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Callimachus and the Atthidographers

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates the role played by the local chronicles of Athens and Attica within Callimachus’ oeuvre. In recent years research on Callimachus has increasingly stressed the importance of local antiquities as an essential part of the connective tissue of Callimachean poetry. Among local chronicles of the Greek world used as sources by Callimachus particularly relevant were the Atthidographers, the authors of a series of histories (Atthides) composed between the end of the fifth century and the middle of the third century bc that chronicled the Athenian and Attic past. After tracing a history of the modern studies about Atthidography from Wilamowitz to Jacoby, the paper examines the role of some Atthidographers in Callimachus’ poetry, especially in the Aetia and Hecale. It also considers the decisive contribution of Callimachus and his school (in particular Istrus) to the definition and preservation of the Atthidographic tradition until Philochorus.

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