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Metaphor and the Ancient Novel

Metaphor and the Ancient Novel

Stephen Harrison
Michael Paschalis
Stavros Frangoulidis
Volume: 4
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Barkhuis
Pages: 281
  • Book Info
    Metaphor and the Ancient Novel
    Book Description:

    This thematic fourth Supplementum to Ancient Narrative, entitled Metaphor and the Ancient Novel, is a collection of revised versions of papers originally read at the Second Rethymnon International Conference on the Ancient Novel (RICAN 2) under the same title, held at the University of Crete, Rethymnon, on May 19-20, 2003.Though research into metaphor has reached staggering proportions over the past twenty-five years, this is the first volume dedicated entirely to the subject of metaphor in relation to the ancient novel. Not every contributor takes into account theoretical discussions of metaphor, but the usefulness of every single paper lies in the fact that they explore actual texts while sometimes theorists tend to work out of context.

    eISBN: 978-94-91431-39-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. VII-XIV)
    Michael Paschalis and Stavros Frangoulidis

    This thematic fourthSupplementum to Ancient Narrative, entitledMetaphor and the Ancient Novel, is a collection of revised versions of papers originally read at theSecond Rethymnon International Conference on the Ancient Novel(RICAN2) under the same title, held at the University of Crete, Rethymnon, on May 19–20, 2003.¹

    Though research into metaphor has reached staggering proportions over the past twenty-five years, this is the first volume dedicated entirely to the subject of metaphor in relation to the ancient novel. Not every contributor takes into account theoretical discussions of metaphor, but the usefulness of every single paper lies...

  4. Metaphor, Gender and the Ancient Greek Novel
    (pp. 1-22)
    Helen Morales

    Metaphors are dangerous in other ways too. Metaphor plays a fundamental role in the construction of meaning.¹ Feminist scholarship in particular has analysed the dangers and disadvantages for women in how metaphors are used to shape concepts and experiences. It has been observed that metaphor routinely enshrines and enacts power relations, and, more often than not, works to celebrate male supremacy and female oppression.² This can be all the more dangerous when a metaphor becomes used so often that it becomes ordinary and barely visible. ‘Faded’ or ‘dead’ metaphors naturalise the power relations they enact.³ No metaphor is everjust...

  5. Greek novel and the ritual of life: an exercise in taxonomy
    (pp. 23-35)
    Ken Dowden

    Nothing is less persuasive than alleging that novels are ‘allegorical’ in a modern age of sophisticated literary criticism. Yet it is perhaps time that we saw where a modern sense of allegory might fit in the kaleidoscope of approaches to the meaning, or effect, or characteristic methods of operation, of literary text.

    So, to start simply, Vergil’sEcloguesare about anything but sheep and theGeorgicshave rather limited use for the student of agriculture. These texts have reference to something other than these topics. Vergil’s reference is hard to state explicitly: it is to art, life, human nature, and...

  6. Callirhoe: God-like Beauty and the Making of a Celebrity
    (pp. 36-49)
    Gareth Schmeling

    A growing number of scholars has begun to appreciate and demonstrate 1) that Chariton is a more than competent writer who challenges the reader to integrate allusions to Homer, Sappho, Herodotus, Thucydides, tragedy/comedy, rhetorical texts, and others into his novel,¹ 2) that the quality of his Greek is reasonably good,² 3) that upon close analysis the structure of his plot is well planned,³ and 4) that he attempts to appeal to a wide range of readers.⁴ Though Chariton has been shown by his highly intertextual approach to be concerned with producing a novel which could whet the appetite of the...

