Callimachus in Context

Callimachus in Context : From Plato to the Augustan Poets


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Scholarly reception has bequeathed two Callimachuses: the Roman version is a poet of elegant non-heroic poetry (usually erotic elegy), represented by a handful of intertexts with a recurring set of images - slender Muse, instructing divinity, small voice, pure waters; the Greek version emphasizes a learned scholar who includes literary criticism within his poetry, an encomiast of the Ptolemies, a poet of the book whose narratives are often understood as metapoetic. This study aims to situate these Callimachuses within a series of interlocking historical and intellectual contexts in order better to understand how they arose. In this narrative of his poetics and poetic reception four main sources of creative opportunism are identified: Callimachus' reactions to philosophers and literary critics as arbiters of poetic authority, the potential of the text as a venue for performance, awareness of Alexandria as a new place, and finally, his attraction for Roman poets.

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  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 158 x 228 x 24mm | 698.53g
  • CambridgeUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 4 maps
  • 1107008573
  • 9781107008571
  • 1,826,574

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About Benjamin Acosta-Hughes

Benjamin Acosta-Hughes is Professor of Greek and Latin at Ohio State University. He is the author of Polyeideia: The Iambi of Callimachus and the Archaic Iambic Tradition (2002), of Arion's Lyre: Archaic Lyric into Hellenistic Poetry (2010) and co-editor, with Manuel Baumbach and Elizabeth Kosmetatou, of Labored in Papyrus Leaves: Perspectives on an Epigram Collection Attributed to Posidippus (P.Mil.Vogl. VIII 309). He is also co-editor, with Luigi Lehnus and Susan Stephens, of the forthcoming Brill's Companion to Callimachus. Susan A. Stephens is Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics at Stanford University. She is author of Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria (2003) a study that has transformed scholarly thinking about Egypt as present in Hellenistic poetry. Trained as a papyrologist, she co-edited, with the late Jack Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments (1995). She is the author of numerous articles on Hellenistic poetry and is co-editor, with Benjamin Acosta-Hughes and Luigi Lehnus, of the forthcoming Brill's Companion to Callimachus. She is further co-editor, with Phiroze Vasunia, of the 2010 collection Classics and National Cultures.

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