This paper looks beyond Ptolemaic Alexandria to consider the literary dynamics of another Hellenistic kingdom, Attalid Pergamon. I offer a detailed study of the fragmentary opening of Nicander's Hymn to Attalus (fr. 104 Gow–Schofield) in three sections. First, I consider its generic status and compare its encomiastic strategies with those of Theocritus’ Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus (Idyll 17). Second, I analyse its learned reuse of the literary past and allusive engagement with scholarly debate. And finally, I explore how Nicander polemically strives against the precedent of the Ptolemaic Callimachus. The fragment offers us a rare glimpse into the post-Callimachean, international and agonistic world of Hellenistic poetics.