Birth of the symbol : ancient readers at the limits of their texts


Birth of the symbol : ancient readers at the limits of their texts

Peter T. Struck

Princeton University Press, c2004

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 4



Based on author's thesis (doctoral)--University of Chicago

Bibliography: p. [283]-296

Includes indexes



Nearly all of us have studied poetry and been taught to look for the symbolic as well as literal meaning of the text. Is this the way the ancients saw poetry? In Birth of the Symbol, Peter Struck explores the ancient Greek literary critics and theorists who invented the idea of the poetic "symbol." The book notes that Aristotle and his followers did not discuss the use of poetic symbolism. Rather, a different group of Greek thinkers--the allegorists--were the first to develop the notion. Struck extensively revisits the work of the great allegorists, which has been underappreciated. He links their interest in symbolism to the importance of divination and magic in ancient times, and he demonstrates how important symbolism became when they thought about religion and philosophy. "They see the whole of great poetic language as deeply figurative," he writes, "with the potential always, even in the most mundane details, to be freighted with hidden messages." Birth of the Symbol offers a new understanding of the role of poetry in the life of ideas in ancient Greece. Moreover, it demonstrates a connection between the way we understand poetry and the way it was understood by important thinkers in ancient times.


Acknowledgments xi Introduction The Genealogy of the Symbolic 1 1 Symbols and Riddles: Allegorical Reading and the Boundaries of the Text 21 2 Beginnings to 300 b.c.e.: Meaning from the Void of Chance and the Silence of the Secret 77 3 From the Head of Zeus: The Birth of the Literary Symbol 111 4 Swallowed Children and Bound Gods: The Diffusion of the Literary Symbol 142 5 300 b.c.e.-200 c.e.: The Symbol as Ontological Signifier 162 6 Iamblichus and the Defense of Ritual: Talismanic Symbols 204 7 Moonstones and Men That Glow: Proclus and the Talismanic Signifier 227 Epilogue Symbol Traces: Post-Proclean Theories 254 Appendix Chrysippus's Reading and Authorial Intention: The Case of the Mural at Samos 279 Bibliography of Ancient Authors 283 Bibliography of Modern Authors 285 Index Locorum 297 General Index 311

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