moral reflection in Parthenius’s poets summons to self-judgment

poetic inspiration from Mount Helicon

According to Parthenius of Nicaea, both the eminent ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle and ancient writers of sensational Milesian tales told the story of Cleoboea and Antheus. Cleoboea was the wife of the ruler of Miletus, a city of the western coast of present-day Turkey. Antheus was a young man from the royal house of the nearby city of Assesos. Cleoboea’s husband captured Antheus and held him hostage. Then Cleoboea fell in love with Antheus.

Cleoboea sought to have sex with Antheus. Antheus, however, repeatedly refused her advances. Men in such circumstances face both the risk of being raped and the risk of being falsely accused of rape. Antheus implored Cleoboea to fear being discovered and not to dishonor and infuriate her husband. Antheus declared that he was a guest in Cleoboea’s house and appealed to Juno’s husband Zeus, the god of hospitality, for protection. Cleoboea nonetheless refused to respect the young man. With audacious lack of self-consciousness, she even accused him of being merciless and arrogant.

Because Antheus refused to have sex with her, Cleoboea plotted to kill him. She pretended to have gotten over her passion for him. Then she chased a tame partridge into a deep well. She asked Antheus to retrieve the partridge from the well. With men’s characteristic willingness to help women, Antheus readily consented to help Cleoboea. When Antheus had climbed down into the well to retrieve the partridge, Cleoboea threw a large stone down on top of him and killed him.

Without specific motivation, Cleoboea reflected on what she had done. Cleoboea had no reason to act further, but some movement in her self-consciousness occurred:

Then she began to reflect on her crime. She was still on fire with love for the young man, and so she hanged herself.

{ ἡ δὲ ἄρα ἐννοηθεῖσα ὡς δεινὸν ἔργον δεδράκοι, καὶ ἄλλως δὲ καιομένη σφοδρῷ ἔρωτι τοῦ παιδὸς, ἀναρτᾷ ἑαυτήν. } [1]

That’s not like a grief-stricken person committing suicide. Reflection requires emotional detachment. Cleoboea’s action is best interpreted as her judging herself and punishing herself. She recognized that she had committed the crime of murdering someone whom she loved. She killed herself as appropriate punishment for her crime.

According to Parthenius, the eminent woman poet Moero from the Hellenistic city of Byzantium told a related story in her now lost work Curses {Ἀραί}. As the daughter of Polybus, King of Corinth, Alcinoe was a highly privileged woman. She was married to Amphilochus and had a servant-woman whom she treated badly. Xanthus, a man from the powerful and wealthy city of Samos across the Aegean Sea from Corinth, arrived in Corinth. Xanthus was probably exchanging wine from the vineyards of Samos for gold from Corinth. Alcinoe fell in love with him. Abandoning her husband and children, Alcinoe sailed away with Xanthus.

Alcinoe inexplicably reflected on what she had done. She had no specific reason to do so:

But once in mid-ocean she began to reflect on what she had done, and at that started to weep copiously and call now on her husband, now on her children. Finally, though Xanthus offered plenty of consolation and declared that he would make her his wife, she was not persuaded and threw herself into the sea.

{ γενομένην δὲ κατὰ μέσον πόρον ἔννοιαν λαβεῖν τῶν εἰργασμένων, καὶ αὐτίκα πολλά τε δάκρυα προΐεσθαι καὶ ἀνακαλεῖν, ὁτὲ μὲν ἄνδρα κουρίδιον, ὁτὲ δὲ τοὺς παῖδας, τέλος δέ, πολλὰ τοῦ Ξάνθου παρηγοροῦντος καὶ φαμένου γυναῖκα ἕξειν, μὴ πειθομένην ῥῖψαι ἑαυτὴν εἰς θάλασαν. } [2]

Alcinoe unquestionable grieved for the husband and children that she had abandoned. Her suicide, however, seems to have been thoughtful. She apparently understood that she had grievously wronged her husband Amphilochus and their children. She could not be the wife to Xanthus that she recognized that she should have been to Amphilochus, but wasn’t. She thus threw herself into the sea to obliterate her life.

