The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West: Epinician, Oral Tradition, and the Deinomenid Empire - Greeks Overseas (Hardback)Nigel Nicholson (author)
Hardback 376 Pages / Published: 05/11/2015
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The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West examines the relationship between epinician and the heroizing narratives about athletes, or "hero-athlete narratives, " that circulated orally in Sicily and Italy in the late archaic and early classical period. Drawing on the colorful stories told about athletes in later sources, the fragments of Simonides and the surviving odes of Pindar and Bacchylides, it argues that epinician was formed in opposition to orally transmitted narratives and that these two forms-epinician and the "hero-athlete narrative "-promoted opposed political visions, with epinician promoting the Deinomenid empire and its structures and the hero-athlete narrative opposing Deinomenid rule. Combining an intimate knowledge of the material culture of the Greek West with an innovative use of available source material, The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West exposes the rich intersections between athletics and politics in Sicily and Italy, offering a new and compelling account of Deinomenid self-promotion and of the varied and complex communities that operated under Deinomenids' control or within their shadow. Further, by establishing models of production and interpretation for the orally transmitted narratives and bringing them into dialogue with epinician, The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West reveals much about epinician as a form, how it developed in the West, what meanings it already carried and what meanings it accrued as it was appropriated by Hieron after Gelon's death.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 666 g
Dimensions: 237 x 166 x 26 mm
"Nicholson meticulously demonstrates that athletic victors adopted a particular stance toward the Deinomenid empire when they chose to be honored either in epinician or through oral narratives. Decoding for the first time the politicization of these competing genres in the Greek west, this book will be required reading for all interested in the ideological operations of ancient Greek literature." -Margaret Foster, Indiana University
"This is a brilliant book. Nicholson combines breathtaking control of the history, archaeology, numismatics, and topography of Sicily and South Italy with an ambitious new model of epinician and local oral narratives as co-existing, competing forms. The result is a richly textured account of the politics of form in the history of the Greek West." -Leslie Kurke, University of California, Berkeley
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