Time in Ancient Greek Literature
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This is the second volume of a new narratological history of Ancient Greek lietrature, which deals with aspects of time: the order in which events are narrated, the amount of time devoted to the naration, and the number of times they are presented.
26–27, 2005. I wish to thank the Netherlands Organization for Scientiﬁc Research (NWO) and the Institute of Culture and History (ICG) of the University of Amsterdam for their ﬁnancial support. The preparation of the manuscript for publication was in the— highly eﬃcient and careful—hands of the copy-editor of Mnemosyne, Wim Remmelink. IdJ. GLOSSARY actorial analepsis: an analepsis made by a character. actorial prolepsis: a prolepsis made by a character. analepsis (ﬂashback, Rückwendung): the
stone wrapped in a cloth. The Hesiodic narrator comments: ‘the brute (skhetlios), not realizing that thereafter not a stone but his son remained, secure and invincible, who before long was to defeat him by physical strength and drive him from his high station, himself to be king among the immortals’ (488–491). The explicit narratorial comment in the form of a prolepsis draws particular attention to the imminence of what the narrator arguably considers the most important event of the Theogony:
‘Themistogenes’. A year’s exciting events are told in three lines—and there is even an ellipsis of the events of the last three books of the Anabasis, which cover the Greeks’ tumultuous journey along the Black Sea coast and their service in Thrace under a Thracian despot. At the other extreme, there is the section of narrative in which Xenophon reports a key moment towards the end of the Greeks’ march towards the sea—a section which in itself shows some of the powerful eﬀects gained by shifts of
introductory books are to be deﬁned as analeptic to the main story or as the start of the story. Polybius explicitly marks out the sketch of what had led to the Roman crossing to Sicily as an analepsis: ‘my readers need not be surprised if, in the further course of this work, I occasionally go back in time (prosanatrekh¯omen tois khronois) to add some of the earlier history of the most famous states … in order to take such a starting point as will make it clear in the sequel starting from what
itself, the brilliance of which was so recent, … Scipio said, ‘A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish, and Priam and his people shall be slain’. (38.22.1) Scipio’s tears evoke Antiochus’ tears towards the end of Hieronymus’ history,20 while the general stress on mutability also looks back to Herodotus’ reﬂection that cities once great were now small and that cities now great were once small (1.5.4) and to Thucydides’ anticipation of Athens and Sparta as ruins (1.10.2). At the same time,