About the Authors
This is a stimulaing, informative book. Do not be deterred by the many pages given to theoretical and methodological discussions early on: they undergrind the specific readings that follow, of Archilochus and Pindar, Sappho and Anacreon, and the rest; and Gentili enlivens the more abstract considerations suggested in his titles ('the poetry of mimesis,' 'the sociology of meaning') with incisive illustrations and analogies. He keeps us aware of contexts: social and political, economic and cultural. His sense of poet and audience is acute, imaginative, philologically responsible, and humane.
This superb and fascinating book insists upon trying to place the poetry of Sappho, Alcaeus, Pindar, Archilochus, and others within its social and ritual contexts: oral performance, patron/poet relationship, and religious or communal function. Considering the evidence, such efforts must at times rely upon inspiration, but the close textual readings of individual poems, judicious use of anthropological method, and inclusion of many of the recently discovered fragments creates a vivid picture. A book that will be with us for years to come.
Other Titles by A. Thomas Cole
Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / Ancient & Classical
Other Titles in Classical history / classical civilisation