Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Defining Greek Narrative$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Douglas Cairns and Ruth Scodel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748680108

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748680108.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Exemplarity and Narrative in the Greek Tradition

Exemplarity and Narrative in the Greek Tradition

(p.102) (p.103) 6 Exemplarity and Narrative in the Greek Tradition
Defining Greek Narrative

Douglas Cairns

Edinburgh University Press

Achilles’ remarks on the jars of Zeus at Iliad 24. 525ff) illustrate a characteristic archaic Greek attitude towards the nature and possibility of happiness. This ‘principle of alternation’ recurs in a variety of forms, from individual aphorisms to large-scale narrative patterns, throughout Greek literature. Though the general notion of the mutability of fortune can be readily paralleled in other cultures, the principle of alternation has a particular salience in Greek narrative thanks to its presentation, in exemplary form, in the Greek tradition's most exemplary work. This is a model to which Greek narratives repeatedly and explicitly return. It is a good example of how the encapsulation of traditional norms, with their associated ways of feeling, in a traditional artistic form encourages a symbiotic replication both of the form and of the response that it evokes; it helps define the emotional and ethical repertoire of both artists and audience.

Keywords:   Exemplarity, Alternation, Mutability, Fate and fortune, Emotion

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.