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Hellenistic Poetry Before Callimachus An Enquiry Into Two Lost Generations University of Liverpool, 14-15 June 2016

Hellenistic Poetry before Callimachus
An international conference
at the University of Liverpool
14-15 June 2016

Συνέδριο Hellenistic Poetry Before  Callimachus_Page_01You who walk past my tomb, know that I am son and father of Callimachus of Cyrene. You must know both: the one led his country’s forces once, the other sang beyond the reach of envy. Callimachus, Epigram 21 Pf., tr. F.J. Nisetich
Callimachus’ epitaph for the tomb of his father is notorious for how perplexingly little it says about the deceased. We are told neither his name nor profession, whereas the name that resounds loud and clear is that of the author of the epigram. This is a measure of how Callimachus outshone his father. The Greeks may have found delight
in being defeated by their children (cf. Pl. Mx. 247a), yet we are less impressed. Even for the sake of Callimachus himself, would it not be rewarding to know who his father was? The epigram illustrates the broader problem we have with the poet’s closest literary ancestors. If we do our counting carefully, we see clearly enough that there is a twogeneration gap between the beginning of what Droysen labelled as the Hellenistic period (Geschichte der Hellenismus, 1836, 19 – although he himself was not very clear about the chronological boundaries of his ‘new’ word) and the advent of ‘Golden Age heroes’ Callimachus, Theocritus, and Apollonius of Rhodes. Whilst the latter were not
treated altogether kindly by fate, the generations of their fathers and teachers have been almost completely obscured. Almost – because what we do know is enough to give us a taste of what we are missing. Our conference is an unprecedentedly ambitious attempt to sketch a picture of the lost generations of the poets active during the last two decades of the fourth century and the first two decades of the third. We undertake to approach Philitas, Simias, Phoenix, Crates, and Timon and the whole gamut of their obscure contemporaries, genre by genre. We aim to discuss a number of thorny issues, among which the chronology and circulation of early Hellenistic poetry; the role these two generations played as  forerunners of Hellenistic poetry and intermediaries between the tradition(s) of late Classical poetry and the new voices of Hellenistic poetry; and the larger implications for our (brittle) attempts of periodization. This pioneering venture into the origins of ‘Hellenistic-ness’ will help illuminate the shadowy and mysterious realms of Hellenistic  poetry before Callimachus Venue

School of the Arts Library, 9 Abercromby Square, University of Liverpool campus,
Liverpool, L69 7ZG.
All are welcome at the conference. There is no registration fee but please use this link to our online shop to register. You can also let the conference organisers know in advance if you wish to attend (see below).
• Jan Kwapisz (Warsaw)
• Marco Perale (Liverpool)
• Guendalina Taietti (Liverpool)
Organised by the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University
of Liverpool and the Instytut Filologii Klasycznej of the University of Warsaw, the
conference is made possible by the generous support of the Postgate Fund, the
Warsaw Faculty of Polish Studies, and the Warsaw Institute of Classical Philology

Συνέδριο Hellenistic Poetry Before Callimachus