In this paper, as a minor complement to Bing’s analysis of Callimachus’ embedding of inscribed poems into narratives, I will discuss some examples of embedded inscriptional voices in literary epigrams. I will first analyse some Hellenistic erotic poems; I will then concentrate on certain imperial epigrams preserved in book XI of the Greek Anthology. All the examples I will consider share a common feature: they embed an epigraphic voice into a bookish epigram of the sort that most departs from inscriptional subgenres. While Hellenistic poets, however, manipulate the inscriptional voice in subtle ways, imagining surprising mediums and messages for their inscriptions, the scoptic poets of the early imperial age place their epigraphic statements in traditional contexts, and adapt them to standard messages and phraseology. As I will show, this different choice serves different purposes, connected to the evolution of epigrammatic poetry as a genre.
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