Entering the Agon: Dissent and Authority in Homer, Historiography, and Tragedy

Hardcover | February 28, 2009

byElton T. E. Barker

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This book investigates one of the most characteristic and prominent features of ancient Greek literature - the scene of debate or agon, in which with varying degrees of formality characters square up to each other and engage in a contest of words. Drawing on six case studies of different kindsof narrative - epic, historiography and tragedy - and authors as diverse as Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Sophocles and Euripides, this wide-ranging study analyses each example of debate in its context according to a set of interrelated questions: who debates, when, why, and with what consequences?Based on the changing representations of debate across and within different genres, it shows the importance of debate to these key canonical genres and, in turn, the role of literature in the construction of a citizen body through the exploration, reproduction and management of dissent fromauthority.

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This book investigates one of the most characteristic and prominent features of ancient Greek literature - the scene of debate or agon, in which with varying degrees of formality characters square up to each other and engage in a contest of words. Drawing on six case studies of different kindsof narrative - epic, historiography and tra...

Elton T. E. Barker is Lecturer in Classics, Christ Church, University of Oxford.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:480 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:February 28, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199542716

ISBN - 13:9780199542710

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Table of Contents

PrologueAct I. Epic: Founding Dissent1. Challenging authority in the assemblies of the Iliad2. Sidelining debate in the OdysseyAct II. Historiography: Writing in Dissent3. Herodotus' Odyssean enquiry4. Thucydides writes debateAct III. Tragedy; Institutional Dissent5. Speaking back in Sophocles' Ajax6. Beyond the agon in Euripides' HecubaEpilogue