Lykophron: Alexandra: Greek Text, Translation, Commentary, And Introduction
Publish Date: 2015-08-11
Author: Simon Hornblower
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The Alexandra attributed to Lykophron is a minor poetic masterpiece. At 1474 lines, it is one of the most important and notoriously difficult Greek poems dating from the Hellenistic period (most likely the early second century BC).
Most of the poem purports to be a prophecy by the mythical Trojan princess, Kassandra, the most beautiful of the daughters of King Priam, and her prophecy ranges from the Trojan War to the Roman defeat of Macedon in 197 BC, which took place in the poet's own time. The poem's importance arises from the light which it sheds on Greek religion (in particular the role of women), on foundation myths and myths of colonial identity, and on local - especially Italian - cults and cult places. The difficulty of the poem stems from its unusual vocabulary - many words of ancient Greek are found only in this poem - and the riddling and indirect way in which most of the many mythological characters are introduced.
As well as providing the Greek text in full and its English translation, this volume provides the first ever full-length commentary in English on the poem.