A Guide to Hellenistic Literature (Blackwell Guides to by Kathryn Gutzwiller

By Kathryn Gutzwiller

This booklet is a advisor to the terribly different literature of the Hellenistic period.A consultant to the literature of the Hellenistic age, from the dying of Alexander the nice in 323 BCE to the conflict of Actium in 31 BCProvides overviews of the social, political, highbrow and literary ancient contexts during which Hellenistic literature used to be producedIntroduces the foremost writers and genres of the periodProvides information regarding sort, meter and languages to assist readers with out earlier wisdom of the language in figuring out technical elements of literary GreekDistinctive in its assurance of present matters in Hellenistic feedback, together with viewers reception, the political and social heritage, and Hellenistic theories of literature

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While interpretation of Callimachus’ dense and allusive system of imagery has dominated scholarship on Hellenistic poetics, other poets as well employed special metaphors to enunciate their aesthetic preferences. 3). This radical reworking of the traditional view about the purpose of poetry ironically accepts Plato’s argument that poetry has nothing to do with teaching moral behavior, while positively revaluing its ability to produce pleasure (he¯done¯) through its appeal to the emotions. Such privileging of the emotional persuasiveness of poetry was related to a strong critical trend that emphasized euphony, or pleasant sound, above all else in verse.

After two images involving great distance, the cranes that migrate from Egypt to Thrace and the Scythian Massagetae who attacked the Persians with bows from afar, he offers in contrast the sweet song of the nightingale, an emblem for himself as poet. The Telchines have made the mistake of judging poetry by the Persian chain, a unit of measure used in Egyptian surveying, rather than by art (techne¯). 6 Callimachus next turns to the advice that Apollo, the god of song, gave to him as a youth: nurture your sacrificial victim to be as fat as possible, but keep your Muse thin.

When Callimachus closes with the statement that since the Muses favored him in youth, they will not abandon him at the end of his life, he casts himself in a poetic stance as old as Sappho. While scholars debate much about Callimachus’ complex text, known primarily from a torn papyrus, it can scarcely be doubted that it was intended as both statement and illustration of his poetics, and as such it had enormous influence on later Greek and Latin poetry. While interpretation of Callimachus’ dense and allusive system of imagery has dominated scholarship on Hellenistic poetics, other poets as well employed special metaphors to enunciate their aesthetic preferences.

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