Poetry as Initiation: The Center for Hellenic Studies Symposium on the Derveni PapyrusPaperback Hellenic Studies
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- Publisher: Harvard University, Center for Hellenic Studies
- Format: Paperback | 420 pages
- Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 20mm | 454g
- Publication date: 9 May 2014
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0674726766
- ISBN 13: 9780674726765
- Sales rank: 1,131,475
The Derveni Papyrus is the oldest known European "book." It was meant to accompany the cremated body in Derveni Tomb A but, by a stroke of luck, did not burn completely. Considered the most important discovery for Greek philology in the twentieth century, the papyrus was found accidentally in 1962 during a public works project in an uninhabited place about 10 km from Thessaloniki, and it is now preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. The papers in "Poetry as Initiation" discuss a number of open questions: Who was the author of the papyrus? What is the date of the text? What is the significance of burying a book with a corpse? What was the context of the peculiar chthonic ritual described in the text? Who were its performers? What is the relationship of the author and the ritual to the so-called Orphic texts?