Greek Epigram from the Hellenistic to the Early Byzantine Era

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Maria Kanellou, Ivana Petrovic, Chris Carey
Oxford University Press, Apr 25, 2019 - Poetry - 416 pages
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Greek epigram is a remarkable poetic form. The briefest of all ancient Greek genres, it is also the most resilient: for almost a thousand years it attracted some of the finest Greek poetic talents as well as exerting a profound influence on Latin literature, and it continues to inspire and influence modern translations and imitations. After a long period of neglect, research on epigram has surged during recent decades, and this volume draws on the fruits of that renewed scholarly engagement. It is concerned not with the work of individual authors or anthologies, but with the complexities of epigram as a genre, and provides a selection of in-depth treatments of key aspects of Greek literary epigram of the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Byzantine periods. Individual chapters offer insights into a variety of topics, from the dynamic interactions between poets and their predecessors and contemporaries, and the relationship between epigram and its sociopolitical, cultural, and literary background from the third century BCE up until the sixth century CE, to its interaction with its origins, inscribed epigram more generally, other literary genres, the visual arts, and Latin poetry, as well as the process of editing and compilation that generated the collections that survived into the modern world. Through the medium of individual studies the volume as a whole seeks to offer a sense of this vibrant and dynamic poetic form and its world, which will be of value to scholars and students of Greek epigram and classical literature more broadly.

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Encountering Epigram
Imitation Variation Interaction
Writing Death
Gods Religion and Cult
Praise and Blame
Words and Images

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About the author (2019)

Maria Kanellou was born in Athens and studied at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and at UCL. She is currently Research Fellow at the Academy of Athens and has previously worked at UCL, KCL, the University of Kent, and OUC. She has co-organized various international conferences focusing on Greek epigram and Theocritus and is currently working on the publication of the proceedings; her doctoral thesis, which offers a diachronic and motif-based analysis of erotic epigram, is also under contract for publication by OUP. Ivana Petrovic was born in Belgrade and studied at Belgrade University, Ruprecht-Karls Universitšt Heidelberg, and Justus-Liebig Universitšt Giessen. She has taught at Heidelberg, Giessen, and, most recently, at Durham University, and is now Hugh H. Obear Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia. Her research interests embrace ancient Greek literature, religion, and cultural history, and also South-Slavic traditional oral poetry, with a particular focus on the interaction between the texts and their historical, religious, and social contexts. Chris Carey was born in Liverpool and educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has worked at Cambridge, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, St Andrews, Royal Holloway, and UCL, and has also taught in the Netherlands, Hungary, Greece, and Serbia. He has published on Greek lyric poetry, epic, drama, oratory, and law and is currently working on a commentary on Book 7 of Herodotus' History. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2012.

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