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Φapmakeytpia Ohne Φapmakon. Überlegungen zur Komposition des zweiten Idylls von Theokrit

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image of Mnemosyne

In the first part of the article, the question of Theocritus' treatment of magic in the 2nd Idyll is being discussed. The author's view is that Theocritus not only accurately depicted the contemporary magical practices, but that the very composition of the poem was influenced by the magical texts. The second part of the paper pays attention to a special class of magical texts, the defixiones influenced by the prayers for justice. The author argues that Simaetha's confession to Selene bears close resemblance to the prayers for justice and that Simaetha's argumentative strategy in the description of her short love affair with Delphis serves the purpose of portraying her as the betrayed party, thus enabling her to put the blame on Delphis and demand of the goddess that the justice (e.g. the return of Delphis to Simaetha) should be done. Finally, the effect of Simaetha's magical practice and her prayer is being discussed. Since the motif of ϕαρμακον connects the 2nd with the 11th Idyll, a comparison between Simaetha and Cyclops is called for and some general conclusions about the motif of the healing properties of poetry in the Theocritean corpus are suggested.


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