Uncanny Intruders

The Poetics of Distress, the Rape of the Heavenly Maiden, and the Most Ancient Sleeping Beauty: Oralistic, Linguistic, and Comparative Perspectives on the (Pre-)Historical…

§0. Abstract Often compared with West Asian and Egyptian texts, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (hereafter Hymn) and the other variants of the myth of Demeter and Persephone-Kore have a number of onomastic, phraseological, and thematic parallels in texts composed in other Indo-European languages. By means of an oralistic, linguistic, and comparative approach, my research aims to, firstly, reconstruct the common background of the Hymn and its Indo-European counterparts on… Read more

Euripides’ Athens: Art, Cult, and Leadership

Abstract This is a book-length project that investigates the political implications of Euripides’ dialogue with cult, iconography and architecture, mainly but not exclusively Athenian. In the first part of this report (‘Art and Politics in Euripides’ Plays’) I offer an overview of my findings before starting my fellowship at the CHS, published in several articles. In the second part (‘Euripides’ Athens: Art, Cult and Leadership’) I report on the progress… Read more

The Poetics of Female Hiketeia: Cult and Character in Euripides

Abstract Setting out to study the significance of Euripidean representations of cultic activities, I have used Andromache as a case study, in order to decode the ways female hiketeia is used in Euripides as a vehicle to engage with questions of cult, individual and collective characterization, gender and class disparities, justice and family relationships. If, as Gould suggests, hiketeia is “a social institution which permits the acceptance of an outsider… Read more

Epics and Ritual: Reconsidering Homeric Performance in Ancient Greece

Citation with persistent identifier: Brouillet, Manon. “Epics and Ritual: Reconsidering Homeric Performance in Ancient Greece.” CHS Research Bulletin 7 (2019). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:BrouilletM.Epics_and_Ritual.2019 Abstract My project on Homeric epics and ritual seeks to explore the link between the massive importance of Homeric epics in Greek polytheism, as stated by Herodotus himself, and their performance during religious festivals. Can the ritual setting of the epic performances be relevant to our understanding of their role in Greek society? My… Read more

Calling the Gods: How Cult Practices Moved across Space and Time in the Ancient Mediterranean

Persistent identifier: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:BachvarovaM.Calling_the_Gods.2018 “The tongue is a bridge!” So exclaims the practitioner, probably an Old Woman, to the Sun-goddess of the Earth in the 15th century BCE Hittite Ritual against an Ominous Bee as she attempts to lure the goddess to the sacrificial offerings (CTH 447.A = KBo 11.10 iii 17). Her statement presents an early philosophy of language, as it were, in which the invisible medium of spoken words, when… Read more

Two Tombs for Hyrnetho: A Case Study in Localism and Mythographic Topography*

Citation with persistent identifier: Hawes, Greta. “Two Tombs for Hyrnetho: A Case Study in Localism and Mythographic Topography.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 2 (2017). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:HawesG.Two_Tombs_for_Hyrnetho.2017 §1 It should be uncontroversial to observe that stories are shaped by the contexts in which they are told. When a storyteller aims to please – or persuade, or entertain, or frustrate, or rebuke, or challenge – his audience, his stories are part of his rhetorical arsenal. The… Read more

At the Table of the Gods? Divine Appetites and Animal Sacrifice

Citation with persistent identifier: Carbon, Jan-Mathieu (Mat). “At the Table of the Gods? Divine Appetites and Animal Sacrifice.”CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 2 (2017). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:CarbonM.At_the_Table_of_the_Gods.2017 Setting the Scene: Myths and Sacrifice 1§1 What did the Greek gods eat and drink? ‘Ambrosia’ and ‘nectar’ are the standard answers that any student of mythology would hurry to propose.[1] But was that always the case, whether in myth or in belief (as far as we… Read more

Abstract | Place and Identity in Pindar’s Olympian 2

My current book project, Myth, Locality, and Identity in Pindar’s Sicilian Odes, examines the way that local topographical features are adopted and adapted as nodes of civic identity in Pindar’s Sicilian odes. The book argues that by weaving regional and Panhellenic mythic traditions into the local landscape Pindar infuses physical spaces with meaning and thereby contextualizes cities, their citizens, and their rulers within a wider Greek framework. This paper focuses… Read more

