Simonides, ca. 556-467 B.C. -- Knowledge -- Sculpture, Greek.
In a frequently quoted passage preserved in Plato's Protagoras, Simonides asserts that it is difficult to become "a truly good man, fashioned foursquare (tetragonos)." Previous commentators have associated the term tetragonos with Pythagoreanism. More probably, Simonides and his readers connected the term with sculpture, specifically, with the herms that were erected by Hipparkhos and symbolized Peisistratid championship of the common man. Sculptors employed square grids in planning their works. Herms became very common in late archaic Athens and were distinguished by their rectilinear shafts. Simonides' reference to the difficulty of being perfect in hands and feet seems to make the allusion certain.
Wasps is Aristophanes' most explicit treatment of Athenian legal practices and forensic rhetoric—its psychological nature as well as its political implications. In Wasps, legal metaphors become literal, as Aristophanes transforms his stage into a court, interweaving the Athenian citizen's identity as a juror into the play's dramatic core. This paper attempts to show that Wasps participates in a democratic discourse on citizen identity by subjecting the citizen—who he is and what he becomes when persuaded—to a close and politically-charged scrutiny, offering in the process a distinctive image of the culture of persuasion in the Athenian democracy.
Stroup, Sarah Culpepper.
Designing Women: Aristophanes' Lysistrata and the "Hetairization" of the Greek Wife [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Wives in literature.
Sex in literature.
In this paper I argue that the sexually active wives of Aristophanes' Lysistrata are progressively "hetairized"—transformed into comic hetairai—by means of distinctly sympotic visual imagery and linguistic innuendo.
After a brief discussion of the late fifth-century dramatic "problem" inherent in the sex-trading wife, I turn to the pan-Hellenic oath (193-237). The language of this oath, evocative of the imagery of red-figure sympotic vessels, initiates the women into the sphere of sympotic and hetairic activity. Next, I review the transaction scene between Myrrhine and her husband, Kinesias (847-64, 929-34). I argue that this scene, long recognized as "reminiscent" of brothel negotiations, picks up on the innuendo of the oath and puts it to the test with the bawdy language that likely marked a more typical representation of the comic hetaira. Finally, I suggest that both the "hetairization" and the theme of extra-domestic female activity are brought to an end with the coarse physical division of the silent (and "non-wifely") Diallagê (1108-21). In a manipulation of the slippage between wife and non-wife—between sex and politics—the sharable Diallagê incites her "customers" to transfer their sexual appetites toward a civic goal.
Two papers explore understudied aspects of the Metamorphoses' Marsyas narrative. The first links the passage's interest in imitation to the play between generic codes and ultimately to the position of its author as an Augustan poet, who, like the satyr, always risked appearing as the mere borrower of the language and images of his superiors. The second analyzes intratextual connections with other passages in the poem, where Ovid could create his own poetic space; the paper then offers new frameworks for interpreting the satyr's fate.
Through a simultaneous reading of the Thebaid and the Silvae, this paper demonstrates that Statius co-opts the feminine genre of lamentation—traditionally constructed as dangerous and excessive—in order to seduce his audience with the grim pleasure of indulging in grief. By moving women's voices closer to the center of his epic poem than Vergil did in the Aeneid, Statius turns the Thebaid into a platform of consolatory public discourse similar to the consolationes in the Silvae. In his poetic creations, he gives voice to silenced pain in opposition to the program of the philosophical consolatio, which had relegated violent laments to a position outside the scope of civilized self-expression. Through the transforming power of art, Statius sublimates the expression of human pain and grief into a cathartic consolatio.