Symphōnos ēsychia. Il modello della consonanza nella lirica tardoarcaica (Pind. P. I 69-70 e Theogn. 493-498)

Marianna Tomasello


Symphōnos and symphonia are Greek musical terms to express concord and concordance, that is, simplifying, the perception of two different sounds just as one sound. In Plato’s dialogue such musical terms and their derivatives assume the meaning of “agreement” in different contexts – musical, cosmological, linguistic, and political ones –, up to the use of modern Greek, where symphoneo means “to agree”, showing a real catachresis. Through the analysis of the first occurrence of the adjective symphōnos, together with the reference to some technical examples, this paper aims to understand the origin of such a catachrestic use. This twofold meaning, in fact, is already present in the first occurrence of the adjective symphōnos, where the etymological link to phonē is also evident. As displayed by the syntagma symphōnos ēsychia in Pind. P. I 78, in the extended use of the term, especially when it occurs in political contexts, it is hard to distinguish the reference to the voices of assembly from the one to harmony and order, and this makes clear that the image of civil concord is based not only on the stress on a concept of order and measure, but also on the role played by the voice in representing the agreement.

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ISSN: 1826-803X

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