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Poetry as Window and Mirror

Positioning the Poet in Hellenistic Poetry

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Jacqueline Klooster

Hellenistic Poetry has enjoyed a notable re-appreciation in recent years and received ample scholarly discussion, especially focusing on its reception and innovation of Greek poetic tradition. This book wishes to add to our picture of how Hellenistic poetry works by looking at it from a slightly different angle. Concentrating on the interaction between contemporary poets, it attempts to view the dynamics of imitation and reception in the light of poetical self-positioning. In the courtly Alexandrian surroundings, choosing a poetic model and affiliation determines one's position in the cultural field. This book sets out to chart, not only the well-known complexities of handling the poetic past, but especially their relation to the poetic interaction of the Hellenistic, in particular Alexandrian poets.
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Series:

Jacqueline Klooster

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Series:

Jacqueline Klooster

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Jacqueline Klooster

Abstract

Solon is the subject of both a Plutarchan biography (Solon) and a philosophical dialogue (Convivium septem sapientium). In this article I argue that Plutarch creates a precedent for his authorial persona of wise but modest adviser of the ruling class under the Roman empire in the figure of the Athenian sage Solon, presumably inspired by the fact that Herodotus used Solon as a text-internal alter ego. To this end I analyze in particular how Plutarch represents Solon’s way of dealing with rulers and tyrants (Pisistratus, Philocyprus, Croesus, Periander). I ask whether in this Solon can be considered successful or not, and why. I submit that Plutarch’s representation of Solon aims to provide authority to some of the remarkable aspects of his authorial persona, in particular its emphatic modesty and pragmatism with regard to absolute rule. Plutarch does this in particular by showing that it was a time-honoured and respectable practice for wise Greeks to act as advisor to rulers, even tyrants.