Work of the Fellows: Monographs;

Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts

Struck, Peter T. (Fellow, 2002-03)

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2022

From the publisher's description:

The book notes that Aristotle and his followers did not discuss the use of poetic symbolism. Rather, a different group of Greek thinkers--the allegorists--were the first to develop the notion. Struck extensively revisits the work of the great allegorists, which has been underappreciated. He links their interest in symbolism to the importance of divination and magic in ancient times, and he demonstrates how important symbolism became when they thought about religion and philosophy. "They see the whole of great poetic language as deeply figurative," he writes, "with the potential always, even in the most mundane details, to be freighted with hidden messages."


Subjects: Classics; Literature;; Poetry; Ancient Greek Literature; Reading; Allegory; Intellectual History; Symbolism;