Kinyras: The Divine Lyre

  Franklin, John Curtis. 2016. Kinyras: The Divine Lyre. Hellenic Studies Series 70. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

20. Kinyras at Sidon? The Strange Affair of Abdalonymos

This chapter addresses a curious problem that may entail a further mainland ‘Kinyras’, this time at Sidon. Abdalonymos—‘Servant of the Gods’ in Phoenician (Abd-elonim)—was said to be an impoverished member of the Sidonian royal house, installed by Alexander as king of that city in 333–332 after deposing ‘Straton’ (that is Abdastart III) following the battle of Issos. [1] He is epigraphically attested and appears in several further Alexander episodes. [2] A sarcophagus from the royal necropolis of Sidon, showing a battle-scene in which Alexander is accompanied by a Companion in Persian dress, is usually thought to have been dedicated by him, or to contain his remains. [3] How long he reigned is unknown, but he will have been deposed by one of Alexander’s successors before the end of the fourth century. [4]


[ back ] 1. See generally Lane Fox 1980:184; Green 1991:246; Heckel and Yardley 1997:143. Clearly the variant forms Balonymos (Diodoros), Aralynomos or Alynomos (Plutarch), and Abdellonymos (Pollux Onomastikon 6.105) result from textual corruption (cf. Hammond 1983:119), as well perhaps as variations in rendering the Phoenician name. The etymology of ‘Alynomus’ attempted by Ribichini 1982:496n67 is thus unnecessary.

[ back ] 2. See Lane Fox 1980:184.

[ back ] 3. Grainger 1991:61–62; Palagia 2000:188–189, plausibly noting that Abdalonymos, as a parvenu, would have had good reason to portray himself at Alexander’s side. But for a new reading of the monument, see Heckel 2006.

[ back ] 4. Grainger 1991:61–62; Palagia 2000:186.

[ back ] 5. Hammond 1983:43, 113, 119.

[ back ] 6. Diodoros Siculus 17.47.1–6; Curtius Rufus 4.1.16–26; Plutarch Moralia 340c–e; Justin Epitome 11.10.8–9.

[ back ] 7. Hammond 1983:43; Grainger 1991:34.

[ back ] 8. Diodoros includes the colorful touch that Abdalonymos was working as a hired laborer: ἔλαβεν αὐτὸν ἔν τινι κήπῳ μισθοῦ μὲν ἀντλοῦντα (17.47.4).

[ back ] 9. Plutarch Moralia 340c–d: πάλιν ἐν Πάφῳ, τοῦ βασιλεύοντος ἀδίκου καὶ πονηροῦ φανέντος, ἐκβαλὼν τοῦτον Ἀλέξανδρος ἕτερον ἐζήτει, τοῦ Κινυραδῶν γένους ἤδη φθίνειν καὶ ἀπολείπειν δοκοῦντος. ἕνα δ’ οὖν ἔφασαν περιεῖναι πένητα καὶ ἄδοξον ἄνθρωπον ἐν κήπῳ τινὶ παρημελημένως διατρεφόμενον. ἐπὶ τοῦτον οἱ πεμφθέντες ἧκον, εὑρέθη δὲ πρασιαῖς ὕδωρ ἐπαντλῶν· καὶ διεταράχθη τῶν στρατιωτῶν ἐπιλαμβανομένων αὐτοῦ καὶ βαδίζειν κελευόντων. ἀχθεὶς δὲ πρὸς Ἀλέξανδρον ἐν εὐτελεῖ σινδονίσκῃ βασιλεὺς ἀνηγορεύθη καὶ πορφύραν ἔλαβε καὶ εἷς ἦν τῶν ἑταίρων προσαγορευομένων· ἐκαλεῖτο δ’ Ἀβδαλώνυμος. For the corrupt variants of his name, see n1.

[ back ] 10. Lane Fox 1980:184; Hammond 1983:43.

[ back ] 11. Cf. Hammond 1983:119.

[ back ] 12. Curtius Rufus 4.1: Causa ei paupertatis sicut plerisque probitas erat. Intentusque operi diurno strepitum armorum, qui totam Asiam concusserat, non exaudiebat.

