Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Griechische und Lateinische Philologie der Antike, des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, Seminar für » Prof. Dr. Christoph Riedweg » Schatzmann

Completed research project

Title / Titel Nicarchus and the Greek scoptic Epigram in the first cent. AD
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Nikarch und das griechische skoptische Epigramm im 1. Jh. n. Chr.
Summary / Zusammenfassung The aim of the dissertation is to give a full commentary on all of the epigrams of Nicarchus, a writer of Greek scoptic epigrams in the first cent. AD and one of the predecessors of well-known Martial. The only existing commentary on Nicarchus (by H. Schulte, 1999), as well as comparable works on other scoptic epigrammatists, shows a remarkable lack of interest on literary art, and this exactly is the area where much of work still has to be done.

The main focus in my dissertation therefore is on structural analysis (development within the few lines at disposal, creation of tension, control of the reader, and art of variation). My personal belief is that the main effect of scoptic epigrams intended at the time of their production is not created by their (often enough, very stereotype) jokes, but by their form (‘how will the joke be presented this time?’). This would imply a class of readers (and hearers?) who were well aware of this literary and partly self-referential play, and it would create a background to the well recognizable fact that there were some staple topics to be found again and again in Lucillius, Nicarchus, Martial, and others. Interpreted like this, scoptic as well as other epigrams of better-known categories seem to be written often against already existing epigrams on the same topic, and so I feel encouraged to apply also intertextual criteria for the analysis.

There may well be, it is to say, limiting factors, such as the small corpus of scoptic epigrams preserved to us, but nevertheless there is enough material for intertextual interpretations (the epigrams as a product of an intellectual ‘play’ celebrated perhaps by some poets’ circles - «lusimus in tabellis»). This no doubt will much improve the status of those epigrams in literary history (until recently they had a very bad press in literature), and more than this, may also throw some flashlight on the social context of their production and reception.
Publications / Publikationen Andreas Schatzmann, Nikarchos II: Epigrammata: Einleitung, Texte, Kommentar (Hypomnemata 188), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen 2012.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe Nikarchos, Nicarchus, Epigramm, scoptic
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr.des. Andreas Schatzmann (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Dec 1998 to Dec 2012