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15 - Historical Narrative in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Elegy (2010)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2021

Ewen Bowie
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

This chapter revisits the question of how far Greek narrative elegy of the archaic and early classical periods can be seen as an early stage in the development of Greek historiography, offering very tentative answers to the sorts of questions addressed by other contributors to the volume edited by David Konstan and Kurt Raaflaub in 2010.1 In particular I shall try to establish, so far as is possible, to what extent there seem to have been unwritten rules (to use the terminology of Rossi 1971) that distinguished the subject matter and treatment thought appropriate for elegy from those thought appropriate for hexameter epic, a genre that stood very close to elegy both in metre and in language. In an appendix to the chapter a very brief comparison is made with what we know of the Hesiodic Catalogue of women and of the epics of the so-called ‘cycle’, and with our first post-Homeric hexameter epic to survive complete, the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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