Telephus on Paros: genealogy and myth in the 'new Archilochus' poem (P. Oxy. 4708)

Swift, Laura (2014). Telephus on Paros: genealogy and myth in the 'new Archilochus' poem (P. Oxy. 4708). Classical Quarterly, 64(2) pp. 433–447.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009838814000433

Abstract

The discovery of the new ‘Telephus Elegy’ in 2005 has transformed our knowledge of Archilochus by providing the first surviving example of his use of myth. Yet scholars have found the choice and handling of the Telephus myth surprising. This article will explore the significance that Telephus had for a Parian and/or Thasian audience, and will use this to investigate the political and rhetorical impact of his presentation in the poem. It argues that Archilochus emphasises the aspects of Telephus’ story that connect him most closely with local myth, and that he does so to enhance the poem’s central message: criticism and implicit mockery of the mythological battle, and by implication, of contemporary Parian military strategy.

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