Erudition and intertextuality are recurrent themes in Hellenistic literature. Both place higher demands upon the reader–that he or she have a certain level of cultural literacy–than any Classical literature prior to it. The final lecture of this semester’s Sunoikisis Greek Literature course, led by Norman Sandridge, explored a few examples of modern cultural productions which … Read moreLocating Videogame Heroes: a Comparison of Jason with “Michael”
In the Homeric poems, epithets provide an index to the personality of a hero. When the poet invokes a particular epithet, a particular attribute or set of attributes is summoned to the performance. According to Theodore Klein, critics of Apollonius single out the pallid and ineffectual personality of Jason as the primary reason for the … Read moreThe Attributes of Jason, ἥρως ἀμήχανος
Having drunk deep from the wells of epigrammatic Hellenistic poetry from the tradition of Callimachus, our Hellenistic Literature class was glad to satisfy our thirst for a much more familiar spring, heroic epic. Apollonius’ Argonautica, which tells the story of Jason’s quest to retrieve the golden fleece, happens to be the only surviving epic from this … Read moreThe Epic Similes of Apollonius
Idyll 15 is classified as one of the “urban mimes,” signifying important aspects of both its style and setting, and distinguishing it from the other poems in Theocritus’ collection of Idylls. Indeed, the term “idyll” itself is here a misnomer–nothing stands in starker contrast to the bucolic idylls–such as Idylls 1 and 3–which are serious in … Read moreHow Independent are the Women in Theocritus’ Idyll 15?
In this semester’s Sunoikisis Greek course, we have covered a substantial selection of the poetry of Callimachus. Our knowledge of classical cultures has been rigorously challenged by its frequent use of allusion, and our imaginations have been piqued by its creative adaptation of Archaic genres and unique poetic outlook. For those of us who have … Read moreReading and Performance of Callimachus’ Hymn to Apollo
Theocritus is widely regarded as the poet who invented bucolic, a genre of literature which focuses on the activities of simple country folk such as shepherds and shepherdesses. Typically produced for urban audiences, bucolic literature presents an idealized portrait of the simple virtues of outdoorsmen. Romanticism in 19th-century literature, seen as a reaction to the … Read moreThe Hexameter of Theocritus’ Idyll 11