Abstract

This essay suggests that the Library of Alexandria emerged from poetry. The poetry of the Alexandrian avant-garde influenced the reference tool of the library, known as the Pinakes. I argue by looking at the structure of the Pinakes as a new tool—a new muse—providing artistic inspiration. Furthermore, I contend that the entries in the Pinakes also possessed poetic qualities. I conclude that the Hellenistic library in Alexandria was in fact a poetry machine, both as being poetry itself and as the means to produce poetry.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 304-318
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-08
Open Access
No
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