By Boris Kayachev
The Ciris, a Latin mythological poem of contested date and authorship, has bought a certain quantity of scholarly cognizance through the 20th century, yet by and large has did not meet with an enough appreciation. This examine is geared toward vindicating the Ciris, in general by way of exploring its use of pre-Virgilianpoetic texts mostly missed in past scholarship."
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Extra info for Allusion and Allegory: Studies in the "Ciris"
41): ἑπτὰ τριηκόντεσσιν ἐπέρχονται λυκάβαντες, ἤδη μοι βιότου σχιζόμεναι σελίδες· ἤδη καὶ λευκαί με κατασπείρουσιν ἔθειραι, Ξανθίππη, συνετῆς ἄγγελοι ἡλικίης, ἀλλ’ ἔτι μοι ψαλμός τε λάλος κῶμοί τε μέλονται καὶ πῦρ ἀπλήστῳ τύφετ’ ἐνὶ κραδίῃ· αὐτὴν ἀλλὰ τάχιστα κορωνίδα γράψατε, Μοῦσαι, ταύτης ἡμετέρης, δεσπότιδες, μανίης. ²⁶ This has two implications for the meaning of the topos: first, those who use it do not actually intend to abandon poetry in the future; second, they may already at present not be as uninterested (and incompetent) in philosophy as they claim.
I take the passage (partly because of the parallel in Parmenides) to be addressed to Empedocles by the Muse rather than by Empedocles to his disciple or the Muse, as it is sometimes understood: cf. A. Hardie () . See the preceding note for my understanding of the fragment. 5 35 men in Lucretius, but also to the citadel of Wisdom onto which the narrator of the Ciris is ascending: we may note that the Ciris appears to reinterpret Empedocles’ σοφίη as a personification (Sapientia) rather than an abstract concept, as Lucretius did (doctrina).
In Trépanier’s reconstruction – θάρσει καὶ … σοφίης ἐπ’ ἄκροισι θόαζε). 922‒930), in both the Ciris (lines 1‒2) and Empedocles philosophical excellence is pointedly opposed to mundane glory, as honours (laudis and praemia, cf. εὐδόξοιο … ἄνθεα τιμῆς) bestowed by the mob (uulgi, cf. θνητῶν) can actually distract (iactatum, cf. βιήσεται) from wisdom (Sophiae, cf. σοφίης). The Ciris’ engagement with Empedocles (in addition to Lucretius) will find further confirmation in a later chapter where another possible case of ‘window’ allusion through Lucretius to Empedocles is treated (4§3).