Kinyras: The Divine Lyre

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

Appendix F. Theodontius: Another Cilician Kinyras?

M. Pade has recently confirmed the general view that Theodontius was active between the seventh and eleventh centuries; while she would still entertain an eighth or ninth century floruit during the ‘Campanian Renaissance’, she inclines to a rather later date. [7] Our understanding of Theodontius’ sources is fairly limited. He is thought to have known Hesiod, Pausanias, ps.-Apollodoros, Hyginus, ps.-Lactantius Placidus, the D-scholia to the Iliad, and the scholia to Pindar and Apollonius of Rhodes. [8] This dossier is sufficient to explain Boccaccio’s reference to “certain Greek codices” in which Theodontius found material, without positing further, lost sources. [9] Boccaccio also tells us outright that Theodontius used the Vergilian commentary of Servius (the augmented version of the seventh or eighth century, Servius Auctus). [10] One diagnostic passage shows that Theodontius exercised fairly free reign with this material, making deductions from and creatively combining discontiguous elements. [11] Some of Boccaccio’s cosmogonic scheme, including perhaps the notorious Demogorgon, came via Theodontius from ‘Pronapides’, a probably late antique or early Byzantine work published under the name of Homer’s legendary teacher. [12] Theodontius is probably also Boccaccio’s source for four of his five ‘fragments’ of the Atthidographer Philokhoros (ca. 340–263/2). [13] One is a mere paraphrase of St. Jerome’s translation of Eusebios’ Chronicle, [14] but Theodontius is once named as an intermediate source, and this is probably true of the remainder. Nevertheless, it is quite certain that Philokhoros himself had not been directly available for many centuries, and V. Costa has recently argued that here too, in many cases, Theodontius creatively manipulated citations of Philokhoros that are otherwise still known. [15] None of this inspires much confidence in the older idea that Theodontius preserved strands of ancient tradition now otherwise unrepresented.

We must seriously consider, therefore, whether the form ‘Lampsacius’ has been correctly transmitted. That this is a corruption of Sandokos (> SANDOCUS > SANDACUS > LAMPSACIUS), who we saw was indeed a king of Cilicia, seems not especially likely on paleographic grounds. [17] Rather more attractive, I suggest, is a corruption of *Sampsuchus or *Sampsachus. Some such form may have been devised by Theodontius as the putative ‘true’ name for Amaracus, the perfumer who was metamorphosed into marjoram—Gk. amárakos, which was originally known, according to Servius who tells the tale, as sámpsoukhon. [18] That Servius describes Amaracus as a ‘royal prince’ (regius puer) without naming his father would naturally create a genealogical opportunity for inventive mythographers; Pomponius Sabinus, we saw, called him a son of Kinyras—not implausibly, but evidently without ancient authority. [19] Theodontius, a creative genealogist who was prepared to manipulate Servian material (see above), could well have came up with his own solution. Cilix may seem an odd choice of father, but he has another culture-hero son in Pyrodes who, Pliny says, discovered starting fires with flint. [20] The error of LAMPSACIUS, paleographically simple, [21] would then be due to Boccaccio himself. Boccaccio confessed that it had been many years since as a youth (iuvenculus) he had taken his Theodontius material from Paul “with more greed than comprehension”; moreover, his notes were no longer always legible. [22] This hypothesis would also explain why Amaracus is otherwise absent from Boccaccio, who elsewhere relied on Theodontius for Servian material. [23]

To conclude, Theodontius’ Cilician Kinyras must be treated with great reserve. He is probably a mere artifact of the mythographer’s secondary elaboration of Ovid. Still, not every detail in his account, so far as we can reconstruct it from Boccaccio, can be so easily explained. It remains possible, if unlikely, that some elements—notably ‘Lampsacius’ and the link between Cilix and Pygmalion—did drift across Theodontius’ transom from the ancient mythographic tradition.


[ back ] 1. Pade 1997:149; Solomon 2011:x–xiii.

[ back ] 2. Boccaccio gives a forthright description of his sources at Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 15.6. For Paul’s own work, and his relationship with Boccaccio, see with further references Pade 1997:150–153; Carlucci 2009:401–403. But note that Theodontius was probably still available in some form after Boccaccio: Pade 1997:160–162.

[ back ] 3. The Theodontius fragments were collected by Landi 1930; for a balanced recent assessment, see Pade 1997. Quotation: Seznec 1953:222.

[ back ] 4. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.47–49 (trans. after Solomon).

[ back ] 5. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.50 (trans. Solomon). Solomon 2013:242 and 442n24 thus errs in suggesting that it was Boccaccio himself who incorporated the Ovidian sequence, with Theodontius’ Cilix > Pygmalion merely a useful launching point.

