Lovely Earth (Leonidas of Tarentum Anth. Pal. 7.440 = Gow/Page, HE 11)


Scholars and editors of Hellenistic epigram have often discounted the authenticity of dialectal variance attested in the manuscript tradition, either privileging the dialectal variant that conforms to the predominant dialect in the epigram or even choosing to change attested dialect forms to produce a uniform coloring. This article argues that the addresses to earth at lines 2 and 10 of Leonidas of Tarentum Anth. Pal. 7.440 = Gow/Page, HE 11 were originally Doric. I show that there are paleographic as well as literary grounds for the reading. In particular, the presence of Doric forms at these two points in the epigram evoke the language of tragic lament. The findings of this article have potentially significant implications for the editing of dialectal mixture in the Greek Anthology.

dialect; textual criticism; epigram