  7. The Narrator as Hunter: Longus, Virgil and Theocritus
    (pp. 50-67)
    Michael Paschalis

    ‘One day while hunting on the island of Lesbos, I chanced upon the most beautiful sight I had ever seen in a grove of the Nymphs (Ἐν Λέσβῳ θηρῶν ἐν ἄλσει Νυμφῶν θέαμα εἶδον κάλλιστον ὧν εἶδον), an image inscribed (εἰκόνα γραπτήν), a narrative of desire (ἱστορίαν ἔρωτος). The grove was also beautiful (καλόν) … but the painting was more delightful (τερπνοτέρα), both for its extraordinary artistic skills and its depiction of an erotic story (τέχνην ἔχουσα περιττὴν καὶ τύχην ἐρωτικήν) … as I watched and marveled a desire seized me to ‘counterscribe the painting’ (write a verbal equivalent)¹ (ἰδόντα...

  8. Metaphor in Daphnis and Chloe
    (pp. 68-86)
    Ewen Bowie

    Metaphor is a slippery term. It may seem cowardly to offer a plain man’s working definition without some theoretical underpinning, but other papers in this collection have offered helpful definitions, and it seems to me that a substantial discussion here would yield limited returns and would not materially advance our understanding of the phenomena in the text of Longus’Daphnis and Chloethat I want to consider. Let me say simply, then, that by metaphor (on a micro-level) I understand taking a word (or occasionally a small group of related words) with a widely or universally accepted meaning in relation...

  9. Heliodorus smiles
    (pp. 87-105)
    Tim Whitmarsh

    The beginning of Heliodorus’ novel is justly famous. The lavish visuality, which has invited numerous comparisons with cinematic technique,³ inaugurates a narrative that makes sustained and creative use of the spectacular.⁴ The deployment of the bandits as aporetic focalisers for the scene they behold is a stroke of narratological brilliance, artfully retarding the reader’s cognition of events with a drip-drip release of information.⁵ Heliodorus, the latest of antiquity’s extant novelists, announces with a bang his arrival in a crowded, and to some extent overly regularised, marketplace: while the title of the papyrus or codex (τά περὶ Θεαγένην καὶ Χαρίκλειαν Αἰθιοπικά)...

  10. And There’s Another Country: Translation as Metaphor in Heliodorus
    (pp. 106-122)
    Niall W. Slater

    Much of what still shapes our discussion of Heliodorus’s extraordinaryAethiopicaflows from two seminal articles published in 1982, by John Morgan and Jack Winkler.¹ Both called attention to the remarkable interest the author took in the polyglot nature of the novel’s world and to the problems of translation or mutual incomprehension which that polyglot world entailed. While Morgan emphasized the role Heliodorus’s portrayal of translation difficulties played in fashioning a realistic affect for the novel’s narrative mode, Winkler saw the same comments primarily as further evidence for the hermeneutic comedy of the novel’s complex narrative and the perpetual problems...

  11. ‘Philip the Philosopher’ on the Aithiopika of Heliodorus
    (pp. 123-138)
    Richard Hunter

    The prefatory letter to Anatolius which introduces Porphyry’sHomeric Questions¹ begins with a statement of principle: ‘Frequently in our conversations with one another, Anatolius, questions concerning Homer arise, and while I try to show that although he regularly provides the explanation of his own verses, we, because of our childhood instruction, read into him rather than reflect upon what he is saying (περινοου̑μεν μα̑λλον ἐν τοι̑ς πλείστοις ἢ νοου̑μεν ἃ λέγει)’. Porphyry proceeds to issue a challenge: no ‘interpretation’ (ἐξήγησις) may be offered until the interpreter has made absolutely clear to himself what the verses actually mean – we might...

  12. Trimalchio: Naming Power
    (pp. 139-162)
    Judith Perkins

    Near the end of his lavish dinner party, Trimalchio, the wealthy freedman host in Petronius’Satyrica, describes the grave monument he has commissioned. He recites its short epitaph (71.12). It will begin with his name, C. Pompeius Trimalchio Maecenatianus, and conclude just before its final valediction with the proud assertion that the deceased left thirty million and never listened to a philosopher (sestertium reliquit trecenties, nec umquam philosophum audivit).¹ What does Trimalchio have against philosophers? We can find clues to his attitude in the nature of metaphor, with its emphases on proper naming and essential meanings.

    Aristotle’s definition of metaphor...

