Whilst the literary sources of the Hellenistic Age provide us the possibility to speculate on the role that realistic or imagined performance had in authors’ works, the epigraphic sources of this period attesting the activities of itinerant intellectuals, artists, and musicians, allow us to investigate and focus what the panorama of performances was like. Inscriptions (mainly honorary and proxeny decrees, but also statue bases, dedications, celebratory and funerary epigrams) are the main instrumentum to reconstruct the tesserae of the mosaic of a cultural and popular phenomenon which, running parallel to the court literature, spread in the Hellenistic Period and beyond. The itinerant men of arts of Hellenism, the so-called poeti vaganti (after M. Guarducci), traveled from town to town all around Greece, the Aegean Sea, and coasts of Asia Minor, searching for fame, glory, rewards, and money. Although the modus operandi and compositions of itinerant artists are not preserved, since they were intended for oral use, the testimonies allow us to extrapolate useful information about various aspects of this “movement” whose cornerstones essentially consist of two keywords: Travel and Performance. In fact, beyond the data pertaining to travel, epigraphy gains us a large spectrum of valuable clues leading us through the reconstruction of places, occasions, typologies, content, purposes, and results of the performances delivered by the poeti vaganti. Furthermore, through inscriptions we can acknowledge whether a performance could somehow be connected to the γῶνες and if the dramatic momentum could bear a political or diplomatic appeal. The epigraphic material of the Hellenistic period is a Pandora’s box that allows us to build a vision on the world of performances we otherwise would not be acquainted with. For example, ID 1506 informs us that the enfant prodige Ariston, successful as a composer of epic encomia, showed off with plenty of κροάσεις concerning Apollon Archegetes and the other gods of Delos in both the ekklesiasterion and the theatre of the island. This decree, as well as many others from Delos, gives us a sneak peek at the roster of artists and at performances the sacred isle used to host. Not all the inscriptions provide us the same kind of information, but the whole of testimonies coming from a specific place allows us to gain a perspective of the way cultural and performative life was set. In this context, the loci Apollinei, Delphi and Delos, are a treasure trove of information, being favourite destinations in the artistic περίοδος of the poeti vaganti. The epigraphic testimonies demonstrate the vitality of these two places not only for the agonistic performances included in the program of festivals but also for the individual exhibitions delivered by performers who were keen on praising the god through their techne. Accordingly, building a panorama on the performative life of Delphi and Delos in its various aspects, it will be useful to contextualize the exhibitions in the cultural, sacred, and competitive sphere and to define, even partially, the activities of itinerant men of literacy, arts, and music of the Hellenistic period.
The performative life of the Hellenistic period through inscriptions. The case study of Delphi and Delos / Cinalli, Angela. - (2018), pp. 39-73. - HELLENISTICA GRONINGANA.
|Titolo:||The performative life of the Hellenistic period through inscriptions. The case study of Delphi and Delos|
CINALLI, ANGELA (Corresponding author)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Citazione:||The performative life of the Hellenistic period through inscriptions. The case study of Delphi and Delos / Cinalli, Angela. - (2018), pp. 39-73. - HELLENISTICA GRONINGANA.|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|