This volume brings together essays by archaeologists, historians, and literary scholars in a comprehensive examination of the Greek archaic age. A time of dramatic and revolutionary change when many of the institutions and thought patterns that would shape Greek culture evolved, this periodhas become the object of renewed scholarly interest in recent years. Yet it has resisted reconstruction, largely because its documentation is less complete than that of the classical period. In order to read the text of archaic Greece, the contributors here apply new methods--including anthropology,literary theory, and cultural history--to central issues, among them the interpretation of ritual, the origins of hero cult and its relation to politics, the evolving ideologies of colonization and athletic victory, the representation of statesmen and sages, and the serendipitous development ofdemocracy. With their interdisciplinary approaches, the various essays demonstrate the interdependence of politics, religion, and economics in this period; the importance of public performance for negotiating social interaction; and the creative use of the past to structure a changing present.Cultural Poetics in Ancient Greece offers a vigorous and coherent response to the scholarly challenges of the archaic period.