Poesia e biografia: Archiloco, la colonizzazione e la storia

Antonio Aloni

Abstract


In what sense Archilochean texts can be thought historically reliable? To answer this question, first we have to consider the function of each poem and consequently its possible - or required - assent to historical landscape and factious spirit. If we make a review of Archilochean fragments, we recognize at least three different performance arenas: the symposion (for elegy and iambus: aggressive first person); civic or religious occasions (for cultual songs and dithyrambos: choral first person); public performances - more public than symposion - celebrating collective memory (for narrative poems: storyteller first person). The tetrametric fragments, in particular, seem to have a strong narrative and patriotic inspiration and could have been employed in different performances, public or privat: the two Parian inscriptions of Archilochus (of Mnesiepes and Sosthenes), in fact, use above all this kind of poems to reconstruct the archaic Parian (and Archilochean) history. Each performance - that is each occasion in which Archilochus performed a poem - legitimates different poetic attitude: more respectful of Parian history and tradition in case of public occasion, more available to distortion in presence of a agreeable audience. All these parameters affect the historical significance of each Archilochean fragment, that must be individually judged.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15160/1826-803X/176

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ISSN: 1826-803X

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