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Theodora Hadjimichael (LMU Munich): Seeds of Hellenistic Scholarship in Plato's Dialogues

Plato’s approach to and interference with poetry bears features of Hellenistic scholarship. Although Plato’s broader aim in his Republic is to ethically and morally correct poetry as a whole, he focuses on specific texts and specific verses in his attempt to provide a purely Platonic poetry. He thus interferes with specific passages by detecting the disturbing elements and by removing and correcting specific verses. This has as a result the creation of a completely different text, as a number of texts are through this process often rewritten. Such an approach, which practically views the text as a material object, resembles Hellenistic scholarship. The Alexandrians collected the physical texts of poetry and literature and consequently worked with them as material objects. They aimed to edit these texts, thus to provide an exemplar copy, which they achieved by interfering textually through interpolations and emendations. In this paper I will attempt to show how Plato’s method in approaching poetic texts somehow paves the way for the Alexandrians. The aim of Plato might be different from that of the Alexandrians, but the method was nonetheless the same. 
Theodora Hadjimichael is a research fellow at LMU Munich in Germany, currently working on her post-doctoral project on Plato and Lyric Poetry. She holds a BA in Greek Philology from the University of Athens and an MA in Classics from University College London, wherefrom she also received her PhD. She has published on the poetics and on the reception of Bacchylides in antiquity, and has a forthcoming work on the Peripatos and lyric poetry. Her forthcoming book is entitled The Emergence of the Lyric Canon (under review), and she is also co-editing a volume with the title Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy (also under review).



Tuesday, May 17, 2016. 05:15 PM


Building 110, Rm 112


Department of Classics




Free and open to public