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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Eloquent Alogia: Animal Narrators in Ancient Greek Literature

Department of Classics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Academic Editor: Joela Jacobs
Humanities 2017, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020037
Received: 21 January 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
Classical Greek literature presents a variety of speaking animals. These are not, of course, the actual voices of animals but human projections. In a culture that aligns verbal mastery with social standing, verbal animals present a conundrum that speaks to an anxiety about human communication. I argue that the earliest examples of speaking animals, in Homer, Hesiod and Archilochus, show a fundamental connection with Golden Age tales. Later authors, such as Plutarch and Lucian, look back on such cases from a perspective that does not easily accept notions of divine causation that would permit such fanciful modes of communication. I argue that Plutarch uses a talking pig to challenge philosophical categories, and that Lucian transforms a sham-philosopher of a talking-cock to undermine the very pretense of philosophical virtue. View Full-Text
Keywords: animals; Achilles; Archilochus; fox; Gryllus; Hesiod; Homer; Lucian; pig; Plutarch; Pythagoras; rooster; Xanthus animals; Achilles; Archilochus; fox; Gryllus; Hesiod; Homer; Lucian; pig; Plutarch; Pythagoras; rooster; Xanthus
MDPI and ACS Style

Hawkins, T. Eloquent Alogia: Animal Narrators in Ancient Greek Literature. Humanities 2017, 6, 37. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020037

AMA Style

Hawkins T. Eloquent Alogia: Animal Narrators in Ancient Greek Literature. Humanities. 2017; 6(2):37. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020037

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hawkins, Tom. 2017. "Eloquent Alogia: Animal Narrators in Ancient Greek Literature" Humanities 6, no. 2: 37. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020037

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