Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts by Andrew L. Ford

Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts by Andrew L. Ford

By Andrew L. Ford

Aristotle can be a thinker and as a theorist of poetry, yet he used to be additionally a composer of songs and verse. this can be the 1st entire examine of Aristotle's poetic job, reading his final fragments when it comes to the sooner poetic culture and to the literary tradition of his time. Its centerpiece is a learn of the only entire ode to outlive, a track commemorating Hermias of Atarneus, Aristotle's spouse's father and consumer within the 340's BCE. This impressive textual content is expounded to have embroiled the thinker in fees of impiety and so is studied either from a literary viewpoint and in its political and spiritual contexts.Aristotle's literary antecedents are studied with an extraordinary fullness that considers the complete diversity of Greek poetic kinds, together with poems by means of Sappho, Pindar, and Sophocles, and prose texts besides. except its curiosity as a posh and refined poem, the music for Hermias is noteworthy as one of many first Greek lyrics for which we now have huge and early facts for a way and the place it used to be composed, played, and bought. It therefore offers a chance to reconstruct how Greek lyric texts functioned as functionality items and the way they circulated and have been preserved. The booklet argues that Greek lyric poems make the most of being learn as scripts for performances that either formed and have been formed by way of the social events within which they have been played. the result's an intensive and wide-ranging learn of a posh and engaging literary rfile that provides a fuller view of literature within the overdue classical age.

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Extra resources for Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts

Example text

On the other hand, gods can be “bowbearing” as well, and the epithet is found of divinities in earlier poetry, including Delphi’s own Apollo. The choice between these two flavors of the epithet is between reading Aristotle’s epigram as an attempt to transcribe a historical event in conventional form and language or as an attempt to extend and innovate within the tradition of monumental epigrams. In favor of the latter possibility is the fact that the same form of the epithet is found in the same metrical position in an epigram attributed to Simonides, Greece’s most famous memorializing lyric poet.

2 Delphi was an obvious choice for these purposes: seat of one of Greece’s most famous oracles and host of the prestigious Pythian games, it attracted visitors from the entire Greek world and a little beyond. There they could read—or have read to them by guides— inscriptions on the monuments that adorned the sanctuary and lined the road leading to Apollo’s temple. ” In addition, Delphi had taken on an extra symbolic role as a symbol of Greek unity in the face of Persian invasions in the early fifth century.

But for the classical rhetorician, logos is only one of three aspects of 14 ARISTOTLE AS POET speech that require analysis; the task of reading should also pay attention to the ethos, the speaker’s character suggested by the words, as well as to pathos, the impression meant to be created in the audience. We will see that crucial aspects of Aristotle’s poem emerge only when we consider these latter two aspects, taking it as a speech that projects a certain sort of character—not only in Hermias but also in the poet who ventures to praise him—and as an address that has particular designs on its audience’s state of mind.

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