Original Research

Digter en gehoor in Alexandrië

W. J. Henderson
Literator | Vol 13, No 1 | a724 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v13i1.724 | © 1992 W. J. Henderson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1992 | Published: 06 May 1992

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W. J. Henderson, Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, South Africa

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Abstract

After a historical introduction, this article examines the form, context and manner in which Greek poetry was communicated in Alexandria in Egypt during the 3rd to 1st century B.C. The poetry was written for a highly selected audience, centred around the library’ and court of the Ptolemy, and this determined the nature of both the poetry and its 'publication' or communication to the target audience. The most significant aspects of the poetry are: its heightened literary style; the transition from a sung to a recited text; the shifting of the place of communication from aristocratic banquet and public area during the previous period of the city-state to the exclusive audience of the ruler’s palace or the literary coterie; the use of erudite reference in the poem; increased experimentation by the poets in form, theme and style; and the strong sense and pursuit of individualism.

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