Abstract: On Her Majesty’s Service: C. L. W. Merlin and the Sourcing…

Abstract: Ritual Practice and Material Support: Objects in Ritual Theories

“Ritual” has long attracted classicists. While building on anthropological theories, however, the field of classics has not yet fully explored or integrated recent developments into its hermeneutics. While anthropologists have written and thought a great deal about “ritual” and the adequacy of the term for describing repetitive actions in religious as well as profane contexts, classicists continue to use the term without questioning its theoretical implications. “Ritual” conveys indeed dichotomies… Read more

Abstract: The Image and the Text: Dedicatory Epigrams on Stone and Strategies of Communication in Archaic and Classical Athens

My project deals with the interplay between image and literary-linguistic features of Archaic and Classical Attic dedicatory epigrams on stone in the communication with their two-fold audience, the god and the passers-by or, more broadly and importantly, the patron’s fellow citizens. Since epigrams were part of the ordinary life and “formulaic” on several respects, including their structure (shape of the monument, type of alphabet and dialect, layout of the text),… Read more

Research Symposium, Fall 2012

On November 30, 2012, six fellows presented their research to an audience of faculty, students, and senior fellows at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. 9:00 am Session 1 “The Image and the Text: Dedicatory Epigrams on Stone and Strategies of Communication in Archaic and Classical Athens” Sara Kaczko, University of Rome Abstract | Paper and Video “Ritual practice and material support. Objects in ritual theories” Ioanna Patera,… Read more

Collective Emotion in Thucydides

Citation with persistent identifier: Visvardi, Eirene. “Collective Emotion in Thucydides.” CHS Research Bulletin 1, no. 1 (2012). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:VisvardiE.Collective_Emotion_in_Thucydides.2012 §1  In classical Athens, negotiations in diverse public contexts – forensic, deliberative, poetic – explicitly evoke and examine the role of the emotions.[1] At the same time, in the context of the debate over the relationship between nature and culture (φύσις and νόμος), emotions occupy an interesting, if slippery, position because they… Read more

Lesbos Between Athens and Sparta

Citation with persistent identifier: Caciagli, Stefano. “Lesbos Between Athens and Sparta.” CHS Research Bulletin 1, no. 1 (2012). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:CaciagliS.Lesbos_Between_Athens_and_Sparta.2012 Archaic Greek Poetry and Quellenforschung §1  A correct understanding of the social and historical background of an archaic Greek poet is necessary for the analysis of his poetry. In fact, the Greek poetry was essentially prag­matic, since it referred to a well-defined social context and to a well-defined audience: a Greek poet… Read more

On Her Majesty’s Service: C.L.W. Merlin and the Sourcing of Greek Antiquities for the British Museum

Citation with persistent identifier: Galanakis, Yannis. “On Her Majesty’s Service: C. L. W. Merlin and the Sourcing of Greek Antiquities for the British Museum.” CHS Research Bulletin 1, no. 1 (2012). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:GalanakisY.On_Her_Majestys_Service.2012 The Diplomatic Pouch §1  The collection and trafficking of antiquities and art objects through the intervention of diplomatic services is neither new nor revelatory.[1] With regard to Greek antiquities, this subject has already been discussed either in relation… Read more

Research Symposium, Spring 2012

CHS fellows and undergraduates from Sunoikisis institutions presented at the CHS Research Symposium on April 27-28, 2012. Links to recordings of the talks are available below. Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Symposium Friday, April 27, 2012 9:00-10:30AM Session 1 (Chair, Kenny Morrell, Rhodes College) “Sexuality and Intellectualism in Classical Athens” Leigh Ann Voulgaris, Kalamazoo College Abstract | Paper [PDF] | Video “Implicit Characterization in Plato’s Euthyphro” Jillian Stinchcomb, University of Notre Dame Abstract… Read more

Abstract: The persistence of ancient poetic craft in the modern world

My project is a hybrid of translation and comment.  I set out to translate Pindar’s fourth Pythian and seventh Olympian odes and to write about them in order to explore the continuity of at least some aspects of poetics from ancient to modern poets.  But I later realized that it wasn’t poetics in the broadest sense that interested me, but only those stances, strategies and many aspects of poetic craft… Read more

Abstract: Ctesias and the Eunuch In-Between

The role of the eunuch in the Achaemenid Persian court (c. 550-330) has long been highlighted, such that it is a mainstay of the stereotypical portrayal of the effeminate Orient. This mainstay finds its predecessors in the eunuch of Assyrian and Babylonian times – the ša rēši (literally “of the head,” an attendant or official) – or so it has seemed. The traditional translation “eunuch” for this Akkadian term ša… Read more

Abstract: The institution of the warrior in several Greek tragedies

The title of my project is: “The institution of the warrior in several Greek tragedies (Aiskhylos, Seven against Thebes, Sophokles, Aias and Philoktetes).” Its primary aim is to develop my method of investigating the tragic genre as it worked among contemporary audiences. Unconvinced by the methods of standard literary criticism, which, I think, project modern assumptions upon the ancient drama performances, I propose to adopt an anthropological method in order… Read more

