The Technê of Aratus’ Leptê Acrostich

  • Jan Kwapisz University of Warsaw


This paper sets out to re-approach the famous leptêacrostich in Aratus’ Phaenomena (783-87) by confronting it with other early Greek acrostichs and the discourse of technê and sophia,which has been shown to play an important role in a gamut of Greek literary texts, including texts very much relevant for the study of Aratus’ acrostich. In particular, there is a tantalizing connection between the acrostich in Aratus’ poem that poeticized Eudoxus’ astronomical work and the so-called Ars Eudoxi, a (pseudo-)Eudoxian acrostich sphragisfrom a second-century BC papyrus.

Riferimenti bibliografici

Acosta-Hughes, Benjamin. Polyeideia: The Iambi of Callimachus and the Archaic Iambic Tradition. U of California P, 2002.

Bajnok, Dániel. “Aeschines Inscription in Epidaurus? An Old Question Revisited.” Graeco-Latina Brunensia, vol. 19/1, 2014, pp. 15-26.

Bing, Peter. The Well-Read Muse: Present and Past in Callimachus and the Hellenistic Poets. 2nd ed., Michigan Classical P, 2008.

Blass, Friedrich. Eudoxi ars astronomica qualis in charta Aegyptiaca superest. Schmidt & Klaunig, 1887.

Bowen, Alan C. “Leptinēs (II).” The Encyclopedia of Ancient Natural Scientists: The Greek Tradition and its Many Heirs, edited by Paul T. Keyser and Georgia L. Irby-Massie, Routledge, 2008, p. 505.

Clayman, Dee L. Callimachus’ Iambi. Brill, 1980.

Courtney, Edward. “The Roman Months in Art and Literature.” Museum Helveticum, vol. 45, 1988, pp. 33-57.

---. “Greek and Latin Acrostichs.” Philologus, vol. 134, 1990, pp. 3-13.

Danielewicz, Jerzy. “One Sign after Another: The Fifth ΛΕΠΤΗ in Aratus’ Phaen. 783-4?” Classical Quarterly, vol. 65, 2015, pp. 387-90.

Edmunds, Mike G. “The Antikythera Mechanism and the Mechanical Universe.” Contemporary Physics, vol. 55/4, 2014, pp. 263-85.

Finglass, Patrick J. “How Stesichorus Began his Sack of Troy.” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, vol. 185, 2013, pp. 1-17.

---. “Simias and Stesichorus.” Eikasmos, vol. 26, 2015, pp. 197-202.

Garulli, Valentina. “Greek Acrostic Verse Inscriptions.” Kwapisz, Petrain, and Szymański, The Muse at Play, pp. 246-78.

Hanses, Mathias. “The Pun and the Moon in the Sky: Aratus’ ΛΕΠΤΗ Acrostic.” Classical Quarterly, vol. 64, 2014, pp. 609-14.

Hennig, John. “Versus de mensibus.” Traditio, vol. 11, 1955, pp. 65-90.

Hicks, Robert D. Diogenes Laertius: Lives of Eminent Philosophers, vol. II. Harvard UP, 1925.

Hunter, Richard. “The Prologue of the Periodos to Nicomedes (‘Pseudo-Scymnus’).” Beyond the Canon, edited by M. Annette Harder, Remco F. Regtuit, and Gerry C. Wakker, Peeters, 2006, pp. 123-40.

Jacques, Jean-Marie. “Sur un acrostiche d’Aratos (Phén., 783–787).” Revue des Études Anciennes, vol. 62, 1960, pp. 48-61.

Jones, Alexander. A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World. Oxford UP, 2017.

Katz, Joshua T. “The Muse at Play: An Introduction.” Kwapisz, Petrain, and Szymański, The Muse at Play, pp. 1-30.

Keyes, Clinton W. Cicero: On the Republic. On the Laws. Harvard UP, 1928.

Keyser, Paul T. “Leptinēs (I).” The Encyclopedia of Ancient Natural Scientists: The Greek Tradition and its Many Heirs, edited by Paul T. Keyser and Georgia L. Irby-Massie, Routledge, 2008, p. 505.