[ back ] 13. Scholars have attempted various historical explanations. For Lane Fox 1980:382, Abdalonymos’ insulation from the decadence of the court made him a kindred spirit to Alexander (“just the oriental to see something congenial in Asia’s new and unexpected king”). Green 1991:246 sees a calculated dramatic move designed to establish an unfailingly loyal client-king. Grainger 1991:34 suggests that Abdalonymos was purposefully excluded from the court by his royal relations, and even from the city limits.

[ back ] 14. The Paphian version was accepted as factual by Frazer 1914 1:42–43; Ribichini 1982:496. While HC:152 rightly saw it as fabulous, that cannot completely discredit the historicity of the Sidonian version (see below). NPHP:26, though considering it a myth, gives credence to Paphos as the proper locale since the decadence of the Paphian kings became a topos in the fourth century: see Athenaios 255c–257d, who cites both Antiphanes fr. 200 PCG and Klearkhos of Soloi fr. 19 Wehrli; cf. Paphos:205.

[ back ] 15. See e.g. Powell 1939; Pearson 1955.

[ back ] 16. Arrian Anabasis of Alexander 2.20.3.

[ back ] 17. Diodoros Siculus 20.21.2–3; Polyainos Stratagems 8.48. For this episode’s rightful location at Paphos, see p416n95.

[ back ] 18. Parian Marble B 17 (FGH 239).

[ back ] 19. While Greek and Phoenician royal names alike appear at Lapethos (p339, 510), the explanation for them remains open; and the known Paphian royal names are all Greek.

[ back ] 20. Lewy 1895:226. Astour 1965:139n5, though agnostic on this point, nevertheless (p. 308) interpreted Kynortas—one of the pre-Dorian kings of Sparta, brother of Hyakinthos (Pausanias 3.1.3; [Apollodoros] Library 1.9.5, 3.10.3)—as ‘knr-player’; and even connected Kynortion and Myrtion, the names of two peaks above the sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidauros (Pausanias 2.27.7), with Kinyras and Myrrha. Both ideas, though approved by Dugand 1973:200–202, are highly doubtful.

[ back ] 21. Nonnos has him pretend to have surpassed Apollo on the instrument; his alleged punishment is not the usual death, but the breaking of his strings (Dionysiaka 1.485–505), and he is rewarded with marriage to Harmonia, herself with lyric associations (2.663–666). For Harmonia, see Franklin 2006a:55 and n42; but note that I no longer hold to my interpretation there of [Nikomakhos] Excerpts 1 (MSG:266): instead of Ἀχαιοὺς δὲ ὑπὸ Κάδμου τοῦ Ἀγήνορος παραλαβεῖν (suggested by R. Janko), I would revert to Jan’s ὑπὸ Κάδμον in MSG. In other words, the Achaeans did not receive the lyre ‘from Kadmos’ (which would contradict the passage’s earlier assertion that Orpheus first received it from Hermes), but ‘in the time of Kadmos’ (a sign that the passage comes from an early chronographic source, perhaps Hellanikos: see for now Franklin 2003:302n12; Franklin 2012:747).

[ back ] 22. See p407n45.

[ back ] 23. Kleitarkhos FGH 137 F 3 (= Stobaios Anthology 40.20.73) with Jacoby in RE 11 (1922), 638. Cf. p284.

[ back ] 24. See p284.

[ back ] 25. See p346–347, 351–359.

[ back ] 26. Diodoros Siculus 15.2.4; HC:135–136; cf. p347.

[ back ] 27. See p535–359.

[ back ] 28. Diodoros Siculus 16.46.3; HC:146–147 and n3.

[ back ] 29. Arrian Anabasis of Alexander 2.20.3. For Pnytagoras’ relationship to Euagoras, see HC:143n3.

[ back ] 30. See n14 above.

[ back ] 31. Cf. Ribichini 1982:496: “La distinzione tra il prestigio del ricchissimo sovrano ‘del tempo del mito’, e la miseria del timido e povero suo discendente ‘dei tempi reali’ non poteva essere più chiaramente delineata.”