In Callirhoe 1.11.7 Theron announces to his fellow tomb-robbers that, because Athens is not a suitable place to sell the captive heroine into slavery, they will make for Ionia. ‘Yes’, he explains to them, ‘wealth fit for a king floods down into it from Asia and its people love luxury and mind their own business. And I expect we’ll be able to make contact with some of the local luminaries.’ 1) When they actually set sail in the next sentence, our narrator tells us they ‘sailed straight for Miletus’ (1.11.8 ἔπλεον εὐθὺ Μιλήτου). Why Miletus? What makes it and not some other Ionian city the obvious choice? Would not any of them of substantial size have served? Some answers have been suggested or suggest themselves. The most attractive of these have been rooted in Chariton’s origin in Aphrodisias. Jones (1992a, 162), for instance, thought that Chariton chose Miletus as a substitute for his own city, the inclusion of which would have been “une grave confusion” in a work set long before its foundation. This personal connection is strengthened if we believe, as Plepelits did (1976, 3), that “mit der Topographie von Milet war der Autor wohlvertraut”. Ruiz-Montero added
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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