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The Lives of the Greek Poets

'The Lives of the Greek Poets' cover image

The Lives of the Greek Poets

second edition

Renowned scholar Mary R. Lefkowitz has extensively revised and rewritten her 1981 classic to introduce a new generation of students to the lives of the Greek poets. Thoroughly updated with references to the most recent scholarship, this second edition includes new material and fresh analysis of the ancient biographies of Greece's most famous poets.

With little or no independent historical information to draw on, ancient writers searched for biographical data in the poets’ own works and in comic poetry about them. Lefkowitz describes how biographical mythology was created, and she offers a sympathetic account of how individual biographers reconstructed the poets’ lives. She argues that the life stories of Greek poets, even though primarily fictional, still merit close consideration, as they provide modern readers with insight into ancient notions about the creative process and the purpose of poetic composition.

Accessible to students and readers unfamiliar with ancient Greece as well as to scholars, this comprehensive and compelling study includes translations of the original biographies of seven of ancient Greece’s most storied poets.