Anacreon's "Self": An Alternative Role Model for the Archaic Elite Male?

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Anacreon's poetic persona embodies a value system that contrasts sharply with the one, often viewed as traditionally Greek, that is embodied by the persona of the Theognidean poets. While "Theognis" is moderate, loyal, almost exclusively pederastic, and focused on public affairs, "Anacreon" is immoderate, promiscuous, bisexual, and focused on private concerns. Paradoxically, like "Theognis," "Anacreon" serves as a role model for the male listener. The "self's" domination by Eros is a central problem for the two poets/traditions; in Anacreon, this is part of a broader theme of immoderation, but "Anacreon" also has strategies of metacontrol over his lack of control unknown to "Theognis."

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  • Andrew Lear

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