Hipponax is a key exponent of the problematic genre that is iambos and his work exerted a strong influence on later authors, most notably in Hellenistic but also in Latin literature. Yet our understanding of him as a poet in his own right is surprisingly limited. Indeed, appropriations of his poetry by later authors are more extensively studied—and, somewhat paradoxically, better understood—than Hipponax' poetry itself.
This state of affairs is no doubt owed in part to the fact that his corpus has reached us in tatters, and that textual difficulties are compounded by linguistic complexities. Hipponax’ poetry sounds the lowest registers of iambic language, taking in epic parody, magical incantation, and foreign or pidgin terms along the way. In other respects too, the poetry of Hipponax seems to combine extremes in a discomfiting manner: ritual background with 'literary' playfulness, marked fictionality with gritty, bodily, 'realism', high social class with low. All of this contributes to form an overall impression of the corpus as arrestingly unlike that of any other poet of the period: Hipponax’ poetry has proven particularly hard to make sense of and contextualise.
Now is a good time to focus attention on Hipponax. Much work has been done in recent years on iambos, on methodologies for working with fragmentary texts, on fictionality, on cross-linguistic interactions, to name but a few key areas. The questions posed in an especially acute form by Hipponax’ poetry are among the most pressing for classical literary scholarship today: issues surrounding performance and performance context; the poetry’s social function and the conjuring up of real or fictitious social scenarios; its relation to ritual and the public sphere or, conversely, its character as a more or less exclusive literary jeu d’esprit; questions of methodology in making sense of poorly preserved genres; inter-cultural borrowing and relations with non-Greek traditions; interaction with sub-literary genres, parody of higher genres, and other forms of generic playfulness; the display of poetic self-consciousness of a kind which we tend to resist ascribing to the poetry of this early period.
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Corpus Christi College (Oxford, England)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Vanessa Cazzato; Enrico Emanuele Prodi
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9:30 - Shane Hawkins (Carleton): Hipponax and the Ritual Background.
10:15 - Margarita Alexandrou (UCL): The Black Cat in the Dark: Performance(s) of Hipponactean Iambos.
11 - Coffee break
11:15 - Daniel Anderson (Cambridge): Self-naming in Hipponax and the Lyric Sphragis.
12 - Adrian Kelly (Oxford): ‘… As Though Homer Had Never Written’: Hipponax, Epic, and Composition by Mode.
12:45 - Lunch
13:45 - Andrea Capra (Milan): For What It’s Worth: Hipponax’ Prayer to Hermes Re-evaluated.
14:30 - Alexander Dale (Concordia): Kandaules ‘the Dog-Throttler’, Greco-Lydian Onomastics, and the Poetics of Iambus: Hipponax fr. 3a West (= 3 Degani) in Context.
15:15 - Coffee break
15:45 - S. Douglas Olson (Minnesota): Obscenity and Invective in Old Comedy and the Iambographers.
16:30 - Michael Silk (KCL): Poetry and Anti-Poetry: Hipponax in a Modern Poetic Perspective.
17:30 - Drinks reception followed by dinner