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Space in Archaic Greek Lyric

City, Countryside and Sea

Jo Heirman

226 pages
Amsterdam University Press
From the end of the twentieth century onwards space has become a ‘hot topic’ in literary studies. This thesis contributes to the spatial turn by focusing on space in archaic Greek lyric (7th–5th c bc). A theoretical framework inspired by narratology, phenomenology and metaphor theory is applied to archaic lyric poems in which city, countryside and sea are of importance. Heirman argues that space is predominantly symbolic: the city is a political or an erotic metaphor, the countryside an erotic symbol, and the sea a symbol of danger. He also attempts to connect the symbolism of space with the context of the symposium, in which the lyric poems were performed: city metaphors are linked with sympotic plays of ‘guessing’, the erotic activities in the countryside reveal a projection of erotic fantasies of the symposiasts, and the danger at sea serves to reinforce the cohesion of the sympotic group.
Author Bio
Jo Heirman was educated at Ghent University (Belgium), where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Classics in 2008. In 2008 he was appointed as a PhD-researcher for a project of Irene de Jong on ‘Space in Ancient Greek Literature’ at the University of Amsterdam. He has written several articles on space which combine classics and literary theory. By the end of 2012 he will have edited a conference volume on the ideological role of space in ancient and modern literature with Jacqueline Klooster (The Ideologies of Lived Space in Literature: Ancient and Modern, Academia Press Ghent).