ABSTRACT

1. Callimachus is generally considered as a very sophisticated poet. An important aspect of his sophistication is the way in which he is playing with the style, conventions and vocabulary of the early Greek epic (2) . The question I want to deal with here is whether the same can be said of his narrative technique in Aetia 1–2.1 concentrate on the first two books of the Aetia because here the aitia are told in the frame-work of a dream which the narrator tells us he once had: he describes how, as a young man, he was carried away from Libya and brought to Mt. Helicon, where the Muses told him the aitia. In Aetia 3–4 there are no indications of such a framework: as far as we can see the aitia were simply iuxtaposed there (3) . The problems concerning the composition and narrative technique in Aet. 3–4 are therefore very different from those in Aet. 1–2.