Kidd, Douglas. Aratus: Phaenomena. Cambridge UP, 1997.

Klooster, Jacqueline. Poetry as Window and Mirror: Positioning the Poet in Hellenistic Poetry. Brill, 2011.

Kwapisz, Jan. The Greek Figure Poems. Peeters, 2013.

Kwapisz, Jan, David Petrain, and Mikołaj Szymański, editors. The Muse at Play: Riddles and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry. De Gruyter, 2013

Kwapisz, Jan, and Katarzyna Pietruczuk. “Your Own Personal Library of Alexandria: Callimachus’ Scholarly Works and their Readers.” Callimachus Revisited: New Perspectives in Callimachean Scholarship, edited by Jacqueline J.H. Klooster, M. Annette Harder, Remco F. Regtuit, and Gerry C. Wakker, Peeters, forthcoming.

Lattimore, Richmond. The Iliad of Homer. U of Chicago P, 1961.

Leventhal, Max. “Counting on Epic: Mathematical Poetry and Homeric Epic in Archimedes’ Cattle Problem.” Ramus, vol. 44, 2015, pp. 200-21.

---. “Eratosthenes’ Letter to Ptolemy: The Literary Mechanics of Empire.” American Journal of Philology, vol. 138, 2017, pp. 43-84.

Lightfoot, Jane L. Dionysius Periegetes: Description of the Known World. Oxford UP, 2014.

Löbl, Rudolf. ΤΕΧΝΗ – Techne: Untersuchungen zur Bedeutung dieses Wortes in der Zeit nach Aristoteles, vol. III: Die Zeit des Hellenismus. Königshausen & Neumann, 2008.

Luz, Christine. Technopaignia: Formspiele in der griechischen Dichtung. Brill, 2010.

Merkelbach, Reinhold, and Josef Stauber. Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten, vol. I: Die Westküste Kleinasiens von Knidos bis Ilion. Teubner, 1998.

Michel, Wilhelm. De fabularum Graecarum argumentis metricis. PhD Dissertation, Giessen, 1908.

Olson, S. Douglas. Athenaeus: The Learned Banqueters, vol. VII. Harvard UP, 2011.

Page, Denys L. Greek Literary Papyri, vol. I. Heinemann, 1942.

Paton, William R. The Greek Anthology, vol. V. Harvard UP, 1918.

Petrain, David. Homer in Stone: The Tabulae Iliacae in their Roman Context. Cambridge UP, 2014.

Porter, James I. “Against ΛΕΠΤΟΤΗΣ: Rethinking Hellenistic Aesthetics.” Creating a Hellenistic World, edited by Andrew Erskine and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Classical P of Wales, 2011, pp. 271-312.

Schubert, Christoph. “Ein literarisches Akrostichon aus der ersten Hälfte des vierten Jahrhunderts v. Chr.? Zu Chairemon, TrGF I, 71 F 14b.” Göttinger Forum für Altertumswissenschaft, vol. 16, 2013, pp. 389-97.

Squire, Michael J. The Iliad in a Nutshell: Visualizing Epic on the Tabulae Iliacae. Oxford UP, 2011.

---. “Sémantique de l’échelle dans l’art et la poésie hellénistiques”. D’Alexandre à Auguste: Dynamiques de la création dans les arts visuels et la poésie, edited by Pascale Linant de Bellefonds, Évelyne Prioux, and Agnès Rouveret, PU de Rennes, 2016, pp. 183-200.

Trzaskoma, Stephen M. “Further Possibilities Regarding the Acrostic at Aratus 783-7.” Classical Quarterly, vol. 66, 2016, pp. 785-90.

Valenzuela Montenegro, Nina. Die Tabulae Iliacae: Mythos und Geschichte im Spiegel einer Gruppe frühkaiserzeitlicher Miniaturreliefs., 2004.

West, Martin L. Greek Metre. Oxford UP, 1982.

Wright, Matthew. The Lost Plays of Greek Tragedy, vol. I: Neglected Authors. Bloomsbury, 2016.

Giochi e giocattoli: parole, oggetti e immaginario – A cura di Lucia Floridi, Laura Neri e Chiara Torre