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Archilochos Heros: The Cult of Poets in the Greek Polis

Archilochos Heros: The Cult of Poets in the Greek Polis

Hardback Hellenic Studies

By (author) Diskin Clay

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  • Publisher: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 350 pages
  • Dimensions: 211mm x 246mm x 20mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 30 April 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
  • ISBN 10: 0674014553
  • ISBN 13: 9780674014558
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 1,582,403

Product description

The discovery of the Mnesiepes inscription on Paros revealed the third century be belief that the young Archilochos was transformed into a poet by an encounter with the Muses. It also revealed that the poet had become the object of a cult by his fellow islanders as he was transformed in death to a local hero. This is the first attempt to trace the history of this cult from the late sixth century be to the third century ad. The author also integrates the iconography of the poet into the history of this cult, and addresses for the first time the larger phenomenon of the cult of poets in the Greek states. This study provides appendices giving sources of information for these cults, including the text of the Mnesiepes inscription. It is illustrated by in-text figures and plates.

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Review quote

"Archilochus Heros" is the first systematic treatment of the cult of poets since Cuperus' "De apotheosi Homeri" (Amsterdam 1683)...The variety of disciplines that Clay brings to bear--religion, literary criticism, epigraphy, archeology, numismatics, art history--ensures points of interest for a wide and varied audience...The vast amount of evidence that Clay adduces...succeeds in showing how widespread the phenomenon of poet cults was in ancient Greek cities. This book gives us additional reason to be wary of the strict opposition between sacrifices performed for dead heroes ("enagizein") and those performed for gods ("thuein"). The ease with which Clay navigates through various disciplines is extraordinary. No contemporary scholar, so far as I know, can boast of Clay's versatility.--Jake MacPhail"Bryn Mawr Classical Review" (09/15/2005)