The Lydian historian Xanthus, writing in the fifth century BGC, also told a story involving unmotivated reflection and self-judgment. After his wife died in a hunting accident, Assaon fell in love with his daughter Niobe. He wanted to marry her. Niobe apparently was a widow with children. Nonetheless, she refused to marry her widower-father. Assaon then summoned Niobe’s children to a banquet and burned them all to death. Niobe subsequently committed suicide by throwing herself off a high rock. Assaon then consciously recognized his wrong:

As for Assaon, when he reflected on his crimes, he took his own life.

{ ἔννοιαν δὲ λαβόντα τῶν σφετέρων ἁμαρτημάτων διαχρήσασθαι τὸν Ἀσσάονα ἑαυτόν. } [3]

Killing your daughter’s children because she wouldn’t marry you isn’t a wrong that most persons today would require reflection to recognize. In the ancient Greek cultural sphere, such moral judgment, at least in some cases, required personal reflection.

A person exposing a moral wrong without personal reflection could suffer horribly. Consider a story from Phylarchus in the third century BGC. Thymoetes married his cousin Euopis. He then realized that she was having sex with her brother. He revealed his wife’s incestuous behavior to her father. After cursing her husband for exposing her, as if he had wronged her, she then hung herself.  Thymoetes soon experienced a bizarre horror:

Not long afterwards, Thymoetes encountered a very beautiful woman who had been cast ashore by the waves. He fell in love with her and had sexual intercourse with her dead body. When the body at last began to decompose, owing to the length of time it had been exposed, he heaped up a great funeral mound for the woman. When his passion did not abate even so, he killed himself over her tomb.

{ ἔνθα δὴ τὸν Θυμοίτην μετ᾿ οὐ πολὺν χρόνον ἐπιτυχεῖν γυναικὶ μάλα καλῇ τὴν ὄψιν ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων ἐκβεβλημένῃ, καὶ αὐτῆς εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν ἐλθόντα συνεῖναι. ὡς δὲ ἤδη ἐνεδίδου τὸ σῶμα διὰ μῆκος χρόνου, χῶσαι αὐτῇ μέγαν τάφον καὶ οὐδ᾿ ὣς ἀνιέμενον τοῦ πάθους ἐπικατασφάξαι αὑτόν. } [4]

Thymoetes didn’t understand himself to be a man physician giving a beautiful woman’s corpse life-restoring masculine erotic treatment, as did the young medical student in The Story of Apollonius King of Tyre. Thymoetes seems to have been suffering from insane love.

bucolic muse Polymnia

Parthenius collected these stories of “sufferings in love {ἐρωτικὰ παθήματα}” for his friend Cornelius Gallus.[5] Gallus was a Roman politician, a poet who wrote love elegies, and a close friend of Virgil. According to Virgil, Gallus was wandering like the love-crazed Pasiphae about the mountain of poetic inspiration. Gallus was preoccupied with “anxious loves {sollicitos amores}.” Bucolic poets favored a more moderate, Epicurean approach to sexual relations:

All ask: “From where is that love of yours?” Apollo came:
“Gallus, what is this madness?” he said, “Lycoris your lover
follows another man through snows and horrid camps.”
Silvanus came with rustic honors on his brow,
waving his fennel flowers and tall lilies.
Arcady’s god Pan came, whom we saw ourselves,
red with vermilion and crimson elderberries:
“Will there ever be a limit?” he said. “Love doesn’t care for this:
Love’s not sated with tears, nor the grass with streams,
the bees with clover, or the goats with leaves.”

