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Apollonius of Rhodes.docx

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CLAS 430

 The Argonautica The Intellectual Context: a. Third Century BC Ptolemaic Alexandria i. Alexandria got named from Alexander the Great. Egypt ii. Last Ptolemy was Cleopatra. iii. Alexander & his generals were Macedonians. Not considered very sophisticated to Greeks. Thought they were uneducated and uneducable. Did not respect. iv. Created largest library of ancient world. v. Plato set up his academy at a grove sacred to an Athenian hero. Aristotle, his student, when founded his own school set up near a sanctuary Apollo. b. Mouseion in the Library i. Near sanctuary of Muses – 9 goddesses of art and literature ii. Trying to create institution imitating Plato and Aristotle. Gives literary merit. iii. Where do you put incoming texts? First time in Greek culture that books were organized by genre. iv. Copies of books were handwritten. c. Reconstruction of the Classical Texts i. Realized that some of texts were different because they were copied differently. May have inserted different word, some lines were lost, some words uncertain of meaning. d. Homeric Studies i. Major industrial industry in Homeric studies. Scholars coming from all over, funded by Ptolemy, to decipher. o Apollonius chief librarian. e. Writing as Rewriting i. Originality was telling old mythic stories in new way. ii. No new myths. iii. Updating classical texts. f. Mixing of Genres i. i.e western  opera. The Poet:  Born around 295 BC  Chief Librarian 260-247 BC a. Ancient biographies written as moral stories. Not as a history. Many biographies were written influenced by their writing. i.e. writing about Shakespeare on the basis of his plays.  Famous argument with Callimachus a. Small poetry is best – Callimachus b. Ancient biographers believed that Apollonius was forced to retire to Rhodes  "Exile" on Rhodes  Poet and Scholar The Poem:  Dream to Folktale to Myth  Folktale: old story told over and over again  Same structure (i.e. sleeping beauty, hero slays dragon) o Original folktales not identified with any particular place
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