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Métamorphoses du regard ancien

Évelyne Prioux
Agnès Rouveret


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1Sandrine Dubel

2Université Blaise-Pascal de Clermont-Ferrand

3The ecphraseis embedded in the epic poems of the Hellenistic period involve numerous intertextual allusions to the many passages in which Archaic epic poetry describes precious objects or the lavish shades of metals and other materials: these intertextual allusions are for instance based on etymological wordplay or on transpositions from one art to the other. This paper focusses on several case-studies. An ecphrasis found in Apollonius’ Argonautica describes Jason’s cloak and evokes its purple shade, a colour that does not only describe the actual colour of the embroideries but which is also reminiscent of the backdrop of Hephaistus’ forge in the Iliad. In Theocritus’Idyll I, the goatherd’s cup is, etymologically speaking, made of ivy-wood, a material that would normally exclude any possibility of metal or gem inlays. And yet, the helichrysos can be interpreted as the vegetal and philological equivalent of the golden inlays of the ancient shields known from the epic tradition. Finally, in Moschus’Europe, the heroin’s flower basket is clearly reminiscent of the lavishly polychromatic metals known in the Archaic ecphraseis, but the description serves a new purpose, namely to discuss Homeric glossai.

4Évelyne Prioux

5CNRS – Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, UMR 7041 ArScAn, équipe ESPRI

6With the discovery of the New Posidippus, scholars specialized in Hellenistic art or Hellenistic poetry have been provided with the possibility of studying an intriguing collection of epigrams describing intaglios, cameos and even boulders of various sizes and shapes. This papers interprets this series of miniaturistic ekphraseis as the poetical equivalent of a dactyliotheca, whose iconographical contents and programmatic disposal are meant to celebrate Ptolemy and Arsinoe Philadelphus.

7Kathryn Gutzwiller

8University of Cincinnati, États-Unis

9The poetry of Meleager, an erotic epigrammatist and anthologist of about 100 B.C., is often praised for its extensive and complex use of poetry imagery. This essay demonstrates that much of this verbal imagery has close parallels in the pictorial repertoire of the late Hellenistic age, particularly in the imagery related to Eros. Many of these depictions appear in the minor arts, such as jewelry, wall painting, and carved seal stones, so that the smallness of the art object and the miniature nature of the epigram form complement each other. A survey of specific images is designed to argue that both the artistic record and the erotic poetry of Meleager, when examined one in the context of the other, provide evidence for a psychology of erotic experience that developed not only in philosophical thought but also in commonplace understanding of the human soul.

10Florence Klein

11Université de Lille III – Charles de Gaulle

12In El. II, 12 Propertius draws a parallel between two ecphraseis. The commentary of a painting representing Love is followed by a brief picture of the mistress’ beauty, which is a metaphor for elegiac poetics : ametapoetic statement emerges fromaesthetical theory. This article’s aim is to read two Ovidian ecphraseis from Met. 10 in connection with this Propertian model : the descriptions of the child Adonis, who can be compared to the Amores picti, and of the ivory girl loved by the artist Pygmalion, who, just as the Propertian scripta puella, happens to be created by her lover’s art. This paper also shows show how the intertextual dialogue at play allows Ovid to challenge his predecessor’s views on aesthetical issues and literary heritage.

13Regina Höschele

14University of Toronto, Canada

15The fifth book of the Palatine Anthology contains 37 poems by Rufinus, several of which are dedicated to the description of female bodies. This paper tries to illustrate how Rufinus adapts the language of ecphrastic epigrams to his erôtika and sometimes even goes so far as to identify the living woman with a statue. We may not be dealing with a corpus of ekphraseis here, but it is very likely, as will be argued below, that Rufinus himself put his epigrams into an artfully arranged collection.

16Joan Gómez Pallarès

17Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Espagne

18Already in antiquity, there was an awareness of the difference between mimesis and diegesis, i.e. a distinction was made between objective description and subjective narration, and thus between reality and appearance. This difference is employed by Petronius, who makes his protagonists fail because of their subjective perception of the world. They do not perceive reality as it is, but as they imagine it to be. Consequently, ekphraseis in Petronius do not actually describe works of art, but rather express the protagonists’state of mind. In this way Petronius parodies the function of the ekphrasis in other genres.

19Thomas Baier

20Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Allemagne

21Horace, in Carm., 1.2 alludes several times to gods important to Octavian’s adoptive family and to the ruler himself. Their presence in the poem has been traditionally interpreted froman internal point of view : the existing commentaries tend to explain Horace’s allusions to those gods by referring to their relationship with the gens Iulia. This paper endeavours to offer a complementary point of view : it is argued that these repeated allusions to gods can be explained by the temples they ‘inhabited’ in Rome, by the places where these temples were built and, finally, by the iconic representations used for their cult.

22Anna Santucci

23Università degli Studi di Urbino, Italie

24The Tomb of the Veteran Ammonius (N173) lies in the Northern Necropolis of Cyrene, along the road that leads to the port of Apollonia. The Hellenistic tomb was rebuilt by Ammonius (SEG IX, 235) in the Severan period, when he came back to Cyrene after 30 years of army service in legion II Adiutrix. A rich cycle of paintings decorated the ceiling and the walls. The topics represented on the walls are venationes (lions, ostriches), ludi gymnici and equestres, allusive images (a paradeisos) and, above all, a ‘pinacotheca’ of mythological figures, identified by Greek inscriptions. We can confidently identify Psyche, Leda, Ganymedes, Aktaion, and the Moirai, but three pinakes are more difficult to analyze (Europa (?) Adonis or Meleagros, Atalanta (?). Their iconographic schemata are unique, andmust probably be analyzed as the inventiones of Ammonius and ‘his’ pictores. The veteran would have thus used these innovative images in order to show his culture and his munificentia, his passion for mythological tales and his voluptas spectandi. On the contrary, the paintings of the Late-Roman tombs discovered at Beit Ammer and Asgafa El Abiar, in the Cyrenaican chora, are coherently inspired by episodes drawn from the epic cycles. These paintings seem to be the visual recitationes of topics that were well known to the painters’costumers, the members of the land-owner aristocracy. The iconography of these myths was introduced into the Hellenistic-Roman repertory, perhaps through the help of illustrated uolumina and/or atelier books.

© Presses universitaires de Paris Nanterre, 2010

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