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Mimiambs of Herodas : Translated into an English 'Choliambic' Metre With Literary-Historical
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The third-century BC poet Herodas had been almost forgotten until a papyrus of eight of his mimiambs (plus fragments) was turned up at the end of the 19th century in the Egyptian desert. They have since been brought out in scholarly commentaries, but this book is the first to attempt to reproduce in English Herodas' distinctive “choliambic” or “limping” variant on the iambic trimeter, with its signatory reversed final foot.
This volume provides an accessible introduction to Herodas and his mimiambs that requires no knowledge of Greek. The translation steers between literal accuracy and fidelity to this linguistically demanding poet's spirit and intention. The contextual introductions and notes on the poems take into account the most recent scholarship, providing explanation of the context of the mimiambs and guiding the reader to an appreciation of the poetry itself. The General Introduction to the author and his cultural world places the poet in his wider Hellenistic context: urban society in the Ptolemaic Empire, which he conjures up in his mimiambs, sometimes with scathing vividness.