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Tombs of the Ancient PoetsBetween Literary Reception and Material Culture$
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Nora Goldschmidt and Barbara Graziosi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826477.001.0001

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Simonides on Tombs, and the ‘Tomb of Simonides’

Simonides on Tombs, and the ‘Tomb of Simonides’

(p.51) 2 Simonides on Tombs, and the ‘Tomb of Simonides’
Tombs of the Ancient Poets

Richard Rawles

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with the observation that inscribed texts were memorized and orally transmitted. This insight provides the key for a reading of Callimachus’ ‘Tomb of Simonides’—itself a reading of Simonides’ own response to the poetics of inscribed epigram (and of his role as the inventor of memory techniques). The chapter argues that Callimachus presents Simonides’ tomb not as an epitaph, but as a ‘meta-epitaph’—an elegy which is not itself inscribed, but describes the loss of an inscribed tombstone: liberated from the tomb that once covered his body, the voice of Simonides now speaks through Callimachus’ verse.

Keywords:   Simonides, Callimachus, tomb, epitaph, delapidarization

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