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The Alexandrian Tradition

Interactions between Science, Religion, and Literature


Edited By Luis Arturo Guichard, Juan Luis García Alonso and María Paz de Hoz

This book is the outcome of the conference «Imperial Alexandria: Interactions between Science, Religion and Literature», held at Salamanca University in October 2011. The conference convened a group of experts from different fields to address the interrelationship between Science, Religion and Literature in the Graeco-Roman world during the Imperial Period, and especially in Alexandria, situating it within the context of the long tradition of knowledge that had been consolidating itself in this city, above all during the Hellenistic era. The encounter’s main aim was to create a forum for interdisciplinary reflection on «the Alexandrian model» of knowledge in the Imperial Period and its background, being attended by philologists and historians specialising in different types of texts (literary, scientific and religious), whose study requires an interdisciplinary approach, with priority being given to the notion of contact and the relationship between these subjects in order to gain a better understanding of the spirit, way of thinking and moral values of a particularly important era in the development of ancient culture.
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The Song of Orpheus in the Argonautica and the Theogonic Library of Apollonius: Marco Antonio Santamaria



The Song of Orpheus in the Argonautica and the Theogonic Library of Apollonius

Imitation and aesthetic appreciation in Hellenistic poetry

On a scholarly and artistic level, Alexandrine poets establish a complex, double-edged relation with previous authors that is of both antiquarian and aesthetic interest. Accordingly, certain rarities found in the works of ancient authors, or a particularly successful scene or expression, can result in imitation. In the latter case, the location of passages that have served as models for Hellenic poets may indicate a special appreciation on their part1. Using imitation as homage amounts to a subtle technique of literary criticism, demonstrating that certain passages or characteristics of a given author are considered a model and an example to be followed. In the case of Apollonius Rhodius, the song of Orpheus in the first book of the Argonautica – a veritable poem within the poem – stands out due to its abundant references to ancient authors of theogonies and cosmogonies. A study of the complex network of allusions and imitations developed by this poet will be useful not only to clarify the sources he used, but above all to observe his aesthetic appreciation of these precedents as models and therefore to determine his literary ideal. ← 115 | 116 →

The Song of Orpheus in the Argonautica by Apollonius

Apollonius tells in 1, 475–494 that on the eve of the journey to Colchis, the Argonauts met on the ship Argo....

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