Corinna Criticism - Essay

Edwin Arnold (essay date 1869)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Arnold, Edwin. “Corinna.” In The Poets of Greece, p. 150. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1972.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1869, Arnold notes that Corinna's beauty may have rivaled her ability to compose verses.]

This poetess was a native of Tanagra in Bœotia, and she must have been no mean singer, if it be true, as is alleged, that she four times wrested the prize of song from the great Pindar himself. There is nothing extant to account for this high triumph, or only a few incoherent fragments, quoted here and there by Apollonius, Hephæstio, and others. Thus it is at least possible, as certain mischievous authors report, that the beauty of Corinna had more effect upon the mind of her judges than her verses.

C. M. Bowra (essay date February 1931)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Bowra, C. M. “The Date of Corinna.” The Classical Review 45, no. 1 (February 1931): 4-5.

[In the following essay, Bowra sets forth his objections to E. Lobel's argument (see Further Reading) that Corinna belongs to a later date than is traditionally assigned to her.]

In Hermes LXV. (1930), pp. 356-365, Mr. E. Lobel has put forward, with some uncertainty, a view that Corinna was not a contemporary of Pindar, but lived at some later period before 300 b.c. Coming from an authority so distinguished, and combined with much that is acute and just on questions of language and metre, this opinion is bound to receive serious consideration. But if we examine...

(The entire section is 1038 words.)

H. J. Rose (essay date February 1934)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Rose, H. J. “Pindar and Korinna.” The Classical Review 48, no. 1 (February 1934): 8.

[In the following essay, Rose examines an insulting comment purportedly made by Pindar concerning Corinna's verse, suggesting that it was due to a misreading and that no slight was intended.]

Mr. Bowra shows his usual good sense when he indicates surprise at the statement that Pindar called Korinna a sow.1 I would go further and say that it is utterly incredible. Pindar was a gentleman; he owed Korinna gratitude, perhaps for good advice2 and certainly for a handsome compliment3; why, then, should anyone suppose him capable of reviling his...

(The entire section is 504 words.)

Albin Lesky (essay date 1957-58)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Lesky, Albin. “Songwriters on the Mainland.” In A History of Greek Literature, translated by James Willis and Cornelis de Heer, pp. 177-81. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1966.

[In the following excerpt from a work originally published in German in 1957-58, Lesky addresses the nature of Corinna's surviving fragments and the problem of assigning a date to them.]

If we treat a group of poetesses together here, it is only to get out of a difficulty. We are concerned with personalities for whom our information is as scanty as it is unreliable, so that it would be difficult to place them in the historical development.

Corinna is the...

(The entire section is 1997 words.)

Marilyn B. Skinner (essay date spring 1983)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Skinner, Marilyn B. “Corinna of Tanagra and Her Audience.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 2, no. 1 (spring 1983): 9-20.

[In the following essay, Skinner contrasts the views of Corinna and Sappho concerning their roles as women artists in ancient Greece.]

Current scholarly perception of Corinna seems to be colored by an awareness of her sex: it matters much whether she is being regarded as an ancient Greek poet or as an ancient Greek woman poet writing for other women.1 Although her work was popular in the early Roman empire—surprisingly so, in view of its dismissal by many modern critics—nothing survives outside of brief quotations and a...

(The entire section is 5598 words.)

Jane M. Snyder (essay date 1984)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Snyder, Jane M. “Korinna's ‘Glorious Songs of Heroes.’” Eranos 82 (1984): 125-34.

[In the following essay, Snyder examines three major fragments of Corinna's works and argues that the poet has not received due critical respect in modern times.]

Since the publication in 1930 of E. Lobel's theory that Korinna of Tanagra was a Hellenistic writer [see Further Reading]—despite ancient evidence connecting her with the 5th century b.c.—nearly all the scholarship about her poetry has centered on the controversy surrounding her date. The dispute continues, with the pendulum now perhaps swinging back in the direction of the 5th century, but it seems unlikely...

(The entire section is 3497 words.)

M. L. West (essay date 1990)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: West, M. L. “Dating Corinna.” The Classical Quarterly 40, no. 2 (1990): 553-57.

[In the following essay, West reasserts the position that Corinna belongs to the third century b.c. and offers a rebuttal to various claims that she flourished two centuries earlier.]

In CQ [Classical Quarterly] 20 (1970), 277-87 [see Further Reading], I argued for dating Corinna to the third century b.c. In my Greek Metre (1982), p. 141, I continued to assume this date, observing that not everyone accepted it but that I knew of no attempt to answer my arguments. I must confess to having overlooked at least one such attempt, by A. Allen in CJ...

(The entire section is 3177 words.)