Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 13, 2005 - History - 511 pages
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Hellenistic poets of the third and second centuries BC were concerned with the need both to mark their continuity with the classical past and to demonstrate their independence from it. In this revised and expanded translation of Muse e modelli: la poesia ellenistica da Alessandro Magno ad Augusto, Greek poetry of the third and second centuries BC and its reception and influence at Rome are explored allowing both sides of this literary practice to be appreciated. Genres as diverse as epic and epigram are considered from a historical perspective, in the full range of their deep-level structures, providing a different perspective on the poetry and its influence at Rome. Some of the most famous poetry of the age such as Callimachus' Aitia and Apollonius' Argonautica is examined. In addition, full attention is paid to the poetry of encomium, in particular the newly published epigrams of Posidippus, and Hellenistic poetics, notably Philodemus.

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Impossible models and lost performance contexts
Disassembling and reassembling
Marginal aberrations?
The Argonautica of Apollonius and epic tradition
Theocritus and the bucolic genre
and stylisation
The style of Hellenistic epic
The epigram
Erotic epigrams
The languages of praise
Hellenistic drama
ΙΟ Roman epilogue
Index of passages discussed
General index

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Page 471 - Personam formare novam, servetur ad imum Qualis ab incepto processerit, et sibi constet. Difficile est proprie communia dicere ; tuque Rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus, Quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus.
Page 471 - Quid dignum tanto feret hie promissor hiatu ? Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Quanto rectius hic qui nil molitur inepte : 140 ' Die mihi, Musa, virum captae post tempora Trojae Qui mores hominum multorum vidit et urbes.
Page 228 - Humana ante oculos foede cum vita iaceret in terris oppressa gravi sub religione, quae caput a caeli regionibus ostendebat horribili super aspectu mortalibus instans, 65 primum Graius homo mortalis tollere contra est oculos ausus primusque obsistere contra, quem neque fama deum nee fulmina nee minitanti murmure compressit caelum, sed eo magis acrem inritat animi virtutem, effringere ut arta 70 naturae primus portarum claustra cupiret.
Page 473 - Ille mi par esse deo videtur, ille, si fas est, superare divos, qui sedens adversus identidem te spectat et audit dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis eripit sensus mihi nam simul te, Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi <vocis in ore> lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus flamma demanat, sonitu suopte tintinant aures, gemina teguntur lumina nocte.
Page 122 - Argis, — necdum etiam causae irarum saevique dolores 25 exciderant animo: manet alta mente repostum iudicium Paridis spretaeque iniuria formae et genus invisum et rapti Ganymedis honores; his accensa super iactatos aequore toto Troas, reliquias Danaum atque...
Page 229 - When the life of man lay foul to see and grovelling upon the earth, crushed by the weight of religion, which showed her face from the realms of heaven, lowering upon mortals with dreadful mien, 'twas a man of Greece who dared first to raise his mortal eyes to meet her, and first to stand forth to meet her: him neither the stories of the gods nor thunderbolts checked, nor the sky with its revengeful roar...
Page 59 - For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, eg about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe.
Page 59 - ... the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of Wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders...
Page 161 - ... probably each art and science has often been developed as far as possible and has again perished, these opinions have been preserved until the present, like relics of the ancient treasure.
Page 59 - Wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders); therefore since they phi- 20 losophized in order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. And this is confirmed by the facts; for it was when almost all the necessities of life and the things that make for comfort and recreation had been secured, that such knowledge began to be sought.

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