Devising Descent: Mime, Katabasis and Ritual in Theocritus' Idyll 15 Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Hansen, Hans Jorgen
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Classics
  • In this thesis I investigate the genres and structure of Theocritus' fifteenth Idyll, as well as its katabatic and ritual themes. Though often considered an urban mime, only the first 43 lines exhibit the formal qualities of mime found in Herodas' Mimiambi, the only other surviving corpus of Hellenistic mime. The counterpoint to the mimic first section is the Adonia that makes up the last section of the poem and amounts to an urban recasting of pastoral poetry. A polyphonic, katabatic journey bridges the mimic and pastoral sections and is composed of four encounters that correspond to ordeals found in ritual katabases. The structure of the poem is then tripartite, beginning in the profane world of the household mime, progressing through the liminal space of the streets and ending in the sacred world of the Adonia. This progression mirrors Theocritus' evolution from Syracusan mimic poet to Alexandrian pastoral poet.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Classics."
  • Race, William H.
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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