Dionysius Periegetes, Description of the Known World: With Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

Hardcover | April 13, 2014

byJ. L. Lightfoot

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In this volume, Lightfoot offers a detailed study of an ancient Greek geographical poem by Dionysius, a scholar-poet who flourished in Alexandria during the reign of Hadrian, which describes the world as it was then known. In antiquity, it was widely read and extremely influential, both in theschoolroom and among later poets. Translated into Latin, the subject of commentaries, and popular in Byzantium, it offers insights into multiple traditions of ancient geography, both literary and more scientific, and displays interesting affiliations to the earlier school of Alexandrian poets. The introductory essays discuss the poem's place in the literary context of ancient geography, focusing on its language, style, and metre, whereby Dionysius shows himself a particularly painstaking heir of the Hellenistic poets, and illustrates how intricately he interlaces sources and models toproduce a mosaic of geographical learning. Particular emphasis is given to Dionysius' place in the ancient tradition of didactic poetry, and to his artful manipulations of ancient ethnographical convention to produce a vision of a bounteous, ordered, and harmonious world in the high days of theRoman Empire. The commentary, supported by a fresh edition and English translation, discusses Dionysius as a geographer but, above all, as a literary artist. This volume contributes to the revival of interest in, and appreciation of, imperial hexameter poetry, and brings to the fore a poem that deserves to beevery bit as well-known as its Hellenistic counterpart, the Phaenomena of Aratus.

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In this volume, Lightfoot offers a detailed study of an ancient Greek geographical poem by Dionysius, a scholar-poet who flourished in Alexandria during the reign of Hadrian, which describes the world as it was then known. In antiquity, it was widely read and extremely influential, both in theschoolroom and among later poets. Translate...

J. L. Lightfoot has been Fellow and Tutor in Classics at New College, Oxford, since 2003, where she teaches and lectures on all areas of Greek literature. This is her fourth major publication with Oxford University Press.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:700 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:April 13, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199675589

ISBN - 13:9780199675586

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of MapsNote to ReaderAbbreviationsPart One: Introduction1. Preliminaries2. Sources3. Language4. Didactic5. Geopoetics6. The End of the JourneyPart Two: Text and CommentaryEditionCommentaryAppendix 1:Register of echoes and allusionsAppendix 2:The structure of the PeriegesisBibliography