This fragment of a bucolic poem is preserved on two sides of a leaf of papyrus dating from the late third century AD; the date of the poem itself is uncertain, as is the order in which the two parts should be read. If the order printed here is correct, then Silenus addresses Pan and ironically asks what has happened to his shepherd’s pipe (13‒21); then Pan sets about making and testing a new pipe. It seems that Dionysus is expecting Pan to perform in a competition (4) and will be angry if he fails to do so (26).
It has been suggested that the poem is the source for Virgil’s sixth Eclogue, where Silenus is found in a country setting; but he may have appeared in one of Moschus’ or Bion’s lost bucolic poems.Criticism
- Bernsdorff, H. Das Fragmentum Bucolicum Vindobonense (P.Vindob.Rainer 29801) = Hypomnemata 123. Göttingen, 1999.
- Gallavotti, K. RFIC ns 19 (1942): 233‒58.
- Page, D. L. GLP, no. 123, pp. 502‒7.