The Cup of Song : Studies on Poetry and the Symposion, Hardback Book


The symposion is arguably the most significant and well-documented context for the performance, transmission, and criticism of archaic and classical Greek poetry, a distinction attested by its continued hold on the poetic imagination even after its demise as a performance setting.

The Cup of Song explores the symbiotic relationship of poetry and the symposion throughout Greek literary history, considering the latter both as a literal performance context andas an imaginary space pregnant with social, political, and aesthetic implications. This collection of essays by an international group of leading scholars illuminates the various facets of this relationship, from Greek literature's earliest beginnings through to its afterlife in Roman poetry, ranging from the Near Eastern origins of the Greek symposion in the eighth century to Horace's evocations of his archaic models and Lucian's knowing reworking of classic texts.

Each chapter discusses one aspect of sympotic engagement by key authors across the major genres of Greekpoetry, including archaic and classical lyric, tragedy and comedy, and Hellenistic epigram; discussions of literary sources are complemented by analysis of the visual evidence of painted pottery.

Consideration of these diverse modes and genres from the unifying perspective of their relation to thesymposion leads to a characterization of the full spectrum of sympotic poetry that retains an eye to both its shared common features and the specificity of individual genres and texts.




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