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Talking BooksReadings in Hellenistic and Roman Books of Poetry$
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G. O. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279418

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279418.001.0001

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Hellenistic Epic and Homeric Form *

Hellenistic Epic and Homeric Form *

(p.66) 3 Hellenistic Epic and Homeric Form*
Talking Books

G. O. Hutchinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter looks at the relation of Homeric structures to Callimachus' Hecale and Apollonius' Argonautica. It starts from criticism of the time, and from the ideas of Aristotle on Homer and unity. These ideas present a point of reference for Hellenistic poets; but they also obscure the importance in Homer and these poets of ‘parataxis’, of expressive sequences of parallel items. Apollonius' work, forcefully articulated into books, creates a paratactic combination of one and many, complicated by a single ‘trial’ in Colchis. Book-structure and other structuring highlights multiple perspectives. The Hecale plays with ‘one’, ‘two’, and double perspectives in a single work. The poets diverge from Homer and match Homer's depth; they are both experimental and ethically searching.

Keywords:   Aristotle, unity, Callimachus, Hecale, Apollonius, Argonautica, parataxis, Homer, criticism, perspectives

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