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By David Fearn

Bacchylides: Politics, functionality, Poetic Tradition combines shut literary research of Bacchylides' poetry with unique dialogue of the relevant function poetry performed in various differing political contexts all through Greece within the early 5th century BC. In Bacchylides' compliment poetry, David Fearn argues, the poet manipulates quite a lot of past Greek literature not just to raise the prestige of his filthy rich buyers, but additionally to impress considered the character of political energy and aristocratic society. New gentle can be shed on Bacchylides' Dithyrambs, via distinctive dialogue of the facts for the kuklios khoros ('circular chorus') and its relation to quite a few diversified non secular gala's, in particular inside of democratic Athens. The hyperlinks created among literary issues and cultural contexts reinvigorate those underappreciated poems and show their imperative significance for the self-definition of political communities.

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Sample text

Itself occurs three times in these sections. 11 Cf. Hall (2001) 156, on the claim to Greekness at Olympia: ‘The credibility of the claim may be less significant than its articulation––a case of form overriding content. . ’ 12 δ ο το σφι τα τα συνεβο λευον (χρηστα` γα`ρ δ κεον συµβουλε ειν, κα σφι ε νοο φα νετο ν Μακεδ ν), πε θοντο. 15 Alexander and his actions feature a further four times in Herodotos’ narrative. 2 a gold statue of Alexander is mentioned at Delphi, next to which the monument to the Greek victory by the allied states was erected after Salamis.

In the final part, I bring these themes together to look at what the poem as a whole might say about Bacchylidean patronage, and to explore possible subsequent receptions for it. 17–22, at which Persian ambassadors are murdered. We will see that Herodotos’ engagement with Alexander highlights the same set of problems pertaining to definition and to Macedonian relations to Greece; the subtlety of Herodotos’ narrative is a later response to issues of Macedonian power that Bacchylides’ poem makes available and memorializes.

Although Herodotos’ treatment of Alexander offers implicit criticism of duplicity in the realms of international politics and military strategy, it also serves to put additional pressure on the supposed fixity of oppositions between Greeks and barbarians. We must now turn to Bacchylides’ treatment of Alexander. Below is my text of fr. 20B, complete with translation. I . πολ φωνο ο ν ο : S Y M P O S I U M A N D FA N TA S Y I N L I N E S 1 – 1 6 [ΑΛΕΞΑ]Ν[∆ΡΩΙ ΑΜΥΝΤ]Α Α′ Ω βα´ρβιτε, µηκ τι πα´σσαλον φυλ· · σ·[σων] πτα´τονον λ[ι]γυρα`ν κα´ππαυε γα˜ρυν· δε ρ’ µα` χ ρα · ρµα νω τι π µπ[ειν] χρ [σ]εον· Μουσα˜ν λεξα´νδρωι πτερ ·ν 23 As Pelling (2002) 148 points out, Herodotos makes Dareios in his speech in the constitution debate of Hdt.

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Bacchylides: Politics, Performance, Poetic Tradition by David Fearn


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