The Locrian Maidens and the Date of Lycophron's Alexandra1

Classical Quarterly 39 (1-2):49-53 (1945)
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Abstract

The tribute of two maidens to the temple of Athena in Ilium was discontinued after the end of the ‘Phocian’ war. We have for this the evidence of the Epitome of Apollodorus 6. 22 χéων δ τν παρελӨντων μετ τν Φωκiκν πλεπoν κτiδας πασαντo πμoντεσ. In Tzetzes' commentary to Lycophron 1. 1141 the same piece of information is given on the authority of Timaeus, but Wilamowitz, among others, showed that Tzetzes arbitrarily transferred the name of Timaeus from the scholium on 1. 1155.3 The information remains valuable without the adornment of an illustrious name. We know from a story of Aelian, which ‘Suidas’ partially preserved in many fragments, that the Locrians were compelled by the Delphic oracle to resume the interrupted practice and submitted the regulation of it to a King Antigonus, δ βασiλες ντγoνoς øεӨν o πρσταξεκλρ δiακρiӨναi This King Antigonus can hardly be identified with Antigonus Doson for two reasons which must, however, be admitted to be not absolutely cogent. First, the interval between interruption and resumption would be one of more than a century, whereas Aelian presupposes a shorter interval. Secondly, the ‘Lokrische Madcheninschrift’ made famous by A. Wilhelm, which is an evident terminus ante quern for the intervention of King Antigonus, can hardly be later than 230–220 B.C. Wilhelm, indeed, had suggested a date c. 270–240 B.C. His date has been affected by recent changes in Delphic chronology; but the balance of probability still favours a date nearer to 250 than to 200 B.C. Thus, the more natural alternative remains between Antigonus Monophthalmus and Antigonus Gonatas. Either agrees well with the interruption after the third Sacred War.

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Agathon and Kassandra (IG IX.1 4.1750).P. M. Fraser - 2003 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 123:26-40.

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