Alcman and the Cosmos of Sparta

ISBN-13: 978-0226668673
ISBN-10: 0226668673
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Hardcover, December 1, 2008
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Editorial Reviews


“This wonderful sequel to Professor Ferrari’s Figures of Speech manages to throw new and powerful light on a whole host of salient topics—the Spartan poet Alcman, the poetics of Archaic Greek astrology and cosmology, Greek ritual drama in performance, and, not least, ancient Sparta’s surprisingly cosmopolitan mentality and society. It is itself a stunning performance, and fully earns her a place among the constellation of superstar Sparta-watchers.”

(Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge)

“This book offers a new interpretation of Alcman’s Partheneion in its mythic, cosmic, and ritual contexts—an interpretation that is entirely original and ingenious. It is clearly and accessibly written and should find an audience among archaeologists, art historians, and anthropologists, as well as specialists in Greek poetry. I enjoyed reading it immensely and learned a great deal from it.”

(Leslie Kurke, University of California, Berkeley)

“Centered on a provocative reinterpretation of Alcman’s Louvre Partheneion, and on a new analysis of its dramatic structure and ritual dimension, this book offers a valuable discussion of early Greek ideas about the stars, cosmic harmony, and the homology between the cosmos and the state. This book should be praised for its interdisciplinary approach: it will be welcomed by philologists, art historians, and all those interested in an anthropological approach to ancient Greek culture.”

(Clemente Marconi, New York University)

"Minor disagreements should not be taken as diminishing my admiration for Ferrari's ambitious project: to present a coherent theory that will explain most if not all of the mysterious featues of this marvelous, peculiar, literary artefact from atchaic Sparta. Let her reconstruction stand until a more convincing one is proposed."
(A.J. Podlecki Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

About the Author

Gloria Ferrari is professor emerita of classical archaeology and art at Harvard University. Her many books include Figures of Speech: Men and Maidens in Ancient Greece, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Alcman and the Cosmos of Sparta
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