Arion's Lyre examines how Hellenistic poetic culture adapted, reinterpreted, and transformed Archaic Greek lyric through a complex process of textual, cultural, and creative reception. Looking at the ways in which the poetry of Sappho, Alcaeus, Ibycus, Anacreon, and Simonides was preserved, edited, and read by Hellenistic scholars and poets, the book shows that Archaic poets often look very different in the new social, cultural, and political setting of Hellenistic Alexandria. For example, the Alexandrian Sappho evolves from the singer of Archaic Lesbos but has distinct associations and contexts, from Ptolemaic politics and Macedonian queens to the new phenomenon of the poetry book and an Alexandrian scholarship intent on preservation and codification. A study of Hellenistic poetic culture and an interpretation of some of the Archaic poets it so lovingly preserved, Arion's Lyre is also an examination of how one poetic culture reads another--and how modern readings of ancient poetry are filtered and shaped by earlier readings.
Benjamin Acosta-Hughes is professor of Greek and Latin at Ohio State University. He is the author of "Polyeideia: The Iambi of Callimachus and the Archaic Iambic Tradition".
Preface xi Abbreviations xv Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Preserving Her Aeolic Song: Traces of Alexandrian Sappho 12 Chapter 2: Lyric into Elegy: Sappho Again 62 Chapter 3: Alcaeus: Voice and Metaphor of the Symposium 105 Chapter 4: From Samos to Alexandria: Earlier Court Poets and Their Legacies 141 Chapter 5: Simonides Recalled: Imitations of a Poikilos Original 171 Epilogue: Lyric Transformed 214 References Cited 221 Index Locorum 239 Subject Index 247