Classical Quarterly 21 (2):302-314 (1971)

Abstract
Histories of literature tend to treat Stesichorus as just one of the lyric poets, like Alcman or Anacreon. But the vast scale of his compositions puts him in a category of his own. It has always been known that his Oresteia was divided into more than one book; P. Oxy, 2360 gave us fragments of a narrative about Telemachus of a nearly Homeric amplitude; and from P. Oxy. 2617 it was learned that the Geryoneis contained at least 1,300 verses, the total being perhaps closer to two thousand. Even allowing for the shorter lines, this was as long as many an epic poem. Indeed, these were epic poems, in subject and style as well as in length: epics to be sung instead of recited. What was behind them? Who was this Stesichorus, and how did he come to be, in Quintilian's phrase, ‘sustaining on the lyre the weight of epic song’? The biographical problem must be tackled first. The question of Stesichorus’ historical setting and date is confused by legendary elements as well as by contradiction in the sources. On the whole scholars remain spellbound by the specious precision of the Suda's dates, although it has long been realized that they are founded on nothing but the assumption that Stesichorus was younger than Alcman and older than Simonides. There have been excellent discussions by Wilamowitz and Maas, but they seem to have had little influence.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0009838800033450
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Geryoneis: Stesichorus And The Vase-Painters.Martin Robertson - 1969 - Classical Quarterly 19 (02):207-.

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