Flyte of Odysseus: Allusion and the hoplōn krisis in Quintus Smyrnaeus Posthomerica 5

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Abstract

This article principally discusses the contest between Ajax and Odysseus in Quintus Smyrnaeus Posthomerica 5. Scholars have recently labelled the poem as a “Second Sophistic epic,” partly on the basis of discussion of the Hoplōn Krisis in Book 5. I begin by discussing the literary and cultural context of the Posthomerica, and especially the contest in Book 5, in relation to this label. I then show that the contest is closely modelled on speech-making situations in the Iliad, particularly contests of “flyting.” I discuss the nature of flyting speeches, and discuss how Odysseus is made to appropriate Iliadic flyting settings to prove his worth as the rightful heir to the arms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-628
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Volume133
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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