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The Emergence of the Lyric Canon$
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Theodora A. Hadjimichael

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810865.001.0001

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Towards a Written Text

Towards a Written Text

(p.171) 5 Towards a Written Text
The Emergence of the Lyric Canon

Theodora A. Hadjimichael

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 considers the materiality of lyric poems, and discusses the coexistence of lyric song with the availability and circulation of lyric texts both within and outside Athens. The analysis presents the fifth-century literary and archaeological evidence on the existence of various kinds of books in everyday life, and distinguishes between public availability of (lyric) texts in Athenian book markets and copies owned by individuals in private book collections. No reference is ever made to book-rolls with lyric poetry in the market in our sources, and it is difficult to argue that lyric texts circulated widely in Athens. It is, however, possible that they were part of Athenian private collections. The discussion also concentrates on the sociology of lyric reception and transmission in democratic Athens. Our sources suggest that canonical sixth- and fifth-century lyric remained a favourite of the ‘elite’ and intellectuals, who would have preserved these poems as both text and song.

Keywords:   Greek lyric poetry, materiality of text, lyric text, lyric song, book market, private book collection, sociology of lyric reception

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