Species of Ambiguity in Semonides Fr. 7

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This paper looks at the structure of Semonides’ catalogue in fragment 7, and at the metaphors that underpin it. There is a tension between the organising function of this catalogue and the hybrid entities it lists. It is suggested that the opening and closing lines frame the catalogue conceptually, exploiting ambiguities in the words χωρίς, γένος and φῦλον. Not only does Semonides play with ideas of order and embrace ambiguities of language, but he suggests that these are a feature of his poetic inheritance: the female types of his catalogue are a collection of hybrids assembled from a variety of Archaic texts and traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalCambridge Classical Journal
Early online date6 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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