History of Pastoral Poetry


Sir Phillip Sidney was certainly was not the first poet explore this area called pastoral poetry. In fact it was created hundreds of years before him in ancient Greek times. The father of this style of verse is said to be Theocritus (310?- 250?). He was born in Syracuse, Sicily and lived in Alexandria under Ptolmey II. Thirty poems and twenty-four epigrams are rumored to be his, but doubt still remains of his authorship. Pastrol poetry was created in Greece almost solely because of a place located there. It's name was Arcadia. A place of peace and contentment located in the beautiful plateaus of Greece. It was home to shepards, philosphers, and pastrol poets.
Due to the utopian nature of this place, pastoral poetry took on a similarity to it. Unlike many Greek poems and paintings, pastoral poetry strayed from heroic tales and focused more on simpler subject matter. It portrayed the lives of shepards during the Golden Age of Greece. Description of the countryside filled the pages of a pastoral poem. The serenity and quiet expierenced by the shepards in the hills of Arcadia, was put into words seldom matched. It may be difficult or even impossible to find a more divine form of poetry than pastoral.


A Landscape Picture of Greece (Possibly similar to the hills of Arcadia).


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