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Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece$
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Anthony Snodgrass

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623334

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623334.001.0001

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Poet and Painter in Eighth-century Greece

Poet and Painter in Eighth-century Greece

(p.365) Chapter 20 Poet and Painter in Eighth-century Greece
Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece

Anthony Snodgrass

Edinburgh University Press

The relationship between poetry and the visual arts is seldom close and never simple. But special difficulties attend the study of it in the eighth century BC in Greece, when evidence is not only in excessively short supply but, when it does come, is almost by definition ambiguous. On the whole, regarding the question of the interpretation of late geometric vase-paintings and other eighth-century art there are well-established opposing positions: each new discovery finds a different interpretation on the part of what may be called the optimists — those who seek for correspondences between Homer's epics and the visual arts — and of the sceptics, who habitually argue that there is no evidence for anything of the kind. Each party appears to have found an outlet for the promulgation of its view, inasmuch as many general or semi-popular accounts of geometric and other early Greek art present it as having a major mythological content derived from epic poetry.

Keywords:   Greece, poetry, visual arts, vase-paintings, optimists, sceptics, epics, Homer

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