Solon the Athenian, the Poetic Fragments


Solon, the first poet of Athens, had a formative influence on later poetry, including tragedy. Using an integrated literary, historical and philological approach, Maria Noussia Fantuzzi studies the poetry of Solon and offers a thorough analysis of the multifaceted art of this poet, sage and political actor and his place in the history of literature. Issues which she addresses include the transmission of the poems, the use of strategies of persuasion in the creation of an authoritative voice, and the author's immediate political and social context. As well as providing insight into Solon, her book enriches our understanding of archaic literature and the ways in which the culture of Athens was prepared for the ‘miracle’ of the fifth century.
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Biographical Note

Maria Noussia Fantuzzi, Ph.D. (1999) in Classics, University of London, is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University and Margo Tytus Fellow at the University of Cincinnati. She has published extensively on archaic and post-classical poetry and is now writing a book on the early Cynics.

Review Quotes

" Solon has always been the subject of historical and political studies, but his poetry has attracted much less interest. Now at last we have an extremely thorough treatment of both aspects. Noussia-Fantuzzi has shown that Solon is a much more competent poet than critics have often assumed. She is especially good at demonstrating his indebtedness to or deviation from earlier poets, in particular Homer and Hesiod. [...] I heartily recommend this book. It is thorough, shows balanced judgement, and provides the reader with all the tools necessary for an understanding of Solon’s poetry." Douglas E. Gerber in BMCR, 2.5.2011

"[...] this is an important and useful book, informed and thought-provoking, to be recommended, especially for students of archaic Greek poetry." Antonio Aloni in Classical World 106 (2012)

Mit dem umfangreichen Kommentar hat Noussia-Fantuzzi ein für die weitere Forschung zu Solons politischem und poetischem Werk unverzichtbares Standardwerk vorgelegt, auf das Historiker wie Philologen dankbar zurückgreifen werden. (…) Noussia-Fantuzzi bietet einen umfassenden Überblick über alle mit Solon in Zusammenhang stehenden Fragen und eine willkommene Synthese bisheriger Forschungen.” Winfried Schmitz in sehepunkte 13 (2013), Nr. 9 [15.09.2013]

Table of contents

Concordances to Previous Editions


Chapter 1 Solon's Life
Chapter 2 Solon the Sage
Chapter 3 Solon the Politician and Legislator
Chapter 4 Solon's Songs, Our Solonian Poems, and the Theognidea
Chapter 5 Solon's Imagery (Simile and Metaphor)


Index of Primary Sources
Index of Names and Topics


All those interested in classics, the pre-history of the fifth-century Athenian ‘miracle’, as well as scholars and students of law and politics, classical philologists, historians, literary critics

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