By Gregory Nagy

Starting with Anacreon while preparing a compendium of essays on Sappho and her ancient reception

2021.02.06 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In consultation with the editorial team of Classical Inquiries, I am preparing to submit to them, for a hoped-for free-standing online publication, a compendium of my published essays on the topic of Sappho’s ancient reception. In essays I have published more recently on this vast topic, especially in Classical Inquiries, I have tried to track, more thoroughly than in my less recent essays, other… Read more

Imagining a sensually self-assertive singing bride—while reading the songs of Sappho

2021.01.29 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This brief essay considers a situation where girls are having an all-night party in celebration of a bride, their girl-friend, who is getting married tomorrow, let us imagine. In previous essays, I have analyzed references, in a wide variety of ancient Greek texts, to such all-night partying by girls, and I tried not to lose track in these essays of the facts of life—that… Read more

Imagining a courtesan in the songs of Sappho

2021.02.22 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This brief essay, about imagining the existence of a courtesan in the songs of Sappho, refers not to various modern theories about references being supposedly made to courtesans by the “I” who speaks in her songs. It is, rather, about the imagined identity of Sappho herself in the ancient world. There existed, already then, various theories about the life and times of Sappho. I… Read more

When self-praise connects the speaker to the universe: A diachronic view of the word eukhomai (εὔχομαι) in its Homeric contexts

2021.01.20 | By Gregory Nagy This text is to be read “live” on January 20, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Athens time, as a contribution to a seminar series organized by the Academy of Athens for 2020–2021, “(Self-)Praise and (Self-) Blame in Ancient Literature” (Κέντρον Ερεύνης της Ελληνικής και Λατινικής Γραμματείας της Ακαδημίας Αθηνών, στο πλαίσιο του μηνιαίου σεμιναρίου του). My special thanks go to Dr. Efi Papadodima (DPhil Oxon), Research… Read more

How the first word in Song 1 of Sappho is relevant to her reception in the ancient world—and to various different ways of thinking…

2021.01.15 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In this essay, extracting what I have learned about the meaning of the first word in Song 1 of Sappho in the overall context of studying, in previous essays, the ancient reception of Sappho, I will concentrate on the erotic power of floral perfumes—a power that is driven by Aphrodite and that is poeticized in Sappho’s songs with reference to two boy-loves of the… Read more

The theo-eroticism of mythmaking about Aphrodite’s love for boys like Adonis

2021.01.09 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In a previous study, I used the term theo-eroticism as a way of describing a kind of sexuality that gets transformed into something sublime by way of blending eroticism with divinity. I was following terminology used by exegetes of the Bible in their interpretations of some intensely erotic situations pictured in the Song of Songs, and, although I experimented with applying the terms of… Read more