By Flinders Petrie
Legendary animals, florals, rosettes, spiritual and secular symbols, extra.
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Additional info for 3,000 Decorative Patterns of the Ancient World (Dover Pictorial Archive)
28 (“Otos and Ephialtes”), for instance, is strangely inserted between the Argonaut adventure and the account of Hercules, apparently without reason. While they occur sporadically throughout the whole text (11, 14, 30, 31, 38, 48, 70, 71, 76, 81, 90, 97, 112–115, 124, 128, 151, 155–163, 170, 173, 173A), at 221 a continuous series of lists begins that runs virtually unabated until the end. , 234–245 murderers and suicides), but now and again there seems no rhyme or reason to the order: for instance, after encountering the miraculous at 252 (“Those Nourished by the Milk of Wild Animals”) and the tabloidesque at 253 (“Those Who Committed Incest”), we then turn to noble deeds at 254 (“Exceptionally Dutiful Women and Men”).
Perhaps the best way to describe Apollodorus’ writing is “workmanlike,” for it has a job to do and it does that job adequately and efﬁciently, even well, but no instructor of ancient Greek would ever put it before his or her students and ask them to emulate it as a model of brilliant style, for it is too pedestrian and awkward to make any pretense toward artistry. We have tried to be clear and straightforward in xl Introduction to Apollodorus’ Bibliotheke (Library) our translation while remaining faithful to the somewhat awkward style of the original.
And where the epitomes happen to coincide exactly, as they do with some frequency, we can be sure that we at least have something reasonably close to the wording of the original. The Bibliotheke and This Translation The Bibliotheke is written in a homely but correct Greek. Its style is extremely unadorned, but in vocabulary and syntax there is nothing else to make it stand out from the typical prose of the ﬁrst century BC or the ﬁrst two centuries AD. Perhaps the best way to describe Apollodorus’ writing is “workmanlike,” for it has a job to do and it does that job adequately and efﬁciently, even well, but no instructor of ancient Greek would ever put it before his or her students and ask them to emulate it as a model of brilliant style, for it is too pedestrian and awkward to make any pretense toward artistry.