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Look Inside Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture

Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture
Travel, Locality and Pan-Hellenism


Richard Hunter, Ian Rutherford, Mary Bachvarova, Peter Wilson, Richard P. Martin, Ewen Bowie, Giovan Battista D'Alessio, Lucia Prauscello, Andrej Petrovic, Sophia Aneziri, Ian Rutherford, Angelos Chaniotis
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  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521898782

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About the Authors
  • Although recent scholarship has focused on the city-state as the context for the production of Greek poetry, for poets and performers travel was more the norm than the exception. This book traces this central aspect of ancient culture from its roots in the near Eastern societies which preceded the Greeks, through the way in which early semi-mythical figures such as Orpheus were imagined, the poets who travelled to the brilliant courts of archaic tyrants, and on into the fluid mobility of imperial and late antique culture. The emphasis is both on why poets travelled, and on how local communities used the skills of these outsiders for their own purposes. Wandering poets are also set within the wider context of ancient networks of exchange, patronage and affiliation between communities and are seen as one particularly powerful manifestation of a feature of ancient life which is too often overlooked.

    • First such study devoted to this crucial aspect of Greek poetic production
    • The contributors are some of the foremost experts in Greek literature writing in the world today
    • It is wide-ranging in terms of chronology and innovative and inclusive in methodology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… this is a wonderful book. It deals with a matter whose importance is still underestimated. The authors of the different papers enter into a dialogue with each other and write in a way that is certain to inspire new research. All in all, this is an amazing collection.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521898782
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    Notes on contributors
    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction Richard Hunter and Ian Rutherford
    2. Hittite and Greek perspectives on travelling poets, texts and festivals Mary Bachvarova
    3. Thamyris the Thracian: the archetypal wandering poet? Peter Wilson
    4. Read on arrival Richard P. Martin
    5. Wandering poets, archaic style Ewen Bowie
    6. Defining local communities in Greek lyric poetry Giovan Battista D'Alessio
    7. Wandering poetry, 'travelling' music: Timotheus' Muse and some case-studies of shifting cultural identities Lucia Prauscello
    8. Epigrammatic contest, poeti vaganti and local history Andrej Petrovic
    9. World travellers: the associations of Artists of Dionysus Sophia Aneziri
    10. Aristodama and the Aetolians: an itinerant poetess and her agenda Ian Rutherford
    11. Travelling memories in the Hellenistic world Angelos Chaniotis

  • Editors

    Richard Hunter, University of Cambridge

    Ian Rutherford, University of Reading


    Richard Hunter, Ian Rutherford, Mary Bachvarova, Peter Wilson, Richard P. Martin, Ewen Bowie, Giovan Battista D'Alessio, Lucia Prauscello, Andrej Petrovic, Sophia Aneziri, Ian Rutherford, Angelos Chaniotis

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