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By Martin L. West

*From Preface


In Iambi et E legt Graeci (Oxford, 1971-2) i've got gathered the continues to be of pre-Alexandrian elegy and iambus. the current experiences are a spinoff of the version and meant to be learn together with it. to some degree they're an apologia for it, in that they serve to give an explanation for the various offerings I made, in appreciate of inclusion or exclusion of fabric, association, and textual questions. to a point they require an apologia themselves. They flagrantly lack homogeneity and formal cohesion: the harmony is within the box of research. i would possibly have written a extra encyclopaedic publication or observation on those poets, which might were larger proportioned and extra extensively bought, basically I had now not the tummy for it. All i wished was once to post what I needed to say that was once new. i may have performed so in a sequence of articles; yet in addition to including to congestion in periodicals, that may without doubt were much less handy when you have an interest in those concerns. i'm wakeful, in particular due to the fact interpreting the proofs, that i've got occasionally said my perspectives in a slightly compressed and elliptical method. i will be able to in basic terms desire that this has now not ended in actual obscurity. The reader who unearths it making an attempt might locate it a convenience to mirror how a lot he or his library may have needed to pay for the booklet if I had written extra spaciously. i'd were extra ashamed of the other fault. i have to thank the publishers and their editors for accepting the paintings for this sequence, and for the care they've got taken over its production.

Oxford, March 1974
M. L. West

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Extra info for Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte : Studies in Greek Elegy and Iambus

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The period at which this happened was one at which Greek literature was coming to be ruled by the concept of the genre. Here now, in Epigram, was a classic genre available to all for imitation. C. the imitators are hard at work. Since its interest was literary, it did not matter that the old epigram was destined for inscription on stone, while the new one was not. But once that difference was disregarded, the distinction between επιγράμματα and the poems of Mimnermus and others now known as έλεγεΐαι appeared most conspicuously as a distinction between short, neat pieces encapsulating the essence of some personal affair, and longer, discursive compositions in which the poet's personal situation usually formed the framework, but the substance was supplied by general reflections or (as particularly in the case of Antimachus' Lyde) mythology.

60-61. 1; 7. 220. 3). When he says that Archilochus mentioned Gyges εν ίάμβω τριμέτρω (1. 12. 2), he is surely not using 'ίαμβος with reference to the rhythm but simply to the nature of the poem; likewise when Aristotle cites it with the formula εν τω ίάμβω ου ή αρχή. We cannot tell whether the 'three-measure iambi' have yet been separated from those in other metres (for Herodotus' aim is to exhibit his technical knowledge of metrical terminology rather than to direct the reader to the passage), nor whether he would have applied the term iambus to a poem such as fr.

Some people arriving at a wine-shop find it being swept with the bottom end of a thorn-burnet for lack of a broom (79. 20). Copulation takes place on the floor (84. 9, cf. 62). The gods are approached in a spirit of base materialism, with prayers that cannot be anything but deliberately comic in their juxtaposition of solemn form and banal content: Zeus, father Zeus, Olympian gods' sultan, wherefore hast thou not given me lots of money ? ) Hermes, dear Hermes, Cyllenian son of Maia, hear thou my prayer, for I am frozen terrible, my teeth are chattering .

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