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Conflict and Consensus in Early Greek Hexameter Poetry


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English | 2017 | ISBN: 1107175747 | 238 pages | PDF | 1 MB

Achilles inflicts countless agonies on the Achaeans, although he is supposed to be fighting on their side. Odysseus' return causes civil strife on Ithaca. The Iliad and the Odyssey depict conflict where consensus should reign, as do the other major poems of the early Greek hexameter tradition: Hesiod's Theogony and the Homeric Hymns describe divine clashes that unbalance the cosmos; Hesiod's Works and Days stems from a quarrel between brothers. These early Greek poems generated consensus among audiences: the reason why they reached us is that people agreed on their value. This volume, accordingly, explores conflict and consensus from a dual perspective: as thematic concerns in the poems, and as forces shaping their early reception. It sheds new light on poetics and metapoetics, internal and external audiences, competition inside the narrative and competing narratives, local and Panhellenic traditions, narrative closure and the making of canonical literature.
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