Poetry as Historiography: The History of Stasis and Political Change in the Theognidea


In examining the history of the Archaic period of ancient Greece, one is hard pressed to find contemporary historical and historiographical accounts as can be found in later periods. However, archaic poetry is shown to be a possible place to look for historical information of the period. Of interest to this paper, Theognis' Theognidea appears to hold critical historical information of the stasis and political change of Archaic Megara. In this, I will be examining the extent to which Theognis' Theognidea can be used as a historiography for the political change occurring in the Archaic age, specifically that of the sixth century BCE. I will carry this out by looking at the history of the time as it is presented in the Theognidea, considering and examining the change from muthos to logos as it pertains to the words of the poet and the potential history to be found in them , the ways in which Theognis' background and the history of the circumstances surrounding his writing influence his writing, and with comparing the Theognidea to other later historical accounts of that time period, to other poets as historiography pertains to their poems, and to other works of historiography.



Theognidea, historiography, stasis, political change, poetry, history