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HesperosStudies in Ancient Greek Poetry Presented to M. L. West on his Seventieth Birthday$
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P. J. Finglass, C. Collard, and N. J. Richardson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285686.001.0001

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Some Poetic Connections of Lycophron’s Alexandra

Some Poetic Connections of Lycophron’s Alexandra

(p.276) 19 Some Poetic Connections of Lycophron’s Alexandra

Adrian Hollis

Oxford University Press

It is not surprising that, of all the issues raised by the Alexandra, scholars should have devoted most time and effort to historical and geographical problems — to the identification of kings and political leaders lying behind the poet's riddles (e.g., 1441 ‘the Thesprotian and Chalastrean lion’, 1444 ‘the wolf of Galadra’), to Lycophron's account of the West and its relation to Timaeus, and, above all, his prophecy of Rome's future greatness (1226-30). All of these have been vigorously disputed, and three positions maintained: (a) the work should be ascribed in its entirety to Lycophron of Chalcis (first half of the 3rd century BC), said by external evidence to have been a member of the Pleiad, who came to Alexandria and helped to arrange the comic poets for the Library; (b) because of the historical references and the political understanding which it displays, the Alexandra could not have been composed before the second century BC, and therefore must come from the pen of ‘another Lycophron’, or else have been mistakenly ascribed to the famous Lycophron, so that we do not know the real author's name; (c) the main part of the Alexandra does indeed belong to the third century and Lycophron of Chalcis, but at least two passages (1226-80 and 1446-50) were added in the second century BC. This chapter attempts to place the Alexandra in the context of other Hellenistic poetry.

Keywords:   Alexandra, Hellenistic poetry, Lycophron of Chalcis

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