Program and poetics in Quintus Smyrnaeus' Posthomerica

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Abstract

Epic continuation is a phrase which sums up exactly the nature of Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica. There is, arguably, no work surviving from antiquity which so models itself on the great epic archetypes, the Homeric poems. Not only is the Posthomerica Homeric (or, hyper-Homeric) in its every aspect, from language and formulaic composition, to imagery, plot sequences, and narrative functions, the poem explicitly marks itself out as Homeric. In this chapter I will survey first, the ways in which the Posthomerica not only appears as, but asserts itself as, Homeric. As the focus of the chapter, I will discuss a number of short but important scenes which, meta-poetically, encode the epic distance the Posthomerica has from Homer, and which, therefore, bespeak the imitative program which Quintus, as a poet of the Imperial period, creates to continue Homer on the verges of Late Antiquity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrill's Companion to Epic Continuations
EditorsRobert C Simms
PublisherBrill
Pages71-89
Volume15
ISBN (Print)9789004360921
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameBrill's Companions to Classical Reception

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