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Lecture 9

CLA219H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Myrrh, Mnemonic, Herodas

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Regina Hoschele

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October 5th
Lecture 9
Theocritus 3rd century BC
Hellenistic poet under the Ptolemy’s
Extant corpus of ca. 30 poems
Inventor of bucolic poetry
Bucolic poetry and setting… shepherds, farmers, herders singing about love…not
their love but others…roleplay
Virgil wrote Eclogues…. he names the Theocratic style as the above ^
Encomium = praise poem for a living person Hymn= praise poem for a god
Theocritus wrote Urban Mimes
The poems of his corpus were called Eidyllion/a …today they are called Idyll’s
This reflects the fact that they are short and no epics …
The word Idyllic … like picturesque is derived from this as bucolic poetry was
often idly set
Mimes are much less formal than drama or comedy… preformed ex tempura by
low paid improvisation actors…. low and obscene jokes … women were allowed
to act in these
First Theocritus Poem
She has been having an affair called Delphis
He does not come home for 10 days
She seeks to punish him
Simaitha invokes Hecate (associated with necromancy, the underworld and
moon) and begins to perform some sort of magic
Poem has recurring verse: “magic wheel draws my lover home to me”
The above gives the appearance of the incantation refrains are what you find
in spells
Mimetic poet = reflects the moment in which action is occurring as the
character speaks
Start of poem is filed by the incantation… second part explain who she meets
No reference to her having a father… only a slave… does she live alone?
Simaitha relives Sappho’s symptoms of love sickness
Only the erudite reader would catch the above ^
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