Literature

A Guide to Hellenistic Literature by Kathryn Gutzwiller

By Kathryn Gutzwiller

This booklet is a advisor to the terribly diversified literature of the Hellenistic period.
A consultant to the literature of the Hellenistic age, from the dying of Alexander the good in 323 BCE to the conflict of Actium in 31 BC* presents overviews of the social, political, highbrow and literary old contexts within which Hellenistic literature was once produced.
Introduces the foremost writers and genres of the period.
Provides information regarding type, meter and languages to help readers without previous wisdom of the language in knowing technical facets of literary Greek.
Distinctive in its insurance of present matters in Hellenistic feedback, together with viewers reception, the political and social history, and Hellenistic theories of literature.

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Not the ultimate of poets, but, I dare to say, the sweetest of verses has the poet of Soli stripped off to copy. Hail words of refinement, symbol of Aratus’ wakefulness. Callimachus makes it clear that Aratus’ words are refined (leptai ) not only because they imitate Hesiod selectively, choosing only what is sweet, but also because they result from the hard work of a scholar. The Greek word translated ‘‘wakefulness’’ plays beautifully on the nighttime observations required for Aratus’ astronomical poem and on the midnight hours of labor that went into its composition.

Other poets participated in the scholarship of the Museum as well; for instance, the playwright Alexander of Aetolia edited tragedies and another playwright Lycophron edited comedies. The primary energies of the Alexandrian scholars were directed, however, to the epic poems of Homer, as texts that had long formed the basis of Greek education. Zenodotus of Ephesus, a student of Philitas and the first librarian at Alexandria, is generally credited as the first scholarly editor of Homer. The many copies of the Iliad and Odyssey collected for the Library differed one from the other; they had significant variations in wording within lines and some contained whole lines not in other copies.

3), that Ptolemy II commissioned seventy-two Jewish scholars to produce the first Greek version of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, indicates that translations into Greek from other languages were included as well. The Library reportedly contained nearly 500,000 volumes when in 47 BC a great fire caused significant damage, if not wholesale destruction. 6). Arsinoe, who had earlier been married to Lysimachus of Thrace, was queen only a few years, from 278 to 270 or 268, but she seems to have played an important part in setting the tone for the innovative literature produced in Alexandria.

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