This dissertation is an examination of the Gigantomachy as a metaliterary marker, a way of discussing poetic style and a poet's place in literary history. The term Gigantomachy is used here to stand for a complex of myths in which a giant figure battles the Olympians; it therefore includes not only the battle of the gods and Giants, but also that of the gods and Titans, Typhon, and Otos and Ephialtes. Long understood as a political metaphor expressing the triumph of order over chaos, I contend that the Gigantomachy also stands for the epic tradition and writing in the grand style (genus grande). The enormity of the subject matter lends itself to a heavy, even bombastic style of writing; as a result, Gigantomachy is a frequent subject of epic parody. I put forth a new understanding of how parody functions, arguing that it operates not as a means of ridiculing a particular author or genre, but rather as a tool for manipulating a predecessor text from within. Through parody, a poet is able to gain mastery over his literary pedigree and change the reception of his own text as a late or dependent work. This dialogue with epic is closely tied to Callimacheanism, the preference for writing small scale, carefully crafted, highly learned poetry rather than lengthy epic. Through analysis of allusions to Gigantomachy, I demonstrate how the tropes and techniques of Callimacheanism begin long before Callimachus, with Hesiod, and continue to shift and change through the poetry of Pindar, Callimachus himself, Propertius, and Ovid.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2014. Major: Classical and Near Eastern Studies, Advisors: Nita Krevans and Christopher Nappa. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 229 pages.
Lechelt, Christine Elizabeth.
Allusions of Grandeur: Gigantomachy, Callimachean poetics, and literary filiation.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.