By Peter Toohey
Didactic Epic was once drastically renowned within the old international. It used to be used to coach Greeks and Romans technical and clinical topics, yet in verse. Epic Lessons indicates how this medical poetry used to be meant not only to educate but additionally to entertain.
Praise for its predecessor, Reading Epic
'Toohey's erudition makes the complexities and the strangeness of those historical poems look as transparent as sunlight and his enthusiasm renders them as appealing because the most recent blockbuster.' - JACT Review
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Extra info for Epic Lessons: An Introduction to Ancient Didactic Poetry
This passage on Perses is, perhaps, more consistently 'relevant' than any of those mentioned so far. All of its themes are important for the exposition to follow. There are none of the otiose or decorative elements to which we have become accustomed. * * * The first half of the Works and Dqys concentrates on Zeus, justice, violence, and work. The portrait is a pessimistic one. ybns or bia) will lead to an ignoring of justice (dike), the will of Zeus, and labour. That notion of work is very important (Van Groningen 1960: 285-6).
How seriously are we meant to take, from as sophisticated a poet as Empedocles, an utterance as seemingly naive as this: 'for already have I been a boy and a girl, a bush and a bird, and a fish leaping and journeying' (417 KRS)?
The fiction of the goddess makes this all the more difficult. It is the absence of voice which makes the one-third of the original poem that is left to us not always aesthetically compelling. There are other features which may have made Parmenides less attractive to later didactic poets - but not, let me reiterate, philosophers. Parmenides' remarkable abilities as a conceptual thinker remain unchallenged. His material, at least what survives, is not, in 39 WORD OF MOUTH any concrete or visual sense, sensational or striking (it is, however, in a conceptual sense).
Epic Lessons: An Introduction to Ancient Didactic Poetry by Peter Toohey