2019: XXI

Le identità celate. Nomi divini ed epiteti nell’Alessandra di Licofrone

Pubblicato 2019-11-20

Parole chiave

  • Lycophron’s Alexandra,
  • Onomastics,
  • Cassandra,
  • Epiteths.


The long monologue of Lycophron’s Alexandra offers many interesting aspects from the point of view of onomastics. The name of the author itself is a mystery, since it is related to different poets of the Hellenistic period, none of them being precisely identified. The main character of Alexandra, the mythical prophetess, Cassandra, is never called by her name throughout the poem. The use of monikers, epithets and unfamiliar names instead of the most common denominations of gods, heroes and places is very frequent in Lycophron’s work; this is not unusual in Greek poetry of that period, but in the case of Alexandra the identities of both characters and places are almost completely hidden by this procedure. Through some examples, this paper aims at offering a possible explanation of Lycophron’s method, showing the relation between the obscurity of the poem, its cryptic language and the destiny of Cassandra, who was doomed to be misunderstood forever.