Choral Performance and Geometric Patterns in Epic Poetry and Iconographic Representations

In: The Look of Lyric: Greek Song and the Visual
Open Access


The subject of this paper is the relationship between the visual representation of choral performance as described in some epic passages (particularly in the description of the shield of Achilles) and the iconographic language, both figured and geometric, of the Geometric period. The study of this relationship leads to the consideration of a more fundamental issue: the function of choral mimesis in the definition and organization of the space of the polis at multiple levels, physical, social and poetic, through the visual and textual projection of a limited range of symbolic, articulating images upon the watching community. In this wider sense, chorality is defined as a cultural paradigm, including both actual choral performance and its iconographic or textual representations, which underlies, beyond choral lyric, central aspects of Greek culture, particularly in the Archaic period, such as epic poetry or painted pottery.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.