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Hellenistic Literature and Culture

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2200
Christopher Brown

Jan 18 12 Hellenistic Literature and CultureAlexandrian PoetryCultural Patronage of the PtolemiesAthens up to this point was most associated with high culture in the Greek world With the partitioning of the Empire we see the seat of culture shift to Egypt under Ptolemy especially Alexandria Athens was more of a university town and tourist location Wanted to show to the world their cultural sophistication and the rulers pursued this vigorously Ptolemy wanted to have claim to being the most sophisticate and so he undertook missions to transform the cultural landscape rdLibrary of Alexandria was one of these projects and was founded by Ptolemy early in the 3 century BCE This was a new idea in the Greek world Wanted all books and he spent much of his wealth to have them brought to the city Everything was catalogued by Callimachus There were some problems because the scrolls were hard to handle Scholar who worked at the library sent out people to bring back texts of epics but they were all different in their recordings and so the librarians edited texts and they tried to make texts as the author wrote it This was important because it became the source for these masterpieces of Greek literature for the rest of antiquity The Museum of Alexandria The PlaceShrine of the Muses was another project Was a sort of thinktank for some of the greatest scholar of the day that was sort of like a university This greatly changed culture and literature and was quite elitistRoyal patronage provided scholars the time to do scholarly things as well as creative ones because many were poetsLiterary Culture in Alexandria
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