Cosmology and the Polis: The Social Construction of Space and Time in the Tragedies of Aeschylus

Cosmology and the Polis: The Social Construction of Space and Time in the Tragedies of Aeschylus

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by Richard Seaford
     
 

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This book further develops Professor Seaford's innovative work on the study of ritual and money in the developing Greek polis. It employs the concept of the chronotope, which refers to the phenomenon whereby the spatial and temporal frameworks explicit or implicit in a text have the same structure and uncovers various such chronotopes in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter

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Overview

This book further develops Professor Seaford's innovative work on the study of ritual and money in the developing Greek polis. It employs the concept of the chronotope, which refers to the phenomenon whereby the spatial and temporal frameworks explicit or implicit in a text have the same structure and uncovers various such chronotopes in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in particular the tragedies of Aeschylus. Mikhail Bakhtin's pioneering use of the chronotope was in literary analysis. This study by contrast derives the variety of chronotopes manifest in Greek texts from the variety of socially integrative practices in the developing polis – notably reciprocity, collective ritual, and monetised exchange. In particular, the tragedies of Aeschylus embodies the reassuring absorption of the new and threatening monetised chronotope into the traditional chronotope that arises from collective ritual with its aetiological myth.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This is an important work that redefines our conception of central categories of early Greek thought: space, time, ritual, and money. It will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in the areas of classical Greek literature, Greek history, philosophy, and theatre.' Vayos Liapis, The Classical Journal

'The five parts of this ambitious book examine the chronotopes in Homer and archaic Athenian society, money and ritual in the Dionysiac festival, the chronotopes in Aeschylus's plays … the unity of opposites in Aeschylus's theology and Heraclitus's cosmology, and the sociocultural implications of the Pythagorean way of life and Pythagorean opposites in Aeschylus's Oresteia. This brilliant study opens up new vistas on old problems.' J. Bussanich, Choice Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107470729
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/01/2015
Pages:
382
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.79(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Seaford is Professor of Ancient Greek at the University of Exeter. His publications range from Homer to the New Testament and include commentaries on Euripides' Cyclops (1984) and Euripides' Bacchae (1996), Reciprocity and Ritual: Homer and Tragedy and the Developing City-State (1994) and Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy (2004). In 2009 he was President of the Classical Association.

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