Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture: Travel, Locality and Pan-Hellenism

Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture: Travel, Locality and Pan-Hellenism

Language: English

Pages: 328

ISBN: 1107404053

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Although recent scholarship has focused on the city-state as the context for the production of Greek poetry, for poets and performers travel was more the norm than the exception. This book traces this central aspect of ancient culture from its roots in the near Eastern societies which preceded the Greeks, through the way in which early semi-mythical figures such as Orpheus were imagined, the poets who travelled to the brilliant courts of archaic tyrants, and on into the fluid mobility of imperial and late antique culture. The emphasis is both on why poets travelled, and on how local communities used the skills of these outsiders for their own purposes. Wandering poets are also set within the wider context of ancient networks of exchange, patronage and affiliation between communities and are seen as one particularly powerful manifestation of a feature of ancient life which is too often overlooked.


















collective solidarity. ˇ While the AN.TAH .SUM and nuntarriyashas festivals allowed local ù singers to remain at home as their supra-local audiences came to them, the KI.LAM (‘gatehouse’) festival brought local performers to the Hittite capital. Its focal points were offerings from the administrators of various towns of grain from their storehouses in the capital, a race with ten 68 71 73 74 69 Bonatz 2002. 70 Gilan 2004. Zaccagnini 1983. 72 Nakamura 2002: 9–14. Parker 1996: 89–92, Nilsson 1972:

punish a singer, and glossed phr¼n as t¦v Ýid¦v phr»n (‘lame of song’). 58 peter wilson large part an optical, or perhaps a textual, illusion.45 The fourth-century ‘history of music’ (Synag¯og¯e) of Heracleides Ponticus placed kithar¯oidia and kithar¯oidik¯e poi¯esis, invented by Amphion, at the very origins of all music and poetry.46 In its next age came Thamyris and Demodokos. Gentili took the latter as an avatar of the pre-Homeric kitharode, but Thamyris might be just as promising a

Brillante 1991: 442. Other interpretations see in the nine figures simply a circular chorus dancing around the altar (Ferri 1931); Alfieri et al. 1958: 81 hold the view that these xoana are a chorus with which Thamyras hopes to oppose the rival chorus of the Muses; Koller 1963: 40 takes this up, but sees the figures as human girls, guided by Thamyras. Brillante 1991: 438–9 demonstrates the problems with these interpretations. We should not press this image unduly for an association with the

Translation mine. Martin 1997. 82 {Pe.} {Po.} {Pe.} {Po.} {Pe.} {Po.} {Po.} {Po.} {Pe.} {Po.} {Pe.} {Po.} {Pe.} richard p. martin Mous†wn qer†pontev ½trhro©, kat‡ t¼n í Omhron. oÉk –t¼v ½trhr¼n kaª t¼ lhd†rion ›ceiv. ˆt†r, å poiht†, kat‡ t© deÓrì ˆnefq†rhv; m”lh pepo©hkì e«v t‡v Nefelokokkug©av t‡v Émet”rav kÅkli† te poll‡ kaª kal‡ kaª parq”neia kaª kat‡ t‡ Simwn©dou. tautª sÆ p»tì –po©hsav; ˆp¼ po©ou cr»nou; p†lai p†lai dŸ tžndì –gÜ klž‚zw p»lin. oÉk Šrti qÅw tŸn dek†thn taÅthv –gÛ, kaª

dialectal antiquarianism,32 a didactic ‘Illustration zu der Musikgeschichte’ used in peripheral and less cultivated areas of the second-century BC Hellenised world33 and, most recently, the product of the neo-Pythagorean renaissance via Nicomachus of Gerasa.34 As we shall see, none of these explanations is entirely satisfactory, inasmuch as they fail to provide a general interpretation of the decree which at the same time accounts for the seemingly indistinct array of contrasting details

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