54. évf. , 1-2. szám (2015): Élő antikvitás
A klasszikus antikvitás szerepe, jelentősége korunk tudományosságának és kultúrájának kialakulásában, alakulásában senki számára nem kérdéses. Sokkal inkább kérdéses az, hogy a mintegy kétezer évig eleven, de mára már pozícióját vesztett hagyomány és tudás a megváltozott társadalmi-kulturális-mediális közegbe...n „élő”, azaz jelen lévő és hatást kifejtő tud-e továbbra is maradni – s ha igen, miképpen, milyen formában. Az egész életünket, kultúránkat átható antikvitás képzete nyilvánvalóan illúzió volna, arról azonban nem mondhatunk le, hogy az oktatásban és a kultúra különböző területein munkálkodók számára is egyre távolibbá és idegenebbé váló klasszikus görög és római hagyományt olykor-olykor kiléptessük a kutatás (és oktatás) egyre szűkösebbé váló keretei közül: így megteremtve annak a tapasztalásnak a lehetőségét, hogy a klasszikus antikvitás – a fenti értelmen kívül akár még egzisztenciális vonatkozásban is, vagy olykor leginkább így – élővé tehető.
In this essay I investigate some changes in Pindar’s Nachleben. I start with the immediate aftermath of his poetry right after its (first) performance and pursue with the process of how it became written poetry securing its way into the Byzantine manuscript tradition. Regarding its popularity in the 16–17th century I highlight the fact that... Pindar remained novem princeps lyricorum for a long time and thus served as a lodestar and cynosure for generations of poets to come until the Enlightment brought a wind of change ending the era in which Pindar was a source of inspiration. Yet due attention is paid to the German poet Hölderlin who in his imitation of Pindar differs from the trends of his time. Finally I cast some light on the interesting shift of interest which made Pindar a lively subject of scholarly pusuits whereas his power of shaping modern European lyric was at an end.
Antigone, probably the best-known among Sophocles’ extant plays, not only boasts a distinguished and prestigious standing in the canon of world literature but has also been taught at schools for centuries as “the drama about fraternal love.” Can a “re-interpretation” of an “overdiscussed” work like Antigone be justified? Following... Martin Heidegger’s translation and interpretation of the First Stasimon in Antigone in Chapter 3 of his Einführung in die Metaphysik, the present essay risks a positive answer to the question raised above. Offering an analysis of the famous choral ode often referred to as the “Ode on Man”, this paper aims to show that the notorious and prevalent misinterpretation (and mistranslation) of the stasimon’s opening lines (“there are many wonders on earth, but none so wondrous as man”) inevitably slackens the ode’s inherent ties with the dramatic context. As a result, this choral song’s ability to fully function as a poetic text is heavily undermined. Delving into the stasimon, this research paper offers to reconstruct a viable meaning for the crucial word in the ode – the adjective deinos – interpreted by many scholars as “wonderful”, with the aim to restore the stasimon’s intrinsic connection with the play, bringing the choral ode back where it really belongs: to the dramatic context.
After introducing the novel The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius, the ancient novelist who is not well known in Hungary, the author analyses the most important critical remarks that have come up in the international essays referring to the novel. Eventually this essay offers a new solution to the very special problem of w...hy the narrative frame is missing at the end, after Tatius started his novel using a framed structure.
This paper seeks to list some pieces of evidence for the fact that the ancient Roman saying ‘lupus in fabula’ does not refer to a certain situation in a – lost, nursery, Aesopian, folk etc. – tale but it can be merely and directly traced back to a Greek and Roman belief that if a wolf saw somebody before the person saw the wolf, the sig...ht of the wolf struck the person dumb. The wolf ‘in fabula’ is equivalent with the wolf ‘in situ’, namely the wolf ‘in a forest’, and they share an important feature: if one sees them, they strike one dumb. So, in this saying ‘fabula’ (talk, chat) there is a meta-forest. Then the paper, making use of this idea, offers an interpretation of Verg. ecl. 9, 54.
Etruscans are often portrayed as greedy, effeminate, and cruel in Roman literature – but they can also be an example to follow when it comes to religious piety. It is generally thought that Livy portrays the Romans’ successful siege of the Etruscan city of Veii with much approval in his fifth book, but I argue that this text alludes to ambi...valence around that nation. I propose a reading of the text which says that Camillus, the very pious-looking Roman leader, in fact reacts impiously to this dilemma when destroying an old city with immediate cultural and religious ties to Rome. Moreover, he does so against pious warnings of the Roman plebs, who, in turn, are likely to be seen as impious at first reading. This layer of meaning is probably most tangible in Livy’s equivocal use of Homeric epic here: the indignant speeches of the people’s tribunes show as much motivic affinity to Achilles’ speeches in the Iliad as to those of Thersites, the seemingly obvious parallel character. All this (along with other factors pointing in this direction) can also have an effect on the political reading of the text, especially if one has in mind the war of Perusia, with its merciless destruction of an ancient city, and its masses of Etruscan victims.
