The Muse at Play: Riddles and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry

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In May 2011, a conference on riddles and word games in Greek and Latin poetry took place at the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of Warsaw. The conference was intended as an open forum where specialists working in different fields of classical studies could meet to discuss the varied manifestations of riddles and other technopaegnia - both terms being understood broadly to encompass the full range of play with language in classical antiquity, in keeping with the use made of the two terms in ancient and early modern theoretical discussions. This volume offers revised versions of the papers presented during the conference. Contributions by scholars from Europe and the USA treat a number of interconnected topics, including: ancient and modern attempts to formulate a definition of the riddle; poetic games at Greek symposia; experimentation with language in late classical poetry; riddles in the book cultures of the Hellenistic age and late antiquity; the functions of word games carved in stone, written on papyrus, or inscribed on the wall as graffiti; authors famed for their obscurity, such as Heraclitus and Lycophron; wordplay in Neo-Latin poetry; oracles, magic squares, pattern poetry, palindromes and acrostichs.