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On the Sublime

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On the Sublime, Greek Peri hypsous, treatise on literary criticism by Longinus, dating to about the 1st century ce. The earliest surviving manuscript, from the 10th century, was first printed in 1554.

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On the Sublime

Longinus

Comments by:  Pauline Nealy

ISBN 10: 3593301628

ISBN 13: 9783593301624

On the Sublime, Greek Peri hypsous, treatise on literary criticism by Longinus, dating to about the 1st century ce. The earliest surviving manuscript, from the 10th century, was first printed in 1554.

On the Sublime is given a 1st-century-ce date. It was a response to a work of that period by Caecilius of Calacte. The previous is a  Sicilian rhetorician. It contains 17 chapters on figures of speech, which have occupied critics and poets ever since they were written. The third of the manuscript is lost by the way!

The author defines sublimity (hypsos) in literature as “the echo of greatness of spirit”—that is, the moral and imaginative power of the writer that pervades his work. This is the first known instance in which greatness in literature is ascribed to qualities innate in the writer rather than his art. The author further suggests that greatness of thought, if not inborn, may be acquired by emulating great authors such as Homer, Demosthenes, and Plato. Illustrative quotations recorded in On the Sublime occasionally preserved work that would otherwise now be lost. For example, one of Sappho’s odes. See also sublime.

Details

ISBN: 9783593301624
Publisher: Lighthouse Books for Translation and Publishing
Publish Date: 2019
Page Count: 38

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