By Boris Kayachev
The Ciris, a Latin mythological poem of contested date and authorship, has bought a certain quantity of scholarly consciousness in the course of the 20th century, yet more often than not has didn't meet with an enough appreciation. This research is aimed toward vindicating the Ciris, in general by way of exploring its use of pre-Virgilianpoetic texts principally missed in earlier scholarship."
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Extra resources for Allusion and Allegory: Studies in the "Ciris"
3 The allusion to Catullus 65 also resonates on another level, as it introduces a whole set of reminiscences from Catullus’ other elegiac poems thematically related to poem 65, namely poems 68²⁰ and 101. Let us begin by observing textual parallels, which we now find mostly concentrated in a later passage of the Ciris (42‒46): sed quoniam ad tantas nunc primum nascimur artes, nunc primum teneros firmamus robore neruos, haec tamen interea, quae possumus, in quibus aeui prima rudimenta et iuuenes exegimus annos, accipe dona meo multum uigilata labore… To proceed ὕστερον πρότερον Ὁμηρικῶς, we may first consider poem 101, addressed to Catullus’ dead brother (7‒10): nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias, accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu, atque in perpetuum, frater, aue atque uale.
71‒78 Courtney): haec adeo penitus cura uidere sagaci, otia qui studiis laeti tenuere decoris, inque Academia umbrifera nitidoque Lyceo fuderunt claras fecundi pectoris artis. e quibus ereptum primo iam a flore iuuentae te patria in media uirtutum mole locauit. tu tamen anxiferas curas requiete relaxans, quod patria uacat, id studiis nobisque sacrasti. Cicero, addressed by the Muse Urania, is here presented as a politician in the first place, who nevertheless (note tamen) finds time (quod patria uacat) for philosophy (studiis) and poetry (nobis, i.
In Callimachus – both in the hymn and in the Aetia prologue – it is, of course, Helicon, the mountain of the Muses (though in the hymn their role is taken over by Athena). In the Ciris the narrator appears to climb a different sort of mountain, the mountain of Wisdom, but he does so with the intention to compose a poem, if a philosophical one (eo dignum sibi quaerere carmen). The association of poetry and philosophy that we observe in both the Ciris and Callimachus – for Athena is, of course, the embodiment of wisdom – plays a crucial part in the poetic programmes of both authors.