Bacchylides’ Banquet Songs

TitleBacchylides’ Banquet Songs
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsD'Alessio, GB
EditorObbink, DD, Prodi, EE, Cazzato, V
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033), Anacreon Lyr. (TLG 0237), Bacchylides Lyr. (TLG 0199)
Book TitleThe Cup of Song: Studies on Poetry and the Symposion
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN9780199687688 (print)

This chapter examines both the indirect evidence for Bacchylides’ Banquet Songs and two papyri (P.Oxy. 1361 and 2361) usually interpreted as representing his Enkomia, discussing a recent alternative reconstruction which attributes them (wholly or partly) to his Dithyrambs. Through a close reading of the fragments and a new interpretation of the ‘Marpessa poem’ the author argues that these, and P.Oxy. 2362, represent copies of a collection of his Banquet Songs, which included poems composed for kingly patrons, in the same linguistic, metric, and stylistic tradition of Pindar’s Enkomia (and Bacchylides’ ‘choral’ production), as well as erotic and mocking poems, composed in metres akin to those of Anacreon, with a remarkable Attic veneer. Two possible explanations for this feature are examined, i.e. that it is due to their transmission, and that it reflects the development of a local tradition of sympotic song in early fifth-century Athens, arguing in favour of the latter. []


Site information

© 2007-2012 MOISA: International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and Its Cultural Heritage

Site designed by Geoff Piersol and maintained by Stefan Hagel
All rights reserved.