Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry by Marco Fantuzzi

By Marco Fantuzzi

Hellenistic poets of the 3rd and moment centuries BC sought to mark their continuity with the classical earlier in addition to exhibit their independence from it. This significant research explores Greek poetry of the interval and its reception and impact in Rome. the quantity covers probably the most commonly used poetry of the age, equivalent to Callimachus' Aitia, along particular attention of newly released texts just like the epigrams of Posidippus.

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F. Leo, ‘Die plautinischen Cantica und die hellenistische Lyrik’, Abh. 7 (1897) 61–70. The scholarly editions of lyric writers, from Aristophanes of Byzantium onwards, reveal a new attention to colometry and stanzaic division, whereas the pre-Aristophanic papyri present the 28 Performance and genre serious and/or long poems, but led rather to ‘archaeological revivals’ of longdead forms and to virtuoso experimentation (such as the Aeolian poems by Theocritus,102 or the technopaegnia103 ). Here, if anywhere, it may be legitimate to speak of ‘play with the forms’.

Below, Chapter 5). So too, increasing emphasis was placed on aetiology (Callimachus, Apollonius of Rhodes85 ), while the didactic epos of Hesiodic origin was revived (Aratus, Nicander, cf. 86 The archaic and classical system of lyric genres, in particular, was based on the close linkage between particular performance contexts and particular forms of poem. This linkage offered familiar conventions within which poets traditionally worked and by which their poems were interpreted and understood. Such cohesive conventions, which are basically the constructive principles of genres, had a tendency, however, to become rigid, due to a sort of inertia effect (which we might also call ‘tradition’), and thus to lose their expressive force and become less capable of responding to the expectations of the public; this trend was associated with the gradual change or disappearance of the performance ‘occasions’ with which the conventions were functionally associated.

There existed another kind of song too . . ‘nomes’ (n»moi) ‘for the lyre’ . . Once these categories and a number of others had been fixed, no one was allowed to pervert them by using one sort of tune in a composition belonging to another category (toÅtwn dŸ diatetagm”nwn kaª Šllwn tinän, oÉk –x¦n Šllo e«v Šllo katacr¦sqai m”louv e²dov) . . Later, as time went on, composers arose who started to set a fashion of breaking the rules and offending good taste. They did have a natural artistic talent, but they were ignorant of the correct and legitimate standards laid down by the Muse.

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