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Orthogonal technique and oral poetry: from Megara Hyblaea to Thuruoi

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Renan Falcheti Peixoto
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria Beatriz Borba Florenzano; Regina Helena Rezende Bechelli; Fábio Augusto Morales Soares
Advisor: Maria Beatriz Borba Florenzano

The Greek orthogonal technique, especially in the urban contexts of Sicily and south Italy (Magna Graecia), could be distributed in a interpretative frame created by the archaeological tale of two cities separated in its foundations more or less three hundred years. The Archaic polis of Megara Hyblaea and the Classical polis of Thurioi offer the two major references of the present research which intends to analyze the phenomenon of orthogonal organization through the oral poetry theory as presented in the comparative studies of Milman Parry and Albert Lord. The ethnographic research of Parry and Lord in the earlier twentieth century with Yugoslavian singers opens a new and inspiring field on the composition and reception of the Homeric poems. With this perspective, it will be demonstrate in the following pages a planning method without any design plans. A planning that uses as compositional resources arithmetical formulas that define the proportional dimensions between the elements of the system. Initiating the subject with the literary evidences about Hipodamus of Miletus, crowned by a historiographical current as primus inventor of the orthogonal method, will be uncovered the anonymous secular tradition derived from the practice of craftsmen who did not write a single word about their techniques. The orthogonal formulas constitute co-dimensioned measures between the sides of the house lot, the block and the width of streets crystallized over time in the scansion of the blocks. Taking optical sights and aligning ropes along roads would be possible - as in a square - to start two vectors from the arithmetical formulas then translated in geometrical forms. It will be argued in the detailed analysis of Megara Hyblaea\'s layout against the hypothesis that there is in the Archaic period a conception of an abstract and a priori module. The orthogonal Archaic city it is not a master plan thought as a set which precedes its parts. The continued use of the orthogonal principles over time, however, contribute to the emergence of new formulas of larger unities which in cities like Thurioi consigns inside its area the grouping of a given number of blocks. This is a sign of a notion then that the orthogonal city is co-measured from a set articulated of parts. By questioning the modern lecture which, under a literary paradigm, sees the reconstituted plans and drawings of an original orthogonal grid a byproduct of an abstract, mental and a priori exercise, it will be discussed, by consequence, the ontology of the archaeological artifact, the archaeology\'s epistemological fundaments that, since its becoming as an academic discipline, relies on a series of interpretative tools inherited from modern Western cosmology. It will be circulate, therefore, in interdisciplinary roads between archaeology, philology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and art history. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/06260-7 - Hippodamus of Miletus and the foundation of the panhellenic colony of Thourioi, 444/443 BCE
Grantee:Renan Falcheti Peixoto
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master