The Getty Hexameters: Poetry, Magic, and Mystery in Ancient Selinous

The Getty Hexameters: Poetry, Magic, and Mystery in Ancient Selinous

Hardback Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)

Edited by Christopher A. Faraone, Edited by Dirk Obbink


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • Dimensions: 146mm x 226mm x 26mm | 480g
  • Publication date: 28 February 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199664102
  • ISBN 13: 9780199664108
  • Sales rank: 1,333,194

Product description

The Getty Hexameters looks in detail at a series of forty-four magical verses inscribed on a recently discovered lead tablet from Sicily in the fifth century BC, which is now in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Divided into two sections, the volume consists of a general introduction to the new inscriptions, together with a critical text and English translation, photographs, and drawings. The second section contains a collection of eleven interpretative essays which treat various aspects of the text, including religious and civic context, date and poetic language, transmission, and connections to ancient magic and ritual practice. The volume is the first complete critical edition of the Greek text to appear in print and contains important scholarship for the field of classics from an acclaimed list of contributors.

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Author information

Dirk Obbink is University Lecturer in Papyrology and Greek Literature and Tutorial Fellow in Greek, Christ Church College, University of Oxford

Review quote

a stimulating discussion of a range of possible interpretations of the text ... [an] indispensable critical adjunct to the editio princeps. Richard L. Gordon, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of contents

PREFACE ; LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ; INTRODUCTION ; GREEK TEXT AND TRANSLATION ; PHOTOGRAPHS AND DRAWINGS ; 1. The Getty Hexameters: Date, Author, Place of Composition ; 2. The Language of the Hexameter Verses from Selinous Variants and Archetypes ; 3. Spoken and Written Boasts in the Getty Hexameters ; 4. The Ephesia grammata: Genesis of a Magical Formula ; 5. The Ephesia grammata: Logos Orphaikos or Apolline Alexima Pharmakaa ; 6. Magical Verses on a Lead Tablet: Amulet or Anthologya ; 7. Myth and the Getty Hexameters ; 8. The Immortal Words of Paean ; 9. Poetry and the Mysteries ; APPENDIX: THE LEAD TABLET FROM PHALASARNA ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDICES