In the Greek Anthology there is an epigram in which an Antipater, probably but not certainly the second-century BC poet from Sidon, 1 castigates a degenerate philosopher who affected the outward appearance of a Cynic but was unworthy to bear the insignia of his forerunner Diogenes of Sinope: αἰάζει πήρη τε καὶ Ἡράκλειον ἔρεισµα, 2 βριθὺ Σινωπίτου Διογένευς ῥόπαλον, καὶ τὸ χύδην ῥυπόεντι πίνῳ πεπαλαγµένον ἔσθος διπλάδιον, κρυερῶν ἀντίπαλον νιφάδων, ὅττι τεοῖς ὤµοισι µιαίνεται· ἦ γὰρ ὁ µέν που 5 οὐράνιος, σὺ δ’ ἔφυς οὑν σποδιῇσι κύων. ἀλλὰ µέθες, µέθες ὅπλα τὰ µὴ σέθεν· ἄλλο λεόντων, ἄλλο γενειητῶν ἔργον ὄρωρε τράγων. In the epigram an assimilation of Diogenes to Heracles is asserted which develops in three stages, two of which require, in my opinion, some further comment. The first one is clear: in lines 1-2 Diogenes’ stick is described as a ‘massy staff, strong enough to support Heracles’ (Ἡράκλειον ἔρεισµα, / βριθὺ . . . ῥόπαλον), which allows the poet to suggest the equivalence of the Cynic’s knapsack (πήρη, 1), stick, and doubled cloak (ἔσθος, 3) to the arms of the hero, that is, the quiver, the staff, and the skin of the Nemean lion. 3 Next, in
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
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