05 Vers und Stimme. Studien zur antiken Serienmetrik und ihrer pragmatischen Funktion


In ancient Greek epic tradition we can see strange rhythmic clusters, consisting of blocks of 4-5 verses that share a long syllable at the same position (although the epic verse usually tends to variation). Some of these series interact with the same speech-type, others seem to participate in the construction of repetition-figures. The older the text, the more frequent these clusters are, occurring less in narrative and more in catalogues.
How are we to interpret the fact that almost all epic oaths are linked to such clusters, except some of them that are actually lies? The first solution would be expressiveness, but counterproofs with the discourse of prayer or threatening speeches are less conclusive. This book offers another, rather pragmatic, solution for explaining the phenomenon of rhythmic clusters in Greek epic: oath, prayer, order, but also irony have in common that the locuteur/narrator I/ poet’s voice is speaking behind narrator II or the characters. Singing an epic song is a stressful multitasking job where the metrical engine and telling the story have to be well in tune. When the voice of locuteur is added to all this, the singer seems to put the metrics on auto-pilot and starts to use metrical clusters, in order to manage both to continue the narration and to address the audience from behind his narrator’s mask.

Martin Steinrück has attended the University of Basle and received his doctorate from the University of Lausanne. He has obtained a habilitation in classical philology from the University of Fribourg where he currently teaches Greek language and literature, as a Privat-docent. He is also a co-founder of DAMON, a group of metricists, and has published numerous articles and books in the fields of Greek literature (from archaic time to late antiquity), narratology and metrics. His works include: Iambos, Studien zum Publikum einer Gattung in der frühgriechischen Literatur (2000), Haltung und rhetorische Form, Tropen Figuren und Rhythmus in der Prosa des Eunap von Sardes (2004), A quoi sert la métrique, interprétation littéraire et analyse des formes métriques grecques, une introduction (2007), The Suitors of the Odyssey, The clash between Homer and Archilochus (2008), and recently Antike Formen, Materialien zur Geschichte von Katalog, Mythos und Dialog (2013).