I'm I Nuts?

Discuss Alexander's generals, wives, lovers, family and enemies

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Ambrosia
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I'm I Nuts?

Post by Ambrosia »

Hello, haven't really visited the site in quiet some time. I have a quick question. It will be difficult for me to expalin, but I will do my best. I recall reading or hearing a story about Alexander being involved with a young lady (I don't recall her name), but that he commissioned an artist, (I don't recall his name either) to paint or sculpt her likeness. The artist later fell madly in love with this young lady, and was afriad that Alexander would find out and punish him for it. Instead Alexander laughed and set the artist mind at ease by explaining that the young lady was very beautiful and he could keep her in exchange for the picture/scultpure of her. Does this ring a bell for anyone, or am I nuts? :)
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keroro
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Post by keroro »

It does ring a bell for me. Her name was Pancaste - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancaste.
Campaspe

Campaspe, also known as Pancaste, may have been the mistress of Alexander, if so one of the first (and only) women with whom Alexander was intimate. She was thought to be a prominent citizen of Larisa in Thessaly; Aelian surmised that she initiated the young Alexander in love.

One story tells that Campaspe was painted by Apelles, who enjoyed the reputation in Antiquity for being the greatest of painters. The episode occasioned an apocryphal exchange that was reported in Pliny's Naturalis Historia (35.79–97): seeing the beauty of the nude portrait, Alexander saw that the artist appreciated Campaspe (and loved her) more than he. And so Alexander kept the portrait but presented Campaspe to Apelles. Modern historian Robin Lane Fox says "so Alexander gave him Campaspe as a present, the most generous gift of any patron and one which would remain a model for patronage and painters on through the Renaissance".

The story is memorable, but may have been invented: Campaspe does not appear in the five major sources we have for the life of Alexander. Robin Lane Fox traces her legend back to the Roman authors Pliny the Elder, Lucian of Samosata and Aelian's Varia Historia.

Campaspe became a generic poetical pseudonym for a man's mistress.
Apologies for quoting wikipedia on this. :) I have read about her somewhere else too, but memory fails me.
Best wishes,

Keroro
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amyntoros
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Post by amyntoros »

It isn't a bad piece on Wikipedia, although it is true that articles on the site aren't always too reliable. :)
Modern historian Robin Lane Fox says "so Alexander gave him Campaspe as a present, the most generous gift of any patron and one which would remain a model for patronage and painters on through the Renaissance".
Too true ... if you'd like to see some of the paintings, do a Google Image Search using the words Campaspe and Apelles.

Here are the excerpts from the sources that are mentioned (and this is all there is to be found on Campaspe).
Aelian: Varia Historia 12.34
Many instances of love among the ancients have been recorded for us, among them the following prominent cases. Pausanias was in love with his wife, Apelles with Alexander’s mistress – she was called Pancaste and came from Larisa. She is said to have been the first woman Alexander slept with.

Pliny: The Natural History, Excerpt from XXXV.84-97
And yet Alexander conferred honour on him in a most conspicuous instance; he had such an admiration for the beauty of his favourite mistress, named Pancaspe, that he gave orders that she should be painted in the nude by Apelles, and then discovering that the artist while executing the commission had fallen in love with the woman, he presented her to him, great-minded as he was and still greater owing to his control of himself, and of a greatness proved by this action as much as by any other victory: because he conquered himself, and presented not only his bedmate but his affection also to the artist, and was not even influenced by regard for the feelings of his favourite in having been recently the mistress of a monarch and now belonged to a painter. Some persons believe that she was the model from which the Aphrodite Anadyomene (Rising from the Sea) was painted.

Lucian. Volume IV. Essays in Portraiture. Chapters 7 – 8.
Let them divide up the work, and let Euphranor colour the hair as he painted Hera’s; let Polygnotus do the becomingness of her brows and the faint flush for her cheeks, just as he did Cassandra in the Lesche at Delphi, and let him also do her clothing, which shall be of the most delicate texture, so that it not only clings close where it should, but a great deal of it floats in the air. The body Apelles shall represent after the manner of his Pacate,(1) not too white but just suffused with red; and her lips shall be done by Aetion like Roxana’s.(2)
(1) Called Pancaste by Aelian (Var. Hist., 12, 34), Pancaspe by Pliny (35, 86). She was a girl of Larissa, the first sweetheart of Alexander the Great.
(2) In the famous “Marriage of Alexander and Roxanne,” described fully in Lucian’s Herodotus. C. 4-6.
Hmmm, Marcus (or anyone): If Aelian called her Pancaste, Pliny called her Pancaspe, and Lucian called her Pacate, why do we all know her as Campaspe? It must be in the translation somewhere. :roll:

Best regards,
Amyntoros

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marcus
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Post by marcus »

amyntoros wrote:Hmmm, Marcus (or anyone): If Aelian called her Pancaste, Pliny called her Pancaspe, and Lucian called her Pacate, why do we all know her as Campaspe? It must be in the translation somewhere. :roll:
Good question, because I haven't a clue! :cry:

I just checked Heckel's Who's Who, and although he also gives Pankaste, Pancaspe and Pakate as alternatives, he doesn't even offer Campaspe.

