HELLENIC STUDIES SERIES
Cover: Master of the Game: Competition and Performance in Greek Poetry, from Harvard University PressCover: Master of the Game in PAPERBACK

Hellenic Studies Series 7

Master of the Game

Competition and Performance in Greek Poetry

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$19.95 • £15.95 • €18.00

ISBN 9780674016446

Publication Date: 01/02/2005

Academic Trade

The interest in the performance of ancient Greek poetry has grown dramatically in recent years. But the competitive dimension of Greek poetic performances, while usually assumed, has rarely been directly addressed. This study provides for the first time an in-depth examination of a central mode of Greek poetic competition—capping, which occurs when speakers or singers respond to one another in small numbers of verses, single verses, or between verse units themselves. With a wealth of descriptive and technical detail, Derek Collins surveys the wide range of genres that incorporated capping, including tragic and comic stichomythia, lament, forms of Platonic dialectic and dialogue, the sympotic performance of elegy, skolia, and related verse games, Hellenistic bucolic, as well as the rhapsodic performance of epic. Further, he examines historical evidence for actual performances as well as literary representations of live performances to explore how the features of improvisation, riddling, and punning through verse were developed and refined in different competitive contexts.

Anyone concerned with the performance of archaic and classical Greek poetry, or with the agonistic social, cultural, and poetic gamesmanship that prompted one performer to achieve “mastery” over another, will find this authoritative volume indispensable.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, by Lindsay Chervinsky, from Harvard University Press

Why You Should Participate in an (Online) Book Club

Online book clubs can be a rewarding way to connect with readers, Lindsay Chervinsky discovered, when she was invited to join one to discuss her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. Since my book was published in April 2020, I’ve discovered that my work appeals to three main audiences. First, the general readers who are enthusiastic about history, attend virtual events, and tend to support local historic sites. Second, readers who are curious about our government institutions and the current political climate and are looking for answers about its origins. And third, history, social studies, and government teachers