Lyric visions of epic combat: the spectacle of war in archaic personal song

Swift, Laura (2015). Lyric visions of epic combat: the spectacle of war in archaic personal song. In: Bakogianni, Anastasia and Hope, Valerie eds. War as Spectacle: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Display of Armed Conflict. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 93–109.

URL: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/war-as-spectacle-9781...

Abstract

How to be a good warrior was a profound concern for ancient Greek society at all times, but the socio-political and military changes of the archaic period make it a particularly pressing theme for the lyric poets. This chapter discusses the spectacle of war in lyric poetry from two opposing perspectives. The first section examines how lyric poetry uses visually impressive descriptions to represent contemporary warfare as equivalent to the great deeds of the epic heroes, with particular reference to Tyrtaeus, Alcaeus, and Mimnermus. The second section explores how the language of war as spectacle is subverted to express a viewpoint which challenges the Homeric outlook. This sometimes takes the form of an ironic subversion of the glamour of war, as in some of Archilochus' poetry. Alternatively, the composers of erotic poems such as Sappho and Ibycus allude to the spectacle of the battlefield in order to replace it with a different form of worth and beauty: that of love.

Viewing alternatives

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations