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Poetry and Its Public in Ancient Greece From Homer to the Fifth Century by Bruno Gentili

Poetry and Its Public in Ancient Greece From Homer to the Fifth Century


Poetry and Its Public in Ancient Greece From Homer to the Fifth Century by Bruno Gentili


This is a stimulaing, informative book. Do not be deterred by the many pages given to theoretical and methodological discussions early on: they undergrind the specific readings that follow, of Archilochus and Pindar, Sappho and Anacreon, and the rest; and Gentili enlivens the more abstract considerations suggested in his titles ('the poetry of mimesis,' 'the sociology of meaning') with incisive illustrations and analogies. He keeps us aware of contexts: social and political, economic and cultural. His sense of poet and audience is acute, imaginative, philologically responsible, and humane. * Kenneth J. Reckford, UNC Chapel Hill in The Classical Outlook, Winter 1989-1990. * This superb and fascinating book insists upon trying to place the poetry of Sappho, Alcaeus, Pindar, Archilochus, and others within its social and ritual contexts: oral performance, patron/poet relationship, and religious or communal function. Considering the evidence, such efforts must at times rely upon inspiration, but the close textual readings of individual poems, judicious use of anthropological method, and inclusion of many of the recently discovered fragments creates a vivid picture. A book that will be with us for years to come. * Library Journal, September 1, 1988 *

About the Author

Thomas Cole is professor of Greek and Latin at Yale University.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st February 1990


Bruno Gentili

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Johns Hopkins University Press


408 pages


Literary studies: poetry & poets
Literary studies: classical, early & medieval



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