1. Simmias of Rhodes. "Wings," c. 325 B.C.E.
Published here in: Simmiae Rhodii. Theocriti aliorvmqve poetarvm idyllia. Eivsdem Epigrammata (2 volumes). [Geneva]: Henricus Stephanus, 1579.
Rare Book Collection Estienne. Presented by the Hanes Foundation for the Study of the Origins and Development of the Book.

Simmias of Rhodes. "Axe" and "Egg," c. 325 B.C.E.
Same as above (physical exhibit displays facsimiles).

These three poems attributed to Simmias of Rhodes (along with three other Greek poems) are the earliest surviving visual poetry, and were passed from generation to generation for centuries. (Scholars believe that visual poetry originated in India and Persia in the sixth century B.C.E., but examples have not survived.) The shape of each of these poems reflects its content: the axe poem commemorates wartime heroism, the egg poem celebrates nature, and the wings poem is of a spiritual nature. The axe and the egg are meant to be read in "chiastic" fashion: the first line, then the last line, then the second line, then the second-to-last line, and so on until concluding in the center. This somewhat ritualistic method of reading suggests a connection to Greek magical papyri of the same era; the poems may have been intended as spells or prayers.

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