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The Fragmentum Grenfellianum: Metrical Analysis, Ancient Punctuation, And The Sense Of An Ending

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Chapter Summary

The fragmentum Grenfellianum is one of the most famous short texts in Greek literature. It is a lyric piece sung by a woman abandoned by her lover. She tries to convince him to come back to her, and to forgive her previous "errors." The text is commonly named after Grenfell, who first published it. Grenfell remained uncertain whether the text was "rhythmical prose" or poetry. Several scholars have published edition of this text; each of them has given a slightly different metrical interpretation, and has divided the text accordingly. This chapter argues that the original layout of the text shows signs of an ancient metrical interpretation, which is consistent with ancient metrical practice. It also offers a new textual supplement for column 2, lines 61-62; on the basis of content, page layout and literary conventions, It argues that we have the final line of the "girl's lament.".

Keywords: ancient punctuation; Fragmentum Grenfellianum; Greek literature; Grenfell; metrical interpretation; rhythmical prose; textual supplement



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