Faculty Book: Dee L. Clayman

Dee L. Clayman

Timon of Phlius: Pyrrhonism into Poetry
(Walter De Gruyter, 2009)

bookcoverPyrrho of Elis, founder of early Skepticism, was introduced to the world in the third century BCE by the poet and philosopher Timon of Phlius. Timon of Phlius: Pyrrhonism into Poetry is the first book-length study in English of the fragments of Timon’s works. Of his more than 100 titles, four fragments remain of a catalogue elegy, the Indalmoi, and 133 verses of the Silloi, a hexameter parody in three books in which Timon ridicules philosophers of all periods whom he observes on a trip to Hades. Clayman reconstructs the books of the Silloi starting from an outline in Diogenes Laertius and the book numbers assigned to a few fragments by their sources. Such an approach has not been attempted since Wachsmuth’s edition of 1885. Separate chapters demonstrate that the principle Hellenistic poets, Callimachus, Theocritus and Apollonius of Rhodes, were aware of Timon’s work specifically, and of Skepticism generally. The book concludes with a definition of “Skeptical aesthetics” that places many of the characteristic features of Hellenistic literature in a skeptical milieu. Dee L. Clayman (Brooklyn College) is professor of classics at the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: OCT 16, 2009

Category: Classics, Faculty Books