By David Fearn
Bacchylides: Politics, functionality, Poetic Tradition combines shut literary research of Bacchylides' poetry with distinct dialogue of the significant function poetry performed in various differing political contexts all through Greece within the early 5th century BC. In Bacchylides' compliment poetry, David Fearn argues, the poet manipulates a variety of prior Greek literature not just to raise the prestige of his prosperous buyers, but additionally to impress considered the character of political energy and aristocratic society. New gentle is usually shed on Bacchylides' Dithyrambs, via specific dialogue of the facts for the kuklios khoros ('circular chorus') and its relation to a number of assorted spiritual fairs, in particular inside democratic Athens. The hyperlinks created among literary issues and cultural contexts reinvigorate those underappreciated poems and show their principal significance for the self-definition of political communities.
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Extra resources for Bacchylides: Politics, Performance, Poetic Tradition
Much the most interesting of the usages is Nem. 20, where the epinician persona is referring to the dangers of inventing ( ξευρ ντα) new epinician material because of the φθ νο it might provoke: A. M. Miller (1982) 114. The Pindaric persona uses this warning as the introduction to his myth of Aias’ downfall; he could be said to be using traditional myth here not as something objectiﬁed and made diﬃcult to react against, but as something already understood and taken into account: for Pindar and his victor mythical failure and historical victory work on the same plane as one another and oﬀer mutual support.
But the complexity of Bacchylides’ text makes diﬀerentiation between poetic motivations and erotic impulses brought on by drink impossible to establish. For the choice of whether to take the genitive phrase σευοµενα˜ν κυλ κων in line 7 absolutely (as the cups race round), or whether to read it as dependent upon γλ κει’ ανα´γκα (hence ‘the sweet compulsion from the racing cups’) is a choice that aﬀects 48 The poet as helmsman, and song as cargo being sent, is ﬁgured in two other passages in Bacchylides not implicated in this sympotic game of reference: Bacch.
For by reading or listening to, and imagining the content of these dreams, we ourselves come performatively under the inﬂuence of poetic language and poetic reference. Poetry makes us think about other poetry just as much as drink and desire make us think about possibilities for ourselves which may in actuality be illusory. And the corollary also applies: sympotic drinking makes us think about poetry just as poetry makes us think about representation, ﬁction, and illusion. e. reading absolutely, at least preserves a suggestive juxtaposition if nothing else.
Bacchylides: Politics, Performance, Poetic Tradition by David Fearn