By David Fearn
Bacchylides: Politics, functionality, Poetic Tradition combines shut literary research of Bacchylides' poetry with designated dialogue of the critical position poetry performed in quite a few differing political contexts all through Greece within the early 5th century BC. In Bacchylides' compliment poetry, David Fearn argues, the poet manipulates quite a lot of past Greek literature not just to raise the prestige of his prosperous buyers, but additionally to impress considered the character of political strength and aristocratic society. New gentle is usually shed on Bacchylides' Dithyrambs, via distinct dialogue of the proof for the kuklios khoros ('circular chorus') and its relation to numerous varied spiritual fairs, particularly inside democratic Athens. The hyperlinks created among literary issues and cultural contexts reinvigorate those underappreciated poems and show their important significance for the self-definition of political communities.
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Extra info for Bacchylides: Politics, Performance, Poetic Tradition
I suggest that this doubleness is even more interesting in the case of fr. 20B for Alexander because of the more systematic way in which the poem in its ﬁrst four stanzas draws the nature of the poetic persona into the game that this whole section of the poem is playing with reality and illusion. The Bacchylidean openings both centre on their references to the barbitos. 39 These poems are therefore marked as strongly elitist, and meant for sympotic performance,40 conﬁrmed by the subsequent references to symposia (fr.
67 Simonides alludes to the awesome ﬁgure of Homer and appropriates for the contemporary generation the power to immortalise military triumph. 68 By contrast, Pindar’s attitude is more often rather more lofty than this: his persona often constructs itself in a much more authoritative position than other ‘mere mortals’, in direct contact with the goddesses of poetic inspiration. 69 What is, however, so extraordinary about Pindar is the strength and scope of the projected persona, which generally maintains an explicit and well-developed ethical or religious stance which white-washes over other forms of authority embedded within the text.
This can only make the whole issue and nature of patronage and praise more interesting and more signiﬁcant in this case. Again, the complexity of signiﬁcation in Bacchylides’ text makes us read the ‘sweet compulsion’ in two ways: as in the case of Pindar’s γλυκερ ν κ ντρον (fr. 3–4), it might ﬁgure not only the onset of drink and feelings of desire, but also poetry itself. But the complexity of Bacchylides’ text makes diﬀerentiation between poetic motivations and erotic impulses brought on by drink impossible to establish.