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Books

The Poetics of Consent: Collective Decision Making and the Iliad
Elmer, David F. 2013. The Poetics of Consent: Collective Decision Making and the Iliad. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The Poetics of Consent breaks new ground in Homeric studies by interpreting the Iliad’s depictions of political action in terms of the poetic forces that shaped the Iliad itself. Arguing that consensus is a central theme of the epic, David Elmer analyzes in detail scenes in which the poem’s three political communities—Achaeans, Trojans, and Olympian gods—engage in the process of collective decision making.

These scenes reflect an awareness of the negotiation involved in reconciling rival versions of the Iliad over centuries. They also point beyond the Iliad’s world of gods and heroes to the here-and-now of the poem’s performance and reception, in which the consensus over the shape and meaning of the Iliadic tradition is continuously evolving.

Elmer synthesizes ideas and methods from literary and political theory, classical philology, anthropology, and folklore studies to construct an alternative to conventional understandings of the Iliad’s politics. The Poetics of Consent reveals the ways in which consensus and collective decision making determined the authoritative account of the Trojan War that we know as the Iliad.

L’Organisation des spectacles dans le monde romain
Coleman, Kathleen, and Jocelyne Nelis-Clément, ed. 2012. L’Organisation des spectacles dans le monde romain. Vandoeuvres: Fondation Hardt. Publisher's Version Abstract

Contents:

Preface by P. DUCREY; Introduction by K. COLEMAN and J. NELIS-CLEMENT;J. NOLLE "Stadtprägungen des Ostens und die 'explosion agonistique': Überlegungen zu Umfang, Aussagen und Hintergründen der Propagierung von Agonen auf den Prägungen der Städte des griechischen Ostens"; O. M. VAN NIJF "Political games"; C. KOKKINIA "Games vs. buildings as euergetic choices"; M. L. CALDELLI "Associazioni di artisti a Roma: una messa a punto"; J-P. THUILLIER "L'organisation des ludi circenses: les quatre factions (République, Haut-Empire)"; R. WEBB "The nature and representation of competition in pantomime and mime"; G. CHAMBERLAND "La mémoire des spectacles: l'autoreprésentation des donateurs"; C. JONES "The organization of spectacle in Late Antiquity".

Virgil: Aeneid Book XII
Tarrant, Richard, ed. 2012. Virgil: Aeneid Book XII. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

Book XII brings Virgil's Aeneid to a close, as the long-delayed single combat between Aeneas and Turnus ends with Turnus' death – a finale that many readers find more unsettling than triumphant. In this, the first detailed single-volume commentary on the book in any language, Professor Tarrant explores Virgil's complex portrayal of the opposing champions, his use and transformation of earlier poetry (Homer's in particular) and his shaping of the narrative in its final phases. In addition to the linguistic and thematic commentary, the volume contains a substantial introduction that discusses the larger literary and historical issues raised by the poem's conclusion; other sections include accounts of Virgil's metre, later treatments of the book's events in art and music, and the transmission of the text. The edition is designed for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students and will also be of interest to scholars of Latin literature.

Horace: Odes I V and Carmen Saeculare
Thomas, Richard F, ed. 2011. Horace: Odes I V and Carmen Saeculare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The Carmen Saeculare was composed and published in 17 BCE as Horace was returning to the genre of lyric which he had abandoned six years earlier; the fourth book of Odes is in part a response to this poem, the only commissioned poem we know from the period. The hardening of the political situation, with the Republic a thing of the past and the Augustan succession in the air, threw the problematic issue of praise into fresh relief, and at the same time provided an impulse towards the nostalgia represented by the poet's private world. Professor Thomas provides an introduction and commentary (the first full commentary in English since the nineteenth century) to each of the poems, exploring their status as separate lyric artefacts and their place in the larger web of the book. The edition is intended primarily for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, but is also important for scholars.

Imagination and Logos: Essays on C. P. Cavafy
Roilos, Panagiotis, ed. 2010. Imagination and Logos: Essays on C. P. Cavafy. Cambridge, MA: Department of the Classics, Harvard University. Publisher's Version Abstract

This book explores diverse but complementary cross-disciplinary approaches to the poetics, intertexts, and impact of the work of C. P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis), one of the most influential twentieth-century European poets. Written by leading international scholars from a number of disciplines (critical theory, gender studies, comparative literature, English studies, Greek studies, anthropology, classics), the essays of this volume situate Cavafy’s poetry within the broader contexts of modernism and aestheticism, and investigate its complex and innovative responses to European literary traditions (from Greek antiquity to modernity) as well as the multifaceted impact of Cavafy and his writings on other major figures of world literature. 

Contributors: Eve Sedgwick, Helen Vendler, Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Albert Henrichs, Richard Dellamora, Kathleen Coleman, Mark Doty, James Faubion, Diana Haas. 

Jacket image: The Smoker by Ioannis Roilos, reproduced by permission of the painter.

