“Life of Homer” myths as evidence for the reception of Homer

2015.12.18 | By Gregory Nagy This inquiry centers on the surviving texts of ‘Life of Homer’ narrative traditions, to which I refer simply as Lives of Homer. These Lives, I argue, can be read as sources of historical information about the reception of Homeric poetry. The information is varied and layered, requiring diachronic as well as synchronic analysis. The Lives portray the reception of Homeric poetry by narrating a series… Read more

“Life of Ferdowsi” myths as evidence for the reception of Ferdowsi

2015.12.17 | By Olga Davidson In a previous study, I argued that the historicized narrative of the so-called Older Preface to the Shahnama of Ferdowsi is strikingly parallel to Ferdowsi’s own poeticized narrative concerning the genesis of the Book of Kings. In the present study, I make a parallel argument with regard to the Bâysonghori Preface. This text is the preface to the Bâysonghori Shahnama, a fifteenth century manuscript commissioned… Read more

In an octopus’s garden: a story from Lesbos

2015.12.12 | By Gregory Nagy In Plutarch’s Banquet of the Seven Sages, the author imagines a remote time when conversations took place in the city of Corinth at a dinner party hosted by the tyrant of that city, Periandros, a historical figure whose lifetime can be dated to the late seventh and early sixth century BCE. The dramatic setting for this imagined dinner party coincides with the era of Sappho… Read more

Weaving, interrupted

2015.12.03 | By Andromache Karanika Greg Nagy poses an exciting question about the time of female weaving, and, what is more, about song that accompanies the weaving—song that alleviates the monotony of labor but also transforms the sense of time. Is girls’ weaving something that begins with the light of dawn? In Sappho 102, weaving done by girls seems to be a setting for oaroi as ‘love songs’, and the… Read more