  13. ‘Waves of Emotion’: An Epic Metaphor in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses
    (pp. 163-176)
    Stephen Harrison

    It is a commonplace of modern scholarship on theMetamorphosesof Apuleius that the deployment of elements from Greek and Roman epic, easily recognisable by the cultured bilingual elite reader of the high Roman Empire, plays a crucial role in the literary self-definition and reception of Apuleius’ novel.² On the one hand, the appearance of such features suggests that the novel shows a significant similarity to epic in literary ambition; on the other hand, the comic or parodic manner in which such features are often treated serves to maintain a suitable generic distance between lofty epic poetry and prose fiction,...

  14. Sweet and Dangerous? A Literary Metaphor (aures permulcere) in Apuleius’ Prologue
    (pp. 177-196)
    Luca Graverini

    In recent years, there has certainly been no dearth of studies about the prologue to Apuleius’Metamorphoses.¹ However, the single six-word phrase I am going to deal with,Met. 1.1.1auresque tuas benivolas lepido susurro permulceam(‘I would like… to caress your ears into approval with a pretty whisper’),² does not seem to have excited the curiosity of many other researchers. Some critics have already pointed out the relevance of the image ofpermulcere aures, ‘stroking the ears’, in the novel; Paula James, in particular, states that the prologue speaker’s promise to stroke the ears of his readers with a...

  15. A Pivotal Metaphor in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses: Aristomenes’ and Lucius’ Death and Rebirth
    (pp. 197-209)
    Stavros Frangoulidis

    It is only very recently that scholars of Apuleius’Metamorphoseshave come to observe and appreciate the theme of Aristomenes’ metaphorical death and rebirth when he falls victim to the witches (Met. 1.15–17). Thus, Donald Lateiner has called attention to the imagery of death and rebirth when Aristomenes is on the ground, lifeless, naked and cold (1.14).¹ W.H. Keulen points out that Aristomenes describes his state of humiliation when the witches leave the inn “in terms of both new-born life and death”.² Finally, in their most recent article, Warren S. Smith and Baynard Woods briefly observe Aristomenes’ vacillation between...

  16. Real and Metaphorical Mimicking Birds in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius
    (pp. 210-224)
    Paula James

    In this contribution I propose yet another way of negotiating Apuleius’ allusiveness in his richly textured narrative. As the title suggests my conceptual journey has as its starting point the actual appearance in the novel of articulate birds but ends up in a strangely configured metaphorical place. In the fable of Cupid and Psyche the sea mew and the eagle parody rhetorical techniques but their very existence in the novel also highlights the loss of speech suffered by the hero who is listening in on this enchanting tale told by the old robber housekeeper. Both these versatile birds do things...

  17. Metaphor and the riddle of representation in the Historia Apollonii regis Tyri
    (pp. 225-244)
    Andrew Laird

    Aristotle says that metaphor is ‘the application of a word that belongs to another thing: either from genus to species, species to genus, species to species, or by analogy’.¹ Studies of metaphors in specific texts – such as those considered in the present volume – are, on the whole, served well by the sort of definition Aristotle offers. But that Aristotelian definition, in presupposing that proper names belong to their objects, raises some awkward questions about naming and essence. And those questions become more threatening if the metaphors to be considered are found in fiction. Ken Dowden’s chapter raises the...

  18. Metaphor and politics in John Barclay’s Argenis (1621)
    (pp. 245-274)
    Catherine Connors

    On May 25, 2001, an article appeared inThe New York Timesunder the headline: ‘Is Baghdad’s tiger a literary lion?’¹ It discussed the publication in Iraq of a novel in Arabic titledZabibah wal Malik, Zabibah and the King. The novel was published anonymously, but its author was said to be Saddam Hussein (or at least, indications were that he wanted to be known as its author). Set in pre-Christian times in what is now northern Iraq, the novel tells the allegorical story of Zabibah, an everywoman who stands for the Iraqi people, her cruel husband, who stands for...

  19. Indices
    (pp. 275-282)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 283-284)