A Companion to Hellenistic Literature - download pdf or read online

By James J. Clauss, Martine Cuypers

ISBN-10: 1405136790

ISBN-13: 9781405136792

Delivering unprecedented scope, A spouse to Hellenistic Literature in 30 newly commissioned essays explores the social and highbrow contexts of literature creation within the Hellenistic interval, and examines the connection among Hellenistic and previous literature. presents a breathtaking serious exam of Hellenistic literature, together with the works of well-respected poets along lesser-known old, philosophical, and clinical prose of the interval Explores how the indigenous literatures of Hellenized lands motivated Greek literature and the way Greek literature encouraged Jewish, close to japanese, Egyptian, and Roman literary works

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Where the Archaic iambographer presented himself as a drinker, brawler, and seducer, Introduction 7 the main models of his Hellenistic incarnation are philosophers such as Socrates, Diogenes, and Pyrrho, socially marginal ‘‘wise men’’ who mock common behavior and teach virtue and detachment – but most of all, happiness. As far as Hellenistic iambos is still hostile and contemptuous, it is to conventional beliefs, to wealth and power, in short, to any sort of pretension, including literary. Beyond this overall ‘‘philosophical’’ atmosphere the extant satiric-parodic texts vary widely.

Lycophron’s curious piece consists entirely of what represented only one scene of a typical tragedy, the messenger speech. , Cassandra, the sister of Alexander/Paris), the prophet whom no one believed, couched in mystifying neologisms and recherche´ kennings. Cassandra’s words provide an account of the Trojan cycle, but in such a way that the original audience would have required the equivalent of a PhD to understand their meaning. For the doctus lector able to decrypt it, the Alexandra explores the interrelationship between epic and tragedy, the historical conflict between East and West culminating in the rise of Rome, and last but not least the very hermeneutic effort required to access Hellenistic poetry’s manifold levels of signification, ‘‘winding and traversing, pondering with wise mind, the obscure path of riddles’’ (lines 9–11).

Further east in Asia Minor, something similar was happening: cities in Pamphylia and Cilicia, such as Aspendos, Soloi, and Mallos, were turning themselves into Greeks with an Argive past (Scheer 2003: 226–31). Greekness could be further affirmed by participation in one of the Panhellenic festivals that flourished in the Hellenistic period, not only the old festivals at Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, or Nemea but newly created ones, such as the festival of Artemis Leucophryene, established at Magnesia-on-the-Meander in the late third century, or that of Athena Nicephorus at Pergamum, which achieved Panhellenic status in 182 under Eumenes II (Rigsby 1996: 179–85, 363–6).

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A Companion to Hellenistic Literature by James J. Clauss, Martine Cuypers


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