Beauty, fame and politics in Ibycus S151 PMGF

Francis Cairns


§I argues that in Ibycus S151 Polycrates is not praised for his beauty but for his fame as a warrior; hence the Polycrates of S151 was a mature man. §II proposes that S151’s emphasis on mythical beauties implicitly eulogises Polycrates for his contemporary boy-friends, an essential element of the ideal archaic life-style of an aristocratic male. §III asks whether the prominence of Argos in the myths of S151 is politically significant, but notes the lack of evidence of contacts between Polycrates and Argos. Finally the possibility that in line 48 Ibycus wrote νόον rather than repeating κλέος is canvassed. 


Ibycus; Polycrates; beauty; fame; archaic aristocratic male life-style

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