This article examines the relationship between the narrator and the audience in Archestratus’ Hedypatheia, a relationship that provides us with a better understanding of the poem’s didactic and poetic pretensions. I demonstrate that this relationship is founded upon inequality: the narrator is consistently presented as omniscient, while the audience always occupy an inferior position, their very lives less important than the life of luxury which they are expected to pursue. This relation- ship operates at both a gastronomic and a poetic level. The relationship between the narrator and the addressees situates the poem within Greek poetic aesthetics, espousing a poetics of simplicity. At the same time, the humour and parodic tone of the poem emphasize the poet’s art, how he deals with his subject and the subjects he chooses to include or exclude. Far from being a straightforward catalogue of the best foods in the Greek world, the Hedypatheia invites us to negotiate our position through the humorously exaggerated assumption that the addressees of the poem are prepared to lay down their lives for a fish, as well as our reception of the poem itself.
|Title of host publication||Patrimónios alimentares de aquém e além-mar|
|Place of Publication||Coimbra|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
Martin, P. (2016). “A display for the whole of Greece”?: the narrator’s relationship with his audience in Archestratus of Gela. In Patrimónios alimentares de aquém e além-mar (pp. 145-171). https://doi.org/10.14195/978-989-26-1191-4_6