La musique dans le Dionysiaques de Nonnos de Panopolis

TitleLa musique dans le Dionysiaques de Nonnos de Panopolis
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsFayant, M-C
EditorPinault, G-J
Ancient AuthorsNonnus Epic. (TLG 2045)
Book TitleMusique et poésie dans l’Antiquité. Actes du colloque de Clermont-Ferrand, Université Blaise Pascal, 23 mai 1997
Series TitleCollection ERGA 2
PublisherPresses Universitaires Blaise Pascal
KeywordsDioniso, Nonno di Panopoli

In his long epic poem (48 books and 21000 lines) about Dionysos’ biography, from his conceptions to his deification, Nonnos, a poet form the fifth century A.D., assigns various parts to music and musicians.
Music is present in some scenes that are directly inspired by Homer, for instance in the funeral games for Staphylos. It is also a customary adornment for banquets. Beyond this decorative presence, music appears also as a factor of universal harmony, as can be shown by several examples. By playing the flute, Cadmos bewitches Thypheus and puts a stop to the rebellion of that monster against Zeus. While being a traditional element of the Dionysiac feast, music is an essential factor of unity between human beings when Dionysos reaches the cities where is welcomed, for instance at Athens, in book 47. For Nonnos, music was a poetic theme among others, although it had a special connection with Dionysos. [abstract, The role of music in the Dionysiaca by Nonnos of Panopolis p. 127]

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