|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Goddess of Love and Mistress of the Sea
Subtitle: Notes on a Hellenistic Hymn to Arsinoe-Aphrodite (P. Lit. Goodsp. 2, I-IV)
Author(s): BARBANTANI, Silvia
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 35 Date: 2005
This article analyses one of the hexametric poems copied on a 2nd-century AD papyrus, possibly from Hermupolis, P. Lit. Goodspeed 2: a Hellenistic hymn to Aphrodite celebrated as a patroness of the sea and of wedded love. This portrayal of the goddess perfectly fits with Ptolemaic royal propaganda in the 3rd century BC. The address to Ἁρσινόα Πτολεμα(ὶ) (II 5) reveals that the goddess is here worshipped as a divine image of a queen Arsinoe, most probably Arsinoe II Philadelphos, who had strong links with key figures of the Ptolemaic navy. The hymn is compared with contemporary Alexandrian poetry, such as the epigrams of the Milan papyrus P. Mil. Vogl. VIII 309. Some hypotheses are also presented on the context of the composition and the performance of the hymn (a Cypriot cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos?).