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Zum Nutzen der Antike in politischer Theorie und Praxis

Abstract

This essay aims to shed new light on the stages of moral enlightenment in the Allegory of the Cave, of which there are three. I focus on the two stages within the cave, represented by eikasia and pistis, and provide a phenomenological description of these two mental states. The second part of the essay argues that there is a structural parallelism between the Allegory of the Cave and the ending of the Republic. The parallelism can be convincingly demonstrated by a purely formal analysis, but additionally it complements and reinforces the original interpretation of the Cave, insofar as the ending of the Republic also mirrors, on the level of content, the previously adduced stages of moral enlightenment.

Abstract

At Aeschylus Agamemnon 985 the manuscript reading ψαμμίας ἀκάτα is corrupt, giving neither meter nor sense. Wilamowitz’ conjecture ψάμμος ἄμπτα has met with some editorial approval, but its sense is dubious and should be rejected. I propose instead ψάλλον ἀκταῖς, “they were plucking on the shore”, referring to the performance of a paean on the lyre by the Greek fleet departing for, or, less likely, arriving at, Troy. The fleet’s departure would be an appropriate time for the soldiers to perform a paean, for which the lyre was a common accompaniment. Plucking a lyre without strumming, however, as ψάλλον implies, seems to have been a less common performance technique, sometimes culturally marked as ‘Asian’. While there is evidence that a paean with plucked accompaniment might have seemed unexceptional to a Greek audience, if Aeschylus did intend an Asian connotation, I suggest that the Chorus, having just witnessed Agamemnon tread on the purple cloths, would thereby portray the Greek army as already tainted by tryphe on their departure for Troy. Whether ‘Greek’ or ‘Trojan’, the conjectured army’s paean would form an effective counterpoint to the lyre-less threnos in the Chorus’ heart that dominates the ode.

Abstract

Much attention has been paid to ‘deictic shifts’ in Ancient Greek literary texts. In this article I show that similar phenomena can be found in documentary texts. Contracts in particular display unexpected shifts from the first to the third person or vice versa. Rather than constituting a narrative technique, I argue that such shifts should be related to the existence of two major types of stylization, called the ‘objective’ and the ‘subjective’ style. In objectively styled contracts, subjective intrusions may occur as a result of the scribe temporarily assuming himself to be the deictic center, whereas in subjectively styled contracts objective intrusions may occur as a result of the contracting parties dictating to the scribe, and the scribe not modifying the personal references. There are also a couple of texts which display more extensive deictic alter­nations, which suggests that generic confusion between the two major types of stylization may have played a role.

Abstract

The comparison by which the Chorus of Satyrs in Euripides’ Cyclops 469–471 illustrates its wish to participate in the blinding of the Cyclops is regarded as difficult in research on the play, due to the ambiguous expression ὥσπερ ἐκ σπονδῆς θεοῦ (469). There is no consensus either on the question of how the reference to libation is to be understood, nor on whether the transmitted phrasing is correct at all. In the present paper I attempt to show that doubts over the transmission are unfounded and that attempts to refer the comparison not to libation but to the ritual use of water for handwashing at sacrifice are not persuasive. Rather, Euripides in this passage is engaging with the theme of libation on several levels of meaning: when we pay close attention to the context, cult-specific associations and literary applications of libation as a motif in Homer and Aristophanes, the words of the satyrs can be read, firstly, as a metaphorical reference to the two main actions in Odysseus’ plan for revenge, and secondly as a subtle allusion to the use of libation and spit-roasting in sacrificial ritual.

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Abstract

This paper analyses the meaning of μύκλος in two passages of Lycophron’s Alexandra (771 and 816). The thorough study of the contexts shows that the most likely interpretation of the word in both verses is “donkey”: μύκλοις γυναικοκλῶψιν “woman-stealing donkeys” (771) and τὸν ἐργάτην μύκλον “the hard-working donkey” (816). The definition “lewd” of ancient scholia, assumed by modern lexica and scholars, is nothing but an ad hoc explanation of the former passage which does not suit the latter. After refuting previous etymologies, I contend that μύκλος is originally a deverbative adjective in *‑lo‑ built on the onomatopoetic aorist μῠκεῖν “bellow”.

Abstract

A brief scholion allusion to a “Selenite” community in Arcadia raises a question concerning this epithet and its meaning on the background of similar expressions denoting extreme antiquity. The better known term associated with the Arcadians is Proselēnoi, namely, pre-lunar, people who preceded the moon. This term is examined through several options of understanding. At the core of this analysis stands the Classical tendency to highly appreciate early periods of time and early peoples. This opens up a discussion of autochthony and the concept of extreme antiquity, particularly associated with Arcadia. The result is an etymologically based mythographic study centred on the Arcadians’ existence in relation to the first appearance of the moon. The conclusion offers a new interpretation of a neglected term.

Abstract

Although bees are a frequent motif in ancient literature, the people who work with bees are often left in the background. An exception is the motif of the older man on his – usually small – farm who lives from and with his bees. The article shows that this motif is a topos that appears in various texts of Greek and Latin literature of the imperial period. Depending on the intention behind these representations, different elements of the motif may be emphasised or omitted. These variations, and how the motif develops, are here shown through the example of different passages.