[ back ] 6. For sources and variants, see Edwards 1979:23–29.

[ back ] 7. Pade 1997, refining Landi 1930:18–20; Seznec 1953:220–222.

[ back ] 8. Pade 1997:155.

[ back ] 9. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 13.1.

[ back ] 10. But note the possible complication that Theodontius himself may be cited in Servius Auctus on Vergil Aeneid 1.28: Theodotius, qui Iliacas res perscripsit. Costa 2004:118 accepts this testimony as a terminus ante quem, though he would date the compilation of Servius Auctus somewhat later than usual (see e.g. OCD s.v.), i.e. the ninth or tenth century.

[ back ] 11. See Pade 1997:153–154, cf. 160.

[ back ] 12. Pade 1997:158–159.

[ back ] 13. Optimistic assessments by Landi 1930 and Lenchantin 1932; Jacoby included them doubtfully in FGH; gravely undermined by Costa 2004.

[ back ] 14. Pade 1997:156–158.

[ back ] 15. Costa 2004:117–132. The same is true, Costa argues (133–147), of the Philokhoros ‘fragments’ in the Mythologiae of Natale Conti (1568), also reluctantly included by Jacoby.

[ back ] 16. Philokhoros FGH 328 F 226 (Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 4.20), war between Rhodians and Lycians and metamorphosis into frogs. Costa 2004:126–127 points out that the episode cannot be confidently linked to any known title of Philokhoros; but this objection is hardly conclusive. F 228 (from Natale Conti) concerned the sons of Phineus, who was variously brother or uncle of Kilix/Cilix: Edwards 1979:26–27.

[ back ] 17. Ps.-Apollodoros, to whom Theodontius perhaps had access (Pade 1997:155), makes Sandokos a migrant to Cilicia from Syria, and not a son of Cilix. The textual variant Sándakos is found, but only as a late corruption: see p504n60.

[ back ] 18. Servius Auctus on Vergil Aeneid 1.693 (sampsucum . . . quam nunc etiam amaracum dicunt). See further above, p331–332. By way of illustration, Thilo’s ap. crit. to Servius records these textual variants: sampsucum, samsucum, sampsuchum, and samsacum.

[ back ] 19. See p332.

[ back ] 20. Pliny Natural History 7.198: ignem e silice Pyrodes Cilicis filius.

[ back ] 21. Many medieval bookhands would permit confusion of ‘l’ for (elongated) ‘s,’ and (open) ‘a’ for ‘u’: Thompson 1893 Chapter XVIII.

[ back ] 22. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 15.6: ex illo multa avidus potius quam intelligens sumpsi, et potissime ea quae sub nomine Theodontii apposita sunt. This clear account of his reliance on Paul makes it fairly certain that the reference to illegibility (Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 10.7: quaedam alia referat [sc. Theodontius] litteris a lituris deletis legisse non potui) applies to his own (or Paul’s) notes, and need not imply that Boccaccio himself had seen Theodontius at first hand, as sometimes thought: see Pade 1997:151. For some other consequences of Boccaccio’s youthful haste, see Carlucci 2009:309–405.

[ back ] 23. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.14 and 10.11 with Pade 1997:154 and 164n45.

[ back ] 24. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.54 (Pliny cited), Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 3.19 (Theodontius and Pliny).

[ back ] 25. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.47. See Solomon 2011:784n16, with explanation of textual history at 775–777.

[ back ] 26. Pliny Natural History 13.10, 21.163.

[ back ] 27. See generally Cameron 2004.

[ back ] 28. Hellanikos FGH 4 F 57 = Stephanos of Byzantium s.v. Καρπασία. See further above, p113n356, 545n3.

[ back ] 29. For this compositional principle in the Metamorphoses, see Cameron 2004:285.

[ back ] 30. Greek Anthology 11.347.4: τίνος ἦν Πρωτεὺς καὶ τίς ὁ Πυγμαλίων. Cameron 2004:305 and n6 understands the latter phrase as ‘Who is Pygmalion [sc. the son of]?’

[ back ] 31. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.2–59 passim (‘second Pygmalion’ at 59).

[ back ] 32. See p499.

[ back ] 33. Ovid Metamorphoses 10.295: illa Paphon genuit, de qua [v.l. quo] tenet insula nomen. A male Paphos in such a role is certainly attested in the third century CE: see p499–500.

[ back ] 34. Ovid Metamorphoses 10.270–273.

[ back ] 35. See p413–414.

[ back ] 36. See p198–199.

[ back ] 37. See the ap. crit. of Magnus’ 1914 edition.

[ back ] 38. Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 8.8 (Phyllare dictus est filius, quasi Phyllidros) with Pade 1997:155–156.