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The Idea of Iambos$
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Andrea Rotstein

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286270.001.0001

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Iambos in Archilochus (fr. 215W)

Iambos in Archilochus (fr. 215W)

(p.151) 5 Iambos in Archilochus (fr. 215W)1
The Idea of Iambos

Andrea Rotstein (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an interpretation of Archil. 215W. It attempts to define a general type of occasion and a general function for the iamboi in Archil. 215W. The occasion: that of ritualized commensality or conviviality, either restricted to some (i.e. symposia) or more public (at religious festivals or public meals). The function: mainly entertainment. Such an occasion and such a function are not distinctive enough for us to argue that they shaped the genre of iamboi or that they gave them their name. The more inclusive an occasion of performance, the less prone it is to give names to specific songs. It seems, therefore, that the question about the meaning of iambos for 7th-century BCE audiences cannot be answered exclusively by reference to function or occasion of performance. Additional features must have been at work, of which, rhythm may well have been a prominent one.

Keywords:   iambos, Archilochus, iamboi

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