{ omnes “unde amor iste” rogant “tibi?” venit Apollo:
“Galle, quid insanis?” inquit. “tua cura Lycoris
perque nives alium perque horrida castra secuta est.”
venit et agresti capitis Silvanus honore,
florentis ferulas et grandia lilia quassans.
Pan deus Arcadiae venit, quem vidimus ipsi
sanguineis ebuli bacis minioque rubentem:
“ecquis erit modus?” inquit. “Amor non talia curat:
nec lacrimis crudelis Amor nec gramina rivis
nec cytiso saturantur apes nec fronde capellae.” } [6]

Gallus, however, insisted that love madness is unalterable and impervious to the natural world of bucolic poetry:

No labor of ours can alter that god, not even
if we drink the Hebrus in the heart of winter
and endure the Thracian snows with wintry rain,
not even if we drive the Ethiopian sheep to and fro,
under Cancer, while dying bark withers on tall elms.
Love conquers all: and let us give way to Love.

{ non illum nostri possunt mutare labores,
nec si frigoribus mediis Hebrumque bibamus
Sithoniasque nives hiemis subeamus aquosae,
nec si, cum moriens alta liber aret in ulmo,
Aethiopum versemus ovis sub sidere Cancri.
omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori. }

A perceptive critic observed:

The response of Gallus to the insights proferred most robustly by Pan, reflects a radical failure on his part to grasp, or at least to admit, the grave ramifications of his underlying sickness. What is more damning, he never really makes a sincere effort to engage in therapeutic self-examination in the manner of say, the Corydon of Ecl. 2; instead he chooses to indulge in fantasy-projection and superficial escapism. The irony of his flight of fancy is all the more acute in that he ignores the ongoing critique of elegiac amor that recurs in Vergilian bucolic. … An absolute sine qua non of a trouble-free desire, in this school of thought, is the mental act of imposing a limit (peras; modus; finis) on unruly passions. [7]

In Virgil’s thinking, following Lucretius, madness should be confronted with natural reason, except for the madness of poetic inspiration. Unbounded love is natural only for poetry.[8]

Parthenius’s stories of unmotivated personal reflection indicate another way out of love madness. A leading philosopher has described reflection as an activity that “aims, in response to a problem, at determining what we have reason to think or do.”[9] Reflection in Parthenius’s collection isn’t a response to a problem. It isn’t an activity that a person rationally chooses to do. Reflection in Parthenius’s collection seems to be a divine infusion like poetic inspiration, but with a reversed creative sign. Poetic inspiration in classical understanding prompts creative acts of inter-personal communication. Reflection in Parthenius’s collection prompts destructive acts of self-punishment that end love madness.[10]

Parthenius’s collection could have suggested to Cornelius Gallus and subsequent love elegists a path of generic enrichment that Virgil didn’t take. Suppose that unbounded love for a god gave one a spiritual advocate, an advocate for the truth and the way. Divine inspiration from this spiritual advocate could limit love madness by providing a specific form for love:

A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

{ ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους } [11]

After not having loved in that way, divine inspiration could prompt a person to self-judgment. Such self-judgment need not lead to self-destruction. It could also prompt a person to repentance and reform. Parthenius’s collection of poets’ stories concerning sufferings in love may have contributed to the development of Christian self-consciousness.

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Read more:

Notes:

[1] Parthenius of Nicaea, Sufferings in Love {Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα} 14.4 (Antheus), ancient Greek text and English translation from Lightfoot (2009). All subsequent quotes from Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα are similarly sourced, with a few insubstantial changes to the translations for ease of reading.

Cleoboea was also called Philaechme. Her husband was Phobius, a Neleid. A woman named Cleoboea was the first to bring the orgies of the Demeter Kabeiroi (Cabeiri) from Paros to Thasos. Lightfoot (2009) p. 457, citing Pausanias 10.28.3. Discussing Plutarch’s story of Temoclea and Alexander (from the Alexander historian Aristobulus), Lightfoot observed:

It is as if there existed a narrative pattern in which a man was pushed down a well by a woman and killed, a murder associated with polluting, especially sexual, crime. But the protagonist may be either a righteous woman who is defending herself against the man who polluted her by a vicious sexual crime, or a criminal anti-heroine who punishes an innocent man and incurs pollution by this very action.

