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Title: Callimachus' poetic style in its contemporary context
Author: Alexander, S. E.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2011
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Our increasing knowledge of the critical landscape in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC makes it timely to consider how Hellenistic poets may have been responding, in the way they composed their poems, to contemporary debates about the function of poetry, its defining characteristics, its style and how it should be read. In doing so we may gain a greater understanding of their poetry and its context. Callimachus’ poetry provides the most compelling case study for looking at this type of interaction and in this thesis I want to focus on a number of aspects of Callimachus’ poetic style and to set them in the context of roughly contemporary literary criticism, reading practice and linguistic theory. One of the major themes of the thesis is the relationship between Callimachus’ poetic style and use of language and Aristotelian theory. This ranges from the argument that it is often useful to assess aspects of Callimachean style against the background of Aristotelian theory, to the suggestion that at times Callimachus may be responding to specific Aristotelian ideas. I also discuss the idea put forward by certain scholars that Stoic theory can illuminate aspects of Callimachean style and linguistic practice. In the course of the thesis there is a movement away from an initial focus on Aristotelian theory and its formal concerns to the development of etymology as an exegetical practice and the allegorical mode of interpretation. In a shorter first part I outline the critical idea, linguistic theory or reading practice in question, before looking in the second part at the relevant aspect of Callimachus’ poetic style and how it might be interacting with, or responding to, the material discussed previously.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available