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Delos: The Soft Power of Poetry

  • Martyn Smith
Chapter
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Abstract

Delos slowly gains clarity and outline as an excursion boat draws near. It is a small island, and by no means the only one in view. Naxos, Paros, Myconos, and Tenos are all within sight, not to mention Delos’ near neighbor, Rheneia. These and a number of other small islands comprise the Cyclades, a chain northeast of Athens in the Aegean Sea. Delos is tiny and in many ways unremarkable, but the modern visitor may well feel like Ovid’s ancient heroine Cydippe:

Stirred by the fame of the place, I hastened to see Delos and the ship seemed listless to make the journey.

How often did I make complaints to the slow oars and have complained that scanty canvas was given to the wind!

And just now I passed Myconos, now Tenos and Andros, and Delos was dazzling to my eyes,

which when I saw it distant, I said “why do you flee from me, island?”

(Heroides 21.77–83)

Keywords

Palm Tree Soft Power Sacred Space Greek Island Archaic Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Martyn Smith 2008

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  • Martyn Smith

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