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This book examines the extant fragments of the archaic Greek poem known in antiquity as Hesiod's Catalogue of Women. Kirk Ormand shows that the poem should be read intertextually with other hexameter poetry from the eighth to sixth century BCE, especially Homer, Hesiod, and the Cyclic epics. Through literary interaction with these poems, the Catalogue reflects political and social tensions in the archaic period regarding the production of elite status. In particular, Ormand argues that the Catalogue reacts against the “middling ideology” that came to the fore during the archaic period in Greece, championing traditional aristocratic modes of status. Ormand maintains that the poem's presentation of the end of the heroic age is a reflection of a declining emphasis on nobility of birth in the structures of authority in the emerging sixth century polis.Read more
- Provides a literary analysis of a neglected text, and an intertextual reading of archaic poetry
- Presents an interpretation of fragmentary (partially lost) Greek literature
- Stresses relationship of literature to social history
Reviews & endorsements
"… [a] strenuously argued and very convincing book … Ormand imbues the Hesiodic Catalogue with an energetic, coherent emotional life, and somewhat sorrowful political purpose, to a degree that I can hardly imagine being surpassed."
Eve A. Browning, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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- Date Published: April 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107035195
- length: 276 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 156 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.58kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women
2. The Catalogue and the mystery of the disappearing hedna
3. Marriage, identity, and the story of Mestra
4. Atalanta reflects the Iliad
5. Then there was the one who was Alkmene
6. The marriage of Helen and the end of the Catalogue
7. Epilogue: women, middling discourse, and the polis.
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