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ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 243-247 Peter Bing and Jon Steffan Bruss (eds.), Brill's Companion to Hellenistic Epigram down to Philip (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007). xxi + 657 pages. ISBN 978-90-04-15218-2. Recent and important studies by Alan Cameron (The Greek Anthology from Meleager to Planudes, 1993) and Kathryn Gutzwiller (Poetic Garlands, 1998), in combination with the 2001 publication of a newly discovered papyrus roll containing over 100 epigrams of Posidippus of Pella, have led to the growing interest in the subject of Hellenistic epigram. Unlike earlier archaic and classical epigrams inscribed on stone, which were not portable, or on an object confined to a place of dedication, epigrams in the Hellenistic period were widely written on papyrus. The medium was not only easier to use, it allowed far greater circulation and distribution among readers, and these factors no doubt contributed both to the exponential growth in epigram as a literary artifact during this period and the commensurately wider range of subjects that epigrams took on. In addition to the funerary, dedicatory, amatory, and sympotic epigrams found in earlier periods, we find epinician, ecphrastic, and a variety of other epigrams that intersect with known or emerging literary types: bucolic, satiric, panegyric. And since Hellenistic epigrams were for the most part collected into book rolls by the author or an editor, this created the opportunity for groups of contrasting or complementary epigrams, epigrams on a specific theme or themes, and the potential for more than one metanarrative between and across the individual poems of the collection. The Brill Companion to Hellenistic Epigram, edited by Peter Bing and Jon Steffan Bruss, capitalizes on this increasing fascination with Hellenistic epigram. The authors have undertaken to provide a handbook for those interested but unfamiliar with the scholarly terrain. They provide a brief "Introduction to the Study of Hellenistic Epigram" (pp. 1-26) to situate the subsequent contributions and set out a rudimentary tour of the previous editions and important collections. The introduction bears the stamp of Bing's particular perspectives, in particular his belief in the relative lack of interest in or capacity for reading earlier inscriptions on stone or objects in contrast to the reader-friendly milieu of the book roll, and his insistence on Erginzungsspiel (p. 8), the poet's selfconscious requirement that the reader reflect on medium and subject to supplement information lacking in the written text. Bing's position on inscribed epigram is in contrast to the more widely disseminated views of Jesper Svenbro (Phrasikleia, 1993 [1988]), Joseph Day, and Mary Depew, who imagine that the act of the passer-by reading the stone inscription re-enacts the original performance of lament or joy or praise, an act that in turn produces a social residue,
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