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The Shadow of the ParthenonStudies in Ancient History and Literature$
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Peter Green

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255074

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255074.001.0001

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The Individual Voice

The Individual Voice

Archilochus and Sappho

(p.152) The Individual Voice
The Shadow of the Parthenon

Peter Green

University of California Press

This chapter compares Homer with Hesiod or Archilochus, the first two post-Homeric Greek poets whose work still survives. It observes that Homeric epic is not personal in its scope or presentation: it does not seek to reflect—except incidentally, through extended similes—the manners, beliefs, background, or deeds of the audience for whom it was composed. The chapter notes that the contrast which Hesiod and Archilochus presented to Homer was its Ur-form. It opines that they offer the first clear instance of that perennial swing in European literature, between formalism and realism, mandarin and vernacular, the ideal and the individual, myth making and direct observation.

Keywords:   Homer, Hesiod, Archilochus, Homeric Greek poets, similes, Ur-form, European literature

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