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Individual Figures in Callimachus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the various types of characters that occur in Callimachus’ oeuvre. Unlike a more traditional mythography or cosmogony, the Callimachean poetic landscape is home to a surprising variety of figures. Among them are characters drawn from mythological and heroic realms, like Theseus and Heracles; kings, and queens, but equally commoners, like Molorchus and Hecale; the Olympic victors Euthymus of Locri and Euthycles; philosophers and charlatans; and love-struck couples like Acontius and Cydippe. As his poetry is geographically diffuse, it is equally so in terms of its individuals and their stories, a mirror of the tremendous variety of tones in the early culture of a new city in Egypt ruled by Macedonian warlords and home to a heterogeneous populace.

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