Lightfoot (1999) p. 456. A significant commonality is violence against men.

Parthenius lived in Rome in the first century BGC. The Suda refers to him as the son of Heraclides and Eudora, or the son of Heraclides and Tetha. It indicates that Parthenius came from Nicaea (or Myrlea) in Bithynia. Roman forces captured Parthenius during the third Mithridatic War and brought him to Rome. Scholars dispute whether Parthenius was captured in 73 BGC or 66/5 BGC. Parthenius apparently wrote his first poems before 54 BGC. Lightfoot (2009) pp. 11-3.

Parthenius became a famous author:

Teacher of Virgil — as his earliest editors never tire of telling us — and intimate of the elegist and lover Cornelius Gallus, he was also the favourite reading of the emperors Tiberius and Hadrian. Testimonia rank him with Callimachus as an elegist — what greater compliment? — and with Euphorion and Lycophron in the recherché quality of his subject-matter.

Lightfoot (2009) p. 1. Macrobius recorded:

There’s a verse of Parthenius, who taught Virgil Greek language and literature

{ versus est Parthenii quo grammatico in Graecis Vergilius usus est }

Macrobius, Saturnalia 5.18, Latin text and English translation from the Loeb edition of Kaster (2011).

Parthenius wrote Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα sometime between 52 and 26 BGC. Lightfoot (2009) p. 217. It has survived through only one manuscript, Palatinus Heidelbergensis graecus 398. That manuscript, associated with Allen’s scriptorum, apparently was written in Byzantium in the middle of the ninth century. Id. pp. 303-5.

A Greek text and English translation of Parthenius’s Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα are freely accessible online. Gaselee & Thornley (1916). Here’s a convenient presentation of Gaselee’s translation. Here’s a partial Greek text in machine-readable format.

[2] Parthenius, Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα 27.2 (Alcinoe). The consolation {παρηγορέω} that Xanthus gave Alcinoe seems to me in context to be sexual consolation.

Alcinoe’s husband Amphilochus is described as the son of Dryas. Nothing more is known of him. The Greek syllable “amphi {ἀμφί}” means “both kinds” and “lochos {λοξός}” can mean “bending to the side.” Hence the name Amphilochus might suggest the husband’s care for both his wife and children. It would thus underscore Alcinoe’s wrongful betrayal of him.

Another story in Parthenius associates change of mind with a contrary emotion inexplicably welling up in a person. According to Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα 21 (Peisidice), Achilles plundered cities of Lesbos, but Methymna put up fierce resistance. Then Peisidice, the Methymnaean king’s daughter, fell in love with Achilles after seeing him in battle from afar. Through a nurse-intermediary, she offered to hand over Methymna to Achilles if he would make her his wife. Achilles strategically agreed, but lacked the emotional control to follow through:

For the time being he agreed. But when he got control of the city, he was disgusted / outraged at what she had done and urged his soldiers to stone the girl.

{ ὁ δὲ τὸ μὲν παραυτίκα καθωμολογήσατο· ἐπεὶ μέντοι ἐγκρατὴς <τῆς>1 πόλεως ἐγένετο, νεμεσήσας ἐπὶ τῷ δρασθέντι προὐτρέψατο τοὺς στρατιώτας καταλεῦσαι τὴν κόρην. }

Lightfoot’s translation of νεμεσητός changed from “disgusted” in Lightfoot (1999) to “outraged” in Lightfoot (2009). Achilles apparently couldn’t control his new emotion. He seems not to have deliberately betrayed Peisidice.

In Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα 22, Croesus’s daughter Nanis betrayed Sardis to King Cyrus of Persia under the condition that Cyrus marry her. Cyrus took Sardis, but didn’t keep his promise to Nanis. Parthenius provides no indication why Cyrus didn’t keep his promise.

