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Books

Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel
Roilos, Panagiotis. 2006. Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel. Washington, DC and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This work offers the first systematic and interdisciplinary study of the poetics of the twelfth-century medieval Greek novel. This book investigates the complex ways in which rhetorical theory and practice constructed the overarching cultural aesthetics that conditioned the production and reception of the genre of the novel in twelfth-century Byzantine society. By examining the indigenous rhetorical concept of amphoteroglossia, this book probes unexplored aspects of the re-inscription of inherited allegorical, comic, and rhetorical modes in the Komnenian novels, and offers new methodological directions for the study of Byzantine secular literature in its cultural complexities. The creative re-appropriation of the established generic conventions of the ancient Greek novel by the medieval Greek novelists, it is argued in this wide-ranging study, has invested these works with a dynamic dialogism. In this book, Roilos shows that this interdiscursivity functions on two pivotal axes: on the paradigmatic axis of previously sanctioned ancient Greek and--less evidently but equally significantly--Christian literature, and on the syntagmatic axis of allusions to the broader twelfth-century Byzantine cultural context.

Martial: Liber Spectaculorum
Coleman, Kathleen M. 2006. Martial: Liber Spectaculorum. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This book is the first full-scale edition of the so-called Liber spectaculorum by Martial. A comprehensive introduction addresses the role of epigram in commemorating monuments and occasions, the connection between spectacle and imperial panegyric in Martial's oeuvre, characteristics of the collection, possible circumstances of composition and 'publication', transmission of the text, and related issues. Each epigram is followed by an apparatus criticus, an English translation, and a detailed commentary on linguistic, literary, and historical matters, adducing extensive evidence from epigraphy and art as well as literary sources. The book is accompanied by four concordances, five tables, two maps, 30 plates, and an appendix.

Greek Ritual Poetics
Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios, and Panagiotis Roilos, ed. 2005. Greek Ritual Poetics. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Investigating ritual in Greece from cross-disciplinary and transhistorical perspectives, Greek Ritual Poetics offers novel readings of the pivotal role of ritual in Greek traditions by exploring a broad spectrum of texts, art, and social practices. This collection of essays written by an international group of leading scholars in a number of disciplines presents a variety of methodological approaches to secular and religious rituals, and to the narrative and conceptual strategies of their reenactment and manipulation in literary, pictorial, and social discourses. Addressing understudied aspects of Greek ritual and societies, this book will prove significant for classicists, anthropologists, Byzantinists, art historians, neohellenists, and comparatists interested in the interaction between ritual, aesthetics, and cultural communicative systems.

Hippocrates On Ancient Medicine: Translated with Introduction and Commentary
Schiefsky, Mark J. 2005. Hippocrates On Ancient Medicine: Translated with Introduction and Commentary. Leiden: Brill. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Hippocratic treatise On Ancient Medicine, a key text in the history of early Greek thought, mounts a highly coherent attack on the attempt to base medical practice on principles drawn from natural philosophy. This volume presents an up-to-date Greek text of On Ancient Medicine, a new English translation, and a detailed commentary that focuses on questions of medical and scientific method; the introduction sets out a new approach to the problem of the work's relationship to its intellectual context and addresses the contentious issues of its date, authorship, and reception. The book will be of interest to scholars of ancient medicine and ancient philosophy, as well as anyone concerned with the history of science and scientific method in antiquity.

Romulus' Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian
Dench, Emma. 2005. Romulus' Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Modern treatments of Rome have projected in highly emotive terms the perceived problems, or the aspirations, of the present: 'race-mixture' has been blamed for the collapse of the Roman empire; more recently, Rome and Roman society have been depicted as 'multicultural'. Moving beyond these and beyond more traditional, juridical approaches to Roman identity, Emma Dench focuses on ancient modes of thinking about selves and relationships with other peoples, including descent-myths, history, and ethnographies. She explores the relative importance of sometimes closely interconnected categories of blood descent, language, culture and clothes, and territoriality. Rome's creation of a distinctive imperial shape is understood in the context of the broader ancient Mediterranean world within which the Romans self-consciously situated themselves, and whose modes of thought they appropriated and transformed.

P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoses (Oxford Classical Texts)
Tarrant, Richard, ed. 2004. P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoses (Oxford Classical Texts). Oxford: Clarendon Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

For this edition of the Metamorphoses R. J. Tarrant has freshly collated the oldest fragments and manuscripts and has drawn more fully than previous editors on the twelfth-century manuscripts, the earliest extant witnesses to many potentially original readings. He has also given more scope to conjecture than other recent editors, and has been readier than his predecessors to identify certain verses as interpolated. This edition will be indispensable for future study of Ovid's greatest work.

