Callimachus’ Hekale is one of the most famous short epics of Greek literature and was highly regarded as such in antiquity. This study addresses the question of whether and to what extent the Hekale is related to the Homeric epics, and especially the Odyssey. The ensuing conclusions show that the Odyssey exerted a strong influence on the diction, character stylization and overall plot structure of the Hellenistic miniature epic. The reading strategies employed are based on inter- and intratextuality, narratology, poetic etymology, orality vs literacy theory and gender studies documenting the numerous ways in which Callimachus alludes to, borrows from or echoes the Odyssey on structural, linguistic and character level. Within this methodological framework several interpretations are put forward in order to cast light on the “everyday people” of the Hellenistic as well as the Homeric epic.
Marios Skempis, Universität Basel, Schweiz.