Homo ludens in the world of ancient Greek verbal art

2015.10.15 | By Gregory Nagy The traditions of ancient Greek verbal art, as consolidated in the so-called classical era of the fifth century BCE and extending into the era of Aristotle in the fourth century, were shaped by the capacity of ancient Greek poetry to imitate, in a playful way, language in all its forms, both artful and artless. Read more

The “Newest Sappho”: a set of working translations, with minimal comments

2015.10.08 | By Gregory Nagy These working translations of mine are drawn from an essay, “Genre, Occasion, and Choral Mimesis Revisited,” published in Classical Inquiries 2015.10.01. When I say the “newest Sappho” in the title here, I mean the new fragments of Sappho as published in a 2016 book edited by Anton Bierl and André Lardinois, The Newest Sappho (P. Obbink and P. GC Inv. 105, frs. 1–5). Read more

“The Voice of the Pipes”—and a third Leslie

2015.10.03 | By Mark Griffith My warm thanks to Gregory Nagy for inviting me to contribute a coda here this week. I was a part of the same conference in Berkeley that he mentions as the occasion for the presentation of his paper, "Genre, Occasion, and Choral Mimesis Revisited—with special reference to the 'newest Sappho'," which is now posted here. My own paper entitled, "Was korybantic/orgiastic performance a 'lyric genre'?,"… Read more

Genre, Occasion, and Choral Mimesis Revisited—with special reference to the “newest Sappho”

2015.10.01 | By Gregory Nagy This essay is the third part of a tripartite project. The first part, “Genre and Occasion,” was published in ΜΗΤΙΣ (1994), and the second part, “Transmission of Archaic Greek Sympotic Songs: From Lesbos to Alexandria,” was published ten years later in Critical Inquiry (2004). These two essays are both listed in the Bibliography below. The present essay, “Genre, Occasion, and Choral Mimesis Revisited,” is published… Read more

A Cretan Odyssey, Part 2

2015.09.24 | By Gregory Nagy In the posting for 2015.09.17, I showed what can be reconstructed as a Minoan-Mycenaean version of Ariadne. Here in the posting for 2015.09.24, I now turn to later versions, as reflected especially in the visual arts of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. In these later versions, we can see more clearly the connectedness of Ariadne with idea of thalassocracy—an idea inherited from Minoan-Mycenaean civilization. Read more