laertius V 46.2–7; VI 63, 69; Pollitt 1986:10 ff.; Green 1990:57. On the debate in political philosophy during the Hellenistic period see Harnsey 2000:404–414; Moles 2000:415–434; Schofield 2000:435–456; Hahm 2000:457–476.
[ back ] 73. Pausanias VI 16.3; Stewart 1993:244.
[ back ] 74. Plutarch Alexander 10.1–4. Philip II’s daring inclusion of his statue among the images of the twelve Olympian gods was mirrored in the parade that opened the Ptolemaia penteteric festival. Cf. Rice 1983.
[ back ] 75. Plutarch Marcus Antonius 85.5–6.