Sorry, haven't a clue.

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Post by Paralus »

Campaspe is a river in the state of Victoria here in Australia ..... if that helps.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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marcus
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Post by marcus »

Paralus wrote:Campaspe is a river in the state of Victoria here in Australia ..... if that helps.
Eeerrrrrr ... :)
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Post by Coral »

Doesn't Plutarch when talking about Barsine, Memnon's widow, say that she was the first woman Alexander slept with? Why did Plutarch ignore Pankaspe/Pakate? If this story of Alexander giving Pankaspe to Apelles was a common one and showed Alexander's great qualities when young, I wonder why Plutarch did not refer to it, for example, in his Moralia.

Also, was Callixiena the courtesan from Thessaly who Philip and Olympias tried to foist on Alexander, a different person from Pankaspe?
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Post by marcus »

Coral wrote:Doesn't Plutarch when talking about Barsine, Memnon's widow, say that she was the first woman Alexander slept with? Why did Plutarch ignore Pankaspe/Pakate? If this story of Alexander giving Pankaspe to Apelles was a common one and showed Alexander's great qualities when young, I wonder why Plutarch did not refer to it, for example, in his Moralia.

Also, was Callixiena the courtesan from Thessaly who Philip and Olympias tried to foist on Alexander, a different person from Pankaspe?
Yes, Plutarch does say that. Of course, he did have rather a romantic leaning as far as Alexander's women were concerned.

And yes, Callixiena was a different person.

Whether Callixiena or Campaspe really existed is still, I suppose, up for debate. I don't suppose there's any reason to doubt their existence; however, in the major sources we would only expect to find them discussed in Plutarch, as he was the only one to write about his youth. If the Campaspe/Apelles transaction took place, perhaps it didn't quite fit in with Plutarch's chivalrous ideas of Alexander?

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Post by Taphoi »

amyntoros wrote:Hmmm, Marcus (or anyone): If Aelian called her Pancaste, Pliny called her Pancaspe, and Lucian called her Pacate, why do we all know her as Campaspe? It must be in the translation somewhere. :roll:
Hi amyntoros,

Found a moment to check a critical edition of Pliny NH today. Among the manuscripts of Pliny NH:

Pancaspen is in the Codex Bambergensis;

Campaspem is in the Codices Leidensis Vossianus, Florentinus Riccardianus and Parisinus Latinus (6797, s. XIII & 6801, s. XV);

campam spem (presumably corrupt) is in the Codex Leidensis Lipsii.

The high frequency of Campaspe in the Pliny manuscripts meant that it used to be most widely used, but modern editors have gone with Pancaspe, because it harmonizes with the Greek sources.

Best wishes,

Andrew
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marcus
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Post by marcus »

Taphoi wrote:
amyntoros wrote:Hmmm, Marcus (or anyone): If Aelian called her Pancaste, Pliny called her Pancaspe, and Lucian called her Pacate, why do we all know her as Campaspe? It must be in the translation somewhere. :roll:
Hi amyntoros,

Found a moment to check a critical edition of Pliny NH today. Among the manuscripts of Pliny NH:

Pancaspen is in the Codex Bambergensis;

Campaspem is in the Codices Leidensis Vossianus, Florentinus Riccardianus and Parisinus Latinus (6797, s. XIII & 6801, s. XV);

campam spem (presumably corrupt) is in the Codex Leidensis Lipsii.

The high frequency of Campaspe in the Pliny manuscripts meant that it used to be most widely used, but modern editors have gone with Pancaspe, because it harmonizes with the Greek sources.

Best wishes,

Andrew
Thanks, Andrew, that is helpful. So it's basically the Pliny version that has been followed to produce Campaspe, although most translations change it to Pancaspe. Fair enough ... albeit confusing!

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Re: I'm I Nuts?

Post by Leonidas »

As callixiena means "beautiful guest woman", it could have been the "professional", working-girl name of a hetaira or courtesan "companion". On the other hand, it could just have described a very beautiful girl from Larissa in Thessaly whom Philip and Olympias invited to Pella to meet their son, Alexander. I would imagine that Hephaestion had introduced their son to love and therein lies the parents quandry; how to encourage the youth to prove he was not (a) gynis, kinaidos and malakos and therefore a son who was capable of fathering an heir.
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