Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts / Edition 1

Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts / Edition 1

5.0 5
by Peter T. Struck
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691116970

ISBN-13: 9780691116976

Pub. Date: 04/05/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Nearly all of us have studied poetry and been taught to look for the symbolic as well as literal meaning of the text. Is this the way the ancients saw poetry? In Birth of the Symbol, Peter Struck explores the ancient Greek literary critics and theorists who invented the idea of the poetic "symbol."

The book notes that Aristotle and his followers did not

…  See more details below

Overview

Nearly all of us have studied poetry and been taught to look for the symbolic as well as literal meaning of the text. Is this the way the ancients saw poetry? In Birth of the Symbol, Peter Struck explores the ancient Greek literary critics and theorists who invented the idea of the poetic "symbol."

The book notes that Aristotle and his followers did not discuss the use of poetic symbolism. Rather, a different group of Greek thinkers--the allegorists--were the first to develop the notion. Struck extensively revisits the work of the great allegorists, which has been underappreciated. He links their interest in symbolism to the importance of divination and magic in ancient times, and he demonstrates how important symbolism became when they thought about religion and philosophy. "They see the whole of great poetic language as deeply figurative," he writes, "with the potential always, even in the most mundane details, to be freighted with hidden messages."

Birth of the Symbol offers a new understanding of the role of poetry in the life of ideas in ancient Greece. Moreover, it demonstrates a connection between the way we understand poetry and the way it was understood by important thinkers in ancient times.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691116976
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/05/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
3112
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments xi

Introduction

The Genealogy of the Symbolic 1

1

Symbols and Riddles:

Allegorical Reading and the Boundaries of the Text 21

2

Beginnings to 300 b.c.e.: Meaning from the Void of Chance and the Silence of the Secret 77

3

From the Head of Zeus: The Birth of the Literary Symbol 111

4

Swallowed Children and Bound Gods: The Diffusion of the Literary Symbol 142

5

300 b.c.e.-200 c.e.: The Symbol as Ontological Signifier 162

6

Iamblichus and the Defense of Ritual: Talismanic Symbols 204

7

Moonstones and Men That Glow: Proclus and the Talismanic Signifier 227

Epilogue

Symbol Traces: Post-Proclean Theories 254

Appendix

Chrysippus's Reading and Authorial Intention: The Case of the Mural at Samos 279

Bibliography of Ancient Authors 283

Bibliography of Modern Authors 285

Index Locorum 297

General Index 311

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Birth of the Symbol - Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Greek letters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&Delta
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&Theta &Gamma &Pi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Orphan