During the crisis of the Republic, the founder of Rome became the symbol of a cold-blooded and unscrupulous tyrant. This image of Romulus, which has been rationalized and almost completely bereft of its mythical traits, seems to persist and influence recent interpretations aiming to unfold the more hidden layers of the narrative in Ovid’s Fas...ti, which so to say rehabilitates Romulus. Researchers attempting a new reading of the text identify ”traces” that they believe undermined and discredited the image of Romulus, arousing sympathy or at least compassion, and along with it, Augustan propaganda – in accordance with the author’s intention, as they suppose.
This study briefly introduces the most characteristic traits of the negative Romulus-image, and then discusses the preconceptions that may have rendered the Fasti, which has long been considered an artistic failure of a great poet, a distinguished text in post-modern classical philology. This paper examines some examples of these subversive readings and interpretation techniques, and also points out their less convincing aspects. It will be argued that while the post-modern approach has uncovered numerous unnoticed artistic values of the Fasti, concerning the story of Romulus the suspicious reading described by Eco may well lead to overinterpretations that do not throw light upon many aspects of Ovid’s narrative art but rather obscure them.
The name of Marcus Ofilius Hilarius does not occur in any other source besides book 7 of Pliny’s encyclopedia. With this in mind, the narrative giving an extensive account of the death of the actor needs further explanation. The present paper takes a look at the narrower and broader context of this detail which lends the story a meaning and a... structuring function within the Naturalis Historia. This inquiry enables us to draw certain conclusions not only about book 7, but about the whole encyclopedia as well.
The fact that the ICLA’s book series, the comparative history of literatures in European languages, took the Renaissance as its point of departure suggests that the timespan of comparative literature does not go back further than that period. David Damrosch’s definition of world literature, however, includes all the classics as texts read o...utside their original culture. For a comparative approach we do not need to compare the classics to a different (e.g. modern or a non-European ancient) kind of literature: since all the western literary cultures developed some kind of relationship to the classics, they can be discussed as a code of western literature, which may make them a „language” of comparison.
In his fascinating book Die Zauberflöte, Oper und Mysterium (München-Wien, Carl Hanser Verlag, 2005; A varázsfuvola, opera és misztérium, Budapest, Atlantisz, 2012), Jan Assmann saw Mozart’s opera as a link between the Egyptian–Hellenistic mystery religions and the 18th-century Freemasonry and its legacy. According to his theory, Die Z...auberflöte inherently contains an initiation ritual, which, in light of the Masonic interpretation of the mysteries, we can see as representing the ”lesser” and ”greater” stages of the masonic initiation. This study demonstrates that the musical intonation of the opera (the structure of tonalities, melody, harmony, rhythm and orchestration, etc.) leads finally even through three lines to the Nether World (Isis-Osiris/ Demeter-Persephone/ Orpheus-Euridice); yet in spite of all it may seem to be an absurd idea to connect Sarastro’s Empire with it. But the problem of rebirth in voluntary death-experience is not unfamiliar within Freemasonry, the intensive absorption in mortality is a part of their initiating processes. The ”secret” of Mozart’s ”masonic opera” is the summary of a mystical happiness got by insight into the last stage of masonic initiation.
This study provides the synoptic treatment of Ancient themes in modern opera. The first part reflects on the classical operas reinterpreted by contemporary Hungarian directors (Balázs Kovalik, Róbert Alföldi, Ferenc Anger); the second part deals with the new contemporary works inspired by Ancient texts. The main questions focus on the tensio...n between the Ancient material and the strategies of reinterpretation, on the selffashioning of the author and on the examination of the original texts’ cultural identity. The most important strategies of the reanimation of Ancient cultural or textual ambient are: a) reconstruction (Melis, Orff), b) plasticity and common presence of the multifaced myths (Bussotti, Birtwistle), c) ritualisation (Dillon, Furrer), d) fragmentation (Maderna), e) „exposure” of the myth or the well-known story (Martinů, Dallapiccola, Turnage), f) utilisation of the Ancient context for the purposes of the ”emancipation” (Harrison).