[3] Parthenius, Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα 33.3 (Assaon). According to the marginal note (manchette) describing the story source:

The story is told by Xanthus in his Lydiaca, in the second book of Neanthes, and by Simmias of Rhodes.

{ Ἱστορεῖ Ξάνθος Λυδιακοῖς καὶ Νεάνθης β΄καὶ Σιμίας ὁ Ῥόδιος }

Parthenius states that he is recounting a version different from the majority version.

[4] Parthenius, Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα 31.2 (Thymoetes). Euopis was the daughter of Thymoetes’s brother Troezen. “It is an unusual story, for its theme, necrophilia, is not common in Greek myth.” Lightfoot (1999) p. 535.

[5] Parthenius’s collection is explicitly addressed to Gallus: “Parthenius to Cornelius Gallus, greetings {Παρθένιος Κορνηλίῳ Γάλλῳ χαίρειν}.” This epistolary preface continues:

Thinking, Cornelius Gallus, that the collection of sufferings in love was very appropriate to you, I have selected them and send them in as brief a form as possible. For those among them which occur in certain poets where they are not narrated in their own right, you will find out for the most part from what follows. You, too, will be able to render the most suitable of them into hexameters and elegiacs. Think none the worse of them because they lack that quality of refined elaboration which you pursue. For I have collected them after the fashion of a little notebook, and they will, I trust, serve you in the same way.

{ Μάλιστα σοὶ δοκῶν ἁρμόττειν, Κορνήλιε Γάλλε, τὴν ἄθροισιν τῶν ἐρωτικῶν παθημάτων, ἀναλεξάμενος ὡς ὅτι μάλιστα ἐν βραχυτάτοις ἀπέσταλκα. τὰ γὰρ παρά τισι τῶν ποιητῶν κείμενα τούτων, μὴ αὐτοτελῶς λελεγμένα, κατανοήσεις ἐκ τῶνδε τὰ πλεῖστα· αὐτῷ τέ σοι παρέσται εἰς ἔπη καὶ ἐλεγείας ἀνάγειν τὰ μάλιστα ἐξ αὐτῶν ἁρμόδια. <μηδὲ> διὰ τὸ μὴ παρεῖναι τὸ περιττὸν αὐτοῖς, ὃ δὴ σὺ μετέρχῃ, χεῖρον περὶ αὐτῶν ἐννοηθῇς. οἱονεὶ γὰρ ὑπομνηματίων τρόπον αὐτὰ συνελεξάμεθα, καὶ σοὶ νυνὶ τὴν χρῆσιν ὁμοίαν, ὡς ἔοικε, παρέξεται. }

Some scholars have questioned whether Parthenius wrote this epistolary preface. Whitcomb (2014) p. 9. In any case, the thematic relevance to Gallus’s love elegy remains.

Parthenius may have suggested to Gallus the subject of the Grynean grove found in Euphorion. The enlarged commentary on Virgil known as Servius auctus or Servius Danielis, which is based in part on the commentary of the early fifth-century grammarian Maurus Servius Honoratus, comments for Eclogue 6.72:

This (sc. the origin of the Grynean grove) is treated in Euphorion’s poems, which Gallus adapted into Latin language.

{ hoc autem Euphorionis continent carmina, quae Gallus transtulit in sermonem Latinum }

Latin text from Lightfoot (1999) p. 61, my English translation. In Virgil, Eclogue 6.69-73, the eminent shepherd-singer Linus tells Gallus:

The Muses give these reeds to you — take them —
which before they gave to old Ascraean. He with them would
lead rigid ash trees down mountains with song.
Let the origin of the Grynean grove be sung with these by you,
so that there may be no other wood in which Apollo glories more.

