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The Poet and the Painter: A Hymn to Zeus on a Cup by the Brygos Painter

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Chapter Summary

The presence of metrical inscriptions on Greek vases has been noticed at least since Theodore Bergk's edition of Poetae Lyrici Graeci of 1843. This chapter, while recognizing vastly wider chronological and geographical horizons, focuses on inscriptions that appear on Attic vases of the archaic and classical periods. By way of introduction, however, it is important to establish the broader context of metrical inscriptions that are encountered throughout the archaic archaeological record. These carmina epigraphica constitute a rich corpus. In literature, Zeus is sometimes seen as the dispenser of wealth or poverty. The cup's inscription is the most ambitious of a series of at least three cups by the Brygos Painter that bear similar snatches of song. On the other cups the context is of symposiasts who are in the middle of their party, reclining rather than taking a walk.

Keywords: Brygos painter; metrical inscriptions; Zeus



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