A commentary on Solon's poems
This dissertation is a Commentary on Solon's Poems (elegiacs and tetrameters; the iambic trimeters, though taken into consideration for the examination of the rest of the poems, are not given a detailed commentary). Solon's poetry is studied mainly from a literary point of view; it is compared with the language and vocabulary of his predecessors Homer, Hesiod, and the other lyric poets of his age. The study attests the influence of Solon's language, content, motives, and ethical / political ideas on his lyric successors, on Aristophanes and the tragedians (above all Euripides who specifically appears to share the ideology of the polls and the heightened consciousness about civic affairs which emerged in the Athenian community under Solon) as well as the coincidence between Solon's ethical statements and the topoi of the language of the inscriptions. This is not a historical Commentary; the connections of Solon's poetry with his Laws as well as with the historical situation of his time and the reforms he sponsored are taken into consideration only when they are useful and rewarding in the answers they provide for the interpretation of the Solonian poetry. The emphasis of this work is on Solon's poetry as a work of Literature and on Solon's poetic achievements. The close examination of his poems reveals his creativity, his artistry together with his view of the process of poetic composition as technical making and his focus on his craftsmanship as a tool for his profession as a politician and as a statesman.