{ hos tibi dant calamos, en accipe, Musae,
Ascraeo quos ante seni, quibus ille solebat
cantando rigidas deducere montibus ornos.
his tibi Grynei nemoris dicatur origo,
ne quis sit lucus, quo se plus iactet Apollo. }

Latin text from Fairclough & Goold (1999), English translation adapted from that of Seider (2016) p. 8. The old Ascraean is the eminent archaic Greek poet Hesiod. Parthenius’s poem Delos mentions the Grynean grove. Lightfoot (1999) pp. 106-7, 149-51.

[6] Virgil, Eclogue 10.21-30, Latin text from Fairclough & Goold (1999), English translation (with my minor modifications to track the Latin more closely) from A.S. Kline (2001). On Gallus wandering like the love-crazed Pasiphae, see Eclogue 6.64-73. Gallus wandered in a bucolic setting by the Permessus, a stream which arises from Mount Helicon. Mount Helicon is in Aonia, an ancient Greek district in Boeotia. Mount Helicon is associated with the springs of the Greek muses and poetic inspiration. The description of Gallus’s “anxious loves {sollicitos amores}” is from Eclogue 10.6. The subsequent quote above is similarly sourced from Eclogue 10.64-9. At the end of Eclogue 10, goats are sated. On that ending, Seider (2016) pp. 18-9.

[7] Davis (2012) p. 150. Davis masterfully analyzes the relationship between Virgil’s thought in his Eclogues and Lucretius’s Epicurean thought in De rerum natura. Davis’s analysis of Virgil’s critique of the elegiac lover and “insane love {amor insanus}” in chapters 7 & 8 is particularly important. Above I’ve drawn on Davis’s analysis of the Eclogues.

[8] When Octavian defeated Marc Antony and his lover Cleopatra at Alexandria in 30 BGC, Octavian appointed Gallus governor of the new Roman province of Egypt. Whitcomb (2014) argues that Parthenius dedicated the Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα to Gallus after Gallus become the Roman governor of Egypt. The love of Cleopatra and Marc Antony could be regarded as “insane love {amor insanus}.” Parthenius thus would have been offering a friendly critique to Gallus of insane love, yet a critique based on relevant history, not Epicurean philosophy as in Virgil’s Eclogues.

[9] Larmore (2010) p. 8. Larmore emphasizes that reflection is intentional:

Does reflection, impersonal or not, really aim at truth? Is it an organ of knowledge, and if so, what can it provide knowledge of? These questions would appear to admit of a ready answer. We reflect in order to be better able to discern how we ought to think or act in the given circumstances, and that seems clearly to count as an object of knowledge. For it is something of which we begin by feeling ignorant and seek, by reflecting, to gain a correct grasp. What we ought to do is tantamount to what there is reason for us to do. So reflection, in essence, aims at knowledge of reasons for belief and action.

Id. p. 9.

Reflection has no apparent motivation in the story summaries discussed above. Parthenius’s story of Byblis, however, includes reasoning preceding self-punishment:

But as for her {Byblis}, her passion {for Caunus} did not abate; and in addition, when she considered that she was the reason for Caunus’ departure, she fastened her girdle to an oak tree and put her neck in it.

{ τὴν δὲ ἄρα, ὑπὸ τοῦ πάθους μὴ ἀνιεμένην, πρὸς δὲ καὶ δοκοῦσαν αἰτίαν γεγονέναι Καύνῳ τῆς ἀπαλλαγῆς, ἀναψαμένην ἀπό τινος δρυὸς τὴν μίτραν ἐνθεῖναι τὸν τράχηλον. }

Parthenius, Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα 11,3 (Byblis). The manchette states, “Aristocritus tells the story in his On Miletus, and Apollonius of Rhodes in the Foundation of Caunus {Ἱστορεῖ Ἀριστόκριτος περὶ Μιλήτου καὶ Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Ῥόδιος Καύνου κτίσει}.”

