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The Legacy of Apollo

The Legacy of Apollo: Antiquity, Authority, and Chaucerian Poetics

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    The Legacy of Apollo
    Book Description:

    InThe Legacy of Apollo, Jamie C. Fumo presents a series of connected readings of classical and medieval texts that shape the god's pre-modern legacy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8990-9
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-22)

    The classical god Apollo, like his young protégé in Cornford’s verses, may have been unprepared for the melodrama of the quotidian in which he frequently found himself a luckless player. Celebrated prophet and god of eternal youth that he was, however, Apollo assuredly took solace in the rich and extensive afterlife that would be his. Apollo’s legacy in post-classical culture is indeed illustrious, embodied in the numerous Renaissance paintings and engravings portraying the god as leader of the Muses, the Arts, or the Graces; the long-lived cult of fascination with the Apollo Belvedere upon its rediscovery in the late fifteenth...

  7. 1 Apollo as Human God: Ovid and Medieval Ovidianism
    (pp. 23-75)

    The three gifts of Apollo, celebrated by Horace in a central articulation of the poetic vocation in hisOdes(4.6), are inspiration (spiritum), the art of song (artem carminis), and the name of poet (nomen poetae). In ancient literary tradition, these blessings do not come cheaply for the poet who writes in the name of Apollo. By the time that the young Ovid began the first of his amatory works in the last quarter of the first century BCE, Apollo carried with him considerable literary-historical baggage as a deity whose powers had been exercised in countless real and literary battlefields,...

  8. 2 The Medieval Apollo: Classical Authority and Christian Hermeneutics
    (pp. 76-123)

    As an inspirer, prophet, and healer, the classical Apollo was, first and foremost, aninterpres. It is as such – part mediator, part go-between – that the god continued to be imagined in the Middle Ages, but with an added complication: the new hermeneutical burden of negotiating the radical distance between the pagan and the Christian worlds of which he was both a figure and a casualty. Consequently, the classical Apollo’s concerted metamorphosis in early Christian and medieval hermeneutics is far from straightforward. On one hand, Apollo enjoyed an ‘exalted position’ in mythographic handbooks and sermon exempla as a morally sublimated image...

  9. 3 Imperial Apollo: From Virgil’s Rome to Chaucer’s Troy
    (pp. 124-162)

    From Ovid’s amatory works to the mythographic manuals considered in the previous chapter, Apollo’s dissemination ofveritas, crucial to the authenticity of vatic discourse and the dynamics of illumination, has recurrently emerged as fallible – even, in some instances, counterfeit. When Apollo’sveritasdid not, as inArs amatoria, destabilize its own premises, it posed a threat to competing Christian structures of enlightenment that prompted tactics of neutralization ranging from overt denunciation to strategic cooption, paradoxically attesting to its continued allure. In Chaucer’sTroilus and Criseyde, the mythology ofveritasis redefined in erotic terms as the ideal of ‘trouthe’; plagued...

  10. 4 Fragmentary Apollo: The Squire’s Tale, the Franklin’s Tale, and Chaucerian Self-Fashioning
    (pp. 163-201)

    Everyone knows that the Miller, with his lecherous bagpipes and taste for smut, leads Chaucer’s pilgrims out of Southwerk (GP565–6). In fact, the Miller’s physical position challenges the Knight’s social and narrative position as leader well before Robyn usurps the Monk’s place by ‘quiting’ the Crusade hero’s tale. Chaucer’s placement of this embodiment of entrepreneurial cunning and ‘subjugated knowledge,’ rather than a figurehead of monologic authority like the Knight,¹ at the head of the group evokes, for many readers, the poet’s intimation of his concern with ‘the unfixing of authoritarian judgement,’ and hence the presiding spirit of ‘game,’...

  11. 5 Domestic Apollo: Crises of Truth in the Manciple’s Tale
    (pp. 202-228)

    Among the concerns of the previous chapter was the problem of beginnings – iconographic, rhetorical, memorial – and their connection to Apollo asorigoof poetic production. The final chapter of this book focuses, fittingly, upon endings. Like the preceding chapter, this one dwells upon a moment of textual crisis in the articulation of Apollo’s authority, but instead of generative poetic effects and a burgeoning lexicon of authorship, this crisis results in permanent fragmentation and a rejection of poetic transmission itself. The poetic journey of theCanterbury Talesdoes not end at Becket’s shrine or, strictly speaking, in the long shadows cast...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 229-286)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 287-322)
  14. Index
    (pp. 323-351)