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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 29, 2017

Theocritus’ Idylls: On the Verge of Modern Lyric

Evina Sistakou
From the journal Trends in Classics


This study argues that Theocritus experiments not only with archaic lyric forms and models but primarily with concepts that have been associated with modern lyric poetry to conceptualize his lyric aesthetics. Although some of the Idylls engage with the greater choral odes of Simonides and Pindar, Theocritus opts for songs on the lesser scale, as the introduction of the form of the εἰδύλλιον and the choice of poetic models like Sappho, Alcaeus and Erinna in several idylls demonstrate. The most significant innovations that define Theocritus’ lyric aesthetics and demonstrate him on the verge of modern lyric are the conception of textual lyric, the expression of subjectivity and the metalyric essence of the bucolic song.


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Published Online: 2017-11-29
Published in Print: 2017-11-9

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