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«Simplify me when I am dead». War heroes and long-lasting topoi in Hellenistic epitaphs

digital «Simplify me when I am dead». War heroes and long-lasting topoi in Hellenistic epitaphs
Articolo
rivista AEVUM ANTIQUUM
fascicolo AEVUM ANTIQUUM - 2016 - 16
titolo «Simplify me when I am dead». War heroes and long-lasting topoi in Hellenistic epitaphs
autore
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 04-2018
doi 10.26350/ 020747_000008
issn 1121-8932 (stampa) | 1827-7861 (digitale)
€ 6,00

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In spite of the abundance of sources of various nature on the Hellenistic period, the dynamics of most of the military events which took place then are still obscure. Numerous, however, are the epigraphic poems commemorating individual soldiers who fought in those battles, and often died in action. Rich in literary topoi and imagery derived from the previous epic, epigrammatic and elegiac tradition, Hellenistic epitaphs, not unlike court poetry of the same period, offer a representation of contemporary wars through the lenses of the literary conventions and in the light of the poetic reinvention of the previous historical and mythical wars. Some of the traditional literary images here discussed also resurface, unexpectedly, in modern war poetry (the paper is specifically focusing on in WWI poetry in English). This contribution is one in a series of articles proposing a survey of the contents of Hellenistic epigrams on soldiers.

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