By Boris Kayachev
The Ciris, a Latin mythological poem of contested date and authorship, has obtained a specific amount of scholarly awareness through the 20th century, yet regularly has didn't meet with an enough appreciation. This examine is aimed toward vindicating the Ciris, frequently by way of exploring its use of pre-Virgilianpoetic texts mostly missed in prior scholarship."
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Extra info for Allusion and Allegory: Studies in the "Ciris"
Non est dea nescia nostri (with dederit duplex Amathusia curam) is the model of Ciris ‒ non est Amathusia nostri | tam rudis. Kayachev () . For other possible instances of Philodemus’ influence on Catullus, see e. g. v. Catullus, Tilg () , Cairns () ‒.
13‒14 qualia sub densis ramorum concinit umbris | Daulias, absumpti fata gemens Ityli). The last motif may, in fact, create further significant resonances in Callimachus’ poetry. ¹⁴ Yet this is far from the only parallel between Catullus 65 and the Tiresias section of the hymn (57‒136). As Hunter observes, “the style and content of Chariclo’s lament strongly suggest funeral lament. ”¹⁵ If Tiresias’ blindness can indeed be interpreted metaphorically as death, and Hunter supplies further indications that it should, not only does Catullus’ lament for his deceased brother parallel Chariclo’s lament for her son in that they both are like a nightingale’s song, but also Tiresias’ fate can be compared with that of Catullus’ brother, who has similarly lost the possibility – not only to see, but to be seen, too (82 παιδὸς δ’ ὄμματα νὺξ ἔλαβεν; 89 οὐκ ἀέλιον πάλιν ὄψεαι; cf.
The connection between the two contexts is unmistakable,⁷ but the structural analogy feels disharmoniously inexact. Catullus’ apologetic message is fairly straightforward: although (etsi), because of his personal circumstances, he cannot offer his addressee original poetry, he still (tamen) will send him a translation from Callimachus, with the implication that the latter is inferior to the former. The thought expressed in the Ciris sounds both similar and different: although (etsi), in his present situation, the poet is planning a more serious poem, he still (tamen) decides to finish an earlier and less ambitious project.