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Title: Simonides and the role of the poet
Author: Rawles, Richard John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 038X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is an investigation of Simonides' construction and problematisation of issues to do with the role of the poet in the world in which he lived, as manifested in parts of his own poems and in his subsequent ancient reception. Chapter 1: A new interpretation of the "Platea elegy" of Simonides. Simonides is shown fashioning a role for himself as a successor of Homer, especially the Homer of the Iliad. Simonides presents a reading of the Iliad which informs and validates his own pan-Hellenic rhetoric, thus creating an important document of the history of Hellenic identity and the "invention of the barbarian." Chapter 2: Simonides' encomiastic and epinician poems are largely lost however, through a new reading of Pindar's Isthmian 2 we can perceive traces of Simonides' engagement with the poetics of praise and changes brought about in the role of the poet through its reception in this problematic poem of his younger contemporary. Chapter 3: Simonides' reputation in antiquity is reflected in an anecdotal tradition rivalled in its interest perhaps only by that of Sappho. Close readings of varied texts, from canonical authors to sub-literary papyri, lexicographical and scholiastic sources, support an argument that reads this tradition as founded upon reception of Simonides' own work: in particular, his negotiation of developments in the role of the poet in the late archaic/ early classical period regarding the impact of changes in economic exchange and patronage. Chapter 4: Theocritus 16 uses the figure of Simonides as an important part of its exploration of the poetics of patronage in the early third century world. However, new papyrus fragments allow a more sophisticated and nuanced reading of his allusions to Simonides. Combined with a closely historical reading of Theocritus' engagement with the ideology of Hieron II's Sicily, these contribute to a reading of the poem which sheds light both on Theocritus' own presentation of the role of the poet in his time, and on Simonides' treatment of similar problems two centuries previously.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available