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Negotiating seduction: Archilochus’ Cologne Epode and the transformation of epic

Swift, Laura (2015). Negotiating seduction: Archilochus’ Cologne Epode and the transformation of epic. Philologus, 159(1) pp. 2–28.

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This article offers a new interpretation of Archilochus’ First Cologne Epode (fr. 196a W) by reading it as a sustained travesty of an epic seduction scene. The article begins by setting out the flexibility of the epic type-scene, with an analysis of the Dios Apate in Iliad 14, Aphrodite’s seduction of Anchises in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, and Odysseus’ encounter with Nausicaa in Odyssey 6. The second part of the article demonstrates that the Cologne Epode is structured around the same core elements, but at every stage Archilochus subverts expectations by offering something that parodies epic convention. Reading the Epode as a vulgar iambic reworking of an epic tradition not only gives us insight into its sophistication but also helps resolve some of the interpretative difficulties which have long plagued scholars working on the poem, and in particular helps us see what is achieved by the poem’s surprising ending.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH
ISSN: 0031-7985
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Alexander von Humboldt FellowshipNot SetAlexander von Humboldt Foundation
Keywords: Archilochus; Cologne Epode; Neoboule; iambus; seduction scene; Greek epic; iambic poetry; Greek iambus
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > Classical Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 43448
Depositing User: Laura Swift
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 08:31
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2020 10:11
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