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Solon and Early Greek Poetry
The Politics of Exhortation

Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521101493

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About the Authors
  • Examining the interaction between poetics and politics in ancient Greece's archaic period, in relationship to the work of Solon, this volume argues that, in general, the political expressions of martial exhortation elegy were aristocratic in nature and that the symposiasts attempted to assert a heroic identity on the wider polis community. The study demonstrates how Solon's poetry subverts this practice, using the poetic traditions of epic and Hesiod to further different political aims. It concludes by looking beyond the confines of Solon's poetic appropriations to argue for other influences on his poetry, in particular that of tyranny.

    • Examines the relationship between archaic Greek poetry and political culture
    • Offers close readings, especially of the works of Solon
    • Explores the context of performance, especially the symposium
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "To reveal all the many virtues of this splendid book would require a multi-page review. It must suffice to say that not only is I.'s book important for understanding some of Solon's poetry and the political and ocial conditions in Athens during his lifetime, but also for much earlier poetry, especially Homer (with particular emphasis on the Odyssey), Hesiod and Tyrtaeus. The bibliography is extensive (22 pages!) and the index is thorough."
    Douglas E. Gerber, University of Western Ontario, The Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521101493
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. The Politics of Exhortation: Introduction
    1. Understanding the political in martial exhortation
    2. Synthesising content and context
    3. Contextualising the city: archaic verse inscriptions and the 'rise' of the polis
    Part II. Political Poetics: Solon's Eunomia: Introduction
    4. Solon 4 and martial poetry
    5. Solon's Odyssey
    6. Solon 4 and Hesiod
    Part III. Poetry and Political Culture: Introduction
    7. Solon and the language of the tyrant
    8. Rewriting (some) history: Solon and Peisistratus
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Elizabeth Irwin, Columbia University, New York
    Elizabeth Irwin is Research Fellow at Girton College Cambridge. She is the author of articles on Greek literature and a contributor to The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (editor Richard Hunter) (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

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