Cinna, Calvus, and the Ciris

Richard F. Thomas
1981 Classical Quarterly  
Classical Quarterly 31 (ii) 371-374 (1981) Printed in Great Britain CINNA, CALVUS, AND THE CIRIS Among other things, R. O. A. M. Lyne's recent edition and commentary of the Ciris (Cambridge, 1978) has established the general method of composition followed by this pseudo-neoteric poet: he demonstrably lifted wholesale and applied to his own poem words, phrases, lines, and even entire sequences from the works of the neoterics and the poets of the following generation.' Accordingly, one of the
more » ... gly, one of the poem's chief attributes is that it serves as a means for recovering the general content, and at times the actual wording, of earlier, more important poetry. This paper offers some additional areas in the Ciris where such influence may exist. I confine myself to Cinna and Calvus, whose poetry may justly be considered the missing two-thirds of the neoteric movement.2 CINNA caeruleas sua furta prius testatur ad umbras; nam qua se ad patrium tendebat semita limen, vestibulo in thalami paulum remoratur et alte suspicit ad t caeli t nictantia sidera mundi, non accepta piis promittens munera divis. Scylla is approaching her father's bedroom, intent on stealing his magical lock, and admitting as much to the night sky. As has been amply demonstrated,3 the sequence to which these lines belong (the 'Nurse Scene', 206-385) is almost certainly indebted to, and in parts probably plagiarized from, a similar scene in Cinna's lost epyllion, the Zmyrna. In this context the precise nature of these particular lines has not been
doi:10.1017/s000983880000968x fatcat:qom6xwvw6vbwvbx53hic56umam