Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Synopsis

"Current interest in interdisciplinary approaches to the Alexandrian culture is making it possible to understand Hellenistic texts in exciting new ways. Richard Hunter here brings to bear his superb skills as a commentator on one of the most neglected but culturally significant Hellenistic poems. He masterfully demonstrates how in composing his "Encomium of Ptolemy Philadelphus Theocritus not only drew on the rich tradition of Greek encomiastic verse but also insinuated a double meaning for those knowledgeable in Egyptian culture. The result is a carefully nuanced study that will stand as a model for how to read texts from an intercultural perspective."--Kathryn J. Gutzwiller, author of "Poetic Garlands: Hellenistic Epigrams in Context

"Richard Hunter demonstrates again his deftness as editor and commentator with this edition of Theocritus's "Encomium of Ptolemy. He provides this text, usually overlooked in the Theocritean corpus, with thoughtful historicizing and sophisticated literary contextualizations. For scholars and students alike the style is accessible and informative, and as a result the poem has become much more valuable for understanding the poetic dynamics of the early Ptolemaic period."--Susan Stephens, author of "Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria

"The text of the "Encomium is a nodal area for this truly interdisciplinary series, and Hunter has a special ability to connect with all the various issues and approaches: royal ideology and patronage, diction and tradition, material culture and ethnic identity. The result is both a lasting work of reference and an illuminating discussion of Alexandrian poetry in its evolving socialcontext."--Alessandro Barchiesi, author of "The Poet and the Prince

Excerpt

Theocritus's Encomium of Ptolemy is not one of his best-known or most-admired poems, but these are exciting times for the study of Ptolemaic culture, and the need for a new study of this poem seemed, at least to me, self-evident. How far this book goes toward filling that need is a matter for others.

The preparation of this book has taken me into scholarly areas where I am, at best, a novice, and the advice of friends has been more than ever important. Kathryn Gutzwiller, John Ma, Katja Mueller, Susan Stephens, and Dorothy Thompson all read earlier versions of some or all of the typescript, and their observations, corrections, and encouragement have been invaluable. I would also like to thank Kate Toll of the University of California Press for her enthusiastic support.

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