Abstract | Two Tombs for Hyrnetho: A Case Study in Localism and Mythographic Topography

This paper considers the factors which shaped myths as both a shared tradition and an amalgam of conflicting variants and versions.  It uses the story of the division of the Peloponnese amongst the Heracleidai to consider how local concerns produced stories which functioned simultaneously within a supra-local context. It then explores a ‘post-script’ to the story of the Heraclid return, the death of the obscure Argive heroine Hyrnetho. The survival… Read more

Abstract | At the Table of the Gods? Divine Appetites and Animal Sacrifice

The paper seeks to reassess some of the evidence for the offering of portions to the gods during animal sacrifice. Starting from a brief consideration of the myths relating to Prometheus and other figures, it is argued that these depict gods who could partake in feasts and who were manifestly interested in offerings of savoury animal parts, even meat. Myths of sacrifice certainly elaborated a hierarchy between gods and mortals, but… Read more

The New Order of Time and Cult in Synoecized Poleis

Citation with persistent identifier: Schipporeit, Sven. “The New Order of Time and Cult in Synoecized Poleis.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 2 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:SchipporeitS.The_New_Order_of_Time_and_Cult.2016 Synoecized City-states 1§1 In 408/7 BCE the old Rhodian city states of Ialysus, Camirus and Lindus united to form one polis and create a joint capital called Rhodes at the northern tip of the island (Figure 1). Diodorus and Strabo put this process under the common label metoikismos respectively… Read more

Prodicus on the Rise of Civilization: Religion, Agriculture, and Culture Heroes

Citation with persistent identifier: Kouloumentas, Stavros. “Prodicus on the rise of civilization: religion, agriculture, and culture heroes.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 2 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:KouloumentasS.Prodicus_on_the_Rise_of_Civilization.2016 1§1 Three authors who were active in classical Athens seem to have been familiar with Prodicus’ doctrines.[1] Xenophon preserves a speech of Prodicus in which the young Heracles meets Virtue and Vice, two ladies of entirely different appearance and character who in turn make cases for living… Read more

What’s in a Name? Linguistic Considerations in the Study of ‘Karian’ Religion

Citation with persistent identifier: Carless Unwin, Naomi. “What’s in a name? Linguistic considerations in the study of  ‘Karian’ religion.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 2 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:CarlessUnwinN.Linguistic_Considerations.2016 1§1 The history of Karia is entangled with that of the Greek-speaking world; the cultural and religious character of the region was shaped by sustained interaction with both east and west.[1] Ionian and Dorian settlements were established along the Anatolian seaboard from the tenth century BCE… Read more

Abstract | Love Is in the Hands: Looking for Traces of Affective Relationship Between Human and Object in Votive Epigrams

This paper comprises two parts. The first section will give an insight into my global project on “feelings for objects in ancient Greece”, by bringing together two inanimate objects that arouse strong feelings of empathy and affection: the first one comes from a Hollywood movie (Wilson, the volleyball in Cast Away, by R. Zemeckis), the second one from a Greek tragedy (the bow of Philoctetes, in the play by Sophocles… Read more

Abstract | What’s in a Name? Linguistic Considerations in the study of ‘Karian’ religion

The study of religion in Karia, in south western Anatolia, is inextricably linked with the wider social dynamics of the region; the cultural and religious character of the region was shaped by sustained interaction with both east and west. My intention in this paper is to reconsider the framework in which discussions of religion in Karia are frequently embedded, and address the methodological issues that need to be considered when… Read more

A Sanctuary Model for Representing Incubation in Classical Athens

Citation with persistent identifier: Barrenechea, Francisco. “A sanctuary model for representing incubation in Classical Athens.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 1 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:BarrenecheaF.A_Sanctuary_Model_for_Representing_Incubation.2016 Introduction 1§1 In December 2016, I had the wonderful opportunity to do a brief presentation of my research to an audience of fellows and colleagues at the Center for Hellenic Studies. This presentation is now available online, and the following lines are meant as a brief introduction to it. The… Read more

