Συνοίκησις in Mycenaean Times? The Political and Cultural Geography of Attica in…

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

Between Seriousness and Play: Imperial Platonic Readings of the Aristotelian Natural Problems (Plutarch, Taurus, Apuleius)

Citation with persistent identifier: Meeusen, Michiel. “Between Seriousness and Play: Imperial Platonic Readings of the Aristotelian Natural Problems (Plutarch, Taurus, Apuleius).” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 2 (2017). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:MeeusenM.Between_Seriousness_and_Play.2017 The Aristotelian Natural Problems: origins and success “Why are great excesses disease-producing? – Is it because they produce either excess or defect? And these are disease?”; “Why does cabbage prevent hangovers? – Is it because it has juice that is sweet and able to… Read more

Greek Colonies and Their Neighbors in Rough Cilicia

Citation with persistent identifier: Mac Sweeney, Naoíse. “Greek colonies and their neighbors in Rough Cilicia.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 2 (2017). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:MacSweeneyN.Greek_Colonies_and_Their_Neighbors.2017 Introduction 1§1 Scholarship on the Greek colonies abounds.[1] In recent years, much of this work has moved away from attempts to define or characterize the phenomenon of Greek overseas settlement as a whole, and towards a more contextual understanding of individual communities in their immediate and regional settings. In particular, the… Read more

Swelling Women: Formulaics in the Hesiodic Catalogue

Citation with persistent identifier: Kirk, Athena. “Swelling Women: Formulaics in the Hesiodic Catalogue.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 2 (2017). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:KirkA.Swelling_Women.2017 §1The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, despite its name, is not what one imagines it might be.  While it does indeed begin from the premise that it (via the muse) will tell “how many [women]” (ὅσσαις, Fr. 1MW) various gods went to bed with, it is hardly a simple tallying of the numbers… Read more

Abstract | Διονύσιος: The Grammarian, the Potter, and the Ghosts

Four grammatika vases bearing signatures are the starting point of this paper, which aims to uncover the people behind the objects, focusing on the quest of their identity and their role in the creation and dissemination of one of the most distinctive varieties of Hellenistic relief pottery. The fusion of literature and scholarship on the surface of everyday vessels, in combination with the archaeological data that point to a sympotic… Read more

Abstract | Συνοίκησις in Mycenaean Times? The Political and Cultural Geography of Attica in the 2nd Millennium BC

A number of scholars have expressed the view that the synoikismos (political unification) of Attica took place in Mycenaean times. This entails that the region evolved into an early state during the 13th c. BC. Drawing on this hypothesis, I will examine the available archaeological data from a wider (Bronze Age) socio-economic perspective, to explore whether the establishment of a Mycenaean state in Attica was historically feasible and, if yes,… Read more

Abstract | Scholarship and Leadership on the Black Sea: Clearchus of Heraclea as (Un)Enlightened Tyrant

Clearchus of Heraclea Pontica, who ruled as tyrant from 364 to 352 BC, provides an interesting case-study in the intersection of politics and philosophy in the ancient Greek world. Although trained under Plato and Isocrates in Athens, upon his accession to power in Heraclea, he largely rejected their teachings by becoming cruel and by pandering to the demos. Although formerly a participant in their scholarly community, Clearchus was murdered in… Read more

Abstract | Swelling Women: Formulaics in the Hesiodic Catalogue

This paper examines a formulaic phrase in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, ἣ δ’ ὑποκυσαμένη.  While its context in the fragments of that text is difficult to determine, an examination of its appearances in Homer and the Theogony reveals that it regularly appears following a description of an extraordinary or noteworthy union.  I argue that the formula belongs, like the phrase e hoie itself, to the traditional poetics of genealogy… 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 | Greek Colonies and Their Neighbors in Rough Cilicia

How did Greek settlements interact and relate with their non-Greek neighbors? A sophisticated picture of these relationships is beginning to emerge for Magna Graecia and the western Mediterranean, but less is known about the Greek communities of the East. This paper considers the relationships between the Greek settlements on the coast of Rough Cilicia and the communities based further inland, discussing in particular new survey and excavation data from ‘indigenous’… 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 | Between Seriousness and Play: Imperial Platonic Readings of the Aristotelian Natural Problems (Plutarch, Taurus, Apuleius)

The aim of this contribution is to examine how the Natural Problems, attributed to Aristotle (but only partially authentic), were received in the first centuries of the Imperial period, specifically in Platonist milieus. I will zoom in on three distinguished Platonic readers: viz. Plutarch of Chaeronea, L. Calvenus Taurus, and Apuleius of Madauros. Which reading contexts can we distinguish in the literature and what do we learn about the readers’… Read more

