Political and Dramatic Perspectives on Archaic Sculptures: Bacchylides’ Fourth Dithyramb (Ode 18) and the Treasury of the Athenians in Delphi

TitlePolitical and Dramatic Perspectives on Archaic Sculptures: Bacchylides’ Fourth Dithyramb (Ode 18) and the Treasury of the Athenians in Delphi
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAthanassaki, L
EditorCazzato, V, Lardinois, A
Book TitleThe Look of Lyric: Greek Song and the Visual. Studies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song, vol. 1
Series TitleMnemosyne Supplements 391
Pagination16-49
PublisherBrill
CityLeiden
ISBN9789004314849 (ebook)
Abstract

This paper explores the points of contact and contrast between Bacchylides’ Fourth Dithyramb (ode 18) and the sculptural theme of the south metopes of the Athenian Treasury in Delphi, which, like the dithyramb, focuses on Theseus’ arrival in Athens and features an almost identical sequence of Theseus’ deeds on his way from Troezen. It argues that Bacchylides was an engaged and creative viewer; that he shared his fascination with the Delphic sanctuary with other poets, i.e. Pindar, Aeschylus and Euripides, and probably with many others in his Athenian audience; that the Fourth Dithyramb played to Athenian artistic tastes as well as political sensitivities and preoccupations: that the conscious evocation of the faraway monument in dramatic form draws its inspiration from tragedy and the monumental architecture that dominated the Athenian cultural scene in Cimonian Athens; that the problematization of the reception of an outstanding individual in the polis is a political statement which, while relevant to Cimon, transcends the man and his time; and that this Bacchylidean song-dance remains melic at its core, despite its dramatic look and tragic outlook. [http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/books/b9789004314849_003]

DOI10.1163/9789004314849_003

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