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University of Cincinnati

1. Busnelli, Gabriele. Reasoning, Questioning, Perception, Bibliography : The Paths of Knowledge in the Poetry of Callimachus.

Degree: PhD, Arts and Sciences: Classics, 2020, University of Cincinnati

I explore how Callimachus constructed knowledge as a subject-matter of poetry.Hellenistic scholars disputed about the nature of those activities aiming to acquire information about reality. I show how Callimachus' poetry, with its pervasive learnedness, focuses on processes through which knowledge is acquired, rather than displaying established facts. He invites us to compare our cognitive experience with that of his poetic personae.The introductory chapter provides a methodological framework. I mention extant lexical analyses of the topic of knowledge in Greek literature. I then include passages that describe actions whose purpose is the inquiry for knowledge: sensory perception; perusal of sources; active questioning; rational thinking.Chapter two shows that Callimachus' Hymns instill doubts about chances of apprehending divinities, while previous hymns took for granted traditional knowledge about them. The first three Hymns show that knowledge of the gods is limited to human-made objects and discourses. The last two poems show attempts at gaining apprehension of the gods by means of visuality; however, this knowledge is denied. A possibility to meet divinities is the encounter with the Ptolemaic royal couple, who were fostering a cult of themselves as divine figures.Chapter three follows the division into epideictic, dedicatory, sepulchral and amatory epigrams. Callimachus' epigrams show concern with knowledge in portraying dialogues, which aim at attaining knowledge. I first deal with poems that connect knowledge of poetic tenets with knowledge of a proper way of life, then with dedicatory epigrams that feature speaking objects. In sepulchral epigrams, poetic voices dialogue with the deceased in order to ascertain what will happen in afterlife. As in the Hymns, human knowledge is limited: one cannot know while living. Speakers in amatory epigrams, instead, proclaim first-hand experience of love. They talk about love not just as a feeling, but emphasize their knowledge thereof.Chapter four deals with the elegiac collection Aetia, where a protagonist evolves from a pupil who interrogates the Muses to a literate in a laboratory whose knowledge is independent. Knowledge is the theme of poetry and a principle of world organization. The Prologue separates those who know poetry from those who do not. In the elegy Acontius and Cydippe, the narrator asks whoever has been in love to confirm his judgment about the first night of the protagonists. Being in love equals to possessing knowledge, as in the epigrams. Knowledge is for those who already share it, and poetry strengthens a public self-awareness.In the concluding chapter, I summarize Callimachus' relationship with philosophical debates. He does not declare allegiances, but some sympathy for Academic Skepticism emerges. I analyze how Callimachus' explanations of present events with the past (so-called "aetiology") are different from historiography and other poets. Finally, evidence from modern philosophy and literary criticism demonstrates that authorial explorations… Advisors/Committee Members: Gutzwiller, Kathryn (Committee Chair).

Subjects/Keywords: Classical Studies; Hellenistic Literature; Alexandrian Poetry; Callimachus; Poetic Voice; Epistemology; Literary Criticism

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APA (6th Edition):

Busnelli, G. (2020). Reasoning, Questioning, Perception, Bibliography : The Paths of Knowledge in the Poetry of Callimachus. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Cincinnati. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1583998826913403

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Busnelli, Gabriele. “Reasoning, Questioning, Perception, Bibliography : The Paths of Knowledge in the Poetry of Callimachus.” 2020. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Cincinnati. Accessed July 08, 2020. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1583998826913403.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Busnelli, Gabriele. “Reasoning, Questioning, Perception, Bibliography : The Paths of Knowledge in the Poetry of Callimachus.” 2020. Web. 08 Jul 2020.

Vancouver:

Busnelli G. Reasoning, Questioning, Perception, Bibliography : The Paths of Knowledge in the Poetry of Callimachus. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Cincinnati; 2020. [cited 2020 Jul 08]. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1583998826913403.

Council of Science Editors:

Busnelli G. Reasoning, Questioning, Perception, Bibliography : The Paths of Knowledge in the Poetry of Callimachus. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Cincinnati; 2020. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1583998826913403

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