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Article

The dialect basis of choral lyric and the history of poetic languages in Archaic Greece

Symbolae Osloenses. 2013. No. 87. P. 1-29.
Rodin (Maslov) B.

According to a widely accepted view, the dialect used in Archaic Greek choral lyric is predominantly Doric and is strictly correlated with this genre. This article reconsiders the linguistic data as well as earlier attempts to dispute this scholarly consensus (which included interventions by Antoine Meillet, Carlo Pavese, and Natan Grinbaum), and puts forward an alternative theory of the nature and the origins of the distinctive idiom used in choral lyric. It argues that choral lyric preserves an ancient poetic language which predates the Homeric epic and in most likelihood arose in the (Proto-)Aeolic realm. This account, on the one hand, makes it possible to correlate the history of cultembedded lyric with the history of narrative epic, which is generally held to include an Aeolic phase. On the other hand, it explains the progressive Ionization of the language of choral lyric by the rise of the Ionic poetic language during the 6th-5th c. BCE.