Abstract–A Sanctuary Model for Representing Incubation in Classical Athens

Aristophanes’ comic narrative of a miracle cure of Asklepios in Wealth 627-759 reflects a model for representing this experience that would later manifest itself in the healing stories set up in the god’s sanctuary at Epidauros. In this early instantiation, the model already displays the influence of the sanctuary in the ways it seeks to gives proof that the miracle took place; as an example of this influence, my paper… Read more

Local Pantheons in Motion: Synoecism and Patron Deities in Hellenistic Rhodes

Citation with persistent identifier: Paul, Stéphanie. “Local Pantheons in Motion: Synoecism and Patron Deities in Hellenistic Rhodes.” CHS Research Bulletin 3, no. 2 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:PaulS.Local_Pantheons_in_Motion.2015 Ἀκολούθως δὲ τούτοις νομισθῆναι τὴν νῆσον ἱερὰν Ἡλίου καὶ τοὺς μετὰ ταῦτα γενομένους Ῥοδίους διατελέσαι περιττότερον τῶν ἄλλων θεῶν τιμῶντας τὸν Ἥλιον ὡς ἀρχηγὸν τοῦ γένους αὐτῶν. (Diodorus V 56) 1§1 In his account of the early history of Rhodes, Diodorus Siculus relates how the… Read more

Seeing Hera in the Iliad

Citation with persistent identifier: Ali, Seemee. “Seeing Hera in the Iliad.” CHS Research Bulletin 3, no. 2 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:AliS.Seeing_Hera_in_the_Iliad.2015 §1 Hera’s name appears early in the Iliad. Well before she herself speaks or even appears in the epic, she acts. Quietly and seemingly imperceptibly, she places an idea directly in Achilles’ phrénes: ἐννῆμαρ μὲν ἀνὰ στρατὸν ᾤχετο κῆλα θεοῖο, τῇ δεκάτῃ δ’ ἀγορὴν δὲ καλέσσατο λαὸν Ἀχιλλεύς· τῷ γὰρ ἐπὶ… Read more

Abstract–Local Pantheons in Motion: Synoecism and Patron Deities in Hellenistic Rhodes

This paper addresses some of the limitations of the concept of patron deity through the case-study of the island of Rhodes after the synoecism of 408/7 BC, as well as, in a wider perspective, the impact of historical events on the religious landscape. Focusing on the main cults of Helios, Athena, and Zeus, it will assess how these cults were related, on different levels, to the concerns of political unity… Read more

Abstract–Seeing Hera in the Iliad

Hera is the most under-appreciated deity in the pantheon of Homer’s Iliad. Inseminating mortals with thoughts and understanding the secret plans of Zeus, Hera proves to be a goddess of the mind. Hera’s characteristic sphere of action is the phrénes, the realm of physiological, emotional, and intellectual activity. Hera’s own creative vision enlarges the imaginative scope of the epic – for her noetic mode of seeing brings unity to what is otherwise… Read more

Poetic Authority and the Utility of Reproduction in Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days

Citation with persistent identifier: Hong, Yurie. “Poetic Authority and the Utility of Reproduction in Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days.” CHS Research Bulletin 3, no. 1 (2014). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:HongY.Poetic_Authority_and_the_Utility_of_Reproduction.2014 1§1 Between the Theogony’s pronouncement that women are a “beautiful evil,” who “consume other people’s labor into their bellies” (Theogony 585, 599), the Works and Days’ identification of Pandora as the releaser of “baneful evils for humans” (Works and Days 67, 95), and the… Read more

Using Homer for Divination: Homeromanteia in Context

Martín-Hernández, Raquel. “Using Homer for Divination: Homeromanteia in Context.” CHS Research Bulletin 2, no. 1 (2013). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:MartinHernandezR.Using_Homer_for_Divination_Homeromanteia_in_Context.2013 Aim   §1  Much has been said about the uses and abuses of the Homeric texts; about whom their users were, how they were used, why, when, how, and where they were performed, and who the audience of the Iliad and the Odyssey was in Classical and Roman times, among other questions. From the use of Homer’s works… Read more

We're trying out a new look. 🎉 Let us know what you think! Hide.