This article analyses the remains of the seventh-century epic known as the "Kypria" from literary as well as iconographical perspectives. The literary study of the "Kypria" includes a provisional reconstruction followed by a defense of the poem against many critics, beginning with Aristotle, who have found it tediously linear and unsophisticated. The "Kypria" apparently made artful use of catalogues, flashbacks, digressions, and predictions as traditional sources of epic poikilia. The second part of this study examines several (but not all) instances in which the "Kypria" influenced representational art of Archaic Greece. Study of the iconographical tradition often yields details which may be retrojected into the poem, albeit with varying degrees of certitude. The influence of the "Kypria" on the iconography of Greek art, especially pronounced considering the greater overall prestige of the Iliad and the Odyssey, is explained on the basis of the themes and purposes of the cyclic poem. First, the "Kypria" was so often translated into the visual medium because of the high number of potentially interesting subjects which it offered to artists. Second, Proklos commented that the poems of the epic cycle were later preserved less for their literary quality than for the concatenation of epic events which they preserved. In choosing to transfer this poetic tradition to their own media, archaic artists simultaneously evoked the powerful causality of the poem and, more importantly, alluded to the larger story of the Trojan War.
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