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date: 29 September 2023

dedications, Greeklocked

dedications, Greeklocked

  • Michael Silk


A literary dedication is a symbolic presentation of a work or collection to a dedicatee as a mark of affection or respect. It is usually embodied in a formal opening (or near-opening) address. The first attested instance is *Dionysius (6) Chalcus' elegy to a friend (fr. 1 West): ‘accept this poem as a toast (προπινομένην). I present it to you first (πέμπω σοι πρώτῳ)…Take it as a gift (λαβὼν τόδε δῶρον) and toast me back in song (ἀοιδὰς ἀντιπρόπιθι)’. The phraseology is prefigured in Pindar, e.g. Nemean 3. 76–9, ‘drink this song that I present to you’ (τόδε τοι πέμπω…πόμ᾽ ἀοίδιμον); but in Pindar poetry is not the poet's gift but the ‘gift of the Muses’ (Ol. 7. 7), and an opening address is reserved for divinities like the Muse herself (Nem. 3. 1, etc. ). Dedication implies secularization. In the 4th cent. bce dedication becomes more matter-of-fact (e.


  • Greek Literature

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