This dissertation investigates how Augustan poetry imagines, redefines and reconfigures the idea of the chorus. It argues that the chorus, a quintessential marker of Greek culture, was translated and transformed into a peculiarly Roman phenomenon whereby poets invented their relationship with an imagined past and implicated it in the present. Augustan poets, I suggest, created a sustained and intensely intertextual choral poetics that played into contemporary poetic debates about the power of writing versus song and the complexity of responding to performance culture through multiple layers of written tradition.
From archaic Sparta to classical Athens the chorus was a pervasive feature of Greek social and cultural life. Until now, however, its reception in Roman literature and culture has been little appreciated. This book examines how the chorus is reimagined in a brief but crucial period in the history of Latin literature, the early Augustan period from 30 to 10 BCE. It argues that in the work of Horace, Virgil, and Propertius, the language and imagery of the chorus articulate some of their most pressing concerns surrounding social and literary belonging in a rapidly changing Roman world. By re-examining seminal Roman texts such as Horace's Odes and Virgil's Aeneid from this fresh perspective, the book connects the history of musical culture with Augustan poetry's interrogation of fundamental questions surrounding the relationship between individual and community, poet and audience, performance and writing, Greek and Roman, and tradition and innovation.
"This chapter provides an overview of the Muses in Greek mythology and argues that their multiplicity, their indefinite number, their lack of fixed personalities and their metapoetic status make them highly unusual members of the Olympian pantheon. As the embodiment of music and the means by which music is channelled to human beings they are essential to our understanding of the meaning of mousikē in Greek culture. Above all their origins in an oral society foregrounds the performative nature of music which has characterised it as an art form throughout the ages"--
Why did the Greeks of the archaic and early Classical period join in choruses that sang and danced on public and private occasions? This book offers a wide-ranging exploration of representations of chorality in the poetry, art and material remains of early Greece in order to demonstrate the centrality of the activity in the social, religious and technological practices of individuals and communities. Moving from a consideration of choral archetypes, among them cauldrons, columns, Gorgons, ships and halcyons, the discussion then turns to an investigation of how participation in choral song and dance shaped communal experience and interacted with a variety of disparate spheres that include weaving, cataloguing, temple architecture and inscribing. The study ends with a treatment of the role of choral activity in generating epiphanies and allowing viewers and participants access to realms that typically lie beyond their perception.
“Ancient Greek dance” traditionally evokes images of stately choruses or lively Dionysiac revels – communal acts of performance. This is the first book to look beyond the chorus to the diverse and complex representation of solo dancers in Archaic and Classical Greek literature. It argues that dancing alone signifies transgression and vulnerability in the Greek cultural imagination, as isolation from the chorus marks the separation of the individual from a range of communal social structures. It also demonstrates that the solo dancer is a powerful figure for literary exploration and experimentation, highlighting the importance of the singular dancing body in the articulation of poetic, narrative, and generic interests across Greek literature. Taking a comparative approach and engaging with current work in dance and performance studies, this book reveals the profound literary and cultural importance of the unruly solo dancer in the ancient Greek world.
In Greek mythology, the Muses are Memory's daughters. Their genealogy suggests a deep connection between music and memory in Graeco-Roman culture, but how was this connection understood and experienced by ancient authors, artists, performers, and audiences? How is music remembered and how does it memorialize in a world before recording technology, where sound accumulated differently than it does today? This volume explores music's role in the discourses of cultural memory, communication, and commemoration in ancient Greek and Roman societies. It reveals the many and varied ways in which musical memory formed a fundamental part of social, cultural, ritual, and political life in ancient Greek- and Latin-speaking communities, from classical Athens to Ptolemaic Alexandria and ancient Rome. Drawing on the contributors' interdisciplinary expertise in art history, philology, performance studies, history, and ethnomusicology, eleven original chapters and the editors' Introduction offer new approaches for the study of Graeco-Roman music and musical culture.
Choreonarratives rethinks dance’s potential for narrating stories and explores new intersections between perspectives of classicists, dance scholars, and dance artists. Discussions of ancient and modern examples enlighten dance’s capacity to represent storyworlds, rewrite traditional narratives, and inspire new ones.
This book constructs a history of Alcman’s early reception from the Archaic times until the Hellenistic period, from the composition of his poetry until its first attested systematic edition, taking into consideration the existence of a tradition of partheneia and its implications. Can it be suggested that the emerging book culture killed the “song culture”? Was Alcman an archetypal prototype of an archaic genre (partheneia) and regarded as a historical figure? This book answers such questions, arguing that the tradition of partheneia was never powerful enough, especially outside Sparta, in order to completely absorb the poet.