The founding myths of 'goatherd' and 'cowherd' poetics meld in the generous agon of the seventh idyll, so helpfully elucidated by Richard Hunter (Theocritus A Selection, 1999  & cf. detailed  discussion in Vergilius 46, 2000, cited below). 
Hunter's thorough & responsive dialogue with other scholars made a marked contrast with some recent work on Virgil's Bucolics. This prompted me to send a critical note to the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. 

My note pricked one of the parties criticized into action, raising hope for a more responsive dialogue, if only the intensity could be channeled. Since BMCR does not lend itself to on-going exchanges, I decided to reproduce the series & extend it as follows:

SICELIDAS: Van Sickle on Meban & Kuipers on Thomas & Hubbard {BMCR}
BATTIADISTES: Thomas on Van Sickle on Meban on Thomas {BMCR}
SICELIDAS: Van Sickle on Thomas on Van Sickle etc. {below} as well as
                    "Virgil vs Cicero, Lucretius, Theocritus, Callimachus, Plato &
                    Homer: Two Programmatic Plots in the First Bucolic," 
                        Vergilius 46 (2000) 21-58.
BATTIADISTES: Parturiunt Montes  {Classics listserve}
SICELIDAS: Ad hominem (was Parturiunt...)
Van Sickle on Thomas on Van Sickle etc.

        The force elicited from Richard Thomas by my query (BMCR 2000-10-19) is welcome if  it can help fuel a wide-ranging & on-going dialogue. 
        Richard's e-mail, however, seeks to convey the impression that I reproached him for ignoring only one piece, which he dismissed as too marginally broadcast to command attention and as lacking in further resonance. 
     Apart from the less or greater scholarly importance of  speaking at the APA & publishing my piece the Liverpool Classical Monthly with  John Pinsent (di buona memoria), the argument's subsequent applications and developments  appeared in places unlikely to have escaped the notice of anyone seriously interested in the Bucolics. Among them was my "searching review" (as one distinguished scholar called it) of Thomas's colleague,  mentor, and fellow Callimachist W. V. Clausen: 

on Clausen, "The End of the Eclogues" (Vergilius);
on O'Hara & Rumpf, "Staging Virgil's Future & Past" (Classical Journal); 
&  on Martindale, Hinds,  Cameron, Leclercq, "'Eclogues' in Receivership,  Bucolics to Re/Read"-- shared between 
Vergilius 44 (1998) 113-15 and 
Bryn Mawr Classical Review -- "A poet prey to lovers prone to misprision...."
cf. also other materials available on my web page
Although  Richard's energy is welcome, his tone does surprise (confirming no doubt the notoriety of e-mail as a hot medium). Or must bucolic dialogue start by getting someone's goat?
et certamen erat Corydon cum Thyrside magnum
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