Abstract: New Perspectives on Athenian Building Contracts

As I explained in my WIP and in my first post for the blog, one of the main research lines of my project on the legal and economic aspects of public building in classical Athens concerns the system of labor recruitment and the contractual relationship between the city and the private individuals paid to execute the building works. For the Research Symposium which concludes our academic year at the CHS… Read more

Abstract: Pyrrhonism and Disagreement

Disagreement is a pervasive feature of human life, not only because people constantly disagree with each other over any possible issue but also because one tends to disagree with oneself over time. The existence of persistent and widespread disputes poses serious difficulties. For although the mere existence of a disagreement does not by itself entail that it is not possible to attain knowledge or justified belief about the disputed matter,… Read more

Abstract: Socrates plays Stesichorus

ABSTRACT FOR THE CHS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM Title: “Socrates plays Stesichorus” During my stay at the CHS I have worked on Plato’s authorial voice against the background of archaic poetry, with an emphasis on Plato’s “self-disclosures”, that is passages where he implicitly refers to his dialogues (see below, outline of the book in progress). One such passage, namely the myth of the cicadas in the Phaedrus, was the subject of my… Read more

Abstract: The Borders of Attica

Athens’ borders, like those of most of Greek city-states, underwent numerous changes as a result of state formation, military expansion and political alliances. The records of these changes offer much information to the scholar of antiquity. Unfortunately, the borders of Attica are not well known; that is, while some segments of the borders have attracted critical attention, the region as a whole has never been the object of a thorough… Read more

Abstract: Equine Poetics

The project that I’ve been working on at the Center for Hellenic Studies is entitled Equine Poetics and it is a study of elements of Greek literature’s treatment of horses and horsemanship that can be understood in light of inherited Indo-European artistic and intellectual phenomena. It investigates both inherited poetic devices and broad conceptual traditions that were especially important in affecting Greek literature, especially poetry. Although my stay at the… Read more

Abstract: A theoretical approach to the study of a traditional metaphor

As I had previously announced in the WIP talk, my paper will discuss some theoretical and methodological aspects concerning my research, which consists of a historical re-construction of the craftsmanship metaphor’s successive transformations in the context of early Greek cosmologies. The book I am currently completing at the CHS is structured in five chapters, each corresponding to what I consider to be five significant points of inflection within the historical… Read more

Abstract: Towards an archaeology of borderland communities in Hellenistic Upper Egypt

The archaeology of ancient borderlands has in the past been a study of the dynamics of communities which exist at the perceived edges of cultural and/or political entities—for example the limes of the Roman provinces, the borders of ancient city-states, or the edges of the ‘Hellenized’ world. This model depends upon a conflation of territorial and cultural identity as either relatively homogenized or as deeply centralized and therefore shaped by… Read more

Abstract: POxy XXX 2513: Iphigenia in the Corinthiaca of Eumelus

In a previous essay (Debiasi 2003) I perused an epic fragment, preserved in POxy LIII 3698, containing hexameters of Argonautic subject, which I argued to be early, by providing some pieces of evidence for an attribution to the Corinthiaca of Eumelus of Corinth. POxy LIII 3698 presents both an external appearance and palaeographic characteristics corresponding to those of POxy XXX 2513 (edited by Lobel 1964, 13-15) similarly consisting of remnants… Read more

Abstract: Alphabetic Images in Ancient Greece: the Hellenistic Technopaegnia

The book I came to CHS to complete, “Graphic Art: Alphabetic Images in Ancient Greece,” examines mixed-media contexts in which the materiality of the Greek alphabet is significant. This study underscores how Greek poets and craftsmen alike sustained an intermedial dialogue from the 8th century BCE on, and elaborates the role of writing on statues and pots, on the dramatic stage, and on the page. My work-in-progress presentation at the… Read more

Abstract: The Sacrificial Gaze

‘The Gaze’ has been applied surprisingly little to the history of Greek art. The term has wider art historical applications and has found its way into the corpus of writings about the ancient Romans and their visual culture. Gaze is related to ‘viewing’ and ‘spectatorship’ and implies an ‘audience’ concerned with ‘watching’ , ‘looking’, even ‘staring’. To quote Margaret Olin: ‘the term “gaze” is…emblematic of the recent attempt to wrest… Read more

CHS Research Symposium

On Saturday, April 30, join us for a live webcast of the CHS Research Symposium, featuring talks by the 2010-11 CHS Fellows in Hellenic Studies. The live webcast will be available at rtsp://stream.chs.harvard.edu/HouseA, viewable with a Quicktime Player. To download and install Quicktime from Apple, please go to http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/.   Viewers can submit questions via chat.  To learn more about using chat and to see the schedule, click here. Read more

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