Abstract | Archaeology Through Archives: The Early History of the Archaeological Research in Boeotia Through Original Historical Archives

The paper examines the fascinating early history of the archaeological research in Boeotia during the 19th century. Based on original, yet unexploited, archival material, this study uses the extant archival sources as a unique source of information for the first steps of Archaeology in Modern Greece, the prosopography, lives, stories and ideologies of its pioneers, their struggle against illegal trafficking of antiquities and the attitudes that shaped the character of… 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

Constructing Periander in Plutarch’s Symposium of the Seven Sages

Citation with persistent identifier: Stamatopoulou, Zoe. “Constructing Periander in Plutarch’s Symposium of the Seven Sages.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:StamatopoulouZ.Constructing_Periander.2016. [updated as of June 29, 2020] §1 In Plutarch’s Symposium of the Seven Sages,[1] the Corinthian seer Diocles recounts to a certain Nicarchus what transpired at a dinner party hosted by Periander, the tyrant of Corinth, in the fairly recent past. In the opening section that sets up the… Read more

Herodotean Democracies

Citation with persistent identifier: Schlosser, Joel Alden. “Herodotean Democracies.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:SchlosserJ.Herodotean_Democracies.2016 I. 1§1 To study the past, let alone antiquity, at a time when present challenges are both stupendously urgent and complex beyond understanding often feels quite dissonant. How can we possible turn our backs on what’s happening right now to think about ancient history? This feeling has been especially strong in 2016. After a summer… Read more

Improving the Public Image Through Athletics: Young Victors in Hellenistic Thebes

Citation with persistent identifier: Scharff, Sebastian. “Improving the Public Image Through Athletics: Young Victors in Hellenistic Thebes.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:ScharffS.Improving_the_Public_Image_through_Athletics.2016 Introductory remarks 1§1 The Hellenistic history of Thebes begins with a tragedy: following the rumor that Alexander had died in Illyria, the Thebans rose against their Macedonian garrison, which had been installed on the Kadmeia after the battle of Chaironeia, and encouraged all the Greeks to join… Read more

Aristotelian Piety Reconsidered

Citation with persistent identifier: Aufderheide, Joachim. “Aristotelian Piety Reconsidered.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:AufderheideJ.Aristotelian_Piety_Reconsidered.2016 Introduction 1§1 Aristotle apparently does not discuss piety in the Nicomachean Ethics. The omission is puzzling because piety was an important and well-discussed virtue; Plato even devoted a whole dialogue to it, the Euthyphro. I will not dwell long on possible explanations. Prima facie, Aristotle could have made room for piety, but chose not to:… Read more

Logical Categories and the Parts of Speech System as Structuring Devices in Pollux’ Onomasticon*

Citation with persistent identifier: Chronopoulos, Stylianos. “Logical Categories and the Parts of Speech System as Structuring Devices in Pollux’ Onomasticon.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:ChronopoulosS.Logical_Categories_and_Parts_of_Speech_as_Structuring_Devices.2016 Pollux’ Onomasticon as onomasiological dictionary 1§1 Pollux’ Onomasticon is a Greek dictionary in 10 books (ca. 120.000 words) from the second century CE. It is written as fluid text, although it mainly contains lists of words. Its author, Julius Pollux, was a professional orator… Read more

The Cyclic Views of the Human Condition in Thucydides’ Archaeology and Sima Qian’s Preface to Historical Records

Citation with persistent identifier: BAI, Chun Xiao. “The Cyclic Views of the Human Condition in Thucydides’ Archaeology and Sima Qian’s Preface to Historical Records.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:BaiX.The_Cyclic_Views_of_the_Human_Condition.2016 1§1 The commencement of historiography may be a coincidence. In ancient societies, there were many methods for people to preserve their memories: oral poetry, religious stories, funerary texts, instruction literature, king lists, chronicles of kingdoms, and so on. According to… Read more

Spring 2017 Symposium

Join us on Friday, April 28 for the biannual Center for Hellenic Studies Research Symposium! The symposium features 11 presentations by current CHS fellows. To learn more about the presenters and their research, visit the CHS website. Live Webcast The symposium will be available to watch online as a live webcast at http://media.video.harvard.edu/core/live/harvard-chs-live.html. No special software is required. Viewers interested in watching the stream should click on the link above and the stream will… Read more

Abstract | Herodotean Democracies

What can Herodotus say to today’s democracies? This essay begins from a puzzle about the very language of democracy in Herodotus’s Histories, namely the narrator’s notorious re-description of what the Persian Otanes called isonomia as a demokratia. Most interpreters wave off this difference as insignificant, but I show how it highlights the variety of democracies within the Histories. Different democracies also practice different principles of equality: isonomia, isegoria, and isokratia.… Read more

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