[10] Klooster pointed to the “amazingly rich poetic landscape of the Hellenistic and Roman era … a wealth of erotic mythological poetry in various forms.” Klooster (2012) p. 330. Parthenius himself probably didn’t invent the unmotivated personal reflection and self-judgment that some of his summaries show. Seider (2016), interpreting Virgil’s depiction of Gallus biographically, understands both Virgil and Gallus as engaged in generic enrichment. On generic enrichment more generally, Harrison (2007).

[11] John 13:34, with ancient Greek text (MGNT) from BlueLetterBible. See also John 14:16, 26. Larmore recognized that reflection doesn’t necessarily involve universal reasoning:

reflection can proceed from more than one type of standpoint of evaluation. It need not aim at being impersonal — that is, at judging how we ought to think or act irrespective of our own interests and attachments. We may, for instance, base our evaluation of the options before us on what we imagine some individual (real or fictional) whom we hold dear would do in our place, or would want us to do. Philosophers tend to neglect this mode of reflection, perhaps because they believe themselves to be above it, but they are certainly wrong to do so. All of us lean from time to time on various exemplars, internalized heroes and idols, to figure out how we ought to think and act. Moreover, modeling ourselves on others is not in itself a vice, as though the proper course were always to think on our own.

Larmore (2010) pp. 7-8. Christians would reflect on how one should act to best be incarnated like Christ (“what would Jesus do”).

I use “personal reflection” above to mean reflection that a person undertakes concerning themselves, in contrast to “impersonal reflection” like light reflected on a lake. Above Larmore distinguishes impersonal reflection and personal reflection by types of reasoning both associated with what I call “personal reflection.”

[images] (1) Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon. Painting by Claude Lorrain. Painted in 1680. Preserved as accession # 12.1050 in the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA). (2) Bucolic muse Polymnia (Polyhymnia). Painted attributed to Francesco del Cossa. Painted between 1455 and 1460. Preserved in the Gemäldegalerie (Berlin, Germany). Via Wikimedia Commons.

References:

Davis, Gregson. 2012. Parthenope: The Interplay of Ideas in Vergilian Bucolic. Leiden: Brill. (review by Kristi Eastin)

Fairclough, H. Rushton, revised by G. P. Goold. 1999. Virgil. Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid: Books 1-6. Loeb Classical Library 63. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gaselee, Stephen and George Thornley, with J. M. Edmonds. 1916. Daphnis and Chloe: and the Love Romances of Parthenius. London: William Heinemann.

Harrison, Stephen J. 2007. Generic Enrichment in Vergil and Horace. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (review by Brian W. Breed)

Klooster, Jacqueline J.H. 2012. ‘“ΕἸΣ ἜΠΗ ΚΑῚ ἘΛΕΓΕΊΑΣ ἈΝΆΓΕΙΝ”: the Erotika Pathemata of Parthenius of Nicaea.’ Pp. 309-332 in Baumbach, Manuel and Silvio Bär, eds. Brill’s Companion to Greek and Latin Epyllion and its Reception. Leiden: Brill.

Larmore, Charles. 2010. “Reflection and Morality.” Social Philosophy and Policy. 27 (2): 1-28.

Lightfoot, J. L. 1999. Parthenius of Nicaea: The poetical fragments and the  Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (review by Christopher Francese)

Lightfoot, J. L. 2009. Hellenistic Collection: Philitas, Alexander of Aetolia, Hermesianax, Euphorion, Parthenius. Loeb Classical Library, 508. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. (reviews by Giambattista D’Alessio, by Claudio De Stefani, and by Iiro Laukola)

Seider, Aaron M. 2016. “Genre, Gallus, and Goats: Expanding the Limits of Pastoral in Eclogues 6 and 10.” Vergilius. 62: 3-23.

Whitcomb, Katheryn. 2014. “Beware the Enemy! Parthenius’ Dedication to Gallus in the Erotika Pathemata.” Presentation to the 110th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMS). Waco, Texas, April 2-5.

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