Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria

Synopsis

"Susan Stephens is interested in how the poetry of Callimachus, Theocritus and Apollonius reflects the Greek engagement with Egypt, and in particular with the traditions of Egyptian kingship and mythology. The exciting rediscovery through marine archaeology of Ptolemaic Alexandria means that there is currently great interest in the nature of Alexandrian culture, especially in how Greek and Egyptian elements were mixed. Stephens brings to notice important but generally neglected Greek texts (Hecataeus of Abdera, the 'Alexander Romance') and much material previously known only to Egyptologists. . . . Modern writing about colonialism is powerfully applied to the Hellenistic situation. This book will attract wide interest, and help in the gradual process of changing perceptions about the cultural life of Alexandria."--Richard Hunter, author of "Theocritus and the Archaeology of Greek Poetry

"Susan Stephens' "Seeing Double is the first book ever that explores comprehensively and persuasively how, inthe political, social and cultural environment of Ptolemaic Egypt, the Alexandrian renewal of classical poetry leads to a new poetry. . . . In Stephens' view, the poetical dialogue between the Alexandrian poets, their intertextuality and the differences in their approaches and reactions to the colonial situation resolve the emerging duality of Greek and Egyptian cultures in a deeper intellectual unity that responds to, and reflects, the political reality."--Ludwig Koenen, author of "Eine agonistische Inschrift aus Agypten und fruhptolemaische Konigsfeste

"This quietly daring research sets a new standard for the interpretation of poetry in a cultural, and most importantly in a bi-cultural,context. Stephens' exploration of Alexandrian poetry as a contact zone is a successful example of how literary interpretation can be fertilized by discontent about traditional Classics."--Alessandro Barchiesi, author of "The Poe