Eumolpus the Poet


  • Warren S. Smith


Eumolpus, the aging poet who attaches himself to Encolpius and Giton in the Satyrica as leader and chief entertainer, suggests the bards Phemius and Demodocus in the Odyssey, who attach themselves to the households of Odysseus in Ithaka and Alcinoos in Phaeacia. His poetic obsession recalls Horace’s portrait in the Ars Poetica of the mad poet. Finally, his portrait may be influenced by the talkative old man in the contemporary Tabula of pseudo-Cebes, who uses a painting to try to persuade his listeners to work toward moral improvement.

Warren S. Smith is Professor of Classical Languages at the University of New Mexico. His most recent book is Satiric Advice on Women and Marriage from Plautus to Chaucer (Michigan 2005), and now in press is Spanish Humanism on the Verge of the Picaresque: The Ludus Chartarum, Pastor Bonus, and Bacchanalia of Juan Maldonado (with Clark Colahan; University of Leuven Press).