One of Dezső Kosztolányi’s early short stories, titled Kifelé (Outward-bound), was published in 1904 in a provincial paper called Szeged és Vidéke. Kosztolányi later included this early piece of writing in a compilation of short stories. In this publication the story was given a new title, namely, Károly apja (Charles’s Father). The...plot centers on two sculptors, father and son, who can be considered representatives of opposing generations. On returning home from Paris, the son realises that his father does not create sculptures any longer but has become addicted to alcohol. Károly (Charles) the younger, who is still enthusiastic about his experiences in the French capital, would do anything to revitalise his father and restore his earlier vigor. Several of Károly junior’s attempts fail until one day he manages to teach his father to ride the bicycle. He assists his father’s escape from hospital and then they cycle together at such a speed that Károly’s father loses control over the vehicle. He finally plummets into the river and drowns. Kosztolányi’s intention when writing the story was – as stated in his correspondence – to highlight the generation gap experience. He did not refer to Ovidius in his correspondence at all, or mention the fact that he was reading Ovidius’s Metamorphoses at the time, whose storyline was very similar. This paper aims to explain how Kosztolányi reshapes classical sources by merging two well-known stories of the famous Roman poet: that of Pygmalion, who gave life to a statue, and that of Daedalus, who was trying to flee with his son, Icarus, on wings. But Kosztolányi does not simply merge these stories, he transforms them instead. Károly junior is, on the one hand, a Pygmalion who is trying very hard to keep his father alive, while his father is gradually turning into a dead statue. On the other hand, he resembles Icarus, who rescues his father from a prison-like life by driving him into the freedom of death.
This study maps the poetry of Gábor Devecseri (who was the most important Hungarian translator of Homer) regarding to the periodization of the oeuvre and focusing on the notion of time. The poetic oeuvre of Devecseri can be divided into three periods: the first period begins from the 1930’s and lasts to the collection titled Letter from the...Mount, published after World War II; the second falls on the period of ”schematism”, which starts from the collection The light is spreading (celebrating the birthday of Stalin) to 1956; the third, after a long silence, begins from 1961 (with the essay „Homeric Journey”) and lasts to the death of the author. The meeting with the Greek land and culture brought some especially new elements into the poetry of Devecseri. The relation between the author and the Ancient culture is determined by the translation of Homer and by the personal encounter with modern Greek life too. The journey in space broadens not only towards the cultural dimensions of the time, but comprehends the personal phases of the individual life time.
András Ferenc Kovács is one of the most important contemporary representatives of Hungarian-speaking poetry in Romania. He publishes in Hungary as well as in Romania. The poems of his Calvus cycle are edited in several Hungarian and Romanian periodicals. Calvus („translated” by Kovács) and the fictitious Hungarian poet Lázáry, who „t...ranslates” in the style of the 19th century Calvus, are two poetical masks of several other ones of Kovács. This paper focuses on the influence of Roman poetry by Calvus, Catullus, Prorpertius, Ovidius in Kovács’s cycle, on the Catullan subjects with contemporary allusions and on the virtuous metrical art of Kovács. Although hidden in an ancient mask, the poet is speaking to his contemporaries about art, literature, love and politics.
The aim of the article is to give a panoramic view about the reception of ancient culture in contemporary Hungarian children’s literature. Because of the almost total disappearance of Latin and Greek instruction from secondary school education, the only way to present Antiquity to this generation is through literature, which carries genuine a...esthetic and ethic messages. This analysis focuses on short stories and novels written in the last decade for children aged 8-12, highly influenced by the international trends of films and computer games which adapt Greek mythology for a popular entertaining narration (see the detective stories of F. Lenk or the action thriller series Percy Jackson by R. Riordan). The works analysed (Ida and the Golden Fleece by K. Baráth, Csoda and Kósza by Z. Czigány, the Siren-episode of J. Berg’s Rumini, Diabaz the Thunderbolt-throwing by E. Szakács, The Garden of Malena by K. R. Molnár), on the contrary, offer the up-to-date versions of Greek myths retold in a poetic or humorous register. Making the children acquinted by the most important elements of greco-roman culture, by the transmission of the humaniora, they help as well to create a humanistic attitude.
The philologist, if he wishes for a verdict of acquittal, must understand three things: antiquity, the present time, and himself; his fault lies in the fact that he either does not understand antiquity, or the present time, or himself ” said F. Nietzsche in his „We Phiolologists” (fr. 46.). What is more, antiquity can help us, in a specia...l sense, to understand our present time. This paper shows the parallels between the Augustan propaganda and policy in Roman culture, and the same phenomena in Hungary after the revolution in 1956. Both of these times and systems are very complex and hardly adjudgable, somewhere between the political dictature and the power of a popular leader. Both of them have particular and particularly similar inner stage points and periods. The literary and historical evidences give us keys and possible interpretations now there, now here, helping us at the same time to understand the other era.