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The Shadow of Callimachus
Studies in the Reception of Hellenistic Poetry at Rome

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Part of Roman Literature and its Contexts

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About the Authors
  • Through a series of critical readings this book builds a picture of the Roman reaction to, and adoption of, the Greek poetry of the last three pre-Christian centuries. Although the poetry of the greatest figure of Greek poetry after Alexander, Callimachus of Cyrene, and his contemporaries stands at the heart of the book, the individual studies embrace the full scope of what remains of Hellenistic poetry, both high literary productions and the more marginal poetry, such as that in honour of the great goddess Isis. The singularity of the poetry of Catullus and Virgil, of Horace and the elegists, emerges as more rich and complex than has hitherto been appreciated. Individual studies concern the poets' declared attitudes to their own work, the figure of Dionysus/Bacchus and the poetry of world conquest, the creation of similes, and the conversion of Greek bucolic into Latin pastoral.

    • First study to take account of a recent revolution in the study of Hellenistic poetry
    • First study to consider the whole range of Greek poetry of the Hellenistic era in relation to Latin poetry
    • Provides a cultural, not just literary, history of the Roman reception of Greek literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    The Shadow of Callimachus offers a nuanced and provocative reading of Roman poetry as it struggled to find its own voice amidst the din of so many Greek masterpieces. Through his magisterial command of ancient literature and modern scholarship, everywhere in evidence in his latest book, Hunter has enhanced our appreciation of the lengths to which poets in the Late Republic and Augustan era went to emerge from the shadow and bask in a light now fully their own. --BMCR

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2007
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511258442
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from eBooks.com
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. In the grove
    2. In the grip of the god?
    3. Nothing like this before
    4. The shadows lengthen
    Afterword.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Hellenistic poetry
    • Roman Poetry
  • Author

    Richard Hunter, University of Cambridge
    Richard Hunter is Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. He has published extensively in the fields of Greek and Latin literature; his most recent books include Theocritus: A Selection (1999), Theocritus: Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus (2003), Plato's Symposium (2004), and (with M. Fantuzzi), Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry (2004).

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