The War-Trumpet and the Sound of Domination in Ancient Greek Thought

TitleThe War-Trumpet and the Sound of Domination in Ancient Greek Thought
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsNooter, S
Ancient AuthorsAristophanes Comic. (TLG 0019), Homerus Epic. (TLG 0012), Sophocles Trag. (TLG 0011), Aeschylus Trag. (TLG 0085), Thucydides Hist. (TLG 0003), Aristoteles et Corpus Aristotelicum Phil. (TLG 0086)
JournalGreek and Roman Musical Studies

In this piece, I contend that the war-trumpet (salpinx) was understood in ancient Greek literature as connected to the divine and invincible. I show how this understanding arose from a focus on the sound of the war-trumpet, accompanied by silence around the physical act of playing it, inasmuch as this act, in the parallel case of the aulos, reveals embodiment and vulnerability. In archaic and classical texts, ranging among Aristophanes, Thucydides, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristotle, we see that the sound of the salpinx is both infallible and capable of connoting the domination of Greek males in several fields: battles, courts of law, and the imagining of human and nonhuman ontology. []


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