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Philodemus: On Poems, Book 1

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Philodemus: On Poems, Book 1

Format

Paperback

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Philodemus: On Poems, Book 1
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Description

The On Poems by Philodemus (c.110-35 BC), the Epicurean philosopher and poet who taught Virgil and influenced Horace, is our main source for Hellenistic literary theory. In Book 1 Philodemus summarizes a survey of previously unknown poetic and aesthetic theories. Compiled by Crates of Mallos this survey reviews the critical theories of earlier Epicureans, Peripatetics, and Stoics, who argued in some way that sound is the source of poetic excellence, and that the ear, unaided by the mind, can judge it. Philodemus led the reaction against this invasion of Hellenistic literary criticism by musical theory, arguing that form and content are interrelated, and that substantive content, not pretty sound, is what makes poetry worthwhile. The 200 fragments of Book 1 were entirely jumbled after its discovery at the site of Vesuvius' destruction of Herculaneum. This edition reconstitutes their original sequence, according to a new method, while exploiting previously unknown manuscript sources and new techniques for reading the extant pieces. In thus restoring this important aesthetic treatise from antiquity, it makes a major addition to the corpus of classical literature.

Author Biography

Richard Janko is Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Release date NZ
April 1st, 2003
Contributor
Edited by Richard Janko
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
16 halftone plates
Imprint
Oxford University Press
Pages
616
Dimensions
155x234x32
ISBN-13
9780199262854
Product ID
2248422

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