Poetic And Performative Memory In Ancient Greece

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Overview


Philosophers have often reflected on the Ancient Greeks' concepts of time, but an anthropological approach is necessary to understand their practical concept of time as tied to space. The Greeks not only spoke of time unfolding in a specific space, but also projected the past upon the future in order to make it active in the social practice of the present. Hesiod's history of humanity was intended to establish justice in the modern city; Bacchylides sang the celebration of the Athenian hero Theseus in a present-day cultic and ideological framework; the city of Cyrene used the heroic act of its founding to reaffirm its civic identity; and the Greeks embossed poetic texts on leaves of gold to ensure the ritual passage of the dead to a blessed afterlife. Explicating these examples, Poetic and Performative Memory in Ancient Greece shows how the Ancient Greeks' collective memory was based on a remarkable faculty for the creation of ritual and narrative symbols.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674021242
  • Publisher: The Center for Hellenic Studies
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Series: Hellenic Studies Series , #18
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Claude Calame is Directeur d'Études, L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
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Table of Contents

Foreword

I. SPATIAL-TEMPORAL POETICS OF THE PAST IN ANCIENT GREECE

1. Prelude: A Historian's Tensions ("tensions historiennes") relative to the present

2. Pragmatics of spatial-temporal representations

2.1. Philosophical temporalities

2.2. The double articulation of calendar time

2.3. The question of putting-into-discourse

2.4. The enunciative dimension

2.5. Inescapable pragmatics

3. Interlude: between places and acts of memory

4. From the time of historiopoiesis to historic space: Herodotus

4.1. A spatial-temporal investigation

4.2. Pragmatic aspects of enunciation

5. A historiographic semiotics of indices: Thucydides

5.1. About traces

5.2. Greek prefigurations of time: the semeia

5.3. Sight and hearing: recent history

5.4. The role of images

5.5. Return to poietics

6. For an anthropological historiography

6.1. Interfering temporalities, converging approaches

6.2. Possible worlds and historicity of belief communities

6.3. Regimes of historicity and logics of temporality

6.4. Enunciation and regimes of identity

7. Comparative triangles

II. THE SUCCESSION OF AGES AND POETIC PRAGMATICS OF JUSTICE: HESIOD'S NARRATIVE OF THE FIVE HUMAN SPECIES

1. Object and method: from structural analysis to discursive study

2. Narrative time development (deroulement): enunciation and argumentation

2.1. A narrative and poetic prelude

2.2. The concern of the beginning: between Homeric Hymns and historiography

2.3. Spatial-temporal structures and logics

2.3.1. Men of gold: guardians of mortals

2.3.2. The men of silver: blessed chthonians

2.3.3. The men of bronze: self-destruction and anonymity

2.3.4. The Age of Heroes: marked space and time

2.3.5. The men of iron: a prophetic future

2.4. Narrative and poetic context

2.4.1. Narrative of Pandora and the jar of Hope

2.4.2. The fable of the the hawk and the nightingale as argument

2.4.3. Poetic effect, between justice and life resources

2.5. Enunciative polyphony and the voice of the poet

2.5.1. The poet's word of authority and hope

2.5.2. Communication, poetic genre, and the city

3. The hazards of comparison: "comparing the incomparable"?

3.1. Comparatist incursions between Indo-European and Semitic references

3.2. Daniel and the vetero-testamentary dream of Nebuchadnezzar

4. The hic et nunc of a didactic poem

III. CREATION OF GENDER AND HEROIC IDENTITY BETWEEN LEGEND AND CULT: THE POLITICAL CREATION OF THESEUS BY BACCHYLIDES

1. Sexual social relationships and spatial-temporal representations

1.1. Enunciation of representations of gender

1.2. Temporalities between line and circl

2. Narrative movements in time and space

2.1. Essay on semio-narrative analysis

2.2. From ordeal to tribal initiation ritual

2.3. Erotic images

2.4. Aphrodite and marriage

3. From the Aegean Sea to the banks of the Sepik: comparisons

3.1. Masculine tribal initiation: the Iatmuls

3.2. Puberty rites for girls: the Abelams

4. The practices of enunciative poetry

4.1. Time and space recounted in the spatial-temporal frame of enunciation

4.2. Signature, aition, and poetic genre

4.3. The poetic legimitization of a maritime "empire"

4.4. Symbolic births from the sea and iconography

IV. REGIMES OF HISTORICITY AND ORACULAR LOGIC: HOW TO RE-FOUND A COLONIAL CITY?

1. Cyclical and philosophical temporalities

2. A doubly-founding document

3. Temporal and enunciative architecture

3.1. The first section: "God. Good fortune."

3.1.1. The narrative of the act of foundation

3.1.2. The consecration of the decree of Cyrene

3.2. The second section: "Oath of the Founders"

3.2.1. The contractual decree of foundation

3.2.2. Contract, imprecation, and ritual gesture

3.3. Temporal-spatial networks

4. Time of the oracles and time of the citizen

5. Weaving space and time between Delphi and Cyrene

V. RITUAL AND INITIATORY ITINERARIES TOWARD THE AFTERLIFE: TIME, SPACE, AND PRAGMATICS IN THE GOLD LAMELLAE

1. Neo-mystical aspirations

2. The spatial-temporal itinerary of a dead woman at Hipponion

2.1. Narration and enunciation

2.1.1. An incipit in the form of a sphragis

2.1.2. The two springs

2.1.3. Declaration of identity

2.1.4. The four elements

2.1.5. Access to the realm of the blessed

2.2. Enunciative pragmatics: the funerary context

2.2.1. The poetic workings of gender

2.2.2. A few intertextual echoes

2.3. Initiatory itinerary under the aegis of Dionysus

2.3.1. Initiates' shortcuts in Hades

2.3.2. Mystes and bacchant: a preliminary status

3. Modalities of funerary initiation

3.1. Thourioi: purity and divine felicity

3.2. Pelinna: falling into milk and metaphor

4. From Bacchus to Orpheus: comparisons and contrasts

4.1. Original sin and Christian expiation

4.2. Iconographic representations of the Underworld

4.3. Orpheus and Dionysus as musicians

4.4. Dionsysus, excluding Orpheus

5. Passwords for a collective funerary identity

VI. BY WAY OF CONCLUSION: RETURNS TO THE PRESENT

VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY

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