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On Kinesias’ Musicopoetic Paranomia

In: Greek and Roman Musical Studies
Author:
Theodora A. Hadjimichael Institute of Advanced Study and Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick

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Abstract

In this article I focus on the New Poet Kinesias and on the ways in which he was depicted, ridiculed, and criticized in our sources. I contextualize his depiction as a poetic and musical corrupter and as a thin and disabled individual within the criticism of the New Music in late fifth- and early fourth-century philosophical works, namely those by Plato and Aristotle, to argue that he was considered the poet who embodied the musicopoetic paranomia and the lack of orthotēs in the New Music. I also bring into my analysis a fragment from a speech of Lysias against Kinesias, where I focus on the accusations against the poet, in order to show that both his political actions (as described in the fragment and in Athenaeus who transmits the passage) and his experimentations with the chorus and with poetic performances were interpreted as a threat to the coherence and stability of the community.

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