In the VIII book of Odyssey we are told of three distinct performances of an epic singer, Demodocus. While the first and third performance are similar in content and circumstances of delivery, and appear to be clear examples of the new, ‘modern’ historical epic, the second performance displays many distinctive characteristics. Oc- casion, public, place, theme, type of speech are different. Demodocus chooses a more traditional subject, a mythical one, that is the adultery committed by Ares and Aph- rodites and the following revenge taken by the betrayed husband, Hephestus. The performance of the singer is accompanied by movements of dance and gestures of a young boy chorus, which encircles Demodocus, who is almost invisible to public eyes. It is therefore necessary to ascribe this performance to a different poetic genre. Mimetic and proto-dramatic dances, and in particular dances in which divine deeds are repre- sented, are the most like to explain this passage, which can be considered the descrip- tion of a kind of ancient ‘holy drama’, based on sexual intercourse between deities. Support for this thesis derives also from iconographic documents, afresh considered, and from comparison with ritual drama in Eastern and Mediterranean area.

Gli amori di Ares e Afrodite (Od. 8. 266-366). Statuto del discorso e genere poetico

PALMISCIANO, Riccardo
2012

Abstract

In the VIII book of Odyssey we are told of three distinct performances of an epic singer, Demodocus. While the first and third performance are similar in content and circumstances of delivery, and appear to be clear examples of the new, ‘modern’ historical epic, the second performance displays many distinctive characteristics. Oc- casion, public, place, theme, type of speech are different. Demodocus chooses a more traditional subject, a mythical one, that is the adultery committed by Ares and Aph- rodites and the following revenge taken by the betrayed husband, Hephestus. The performance of the singer is accompanied by movements of dance and gestures of a young boy chorus, which encircles Demodocus, who is almost invisible to public eyes. It is therefore necessary to ascribe this performance to a different poetic genre. Mimetic and proto-dramatic dances, and in particular dances in which divine deeds are repre- sented, are the most like to explain this passage, which can be considered the descrip- tion of a kind of ancient ‘holy drama’, based on sexual intercourse between deities. Support for this thesis derives also from iconographic documents, afresh considered, and from comparison with ritual drama in Eastern and Mediterranean area.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/30428
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