The following article investigates how Phaedrus' Latin verse fables engage standard Callimachean topoi. When Phaedrus imitates the Hymn to Apollo he fails to banish Envy and when he adopts Callimachus' own polemical allusions to Aesop he turns them upside down. Such texts are essentially Callimachean in spirit and technique and constitute a recusatio: by ““mishandling”” or ““abusing”” and thus ““rejecting”” various Callimachean topoi and the role of the ““successful”” Callimachean poet, the fabulist demonstrates his skill and versatility within the Callimachean tradition. This sort of recusatio satirizes those poets who unimaginatively rehash Callimachean staples and represents a strategy that gains momentum in the first century AD. It thereby provides a literary context for understanding Phaedrus' engagement with the evolving traditions of Roman Callimacheanism.
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