The Center for Hellenic Studies

Classical Inquiries

Studies on the Ancient World from the Center for Hellenic Studies

A view of the acropolis at sunset, Athens. Photo by AussieActive.

Sappho’s looks, and how Sappho looks at beauty

2021.07.12 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Reading the words of Sappho’s songs, we cannot picture her looks, that is, we cannot imagine what she looked like—I say it here in colloquial English. But we can readily imagine what she looked at—especially the beautiful things, the beautiful people. In this essay, I can show that Sappho’s looks in the ancient world—the way she looked—could be pictured as a mirroring of the… Read more

How are the epic verses of the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen relevant to Achilles in our Homeric Iliad?

2021.07.05 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This essay picks up from where I left off in a succession of two previous essays (Nagy 2021.06.14, linked here, and Nagy 2021.06.21, linked here). In both those essays, I concentrated on evidence that I gathered from the surviving fragments of the Hesiodic composition known as The Suitors of Helen. On the basis of that evidence, I ended the second of the two essays… Read more

Text and reperformance: do you really need a text for your reperformance?

posted 2021.06.24, to be reperformed 2021.06.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This presentation offers friendly criticism of the views of classicists who use such terms as "text" and "reperformance" without fully taking into account various comparative perspectives that have for some time been made available by way of typological descriptions of "live" performance as observed and analyzed in a wide variety of ethnographical studies. Read more