Evaluative language in Greek lyric and elegiac poetry and inscribed epigram to the end of the fifth century B.C.E.
This dissertation is a study of the rhetorical uses of evaluative language in Greek lyric and elegiac poetry and inscribed epigram of the period from the seventh to the fifth century B.C.E. The discussion focuses on the poets' evaluations of human worth in three areas, each of which forms a separate chapter: martial valour, the relationship between physical appearance and inner virtue, and political or social values. Within each chapter, particular aspects of the subject under discussion are treated under separate headings. Although the literary material has been treated in various ways in the past, the inclusion of inscribed epigram alongside the other literature in this case offers evidence from a related but distinct branch of poetic tradition for the development and expression of these values; divergences between the literary and the inscriptional tradition can be quite marked, as can the different approaches taken by poets of various genres within the literary material. The attempts of previous scholarship to define clear and consistent systems or codes of value represented in the poetry and to trace their development over this period have been generally unconvincing, but the poets' deployment of evaluative language does show some discernible patterns which appear to be related more to genre and poetic tradition than to the purely chronological processes of development that have been proposed by other scholars.