Kinyras: The Divine Lyre

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

Appendix C. Horace, Cinara, and the Syrian Musiciennes of Rome

Horace alludes several times to a certain Cinara whom he loved in his youth, and her untimely death. She may of course be partly or largely poetic fiction, like other lover-muses of Roman elegy. This role she most clearly fulfils at the start of Odes 4.1, when the poet, returning to lyric after a hiatus, pretends to have lost what power he had “in the reign of good Cinara.” [1]

Thus, while the ‘biography’ of Cinara remains obscure, a Syrian lyric identity accords perfectly with the poetic conventions and cultural realities of Horace’s time.


[ back ] 1. Horace Odes 4.1.3–4 (bonae
 / sub regno Cinarae), cf. 4.13.21–23, Epistles 1.7.28, 1.14.33. See Johnson 2004:29; more generally Putnam 1986:33–42 for the ‘loving-muse’ motif, but focusing on the invocation of Venus.

[ back ] 2. Or still more obscurely the tiny island of Kinaros in the Dodecanese: for both see Coletti 1996–1998 and Johnson 2004:229n88 with references. A paedagogus called Cinarus is epigraphically attested at the second-third century CE Rhegium: Buonocore 1989:65–66; Hutchinson 2006:78. One of Aeneas’ companions appears variously as Cinyrus, Ciniris, or Cunarus at Vergil Aeneid 10.186: see Roscher Lex. s.v. Kinyros.

[ back ] 3. Horace Odes 4.13.7 (doctae psallere Chiae); 3.9.9–10 (Thressa Chloecitharae sciens).

[ back ] 4. AGM:75–77.

[ back ] 5. Ambubaiae: Horace Satires 1.2.1; cf. Suetonius Nero 27; Petronius Satyricon 74.13. For the Akk. and Ebl. forms, see p55n44, 201n145. A Mandaean legend features a group of six ambūbi, maidens raised as a piping ensemble in the palace of Hirmiz Shah: Drower 1937:394–396.

[ back ] 6. Propertius 4.1.99–102. Cf. Hutchinson 2006 ad loc.

[ back ] 7. See p216.

[ back ] 8. Juvenal Satires 3.62–65: iam pridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes 
/ et linguam et mores et cum tibicine chordas
 / obliquas nec non gentilia tympana secum /
 vexit et ad circum iussas prostare puellas (“The Syrian Orontes has long since descended the Tiber / And with it hauled its language and customs and its / Strings Aslant, with the piper, its native drums too / And girls compelled to sell themselves around the Circus”).

[ back ] 9. Isaiah 23:15–16; cf. p60, 302.

[ back ] 10. Ovid Art of Love 3.315–316.