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Geometry of the Centre and Extravagance of Analogy. Originality and Tradition in Catullus Poem 68 a (or 68b)

Formal and symbolic aspects of its concentric structure; Paradoxical relationships of comparisons and similes in some of Pindars Odes and in the poems of Catullus
An essay for a conference of the Society for the Study of Biblical and Semitic Rhetoric, entitled Semitic Rhetoric and Beyond, held at the Gregorian University, Rome, 2010.

Sommario
  1. Concentric structure in Catullus poem 68A (or 68B)
  2. About the history of a mystery and polysemic word: omphals
    • Umbilicus, the starting point of life, but also of a book (or better, of a papyrus roll)
    • The centre
      1. Of a shield (the shield-boss or umbo), of an army, of a rose, of the vault of an arch;
      2. Of the sea Ogygia, the island of Calypso, Od. I, 50;
      3. Of the world Delphi, omphals tou ksmou ; umbilicus Romae;
      4. In the citharoedic nomos of Terpander, that is, a vocal composition with a traditional melodic nucleus; Terpander and the archaic perception of music; music as an image of cosmic harmony
      5. In Pindars Odes
  3. The omfals in Catullus poem 68A
  4. The analogical alternation of the mythical and biographical; heroes and authors ego
  5. Antithetical arrangement and the paradoxical function of the divergence of analogies in relation to the concentric structure, or: the narrative function of colossal comparisons and the extravagant incongruity of the similes relating to points of detail.
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