Homer's Text and Language
Nagy, Gregory. 2004. Homer's Text and Language. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

As Homer remains an indispensable figure in the canons of world literature, interpreting the Homeric text is a challenging and high stakes enterprise. There are untold numbers of variations, imitations, alternate translations, and adaptations of the Iliad and Odyssey, making it difficult to establish what, exactly, the epics were. Gregory Nagy's essays have one central aim: to show how the text and language of Homer derive from an oral poetic system.

In Homeric studies, there has been an ongoing debate centering on different ways to establish the text of Homer and the different ways to appreciate the poetry created in the language of Homer. Gregory Nagy, a lifelong Homer scholar, takes a stand in the midst of this debate. He presents an overview of millennia of scholarly engagement with Homer's poetry, shows the different editorial principles that have been applied to the texts, and evaluates their impact.

Towards a Ritual Poetics
Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios, and Panagiotis Roilos. 2003. Towards a Ritual Poetics. Athens: Foundation of the Hellenic World. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The book Towards a Ritual Poetics by Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at John Hopkins University, and Panagiotis Roilos, Assistant Professor of Modern Greek Studies at Harvard University, is an interdisciplinary study regarding the incorporation of the rituals in cultural expression at different moments of Hellenic history. Three representative and slightly researched cases are examined, in a wide time framework, through which a methodological model is proposed, the notion of ritual poetics, aiming at comparing different aspects between rituals and socio-political expression.

Homeric Responses
Nagy, Gregory. 2003. Homeric Responses. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Homeric Iliad and Odyssey are among the world's foremost epics. Yet, millennia after their composition, basic questions remain about them. Who was Homer—a real or an ideal poet? When were the poems composed—at a single point in time, or over centuries of composition and performance? And how were the poems committed to writing? These uncertainties have been known as The Homeric Question, and many scholars, including Gregory Nagy, have sought to solve it.

In Homeric Responses, Nagy presents a series of essays that further elaborate his theories regarding the oral composition and evolution of the Homeric epics. Building on his previous work in Homeric Questions and Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond and responding to some of his critics, he examines such issues as the importance of performance and the interaction between audience and poet in shaping the poetry; the role of the rhapsode (the performer of the poems) in the composition and transmission of the poetry; the "irreversible mistakes" and cross-references in the Iliad and Odyssey as evidences of artistic creativity; and the Iliadic description of the shield of Achilles as a pointer to the world outside the poem, the polis of the audience.

Plato's Rhapsody and Homer's Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens
Nagy, Gregory. 2002. Plato's Rhapsody and Homer's Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens. Washington, DC and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The festival of the Panathenaia, held in Athens every summer to celebrate the birthday of the city’s goddess, Athena, was the setting for performances of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey by professional reciters or “rhapsodes.” The works of Plato are our main surviving source of information about these performances. Through his references, a crucial phase in the history of the Homeric tradition can be reconstructed. Through Plato’s eyes, the “staging” of Homer in classical Athens can once again become a virtual reality.

This book examines the overall testimony of Plato as an expert about the cultural legacy of these Homeric performances. Plato’s fine ear for language—in this case the technical language of high-class artisans like rhapsodes—picks up on a variety of authentic expressions that echo the talk of rhapsodes as they once practiced their art.

Highlighted among the works of Plato are the Ion, the Timaeus, and the Critias. Some experts who study the Timaeus have suggested that Plato must have intended this masterpiece, described by his characters as a humnos, to be a tribute to Athena. The metaphor of weaving, implicit in humnos and explicit in the peplos or robe that was offered to the goddess at the Panathenaia, applies also to Homeric poetry: it too was pictured as a humnos, destined for eternal re-weaving on the festive occasion of Athena’s eternally self-renewing birthday.

Virgil and the Augustan Reception
Thomas, Richard F. 2001. Virgil and the Augustan Reception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This book examines the ideological reception of Virgil at specific moments in the past two millennia. It focuses on the emperor Augustus in the poetry of Virgil, detects in the poets and grammarians of antiquity pro- and anti-Augustan readings, studies Dryden's 1697 Royalist translation, and also naive American translation. It scrutinizes nineteenth-century philology's rewriting or excision of troubling readings, and covers readings by both supporters and opponents of fascism and National Socialism. Finally it examines how successive ages have made the Aeneid conform to their upbeat expectations of this poet.

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