A Guide to Hellenistic Literature by Kathryn Gutzwiller

By Kathryn Gutzwiller

This booklet is a advisor to the terribly assorted literature of the Hellenistic period.
A consultant to the literature of the Hellenistic age, from the demise of Alexander the nice in 323 BCE to the conflict of Actium in 31 BC* presents overviews of the social, political, highbrow and literary historic contexts during which Hellenistic literature used to be produced.
Introduces the main writers and genres of the period.
Provides information regarding kind, meter and languages to assist readers without previous wisdom of the language in realizing technical elements of literary Greek.
Distinctive in its assurance of present concerns in Hellenistic feedback, together with viewers reception, the political and social historical past, and Hellenistic theories of literature.

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This concept of stylistic thinness extended beyond the literary to other arts as well, since, as we have seen, Lysippus was known for the charm and slenderness of his statues. In addition, anecdotes about the scholar-poet Philitas, perhaps descending from New Comedy, joke about his extreme thinness. It was said, in fact, that he became so emaciated from the hard work of composing his scholarly works that he had to wear lead shoes to avoid being blown away by the wind. ) and wearing himself out in his researches on diction (fr.

Eratosthenes’ calculation of the circumference of the earth was made possible by extrapolation from precise measurements made by royal survey expeditions into southern Egypt and Nubia. The astronomer Conon of Samos, much respected by the great mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse, had a court connection, and on one occasion practiced the astronomical hoax of ‘‘discovering’’ a new constellation, the Coma Berenices, to please the monarchs. Ctesibius, an inventor in the area of pneumatic devices, was a native Alexandrian, and the automated figures that appeared in the grand Ptolemaic procession seem to have resulted from advances in pneumatics and other technologies from the early Hellenistic period.

The goal for the Library was to collect all works written in Greek, including multiple copies or versions of the same work. The Ptolemies sometimes purchased books and at other times took them from ships that docked at Alexandria, had them copied, and returned the copies rather than the originals. The story, told in the so-called Letter of Aristeas (Ch. 3), that Ptolemy II commissioned seventy-two Jewish scholars to produce the first Greek version of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, indicates that translations into Greek from other languages were included as well.

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