Of Golden Manes and Silvery Faces: The Partheneion 1 of Alcman

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Walter de Gruyter, Oct 30, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 190 pages

Ever since the papyrus containing Alcman’s Partheneion was first published in 1863, classicists have been faced with one of the hardest riddles of their scholarship. Although the language was more or less clear, the meaning of many verses and the character of the poem remained elusive. Therefore it is not surprising that during the century and a half that has elapsed since then, a large bibliography has piled up, disproportionate to the mere 101 surviving verses of the enigmatic poem. This book presents a verse-by-verse commentary to the text with a number of new textual and interpretative proposals based on a detailed inspection of the papyrus. Numerous new readings are made in particular to the Scholia to the Partheneion, greatly elucidating not only questions of interpretation but also problems concerning the composition of the chorus, the number of its members, the identity of the protagonist girls, the social context, as well as questions of performance. The girlish story that lurks in the background but actually forms the framework of the poem now becomes more clear, revealing at the same time the didactic objective of the poet. A new edition of the Partheneion and the Scholia is offered at the end, together with a new translation of the poem.



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About the author (2012)

Kyriakos Tsantsanoglou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

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