L’éloge de Thersite : la fortune d’une tradition classique dans la prose de Libanios

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Praise of Thersite: the fortune of a classical tradition in the prose of Libanios

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Abstract

The rhetorician Libanius includes in his Progymnasmata the paradoxical encomium of the character who is described in the Iliad as “the ugliest man among those who came to Troy” (B 216): Thersites. In his defence of this figure, Libanius uses some biographical details which are missing in the Homeric narration and belong instead to a mythical tradition dating back to the 5th century b.C. Its most remarkable points are Thersites’ kinship with Diomedes (Pher., fr., 171 Dolcetti) and his participation to the Calidonian Boar hunt (Pher., fr., 171 Dolcetti and, later, Euphor., fr., 106 Powell). Moreover, a comparison with the iconography of Thersites in the 4th century (crater, Boston MFA 03804 and crater, Taranto, Nat. Mus. 52230) shows that he could appear in non-iliadic contexts, without the physical defaults which Homer attributes to him. So, it seems that Thersites (as the ety- mology of his noun, «the brave one», may confirm) had an existence outside the Iliad and that some of the stories known in the antiquity about him were still popular at Libanius’ time.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Praise of Thersite: the fortune of a classical tradition in the prose of Libanios
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalATLANTIDE
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Thersite, Libanios, éloge paradoxal, Iliade

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