Abstract

This paper treats a topos found in Greek poetry from the archaic to the Hellenistic period, involving a confrontation between antagonistic and contrasting species of birds. Tracing the continuities and distinctions among the uses of the conceit in Hesiod, Pindar, and Callimachus, I argue that on each occasion it serves poets as a means of articulating their literary personae and the ethical, stylistic, and generic choices shaping their compositions. Not just a means of poetic polemic, self-definition, and self-positioning, the avian terms used within the conceit also come to figure in the literary critical vocabulary of the late fifth century and its redeployment in Hellenistic times.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3168
Print ISSN
0002-9475
Pages
pp. 177-208
Launched on MUSE
2007-07-25
Open Access
No
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