Indo-European Nominal Morphology:The Decads and the Caland System
Rau, Jeremy. 2009. Indo-European Nominal Morphology:The Decads and the Caland System. Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beitr. zur Sprachwiss. Publisher's Version Abstract

The following book presents two self-standing studies on IE nominal morphology that seek to expand the results of what we have learned in the last forty years and to map out new directions for future research. The first study tackles a long-standing crux in the system of the IE numerals, the original inflection behavior and derivational interrelations of the IE decad formulations. The second study focuses on a broader question in IE nominal morphology and investigates a phenomenon that has taxed the imagination of scholars for more than a century, the Caland system.

C. P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy
Roilos, Panagiotis. 2009. C. P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

Konstantinos P. Kavafis--known to the English-reading world as C. P. Cavafy--has been internationally recognized as an important poet and attracted the admiration of eminent literary figures such as E. M. Forster, F. T. Marinetti, W. H. Auden, George Seferis, and James Merrill. Cavafy's idiosyncratic poetry remains one of the most influential and perplexing voices of European modernism.

Focusing on Cavafy's intriguing work, this book navigates new territories in critical theory and offers an interdisciplinary study of the construction of (homo)erotic desire in poetry in terms of metonymic discourse and anti-economic libidinal modalities. Panagiotis Roilos shows that problematizations of art production, market economy, and trafficability of erôs in diverse late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European sociocultural and political contexts were re-articulated in Cavafy's poetry in new subversive ways that promoted an "unorthodox" discursive and libidinal anti-economy of jouissance.

Solomon and Marcolf
Ziolkowski, Jan M. 2008. Solomon and Marcolf. Cambridge, MA: Department of the Classics, Harvard University, 470. Publisher's Version Abstract

Solomon and Marcolf enjoyed an extraordinary heyday in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its first half constitutes a dialogue, mostly of one-liners, between King Solomon and a wily, earthy, and irreverent rustic named Marcolf, while its second recounts tricks that the peasant plays upon the ruler. Although less known than Till EulenspiegelSolomon and Marcolf was printed not only in Latin but also in German, English, Italian, and other European languages. Marcolf was associated closely with Aesop as well as with practical jokers and clowns in vogue in early modern literature. Today Solomon and Marcolf has notoriety from its mention in Gargantua and its analysis by Mikhail Bakhtin in Rabelais and His World.

Traditions about Solomon and Marcolf became widespread at the very latest by 1000, but perhaps centuries earlier. The Latin prose as it has been preserved is likely to have taken shape around 1200, but the earliest extant manuscript dates from 1410. Tantalizing bits of evidence point to connections between Marcolf and the Near East. Thus the contest with Marcolf was related to riddle competitions between King Solomon on the one hand and King Hiram of Tyre or the Queen of Sheba on the other.

Solomon and Marcolf, not put into English since 1492, is here presented with the Latin and a facing translation. In addition to a substantial introduction, the text comes with a detailed commentary that clarifies difficulties in language and identifies proverbial material and narrative motifs. The commentary is illustrated with reproductions of the woodcut illustrations from the 1514 printing of the Latin. The volume contains appendices with supplementary materials, especially sources, analogues, and testimonia; a bibliography; and indices.

Jan M. Ziolkowski is Director of Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington and Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard University.

Jacket illustration: Frontispiece of Collationes quas dicuntur fecisse mutuo rex Salomon sapientissimus et Marcolphus …, printed by Johann Weissenburger in Landshut, Germany, on May 14, 1514 (Munich, Staatsbibliothek, L.eleg.m.250, 9)

Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Melodies in the Early Middle Ages

Nota Bene explores a little-known juxtaposition of verbal text and musical notation in the Middle Ages. This particular intersection deserves attention from those interested in music, the reception of classical Latin literature, the history of education, and the development of punctuation.

Between the late tenth century and the late twelfth century, the musical notation known as neumes was provided in dozens of manuscripts for, among other texts, a number of Horace's Odes as well as for sections of epics by Lucan, Statius, and Vergil. These materials constitute a paradoxical corpus of "classical poems in plainchant" that complicates our views of both how students learned Latin and what was being sung in an era most often associated with Gregorian chant. The book wrestles first with the literary-historical puzzle of why certain passages and not others were "neumed" and later with the ethnomusicological riddles of how, where, when, and by whom the passages were sung.

Fairy Tales From Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Past of Wonderful Lies
Ziolkowski, Jan M. 2007. Fairy Tales From Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Past of Wonderful Lies. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

When did fairy tales begin? What qualifies as a fairy tale? Is a true fairy tale oral or literary? Or is a fairy tale determined not by style but by content? To answer these and other questions, Jan M. Ziolkowski not only provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical debates about fairy tale origins but includes an extensive discussion of the relationship of the fairy tale to both the written and oral sources. Ziolkowski offers interpretations of a sampling of the tales in order to sketch the complex connections that existed in the Middle Ages between oral folktales and their written equivalents, the variety of uses to which the writers applied the stories, and the diverse relationships between the medieval texts and the expressions of the same tales in the "classic" fairy tale collections of the nineteenth century. In so doing, Ziolkowski explores stories that survive in both versions associated with, on the one hand, such standards of the nineteenth-century fairy tale as the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Carlo Collodi and, on the other, medieval Latin, demonstrating that the literary fairy tale owes a great debt to the Latin literature of the medieval period.

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 Version Abstract

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 Version Abstract

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 Version Abstract

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

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

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 Version Abstract

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 Version Abstract

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.

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